PASADENA, CA – History will come alive at the Pasadena Armenian Center on Washington Avenue on Friday, April 16th when the film Ravished Armenia is shown in a free screening sponsored by local Armenian American groups. The screening of the film, which was once thought lost forever, will feature remarks by noted screenwriter and film director Eric Nazarian. The film chronicles the life of Arshaluys (Aurora) Mardiganian and her experiences during the Armenian Genocide.
“The Pasadena Hamazkayin, AYF and ANC Chapters are proud to have united to invite all residents in the City of Pasadena to come and view ‘Ravished Armenia’ at the Pasadena Armenian Center on April 16th,” remarked Pasadena ANC Executive Director Ishkhan Boghossian. “The film is a genuine piece of American history. And while we once thought this film was lost forever, we now have a chance to see the remarkable work of Aurora Mardiganian, a true Armenian American hero.” The film screening will be held on April 16th at 7:30pm at the Pasadena Armenian Center located at 740 East Washington Boulevard.
The book Ravished Armenia, by Aurora Mardiganian, (also called The Auction of Souls) was published three years after the Armenian Genocide commenced in 1915. The early publication of the book would clearly make it one of the first Genocide survivor memoirs to appear in English. Within months of arriving in the US, Mardiganian was starring as herself for $15 a week in a film adaptation and reenacting horrifying scenes from the Armenian Genocide.
The film “Ravished Armenia” was directed by veteran filmmaker Oscar Apfel. According to historians and film experts, the film garnered considerable attention in 1919 when it was first shown and was used to help raise money for Near East Relief to assist survivors of the Armenian Genocide. However, for many years “Ravished Armenia” was thought to be a lost film. Over the past two decades portions of the film have been rediscovered, and Richard D. Kloian of the Armenian Genocide Resource Center has produced an enhanced and edited 24-minute version to which he has carefully added an historical introduction, descriptive subtitles, well-chosen music, and a slideshow of production stills to create an important document.
The “Ravished Armenia” film screening is being presented through the efforts and leadership of the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Association Pasadena ‘Shahan Shahnour’ Chapter and the Pasadena Armenian Youth Federation ‘Nigol Touman’ Chapter, with the support of the Pasadena Armenian National Committee.
Individuals interested in learning more about the film screening of “Ravished Armenia” at the Pasadena Armenian Center are encouraged to contact the Pasadena ANC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Pasadena ANC advocates for the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of the areas Armenian American community and promotes increased Armenian American civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels.
Revolutionary Weekend in Fresno Educates and Inspires
AYF Chairman Arek Santikian talks about the AYF's vital role in the Armenian American community during the weekend's closing celebration.
FRESNO, CA- The legends of heroic Armenian freedom fighters from a century ago came to life in Central California during the Armenian Youth Federation’s Revolutionary Weekend.
Men and women who took up arms to protect their compatriots from the savagery of the Ottoman Turks were the focus of educationals, lectures, and talks organized by the Fresno Kevork Chavoush Chapter.
Dozens of AYF members, alumni, and members of the community-at-large had the chance to attend the events, learn chapters from Armenian History, and celebrate the survival of the Armenian Nation.
The Revolutionary Weekend commemorated the 89th anniversary of the assassination of Talaat Pasha, one of the three architects of the Armenian Genocide.
In his bid to avenge the murders of one-and-a-half million Armenian men, women, and children, Soghomon Tehlirian tracked down Talaat and killed him in broad daylight.
German courts acquitted Tehlirian after a trial that chronicled Talaat’s murderous and cruel directives and the attempt to erase the Armenian people from the map of the world.
Longtime Fresno educator and retired principal Meher Chekerdemian presented Tehlirian’s story including memories of the Armenian hero’s last days in Fresno.
Chekerdemian, a member of the ARF ‘Tehlirian’ chapter, was a young AYF member when Tehlirian settled in Fresno and recalled the Armenian hero’s passion for justice and human rights. Chekerdemian also reminisced about Tehlirian as an individual, a man whose act of vengeance and passion for his people would inspire generations to come.
Also during the weekend, pledging members to the Kevork Chavoush Chapter were administered their oath and welcomed to the organization. AYF Western Region Chairman Arek Santikian told the new members that they are the ones who will continue the fight, educating, engaging, and pursuing the Armenian Cause.
Revolutionary Weekend, dedicated to Fedayees, the freedom fighters and revolutionaries, ended with an AYF Revolutionary Song Night featuring Karnig Sarkissian – the popular performer whose name is synonymous with patriotic Armenian songs.
Longtime AYF member Sevag Jierian, chair of the Kevork Chavoush Chapter, said the weekend was both educational and inspirational.
“Listening to the educationals, interacting with alumni, and hearing the real-life stories of the people we sing about was amazing,” said Jierian. “It’s amazing to imagine that these legendary stories that are handed down in our history are all factual and the stories of our heroes are of mythic proportion. It’s a reality check.”
Thousands across California will converge on the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles (6300 Wilshire Boulevard) on Saturday April 24 at 4pm to demonstrate for an end to Turkey’s 95 year campaign of genocide denial and the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the United States.
Organized by the Armenian Youth Federation, this year’s protest will come on the 95th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and will converge with global expectations on both the US House of Representatives and President Barack Obama to finally hold Turkey accountable for its crimes against the Armenian people.
On March 4, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives voted to approve a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide. H.Res.252.
The resolution, which calls on Obama to recognize the Genocide, passed committee with a narrow margin and waits to be introduced to the full House of Representatives for a final vote.
H.Res.252 has faced unprecedented opposition by the Turkish government, which has mounted a multi-pronged campaign to stifle the bill.