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Justin Trudeau Pays Tribute to Armenian Genocide Victims

OTTAWA — Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has issued astatement on 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide;

“On this day, we solemnly gather to commemorate the tragic loss of life among the Armenian population, which took place over a century ago. In 2015, the House of Commons unanimously passed a motion declaring April 24th as Armenian Genocide Memorial Day.

This day honours the memory of those who unjustly lost their lives and suffered during the genocide. We pay tribute to them and their descendants, many of who now reside in Canada. On this occasion, Canadians – regardless of faith or ethnic background – stand together in solemn remembrance and reaffirmed dedication to ensuring that we never stand indifferently in the face of hate or violence in any form.

As we observe Armenian Genocide Day, please join me in my hope for a future characterized by peace and mutual respect. “

The Leader of the Official Opposition and Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Rona Ambrose, also issued a statement on the occasion of the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

“Every year on April 24 the world remembers those Armenian men, women and children who lived through terrible sufferings and lost lives 102 years ago.

It’s a day to remember, but also to ponder about the events that left a deep trace on the modern world. The Conservative Cabinet led by Stephen Harper recognized the events of 1915 as genocide in 2006. In addition, the Senate and the House of Commons of Canada have also adopted resolutions assessing those events as genocide.

Every year Canada and other countries make use of this anniversary to shed light on the existing conflicts and to say that they cannot have a similar tragic ending. We do that also to support the global efforts aimed at peaceful coexistence.

Canada must continue remaining the proud protector of human rights and democratic freedoms which are today jeopardized. This is why we are happy to see that the Armenians and Turks of Canada can work together to set up productive relations. I and the entire Conservative faction of the parliament share the memories of all the Canadians on this anniversary and encourage the representatives of both communities to demonstrate a gesture of goodwill and continue the rapprochement efforts”.

Article source: http://massispost.com/2017/04/justin-trudeau-pays-tribute-armenian-genocide-victims/

Armenian, Jewish Communities Unite to Commemorate Holocaust and Armenian Genocide Together

BOCA RATON, FL – As Armenians and Jews around world will gather this week to commemorate Yom HaShoah and Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, which happen to fall on the same day this year, Congregation B’nai Israel and the Armenian Genocide Commemoration, Inc. have organized a joint program of remembrance with a screening of the critically acclaimed film DENIAL at Congregation B’nai Israel, 2200 Yamato Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431 on Sunday, April 23rd at 6:00pm.

Based on the book Denial: Holocaust History on Trial, DENIAL recounts Deborah E. Lipstadt’s (Academy Award® winner Rachel Weisz) legal battle for historical truth against David Irving (BAFTA nominee Timothy Spall), who accused her of libel when she declared him a Holocaust denier. In the English legal system, in cases of libel, the burden of proof is on the defendant, therefore it was up to Lipstadt and her legal team, led by Richard Rampton (Academy Award® nominee Tom Wilkinson), to prove the essential truth that the Holocaust occurred.

 

“The Armenian and Jewish communities have a shared historical pain.  Our religions may be different, but our stories are the same.  Families broken apart and slaughtered in campaigns of ethnic cleansing that took millions of lives from us, an uprooting of a people and a way of life, our survival and that we have not only survived but thrived, and a vow to remember and never forget” commented Arsine Kaloustian, the Chair of Armenian Genocide Commemoration, Inc.  “We also share the vigilance against any denial of these atrocities, which makes the theme of the film so relevant for both communities,” she added.

The program will begin with a catered welcome reception, while a multi-panel presentation on prejudice and genocide created by students from Palm Beach Central High School will be on public display.  Local Armenian and Jewish community leaders will then deliver brief remarks and discuss the importance of the film. After the film screening, the evening will conclude with an interfaith candlelit prayer service from local religious leaders.

“We human beings, created in the divine image, have a Godly responsibility to speak out and act against the atrocity of the extermination of any people because of their race, religion, or ethnicity. Too often people are complicit in their silence against those who would deny such a holocaust. The lessons of history must be studied and learned so that we might chart a better course for humanity. It does not do justice to our Godly responsibilities to ignore, deny, or reframe human history,” stated Rabbi Robert A. Silvers of Congregation B’nai Israel.

The event is free and open to the public. Members of the media are also invited to participate. Space is limited and RSVP is required. Please register online at: www.rememberthem.eventbrite.com .

 

Article source: http://massispost.com/2017/04/armenian-jewish-communities-unite-commemorate-holocaust-armenian-genocide-together/

Los Angeles County Proclaims Armenian Genocide Day of Remembrance

LOS ANGELES COUNTY – Supervisor Kathryn Barger and the Board of Supervisors marked the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide by proclaiming a Day of Remembrance for one of the darkest chapters in human history.

“The month of April and the celebration of the Armenian culture culminates in our Day of Remembrance, a day where we mourn, remember, and rejoice in the rebirth of a resilient people,” said Supervisor Barger.

Earlier this month, Supervisors Barger and Hahn introduced a motion proclaiming April as “Armenian History Month” in Los Angeles County – the home to the largest population of Armenians in the United States. The Armenian community continues to enrich the region through their leadership in the fields of business, agriculture, academia, medicine, government, and the arts.

Article source: http://massispost.com/2017/04/los-angeles-county-proclaims-armenian-genocide-day-remembrance/

California Legislature Commemorates the 102nd Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

SACARAMENTO — Today, members of the California Legislature commemorated the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, even as the United States of America continues to turn a blind eye to the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians.

“We commemorate the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide to remember the 1.5 million souls lost and to celebrate the Armenian’s contributions to California,” stated Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian. “Through vigilance and education we can banish genocide to our history books.”

“Armenian-Americans have not only survived, they have thrived and enriched the fabric of our communities. The genocide is about real people and real stories. For me it is about my wife Vanessa and her family, people I love and who are Armenian-Americans,” said Wilk. “By remembering the horror of the genocide we are taking steps to ensure it never happens again.”

Earlier this year the Armenian Caucus, in partnership with the California Arts Council, launched its 3rd Annual Essay and Inaugural Visual Arts Scholarship. Both are open to any C alifornia high school student.

The three prompts for the essay scholarship are:
· They have been hired to work for a still-to-be-constructed Armenian-American National Museum, with the museum to be located in Glendale, California.
· They have received word from the museum director that one wing of the museum will be entitled Notable Armenian Americans.
· They are to share with the director, in the form of an “internal memo,” one name that should be featured in this wing of the museum and the reason(s) that this name should so be featured.

The winners of the 3rd Annual Essay Scholarship are:
1. Tigranuhi Tina Ter-Akopyan | 9th Grade | James Monroe High School
2. Ramiro Archila | 10th Grade | San Fernando High School
3. Samantha Randell | 10th Grade | Claremont High School

The Visual Art Scholarship theme was “Human-to-Human Interaction,” and the criteria was:
· Only two-dimensional, visual art submissions will be accepted. Submission types are limited to drawings, paintings, photographs, digital illustrations and graphic design.
Submissions may not exceed an 11×17 frame and must weigh less than 25 pounds.

The winners of the Inaugural Annual Visual Art Scholarship are:
1. Hanna Hitchcock | 12th Grade | Salinas High School
2. Bora Wie | 12th Grade | Richard Gahr High School
3. Gavny Vardanyan | 12th Grade | North Hollywood High School

During the Senate and Assembly Floor Sessions Senator Wilk and Assemblymember Nazarian honored two outstanding Armenian-Americans and presented them with Joint Legislative Resolutions commemorating the genocide:
· Salpi H. Ghazarian , USC Institute of Armenian Studies leader, for her contributions to addressing and resolving national and global challenges in Armenian communities.
· Salpy Kerkonian , flutist and specialist in the interpretation of music by Armenian composers.

Wilk and Nazarian also provided legislators with the book, Bread from Stones, by author Keith David Watenpaugh.

The Armenian Caucus was formed in 2015. It is a platform for Armenian-American voices at a statewide level and is open to all legislators, Armenian or not, who are interested in learning more about the community’s issues.

Article source: http://massispost.com/2017/04/california-legislature-commemorates-102nd-anniversary-armenian-genocide/

Panel at Hammer Museum Highlights How Filmmakers Depict Genocide

UCLA — A wide-ranging panel discussion at the Hammer Museum at UCLA delved into the challenges of using film to depict genocide and ethnic conflict. The event, held April 6, featured Terry George, an Academy Award-nominated writer and director; Dr. Eric Esrailian, a professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; and Stephen D. Smith, executive director of the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation.

George is the director and co-writer, and Esrailian a producer, of a new feature film called “The Promise,” which is set during the 1915 Armenian genocide, and is set for a wide premiere April 21.

Esrailian, a digestive disease expert and philanthropist, also sits on the executive board of UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television and has been involved in developing the school’s Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment. He said one hurdle for the filmmakers is that the events of 1915 are still so poorly understood by the general public.

“One of the challenges is the lack of general awareness of the Armenian genocide,” he said. “Because the denial has been so heavy, it crushes the truth. You have to counteract that.”

That meant striking a careful balance: telling a story through specific characters while also establishing the facts around historical events. George said finding an empathetic person to serve as the focal point can be the key to taking on an emotionally difficult subject in a film. So “The Promise” uses fictional characters who, George said, “allow us to walk through the tumultuous events that defined the Armenian genocide.”

In addition to writing and directing “The Promise,” George was the co-writer and director of “Hotel Rwanda,” and his other projects have examined the Vietnam War and the conflict in Northern Ireland. Creating sympathetic protagonists is one of the important ways to draw viewers into stories about such major conflicts, he said. “An ordinary person who transcends the horrible situation they are put in and, in battling against it, proves our own humanity,” he said.

Smith said that balancing historical accuracy with interesting storylines is a tension that frequently arises in historical films aimed at mass audiences.

“Filmmakers want to keep the engagement of the audience,” he said. “The telling of the story is what’s going to do that and, therefore, artistic license is a really important part of that process.”

But that can raise questions about historical accuracy and credibility — something Smith said can be mitigated in part through close collaboration between scholars and filmmakers.

George said filmmakers have to research and source their work as accurately as possible so their films’ truthfulness isn’t in question.

The film’s release date is within days of both Armenian Genocide Awareness Day and Holocaust Remembrance Day, which this year both fall on April 24. Smith pointed out that April is also the month during which the Cambodian genocide began and that the movie premiere falls during the 100-day period of commemoration of the Rwandan genocide.

“Survivors are still feeling the pain of those events,” he said, adding that the confluence of those anniversaries and commemorations are “good opportunities for communities to come together, because the grief that is shared is universal.”

Esrailian said the new film has struck an emotional chord with audiences who feel connected to the Armenian genocide. “Art can allow people to heal,” he said. “That’s why we made the movie.”

Article source: http://massispost.com/2017/04/panel-hammer-museum-highlights-filmmakers-depict-genocide/

10 Celebrities Promoting “The Promise”

LOS ANGELES ( newsbusters.org) — After surviving a targeted effort by Turkish lobbies to derail its success, the Armenian Genocide film The Promise will open in American theaters next week. And Hollywood celebs are getting the word out.

Because the Turkish government still denies waging genocide against Armenians a century later, films about the conflict have encountered resistance. The most recent movie to tackle the topic – The Promise – stars A-lister Christian Bale, yet even that did not preclude pushback.

However, two months after the film’s Toronto Film Festival debut, Open Road Films obtained distribution rights, celebrities joined in promotional efforts and the producers announced that all of the film’s proceeds would go toward charities. After screenings in London and the Vatican last month, The Promise will open April 21 in theaters across America.

Here are the big name stars who have joined in the effort to #keepthepromise.

Cher, born Cherilyn Sarkisian, is part Armenian herself. After screening The Promise, the “goddess of pop” tweeted: “This film broke my heart, NOT JUST 4 ARMENIANS, BUT 4 ALL PPL WHO’VE SUFFERED LOST LOVED ONES. We’re all beautiful flowers We look best in a bouquet.”

Hollywood actor George Clooney and his wife, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, attended the London screening of the film. Mrs. Clooney represented the country before the European Court of Human Rights in a 2015 case against a denialist Turkish politician.

“Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale and Charlotte Le Bon, under the direction of Terry George, provide extraordinary performances in the upcoming film The Promise,” actor DiCaprio wrote on his Facebook page. “I applaud the entire team, together with my good friend the legendary producer Mike Medavoy, whose enduring talent, dedication and commitment brought this important project and subject to life.”

In March, actor/director Dean Cain traveled to Yerevan, Armenia to speak with the Syrian refugees of Armenian heritage who are currently living there. “Armenians have been persecuted for centuries, they were the first bastion of Christianity,” he told Fox Friends on March 21. “And they are the only bastion of Christianity in the Middle East, in that area.”

Naturally, Cain has also supported The Promise. “In college I studied history, I learned about genocides, like the Armenian Genocide, and the Holocaust,” the actor commented in a video posted on Twitter. “There’s genocides going on right now, here, today. I’m talking about Syria, Iraq, Sudan. I vow to keep the promise to relegate Genocide to the history books.”

“I am joining @esrailian @thepromisefilm to #KeepThePromise to never forget,” singer Barbra Streisand posted to her Instagram account.

“I am thrilled to announce @thepromisefilm’s release, a story about the Armenian Genocide, on Apr. 21. In the spirit of this film, I join the movement to #KeepThePromise to champion human rights, dignity equality an end to #AIDS through @ejafdn,” the self-titled “flamboyant superstar” Elton John wrote on Instagram. “In a wonderful display of the human spirit, all of the film’s proceeds will be donated to charity because, in a belief that I share, no one should be left behind. Thank you to @esrailian everyone for your support throughout the years!”

This extraordinary film is opening April 21,” Sylvester Stallone wrote of The Promise. “It is a subject that I have been fascinated with for decades and it has taken many years for someone to finally have the guts to make it and finally bring it to the screen for all to see…” The actor continued, “It is true and incredibly important historical drama that has all the extraordinary ingredients that can make a movie Oscar quality. It’s amazing lead actors Christian Bale, and Oscar Isaac, Play their parts to perfection! And a special shout out to it’s a legendary producer, Mike Medavoy, Who finally brought this epic story to the screen.”

“Hi, I’m Don Cheadle and I’ve seen the effects of genocide up close and personal in Darfur,” the comedian Don Cheadle announced in a Twitter video. “I vow to keep the promise, and raise awareness and fight genocide around the world wherever it may occur.”

Famed Armenian-American tennis champ Andre Agassi also publicized his support. “Hi, I’m Andre Agassi and I’m so proud to see that Kirk Kerkorian’s vision has become a reality,” the sports star commented over Twitter. “Help me keep Kirk’s promise.”

Scandal star Tony Goldwyn posted a video on Twitter with the comment: “@MPTF we #KeepThePromise every day to take care of our own. @thepromisefilm opening April 21 with ALL proceeds going to charities.”

Article source: http://massispost.com/2017/04/10-celebrities-promoting-promise/

Bipartisan Group of Members from Congress Urge President Trump to Affirm Armenian Genocide

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bipartisan letter signed by 84 Members of Congress was sent to President Donald Trump urging him to affirm the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly). Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) spearheaded the letter asking the White House to honor the United States’ historic leadership in defending human rights and to properly characterize the events of 1915 as a genocide in this year’s presidential statement on April 24th.

“More than 100 years have passed since the start of the Armenian Genocide and the time is long overdue to acknowledge the atrocities committed against the Armenian people for exactly what they were – genocide,” Rep. Pallone stated. “It would be a powerful statement by President Trump in his early presidency to commemorate this anniversary and remember the lives of the one and a half million Armenians who were needlessly slaughtered by Ottoman Turks during the 20th century’s first genocide,” he added.

The letter to President Trump states: “In leading an honest and accurate American remembrance of this known case of genocide, you will stand with President Reagan, who recognized the Armenian Genocide in 1981, and the Eisenhower Administration, which did the same in a 1951 submission to the International Court of Justice.”

During his time in office, President Ronald Reagan squarely acknowledged the Armenian Genocide stating that “Like the genocide of the Armenians before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians which followed it – and like too many other such persecutions of too many other peoples – the lessons of the Holocaust must never be forgotten.”

Additionally, the letter references America’s humanitarian intervention, adding: “Among the proudest chapters in our shared history is America’s remarkable record of protesting the Genocide and in caring for the survivors of this crime.” The letter highlighted the Near East Relief, a Congressionally chartered humanitarian organization which raised $116 million (over $2.5 billion in 2017 dollars) to aid the victims of the Ottoman Empire’s mass murder of millions of Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Greeks, Pontians, Syriacs, and other persecuted peoples.

Article source: http://massispost.com/2017/04/bipartisan-group-members-congress-urge-president-trump-affirm-armenian-genocide/

Cyprus Parliament Calls for International Recognition of the Armenian Genocide

NICOSIA — Ahead of the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the Parliament of Cyprus has called on the international community to recognize the Armenian Genocide, Ermenihaber reports citing Kibrispostasi news agency.

Addressing the House of Representatives at the start of the plenary session, Speaker Demetris Syllouris said that even if more than a century have gone by since the Armenian Genocide of 24th April 1915 when Turkey applied an ethnic cleansing plan against Armenians, Turkey refuses to acknowledge the murder

Syllouris noted that Cyprus was among the first states in the world to recognize and condemn the Armenian Genocide, and in 1990, the Parliament of Cyprus declared April 24 as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. The Parliament has also adopted the law on the criminalization of the genocide denial and the war crimes against the humanity.

Armenian MP Vartkes Mahdessian also delivered a speech at the Parliament, noting that the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide still remain unpunished.

“More than one hundred year has passed. We do not seek vengeance, we seek justice. We want the historical facts over this tragedy to be unanimously accepted,” he added.

Article source: http://massispost.com/2017/04/cyprus-parliament-calls-international-recognition-armenian-genocide/

George Clooney, Chris Cornell Attend London Premiere of Armenian Genocide film The Promise

LONDON (Armradio) — Actor George Clooney and singer-songwriter Chris Cornell attended the London premiere of the Armenian genocide film The Promise.

Chris Cornell, who composed the theme song for the film, posted a photo on Twitter.

Elton John, Cher, Barbara Streisand, Andre Agassi, Sylvester Stalonner, Dean Cain and Leonardo DiCaprio have all expressed their support for the film.

The Promise,” which world-premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last September, will go on wide release in the U.S. on 2,000 screens via Open Road Films on April 21.

The roughly $100-million film is considered a breakthrough after several attempts to make a Hollywood film about the Armenian genocide failed during past decades.

“The Promise” centers on a love story involving a medical student (Oscar Isaac), a journalist (Christian Bale), and the Armenian woman (Charlotte Le Bon) who steals their hearts. All three find themselves grappling with the Ottomans’ decision to begin rounding up and persecuting Armenians.

Article source: http://massispost.com/2017/04/george-clooney-chris-cornell-attend-london-premiere-armenian-genocide-film-promise/

Armenian Genocide Library Opens in Washington

WASHINGTON, DC — Historians and researchers studying the Armenian Genocide will have a chance to use over 5000 publications in the Armenian Genocide library in Washington, DC Voice of America reported.

The opening ceremony of the Armenian National Institute’s (ANI) Genocide library was held on April 5. The Armenian and English books presented here provide detailed information on the Armenian Genocide.

“The Armenian Genocide library is only one part of a program on establishing a complete research center. We create a system through which the researchers can make use of the valuable collection acquired by the Armenian Assembly of America and the Armenian National Institute within the last 40 years”, Ruben Adalyan, the director of ANI said.

Director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute Hayk Demoyan also attended the library opening ceremony. He welcomed the creation of the library and the cooperation prospect with Armenia.

“The opening of Armenian information center-library in Washington is a very important event. Firstly, the establishment of such center in the US capital is already a serious achievement, and secondly this center will become a place for meetings and discussions, as well as a center for organizing coordinated activities. This is more than a library and information center”, Hayk Demoyan said.

Although the library will not be available to the public, it will provide comprehensive information to historians and researchers studying the Armenian Genocide.

Article source: http://massispost.com/2017/04/armenian-genocide-library-opens-washington/

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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.