Hundreds march in honor of murdered 20 year-old Zaruhi Petrosyan
Photo Credit: Nora Yacoubian
HOLLYWOOD, CAOver two hundred men and women gathered in Little Armenia on Sunday, January 30, 2010, for a march to end violence against women, organized by the United Human Rights Council of the Armenian Youth Federation.
Activists marched in memory of Zaruhi Petrosyan, a twenty year old mother who was brutally murdered by her husband and mother-in-law in October and to demand the just prosecution of all responsible parties.
The march took place despite incessant morning rain, just hours before a solidarity protest was scheduled to take place in front of the Armenian Prosecutor-Generals office in Yerevan. Angered Armenians in the Diaspora and within Armenia demand that the government pass comprehensive domestic violence legislation and work to prevent and punish familial violence.
Unfortunately it took this terrible incident to truly wake us up and acknowledge the magnitude effects of domestic violence on our people, stated UHRC Chairperson Sanan Shirinian. While the death of Zaruhi Petrosyan is a great tragedy, we must see her life and her suffering as a desperate call to bring about change within our social structures, change within our mindsets and change within Armenias legal system.
Narine Jallatyan, a representative of the UHRC, spoke about the lessons Armenians can learn from womens movements throughout history. She stressed that any problems plaguing Armenia are also problems of the Diaspora. Jallatyan urged the communities to take action to address domestic violence in the homeland and locally as well.
Representing the Armenian Relief Society Western Region, Nyree Derderian highlighted the importance of empowering women. She commended the AYF for their efforts in bringing attention to one of the most critical social issues facing Armenian women. Linda Qassabian of the YWCA of Glendale spoke about her emotional experiences counseling victims of domestic violence for the past 3 years. She stated that she continues to be saddened by the number of Armenian women that enter the shelter.
During the march, activists paused to read aloud testimonials from victims of domestic violence in Armenia. These emotionally charged stories conveyed the message that the violent behavior against women can no longer be overlooked and no longer tolerated.
Many refuse to confront the issue because they dont want to break up the strong family unit, explained UHRC member Nora Kayserian. What they fail to realize, however, is the psychological consequences that violence causes in families. When violence becomes part of the daily lives of families, children begin to view it as normal behavior. Growing up in such a hostile environment is likely to cause a child to resort to violent behavior during their adult years, thus resulting in a cycle of violence.
This is a small step that we have made together to ensure justice for one innocent victim, Zaruhi, who will remain in our hearts. This is also a small step to raise awareness and bring change in our communities here and in our homeland, said marcher Gev Iskajyan.
The United Human Rights Council (UHRC) is a committee of the Armenian Youth Federation. By means of action on a grassroots level, the UHRC works toward exposing and correcting human rights violations of governments worldwide, and aims to foster dialogue and collaboration between peoples who share this common vision.
It is no secret that the year 2010 was one of scandal and controversy surrounding incidents of abuse in the Armenian army. A spate of hazings, assaults, and non-combat violence in both Armenia and Artsakh were reported on heavily in the media.
Such occurrences are cause for concern for any conscientious and patriotic Armenian. Not only is it a national tragedy anytime an Armenian soldier, for any reason, is wounded or killed but these developments have also raised the specter of disillusionment toward the country’s military institutions among segments of the Armenian public.
Unfortunately, an incompetent administration in Yerevan has failed to root out these problems adequately. At the end of the day, it is the state which is responsible for the condition of its soldiers. Rather than a few marginal punishments of officers and a penchant toward military celebrations, the fundamental reforms and atmosphere needed to prevent such misdeeds from ever occurring seem to be lacking.
In this context, it is incumbent upon us, the Armenian people, to stand with the men fortified on the frontlines for the protection and security of our homeland. We must reinforce and strengthen the Republic of Armenia’s army by lending every means of support at our disposal.
Coupled with this is the need to reaffirm our sense of unity in regards to the armed forces, while at the same time calling for a truly democratic, people’s army in Armenia; an army which unites both soldiers and society around the concept of moral virtue and sacrifice for the homeland; an army which holds its figures accountable and does not tolerate any form of abuse; an army which stresses sacrificing for the nation above all other values; and an army which strives to empower its soldiers around a true sense of brotherhood and leading by example, consciously imparting the heroic traditions of our history (such as the liberation struggle of Artsakh) as the guiding light of its character.
It is the obligation of all Armenians to ensure the well-being and high morale of our soldiers. We must internalize the true spirit of solidarity required in those critical junctures of battle and secure it for all seasons.
2011 must be the year of ensuring our nation’s security. The creation of an impenetrable harmony among army and nation is a critical component toward this end.
In memory of 20 year old Zaruhi Petrosyan who was tragically beaten to death by her husband and mother-in-law on October 1, 2010.
In solidarity with the men and women in Armenia who are dedicated to make change within the country.
So that victims of domestic violence, locally and abroad, know that there is hope.
To demand that the Government of Armenia take immediate action to prevent and punish violence against women.
The UHRC calls on women and men of all ages to join us on January 30th and take this small step towards eradicating domestic abuse.
When: January 30, 2011 at 1:30 PM
Where: Rose & Alex Pilibos Armenian School, 1614 N. Alexandria Hollywood, CA
What: A march in memory of 20 year old Zaruhi Petrosyan who was tragically beaten to death by her husband and mother-in-law on October 1st of 2010. The march will also aim towards demanding that the Armenian government take action toward violence against women and to give victims of domestic violence hope.
One of the initial stages of job hunting, come learn how to create a working resume and cover letter!
We will give you tips on how to create a resume that does the best job of highlighting your expertise as well as makes you stand out from the crowd.
Additionally, we will focus on constructing a cover letter that enhances the story your resume is telling. The two tools work hand in hand. Recruiters on average have less than 30 seconds to look over a resume. It’s important that the one pages speak volumes of you.
Please join us in learning more about the steps of getting your foot in the door in the job market.
When: Saturday, January 29, 2010 from 12 PM
Where: Glendale Youth Center, 211 W. Chestnut Glendale, CA
What: Workshop to learn how to create a working resume and cover letter to give you better opportunities in the job market.
Local Armenian Youth Federation members were busy chopping onions and stirring boiling mamounia Sunday morning as a part of a fundraiser for an orphanage in Ghapan, Armenia.
A joint effort between the Glendale and South Bay chapters, Sunday’s breakfast at the Armenian Cultural Foundation’s Glendale Youth Center was the second year the groups joined together to help Glendale’s sister city.
Last year’s breakfast raised around $1,000, according to Chair of the Armenian Youth Federation’s South Bay Chapter Armen Karapetyan.
“They were able to use the money to buy a much-needed car to transport the children to the hospital and for other necessities,” the 23-year-old said.
This year the 20 volunteers fed 50 community members, including other organization members, parents and church patrons from next door.
The $500 raised Sunday will be a general fundraiser for the same orphanage until the group finds a specific item or program to earmark it for, Karapetyan said.
The volunteers in the room ranged in age from 17 to their early 20s, and all had been involved with Armenian Youth Federation in some fashion for the last several years.
Both groups used the social-networking website Facebook to invite their friends to the breakfast.
“It’s such a good cause for the children that we wanted to do a joint fundraiser, and we had 60 to 70 people RSVP online,” Karapetyan said.
The breakfast is the first fundraiser the Glendale chapter of the new year. Other events this year will include another joint fundraiser with other Armenian Youth Federation chapters for an annual concert, and to raise money for its triannual publication Haytoug, said Social Committee Chair Arpa Hatcbanian.
After finishing breakfast, Hatcbanian was looking for local shelters to donate the leftover food.
“The food was great, and everyone loved it,” said the 18-year-old Glendale Community College student. “Now we get to give back to our community here, too.”