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Category Archives: News

New Records Added to ANI Website, English and Turkish Language Sites Expanded

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With 7.5 million hits registered in 2017, the Armenian National Institute (ANI) websites in English and Turkish have obtained global reach as students, teachers, researchers, journalists, and public servants tap their substantial catalogue of critical records on the Armenian Genocide. In response to this encouraging trend and user feedback, ANI announced another expansion of its popular sites, adding new materials.

Sixty official documents on the Armenian Genocide, ranging from Denmark to Brazil, many of which were posted in their original language, are now all translated. The documents in this critically important section under the heading Resolutions, Laws, and Declarations are now available in their original languages, as well as in English and Turkish.

The Turkish language version of the ANI website has been growing continuously since it was launched in February 2017. More translations of key documents posted on the ANI website have been added with the goal of educating Turkish-speaking audiences about the Armenian Genocide in the face of the Turkish government’s standing policy of denying this history. The Turkish language site currently holds 72 documents, 8 encyclopedia entries, the Wegner photo collection, and FAQs, among other contents.

Well over 500 documents can now be accessed on the ANI website, including records from International Organizations, Religious Institutions, States and Provinces, Municipal Governments, Curriculum Mandates, and others. Over 200 U.S. state level resolutions and gubernatorial declarations are accessible.

A newly expanded section titled Official Reports now features reports on proposed Congressional resolutions approved by several committees, including the Committee on Foreign Affairs (previously called the Committee on International Relations), the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. These official reports of the United States Congress, such as Affirmation of the United States Record on the Armenian Genocide Resolution Report of 2000, and A Century of Denial: The Armenian Genocide and the Ongoing Quest for Justice of 2015, trace the progress of several resolutions introduced over the years to affirm the American historical record on the Armenian Genocide.

The release of the movie The Promise brought the Armenian Genocide to the attention of broader audiences. Writing in the Los Angeles Review of Books about the importance of films depicting this painful subject, Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Dr. Michelle Tusan, compares The Promise to the 1919 film titled Ravished Armenia. Her article along with some other 250 interesting selections from the international press also can be accessed on the ANI website under the Press Coverage section where they are categorized for easy selection under several headings, such as Editorial, Feature Story, Film Review, Opinion, Reporting, and so forth.

In 2016 the ANI website and its associated online museum, Armenian Genocide Museum of America (AGMA), became fully accessible on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. The AGMA online museum is an interactive site depicting the entire story of the Armenian Genocide through expandable galleries, along with dynamic narratives featuring survivors and historical imagery. The online museum was launched on April 24, 2015.

Lastly, due to the popularity of the ANI digital exhibits and their particular usefulness as teaching tools, the digital exhibit “Iconic Images of the Armenian Genocide” can now be viewed as an online slide show. Using historic photographs, the exhibit traces the deportation, annihilation, expropriation, and expulsion policies of the Young Turk regime and concludes with images of successful rescue efforts conducted by organizations such as the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), and the American humanitarian organization expressly created to address the plight of the survivors, Near East Relief (NER).

Founded in 1997, the Armenian National Institute (ANI) is a 501(c)(3) educational charity based in Washington, D.C., and is dedicated to the study, research, and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide.

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Armenia Fund Director Visits South Florida

Arlys and Hagop Koushakjian with Sarkis Kotanjian (center) in their home in Boca Raton, FL.

Earlier this week, Sarkis Kotanjian, Executive Director of the Armenia Fund, visited members and supporters in South Florida. He provided an update on the Armenia Fund’s projects in Armenia and Artsakh over the last year, as well the organization’s budget, range of programs, and plans for the years ahead.

Kotanjian visted organization members in their home and held a series of meetings with donors and supporters across South Florida.

Established in 1994 in Los Angeles, California, Armenia Fund, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-governmental, non-political corporation that has implemented over $120 million of infrastructure development assistance and humanitarian aid worldwide. Armenia Fund is the largest humanitarian organization serving the needs of the Republic of Armenia and the Artsakh Republic. Their mission is to connect the people of Armenia with the worldwide Armenian Diaspora to create a better homeland for the Armenian nation.

ACYOA Seniors Hold Chapter Workshop in Boca Raton

By Arsen Yelegen
FLArmenians Guest Contributor

From January 19 to 21, 47 young adults from 18 parishes across the Eastern Diocese gathered at St. David Armenian Church in Boca Raton, FL for the annual ACYOA Seniors Chapter Workshop. Organized by the ACYOA Central Council, the weekend’s theme was “Stewardship: Time, Talent, and Treasure.”

Participants shared their ACYOA experiences and brainstormed how they can utilize their time, talents, and treasures to strengthen their local chapters. The Rev. Fr. Paren Galstyan, pastor of St. David Church, served as the weekend’s chaplain. The Rev. Fr. Vartan Joulfayan, pastor of St. Mary Church in Hollywood, FL was also present for several sessions throughout the weekend.

The workshop began on Friday evening with a welcome by the ACYOA Central Council, and the participants got to know each other through icebreakers and a group activity. The evening concluded with a vespers service led by Fr. Paren.

Saturday began with a team building activity which involved various groups working together to create the tallest freestanding structure using only newspaper and masking tape. Participants were blindfolded, forced to use one hand, had their legs tied together, and had their mouths taped shut to make the activity more difficult. This activity emphasized teamwork and recognizing the special strengths and talents that each participant brings to the table.

Following this activity, Central Council members led a Bible Study from 1 Corinthians which spoke about stewardship and recognizing our individual talents and gifts.

Afterwards, Central Council members gave a presentation of what it means to be a steward and the importance of church dues, time commitment, and mentoring younger ACYOA members. Artak Apyan, from St. Hagop Church of Pinellas Park, FL, gave a presentation about the importance of stewardship and the role it has played in his life in the church.

Participants then split up into groups of two and had 60 seconds each to talk about themselves, followed by another 20 minutes to get better acquainted with each other. At the end of the session, participants were asked to describe what role they think their partner would be great at in their chapter based on the skills and abilities they shared earlier.

After lunch, ACYOA members made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for Boca Helping Hands as part of a service project. Participants also signed a card for Rev. Fr. Shnork Souin, pastor of Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Church, who is currently in a rehabilitation center and awaiting a heart transplant.

Central Council members discussed the mission of the ACYOA, as well as the Five Circles of the Cross. Participants then split into groups and discussed various strengths and weaknesses they have observed in their local ACYOA chapters and parishes.

“There was a lot to be learned from the other chapters, big or small. Little tips go a long way. I was able to take home ideas I have never thought of and hope to make the coming years a great success,” said Brian Sarafyan of the Church of the Holy Martyrs in Bayside, NY.

The last session of the day involved goal setting. Participants watched a TED Talk video about how great leaders inspire action, and they were then split into groups based on their Central Council liaisons. Participants identified leadership qualities of members in their own local ACYOA chapters and started planning events their chapters could host.

On Sunday, the group participated in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at St. David Church before heading back to their home parishes. “This was my first Chapter Workshop so I didn’t know what to expect. I enjoyed the teambuilding activities that helped us learn about ourselves and how we can best serve the Church and the Armenian community,” said Elen Balasanyan of St. Sarkis Church in Charlotte, NC.

“It was great to get insight from peers through reflections and learn new problem-solving techniques that we can use to strengthen our own chapters.”