Forum Highlights Massacres

TALYNN SOGHOMONIANS
El Vaquero Staff Writer

On April 24, Armenians around the world protested against the Turkish government??Ts denial about the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

The Armenian Student Association began its own Armenian Genocide Commemoration on Monday in the Student Center. This was the first in three events scheduled all week.

The event spotlighted influential figures in the community such as Former Glendale Mayor and current City Councilman Raffi Manoukian and Executive Director of ANCA Western Region Raffi Hamparian.

The event also included a video entitled ??oThe Genocide Factor;??2 documenting the history of the event.

ASA Genocide Committee Chairperson, Jacqueline Demirjian, opened the event with a brief introduction to the importance of the event.
??oThe Armenian Genocide is a part of our history and it should be a part of the history for humanity,??2 said Demirjian.

Manoukian described his family??Ts migration, which started in Turkey, moved to Lebanon and finally ended in United States throughout the generations.

Regardless of the change in countries, Manoukian said, ??oEveryone I come in contact with is affected by the Armenian Genocide because it is relative to all of our lives.??2

??oGlendale is saturated with the information. It??Ts important for you to get involved and get the message across with your friends.??2

??oWe have to go beyond ourselves and get other communities involved.??2
Manoukian explained the significance of continuing the protests and informing others outside of the Armenian community so that the event will be remembered.

??oThe informal recognition is already there,??2 he said. ??oWe have to continue demonstrating and our victories will be the result of political activism.??2

A part of a five hour documentary film called, ??oThe Genocide Factor,??2 showed students footage from the genocide as well as emotional interviews with survivors.

Hamparian focused on the historical background of individuals who fought for a formal recognition and the participation of today??Ts youth in the genocide remembrance.

Hamparian said, ??oIn a genocide, first you kill the victim and then you kill the memory the victim has.

??oWe will not let that memory die because we honor the martyrs of 1915 by fighting against the denial.??2

Hamparian also compared the denial of the Armenian Genocide to the denial the cigarette company once had about the side effects of tobacco.
??oLike the tobacco company, there will be a time that the Turkish government will be exposed the same way,??2 said Hamparian.

ASA President Aris Artunyan closed the event as he thanked both speakers and informed students of additional activities throughout the week. Artunyan said, ??oAs Armenians, we want the truth to prevail.??2