Albany, NY- Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region (ANCA-ER) Executive Director Karine Birazian and Regional Board Member Isabel Ohanian reached out to Armenian American activists and Congressional offices in Albany, New York, expanding the recently launched POWER initiative: Project Outreach Waves the Eastern Region to upstate New York.
Birazian, Ohanian and ANC of Albany activists met with staff from the offices of Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Representative Michael McNulty (D-NY-21) to thank them for their support on a wide range of Armenian American concerns, including their cosponsorship of Armenian Genocide legislation. The ANC team also met with Darius Shahinfar, Regional Representative for freshman Representative Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY-20) to explore areas of expanded cooperation.
ANC of Albany Chairman Antranig Karageozian, who has been active with the chapter since its formation in 1995 commented, “though the community is small, we are quite active on a range of issues from meeting with Congressional Representatives to planning local Armenian Genocide commemorative activities. We look forward to continue the outreach, strengthen the community, expand relationships with our federal and state officials.”
Birazian also had an opportunity to visit with genocide survivor Enza Mategian. Born in Samsoun on August 9, 1909, Mategian spoke with Birazian and other community members about her struggle to survive the genocide and her family’s subsequent escape to Damascus. In 1931 Mategian moved to Hartford, CT, eventually marrying and relocating to Albany, NY, where she now lives in Tersian Nursing Home. “I was only 6 years old at the time of the Genocide. I remember seeing the Turks come and take my father from the home; my mother, brother, and I had to leave everything. I remember being hungry all the time. I was too young at the time to understand, but still remember the death marches,” commented Mategian who will be 98 this August.
On the evening of June 13th, community members from throughout the greater Albany area gathered for a briefing by Birazian on a wide range of ANCA supported projects, including passage of the Armenian Genocide legislation, H. Res 106 / S.Res.106, ongoing efforts to prevent the appointment Richard Hoagland as Ambassador to Armenia, and foreign aid to Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. Birazian also gave a workshop on effective advocacy techniques in reaching out to Congressional and State legislators.
“It was wonderful to spend time meeting with Armenian American activists in Albany,” commented Birazian. “It was a great opportunity to update the community on pressing issues the ANCA is working on. I look forward to continuing to work with the local chapter.”
The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.
Left to Right: ANCA-ER Executive Director Karine Birazian, Armenian genocide survivor Edna Mategian, and ANCA-ER board member Isabel Ohanian
Left to Right: ANC of Albany Chairman Antranig Karaegozian, Isabel Ohanian, Darius Shahinfar, Regional Representative Rep.Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY-20)