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Category Archives: Politics

Congressman Charlie Crist Joins Armenian Caucus

Armenian Assembly Grassroots and Development Associate Mariam Khaloyan and Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Working vigorously through the month of April, the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) held 50 meetings with congressional offices discussing key issues of concern, including reaffirmation of the Armenian Genocide, U.S. assistance to Armenia and Artsakh, as well as Christian and other minority communities at risk in the Middle East.

As a result of these efforts, the Assembly welcomed Representatives Charlie Crist (D-FL), Steve King (R-IA), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), and Steve Knight (R-CA) as the newest Members to join the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, bringing the total to 122 Members.

“I’m proud to join the Armenian Caucus, working in a bipartisan manner to strengthen the U.S.-Armenian relationship – a vital strategic partnership,” stated Rep. Crist.

After meeting with the Assembly, he co-signed this year’s letter to President Donald Trump to formally recognize the Armenian Genocide. Last year, Congressman Crist co-signed a letter to then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urging him to arrest, prosecute, and jail members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail who attacked peaceful protesters outside the Turkish Ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C.

Congressman Crist is one of four Members of Congress from Florida who sit on the Armenian Caucus. He represents the 13th congressional district of Florida, on the Gulf Coast from Clearwater down to St. Petersburg, which is home to St. Hagop Armenian Church.

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Reflections on the #RejectSerzh Movement

Photograph by Lexi Davitian for FLArmenians.com

By Lexi Davitian
FLArmenians Guest Contributor

The symphony of car horns honking in support has become the soundtrack to our lives here. People chanting, fists pounding the air demanding justice…. I have been living in Armenia for about a year now. I have heard about corruption, witnessed it, and even have been a victim of it. With that being said I have spent some of the most incredible months of my life here.

Life in Hayastan is not perfect, but can you tell me one place that is? I personally am not supporting Nikol or Serzh, and have met many others who feel the same. After they had taken him, the people fought harder and stronger! With that being said, Nikol has become a huge symbol of hope and guidance for this revolution. Upon his release as we walked through the streets, I could see tears down so many faces, as their hearts were recharged by the sight of him.

Marching alongside the citizens of Armenia has helped me come to the conclusion that we are all here for the same reason: Hayastan.

Unfortunately, we do not have all of the answers to what happens next… Whatever happens, I was proud, as an Armenian American from Florida, to march alongside people who finally feel hope for change in their lives in Hayastan. A country that once felt like an endless tunnel now has a light that grows brighter with each day.

On April 23, 2018 Serzh Sarkissian officially stepped down making all of sleepless nights, and days spent walking worth it. The celebration is filled with contagious joy. Everyone in the streets smiling and hugging each other in congratulation, shaking hands with the officers that were just the day before holding us back. Now the cheers of victory echo throughout Hayastan. Smiling faces greet each other, while the people now walk around with their heads held high in a victory they so highly deserve!

Photograph by Lexi Davitian for FLArmenians.com

Photograph by Lexi Davitian for FLArmenians.com

Photograph by Lexi Davitian for FLArmenians.com

Photograph by Lexi Davitian for FLArmenians.com

Photograph by Lexi Davitian for FLArmenians.com

Photograph by Lexi Davitian for FLArmenians.com

Lexi Davitian is an Armenian American photographer currently living in Yerevan, Armenia. She is originally from Hollywood, Florida.

President Trump Statement on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day

Today, the White House released the following statement from President Donald J. Trump:

Today we commemorate the Meds Yeghern, one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century, when one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in the final years of the Ottoman Empire.  We recall the horrific events of 1915 and grieve for the lives lost and the many who suffered.

We also take this moment to recognize the courage of those individuals who sought to end the violence, and those who contributed to aiding survivors and rebuilding communities, including the U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Henry Morgenthau, who sought to end the violence and later raised funds through the Near East Relief to help the Armenian people. We note with deep respect the resilience of the Armenian people, so many of whom built new lives in the United States and have made countless contributions to our country.

As we honor the memory of those who suffered, we also reflect on our commitment to ensure that such atrocities are not repeated.  We underscore the importance of acknowledging and reckoning with painful elements of the past as a necessary step towards creating a more tolerant future.

On this solemn day, we stand with the Armenian people throughout the world in honoring the memory of those lost and commit to work together to build a better future.

“It is a sad day when an American President cannot speak the truth about a proud chapter in American history, where, thanks to America’s unprecedented humanitarian relief effort, thousands and thousands of survivors of the Armenian Genocide were saved in what Ambassador Henry Morgenthau described as a ‘campaign of race extermination,'” stated Armenian Assembly of America Executive Director Bryan Ardouny.  “U.S. credibility on human rights and genocide prevention will be better served when we unequivocally affirm the Armenian Genocide. A genocide denied is an injustice to all,” Ardouny concluded.

* Updated at 3:38pm with the Armenian Assembly of America response.