Boise, Idaho – Armenian Americans in Boise, Idaho welcomed Andrew Kzirian, ANCA-WR Executive Director to their state this week. Kzirian traveled to Boise to meet with fellow Armenian Americans and joined them in a meeting with Wayne Hoffman, Communications Director for Congressman William Sali, to discuss issues of concern to the community in Idaho. The ANCA-WR Executive Director participated in the meeting with Mark Abajian of Boise and John Kazian of Kuna, Idaho at Sali’s Boise district office.

“This meeting provided us with an opportunity to discuss the history of the Armenian American community in Idaho,” stated Abajian. “We were pleased to welcome the ANCA-WR’s support and are confident that Mr. Hoffman will inform Congressman Sali of the importance of passing this important piece of human rights legislation,” he added.

On the evening of June 12th the Idaho Armenian American community gathered for a dialogue with the ANCA-WR Executive Director to learn more about developments on Armenian issues occurring in Washington, DC. Kzirian presented an update on the status of the Armenian Genocide resolution, efforts to bring Millennium Challenge Account funds to Armenia to improve roads and water infrastructure and the work of the California-Armenia Trade Office to boost economic growth between Armenia and the State of California. The community was also briefed on the ANCA’s efforts to stop the ongoing genocide in Darfur.

Idaho became the 33rd U.S. state to recognize the Armenian Genocide in 2004, when Republican Governor Dirk Kempthorne, then Chairman of the National Governors Association, issued a proclamation citing April 24th “Idaho Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923. The proclamation began by noting that “one and one-half-million Christian Armenian men, women, and children were the victims of a brutal genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turkish Government. The gubernatorial proclamation in 2004 closely followed a resolution unanimously adopted by the Senate of the Associated Students of Boise State University (ASBSU) recognizing the Armenian Genocide and condemning efforts to rewrite history. Senate Resolution 13 noted that the genocide “has resulted in the elimination of the Armenian people from their historic homeland of over 3000 years through the criminal loss of property and life.” The resolution “commemorates the Armenian Genocide and condemns those attempts made by governments as well as other entities, both public and private, to distort the historical reality and legal relevance of the Armenian Genocide to the descendants of its survivors and humanity as a whole.”

“The Armenians of Idaho are strong and confident in their love for the Gem State and their passion for advancing issues they care about with their local Members of Congress,” Kzirian commented. “Mark and John are proud Americans, proud Idahoans, and proud of their Armenian heritage and that came through in our meeting with Congressman Sali’s aide,” Kzirian added.

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.

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Photo Caption #1: (from left to right) Andrew Kzirian with Wayne Hoffman, Mark Abajian, and John Kazian at Congressman Sali’s district office in Boise, ID.

Photo Caption #2: (from left to right) Andrew Kzirian, John Kazian, Mike Minassian, Ruzanna Dira, Jo-Ann Kachigian and Mark Abajian.

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