CENTURY CITY, Calif.—On October 23-24, more than 600 community leaders and members, scholars and activists gathered at the iconic Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel for the 3rd Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region Grassroots Conference to continue their active pursuit of the Armenian Cause.
The conference kicked off Friday evening with welcoming remarks by ANCA-WR chairwoman, Nora Hovsepian, Esq., who enumerated some of the recent ANCA initiatives, stating that the conference was designed to educate and empower its participants to become a more dominant force in advancing the aspirations of the Armenian Nation.
Grassroots committee member and long-time activist Nora Yacoubian introduced the evening’s Film & The Arts panel, which was an on stage interview with author and actor Eric Bogosian conducted by playwright and attorney Aram Kouyoumdjian.
The talk centered on Bogosian’s recent book, “Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide.” During the engaging one-on-one, Bogosian described in great detail some of the challenges he faced while working on the book, and highlighted his persistence to have this important story told, advancing this chapter in Armenian history in non-Armenian, mainstream literary circles.
During the interview, Bogosian reflected on the Armenian Genocide Centennial, stating, “We dreaded that there wouldn’t be enough attention on the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide…and I have to credit the ANCA for really being the driving force of making sure enough attention was given to it.” Bogosian also embraced his Armenian identity, declaring, “We are not better than others. We are incredible.” Bogosian received the ANCA-WR Arts & Letters Award at the organization’s annual Gala on Sunday.
A long line for Bogosian’s book signing session followed the evening’s presentation where conference attendees had the opportunity to meet the author and actor. The success of the first day was later celebrated at a welcoming reception organized by the Grassroots Conference committee in the Olympic ballroom of the hotel.
The five panels on Saturday became an interwoven narrative of the fundamentals of Hye Tahd, with an informative presentation on present-day struggles facing Armenians in Turkey, including the burgeoning youth movements that among other things were demanding the return of Camp Armen to the Armenian community. Just two days after the conference, news came that the protesters’ efforts had succeeded, and that Camp Armen was indeed being returned to its rightful owners. Presentations were also made on the Hidden Armenians—their struggle to emerge from the shadows and into the Armenian reality. This was followed by a discussion about the immediate needs and action items for Hye Tahd, using the 166,000-strong March for Justice on April 24 in Los Angeles as a departure point. Legal experts presented thought-provoking premises on pursuing the Armenian Cause through the international legal system, while elected officials representing local, state and federal offices, discussed the ways in which Armenians can engage to play a more integral role in politics. A powerful panel on the imperative of adapting to and adopting new—more effective—means of communication to conform with changing times encapsulated the message and brought to a close the 2015 ANCA-WR Grassroots Conference.
Conference committee co-chair Ayk Dikijian, Esq. welcomed the participants on Saturday morning, promising an engaging and empowering day of presentations, followed by introductory remarks for the first panel, in which conference committee member Noushig Karpanian highlighted that with more than 7 million Armenians living outside of Armenia and Artsakh, in addition to the estimated 2 million forcibly Islamized or “Hidden Armenians” living in present-day Eastern Turkey as a result of the 1915 Armenian Genocide, the “Western Armenia and Hidden Armenians” panel was conceived to address these important issues.
Aris Nalci, an author and filmmaker noted for his coverage of Armenian and minority issues, as well as freedom of speech, was joined by geographical and demographic researcher of Western Armenia (present-day Eastern Turkey), George Aghjayan and Raffi Bedrosyan, an activist and historian who has been working with the “Hidden Armenians” for several years. The panel was moderated by the author/attorney Matthew Karanian, whose recent book “Historic Armenia After 100 Years: Ani Kars and the Six Provinces of Western Armenia” is a photographic journey through Western Armenia. On ‘hidden Armenians’ in post-genocidal Western Armenia (eastern Turkey), moderator Matthew Karanian, Esq. said “We have Western Armenians who already live there.”
Throughout the conference, Karanian displayed his breathtaking photographs from Western Armenia and was presenting his current book, as well as his well-known and much-used “Armenia and Karabakh: The Stone Garden Travel Guide.” Baris Alen, a Kurdish activist from Turkey, who was originally announced as a panelist, was unable to attend due to the fact that he was not granted a visa.
Conference attendees of all ages and many backgrounds listened to Nalci highlight the sentiments of guilt felt by the Turkish people, while Bedrosyan encouraged attendees to help Islamized Armenians in post-genocidal Turkey reclaim their roots, and Aghjayan spoke on his mission to find lost relatives of the Armenian Genocide and urged all Armenians with roots in Western Armenia to engage in DNA testing to help identify their family members still living in Turkey.
“Everyone in [Turkey’s] Kurdish region knows about the Armenian Genocide and feels guilty,” said journalist Nalci. Bedrosyan paraphrased his late friend Hrant Dink, “We need to also remember the living victims of the Armenian Genocide.” Bedrosyan on his Project Rebirth, stated, “We cannot always convince hidden Armenians to come out. But when they do, we have to help them.”
The second panel of the day, called “Marching on For Justice,” discussed the impact of the 166,000 strong March for Justice in the streets of Los Angeles on April 24, 2015, as well as other events, which made the centennial of the Armenian Genocide an international event and touched on the imperative for renewed commitment to the Armenian Cause.
The panel, which was moderated by Grassroots Conference co-chair and Asbarez English Editor, Ara Khachatourian, featured ANCA Board member Raffi Hamparian, ANCA-WR Chair Nora Hovsepian, Esq. and ANCA-WR Executive Director Elen Asatryan, each of whom touched on some of the critical efforts currently underway to advance the Armenian Cause.
Hamparian spoke about the Congressional letter to secure the safety of Armenians in border regions of Armenia and Artsakh and advance Karabakh peace as one of the key federal initiatives at the ANCA in response to continued violations of the cease-fire in Karabakh. He also touched on efforts to develop comprehensive economic relations between the United States and Armenia. Hamparian concluded his presentation by declaring that investing in Armenian American youth is the ANCA’s priority.
Hovsepian discussed some of the continuing efforts in the Western Region, where the ANCA has been actively pursuing Genocide education in public schools and is reaching out to states outside of California to buttress the ever-growing interest in Armenian activism. “As our Grassroots Conference comes to an end, let’s not forget what brought us together, said Hovsepian, adding, “In the USA, We Demand!”
Asatryan discussed the imperative of local engagement, stressing the need for individuals to become involved in local politics and civic organizations, as well as to continue the efforts of Hye Votes to register Armenian-Americans and participation in local ANCA chapters.
The Grassroots Conference reached capacity during the “Road to Reparations” panel, featuring human rights attorney Geoffrey Robertson QC and legal scholar and expert in reparation movements around the world Karnig Kerkonian, Esq. The panel was moderated by ANCA National Board member Steve Dadaian, Esq., and was co-sponsored by the Armenian Bar Association, which offered CLE credits to attorneys who participated.
Grassroots committee member and chair of ANCA’s National Organization of Republican Armenians, Nora Demirjian, introduced the panel and explained that with the Perinçek v. Switzerland decision, which was appealed by Robertson and his associate Amal Clooney earlier this year in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), the panel was an important avenue to become acquainted with the issue of reparations for the Armenian Genocide.
Citing several international cases through which legal precedents may emerge in the pursuit of comprehensive reparations within the international judicial system, Kerkonian explained that reparations are about opening a new historic chapter. He also emphasized that the task of reparations must be undertaken by the entire Armenian Nation—Armenia and Diaspora alike—since the existence of the diasporic reality was a direct result of the Armenian Genocide. “The journey to national reparations will be a challenging one… But there are many forces in play that make this journey all the more possible and real,” said Kerkonian.
Robertson detailed the machinations of the Perinçek case and provided a first-hand perspective on the legal case, highlighting that the ECHR’s final verdict on the matter provides many positive provisions for Armenians and the Armenian Cause, mainly that the court did not go down the thorny path of debating the veracity of the Armenian Genocide. “Amal Clooney and I are delighted that the European Court ruled that Armenian communities have a right to protection against attacks against the veracity of the Armenian Genocide by denialists such as Perincek,” said Robertson.
During his presentation, Robertson also made a case for the imperative of addressing the current Karabakh conflict through the international legal system. “Nagorno-Karabakh should not have ever been put under Soviet Azerbaijan. I think it’s time for lawyers… to help secure international recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh.” Robertson concluded his presentation by challenging Armenian American lawyers to pursue accountability for German complicity in the Genocide, fight for the return of Armenian community properties in Turkey, and help secure international recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh. Following the panel, Robertson signed copies of his latest book, “An Inconvenient Genocide: Who Now Remembers the Armenians?”
Robertson was awarded the ANCA-WR’s “Advocates for Justice” Award alongside Clooney during Sunday’s Gala banquet. He accepted the award on behalf of Clooney who was unable to attend the event.
Saturday afternoon sessions continued with ANCA-WR Government Affairs Director Tereza Yerimyan introducing the powerhouse “Armenians and Politics” panel, which featured Congressman Adam Schiff, State Assembly Member and endorsed congressional candidate Katcho Achadjian and Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian. The panel was moderated by Glendale City Clerk and the ANCA-WR-endorsed candidate for the 43rd State Assembly district, Ardashess “Ardy” Kassakhian.
In what often times became an emotional discussion, each public official shared with the audience his unique path to civil service, with a common message emerging at the conclusion of the panel: the need and viability for Armenians in public service is ever more imperative. “ANCA is one of the primary reasons why Armenian Americans have become a dramatically successful player in US politics,” said Congressman Adam Schiff.
“We, Armenian Americans, are as proud, as educated, and as willing as Americans of all backgrounds,” stated California State Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian during his presentation.
“We no longer count registered Armenian Americans. We now count elected Armenian Americans. This is in large measure due to the ANCA,” concluded Krekorian.
The final panel of the conference touched on the critical need to utilize alternative communication methods in advancing the message of the Armenian Cause and enhancing activism. The panel, aptly named “Alternative Activism” was introduced by Grassroots committee member Joseph Kaskanian, who is also a member of the Central Executive of the Armenian Youth Federation. Kaskanian accepted the ANCA-WR’s Vahan Cardashian award at the Gala banquet Sunday, on behalf of the AYF, which was the recipient of the award.
Kaskanian introduced long-time ANCA activist, communications strategist and professor Dr. Lucig Danielian, who served as the moderator of the panel, which included the participation of UCLA professor Paul von Blum, photographer Scout Tufankjian and ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.
In his presentation, Von Blum focused on the need to use what he has termed “agitational communication,” to drive the message home to audiences that are constantly distracted and bombarded by information. “I am not Armenian. But I am human. That’s why I am here,” said Von Blum.
Tufankjian, who rose to fame as the official campaign photographer during Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, presented her talk with accompanying slides from her new book “There is Only the Earth,” which weaved the story of several subjects she encountered during her journey through the Armenian Diaspora and Homeland to make the point that despite efforts to annihilate the entire Armenian nation, Armenians are living and thriving throughout the world and represent a potent power in the pursuit of our national aspirations. “We are not a disappeared people,” said Tufankjian.
Hamparian utilized the forum to highlight how the ANCA, in advancing its national agenda for advocacy, has increasingly been using alternative approaches to garner support in Washington. He cited numerous successful alternative activism initiatives by the ANCA: Facebook protest against Starbucks’ photo misrepresentation of Armenian culture, nationwide pressure on the White House to display Armenian Genocide Orphan Rug, “Return of Churches” initiative, as well as the current effort to promote Karabakh Peace by promoting the use of life-saving mechanisms along the Armenia, Karabakh and Azerbaijan border.
Throughout the conference, Tufankjian exhibited beautiful photographs from her book and signed copies of “There is Only the Earth: Images from The Armenian Diaspora Project.”
Grassroots Conference Co-Chair Ara Khachatourian closed the successful weekend panels by thanking participants, panelists, volunteers, and staff for their incredible work. Over forty-five volunteers from local middle schools, high schools and colleges came together to help the Armenian Cause.
Excited participants, panelists and organizers came together for a mixer organized by the ANCA-WR Professional Network, which served as a fitting conclusion to the event.
The dynamic 2 day ANCA-WR biennial Grassroots Conference was the third in a groundbreaking series of informative and inspirational lectures, workshops and seminars which brings together artists, academics, legal experts, and political officials with hundreds of activists from all over the world to explore issues related to the Armenian Cause and to develop and promote new avenues of leadership and civic engagement.
The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.
Photo Credit: Frederick Melikian
More photos here.
CENTURY CITY, Calif.– A record breaking more than 1,400 elected officials, supporters, activists, and generous donors from throughout the country attended the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region’s sold out annual gala on Sunday, October 25, 2015 at the iconic Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel in celebration of the organization’s unprecedented year of accomplishments and to pay tribute to 5 honorees who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in advancing the Armenian Cause.
The event began at 4:30 p.m. with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, and a VIP reception with major donors and elected officials. A three-course dinner followed at 6:00 p.m. with a powerful program and presentation of awards kicked off by the presentation of flags by the United States Color Guard and national anthems performed by Payla Kevorkian accompanied on piano by Alex Berberian.
Prelate of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian conducted the invocation for the evening.
As the crowd took their seats, Maria Cozette, accompanied by students from Rose and Alex Pilibos
Armenian school dressed as angels holding candles took stage for a moving rendition of “We Are the World” as images from the time of the Genocide and the orphans rescued by the Near East Relief alternated on screen in the background.
Following the performance, 2015 ANCA-WR Board Treasurer and Gala Committee Chair Steve Artinian welcomed guests, thanked all those that made the record breaking evening possible and introduced the 2015 Gala and Grassroots Conference sponsors Mr. and Mrs. Varant and Hoori Melkonian, and in describing their unwavering support for the Cause noted, “They do it with grace, humility and integrity. They consistently give and often go beyond every reasonable expectation. They support every good cause and in return all they expect are results, and results the ANCA delivers.”
Artinian concluded his remarks stating, “We hope you will leave tonight inspired, motivated and more committed to serve the Armenian Cause.”
As the room went dark, on-screen came an emotionally charged video presentation showcasing the astounding accomplishments of communities worldwide as each marked the Armenian Genocide Centennial. Video highlights included Pope Francis’ speech at the Vatican mass, the historic March for Justice which witnessed the participation of over 166,000 individuals who took to the streets of Los Angeles, as well as many global leaders and celebrities who echoed the call for recognition and proper commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.
At the end of the video presentation, ANCA WR Chair Nora Hovsepian, Esq., stood in the spotlight to deliver the organization’s message. Hovsepian opened her remarks by thanking all the guests, the Gala Chair Steve Artinian, and his stellar team of committee volunteers, as well as staff for their dedicated leadership, vision, and skill. She went on to express gratitude to the elected officials, past and present, who’ve stood strong on the side of justice and the generous donors whose contributions allow the organization to continue and expand its work.
Hovsepian then moved to provide attendees with details of the organization’s expansion efforts in 2015, which included a tour of the region that resulted in numerous new local chapters in places like Colorado, New Mexico, Dallas, Seattle, and Oregon, the expansion of its Hye Votes initiative, as well as the unprecedented CA Advocacy Days, which galvanized over 700 participants from across the state, amongst many others.
She concluded her remarks calling on all attendees to march on forward in pursuit of justice. Her call to action echoed across the room as she said, “Just as 166,000 of us reignited the flame on April 24th, so we must continue. From our donors to our volunteers, from our voters to our educators, from our elected officials to our grassroots, we all have a role to play in harvesting our capital, promoting our vision, and taking the Armenian Cause to new heights of success. So roll up your sleeves, open your hearts and your wallets, volunteer your time and expertise, stay active, and join us on this incredibly fulfilling journey as we honor our martyrs, demand accountability, protect Armenia and Artsakh, organize our communities, and enter the second century of our Nation’s rebirth with optimism, hope, pride and determination for both the Homeland and the Diaspora. The March for Justice was not an end, but a beginning. The seeds have been planted, so onward we go.”
Following Hovsepian, Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian, ANCA WR Board Members Arpie Jivalagian, Esq., Nareg Kitsinian, Esq., and ANCA WR Advisory Board Members Levon Kirakosian, Esq., and Michael Mahdesian presented the 2015 ANCA WR Legacy Award to former Majority Leader of the California State Assembly the Honorable Walter Karabian for his lifelong commitment and valuable political and philanthropic contributions to the advancement of the Armenian Cause.
In introducing Karabian, Krekorian noted “All of us here, all of us who have had accomplishments, all of us who have succeeded stand on the strong shoulders of those who came before us and I think it’s fair to say that in this room for most of us there are no shoulders stronger and broader and more important to our community than the shoulders of the Honorable Walter Karabian. It would be appropriate to honor Walter Karabian with the Legacy Award simply because of his success in changing the course of California history. As a legislator and the youngest Majority Leader in our State’s history, Walter Karabian was instrumental in moving policies forward to advance equal rights for women, to reform our prison system, to protect our environment, to advance the causes of public safety and so many other areas. He moved the legislative agenda forward that set a foundation for those of us who would follow him in the legislature.” Krekorian went on to note the countless young individuals Karabian has served as mentor to, paving the way and guiding them in their pursuit of higher education, community service and public office.
Before presenting Karabian with the Legacy Award, Kitsinian surprised the capacity filled room with an announcement that Walter Karabian had pledged $50,000 to the ANCA WR towards a political fellowship in Sacramento in the name of Walter and Laurel Karabian. This fellowship is unique as it will support Armenian Americans who want to pursue careers in politics. Kitsinian continued that further details on the fellowship will be provided in the future.
Karabian began his acceptance speech discussing a topic of importance to his family that influenced him as a legislator. He told a compelling story of his mother, Zevart Shishmanian, who in 1916, at a young age only spoke Armenian living in rural Sanger, California. Due to this language barrier, when she arrived at Bethel School she could not understand her teacher and her teacher could not understand her. Frustrated with her lack of options, her teacher put her in a class for the mentally challenged.
Though young Zevart fought her way out of that class with a determination to be an excellent English speaker, the scarring from this episode was deep and permanent.
Karabian went on to describe that when he arrived in the legislature in 1967, having heard of these stories during his youth, one of his first pieces of legislation he introduced dealt with this unfortunate situation where if you were going to test somebody for IQ purposes, it had to be done in the language they spoke at home with their parents.
At the time, he continued, Governor Ronald Reagan signed the bill into law, but the burden on the schools of providing testing in different languages was so great that it was phased out. Karabian further described other accomplishments he achieved as a legislator and Majority Leader of the California Assembly.
In closing his remarks Karabian stated “It has been a wonderful, productive, and glorious life for me, and I gratefully accept this honor. Do I have any regrets? Yes, several, but only two loom large in my memory. I wish my wonderful wife Laurel could be with us tonight. Having left us a year ago, she would have loved this evening and the continuation of the Armenian Nationalism of her father, Arshag Dickranian. I also regret the fact that I was not persuasive enough to convince George Deukmejian to pardon Hampig Sassounian.”
As attendees took their seats after giving Karabian a standing ovation, ANCA WR Executive
Director Elen Asatryan, accompanied by ANCA WR staff members Tereza Yerimyan, Haig Baghdassarian, Esq., Anna Arakelyan, and Simon Maghakyan walked on to the stage to recognize the 2015 ANCA Western Region and ANCA Leo Sarkisian Internship Program participants who were present that evening, Sabine Arslanian, Vana Asdourian, Vazgen Badiryan, Aline Baghdjian, Kachik Bogosyan, David Derderian, Alyssa Dermenjian, Melvin Dilanchian, Diana Dzheragyan, Ani Hakobyan, Alex Jahilian, Agnessa Kasumyan, Sarin Keosian, Dikran Khodanian, Armand Manoukian, and Morris Sarafian.
Asatryan opened her remarks by going through the values instilled and opportunities provided to ANCA WR interns and continued on to state, “With a renewed promise to provide hands on experience and a pipeline of support in helping develop the next generation of Armenian American leaders, in 2015, the ANCA Western Region expanded its internship program which resulted in the largest graduating class to date.”
“From helping organize the historic march for justice that brought over 166,000 human rights activists to the streets of Los Angeles, the largest CA Advocacy Day with over 700 participants that took on the State Capitol, our expanded efforts in hosting town hall meetings to activate the communities outside of California to walking our neighborhoods to help get the vote out and our community’s voice heard through our Hye Votes program, taking our social media platforms to new heights, and contributing to our successful Grassroots conference, there are no words to convey how grateful and proud we are of our relentless and incredible 2015 interns, who in return inspire us, day in and day out to keep marching ahead in pursuit of truth, justice and our Cause,” Asatryan continued before reading the names of the 21 graduates of the programs.
The second portion of the program opened with ANCA WR Board Members Pattyl Aposhian and Haik Petrossian, ANCA WR Advisory Board Member Harut Sassounian, and ANCA National Board Chair Ken Hachikian joining on stage to present the 2015 Advocates for Justice Award to Geoffrey Robertson, QC and Mrs. Amal Clooney, Esq., in honor of their tireless commitment and exceptional contributions toward protecting, promoting, and advancing the Armenian Cause through the legal forum.
In introducing the two prominent human rights attorneys who represented Armenia at the hearing of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) of the case Perincek v. Switzerland, ANCA WR Advisory Board Member Harut Sassounian detailed that due to their efforts and after the grand chambers ruling on October 15th, the Turkish government will no longer be able to use the lower court’s false statements to deny the Armenian Genocide. Sassounian continued on to praise Mr. Robertson’s latest book titled “An Inconvenient Genocide: Who Now Remembers the Armenians?” which has received highly favorable reviews as well as his efforts in reaching out to millions of viewers across the world through television interviews, spreading awareness about the continuous struggle for recognition. He then described how Mrs. Clooney brought international attention to Turkish denials of the Armenian Genocide through her passionate argument against the lower court in denying and minimizing the Armenian Genocide.
Upon receiving his award and accepting another on behalf of Mrs. Clooney, Robertson recalled the journey that led to the ruling on October 15th as he described the call from Mrs. Clooney agreeing to join him in representing Armenia during which time she said, “The Cause is utterly just and I would be honored to be part of the Armenian team.” He continued on in detail about what took place prior to and during the hearing: “Seven judges said the Armenian Genocide is a matter of historical fact. So first, contrary judgments have been buried, they cease to exist, the lower court ruling has been eradicated…and second, Armenians have a right to identify themselves as a people who’ve gone through a genocide and that is a legal right, a legal right for Armenians in Europe based on the European Convention of Human Rights and that right can be inserted into any case.” He continued on to note that given all that has taken place, the pronouncements made, the legal battles won in just 2015, that in this 100th Anniversary, there is no doubt that the Genocide did take place. “The second stage is reparations and the Turkish government has shamelessly said nothing, the least they could do is to announce that Mt. Ararat would be handed back to Armenia, but not a squeak, so reparations must be progressed, crimes against humanity, which undoubtedly was a crime in 1915 and there is no time limit on crimes against humanity.”
Robertson’s remarks did not stop at a call for reparations for the Armenian Genocide, as he moved on to discuss the right to independence and self determination of the people of Artsakh, stating, “Artsakh has really struck my heart because I have seen those young Armenians, Karabaghtsis that have been shot at, sniped at and killed in the last 15 years by the Azeris… A country with 200,000 people yet is not recognized by any country in the world and yet in my opinion, and I looked at this carefully, Nagorno Karabakh has a right in international law, a right of self-determination. It has a right to secede, a right based on international law in principle when oppressed, when subject to pogroms, when subject to utter cruelty, the right to secede, in this case wrongly granted to Azerbaijan by Stalin, a right to succeed, and nothing succeeds like secession.”
On behalf of himself and Amal, who asked him to relay that she and George Clooney will be traveling to Armenia next April 24th, Robertson concluded his remarks by stating, “This is not just an honor because it has been a privilege to act for Armenia, for Armenians, and above all, in this spin doctored world, to act for the truth.”
The fact filled and charged speech was followed by yet another with ANCA WR Board Members Souzi Zerounian-Khanzadian and Pierre Yenokian and ANCA WR Advisory Board Members Berdj Karapetian and Karo Khanjian presenting the 2015 ANCA WR Arts and Letters Award to Eric Bogosian for his literary contribution toward advancing awareness of the Armenian Cause.
In her introductory remarks, Khanzadian described Bogosian as a successful actor and author, as well a proud son of the Armenian nation who refused to change his name and appearance to appease Hollywood. In providing background on Bogosian’s most recent book “Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide,” Khanzadian noted that Bogosian dedicated 7 years of his life researching and writing the book and considers it “his contribution to the Armenian Cause,” and with his status as a public figure, “he is uniquely positioned to reach hundreds of thousands of people to create awareness about it.”
Bogosian paused gazing out to the packed room before he remarked that he had been on Broadway, walked the red carpet, and shot films around the world, but had never been as intimidated as he was that evening by the attendees present. He continued on to say, “This evening in some ways is a culmination of a journey for me where eight, nine years ago I thought I knew what it meant to be an Armenian, and I thought I knew who I was, but I learned so much in these seven years about our history, our politics, our culture, even our alphabet and more than that, I’ve been shifted in a big way and I can honestly say I have been radicalized. And that’s why I’m so honored to be here tonight with all of you.”
Prior to going into details about how he came to write the book and the journey that led him to its completion, with a deep sense of conviction Bogosian stated, “I’ve traveled to many cities and attended many memorial and centennial events, I’ve marched and I am very aware of where the efforts were and how this success that we had this year, memorializing the Genocide, where that came from, and that came from you. The ANCA was the largest motivating force for bringing attention to the Armenian Genocide this year and I know it’s from the hard work of so many people that are in this room tonight and I commend you and I thank you”.
This was all topped off with ANCA WR Board Member Raffi Kassabian, Esq., along with ANCA National Board Member Steven Dadaian, Esq., and ANCA WR Advisory Board Members Aida Dimejian and Mourad Topalian, all AYF alumni presenting the 2015 Vahan Cardashian Award to Armenian Youth Federation – WUS Alumni and Members from 1933-2015 for their steadfast commitment to forcefully championing the Armenian Cause and serving as an inspirational force for Armenian-American youth.
In describing the selfless dedication of the Armenian Youth Federation which for generations has served as a true leader and the beacon of hope for the Armenian Cause, Kassabian stated, “Today, the AYF has redefined the way we fight for social change and justice and the AYF continues to demand: it continues to demand on the streets of Los Angeles, 166,000 strong; it continues to demand in the homeland where our AYF Youth Corps take a hands-on approach in the nation-building process of Armenia; and it continues to demand in the halls of our college campuses, alongside the Armenian Student Associations, to ensure that the University of California divests from the Republic of Turkey. Standing on the shoulders of General Karekin Njdeh and all the generations of AYF that came before them, today’s AYF continues the struggle that was begun by their predecessors more than 80 years ago.”
He then called up on stage generations of AYF alumni who continue to fight the good fight in the trenches. The eldest, 95-year-old Nikki Smith (Satenig Gondjian), was sworn in at the age of 14 by the AYF’s founder, General Karekin Njdeh, in 1933 as a founding member of the AYF Musa Dagh Chapter in Hollywood, and was escorted onto the stage to a standing ovation by AYF alumnus and current ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. They were joined by dozens of well-known AYF alumni from each generation that followed, an impressive group which included elected officials such as CA State Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian and Montebello Mayor Jack Hadjinian, all of whom got their start in the AYF.
As generations young and old embraced each other during what seemed to be an emotional reunion for many, AYF-WUS Central Executive Board Member Joseph Kaskanian took to the podium and stated, “Living in the United States, we are bombarded with the notion of only doing things for your individual benefit, but the AYF teaches you to give your time and energy for the collective good, to achieve the interests of our entire people. The AYF teaches its members to give and not to expect anything in return. The AYF teaches you to humbly demand the most from yourself and the most from your peers in service to our Cause. So when the idea of honoring the AYF with the Vahan Cardashian award was first brought up, I have to be honest and say it created a lot of hesitation among our members. We’re not used to being on stages, we’re used to being in trenches. And even now I’m not sure I’m fully comfortable sharing this stage with so many of these remarkable alumni when we have so much yet to accomplish. But we soon realized that this award does not belong to this Central Executive, or even our current members. This award belongs to each of the generations that came before us and all of the generations that will come after us.”
Kaskanian closed his remarks by noting “Inspired by our past generations and empowering our future generations, we will continue to lead our youth and with your unwavering support, we will move mountains.”
At the end of the presentation, the band green KARD performed and dedicated a song to the AYF,
which led the alumni to spontaneously come together arm in arm for a traditional “shourch bar” dance on stage.
The 2015 ANCA WR Gala Banquet concluded with powerful remarks by ANCA National Board member Raffi Hamparian who stated, “At its core, we are in the arena for the Armenian Cause, not outside it, because we are believers. We believe in our community, we believe in our Cause. We believe in our Nation. We are not arm chair quarterbacks, we are not backbenchers, we are not critics and cynics, we are not finger pointers. In a community where we need to practice addition some people subtract for a living. Instead of multiplying our Cause these people divide. Today, the ANCA is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with you, the builders of our community, the innovators of our Cause, the dreamers. The special people like you who know deep in your hearts, deep in your minds, deep in your gut, that the best days, the very best days for our community, for Armenia, for Artsakh, for Western Armenia lie ahead of us on a brilliant horizon. A horizon that is reachable – if we have the will. To you, the backbone of our community. To you, who have faith and fidelity, dedication and determination, conviction and courage, valor and love. To you, the ANCA believers. To you, the 2nd army of the Armenian Nation: I say this with clarity and without hesitation. We have work to do to build, to create and to realize our common dreams. Let’s get to work.”
Throughout the night, between the presentations of honorees, videos highlighting the organization’s unprecedented accomplishments played on screen that showcased its efforts in obtaining proper recognition for the Armenian Genocide and the right to self-determination of Artsakh, in community building, advocacy work, voter registration and elections, youth development programs as well as well as a special tribute video to the 125th Anniversary of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutyun. All of these moving and memorable videos may be found online on the ANCA Western Region Channel on YouTube.
As they left the banquet hall with renewed optimism and determination to continue their support of the ANCA-WR and its collective pursuit of the Armenian Cause, guests received gift bags which included the informative ANCA-WR Annual Report, its special publication of a keepsake commemorative book entitled “Armenian Genocide Centennial: The Struggle Toward Victory and Justice Continues,” a generous donation by ANCA-WR Advisory Board Member Harut Sassounian of his recent book, “The Armenian Genocide: The World Speaks Out 1915-2015, Documents & Declarations,” as well as a special Tribute Book marking the occasion.
The ANCA-WR Annual Banquet is the largest event of its kind and helps raise funds to operate the nation’s largest and most influential Armenian-American grassroots and political advocacy organization. Through these funds, the ANCA-WR is able to educate the general public about the Armenian Genocide, the Republic of Armenia, Artsakh, and other vital issues of concern to the Armenian-American community.
To financially assist the ANCA-WR in its work, community members are encouraged to enroll in the Friends of the ANCA-WR Monthly Giving, the ANCA-WR Founders’ Circle Annual Giving, and the Support our Supporters Corporate and Business Giving programs by visiting www.ancawr.org or calling 818.500.1919.
The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.
ANCA-WR Chairwoman Nora Hovsepian’s Address to the 2015 Gala Banquet
Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region Chairwoman, Nora Hovsepian made the following speech:
Wow. I don’t think there is a dry eye in the house. The video we just saw brought back so many emotions: nostalgia, pride, reflection, and most of all, hope for the future.
I am willing to bet that nearly every single person in this room was there on that historic day and felt the same way, as we marched with 166,000 of our compatriots through the streets of Los Angeles, to show the world that after losing 3/4 of our People to Genocide, we have risen from the ashes. As a community, we came together, and I especially want to acknowledge the leaders of our churches, specifically Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Bishop Mikael Mouradian, and Reverend Joseph Matossian, all of whom spared no effort in joining with us to ensure that our demands as a Nation would be heard loud and clear.
A half a world away from our Homeland, Southern California has become the undisputable capital for our collective demands. After facing denial and revision of history for 100 years, we have strengthened our resolve; we have built powerful alliances, and we have ensured that the crime against humanity, this crime against us, does not remain unpunished.
The tide is turning, as the Turkish Government grows more isolated and alone in the world. With the universal call for accountability from its own allies Germany and Austria, the powerful support of the Vatican, the rising democratic movement of Kurdish, Armenian and other minorities in Turkey, and our own relentless determination on every front, we enter the second century of our rebirth stronger than ever.
Since the Genocide, we have created a powerful Diaspora, we have regained independence for Armenia and liberated Artsakh, and we have grown into what numerous influential editors and politicians describe as the second-most powerful ethnic lobby in the United States. This is no small feat.
Dear friends, honored guests and officials, and fellow activists:
Welcome to the ANCA-Western Region’s amazing 2015 Annual Banquet. I guarantee that by the time you leave here, you will be moved, inspired; and you will remember what you felt on April 24th this year, just as the 600 activists who attended our Grassroots Conference this weekend felt, as they were motivated by all of our panelists to do more for the Cause.
While Eric Bogosian brought the remarkable history of Operation Nemesis into mainstream literature, Geoffrey Robertson and Karnig Kerkonian challenged us with new ways to secure Genocide reparations and fight for recognition of Artsakh through the legal system.
Matthew Karanian and Aris Nalci helped us to understand and seek our roots in Western Armenia, while Scout Tufankjian and Paul Von Blum reminded us of the sheer strength of our survival.
And our friends in elected office, Congressman Adam Schiff, Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian, and Glendale City Clerk Ardy Kassakhian highlighted our political potential and how to maximize it to counter the multimillions of dollars spent by the Turkish and Azeri lobbies to try to buy political influence.
Thank you to all the panelists, those who are both present tonight and those who are absent, whose enormous contributions made this year’s conference the best one yet.
Organizing events like Grassroots and this Banquet costs money, and we could not have done it right without the generosity and encouragement of Varant and Hoori Melkonian, who sponsored both events this year. Their enthusiasm for the work we do is infectious, and their unwavering and consistent support over many years has been a source of comfort as we dutifully face our financial challenges.
We also give special thanks to the Honorable Walter Karabian, who is going to surprise us with an announcement later tonight, to Ara and Natalya Abrahamian who sent in their generous donation even though they were unable to join us tonight, as well as the Nadjarian, Karapetian, Ghailian, Chraghchian, Sarian, Sepetjian, and Martirosyan families for their generosity in ensuring tonight’s success.
I also want to acknowledge the presence of the Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the United States, His Excellency Tigran Sarkisyan, and the Permanent Representative to the U.S. from the independent Republic of Artsakh, the Honorable Robert Avetisyan, both of whom flew all the way here from Washington DC to join us.
And finally, thanks to each and every one of you, the 1400 strong in this great hall, this year’s Banquet is the largest and most successful one we have ever had.
But this doesn’t just happen, of course. It is due in large part to the creative vision and stubborn determination of our Board Treasurer and Banquet Chair Steve Artinian, who set early goals and met them. He ably led a steering committee of past Banquet chairs and assembled a dedicated team of volunteers and committee members to ensure that every detail is covered. Thank you to all of you.
And none of this would be possible without the hard work and dedication of our wonderful staff not just now, but throughout the year, as they face every challenge with optimism, innovation and drive. Thank you to all of our Western Region staff and interns, but especially to our Executive Director Elen Asatryan and our Government Affairs Director Tereza Yerimyan, who work night and day to lead our offices and help us accomplish the goals we set for ourselves.
And what lofty goals they are. This year has been truly momentous in every way. As we commemorated the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide, we challenged ourselves and made great strides on every front.
We expanded the Western Region’s work into new areas in Arizona, Dallas, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, Washington state, and even right here in Sunland-Tujunga.
We are registering thousands of new Armenian-American voters through our Hye Votes initiative.
Our Annual Advocacy Day in Sacramento was unprecedented with 700 activists, as we collaborated with the newly-established Armenian Legislative Caucus founded by Assemblymembers Adrin Nazarian, Katcho Achadjian, and Scott Wilk.
We secured Genocide education in public schools by partnering with community college boards, school districts, and teachers’ unions to make presentations and provide our 30-minute film and companion book about Near East Relief to every school.
We continued to advocate for peace and self-determination in Artsakh, sending election monitors and lobbying for support of the Royce-Engel peace proposals to hold Azerbaijan accountable, finally, for its ongoing aggression.
But we cannot succeed alone. Just as 166,000 of us reignited the flame on April 24th, so we must continue. From our donors to our volunteers, from our voters to our educators, from our elected officials to our grassroots, we all have a role to play in harvesting our capital, promoting our vision, and taking the Armenian Cause to new heights of success.
So roll up your sleeves, open your hearts and your wallets, volunteer your time and expertise, stay active, and join us on this incredibly fulfilling journey as we honor our martyrs, demand accountability, protect Armenia and Artsakh, organize our communities, and enter the second century of our Nation’s rebirth with optimism, hope, pride and determination for both the Homeland and the Diaspora.
The March for Justice was not an end, but a beginning. The seeds have been planted, so onward we go.
Հայ Դատի Խորհրդաժողովը Խանդավառեց Հայ Դատին Համար Պայքարող Հարիւրաւորներ
ՍԵՆՉԸՐԻ ՍԻԹԻ, Քալիֆորնիա.- Հոկտեմբեր 23-24ին, աւելի քան 600 հայորդիներ, համայնքային ղեկավարներ, մտաւորականներ եւ Հայ Դատի գործիչներ մասնակցեցան Արեւմտեան Ամերիկայի Հայ Դատի յանձնախումբին կազմակերպած Հայ Դատի 3րդ խորհրդաժողովին, որ տեղի ունեցաւ «Հայաթ Ռիճընսի Սենչըրի Փլազա» պանդոկին մէջ։
Խորհրդաժողովը առիթ հանդիսացաւ օրէնքի մասնագէտներու, մտաւորականներու, արուեստագէտներու, քաղաքական անձնաւորութիւններու եւ գործիչներու, ինչպէս նաեւ՝ վերլուծաբաններու, քննարկելու համար Հայ Դատի տարբեր երեսները եւ ապագայ նախաձեռնութիւնները:
Ուրբաթ երեկոյեան, Հայ Դատի երկօրեայ խորհրդաժողովին բացումը կատարեց Արեւմտեան Ամերիկայի Հայ Դատի յանձնախումբի ատենապետ Նորա Յովսէփեանը, որ թուարկելէ ետք Ամերիկայի Հայ Դատի յանձնախումբին վերջին իրագործումներն ու նախաձեռնութիւնները՝ նշեց, որ այս խորհրդաժողովին նպատակն է միջոցներ գտնել՝ հայութեան պահանջատիրական ձայնը աւելի ազդու դարձնելու համար։
Ապա, կազմակերպիչ յանձնախումբէն Նորա Եագուպեան ներկայացուց խորհրդաժողովի «Շարժապատկեր Եւ Արուեստներ» խորագրեալ քննարկումին մասնակիցները՝ դերասան եւ հեղինակ Էրիք Պօղոսեան ու անոր հետ զրուցող թատերագիր եւ իրաւաբան Արամ Գույումճեան։
Քննարկման ընթացքին լուսարձակի տակ առնուեցան «Նեմեսիս» գործողութեան մասին հեղինակուած «Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide» հատորը եւ զայն պատրաստելու գործընթացը: Պօղոսեան դրուատեց յատկապէս Ամերիկայի Հայ Դատի յանձնախումբը, Հայոց Ցեղասպանութեան հարիւրամեակին առիթով իր տարած աշխատանքին համար։
Նշենք, որ Կիրակի օր կայացած Արեւմտեան Ամերիկայի Հայ Դատի տարեկան ձեռնարկին ընթացքին, Էրիք Պօղոսեանին շնորհուեցաւ «Արուեստներ» մրցանակը, Հայ Դատին ի նպաստ անոր տարած աշխատանքին համար։
Ապա, խորհրդաժողովի մասնակիցներուն ի պատիւ հաւաք մը տեղի ունեցաւ պանդոկի «Ալիմփիա» սրահին մէջ։
Նախքան Շաբաթ օրուան առաջին քննարկումը, խորհրդաժողովի կազմակերպիչ յանձնախումբի համաատենապետ իրաւաբան Այգ Տիքիճեան ներկայացուց քննարկման մասնակիցները, որոնցմէ մէկն էր կազմակերպիչ յանձնախումբի անդամ Նուշիկ Քարբանեանը։ Ան բացատրեց, թէ «Արեւմտեան Հայաստան Եւ Ծածուկ Հայեր» խորագրուած այս քննարկումին նպատակն է քննել Ցեղասպանութեան հետեւանքով յառաջացած ու 7 միլիոն հաշուող սփիւռքահայերուն, ինչպէս նաեւ Արեւմտեան Հայաստանի մէջ ապրող իսլամացուած հայերուն վիճակը։
Քննարկումին մասնակցեցան գրող, ճարտարագէտ եւ ֆիլմ արտադրող Արիս Նալճը, ծածուկ հայերու մասին շարք մը ուսումնասիրութիւններ կատարած Ճորճ Աղաճանեան եւ Ռաֆֆի Պետրոսեան։ Համադրումը կատարեց Հայաստանի եւ Արցախի մասին ճամբորդական ուղեցոյց պատրաստած հեղինակ, լուսանկարիչ եւ իրաւաբան Մեթիու Քարանեան: Վերջինս նաեւ ցուցադրեց Արեւմտեան Հայաստանէն իր տպաւորիչ լուսանկարներէն նմոյշներ։
Մինչ Նալճը շեշտեց, թէ Ցեղասպանութիւնը բացայայտ իրողութիւն է Թուրքիոյ քրտաբնակ շրջաններուն մէջ եւ թէ շատեր յանցաւոր կը զգան անոր համար, Աղաճանեան եւ Պետրոսեան շեշտը դրին իսլամացուած հայերուն նեցուկ կանգնելու կարեւորութեան վրայ։
Օրուան երկրորդ՝ «Արշաւ՝ Արդարութեան Համար» խորագրուած քննարկումը կեդրոնացաւ անցած Ապրիլ 24ի՝ 166,000 հոգինոց «Արդարութեան Քայլարշաւ»ին, նաեւ Ցեղասպանութեան հարիւրամեակին առիթով իրականացուած այլ ձեռնարկներու եւ Հայաստանի ու Արցախի պաշտպանութեան նպատակով առնուած քայլերուն վրայ։
Քննարկումին համադրումը կատարեց խորհրդաժողովի կազմակերպիչ յանձնախումբի համաատենապետ եւ «Ասպարէզ»ի անգլերէն բաժինի խմբագիր Արա Խաչատրեան, իսկ համադրումին մասնակցեցան Ամերիկայի Հայ Դատի յանձնախումբի վարչութեան անդամ Ռաֆֆի Համբարեան, Արեւմտեան Ամերիկայի Հայ Դատի յանձնախումբի ատենապետ իրաւաբան Նորա Յովսէփեան եւ Արեւմտեան Ամերիկայի Հայ Դատի յանձնախումբի գործադիր վարիչ Էլէն Ասատրեան։
Խորհրդաժողովի մասնակիցներուն թիւը առաւելագոյնին հասաւ Շաբաթ օրուան երրորդ քննարկումին։ «Վնասուց Հատուցման Ուղին» խորագրուած այս քննարկումին ընթացքին, իրաւաբան եւ մարդկային իրաւանց պաշտպան Ճեֆրի Ռապըրթսընին հետ հանրային զրոյց մը ունեցաւ Հայ իրաւաբանական միութեան վարչութեան անդամ ու վնասուց հատուցման հարցերու մասնագէտ իրաւաբան Գառնիկ Գրիգորեան։ Քննարկումին համադրողն էր Ամերիկայի Հայ Դատի յանձնախումբի վարչութեան անդամ իրաւաբան Սթիւ Տէտէեան, իսկ քննարկումի համահովանաւորողն էր Հայ իրաւաբանական միութիւնը: Անոր մասնակիցները ներկայացուեցան կազմակերպիչ յանձնախումբի անդամ Նորա Տէմիրճեանի կողմէ, որ նաեւ խօսեցաւ Մարդկային իրաւանց եւրոպական դատարանին մէջ Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւնը ուրացող Տողու Փերինչեքի «Փերինչեք՝ ընդդէմ Զուիցերիա» դատավարութեան մասին, որուն ընթացքին հայկական կողմը ներկայացնողներէն մէկն էր Ռապըրթսըն:
Գառնիկ Գրիգորեան շեշտեց, թէ Հայոց Ցեղասպանութեան վնասուց հատուցում ապահովելու ջանքերը պէտք է կատարուին համայն հայութեան անունով, իսկ Ռապըրթսըն մանրամասնութիւններ տուաւ «Փերինչեք՝ ընդդէմ Զուիցերիա» դատավարութեան մասին՝ նշելով, որ վերջնական վճիռին մէջ հայութեան ի նպաստ շարք մը կէտեր կային։ Ան նաեւ խօսեցաւ Արցախի ժողովուրդի ինքնորոշման արդար իրաւունքին մասին։
Նշենք, որ Կիրակի օրուան Հայ Դատի տարեկան ձեռնարկին ընթացքին, Ճեֆրի Ռապըրթսընին շնորհուեցաւ «Արդարութեան æատագով» մրցանակը, որուն արժանացաւ նաեւ Ամալ Քլունին, որ նմանապէս հայկական կողմը ներկայացուց «Փերինչեք՝ ընդդէմ Զուիցերիա» դատավարութեան ընթացքին։
Հայ Դատի խորհրդաժողովին «Հայերն Ու Քաղաքականութիւնը» խորագրեալ քննարկումին ընթացքին, Արեւմտեան Ամերիկայի Հայ Դատի յանձնախումբի կառավարական հարցերու վարիչ Թերեզա Երէմեան ներկայացուց մասնակիցները՝ քոնկրեսական Էտըմ Շիֆ, Քալիֆորնիոյ խորհրդարանի անդամ եւ քոնկրեսական ընտրութեանց թեկնածու Խաչօ Աշաճեան եւ Լոս Անճելըսի քաղաքապետական խորհուրդի անդամ Փօլ Գրիգորեան։ Համադրողն էր Կլենտէյլ քաղաքի քարտուղար եւ Քալիֆորնիոյ խորհրդարանի ընտրութեանց թեկնածու Արտաշէս Քասախեան։ Ընթացքին քննուեցաւ քաղաքական կեանքին մէջ աւելի աշխոյժ մասնակցութիւն բերելու կարեւորութիւնը, միաժամանակ լուսարձակի տակ առնուեցաւ վերջին տասնամեակներուն իրականցուած յատկանշական յառաջդիմութիւնը։
Իսկ վերջին քննարկումը նուիրուած էր Հայ Դատի քարոզչութեան համար նորարարական միջոցներ որդեգրելու կարեւորութեան։ Մասնակիցները ներկայացուեցան կազմակերպիչ յանձնախումբի անդամ Ճոզէֆ Քասաքեանի կողմէ, իսկ մասնակիցներն էին՝ փրոֆ. Փօլ վոն Պլում, լուսանկարիչ Սքաութ Թիւֆէնքճեան եւ Ամերիկայի Հայ Դատի յանձնախումբի գործադիր վարիչ Արամ Համբարեան, իսկ համադրողն էր՝ Հայ Դատի գործիչ եւ հաղորդակցութեանց մարզի մասնագէտ դոկտ. Լուսիկ Դանիէլեան։
Նշենք, որ խորհրդաժողովին ընթացքին ցուցադրուեցան նաեւ լուսանկարիչ Սքաութ Թիւֆէնքճեանի՝ «There is Only the Earth: Images from The Armenian Diaspora Project» հատորէն լուսանկարներ։ Հատորը նուիրուած է հայկական Սփիւռքին։
Խորհրդաժողովի փակման խօսքը արտասանեց կազմակերպիչ յանձնախումբի համաատենապետ Արա Խաչատրեան, որ շնորհակալութիւն յայտնեց բոլոր կազմակերպիչներուն, մասնակիցներուն եւ ներկաներուն, որոնք ապահովեցին այս նախաձեռնութեան յաջողութիւնը։ Ապա, ներկաները ընկերային հաճելի պահեր ունեցան՝ Արեւմտեան Ամերիկայի Հայ Դատի յանձնախումբի Արհեստավարժներու ցանցին կազմակերպած հաւաքոյթին մասնակցելով։
Նշենք, որ քննարկումի բոլոր մասնակիցները ստացան Մալխասի «Զարթօնք»ին անգլերէն թարգմանութենէն օրինակներ՝ նուիրուած «Սարդարապատ» գրատան կողմէ, ինչպէս նաեւ իւրաքանչիւրի ներկայացումէն լուսանկար մը՝ նուիրուած Սերոբ եւ Արշօ Պէյլերեաններուն կողմէ։
Խորհրդաժողովի հովանաւորներն էին՝ «Closet World»էն տէր եւ տիկին Վարանդ եւ Հուրի Մելքոնեանները, որոնք նաեւ ստանձնած էին Կիրակի օրուան Հայ Դատի ձեռնարկին հովանաւորութիւնը։