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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Armenian Studies Event at USF Explores Ethics, National Security, Genocide

Armenian Studies Event at USF Explores Ethics, National Security, Genocide

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011
University of South Florida, Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center

The USF Libraries Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center continued their ongoing effort to raise public awareness and encourage the teaching of tolerance with the presentation of the second annual Armenian Studies Symposium on November 4th, 2011. Free and open to the public, attendees filled the Grace Allen Room to capacity, even standing in adjacent rooms to listen in.

Dr. Taner Akcam

Respected Armenian Genocide studies scholar Taner Akçam gave a keynote talk on the Turkish government’s justification for suppressing free speech in the name of national security, a practice with far-reaching implications, from classrooms to contemporary international relations. Akçam‘s talk was followed by a panel discussion featuring USF scholars Edward Kissi, Rachel May, and Steven C. Roach comparing the Turkish situation to the US treatment of Native Americans and it’s long period of slavery, and other genocides around the world throughout history. If you were not able to attend, you can watch a video of the November 4th event here.

The Armenian Studies event was one in a series of public events the USF Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center has hosted with the aim of calling attention to the intolerant behaviors that have led to genocides and crimes against humanity, in hopes of preventing future genocides and hate crimes. USF Holocaust and genocide studies librarian Musa Olaka relates how the Armenian programming fits into the bigger picture: “The Armenian Studies initiative provides resources and inroads for USF faculty and students to engage in critical study of comparative genocide, genocide denial, and the fight against genocidal ideology around the world.”

USF Scholars Edward Kissi, Steven C. Roach, and Rachel May

In addition to print media coverage in the Maddux Report and the Armenian press, the event was reported on by WMNF radio, 88.5. Listen to the in-depth radio report.

Do you want to support education, programming and collections that can help create a better world?

Contact USF to advance these and other efforts: Merrell Dickey (813) 974-1654 mdickey@usf.edu.

SOURCE: University of South Florida, Holocaust & Genocide Studies Program

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House of Representatives Urges Turkey to Safeguard Christian Heritage, Return Confiscated Church Properties

House of Representatives Urges Turkey to Safeguard Christian Heritage, Return Confiscated Church Properties

Florida Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Gus Bilirakis Cosponsor H. Res. 306

Washington, DC – This week, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted by voice vote H. Res. 306, legislation calling on the Republic of Turkey to protect its Christian heritage and return confiscated church properties. Introduced by Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), H. Res. 306 was cosponsored by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), both members of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues.

“This bipartisan bill reflects America’s values and represents an important step towards preserving the heritage of the Armenian community and other minority communities within Turkey,” stated the Legate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church, Archbishop Vicken Aykazian in Washington, DC.

As amended, H. Res. 306 calls on Turkey to “end all forms of religious discrimination” and return confiscated church properties and artifacts. The revised bill mirrors the Berman-Cicilline amendment that was adopted by the House Foreign Affairs Committee by a vote of 43-1 earlier this year.

“It has been my privilege to be a strong voice for oppressed religious minorities throughout the world,” Congressman Bilirakis said. “I am pleased that my colleagues once again sent a strong message in support of religious freedom in a manner that transcends party politics by unanimously condemning Turkey for failing to safeguard its Christian heritage or return confiscated church properties,” stated Bilirakis.

In addition to resolution sponsor Congressman Royce, who along with his colleagues invoked the memory of the Armenian Genocide and Turkey’s continued genocide denial, the following Representatives spoke in favor of the legislation: Howard Berman (D-CA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ).  Turkish Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Edward Whitfield (R-KY) claimed time in opposition to the bill.

You can watch the debate on the bill here.

St. David Armenian Church Women’s Guild Celebrates Christmas at the Sundy House

St. David Armenian Church Women’s Guild Celebrates Christmas at the Sundy House

By Carol Norigian
Women’s Guild Chairman

Boca Raton, FL – On Saturday, December 10, 2011, the Women’s Guild of St. David Armenian Church celebrated Christmas at the Sundy House, a historic landmark restaurant in Delray Beach, Florida. Very Rev. Fr. Nareg Berberian was present at this event. Fifty-five Women’s Guild members enjoyed the afternoon embracing each other’s company. Marge Lave was recognized by the Executive Board and was given a gift as a token of their appreciation.

Rose Killian, Virignia Norsesian, Lucy Hamalian, Alice Mikaelian, Nina Stapan, and Makruhi Movsesyan were also awarded a gift for their service in the Women’s Guild. After the luncheon, Nina Stapan, Zepure Andreasian and Louise Apoian led the singing of Christmas carols. Gifts were exchanged among the members, and a lottery was drawn. They were all in a festive mood. There were beautifully hand-crafted centerpieces prepared by Virginia Norsesian, Chistmas ornaments by Nina Stapan, and complimentary homemade chocolate by Alice Mikaelian.

The Women’s Guild  of St. David is an active organization in our community and they have numerous social, cultural, spiritual and educational programs prepared for the year 2012. See the upcoming flyers and Retreat Program on our website and e-Newsletter.