Prospect, PA — Hundreds of Armenian youth from the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF), Eastern, US gathered at the annual Junior Seminar this past Memorial Day weekend to take part in educational, athletic, and social activities that are geared towards creating a fraternal Armenian atmosphere for all members, reported the Armenian National Committee of America, Eastern Region (ANCA-ER)
Among the organized schedule of speakers was ANCA-ER Executive Director Karine Birazian who spoke to groups on becoming active on Armenian issues and the importance of grassroots mobilization.
During her lecture entitled “Got Hai Tahd,” Birazian focused on the genocide in Darfur and why it is critical that Armenian youth become involved in the effort to end the cycle of genocide. “We must be the voice for those Darfurians today. In 1915, when Armenians did not have a voice, others, who never had even heard of an Armenian, helped,” commented Birazian during her lecture.
Following her lectures, Birazian had the youth place their hands in red paint and then on a large cloth provided for them. The activity, encouraged by Africa Action, is sending a message to President Bush that we are all witnesses to the ongoing genocide today in Darfur.
Those present in Birazian’s lecture also received information on key issues that the ANCA is working on, including economic and military aid to Armenia, the nomination of a new U.S. ambassador to Armenia, and the current status of the Armenian Genocide Resolution. Activists also learned how to call their representatives, as well as learning where their Members stand on issues of importance to Armenian Americans.
Following Birazian’s lecture, Becca Biesel, an AYF Junior member from the New Jersey “Arsen” chapter contacted Birazian over Facebook © asking for more information on how to contact her Congressman. “I decided to call my Congressman because I had learned from Karine that not only do we come to Seminar to see our friends, but to learn about our Armenian culture. After watching her presentation, it made it me feel like I can make a little difference. It is very important to have your Congressman’s support because it makes you feel safe, as well as being a step closer in recognizing the Armenian Genocide.”
Among the lecturers were several ANCA activists in leadership roles, including: George Aghjayan; ANCA ER Board member: Serouj Aprahamian; ANCA Capital Gateway Program Director; Ara Chalian, ANC of Pennsylvania Chairman; and Zohrab Khaligian, ANC of Wisconsin Chairman.
Photo Caption #1: Activists taking part in the handprints for Darfur
Photo Caption #2: Handprints for Darfur