The Armenian Youth Federation-WR announced the recipients of its annual Nanor Krikorian Memorial Scholarship. The selected Armenian-American students will receive aid to help them along with their academic endeavors. The scholarship awards four high school students entering college and two current college students.
The recipients are: Shogakat Chilingarian from Cal Poly Pomona, Arev Dinkjian from Providence College in Rhode Island, Ani Der-Grigorian from Rose and Alex Pilibos High school, Areni Der-Grigorian from Rose and Alex Pilibos High School, Carla Kekejian from Rose and Alex Pilibos High School, and Lucy Dishoian from Fountain Valley High School.
The AYF Nanor Krikorian Scholarship has recently just hit its tenth year, making it a decade long tradition where talented, ambitious and community-oriented Armenian students apply for a chance to receive award money which will help them achieve their academic and communal goals. The first place winner for high school receives $1000, second place takes $500, and two third place winners receive $250 each. The two college winners receive $500 each. Winners are based on how their majors will benefit the Armenian community in the future, their role in the community, academic standing, and financial need.
I cant help but think who will take after the Armenian teachers, the Armenian political activists, or those who will lend a helping hand in Armenia and Karapakh, a concern raised by one of our current Nanor Krikorian Scholarship winners, Ani Der-Grigorian, showing that Armenian youth are aware of how important it to be determined and active in their community to take over these positions.
It is the current youth that stand as the next generation to fill in the empty spaces and keep the process of attaining a free and united Armenia in motion. As Karekin Njteh once said, If you wish to see the future of a people, look into the eyes of its youth. And so it seems that the eyes of our youth are glimmering with determination, for they are on track to make Armenia a prosperous nation.
Founded in 1933, the Armenian Youth Federation is the largest and most influential Armenian youth organization in the United States, working to advance the social, political, educational and cultural
awareness of Armenian American youth.
The second largest city in Armenia is in desperate need of aid. Almost 24 years ago Gyumri was struck by an earthquake of 7.1 magnitude killing upwards of 25,000 people and leaving thousands of families devastated and homeless. Over the years, dozens of communities, organizations and nations have given the Gyumri populace aid and funds, however, many parts of Gyumri still lie in ruins. This is in part due to the lack of local government support. Gyumri’s mayor and many of his oligarch counterparts have corrupted the region of Spitak, and have left the people unable to rebuild their lives.
The Orange County Ashod Yergat AYF chapter has taken up the task of raising awareness as well as collecting donations to rebuild and revive Gyumri. Last year the Orange County AYF held its first Gyumri event called Reaching Beyond Ruins; An exhibit of photos and videos of Gyumri, past and present.
Building upon the success of last year, on June 9th the OC Ashod Yergat AYF chapter will host its second annual Gyumri event, giving the public a chance to see the destruction more than two decades after the earthquake. The event will take place at The Coffee Table Lounge in Eagle Rock from 8pm to 12am. There will be music and an open bar, as well as an interactive display of photography and information documenting the effects of the 1988 earthquake on the current social and political situation in Gyumri. Admission is free for all, however the venue is 21+ after 10pm. We look forward to seeing everybody there supporting our brothers and sisters in Gyumri.
For more information regarding the event click here.
From June 1 – 3, 2012 the Armenian Youth Federation will be hosting its annual Educational Seminar at AYF Camp and invites any interested individuals to register. This year’s theme for the seminar is “By Any Means Necessary: Freedom Fighters Past and Present”. If interested in participating please submit your registration form to the AYF office (104 N.Belmont St. #313, Glendale, CA 91206) or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Payment must be made before or upon arrival at Camp. Applications due May 31st. Click Here to Register
Participation fee: $40
Friday: Video Presentation:
– Berj Parseghian, Tamar Baboujian, and Razmig Sarkisian: Clips from various movies and documentaries covering movements
from American Civil Rights, Irish Liberation, Latin American
socialist movements, and Vietnam anti-war movements.
Saturday: Lecture Series:
– Jovian Radheshwar: Indian independence from British Imperialism, issues with post-colonialism, and the
– Allen Yekikian: Armenian liberation in the 19th century, affect of cultural renaissance on Armenian freedom
– Nora Injeyan: Armenian liberation in the 1990’s, Soviet collapse, post-soviet issues, Diasporan advocacy
– Vache Thomassian and Gev Iskajyan: Haytoug discussion, power of the pen, Arab Spring and other
movements, open forum.
The Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Burbank Varak Chapter, Armenian National Committee of America- Burbank, Homenetmen Sipan Chapter and the Burbank High School (BHS) Armenian Club commemorated the 97th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide at Burbank City Hall on April 24.The commemoration began at 6:00 pm with a remembrance program, led by Arvin Setaghaian, BHS Armenian Club member, during the Burbank City Council meeting. Araz Majnoonian and Naira Markaradi, members from the BHS Armenian Club, read a Genocide survivors testimony. Immediately following, a genocide awareness video prepared by the BHS Armenian Club and Burbank Varak AYF Chapter was showcased. The video emphasized the significance of recognizing past genocide to prevent future crimes against humanity from occurring. ANCA Burbanks Annette Kargodorian shared the story of how her fathers family survived the Genocide, by escaping the massacres and persecutions against the Armenians in Marash, a city now located in Turkey.
Congressman Adam Schiff was also present during the program. When commending the efforts of the Armenian youth for their commitment to their culture, Schiff stated, We see the success of the Armenian community and we see the failure of the Ottoman Empire. Their effort to wipe out a people was a terrible, tragic but miserable failure. The Armenian community, phoenix like has risen, from the brink of destruction to be a source of great pride.
Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes presented the City Councils proclamation in recognition of the Armenian Genocide. As a small token of appreciation, ANCA-Burbank presented the City Council with photographs of Armenian churches and landmarks from Western Armenia.
More than 350 community members joined the candlelight vigil on the front steps of Burbank City Hall, which was hosted by Talar Kossakian, AYF Burbank Varak Chapter member. The candlelight vigil began with a presentation of the colors by the Homenetmen Burbank Sipan Chapter and the singing of the American and Armenian national anthems by Nayirie Balian, Burbank AYF Varak member.
Various performances and speeches were made by members of the AYF Burbank Varak Chapter and the BHS Armenian Club. Ani Ovasapyan, a senior at BHS, called on the youth to unite in pursuit of the Armenian Cause. AYF Burbank “Varak” member, Nazeli Khodabakhsh read the poem “Ghoghanj Yeghernakan” by Barouyr Sevag.
Rouben Krikourian who spoke on behalf of the AYF Burbank Varak Chapter, attested that When we see the community come together to commemorate the Genocide, we discover our strengths as a whole and through unity and perseverance we know that we will never give up until we attain justice.
Longtime ANCA activist Stepan Boyadjian served as the keynote speaker for the evening, highlighting the need to remember the atrocities of 1915 and the need to commemorate the victims. The ARF Burbank Gaidzag Badanegan Chapter ended the program with a group performance of Armenian songs.
Silva Kechichian, ANCA-B chair commented If we do not recognize these past atrocities as genocide, we as a world are failing to stop this vicious cycle. A crime unpunished is a crime encouraged.
On the 97th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide the Armenian Youth Federation rallied the community in protest, demanding the United States and Turkish governments officially recognize the Genocide. Demonstrators were rallying for justice for the 1.5 million Armenians slaughtered at the hands of Ottoman Turks, in the form of reparations and official recognition owed to the Armenian people.
The demonstration attracted thousands of people; young and old, Armenian and non-Armenian to the Turkish Consulate on Wilshire and Fairfax in Los Angeles. As the protest grew in size, the Los Angeles Police Department was forced to shut down parts of Wilshire blvd. to allow the mass of people to move into the street.
Current Glendale Unified School District Board Member and State Assembly candidate Greg Krikorian delivered a speech motivating the youth to continue the fight for Armenian Genocide justice, while AYF member Nora Injeyan passionately spoke about the universal impact of an unrecognized genocide in her keynote remarks.
A sentiment of betrayal and disappointment was felt by everyone in the crowd as on April 23rd, on the eve of the 97th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, President Obama delivered remarks at the U.S. Holocaust museum highlighting the Americas commitment to the prevention of genocide without ever mentioning the Armenian Genocide. President Obama, dont you know an unrecognized genocide negates any genocide prevention measures the White House takes? And so the cycle continues…
Recognition is not just an Armenian issue. We do not demand recognition to affirm the truth, we demand recognition because in ignoring the lessons of the Armenian Genocide, the cycle only continued with the Holocaust, Bosnia, Cambodia, Rwanda, and Darfur, said Injeyan. It is the new generation, the educated youth, who will lead this struggle regardless of background or political affiliation, because when the Armenian people stand united, no amount of immoral lobbying or money thrown at the Turkish denial machine can stop us.
AYF Chairperson David Arakelyan delivered his speech in Armenian, exclaiming that the rights of the Armenian people to their occupied homeland and proper recognition of the Genocide are not
negotiable. “Our generation will be the generation that will expand Armenia’s borders by adding Javakhk and Nakhichevan, Kars and Van, Mush and Ardahan, Ani and Karin to the independent Artsakh. And our generation will be the generation that will create a free, independent, and united Armenia,” added Arakelyan.
Arakelyan also spoke directly to Armenian President Serge Sarkissian demanding he remove Armenias signature from the Protocols, showing the Armenian people are not willing to make any concessions regarding the recognition of the Genocide.
Twelve year old Sevana Manoukian had a message for the Turkish government. In her letter addressed directly to the Republic of Turkey she says, You still have not said sorry for what you have done to the Armenian people. The only way Armenians and Turks can ever be friends is if the Turks say sorry for the Genocide and give us our lands back.
After reading her letter out loud to the crowd, Manoukian attempted to hand deliver it to the consulate, only to be shut out.
If the Turkish government truly has nothing to hide, why avoid a 12 year old girl and deny her entry? said one demonstrator at the scene.
As the Turkish government continues attempting to erase a part of its history, the stain of denial is still visible. The cycle will continue until all genocides are recognized, proving once and for all that no regime will ever get away with such heinous crimes against humanity.
Founded in 1933, the Armenian Youth Federation is the largest and most influential Armenian American youth organization in the United States, working to advance the social, political, educational and cultural awareness of Armenian-American youth.
The Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) recently participated in the three-day World Congress of the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) in Asunción, Paraguay. IUSY is the biggest political youth organization in the world, representing about 150 member organizations from more than 100 countries. IUSY is the youth wing of the Socialist International, bringing together the socialist, social democratic and labor political youth organizations from around the world that work to enhance principles of democratic socialism, equality, human rights and social justice.
The AYF, as a member organization, exercised its full member status by sending two delegates to the Congress. This year ARF Shant Student Association executive member Nora Kayserianand AYF South America executive member Guillermo Ferraioli Karamanian represented Armenia at the Congress. “This was an opportunity for AYF to share with the rest of the world’s leading youth organizations its mission and activities, while learning from and networking with other socialist parties from around the world,” stated Guillermo.
The World Congress entitled “An Equal World is Possible! Struggling for Democracy and Social Justice for all,” held its opening ceremony at the Parliament, where delegates listened to talks highlighting how the left in Latin America has taken the lead in the fight for democracy. Delegates also had the chance to meet the President of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo. The rest of the weekend was focused on the election of the new leadership, as well as the adoption of the IUSY Global Political Manifesto.
“It was inspiring to meet activists from around the globe who are fighting the same fight. While it is indeed an uphill struggle, we are not alone. Our struggle for democracy and social justice is one of hope and resistance and as long as we continue to fight for what we believe in, we will see change,” said Nora Kayserian.