GLENDALE–On the morning of Thursday, October 8, a group of 7th and 8th grade Chamlian students had the rare experience to witness history, activism, pride, and struggle in action.
The students visited 34 Armenian Youth Federation protestors in the 56th hour of a hunger strike that was scheduled to last until midnight the following day. The protestors, congregated across from the Armenian Consulate in Glendale, were expressing their outrage at the planned signing of the Armenian-Turkish Protocols, which was signed by the Armenian and Turkish foreign ministers in Switzerland on Saturday.
Chamlian students were able to provide encouragement and support, and join in the struggle of the protestors for the hour-long visit. Beyond a learning experience, this was truly an emotionally charged environment in which the young students were able to appreciate their cultural pride and understanding of what it means to truly take a stand for something one believes in. Many of the protesters were Chamlian alumni, a fact that particularly resonated with the students.
The group was accompanied by Chamlian Principal Vazken Madenlian and their Armenian teachers Ani Berberian, Vahan Mehrabian, Saro Nazarian, and Arax Zarzavatjian. In his remarks, Nazarian who spoke on behalf of the teachers, highlighted that this experience gave the students a great sense of their rights of expression. He mentioned that this protest is one of many steps in the long journey ahead. Madenlian addressing the AYF protestors and the Chamlian students expressed his reassurance in knowing that the next generation will continue to speak out in the face of adversity