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.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earlier this year, the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) held its annual members meeting in Boca Raton, Florida. Organized by the Assembly’s South Florida Regional Council (SFRC) Chair Arsine Kaloustian and Assembly Board of Trustees Member and Life Trustee Lu Ann Ohanian, the annual members weekend in March included a three-day program of meetings, receptions, and events.
The success of the Assembly’s annual members weekend was ensured thanks to the generosity of Gold Sponsors Carolyn Mugar, Joyce Stein, Lu Ann & Bruce Ohanian, and Peter Vosbikian; Silver Sponsors Michael Haratunian and Annie Totah; Bronze Sponsors Marta Batmasian, James Kalustian, and Harry & Edna Keleshian; and Donors Ara Jabrayan, Ed Shooshanian, Hagop & Arlys Koushakjian, and Nevart Talanian.
The weekend kicked off with a “Pints and Professionals” reception at Tap 42 restaurant, organized by Florida Chair Arsine Kaloustian. Over 100 guests from Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties gathered in downtown Boca Raton to enjoy complimentary cocktails and appetizers in a business casual atmosphere throughout the evening.
“The Assembly is looking towards the future with fresh ideas and out-of-the-box thinking to build up new membership as well as engage the active member base we already have. The three events we hosted in Florida reflected that aim. Our networking event, ‘Pints and Professionals,’ was particularly successful. Over 100 young Armenian professionals in attendance were anxious to learn more about the Assembly and excited for other upcoming events,” Kaloustian said. “The South Florida Regional Council plans to continue this renewed energy and encouraging momentum for the duration of 2016,” she added.
On Saturday morning, Assembly members and friends gathered at the Boca Raton Marriott for the Members and Board of Trustees meeting. The meeting featured reports from Board of Trustees Co-Chairmen Van Krikorian and Anthony Barsamian, Board President Carolyn Mugar, and other board members and staff. Members also approved the Assembly’s annual budget and amended by-laws. The Board of Trustees meeting will hereafter convene every two years, rather than annually, to review the organization’s budget, endowment fund, and audit reports.
The Assembly’s current Board of Trustees include Anthony Barsamian, Co-Chairman; Van Krikorian, Co-Chairman; Hirair Hovnanian, Chairman Emeritus; Carolyn Mugar, President; Robert A. Kaloosdian, Vice Chairman and Counselor; Edele Hovnanian, Vice President; Bianka Kadian-Dodov, Treasurer; Oscar Tatosian, Secretary; Lisa Kalustian, Assistant Secretary; Aram Gavoor; Alex Karapetian; Raffi Kassarjian; Lu Ann Ohanian; Toros Sahakian; Joyce Stein; Annie Totah; and Talin Yacoubian. Mark Momjian will continue to serve as Solicitor.
During the meeting, the Assembly thanked Michael and Marie Haratunian, who became life trustees after years of dedication with the Assembly. Former Chairman of the Board Michael Haratunian participated in the Airlie House conferences that established the Armenian Assembly of America in 1972 and served as a member of the Board of Directors for many years. He also participated in the Assembly’s Mission Trips to Armenia in 1993, 1994, and 1997.
“The Armenian Assembly, the Armenian American community, and Armenians around the world are grateful to Michael and Marie Haratunian for their hard work over the years, preparing a new generation of leaders,” Assembly Board of Trustees Co-Chairs Anthony Barsamian and Van Krikorian said. “The value they place on the Assembly’s core philosophy to approach important issues in Washington in a professional and on a non-partisan basis yielded a remarkable record of success, promoted four decades of interns, and helped Armenians everywhere.”
Krikorian and Barsamian also recognized several Assembly members and other prominent Armenian American leaders who passed away over the last year, honoring them with a moment of silence. Assembly members spoke in memory of the departed: Harry Keleshian; Gregory Adamian; George Kay; Hirant Candan; George Yacoubian, Sr.; former Washington Post Editor Ben Bagdikian; and former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Harry Gilmore. While speaking about Ambassador Gilmore, the Armenia Tree Project (ATP) shared about the tree planting on October 14 at the Memorial Park in Parakar Village, west of Yerevan, which was done in his honor.
During the meeting, the Board of Trustees reviewed the Armenian Genocide centennial anniversary year and presented updates on Assembly activities from around the world, including Vatican City, Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, Chicago, Yerevan, and more. The Assembly members reviewed the events in 2015 and additions to the Assembly’s staff, with new positions filled in California, Washington, D.C., and Armenia.
Krikorian spoke about the new, young leadership and the updated by-laws, aimed at charting the Assembly’s path toward a successful future. The board announced the now-mobile friendly Armenian Genocide Museum of America (AGMA) website as an example, and showcased the virtual museum. AGMA is now easily accessible on mobile and tablet devices.
Reflecting on the situation on the front line of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, prior to the four-day war, Krikorian displayed the Assembly-created Artsakh Cease-Fire Map, depicting violations by Azerbaijan on the Line of Contact. As feared, Azerbaijani aggression reached new heights in the weeks following the Assembly’s Annual Trustees Meeting, further endangering the region for Armenians in Nagorno Karabakh, as well as refugees being forced to escape persecution in Syria and Iraq.
Barsamian discussed recent meetings he had with various officials, including President Serzh Sargsyan in Armenia as well as OSCE Minsk Group U.S. Ambassador James Warlick in Washington, D.C. He mentioned exciting new projects in store for Armenia, including the Smithsonian Armenia spotlight on the National Mall Discovery Center to be opened in 2018, where the Armenia Tree Project plans to play a significant role.
Assembly President Carolyn Mugar presented on the Assembly and ATP’s tree planting projects. She focused on last April’s commemoration dedicated to the memory of U.S. Ambassador Henry Morgenthau in Armenia, where ten members of the extended Morgenthau family, including eight great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren of Ambassador Morgenthau, participated in several ATP events.
On Saturday evening, Assembly members and friends gathered for a reception where guests discussed the new energy and planned initiatives of the Assembly. Attendees enjoyed the rest of the night dancing with live music provided by Dick Barsamian (Oud), John Arzigian (Accordion), and Mike Gregian (Dumbeg).
The Assembly’s Annual Members Meeting weekend concluded on Sunday with a book presentation at St. David’s Church where renowned Armenian American photojournalist Scout Tufankjian presented her book There is Only the Earth: Images from the Armenian Diaspora Project. Released in April 2015, the publication culminates six years dedicated to documenting Armenian communities in over 20 countries. Tufankjian is best known for her photography during the Barack Obama campaigns and her work in the Middle East reporting on the Egyptian Revolution.
Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.