The Armenian National Committee in the Eastern United States announces a series of lectures on the Karabagh conflict, designed to advance understanding amongst the Armenian and non-Armenian publics in Atlanta, Providence and Washington, D.C. about one of the world’s most intractable disputes.
Since a brokered cease-fire in 1994, third party mediators from the United States, Russia and Europe have struggled to resolve the Karabagh conflict, which destroyed 30,000 lives and displaced one million people during and directly after the breakup of the Soviet Union. After a seventy year freeze due to Soviet authoritarianism, Baku in 1988 renewed measures of massacre and ethnic cleansing against Armenians in Karabagh, who were victims of mass slaughter at the hands of Azeri Turks and their genocidal Ottoman collaborators in the 1920s. During the early 1990s, the Armenians waged a successful struggle for self-determination, which gained them de-facto independence from Azerbaijan.
As Western oil companies begin transporting oil this year along a path adjacent to Karabagh’s border and the European Union seeks stability in a region strategic to its economic and social interests, the Armenian and Azeri parties to the conflict will come under increasing pressure to settle their differences and arrive at a permanent solution. The latest claims by mediators that a deal is in sight concerns the absence of elections in 2006, when Presidents Kocharian and Aliyev will be less hampered by domestic political pressures.
To address these issues, The Armenian National Committee of Greater Washington, D.C. will host a public forum on Karabagh titled, “Karabagh: Historical Perspectives and Current Realities,” to take place at the Soorp Khatch Church in Bethseda Maryland, where Dr. Antranig Kasbarian and Dr. Robert Krikorian will address the public on February 12 at 2:00 p.m.
Antranig Kasbarian is well-known as an activist and Armenian community leader throughout the US, where in Watertown he was formerly editor of The Armenian Weekly, and is currently a member of the ARF Central Committee, Eastern United States. He currently works as a Program Director for the New York-based Tufenkian Foundation, supervising activities in Nagorno-Karabagh focusing on economic recovery and refugee resettlement. Robert Krikorian is a professor of history, concentrating on Armenia’s political systems during the Soviet and contemporary periods. Dr. Krikorian teaches courses on the Caucasus and Eurasia at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.
Dr. Kasbarian will join Dr. Levon Chorbajian at St. Vartanantz Church in Providence on February 19, for a 1:00 p.m. talk titled “Karabagh’s Liberation: Its History and Aftermath,” hosted by The Armenian National Committee of Rhode Island. Levon Chorbajian is Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, where he teaches courses on genocide, politics and the mass media. He has edited, translated, and written seven books including The Caucasian Knot, Studies in Comparative Genocide, and, most recently, Power: A Critical Reader with Daniel Egan.
“Territory and Historical Memory: Karabagh and the Armenian Genocide” will be the topic of a panel featuring Professors Chorbajian and Krikorian. The panel will be held in Atlanta on February 26 at 2:00 P.M. All three talks are free and open to the public and will be followed by a questions and answer session. For information on the public forum in Washington, D.C., please contact Paul Jamushian at 703-521-5955. For information on the talk in Rhode Island, please contact Steve Elmasian at 401-573-7888. Questions regarding the panel in Atlanta should be directed to Sarkis Agasarkisian at 404 688 9200.