"The Armenian genocide was the systematic killing and deportation of Armenians by the Turks of the Ottoman Empire. In 1915, during World War I, leaders of the Turkish government set in motion a plan to expel and massacre Armenians. By the early 1920s, 1.5 million Armenians were dead, with many more forcibly removed from the country. This was a premeditated and systematic campaign to exterminate an entire people. However, the Turkish government still does not acknowledge the scope of these events"
If you want to learn more about why it started, details of what happened and the aftermath, visit:
i am a descendent of genocide survivors, my great grandparents on both sides. one story in particular has resonated with me- the story i can hear my grandmother's voice telling me at the dinner table, the story that is told in my great uncle's memoir on his experience through the genocide as a 7 year old boy. this is the book in the background of this page and appears often in my work: my name is avak and i survived.
as the genocide began, avak's father, my great grandfather, fled to germany due to word spreading that all men were being taken away and killed. it was soon after that my great grandmother and her three children were put into the death march across the syrian desert. along the way, avak had to say goodbye to his two younger siblings who couldn't withstand the trip. avak and his mother survived the march.
ten years later, my great grandmother and great grandfather got word that one another were still alive. they reconnected and settled in the united states where they had three more children, one of which was my grandmother.
I simply wouldn't be alive today in the chance that my great grandmother didn't survive or they didn't eventually find one another. i am a result of miraculous chance and bravery- i hold a responsibility to be their voice. this is a story of strength, determination, faith, love and hope.
these stories live in every armenian family.
why is spreading awareness today so important?
there is current action by its perpetrators to finish what they started in 1915. they still don't recognize it as a genocide to this day. it was just recently recognized by the us, almost 105 years later.
the current situation, resources and how you can help:
today, the fear of history repeating itself has now become a reality in the current attacks and protests against armenians, all amidst a global pandemic that is still hitting armenia very hard. ppe factories have been struck, villages bombed, troops killed, hate crimes committed globally, and significant fear instilled by the chants of "death to the armenian": words that fill armenians with nostalgia, pain and anxiety.
on july 12th 2020, azerbaijan took unprovoked action against armenia in an attack known to be the largest violation of the un's ceasefire agreement. this is an ongoing conflict over the land of artsakh- territory where armenians have always lived. this attack was over the border and targeted armenian civilians.
On september 27th, A war between azerbaijan and armenia broke out over the land of artsakh. the large and powerful militaries of turkey (the perpetrators of the genocide) and syria (including isis members) are now aiding the attack against armenia. armenia does not want war; we just want to keep our land that has been taken from us for much too long without having a say. the casualties, bombing of civilians homes, suffering and fear of our extinction as an ethnicity/country grows higher every day.