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Protest Calling on Obama to Recognize Genocide

On Thursday, April 21 at 3 p.m., all Armenian-Americans in Southern California are urged to join in a public protest to be held outside a fundraising event for President Barack H. Obama at the Sony Studios located at 10202 W. Washington Boulevard in Culver City, California.
President Obama will be visiting the Los Angeles area as part of his re-election campaign just three days prior to April 24th. He must hear our community’s profound disappointment with his failure to honor his campaign promise that as President, he would recognize the Armenian Genocide and deliver justice to the Armenian people. Being the largest Armenian community in the Diaspora, we must turn out en masse to send our message loud and clear not only to him, but to all of the national press that will be assembled there.

We strongly urge all Armenians to join us in making our voices heard.

Buses will transport protestors starting at 1:30 p.m. from St. Mary’s Church in Glendale, Rose & Alex Pilibos School in Hollywood and Ferrahian High School in Encino.


‘Genocide Monument’ Fully Funded

The Kickstarter project to fund ‘Genocide Monument’ received a total of $4,000 from 62 backers all over the world. The production of the iPhone app is currently under way with Tigran and Asatur from Zanazan Systems.

The success of the grassroots effort was due mainly to a huge momentum which started roughly 2 weeks before the deadline. First Allen Yekikian’s article in Asbarez went live, then a TV spot on Horizon followed by an article in IanYan Magazine put the project over the top to get 114% funded.

I am now working with the developers to get a first version tested by March 25. This gives us about a month to go through the app store process. As to why I changed the name from ‘Armenian Monument’ to ‘Genocide Monument’ is because this app is to keep vigilance on current genocides as well. I’m using the unrecognized Armenian Genocide of 1915 as a reason to keep watch on all curent ones so that they don’t continue unnoticed. That’s why the name changed to encompass all genocides.

All updates to the app’s progress will be posted here as well as on the ‘Genocide Monument’ Facebook page.

Charles Aznavour Calls on Israel to Recognize

PanARMENIAN.Net – Renowned French singer, Armenia’s ambassador to Switzerland Charles Aznavour has called on Israel to recognize the Armenian Genocide.

Addressing a Jerusalem University award ceremony in Paris on January 23, Aznavour stated that “Turkey’s unmitigated anti-Semitism became more vivid during the past years,” The Voice of Israel reported.


‘Armenian Monument’ Kickstarter Project Launched

The largest funding platform for creative projects in the world, recently accepted and launched ‘Armenian Monument’. Produced by 30 year old animator, Alex Nisanian, the project is the first complete iPhone app on genocide recognition. Having designed all the graphics necessary for the app, Nisanian is now looking for public support to bring the design to function and give the iPhone application away for free.

Aside from being a tool to inform and educate new generations, ‘Armenian Monument’ is designed to promote action from the community. When pressing issues regarding politics arise, there will be a ‘Call to Action” feature allowing users to locate and contact their local congressman, ‘Refer a Friend’ to tell 2 people about the app, and a ‘Latest News’ section which give users the ability to submit stories, allowing every citizen to be an active journalist.

The project will have 40 days to gather the $3,500 necessary to develop all features. Kickstarter works with micro donations and in return, you are given rewards. Such rewards include commemorative shirts, stickers, and ‘Contributor’ placements within the app and blog.

Kickstarter project ends Feb 27, and Nisanian is working to have it available at the App Store by April 24, the commemoration date of the Genocide.

Kickstarter Project Link

Turkey to Demolish Hotels of Outspoken Armenian

Turkish-Armenian entrepreneur and scholar Sevan Nisanyan is appealing to the European Court for Human Rights to stop the demolition order on his hotels.

The Nisanyan Hotels are located in Sirince, Izmir, a village of around 600 inhabitants in the Aegean hills. Nisanyan settled there 15 years ago, and almost single-handedly turned the small village into a booming tourist spot. Nisanyan purchased and renovated many houses in Sirince, using traditional methods of building while preserving the aesthetics that are authentic to the area. He then converted them into what are known today as the Nisanyan Hotels.

Nisanyan, who was awarded the 2004 Freedom of Thought Award by the Human Rights Association of Turkey, has often voiced views that are controversial in the tightly censored Turkish society. His last comments about the Armenian Genocide, made during a Turkish television debate program, resulted in the punishment of the airing station by Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK), which claimed Nisanyan’s comments were excessively critical and “humiliated the Republic of Turkey.”

Nisanyan noted that to date, 16 criminal charges have been brought against him–all related to “unauthorized construction,” “unauthorized repair work,” and “defying government orders”– calling for a 50-year prison sentence. Five cases have concluded, serving him with a total of 10.5 years in prison. His appeals are pending.

Source: Armenian Weekly

Spielberg May Shoot a Film on Genocide

The National Cinema Center is planing to shoot a full-length feature film centered around the 1915 Armenian Genocide. The NCC is not only negotiating with Steven Spielberg as director of the film, but also looking to Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List) to write the screenplay.

“On the 100th anniversary of the Genocide, we must have a film to demonstrate to the world…”, the center’s director, Gevorg Gevorgyan, told a news conference. It is planned to invite both Armenian and foreign actors to play in the movie.


Argentinian Armenians Block Ataturk’s Monument in Buenos Aires

City officials in Buenos Aires called off an event inaugurating a monument to the founder of modern Turkey founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Turkey blamed “hostile” interference from Armenian pressure groups in Argentina.

Armenian groups want Turkey to recognise the killings as genocide – Argentina is one of several countries to have done so.

Source: BBC

Armenian Groups To Jointly Promote Dialogue With Turkey


YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Armenia’s leading business association and three local civic groups said on Wednesday that they will work together in maintaining continued contacts between Armenian and Turkish societies.

They said they hope to thereby contribute to the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations which has stalled because of serious disagreements between the governments in Ankara and Yerevan.

In a joint statement, the four organizations said they will “coordinate their projects implemented in this area” and formulate common positions on “further developments in Turkish-Armenian relations.” Gevorg Ter-Gabrielian, head of the Yerevan-based Eurasia Partnership Foundation, said the non-governmental “consortium” plans to draw up a plan of joint actions as he spoke at a joint news conferences with representatives of the other groups involved in the initiative.

Those are the Armenian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, the Yerevan Press Club (YPC) and the International Center for Human Development (ICHD). All four signatories to the statement have been closely involved in Turkish-Armenian civil-society and business contacts mostly financed by the U.S. government over the past decade.

For the complete story click here.

From the Economist: Turkey and Armenia Zero progress

WHEN the Turkish government signed a deal with Armenia last October, it looked like a clear achievement for its policy of “zero problems” with its neighbours. The old foes agreed to establish relations and open their common border, which had been sealed by the Turks in 1993 in solidarity with Azerbaijan, during its nasty war with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, a mainly Armenian enclave. The deal offered the hope of burying the ghosts of the past by setting up a joint committee of historians to investigate the mass slaughter of Ottoman Armenians in 1915.

For the complete story click here

Istanbul memorial for 1915 events passes without incident

People hold flowers and candles as they mourn around a sign reading in Turkish, Armenian and English, 'This is our pain, this is our mourning for all of us.' AFP photo

From the Daily News:

Memorials for the deportations of Istanbul Armenians to Anatolia in 1915 were held in two locations in the city Saturday, arguably representing a breakthrough for public commemorations of the event.

One event at Taksim Square passed without incident despite initial fears of confrontation with Turkish nationalist groups.

The event, organized by the Irkçılığa ve Milliyetçiliğe Dur De Girişimi (Say Halt to Racism and Nationalism Initiative) was attended by 75 intellectuals and roughly two hundred supporters. The group silently lit candles for the dead and placed flowers around the area before departing.

For the complete story click here

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'Genocide Monument'

Using the unrecognized Genocides of the past as a reason to keep vigilance on all current ones around the world. The iPhone app is now available free on the Apple App Store. The Android and Blackberry versions of 'Genocide Monument' are currently being funded for production.