May 29, 2017

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Artsakh-Armenia Tourist Flights Launched

Touristic flights have been launched between Artsakh and Armenia (Photo: "Free Flight in Free Artsakh" Facebook Page)

Touristic flights have been launched between Artsakh and Armenia (Photo: “Free Flight in Free Artsakh” Facebook Page)

STEPANAKERT, Artsakh—The Artsakh Republic recently launched flights on the path to increase tourism between Artsakh and Armenia. The Artsakh Foreign Ministry was asked to comment on the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry’s May 25 statement criticizing the operation of the flights in Artsakh, stating that it is an “illegal economic activity.”

“Artsakh has long been a normally developing country where people, like in any other country, live and implement programs in various spheres, including tourism,” said Artsakh’s Public Relations Head Artak Nersisyan in an interview with Armenian news agency Aysor.am.  

Nersisyan said that Baku “not only tries to deny this objective reality, but also does not miss the opportunity to demonstrate his flagrant ignorance of the international conventions and legal norms of regulating civil aviation.”

Azerbaijani authorities continuously try to “divert the attention of the international community from the real problems hampering the negotiation process and condition,” continued the Artsakh official, “by the relentless attempts of the Azerbaijani side to undermine the negotiation process.”

In an interview with Tert.am, the Head of the Department of Aviation Samvel Tavadyan, said that last weekend, Artsakh has already carried six passengers with the newly operated flight. “Interest among travelers is high and we have been receiving many calls from abroad, regardless of it being a conflict zone,” he said.


Myrtle Beach City Council Adopts Armenian Genocide Reaffirmation Proclamation

Myrtle Beach Armenian-Americans with Mayor John T. Rhodes and Councilman Randal Wallace.

Myrtle Beach Armenian-Americans with Mayor John T. Rhodes and Councilman Randal Wallace.

Armenian National Committee of South Carolina Leads the Effort to Memorialize the Genocide of Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians in Myrtle Beach

MYRTLE BEACH, South CarolinaThe City Council of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina adopted a proclamation on May 23 signed by Mayor John T. Rhodes reaffirming the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923. The proclamation, spearheaded by Council Member Randal Wallace, was timed to coincide with the remembrance day of the Greek Genocide observed every year on May 19.

In the months leading up to the adoption of the proclamation, the Armenian National Committee of South Carolina played an important role in educating the wider Myrtle Beach community and elected officials about the Armenian Genocide by organizing commemoration events, actively promoting The Promise film, and holding meetings.

“We are thankful to our city elected officials – especially to Councilman Randal Wallace and Mayor John Rhodes – for their principled stance against crimes against humanity and human rights violations,” said ANC of South Carolina Chairman Aram Heboyan. “It is important for us to properly commemorate and remember all the innocent victims of this heinous crime if there is any hope in stopping the vicious cycle of genocide.”

Myrtle Beach City Councilman Randal Wallace said, “[I am] very proud to have been a part of this proclamation recognizing the Armenian genocide.”

By way of background, on March 17, 1999 South Carolina General Assembly adopted H.B. 3678 recognizing April 24, 1999, as “South Carolina day of remembrance of the Armenian genocide of 1915-1923” so as to honor the memory of the one and one-half million people of Armenian ancestry who lost their lives during that terrible time and to honor the memory of the victims of genocide throughout the world.

Full text of the proclamation is provided below:

****

102nd Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide

WHEREAS, the Myrtle Beach community joins human rights advocates and historians from around the world to recognize and mourn the 1.5 million Armenians who perished in the first genocide of the twentieth century, from 1915 to 1923; and

WHEREAS, 2017 marks the 102nd anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian genocide, led by Turkish forces, which included the massacre of Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians due to religious, political, and educational beliefs; and

WHEREAS, the genocide started April 24, 1915, when hundreds of Armenians and others were arrested in Constantinople, and continued for eight years with the horrific annihilation of innocent Armenian men, women and children, leaving fewer than one million survivors; and

WHEREAS, the Armenian culture is celebrated today as a historic reminder of the remarkable courage, resilience and perseverance of the human spirit, and we acknowledge the estimated 100 Armenian families in the Myrtle Beach area for their contributions to our community; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED that the Myrtle Beach City Council hereby recognizes the 102nd Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide by honoring and remembering those who perished and reaffirms the importance of tolerance, justice and respect, lest hatred against lead to the suffering and destruction of mankind; and

BE IT FURTHER PROCLAIMED that we also recognize the Armenian American families in the Myrtle Beach community for their efforts to advance civil rights as champions of equality.

Signed and sealed this 23rd day of May 2017.

[SIGNED]

John Rhodes, Mayor

[SIGNED]

Attest: Joan Grove, City Clerk


La Cañada High School’s Armenian Club Earns ‘Club of the Year’ Award

Club members joining with 80,000 others at Armenian Genocide March for Justice on April 24 Armenian Club's Club of the Year Award 2016-2017 Club with Genocide documentarian Dr. Mouradian Armenian Club booth on Club Day

The Award was Granted to the Armenian Club for the First Time Ever

LA CAÑADA, Calif.The Armenian Club began this school year with newfound vigor and enthusiasm, as 48 students attended the first meeting of the Fall 2016 semester in the classroom of long-time faculty advisor Mr. Valassidis. With his support, as well as that of the club parents and the community, the Armenian Club has accomplished much this year.

The executive board – Haig Manoukian, President; Tatiana Safarian and Lynette Aslanian, Co-Vice Presidents; Armand Manoukian, Secretary; Arsen Tujian, Treasurer; Melody Sagarian, Parent Liaison and Sophomore Rep; and Noy Chatoyan and Alec Tujian, Freshman Reps – dedicated over 12 hours outside of school time to planning the club’s projects and activities, including the creation of the club T-shirt and logo (with Andrew Aghadjanian’s artwork).  

The club’s 10 lunchtime meetings included lunch provided with the support of the parents, and featured speakers from the community, such as: Mr. Gevorkian, a LCHS dad and career consultant, who spoke in December on Armenian cultural and social history; and Mrs. Gourdikian of the Armenian Lighthouse Charitable Foundation who explained its wide range of service opportunities, which then motivated club members to set aside a Saturday in March to collect medical equipment and daily necessities for underprivileged families and then transport them to the Lighthouse Foundation warehouse in Long Beach.

The Armenian Club implemented a number of other projects. In late December, members worked on the Rose Parade float of the Armenian-American Rose Float Association.  

More recently, about 20 members got together to see the movie “The Promise” along with several of their LCHS teachers.

During the month of April, the club marked the 102nd annual remembrance of the Armenian Genocide in several ways. Members attended a workshop where they viewed a documentary film by Dr. Kay Mouradian about her mother’s survival of the genocide, and they met the filmmaker herself. In addition, the club students used giant maps of historic Armenia and of the world to mark, with their own photos, the birthplaces of their great-grandparents and to show their families’ migration routes all the way to La Cañada. The members then displayed these maps during the week of April 24-28 at a school exhibit table with other reference materials, and were thus able to explain to the LCHS community the far-reaching implications of the Armenian genocide. A reporter from the La Cañada Outlook newspaper interviewed and quoted Alec Tujian and Haig Manoukian for a featured article which appeared in the May 4th issue. Finally, on April 24th, 30 Armenian club members, with the support of the LCHS parents, participated with 80,000 others in the Los Angeles “March for Justice” calling for recognition and remembrance of the genocide. To finish the school year, the LCHS Armenian Club had an Armenian family cultural gathering on May 21.

This year’s LCHS Armenian Club has surpassed all of its expectations, having given the students of LCHS, whether they happen to be Armenian or not, the ability to socialize, bond, and expand their cultural horizons through food, music, and education.


Orange County Medical Outreach Team Returns from Armenia

Dr. Kabeer operating with Dr. Sahak, Dr. Chalian with anesthesia Dr. Palafox, Dr. Chalian and Thoracic Team fron St. Krikor Lusavoritch Hospital Dr. Palafox teaching Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery Peds at the ICU Team Photo Team organizing supplies on arrival

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif.A team of 32 doctors, nurses, and social workers returned to the US on May 23 after a two-week comprehensive, multidisciplinary medical mission to Yerevan. The group primarily was comprised of health care providers from Orange County’s Children’s Hospital (CHOC) and St. Joseph Hospital. There were four members of the delegation of Armenian descent, the rest were Americans with various backgrounds. The trip culminated months of preparation and was conducted under the auspices of Arpan Global Charities, a philanthropic medical organization which has conducted charity medical outreach in over fourteen countries.

“The purpose behind the mission was more than treating patients and delivering equipment” in Armenia, remarked Dr. Sudeep Kukreja the Director of Arpan Global Charities, and Neonatal Intensive Care Director at CHOC. The medical team’s goal was to establish long-term relationships and create programs such as sister hospital networks that would insure that medical advances be maintained by appropriately trained clinicians in Armenia. In the two weeks in Armenia, the medical team was organized into groups. Surgeons and anesthesia were divided into their subspecialties of pediatric, thoracic, and orthopedic surgery. The pediatric intensive care team of doctors and nurses visited intensive care units at two hospitals and also participated in general pediatric care. The internal care team of doctors and nurses visited outpatient clinics through Yerevan, including Nor Hajin, Nor Nork, Massis,  Ashtarak, and Kharbert districts. They also worked two days in Gyumri and visited two orphanages. Dentist Vazrick Navasartian remarked that he had been overwhelmed by emotion since the team arrived and he was grateful that Arpan chose Armenia as its mission destination.  The team also included a lactation specialist from CHOC and a social worker who focused on children’s issues and women’s issues including visiting a woman’s shelter.

Dr. Brian Palafox, St. Joseph Hospital Cardothoracic Surgeon, taught three procedures never before performed in Armenia. With Dr. Armen Chalian, also from St. Joseph hospital in Orange, supervising the anesthesia, Dr. Palafox showed how to perform lung surgery via tiny incisions and a camera (called VATS-video assisted thoracoscopic surgery) and how to provide high level of postoperative pain management via tiny catheters placed strategically and outfitted with continuous local anesthesia bulbs via the “OnQ” system which is widely used in the US.  The video assisted thoracic surgery, was performed by the Armenian thoracic team at St. Krikor Lusavoritch Hospital in the Nor Nork region of Armenia. Dr. Palafox said ” I wanted their Armenian surgeons, who I might add are very bright and talented, to perform the surgery so that they could do it once we are gone.”  Over 600 thoracic cases are performed a year at St Krikor Hospital mostly for lung cancer or complications of pneumonia. The humanitarian efforts were well received by the Director of Thoracic Surgery Dr. Hovannes Sarkavakyan and his team. At the same hospital in Nor Nork, Dr. Bedros Kojian, OB-GYN at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, also performed and supervised a first for Armenia by showing techniques for urinary incontinence surgery with mesh implantation, as well as laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy.  Dr. Kojian, no stranger to medical outreach in Armenia, commented that urinary incontinence, an often embarrassing yet common condition, is underreported by women because the “they (gynecologists in Armenia) don’t have the mesh implants that we do in the US” so surgical correction is not that often performed. The St. Krikor Lusavoritch Hospital Director , Dr. Minassian thanked the Arpan Global Charity physicians for their efforts, collaboration, and equipment donations.

Continuing with the precedent of performing procedures for the first time in Armenia, CHOC Director of Pediatric Surgery, Dr. Mustafa Kabeer, of Indian American descent, performed laparoscopic pediatric procedures for colorectal surgery at Arabkir Children’s Hospital in the Arabkir region of Yerevan. Dr. Kabeer worked in collaboration with pediatric surgeons at Arabkir Children’s Hospital in the Arabkir region of Yerevan. The welcoming arms and collegial spirit of the Arabkir surgeons overcame Dr. Kabeer. He remarked, ” we worked together as colleagues and the willingness to embrace my presence in their operating rooms was overwhelming. ” Arabkir Children’s Hospital Director Dr. Ara Babloyan presented his progressive vision for the implementation of evidence-based medicine on the first day the medical mission team arrived in Armenia. The next day, Dr. Babloyan, also an Armenian Parliament member, was named as the President of Parliament.  Dr. Kabeer specifically thanked the surgeons he most closely collaborated with  “like Drs. Sergei, Sahak, Boghos, and Shiraz.” By the end of the mission, Dr. Kabeer received many gifts from appreciative parents for his involvement.

In the field of Anesthesiology, Arabkir Children’s has “excellent systems and staff in place” said Dr. Chalian, President of Allied Anesthesia Medical Group in Orange, which provides exclusive anesthesia care for CHOC and St Joseph Hospitals. Armenian Hospitals have limited quantities of certain anesthetic agents like Sevoflurane and Nitrous Oxide, so there is widespread use of regional anesthesia like spinal, caudal, or epidural anesthesia to minimize the use and conserve the availability of inhalational general anesthetics. Dr. Chalian presented the US emphasis on preoperative preparation for children with parents present up to anesthesia induction and child life specialists in children’s hospitals using visual tools like iPad to ease anxiety. Also presented was the emphasis on postop pain management in the US for quicker discharges home. There are far less outpatient procedures done in Armenia. Most patients are admitted, often for days, compared to similar cases done as outpatients in the US. In that context, Dr. Chalian supervised the first ultrasound assisted postop pain management nerve block procedure performed by the Arabkir Armenian anesthesiology staff. The importance of these and other techniques done in the United States is to lessen the need for narcotics for pain control, decrease complications of pain medications, get children up sooner after surgery, and lessen the duration of hospital stays.

The Arabkir Children’s Hospital has a long time associate of Dr. Babloyan at the lead for anesthesia, Dr. Khatchik Kyurkchyan, who like the Hospital Director is very progressive, modern, and up to date with the latest anesthesia literature and evidence based care.

The Orthopedic team of physicians, Dr. Paul Beck and Dr. Phillip Krueger  visited Izmirlyan Hospital in Yerevan. They mainly focused on joint replacement surgery, which is increasingly difficult due to the cost and lack of availability of implants.

While the surgical teams were active, the neonatologists and intensive care nurses were busy with critical care in the children’s intensive care units at Arabkir and Izmilyan Hospitals. Dr. Kukreja and his team included several CHOC residents who participated in the medical care. He stated “ starting philanthropic work early in one’s medical career provides a solid foundation for continuing charitable outreach in their future.” The mission team appeared on local TV in Yerevan and Gyumri, and was interviewed for Internet and print local news agencies. Days began with breakfast at the Hotel, then teams heading out to their respective destinations, and then returning nightly for debriefing meetings before heading out for late dinner in Yerevan.  

By the end of the mission, six “firsts” (first time performed in Armenia) were recorded and steps created to continue these techniques by Armenian physicians. The care team saw 750 patients, performed 58 surgeries, visited several orphanages, and had very productive exchange of information between visiting team members and the medical faculty from Yerevan.

Assessing the overall state of healthcare in Armenia was of course limited by the short duration of the visit, however the following observations were identified. First, the quality of the physicians and their dedication and enthusiasm for advancement was felt to be superb. Problems identified included limited access to quality care, limited availability of equipment and medications, patient costs limiting treatment options in the absence of adequate insurance availability or government subsidy, overutilization of emergency rooms with nonurgent conditions (although also seen in the United States), insufficient experience obtained in residency training compared to US residency training, no incentive for clinical trials and academic research, absence of treatment protocols to insure uniformity in treatment and lead to earlier discharges, and a lack of consistency between healthcare outlets. With respect to public health, obesity is not observed like it is in the United States, and home grown “organic” fruits and vegetables are plentiful. There were no governmental agencies for children’s welfare or women’s protective services, and smoking is in overabundance with no evidence of education or advertising for it to decrease in the near future.

In the end, the entire visiting team from Arpan Charities in Orange County was overwhelmed by Armenian hospitality, which went above and beyond expectations. In the end, all of the doctors, nurses, and staff said they travelled to Armenia in the spirit of giving, yet they received so much in memories and satisfaction that cannot be measured. Especially for the mission team members of Armenian descent, leaving Armenia was tearful. Dr. Kamer Mgrdichian, Orange County Chiropractor, said that the trip has left a lasting impression and that it has changed him forever. He expects to return soon.


Hayastan All-Armenian Fund Begins Project-Site Visits in Armenia

Screening and diagnostics lab of the Children’s Home of Gyumri The Children's Home of Gyumri is orphanage is home to children with physical or mental disabilities Lab was built and equipped with contributions from the fund’s Swiss affiliate and completed with all required medical equipment and furniture Hayastan All-Armenian Fund representatives visit newly built buckwheat-processing factory in Bavra, Artsakh The buckwheat-processing factory in the village of Bavra All types of screenings and tests can now be done at the Children's Home of Gyumri

YEREVANAfter concluding a string of project-site visits and official openings of newly completed projects in Artsakh, a Hayastan All-Armenian Fund delegation began to visit and unveil projects in Armenia. These activities, which are intended to familiarize trustees and supporters with the quality and scale of projects implemented by the fund within the past year, are being carried out in the run-up to the annual meeting of the fund’s Board of Trustees. As it’s traditional, the delegation will also visit certain projects that were implemented in previous years.

On May 24, the delegation visited Yerevan’s Tchaikovsky Music School, which was completely renovated in 2016 through the financial support of the fund’s US Eastern Region affiliate. Since 2010, the fund has provided ongoing assistance to the school, where Armenia’s future musicians receive their secondary and music education. As part of the renovation project begun in 2016, the fund donated ten pianos to the school a few months ago, with the financial support of its French and US Eastern Region affiliates.

Today, on May 25, the delegation traveled to the Shirak Region. In the village of Bavra, members of the delegation got a first-hand look at the newly built buckwheat-processing factory, which is of great economic importance to the community. The construction of the factory was made possible by the support of the Devecyan and Ekserciyan families as well as Kirkor Simsiroglu of Argentina. The factory has been provided with all required equipment by the European Neighborhood Program for Agriculture and Rural Development. Soon, the factory’s first buckwheat production will be sold in the Armenian marketplace under the Nor Hatik label.

Subsequently the delegation officially opened the screening and diagnostics lab of the Children’s Home of Gyumri. The lab was built and equipped with contributions from the fund’s Swiss affiliate and completed with all required medical equipment and furniture. Notably, this includes an ultrasound machine which has been made possible by the financial support of the Devecyan and Ekserciyan families, as well as Krikor Simsiroglu of Argentina. The orphanage is home to children with physical or mental disabilities, who, up till recently, had to be taken to various clinics and hospitals for routine medical check-ups and tests. Now, thanks to the on-site lab, most types of screenings and tests are performed at the facility, and as frequently as needed, allowing for early detection and treatment of diseases.
“The Swiss-Armenian community has been supporting this institution and those living in here since 1992, in an attempt to facilitate life here”, chairman of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund affiliate Avedis Kizirian said in his opening speech.

In recent years, the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund has implemented several projects at the Children’s Home of Gyumri. They include the complete renovation and refurnishing of the facility’s two buildings; the reconstruction and equipment of the outdoor playground; and the construction of an indoor therapy pool.


Editorial: A National Agenda

The Sardarabad monument (Photo by Matthew Karanian)

The Sardarabad monument (Photo by Matthew Karanian)

During this spring’s parliamentary election campaign in Armenia, all parties and factions promised a bright, prosperous and just future for Armenia. The election was also a major and significant step toward changing the country to a parliamentary form of government as envisioned by Armenia’s new Constitution.

Now that the new parliament has convened and all its members have come on board with a mandate to transform Armenia into a prosperous, just and remarkable country, it is time to reflect back on the First Republic of Armenia, which despite being established under gravest of conditions, guaranteed justice, equality and fundamental rights and freedoms for all its citizens.

The valiant and heroic efforts of those who fought for independence 99 years ago can and must be remembered, since the battles in Sardarabad, Bash-Abaran and Gharkiliseh not only cemented a victory but also saw the creation of an independent state for Armenians who had been living under occupation and oppression for centuries.

The victories on May 28, 1918 were rooted in a national ideology that while advancing the universal concepts of freedom and self-determination were uniquely Armenian in nature and every decision taken in parliament at the time was grounded in the firm belief of advancing justice, security and prosperity for every Armenian.

For the past 25 years, however, successive governments have advanced policies that not only are they not national in nature they also have done detrimental damage to the country. These leaders opted to loot the national wealth and line their pockets, instead of carrying out policies that would benefit every Armenian citizen.

As we mark the 99th anniversary of Armenia’s independence and we recall the decisive victories that ensured us a country—and continue to embolden those today who are protecting our borders in Artsakh and Armenia—we must hold our leaders accountable for honoring their campaign pledges and using the new system in Armenia to pivot toward a better and just Armenian Republic where the right of all citizens are respected. This can only happen through a national agenda that engages the collective nation to overcome challenges and advance new victories.

Happy Independence Day.


ARS Appreciation Night Celebrates Members

ARS Regional Executive Chairperson Rebecca Berberian delivers welcoming remarks

ARS Regional Executive Chairperson Rebecca Berberian delivers welcoming remarks

GLENDALEClose to 100 members and volunteers of the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) of Western USA gathered at the ARS Regional Headquarters on May 17, 2017 for the time-honored ARS Appreciation Night. Year after year, this event allows the ARS Regional Executive Board to extend its gratitude to chapter executive and regional committee members, who advance the humanitarian mission and programs of the ARS with unwavering determination. ARS Central Executive liaison Maral Matossian and Board Member Rita Hintlian brought their attendance to this year’s event.

Close to 100 members and volunteers of the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) of Western USA gathered at the ARS Regional Headquarters on May 17, 2017 for ARS Appreciation Night.

Close to 100 members and volunteers of the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) of Western USA gathered at the ARS Regional Headquarters on May 17, 2017 for ARS Appreciation Night.

Amongst the social atmosphere, ARS Regional Executive Chairperson Rebecca Berberian delivered welcoming remarks and thanked attendees for accepting the invitation brought forth by the Board. She emphasized the importance of each of the region’s members, who volunteer their time tirelessly to advance the organization’s mission of humanitarian aid, cultural preservation, advancement of education, and beyond. Berberian highlighted activities of the region and paid special mention to the thriving work, spirit, and sacrifice of the staff of the ARS Regional Headquarters, ARS Social Services, the ARS Child, Youth, and Guidance Center, as well as volunteer regional committee and chapter executive members.

Thereafter, Board members had the opportunity to call attention to the recent undertakings of their respective regional committees. In doing so, the work of the following regional committees shined through: Board of Regents of ARS Schools, Educational, Fundraising, ARS Javakhk Fund, Public Relations, Bylaws, Evaluations, Auditing, ARS Stepanakert “Soseh” Kindergarten Rebuilding Project, and Friends of ARS.

The event brought assurance to the fact that the impact of each of the above-mentioned programs are extensive and their success is, without a doubt, attributed to the strength and determination of the ARS of Western USA’s membership.


AYF Junior Reviews ‘The Promise’

Still from the movie "The Promise" with Oscar Isaac (right) and Christian Bale

Still from the movie “The Promise” with Oscar Isaac (right) and Christian Bale

BY TONY ORDOUKHANIAN, AYF Juniors Burbank Gaidzag Chapter
John Muir Middle School, 8th grade, 14 years old

It’s 2017 and we finally get a movie that portrays the Armenian Genocide in such a deep and realistic way. I saw this movie on April 28, 2017 with the Armenian Youth Federation Juniors–Burbank “Gaidzag” Chapter and the one question I had in my mind was, “Will I cry during or after the movie at all?” I predicted that I wouldn’t and, yes, I did not shed any tears. I even thought my friends would cry but strangely enough, I wasn’t the only one. However, did the movie have incredibly emotional scenes? Yes.

First of all, let’s talk about the good things in this film. I was really astonished that Oscar Issac, who is a Guatemalan actor, could nail the role of Mikael Boghosian so perfectly, along with the makeup and accent he had. Christian Bale, who is British, gave an incredible performance of Chris Myers, who was very brave and incredibly helpful in the movie. Charlotte Le Bon was also very good with her character during the movie and was so important to Mikael and Chris. Terry George’s directing was excellent with how he lead the movie and the way it should look. Speaking of how the movie should look, the production design of Turkey and Armenia was the best part of the movie, never losing the way the time was. I don’t know if it was visual effects that helped it look real or if it was just all designed in today’s lands, but it was flat-out perfect. George captured a lot of scenes that really made me sad and emotional about what happened.

WARNING: SPOILERS! SCROLL UP IF YOU STILL HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE!

There was one scene that was the most sad out of all of them. It showed a group of Armenians slaughtered near a river. As soon as the scene appeared, the audience was in a huge gasp of what they saw, including me. There was even a scene that started the whole viewings of the genocide. It showed people that were hung with signs on them along with dead people in different spots.

Now that we have reviewed the many good parts of the film, let me tell you the flaws. One huge flaw in the movie was that many cuts to the next scenes were having lighting issues that bothered my eyes a lot. For example, when one scene takes place during the night and it is finished there, it jumps too quickly to the next scene that takes place during daytime, which can be very bright to look at. (Again, that’s a personal flaw for my thoughts on the film). Also, it would’ve been a bit better if the movie mentioned a little more about the Greeks and Assyrians in the genocide because even though it mainly focused on the Armenians at this time period, there were Greeks and Assyrians in this struggle too. The final flaw to point out in the film was Ana’s relationship with Chris and Mikael. I couldn’t tell if she loved Chris or Mikael more. I hope she wasn’t even cheating on either one of them because that would be crazy to think about and watch. Another movie that did this flaw was 2016’s “La La Land,” as Emma Stone’s character Mia is mainly in love with Greg, although we know that she hangs out with Sebastian more often. But the problem was that we couldn’t tell who she really is in love with, or worse, who she is cheating on.

For the first time in a long time, “The Promise” delivers a film about what the Armenian Genocide is to the world, to prove that it did happen, to stop the denialists in Turkey, and to demand justice for Turkey to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide after 102 years of denial. Oscar Issac states, “To my shame, I didn’t know about the Armenian Genocide before I got the script. To read that 1.5 million Armenians perished at the hand of their own government, it was shocking.” Celebrities, such as long time recognizer George Clooney, Cher, Elton John, Sylvester Stallone, Don Cheadle, Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Gosling, and Heidi Clum, have vowed to keep the promise just like the main actors and actresses in the movie. My rating on the movie is an 8.6/10, 90/100, and an A-. This is my personal rating and I rate it as someone who watches films very well and carefully. I hope nobody hates me because it is an A- rather than an A or A+, but please if you have not seen “The Promise,” I encourage you with all my heart to go see it. It is one of the most capturing movies of a lifetime.


Homenetmen Western U.S. Forms New ‘Giligia’ Chapter

Homenetmen, Armenian General Athletic Union & Scouts, est. 1918

Homenetmen, Armenian General Athletic Union & Scouts, est. 1918

SANTA CLARITA, Calif.The Homenetmen Western United States has officially expanded with the formation of a new miavor (chapter) named Giligia in Santa Clarita, California.

On Saturday, May 20, 2017, more than 50 fellow Armenians gathered at St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church of Santa Clarita at 6:30 p.m. following an invitation by the Homenetmen Regional Executive. Alongside community members, Father Serovpe Alanjian, Homenetmen Regional Executive Chairperson Manuel Marselian, and Board Members Aram Bekarian and Pierre Manoukian were in attendance.

Following prayer, a video presentation was shown to attendees highlighting the programs and activities of Homenetmen in the Western United States, including its chapters, athletic competitions, scouting, Navasartian Games and more. Thereafter, Chairperson Marselian delivered remarks, stressing the spirit of service among Homenetmen members and announcing the formation of the new miavor, which will exist in the Santa Clarita area. He paid special mention to the community and breadth of activities, which they will service.

A newly formed executive board was appointed, as follows: Vicky Ashjian, Chairperson; Alex Jahilian, and Raffi Doumanian.

Chairperson Marselian extended sincere wishes of success and hopefulness that the miavor would participate in the upcoming Navasartian Games with both scouts and athletes.

The gathering continued in a social and enthusiastic atmosphere amidst a warm reception.


Artsakh Soldier Killed by Azerbaijani Forces

Artsakh serviceman has been killed by Azerbaijani fire

Artsakh serviceman has been killed by Azerbaijani fire

STEPANAKERT, ArtsakhThe Artsakh Defense Ministry announced on Friday that Artsakh serviceman Armen Harutyunyan (born 1996) was killed by Azerbaijani fire on May 26.

His death took place at a military unit in the northern direction of the Artsakh-Azerbaijani border, also known as the Line of Contact, at 11:45 in the morning. An investigation is underway for details of Harutyunyan’s death.

The Defense Ministry offered condolences to Harutyunyan’s family, friends, and fellow servicemen.

Harutyunyan’s death comes less than a week after Private of the Artsakh Defense Army Karen Danielyan (born in 1996) was killed by Azerbaijani forces on May 22.


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