Los Angeles, CA – The Armenian Youth Federation Western United States Garo Madenlian Public Affairs Office announced that close to 5000 protestors gathered at the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles Saturday afternoon demanding Turkish recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
The youthful crowd of protestors picketed in front of the Turkish Consulate spanning across two blocks of Wilshire Blvd. With such signs as “Genocide Unpunished is Genocide Encouraged,” and “Turkey stop historical Revisionism.”
“The Canadian government officially recognized the Armenian Genocide earlier this week,” said Sevag Garabetian, Director of the Protest. “We are thankful for their ability to classify truth and justice above special interests and are hopeful that our government, here in the US, will follow suit shortly,” explained Garabetian.
About two hours after marching across the Turkish Consulate, the protestors gathered in front of the Turkish Consulate, where Vicken Sosikian, chairman of the AYF Western Region addressed the crowd from atop of a cargo truck, make shift stage.
Emphasizing on the fact that over 80% of the gathered protestors at the Turkish Consulate were youth, Sosikian said that this generation, along with future generations of Armenian American youth will continue its demands for the return of Western Armenia, proper reparations, and justice.
The Turkish Consulate protest, which has been organized for the last thirty years attracted all major broadcast and print media and concluded with the singing of the Armenian National Anthem.
The success of the Turkish Consulate protest can be credited to a committee of about 10 AYF members planning the protest for over five months and over 100 AYF members helping with crowd control,” said Marie Minassian, chairperson of the Protest Organizing Committee. “The Turkish Consulate protest is one of many forms of political activism organized by the AYF throughout the course of the year,” explained Minassian.
The Armenian Youth Federation Western United States Garo Madenlian Public Affairs Office announced Monday that over 700 AYF members, supporters, and friends gathered on March 27th to celebrate the 71st anniversary of the AYF.
Entertainment for the celebration-dinner dance, held at the Pasadena Armenian Center, was provided by Harout Pamboukjian and Karnig Sarkissian.
The dinner dance not only served the purpose of celebrating the AYFís 71st anniversary, but also as the AYF Central Executiveís annual fundraiser. Proceeds from the evening as well as contributions from supporters will be used to fund the AYFís upcoming Armenian Genocide recognition activities including the annual AYF protest at the Turkish Consulate.
“We are encouraged and motivated by the numerous donations and large turnout of the evening,” said Vicken Sosikian, chairman of the AYF Western Region. “Our 71st anniversary is a celebration of our past accomplishments and a reaffirmation of our pledge to work for the Armenian Cause, with renewed strength and determination,” said Sosikian.
The Armenian Youth Federation Western United States Garo Madenlian Public Affairs Office announced Monday that on Saturday April 24th the AYF will organize a large-scale protest in front of the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles.
“Our protest will not only demand justice from the Turkish government this year but from the US government as well,” said Sevag Garabetian, Director of the 2004 Protest. “All of AYFís programs, projects, and events serve this great cause either directly or indirectly,” explained Garabetian.
The protest, which has taken place now for close to thirty years, is where thousands of Armenian-Americans, particularly Armenian youth converge to demand justice for the Armenian Genocide.
“The lives and memories of our 1.5 million ancestors can never be replaced,” said Vicken Sosikian, chairman of the AYF Western Region. “However we will relentless pursuit our just rights to the international recognition and condemnation of the Genocide, to our lands in Western Armenia, and the proper allocations of reparations to the Armenians,” explained Sosikian.
More information about the details of the protest will be made available shortly.
The Armenian Youth Federation Western United States Garo Madenlian Public Affairs Office announced Thursday the launching of four new AYF websites.
The websites will serve as the web portal for the Youth Corps Program, the AYF Summer Camp, Haytoug, the official publication of the AYF Western United States, and the rest of AYF’s programs and projects.
“The new websites will improve the communication process between the AYF and our community of web users,” said Raffi Semerdjian, Administrator of Public Relations for the AYF. “The new websites will also be the medium through which information about our major programs will be readily available to our users, including applications for Summer Camp and Youth Corps,” explained Semerdjian.
The new websites can be found at AYFwest.org, AYFYouthCorps.org, AYFCamp.org, and Haytoug.org.
The Armenian Youth Federation Garo Madenlian Public Affairs Office announced Friday the launch of the Youth Corps High School Senior Sponsorship program.
By funding full participation expenses, this initiative will provide the opportunity for one qualifying high school senior to participate in the Youth Corps Program this summer. The Youth Corps Central Council will focus on the applicantís displayed community activism, academic merit, and the quality of his/her essay.
“Serving Armenian students and helping our homeland is a priority for the AYF,” said Director of the Youth Corps Program, Myrna Douzjian. “By introducing the Youth Corps High School Senior Sponsorship we will be able to achieve both of these goals, while providing yet another Armenian youth the opportunity to serve our homeland,” explained Douzjian.
The AYF Youth Corps Program, established in 1994 provides Armenian youth the opportunity to not only visit Armenia and Artsakh, but over a five week period help our brethren through
reconstruction efforts and by teaching our peers basic English language and computer skills.
“The Nanor Krikorian Scholarship and now the Youth Corps High School Senior Sponsorship are both results of the AYFís efforts to serve the Armenian youth both in education and servitude to our homeland,” said chairman of the AYF Western United States, Vicken Sosikian. “This is yet another form of investment we make in the future of our community,” explained Sosikian.
Applicants must be 18 years or older by July 1, 2004 and must have maintained a minimum 3.0 GPA. Further requirements for the sponsorship as well as the Youth Corps Application can be downloaded at http://www.AYFwest.org/yc/.
The Armenian Youth Federation “Garo Madenlian” Public Affairs Office announced Tuesday that it has begun accepting applications for the Nanor Krikorian Scholarship.
The scholarship focuses mainly on the applicants’ community service and extra curricular activities that benefit the Armenian community. Applicants must be graduating high school seniors of Armenian descent who will continue on to a college or university upon graduation.
“As students ourselves, we also feel the difficulties of paying for a college education,” said Ani Garibyan, coordinator of the scholarship. “The Nanor Krikorian Scholarship will help qualifying students alleviate the financial hardships associated with being a first year college student,” explained Garibyan.
The scholarship awarded close to $3000 to nine students last June during its first year in existence. This year the AYF intends to increase its award total to $3500 dispersed among seven qualifying students.
“We view the Nanor Krikorian scholarship not only as financial assistance to its recipients, but more so as an investment in the future of our community,” said Vicken Sosikian Chairman of the AYF Western Region. “We hope to see the recipients of the scholarship become the future leaders who will continue to work for the Armenian Cause,” explained Sosikian.
Scholarship applications have been distributed to 16 Southern California high schools and can be downloaded at the AYF website at www.AYFwest.org. The deadline to submit applications is April 1, 2004.
The scholarship is named after a young AYF activist, Nanor Krikorian, whose life was cut short by cancer.
Montebello – Close to 1000 Armenian Youth Federation members, alumni, and supporters attended the AYF Montebello “Vahan Cardashian” chapterís 45th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, January 31 at the Baghramian Hall in Montebello.
AYF alumni from as far back as 1958 were present at the event, where entertainment was provided by the Hosharian Brothers, the AYF “All Stars”, the John Mekenian Band, and performances of traditional Armenian music.
“The success of the evening was evident by the reunion of AYF alumni and the establishment of closer relationships between past and present AYF members,” explained Marie Minassian, member of the Montebello “Vahan Cardashian” chapter, and one of the many who worked to make the celebration a success. “The presence of the many young individuals shows our alumni that the work they did in their time is being continued with even more activism today.”
“I was counting the days for the event and it was the first time I showed up before eight oíclock for a dance,” commented Greg Krekorian, member of the Glendale Board of Education and alumnus of the Hartford Connecticut “Ararat” AYF chapter. “I encourage all AYF alumni to support AYFís programs,” continued Krekorian.
“In marking the Montebello “Vahan Cardashian” chapterís 45th anniversary, we not only celebrate the AYFís successes thus far, but also we look forward to expanding the reach of our efforts to serve the Armenian youth in the coming years,” said Vicken Sosikian, chairman of the AYF.
The Armenian Youth Federation Garo Madenlian Public Affairs Office announced Friday that the AYF has finished developing and will soon begin implementing its “Little Armenia Beautification Program.”
Implementation of the program, which consists of five different projects, will begin in March and continue throughout the year. Projects being planned include tree planting, erection of an Armenian cultural sculpture, placement of trash receptacles throughout major streets in Little Armenia, volunteer assistance to business owners who wish to beautify their properties and a large scale community clean up.
“Feedback received from the community last year about our Little Armenia Clean Up encouraged us to renew and expand our efforts to help Little Armenia,” said Raffi Semerdjian Administrator of Public Relations for the AYF. “We look forward to working with Council member Eric Garcettiís office once again and are hopeful that together with the help of the Armenian American community all of our projects can become a reality,” explained Semerdjian.
The September 6th AYF Little Armenia Clean Up last year, attracted 400 volunteers who collected more than 23,000 pounds of trash according to the City of Los Angeles Sanitation Department. Days after the clean up the AYF, in cooperation with local businesses, was able to erect about 40 “Welcome to Little Armenia” light post banners.
“As an area of the city which bears the name of our homeland, itís crucial for Little Armenia to look clean and presentable to the public at large,” said Vicken Sosikian chairman of the AYF Western Region. “Service to our communities is a part of the AYF mission. With the Little Armenia Beautification Program we will not only be able to serve the Armenian American community of Little Armenia, but the city of Los Angeles as well.
Glendale – The Armenian Youth Federation Central Executive announced Monday that it will begin accepting applications for the 2004 Youth Corps summer program.
This year, the AYF marks the 10th anniversary of the Youth Corps program. The program was initiated to reach out to the war torn villages of Karabakh after the cease fire.
“This type of service to the homeland is unsurpassable,” commented Myrna Douzjian, Director of the Youth Corps program. “The mere fact that participants have the opportunity to feel the dirt, breathe the air, and drink the water of their land while doing their part in rebuilding Artsakh is something very special and memorable,” she further elaborated.
Every year since 1994, the AYF Youth Corps summer program determines a feasible need of the people of Artsakh and sets out to cultivate that need by sending a group of Armenian youth to the relevant areas for the span of five weeks.
“Iíve taken part in the Youth Corps program four times already and Iíd have to say that last yearís program was among the most rewarding of experiences,” explained Tro Tchekidjian, AYF Central Executive member and past Youth Corps participant. “We facilitated a Paraplegic center in Stepanakert with computers and set up an informational website for the center in addition to assisting with the construction of three new rooms for the center.”
All Armenian youth are encouraged to apply to this exceptional summer experience. Applications can be found online at www.AYFwest.org.