Get Adobe Flash player

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Senator Chuck Schumer and Mark Geragos Keynote Speakers at Times Square Armenian Genocide Commemoration

NEW YORK, NY – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and powerhouse attorney Mark Geragos will speak at the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on Sunday, April 23, 2017 from 2-4 p.m.

Thousands will gather in Times Square (43rd St. Broadway) to commemorate the first genocide of the 20th century. This historic event will pay tribute to the 1.5 million Armenians who were annihilated by the Young Turk Government of the Ottoman Empire. The commemoration will also celebrate the survival and spirit of the Armenian people, their rich heritage and global contributions and include the talented young voices of the Hovnanian Armenian School students, who will sing the Armenian and American national anthems and God Bless America. Presenters will include civic, religious, humanitarian, educational, cultural leaders and performing artists. This event is free and open to the public.

Events leading up to the commemoration include a genocide awareness walk-a-thon over the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday, April 22, 2017 followed by fellowship in Brooklyn Bridge Park as well as a young professionals event at City Perch in Fort Lee, New Jersey, where Olympians Migran Arutyunyan and mixed martial arts champion Albert Ghazaryan will be present and honored.

The 102nd Armenian Genocide Commemoration is organized by the Mid-Atlantic chapters of the Knights Daughters of Vartan (www.kofv.org), an international Armenian fraternal organization headquartered in the United States, and co-sponsored by the Armenian General Benevolent Union (www.agbu.org), the Armenian Assembly of America (www.aaainc.org), the Armenian National Committee of America (www.anca.org), the Armenian Council of America and the Armenian Democratic League – Ramgavars.

Participating organizations include the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, Prelacy of the Armenian Church of America, Armenian Missionary Association of America, Armenian Catholic Eparchy for U.S. and Canada, the Armenian Church Youth Organization of America (ACYOA), the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF-YOARF), Armenian youth organizations and university Armenian clubs.

For more information please visit, www.kofv.org/main/april232017 www.april24nyc.org, www.armenianradionj.net, www.theforgotten.org, www.armenian-genocide.org, www.twentyvoices.com or contact Taleen Babayan at april24nyc@gmail.com.

Article source: http://massispost.com/2017/04/senator-chuck-schumer-mark-geragos-keynote-speakers-times-square-armenian-genocide-commemoration/

Pro-Turkish Journalist Stephen Kinzer’s Assault on the Armenian Genocide and Armenians

David Boyajian

By David Boyajian 

Recent years have witnessed an increasing number of writers who blatantly favor Turkey and/or Azerbaijan and are hostile to Armenians. Some enlistees in this pro-Turkic brigade include Justin Amler, Richard Falk, Alexander Murinson, and Brenda Schaffer.

Another such enlistee is American journalist Stephen A. Kinzer.

Throughout his career, Kinzer has not only diminished the factuality of the Armenian genocide committed by Turkey from 1915-23 but also misrepresented the Armenian people and their homeland.

He spoke at the Watertown, Massachusetts Library on February 21, 2017.  His presentation, titled “U.S. Foreign Policy: Intervention or Restraint? What can we expect from President Trump?”, focused on his new book The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire.

His previous books include Crescent Star: Turkey between Two Worlds (2001), Reset Middle East: Old Friends and New Allies: Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, and Iran (2010), and A Thousand Hills: Rwanda’s Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It (2008) about the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Kinzer himself is descended from Dutch Jews who perished in the Holocaust.

Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment and the Cambridge-based Massachusetts Peace Action sponsored his talk.

I attended and questioned him. More on that later.

Kinzer was NY Times bureau chief in Istanbul from 1996 to 2000, and currently writes for The Boston Globe.

Once termed “Turkey’s Goodwill Ambassador to the US,” he’s a Turkophile. Kemal Ataturk, says Kinzer, would have made a great United Nations leader today. At times Kinzer has, as its friend, criticized Turkey.

He has conceded that in the 1915 period — though not in the 1919-23 Ataturk period — Turkey committed massacres and atrocities against Armenians.  He thinks Turkey should acknowledge these. However, he repeatedly explains away the murders, never recognizes them as ‘genocide,’ doesn’t cite the voluminous evidence for that genocide, and often misrepresents Armenians and Armenia. He has visited the latter and eastern Turkey/Western Armenia.

Kinzer has written many thousands of words about 1915, Armenians, and Turkey. We have space to expose only a fraction of his countless distortions.

Diminishing the Genocide
“There are troublesome questions,” Kinzer has written, “about the fate of Ottoman Armenians” in 1915.  These events are, in his words, “debatable,” “hotly debated,” and “still unclear.”

Kinzer never acknowledges that the vast majority of non-Armenian specialist historians long ago concluded that Turkey committed genocide.

He writes about an “orgy of ethnic violence” in 1915. Translation: Armenians were about as guilty as Turks.

Moreover, the “Ottoman atrocity” must be placed “in the context of other 20th massacres.” Kinzer probably makes meaningless assertions like that to obfuscate the real issues.

Ottoman authorities “ordered the expulsion of Armenians from eastern Anatolia.”  Kinzer doesn’t mention that central and western “Anatolia” and Istanbul were also the sites of Armenian “expulsions” and mass murders.

Kinzer considers 1915 “highly emotional for Turks and Armenians.” Translation: The victimizer nation’s anger is as appropriate as that of its victims.

Genocide Resolutions
The US House is “foolish,” wrote Kinzer in 2010, to consider an Armenian genocide resolution.  It would “harm US-Turkey ties.” He won’t admit that three successful House resolutions (1975/84/96) on the Armenian genocide haven’t harmed US interests.

Congress “has neither the capacity nor moral authority” to judge 1915.  “Among all killers of the 20th century,” the resolution “[singles out] Turks for censure.”  Congress must first “investigate other modern slaughters — [such as] the one perpetrated by the British in Kenya during the 1950s?”

Yet, one or both houses of Congress have officially recognized the ‘genocides’ in Bosnia, Cambodia, Darfur, Rwanda, Ukraine, the present Christian ones in Syria and Iraq, and have approved considerable Holocaust legislation. Indeed, the “Uncompensated [Holocaust] Survivors Today Act” was just recently introduced in Congress.

I can find no evidence that Kinzer opposed any of that legislation.

Kinzer says no president has ever termed the Armenian episode “genocide.” Actually, President Reagan did so in 1981 in Proclamation 4838.

Countless principled Jews have been in the forefront of those who have researched 1915 and acknowledged the Armenian genocide. Sadly, though, some Jews and Jewish organizations — notably the ADL, AJC, AIPAC, and JINSA – have a self-inflicted syndrome I call Holocaust Hypocrisy.

Holocaust Hypocrisy
Kinzer dedicated his book Reset to his Jewish grandparents, Abraham Ricardo and Jeanette De Jongh Ricardo, who died in Nazi Germany’s Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.

Naturally, Kinzer approves of the US Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.  It “documents an effort to destroy an entire people … the story it presents is beyond dispute.” He disapproves, however, of the proposed Armenian Genocide Museum in DC because “the [Armenian] events of 1915 are still a matter of intense debate.”

The title of Kinzer’s 1998 article, “Armenia Never Forgets, Maybe it Should,” perfectly expresses his belief that Armenians should put aside their past, especially their genocide.  Yet the Armenian genocide and Holocaust are separated by no more than 18 years.

Kinzer, you see, allows himself to dredge up the past — German concentration camps, the Holocaust, Kenya, Rwanda, America’s sins going back to the 19th century, and more.  Armenians, on the other hand, should simply “forget” and patch things up with Turkey.  You decide if that’s Holocaust Hypocrisy.

Employing a well-known Turkish tactic, Kinzer also attempts to split Armenia from the Armenian diaspora.  In so doing, he contradicts himself.

Armenia vs. Diasporans
In Crescent and Star, Kinzer says Armenia’s citizens “want to rebuild their country’s relationship with Turkey and … look toward a better future for both peoples.”

In contrast, the genocide acknowledgment campaign “is waged not from Armenia itself but from Armenian communities abroad.” Diasporan Armenians are “anti-Turkish”, and some are “more nationalistic than most Armenians in Armenia.” They are motivated by “a long-delayed revenge” for the genocide, he claims.

His readers wrongly conclude that Diasporans are fanatics while Armenia is relatively non-nationalistic and cares little about the genocide.

Elsewhere, though, Kinzer declares that it’s Armenia which clings to “ethnocentric nationalism.” And “national thinking is the dominant and almost all-inclusive ideology” there.

Armenia, he claims, views the world through the “prism” of the genocide even though Kinzer had alleged that it was Diasporans who were genocide-obsessed.

“1915 has cut into the Armenian psyche” and “plays an emotional role” in keeping Armenia and Turkey “apart.”  Yet Kinzer previously asserted that Armenia was eager to rebuild its “relationship with Turkey.”

Nationalism in Armenia, contends Kinzer, is quite “out of fashion” in the modern world.  He doesn’t tell his readers that every one of Armenia’s neighbors — Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Russia, and Turkey (Kinzer’s favorite) — is also highly nationalistic.

As you’d expect, Kinzer is also pro-Azerbaijani while giving short shrift to Armenian Artsakh/Karabakh.

Artsakh/Karabakh
In “Armenians, Bitter over Enclave, Let the Oil Boom Pass By” (NY Times, Dec. 6, 1998), Kinzer says — sneeringly, in my opinion — that Armenians could have prospered had they simply agreed to Baku’s proposal of an oil or gas ‘peace pipeline’ and placed Artsakh/Karabakh back under Azerbaijan, supposedly as an “autonomous” region.

Kinzer does acknowledge that Armenians would never trade Artsakh for oil.  But there is scant evidence that Baku and Ankara would ever have allowed their oil and gas pipelines to cross Armenia. Even had they been so inclined, they would probably have demanded a raft of concessions that Armenia could never agree to.

In other of Kinzer’s writings that continually tout Azerbaijan, I can find only a few short references to Azerbaijan as an autocracy whereas its repression of Artsakh goes unmentioned.

Kinzer’s Answers
I asked Kinzer two questions after his Watertown presentation.

  1. Some Jewish American lobbying organizations — ADL, AJC, AIPAC, and JINSA — and Israel have long colluded with Turkey to defeat Congressional resolutions on the Armenian genocide yet have successfully pushed Congress to enact Holocaust legislation. Do you consider this hypocritical?

Appearing uncomfortable, Kinzer avoided the question.  What Jewish groups do, he replied, is not his “business.” Yet his writings have criticized “pro-Israel lobbies” and AIPAC.  Maybe Kinzer approves of the Jewish lobby’s Holocaust Hypocrisy but hesitated to admit it publicly?

  1. Your writings express doubt about the Armenian genocide though it’s been widely recognized by scholars, countries, and more. You also believe Congress shouldn’t recognize that genocide. Do you still feel that way?

Kinzer replied that he recognizes the Armenian genocide.  That’s inconsistent with his writings but didn’t totally surprise me. His audience was, after all, compromised of politically progressive activists in a town with a sizeable Armenian community.  Watertown had also thrown out the ADL in 2007 because it wouldn’t acknowledge the Armenian genocide and opposed its recognition by Congress.  In any case, Kinzer’s acknowledgement is now a matter of public record. Kinzer added that he still opposes Armenian genocide resolutions.

The lesson here is that Armenians must continually fight to ensure that their genocide and other issues are treated fairly and factually by journalists and media. And Armenians shouldn’t shy away from confronting those who assault their rights and history.

The author is a freelance journalist based in Massachusetts.  Many of his articles are archived at www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/David_Boyajian.

 

Article source: http://massispost.com/2017/03/pro-turkish-journalist-stephen-kinzers-assault-armenian-genocide-armenians/

Screening of “Lost Birds” at Fresno State April 7

FRESNO — The CineCulture Series and the Armenian Studies Program at California State University, Fresno, are sponsoring a special screening of the film Lost Birds at 5:30PM on Friday, April 7, in the Leon and Pete Peters Educational Auditorium (west end of the SaveMart Center, near Shaw and Woodrow Aves.), on the Fresno State campus.

Directors Ela Alyamac and Arda Perdeci will be flying to Fresno from Turkey to be the discussants at the screening of their movie.

Set against the backdrop of the First World War in a small Armenian village in Ottoman Anatolia, Lost Birds is a historical fairy tale told through the eyes of a young brother and sister left behind in the 1915 Armenian genocide.

Lost Birds is the first film made in Turkey to depict the Armenian Genocide of 1915. It was brought to the screen by the five years of work, persistence, and courage of filmmakers Aren Perdeci and Ela Alyamac, who share writing and directing credits. Lost Birds handles the task of telling a very dramatic story in a fairy tale narrative and this leads the audience to feel something magical yet so real at the same time.

Bedo and Maryam’s happy home life is torn apart when their grandfather is apprehended and taken away by soldiers. Now, forbidden to go outside by their mother, one morning, the two children sneak away to play in their secret cave. But, when they return, they find their home and the entire village empty. Together, with the wounded bird they have been nursing back to health, the children embark on a perilous journey to find their mother.

Admission is free and the event is open to the public. Free parking is available at any of the adjacent Fresno State parking lots (near the corner of Shaw and Woodrow Avenues).

For more information about the presentation please contact the Armenian Studies Program at 278-2669, or visit our website at www.fresnostate.edu/armenianstudies.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/03/screening-lost-birds-fresno-state-april-7/

Presentation by Dr. Keith David Watenpaugh: “The Drowned, the Saved and the Forgotten: Genocide and the Foundations of Modern Humanitarianism”

FRESNO — Dr. Keith David Watenpaugh (University of California, Davis), will give a presentation on “ The Drowned, the Saved and the Forgotten: Genocide and the Foundations of Modern Humanitarianism ” at 7:30PM on Tuesday, April 4, in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, Room 191, on the Fresno State campus.

The lecture is part of the Armenian Studies Program Spring 2017 Lecture Series and is supported by the Leon S. Peters Foundation. The lecture is co-sponsored by the Department of History, the Islamic Studies Speaker Series, and the College of Social Sciences.

Genocide is unparalleled in its horror. It is the ultimate crime against humanity, but it is also a problem of humanity that evokes a problem for humanity. In this talk, drawn from his award-winning book, Bread from Stones: The Middle East and the Making of Modern Humanitarianism (2015) Keith David Watenpaugh examines the particular questions that arise when the problem of humanity motivating a problem for humanity is the crime of genocide. Examining international humanitarian responses to the genocide of the Ottoman Armenians (1915-1922), he argues that modern humanitarianism and genocide have a complex and intertwined history that has shaped the critical modern concepts of humanitarian neutrality, humanitarian governance and the role of justice in relief, and Human Rights-based development.

Professor Keith David Watenpaugh studies the history, theory, and practice of human rights and humanitarianism and directs the Human Rights Studies Program at University of California, Davis. Author of the award-winning Bread from Stones: The Middle East and the Making of Modern Humanitarianism and Being Modern in the Middle East, he has published frequently in scholarly journals. Dr. Watenpaugh is the recipient of fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Social Science Research Council, and he is immediate past-president of the Syrian Studies Foundation. He also directs a global project supported by the Carnegie Corporation and the Open Society Foundations to address the higher education needs of Syrian refugee university students.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Free parking is available, using parking code 273703 (use the code in kiosks in the parking area to receive the permit) at Fresno State Lots P5 and P6, near the University Business Center, Fresno State.

For more information about the lecture please contact the Armenian Studies Program at 278-2669, or visit our website at www.fresnostate.edu/armenianstudies.

Article source: http://massispost.com/2017/03/presentation-dr-keith-david-watenpaugh-drowned-saved-forgotten-genocide-foundations-modern-humanitarianism/

The Story of Aurora is Now in Turkish

ISTANBUL — A long-forgotten book and a long-lost screenplay about one of the most well-known figures of Armenian Genocide is now in Turkish. Edited by writer Anthony Slide and presented with a foreword by Atom Egoyan, Aurora contains an annotated reprint of Aurora Mardiganian’s original account “Ravished Armenia and the Story of Aurora Mardiganian” and for the first time, the full screenplay of the 1918 feature film “Auction of Souls”.

In 1915, during the deportation of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, Aurora was a 14-year-old girl from Çemisgezek. She witnessed horrible events, destruction of her people, and lost her family and relatives one after another. And yet, she managed to survive despite the physical and mental torment. This was just one of those many survival experiences, except that there was a twist, which makes it very unique. Her story was published and then used as the basis of a feature film in which she starred herself.

Two years after her survival, she arrived in the United States and recounted her story to the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief. This story was interpreted by her legal guardian Henry L. Gates, and after being published with the title of “Ravished Armenia”, it was presented to the film producers in Hollywood. And so, Aurora, without fully understanding what’s going on, had to go through her trauma and remember that tragedy before the cameras over and over again.

Anthony Slide, the editor of our book, dwells on this very matter: while they were presenting Aurora’s eyewitness account as popular entertainment for the average American audience, her already wounded soul got more and more damaged. She was forced to make public appearances at each film screening across the United Stated. She was being exhibited. When it became too much for her to handle, Aurora’s look-alikes were hired.

Curiously enough, only some fragmented frames survived from a film that was once a blockbuster and broke box-office records. So, just like Armenians, the film had disappeared from sight. And so did Aurora. Yet, since 2016, Aurora’s memory is being honored through an international humanitarian award named after her, the Aurora Prize For Awakening Humanity.

While tracing Aurora and the lost film, Anthony Slide draws our attention to a historical tragedy which was condemned to be forgotten, as well as to an evanescent production in the film history.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/03/story-aurora-now-turkish/

Armenian American Museum Unveils Animated Concept Design Video

GLENDALE — The Armenian American Museum unveiled a new animated tour video of the cultural and educational center’s concept design, providing a first look at the project’s iconic design and ambitious program.

The animated video tour begins with an aerial view of the Armenian American Museum in the proposed Downtown Glendale location adjacent to the Central Library and Americana at Brand. The tour continues with the interior of the Museum, revealing the grand lobby, state-of-the-art auditorium, and exhibition halls, where Museum officials plan to feature permanent exhibitions on the Armenian American experience and traveling exhibitions on diverse cultures and subject matters that will engage all audiences. The video concludes with an evening shot featuring the rooftop sculpture garden and Museum exterior.

The vision for the Armenian American Museum is a cultural campus that enriches the community, educates the public on the Armenian American story, and empowers individuals to embrace cultural diversity and speak out against prejudice.
Museum and City officials are on schedule to complete the concept design, traffic, parking, economic, and environmental studies in time for the consideration of the ground lease agreement by the Glendale City Council during the fourth quarter of 2017.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/03/armenian-american-museum-unveils-animated-concept-design-video/

Armenian Genocide Awareness Campaign Billboards: A Message of Peace to Turkey

BOSTON — Peace of Art’s 2017 campaign of Genocide awareness has began. In commemoration of the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, starting March 10th to April 30th 2017, on seven locations Rte. 1A in Lynn, Rte. 1 in Malden, 495 in Methuen, and on April 1st on South East Expressway Boston MA.

Peace of Art www.peaceofart.org will display a message of peace on electronic billboards, calling on the international community to recognize the first genocide of the 20th century, the Armenian Genocide.

Daniel Varoujan Hejinian, Peace of Art president, explained “April 2017 is the month of remembrance of the Holocaust and all genocides in the world, and on this occasion we are calling on Turkey to recognize the Armenian genocide by honoring the memory of the innocent victims of all genocides. The billboards reflect the historical moment, when His Holiness Karekin II, together with Pope Francis on behalf of the Armenian and Catholic community worldwide, released doves soaring towards Mt. Ararat, sending a message of peace to Turkey to recognize the Armenian genocide.”

Every year since 1996, Hejinian has been displaying the Armenian Genocide commemorative billboards. In 2003 Peace of Art, Inc., began to sponsor the Armenian Genocide Commemorative Billboards. In 2015, Peace of Art, Inc. launched its Armenian Genocide Centennial awareness billboard campaign, “100 Billboards for 100 Years of Genocide,” in the U.S. and Canada to commemorate not only the victims of the Armenian Genocide but also the victims of all genocides.

Peace of Art, Inc., is a non-profit educational organization registered with the Massachusetts Secretary of State, and tax exempt under section 501(C)(3). Founded in 2003 by the artist Daniel Varoujan Hejinian, Peace of Art uses art as an educational tool to bring awareness to the universal human condition and promote peaceful solutions to conflict. Peace of Art, Inc., is not associated with political or religious organizations, and it is focused on the global human condition.

Peace of Art is dedicated to the peace keepers and peace achievers around the world, and those who had the courage to place themselves on the line for the betterment of humanity.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/03/armenian-genocide-awareness-campaign-billboards-message-peace-turkey/

Chris Cornell Releases Lyric Video for ‘The Promise’

Following some teasers early this week, Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell has shared his new solo track “The Promise.”

The song was penned for the new Christian Bale film also called The Promise — a historical drama that focuses on the Armenian genocide.

“There are a couple of really amazing documentaries about the Armenian genocide, and one of them was about the phenomenon that people who had literally minutes to grab what they could from their homes would take photos before anything else — before jewelry even,” Cornell explained to Rolling Stone. “I was really moved by that; the idea of what is most important to people in a crucial second.”

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/03/chris-cornell-releases-lyric-video-promise/

Chicago Sun Times: Poorly Acted ‘Ottoman Lieutenant’ Also Glosses Over Genocide

Richard Roeper
chicago.suntimes.com

The most objectionable thing about “The Ottoman Lieutenant” isn’t the flat acting or the cliché of a wartime romance triangle or the cheap and schmaltzy score.

It’s the revisionist history of the Armenian Genocide.

Set mostly in and around the Anatolia region of Turkey during World War I, “The Ottoman Lieutenant” almost completely glosses over the Empire’s systematic elimination of some 1.5 million Armenians, including women, children, the elderly and the infirm — an epic-scale atrocity the Turkish government denies to this day.

“The Russian invasion was upon us,” says the heroic nurse Lillie (Hera Hilmar), who narrates the story in a dreadful, monotone delivery.
“Some Armenian rebels joined the Russian forces to fight the Ottoman Army and all hell was breaking loose. … The rounding up of Armenian children and the elderly had begun.”

And after the “rounding up” came the death marches, the forced starvation, the rape — and the massacres. There’s barely a passing reference to any of that in this film.

The Icelandic actress Hera Hilmar affects a terrible American accent and gives a dull performance as Lillie, a fiercely independent free spirit from Philadelphia who sets out for Istanbul circa 1914 to provide medical supplies and lend her nursing skills to the local hospital.

Michiel Huisman (“Game of Thrones”) is the handsome and noble Lt. Ismail Veli, who at first regards Lillie disdainfully but quickly grows fond of her and then of course falls deeply in love with her. Josh Hartnett is the Christian missionary, Dr. Gresham, who skips over the “disdain” part for Lillie and quickly moves from affection to also falling for her.

And then there’s Sir Ben Kingsley, playing the founder of the hospital, who when introduced to Lillie bellows, “This is no place for a woman!” — but quickly becomes a father figure for her. Kingsley looks so bored with the proceedings one can almost see the paycheck in the pocket of his costume.

“The Ottoman Lieutenant” has legitimate production values and some powerful visuals. (Lillie’s voice-overs are accompanied by black-and-white stills that lend a verite touch.) A couple of action sequences are well staged.

That’s about it for the plus side.

At one point the not-so-good doctor sees Lillie just after she’s been with Lt. Veli. He holds her face in his hands, then recoils in horror and says, “My God, I can smell him!”

Yes, and we can smell the rancid coats of paint on this attempt to whitewash history.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/03/chicago-sun-times-poorly-acted-ottoman-lieutenant-also-glosses-genocide/

They Shall Not Perish Documentary to Premier on US Public Television Stations

NEW YORK (broadwayworld.com) This April, public television stations across the country will premiere They Shall Not Perish: The Story of Near East Relief. The documentary is produced by Shant Mardirossian and award-winning writer/director George Billard. They Shall Not Perish details the unprecedented humanitarian efforts of thousands of Americans who saved a generation of orphans and refugees after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire during and after World War I.

The one-hour documentary film features the stories of American diplomats, missionaries and relief workers who, as witnesses to the Armenian Genocide, responded to a call to action and mobilized the largest non-governmental international humanitarian movement undertaken by American citizens. Motivated by nothing but a moral sense of duty, these men and women – among them industrialists, ambassadors, teachers, nurses, advertisers and Presidents – helped bring care and comfort to millions of suffering refugees in extremely harrowing circumstances.

Narrated by six-time Emmy award nominated actor Victor Garber, the film is set against a mix of historical footage, archival photographs and utilizes contemporary interviews from leading academic experts such as Taner Akçam, Peter Balakian and Keith David Watenpaugh. In addition, the letters of American officials, relief workers and orphans are brought to life through the voices of leading actors – Michael Aronov, Kathleen Chalfant, Dariush Kashani, Andrea Martin, Ron Rifkin, Tony Shalhoub and Kara Vedder – taking the audience on a journey from the depths of cruelty to the triumphs of survival.

Executive Producer Shant Mardirossian, inspired by his grandparents’ escape and survival during the genocide, says he produced this film “not just to remember those we lost in the genocide, but to shed light on an important chapter of American history when ordinary citizens stood together against a great injustice and saved the lives of 132,000 orphans.” These historic rescue efforts led to the formation of the Near East Relief – known today as the Near East Foundation – an organization that continues to help improve the lives of vulnerable communities and refugees throughout the Middle East and AFRICA by implementing innovative, community-led economic development initiatives.

With a focus on an often forgotten yet important chapter in American history, They Shall Not Perish challenges the notion of what values a nation should aspire to demonstrate, and raises the question of when and if humanitarian concerns should override strategic national interests. “Today, as we confront an exploding refugee crisis, it’s imperative that we consider the humanitarian consequences when formulating U.S. foreign policy”, says the film’s director, producer and writer George Billard.

Distributed nationally by 3 Roads Communications, They Shall Not Perish premieres on public television stations nationwide beginning April 1, 2017.

The official premiere and discussion with the filmmakers will take place on April 8, 2017 at the Times Center – 242 W 41st Street, New York, NY.

For details on purchasing tickets please visit www.neareast.org/theyshallnotperish or contact Andrea Crowley atacrowley@neareast.org or (315) 428-8670.

More information on the film, screenings and resources can be found at www.theyshallnotperish.com.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/03/shall-not-perish-documentary-premier-us-public-television-stations/

Return top

'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.