A special partnership between the Armenian Bar Association and BASIS.ed to develop Armenian Genocide-related educational studies in Arizona’s public schools climbed to new heights on April 29, 2019. With the 104th anniversary of the Genocide fresh in mind, approximately 50 social science teachers from the highest-ranked network of public charter schools in America gathered together to hear a unique and constructive message of how to incorporate lessons about the Genocide into their students’ broader understanding of world history.
The teacher-training program was held at the BASIS flagship campus in Phoenix and was masterfully led by pioneer educator Professor Richard G. Hovannisian. With deeply personal reflections about his own all-American upbringing in the San Joaquin Valley during the Great Depression – when the stories of the Armenian people’s terrible trauma went largely untold – Professor Hovannisian explained to the teachers that there are certain basic and broad themes of instruction into which the Armenian Genocide may comfortably be accommodated.
For example, whether drawing from his childhood memories about the isolation of his ethnic identity or tying together the demonization and dehumanization of various victim groups by their oppressors, Hovannisian made a compelling case of how much more alike, rather than dissimilar, the Armenian experience is to other crimes against humanity and recurring episodes of prejudice. With nodding heads and knowing eyes, the BASIS teachers and administrators absorbed his advice with appreciation and expressed their poise to take back to their classes the lessons they had learned.
Richard Hovannisian highlighted his presentation with attention-grabbing video clips of Genocide survivors which brought the immediacy of the subject matter into clear focus for the BASIS teachers. Nearly 50 years ago, Hovannisian initiated a ground-breaking oral history project aimed at capturing survivor testimonies and his collection of more than 1,000 accounts are now housed at U.S.C.’s Shoah Foundation where they are being digitized and studied, both in the context of Armenians’ unique experiences and also through the wider lens of shared experiences with other groups.
In a lively question-and-answer session which followed the program, the BASIS educators probed with interest and departed with an understanding of how to welcome the Armenian Genocide into the learning lives of their students. Thanks to Professor Hovannisian, every question was met with an uncomplicated and relatable answer.
Professor Hovannisian is widely known for his legacy of institutionalizing Armenian history and genocide scholarship at U.C.L.A. He has lectured in nearly 40 countries, more than 150 colleges and universities, and more than 1000 public lectures and forums on six continents. Hovannisian has served as a consultant to the California State Board of Education, authoring the chapter on the Armenian Genocide in the State’s Social Studies Model Curriculum on Human Rights and Genocide. He has also served as a consultant to the Facing History and Ourselves Organization, assisted in the preparation of its resource book on the Armenian Genocide, and introduced the subject in numerous teacher-training institutes and summer workshops.
“We often struggle with how best to teach our children about one of the darkest pages of our people’s history and its long-lasting consequences of trans-generational trauma and resilience,” said Lucy Varpetian, Co-Vice Chair of the Armenian Bar Association. “The survivors themselves may have been hesitant to share openly their stories as a guard against passing on the heavy burden of their Genocide memories. It’s important to forge these relationships with educational institutions like BASIS so that we can learn to impart information about the Genocide to our children in more inclusive and universal ways.”
For four years, the Armenian Bar and BASIS have worked together to open and broaden the avenues of Armenian Genocide instruction in many Arizona high schools and middle schools. Following the teachers’ workshop, a second Genocide commemoration program took place, drawing a more diverse audience of student families and members of the local Armenian community including Father Zacharia Saribekyan of Scottsdale’s St. Apkar Armenian Church, of Scottsdale’s St. Apkar Armenian Church.
New York—The Armenian Bar Association’s New York/New Jersey/Connecticut Chapter hosted its annual Public Servants Dinner at the Yale Club in midtown Manhattan on April 25, 2019, where it conferred its coveted Public Servant Award on two prominent public servants: Robert H. Tembeckjian, the Administrator & Counsel to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, and Rod J. Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General of the United States Department of Justice. The event, which was sold out well in advance, was attended by prominent members of the practicing Bar, over 70 judges of the appellate and trial courts, over 20 present and former federal and state prosecutors, and more than 25 other public servants at the international, national, state and local levels, including numerous bar association presidents.
“The Armenian Bar Association is committed to promoting public service, recognizing those who devote their professional lives to serving the public and embody the best qualities for such noble endeavor. Tonight, we acknowledge the distinguished lifetime achievements of two of our own, Robert H. Tembeckjian and Rod J. Rosenstein, as Public Servants of the Year for 2019. With the amazing co-chairs and committee members we look forward to carrying on this grand tradition in the years ahead,” said organizing committee co-chair Souren A. Israelyan.
The Public Servant Award was first conferred on Robert H. Tembeckjian, who has been a devoted public servant working at the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct since 1976, and since 2003 has been serving as the Commission’s Administrator & Counsel. With a Master of Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Mr. Tembeckjian was a Fulbright Scholar who went to Armenia in 1994. There, he taught constitutional law and ethics at the American University of Armenia and Yerevan State University. Both honorees of the evening delivered substantive, timely and groundbreaking speeches.
Mr. Tembeckjian called attention to the need of our country’s leadership to show compassion and empathy to the plight of refugees and immigrants, as he recalled how his grandparents, survivors of the Armenian Genocide, arrived in America as undocumented aliens. He described the circumstances by which his grandmother eventually was allowed to remain in the United States and become a United States citizen: “. . . my illegal immigrant grandmother was reprieved by a government that understood it could both uphold the law and postpone its consequences for humanitarian reasons; a government that took time to examine and differentiate among the many who sought its refuge, that did not invoke scripture to promote exclusion at the expense of decency or justice.” (Full speech here.)
The evening’s next featured Public Servant Award recipient was Rod J. Rosenstein, the 37th Deputy Attorney General of the United States. Mr. Rosenstein began his legal career by serving as a law clerk to Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He started his career at the Department of Justice at age 25. He also served as the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland from 2005 to 2017. As the second in command at the Department of Justice, Mr. Rosenstein advised and assisted the Attorney General in formulating and implementing the Department of Justice’s policies and programs and in providing overall supervision to all organizational units of the Department. Most recently, Mr. Rosenstein also oversaw the work of Special Counsel to the Justice Department, Robert S. Mueller III, as he investigated the question of Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election.
Mr. Rosenstein’s speech, which was covered by major news organizations, including CNN, the Washington Post, New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal, were his first public comments on the Mueller Report since it was published just days earlier. Mr. Rosenstein explained in detail his role and that of the Justice Department during the Mueller investigation. He stressed: “As acting Attorney General, it was my responsibility to make sure that the Department of Justice would do what the American people pay us to do: conduct an independent investigation; complete it expeditiously; hold perpetrators accountable if warranted; and work with partner agencies to counter foreign agents and deter crimes.” He emphasized that the Department of Justice “. . . stands for the principle that every American deserves the protection of the rule of law.” (Full speech here.)
Lisa Barsoomian, the wife of Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and a past executive committee board member of the Armenian Bar Association, was also in attendance. Mr. Rosenstein delighted the audience as he recounted his life as an ABC – Armenian By Choice – and described his trip to Armenia in 1994 with the Armenian Bar Association, where he presented lectures to law students at Yerevan State University.
NEW YORK – Not even the hovering grey clouds could dampen the spirit of the thousands gathered for the Armenian Genocide Commemoration in Times Square on Sunday, April 28, 2019, as the 104th anniversary of the massacres was memorialized in a monumental event sponsored by the Knights and Daughters of Vartan.
Relentless calls for recognition were made throughout the afternoon as speakers, guests and the general public paid homage to the holy martyrs of the Armenian Genocide. Over a century later, the vigor of the Armenian people was on full display as the program culminated in a symbolic shoorch bar inspired by the powerful singing of Elie Berberian as he performed the popular patriotic song “Kedashen” amid the backdrop of the city’s skyscrapers and the buzzing motion of Times Square, one of the busiest and iconic districts in the world.
While Armenian songs, dances and voices echoed throughout New York and into the world, top U.S. elected officials stood their ground in their unwavering support of Armenian Genocide recognition. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who appears at the commemoration year after year without fail, conveyed his fondness for the “wonderful and compassionate Armenian people” and appreciated their presence in the country, stating that “the more Armenians we have in America, the better America will be.”
Following a moment of silence for the victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide and their descendants, the senior senator urged the public to “call out evil.”
“A genocide that is not properly defined and remembered will certainly lead to another,” said Senator Schumer, who touched upon the Holocaust that succeeded the Armenian Genocide. “We have a moral obligation to always remember one of the most evil undertakings in the history of mankind, and that is the horrible Medz Yeghern.”
Turning to legislation in the United States, Senator Schumer expressed his disappointment that the leaders in the White House, both Republicans and Democrats, have not stepped up to officially acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. He said he refuses to accept the excuse of politics and emphasized that in the face of denial, people should “stand together and remember the genocide, the 1.5 million victims and what the Armenians went through.”
He made the salient point that the Turkish government did not succeed in its plans to exterminate the Armenian people, noting that now 1.5 million people of Armenian ancestry live in America.
“The Armenian nation has not just endured but it has prevailed,” said Senator Schumer, who is a co-sponsor of Senate Resolution 150 that calls for the U.S. to commemorate the Armenian Genocide through official recognition and remembrance. “The three pashas are gone, the Ottoman Empire is gone, but the Armenian people live on and continue to inspire the world.”
A tireless advocate for the Armenians, senior Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who earlier this month admonished U.S. Ambassador to Turkey nominee David Satterfield for failing to refer to the 1915 atrocities as Genocide, stated that everyone has “come together in remembrance, in reflection and in solidarity.”
The Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who along with Senator Ted Cruz (R-T.X.) recently sponsored Senate Resolution 150, is ensuring that the foreign policy of the U.S. “reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning the Armenian Genocide.”
Countering the denialist history, Senator Menendez stated that the Turkish authorities began a systematic campaign to exterminate the Armenian population through “killings, starvation, forced deportation and untold brutality” and remarked that “such intentional horrific violence targeted towards one people has a name and one name only and that name is genocide.”
He acknowledged the 1.5 million victims who perished and also appreciated their contributions to the Armenian history and culture that “lives on today and there can be no denying them.”
Taking a stand “in support of the unshakable truth,” Senator Menendez outlined how the Turkish government has spent “countless millions of dollars on lobbyists willing to trumpet lies and make excuses for the atrocities that its predecessors committed.”
“Portraying the extermination of 1.5 million Armenians as nothing more than a consequence of World War I is a distortion of history at best and at worst a contrived excuse for an unthinkable crime against humanity,” he continued.
He spoke of the suppressive Turkish government that has “undermined the fundamental right of freedom of speech” and how the country’s leaders have initiated prosecutions, smear campaigns and even resorted to violence against historians and journalists who have studied the Turkish treatment of the Armenian community, remarking that “such actions are reprehensible and speak volumes both about the crime and the cover up.”
Recalling the words of Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire during the Armenian Genocide, who described the Turkish authorities of deporting Armenians as a ‘death warrant’ to a whole race, Senator Menendez asserted that today’s diplomats should “not be any less frank when engaging with the Turkish government.”
“We refuse to see the truth suppressed, the facts denied and history revised,” said Senator Menendez. “We will not rest until it becomes the official policy of the U.S. government to recognize the Armenian Genocide here and any place else in the world.”
Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), pledged that he will continue to push for recognition of the Armenian Genocide and reaffirmed that there has been “tremendous progress” around the world as 30 countries now officially recognize the Armenian Genocide, along with 49 out of 50 U.S. states.
“We will continue our efforts and demand that the Turkish government recognize the Armenian Genocide and pay reparations,” said Congressman Pallone, who also called for ongoing support of the Republic of Armenia as well as Artsakh. A longtime supporter, he has made trips to both Armenia and Artsakh, where he has advocated for the people’s right to self-determination.
He urged the public to persist in their fight and hold rallies such as the annual commemoration in Times Square in order to achieve official recognition.
“Please understand how important it is for you to be here today and how important it is for all of you to continue to support your Armenian advocates and Armenian organizations like the Knights and Daughters of Vartan because without your help, we wouldn’t be able to make progress on the issues you care so much about,” concluded Congressman Pallone.
New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), a member of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, remarked that the U.S. should “join the chorus of voices across the globe” and recognize the genocide and the calculating elimination of an entire population.
“We mourn the 1.5 million Armenians murdered by the government that was supposed to protect them,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “We must honor their memory and we must come to the day that Turkey’s President Erdogan recognizes the genocide instead of denying it.”
She said she is proud to support resolutions that recognize the “systematic plan to extinguish the ancient, dignified and accomplished Armenian people” and the lessons that must be learned in order to prevent future tragedies from occurring again.
“We must teach ourselves and our children the abuse of state power that allows these crimes to go unpunished,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “On this solemn day of remembrance our message remains united and clear: the U.S. and Turkish governments must formally acknowledge the terrible genocide that occured 104 years and I am with you as we keep fighting and pushing for recognition.”
Headlining the event with a special cultural performance was Elie Berberyan, who curated an artistic concert that included a rendition of “Ils Sont Tombes” (They Fell), by Charles Aznavour, the poetry of the Hovhannes Shiraz set to music “Intz Guh Moranam” (I Forget Myself) and “Dle Yaman” by Komitas.
“Even though many years have passed since the Armenian Genocide, it does not stop me from remembering it and instead it gives me more drive,” said Berberian. “We are paying tribute to the ultimate cause that concerns every Armenian in his or her heart.”
Grand Commander and Matron of the Knights and Daughters of Vartan, Dr. Gary Zamanigian and Diana Tookmanian, respectively, elaborated on the significance of commemorating the Armenian Genocide. The Knights and Daughters of Vartan have sponsored the Times Square Armenian Genocide Commemoration since 1985. This year the event was co-chaired by Tigran Sahakyan and Ari Minnetyan, under the guidance of Chairman Emeritus Hirant Gulian.
Armen McOmber, Esq. and Professor Nvair Beylerian compellingly led the program. McOmber was recognized for his decade of service to the Times Square Armenian Genocide Commemoration and was presented with a special certificate of recognition and a Knights of Vartan medal.
The results of the 2019 Knights and Daughters of Vartan International Armenian Genocide Essay Contest were announced: first-place, Andrew Panosian of La Crescenta, California, who is a freshman at Glendale Community College; second-place, Garine Kamajian of Indian Shores, Florida, who is a junior at University of South Florida-Tampa; third-place Lilit Arsenyan of Yerevan, Armenia, who is a freshman at Yerevan Brusov State University of Languages and Social Sciences. This year’s question of how creative expression—literature, music, cinema, visual arts—has enhanced the students’ personal understanding of the Armenian Genocide, delivered thought-provoking responses from applicants who live around the world.
Astghikner Junior Ensemble of St. Gregory the Illuminator Mission Parish in Brooklyn sang the Armenian and American anthems and Hayr Mer, under the leadership of Maria Sahakyan as the students of the Holy Martyrs Armenian Day School of Bayside, NY and the Hovnanian Armenian Day School of New Milfold, NJ sang a medley of Armenian patriotic songs, under the guidance of their principals, Seta Tavitian Megherian and Shakeh Tashjian.The Yerevan Dance Ensemble of St. Gregory the Illuminator Mission Parish made a special appearance.
The opening remarks and prayer were made by Zaven Khanjian, Executive Director of the AMAA. The invocation and closing prayers were made by Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Primate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, Very Rev. representing the Very Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, respectively. Other clergy in attendance included Nurhan Becidiyan, of the Roman Catholic Armenian Eparchy of America and Canada.
Statements were made by co-sponsoring organizations, including Christina Lalama (Armenian General Benevolent Union of America), Bryan Ardouny (Armenian Assembly of America), Dr. Vaghenag Tarpinian (Armenian Democratic League – Ramgavars), Ken Hachikian (Armenian National Committee America) and Gerard Kassabian, Esq. (Armenian Bar Association).
The Armenian Radio Hour of New Jersey, led by director Vartan Abdo, streamed the event live in video format worldwide, reaching more than 50,000 viewers with the assistance of his dedicated volunteer staff. The 104th Armenian Genocide Commemoration in Times Square was organized by the Mid-Atlantic chapters of the Knights and Daughters of Vartan. Co-sponsors included the Armenian General Benevolent Union, the Armenian Assembly of America, the Armenian National Committee of America, the ADL-Ramgavars, and the Armenian Council of America. Participating organizations included the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), Prelacy of the Armenian Church, Armenian Missionary Association of America, Armenian Presbyterian Church, the Armenian Evangelical Church, the Armenian Catholic Eparchy for U.S. and Canada and numerous Armenian youth organizations, including the Armenian Church Youth Organization of America, the Armenian Network of America, the Armenian Youth Federation, Homenetmen Scouts, Hamazkayin Cultural Association, Tekeyan Cultural Association, Armenian Students Association, AGBU Young Professionals, Armenian-American Study Genocide (a UN NGO organization) and tri-state Armenian college and university clubs.
Founded in 1985 by the late Sam Azadian, a former Brooklyn, New York resident, who lost four siblings during the Armenian Genocide, the Armenian Genocide Commemoration at Times Square has honored the 1.5+ million Armenian lives lost during the horrific events of the 1915 Genocide of the Armenians by the Young Turk Government of the Ottoman Empire. This internationally-recognized annual event draws thousands of Armenians and non-Armenian participants to commemorate the solemn occasion. The event features speeches and tributes delivered by prominent political figures and civic leaders, officials of the Knights and Daughters of Vartan, representatives of major Armenian-American organizations, and distinguished scholars and educators as well as high-ranking Armenian and non-Armenian clergy.
Representatives of the Board of Governors of the Armenian Bar Association, and Co-Chairs of its Armenian Rights Watch Committee, Garo B. Ghazarian and Karnig S. Kerkonian, today met with the General Secretary of the Republic of Armenia’s National Security Council, the Hon. Armen V. Grigoryan. The collaborative discussions examined a number of crucial legal issues in the national security sphere and underscored the critical role of marshaling legal expertise in advancing areas of Pan-Armenian interests.
ARMENIAN BAR ASSOCIATION
Այսօր, 25 Ապրիլին, Ամերիկայի Հայկական Իրաւաբանական Միութեան Կառավարիչներու խորհուրդի ներկայացոցիչները եւ Հայկական Մարդկային Իրաւուքներու Յանձնախումբի համանախահները՝ Գառնիկ Քէրքոնեան եւ Կարօ Ղազարեան, հանդիպում մը ունեցան Հայաստանի Հանրապետութեան Ազգային Անվտանգութեան Խորհուրդի քարտուղար Արմէն Գրիգորեանի հետ։ Քննարկումները կեդրոնացան ազգային անվտանգութեան ոլորտին վերաբերող իրաւական հարցերու լայն շրջանակի վրայ եւ ընդգծեցին համահայկական շահերը միասնական ուժերու համախմբումով առաջ տանելու կարեւորութիւնը։
(L-R): Andrea Mansourian (Vicken I. Simonian Memorial Legal Scholar), Narine Lalafaryan (Vicken I. Simonian Memorial Legal Scholar), Anzhelika Ishkhanyan (Andre Kazangian Memorial Legal Scholar), Anzhela Hovhannisyan (Andre Kazangian Memorial Legal Scholar), Arusyak Julhakyan (Andre Kazangian Memorial Legal Scholar).
Los Angeles—The Armenian Bar Association recently announced the recipients of the organization’s 2018-2019 scholarship programs: The Vicken I. Simonian Memorial Legal Scholarship and the Andre Kazangian Memorial Legal Scholarship. Scholarship Committee Chairwoman, Christine J. Engustian, of Rhode Island, stated that , “As we celebrate Women’s History Month and recall that 2018 was the International Year of the Woman, it was only fitting, by coincidence, that for the first time in our 30 year history, the Association chose a list of all women scholarship recipients.”
The Armenian Bar Association awards scholarships through its two scholarship funds:
The Vicken I. Simonian Memorial Legal Scholarship was established in the name of the Association’s beloved Chairman Emeritus Vicken I. Simonian. Vicken was the heart and soul of the Armenian Bar Association, a champion throughout his life who always gave an unparalleled commitment to achieve the mission of the Armenian Bar Association. Many organization members fondly recall that it was because of Vicken that they joined the Armenian Bar Association.
The Andre Kazangian Memorial Legal Scholarship was established in the name of Andre Kazangian, a student member of the Armenian Bar Association, who was a third-year law student at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, just a couple of credits shy of earning his Juris Doctor degree when he tragically passed away, breaking our hearts and testing our faith. In an extraordinary showing of gratitude, dignity and respect: the Dean of Thomas Jefferson posthumously conferred a J.D. degree on Andre, which was accepted by his family members in the presence of law school faculty and students, members of the Armenian Bar Association, and Andre’s friends. In a lasting tribute to Andre’s legacy, his parents, Vahik and Meline Kazangian of Glendale, California, established and generously funded the Andre Kazangian Memorial Scholarship which is now embedded in the Armenian Bar Association’s scholarship platform.
As in past years, there were many highly-qualified applicants to the Armenian Bar Association scholarship program this year. Armenian Bar Association Chairman Gerard Kassabian stated that “Of course, we look for outstanding academic achievement among the candidates, but just as importantly, we give great weight to those scholarship applicants who have distinguished themselves through their service to the Armenian community and the Armenian Cause.”
We are so very proud of the exceptional achievements of the five students who were approved by the Board of Governors for the 2018-2019 academic to receive the Vicken I. Simonian and the Andre Kazangian Memorial Legal Scholarships, said Student Affairs Committee Chairwoman, Elizabeth Al-Dajani.
This year’s outstanding class of awardees include:
Vicken I. Simonian Memorial Legal Scholarship
Andrea Mansourian is attending John Marshall Law School, in Chicago, Illinois, where she is a candidate for the Juris Doctor degree in 2019. While at John Marshall Law School, she has demonstrated outstanding academic work having been selected for the Dean’s List, a Dean’s Scholarship and having been a member of the School’s Moot Court team on multiple occasions. She founded and served as Chairman of the Armenian Church Youth Organization of America.
Narine Lalafaryan is attending the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, where she is completing her studies for a LL.M. in Commercial Law. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the Faculty of Law at Yerevan State University and an LL.M. from the American University of Armenia, where she received the LL.M. Student of the Year award in 2013 and 2014. Included in her service to Armenia is her participation at the Peace Building in Eastern Europe Conference, hosted by the United State Embassy in Moldova as a representative of Armenia, being a member of the School of Advocates of Armenia and being legal counsel to the Zangezur Copper Molybednum Combine among numerous other achievements.
Andre Kazangian Memorial Legal Scholarship
Anzhelika Ishkanyan is a graduate of the French University of Armenia, Jean-Moulin Lyon III University where she received a Bachelor of Laws degree in 2014. Thereafter, she continued her legal education at the University Pantheon-Assas, in Paris, France, where she received a Master of Laws in Corporate Law in 2015. She currently is enrolled at the Harvard University Law School in Massachusetts where she is a candidate for her second LL.M. Among her service to Armenia, she worked at the Central Bank of Armenia, Insurance Foundation for Servicemen of Armenia, and the Association of Accountants and Auditors of Armenia, in addition to many other projects and programs of Armenia with which she has been involved.
Anzhela Hovhannisyan graduated Summa Cum Laude at the French University of Armenia, Jean-Moulin Lyon III University and at Yerevan State University, where she received a Master of Jurisprudence in European Union and International Law. She also holds a Master of Laws from the American University of Armenia and is a member of Armenia’s School of Advocates. She is presently attending the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law where she is pursuing a Master of Laws degree. Among her service to Armenia, she has been a part of several United Nations programs in Armenia and has written extensively on matters of legal concern to Armenia.
Arusyak Julhakyan After receiving a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Public Administration at the State Engineering University of Armenia, Ms. Julhakyan attended Warsaw University in the Pre-Doctoral Studies Program in European and International Law with a Specialization in Human Rights. She was admitted to the LL.M. program at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, when the Velvet Revolution took place in Armenia. At that point, she decided to suspend her education and return to Armenia, where she ran for and was elected as a member of Armenia’s National Assembly. While Ms. Julhakyan was unable to accept our scholarship, we wish to acknowledge her outstanding academic record and her devoted public service to the Republic of Armenia. She serves as an exceptional role-model to Armenian youth and represents the best of Armenia’s future.
The Scholarship Committee will be announcing its acceptance of scholarships for the 2019-2020 academic year on or before June, 2019. We encourage all interested students to apply. If anyone is interested in contributing to either the Vicken I. Simonian or the Andre Kazangian Memorial Legal Scholarship funds, you may do so by sending a check made payable to either of the respective scholarship funds or to the Armenian Bar Association. The Armenian Bar Association is an IRC 501 (c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization. For further information, you may visit the Armenian Bar Association website at www.armenianbar.org, the Armenian Bar Association Facebook page and you may also write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring has rapidly sprung upon us while we were busy preparing for many upcoming events! We proudly present for your review our recent accomplishments and announcements of future events in our latest Armenian Bar Association Newsletter.
Since our last Newsletter, our activities spanned from student outreach to genocide remembrance preparations. My colleagues and I participated in the Southwestern Law School “Succeeding in Law” program for students, announced five law school scholarship recipients, attended a Young Lawyers Committee Firm Crawl and chaired the Armenian Genocide Committee in preparation of the annual March for Justice on April 24 of every year in remembrance of the Armenian Genocide in Los Angeles. We are geared up for the Vicken I. Simonian Scholarship Fundraiser in Chicago, March for Justice in Los Angeles, Public Servants Dinner 2019 in New York and the Times Square Armenian Genocide Commemoration. We shall never forget. Lastly, our Annual Meeting in Los Angeles in June of this year will be very a memorable one with details to follow.
I am blessed to be a part of the worldwide Armenian Bar Association family, a family that is always ready to help further our cause. All of our achievements and activities would not be possible without our past, present and future army of dedicated volunteers. I welcome every reader to invite lawyers and students from any country to join the Armenian Bar Association to receive our communications and priceless benefits from our events worldwide. Thank you for your support!
In the early morning hours of January 29, 2019, in Los Angeles, CA, Holy Martyrs Ferrahian High School and the AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School, in San Fernando Valley were vandalized in what police deem a hate incident and what we view as hate crimes aimed to victimize Armenian students, parents and an entire community of descendants and survivors of the Armenian Genocide.
Turkish flags hanging on Armenian School campuses in 2019 is absolutely unacceptable.
For any #Armenian that believes that the domination, degradation and dehumanization by the Turk is a century-old story and that Armenians need to move on, they should stare carefully at the staircases and balconies of our schools—7000 miles and a hundred years away from those deserts.
Many of our grandparents who returned to Armenian towns a 💯years ago during the forced marches of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923, after their walk through the deserts, orphaned, only to see those same occupying flags draped over their churches, their streets and their homes, in 2019, live on, through each of us.
Today’s display of hatred against us Armenians is like spitting on our martyrs’ graves; worse, spitting on the faces of their great-grandchildren, now a century on and a world away from their native hearth.
Hatred—unfettered, indeed unchecked—travels so well through place and time.
On November 1, 2018, the Armenian Bar Association’s Student Mentorship Committee, in collaboration with the CLE Committee, organized the “2018 Mentorship Program Reception and Continuing Legal Education Lecture.” The event was hosted by CKR Law and held at a rooftop venue adjacent to their offices in Century City, California. The first two hours of the reception offered over 30 attorneys and students an opportunity to socialize and enjoy drinks and h’orderves while taking in the scenic LA views. The CLE Committee brought a Live Scan vendor on site to assist the attorneys in satisfying their State Bar fingerprinting requirements.
Montebello City Treasurer Ashod Mooradian, a former California State Bar prosecutor, led the CLE lecture on the State Bar’s new rules governing professional responsibility. The event proved to be both fun and informative. The Armenian Bar Association specifically thanks Ovsanna Takvoryan, a Partner at CKR Law, for all her efforts in bringing this event to fruition.
Armenian Bar Association Announces Formation of Standing Committee on Intellectual Property to Foster Continuing Engagement
Begins Planning 2019 Public Servants Dinner
NEW YORK CITY, October 22, 2018 – The Armenian Bar Association surged to a soaring crescendo with its ambitious 2018 Mid-Year Meeting in New York City on Saturday, October 13, chiseling deeply into stone the Armenian Bar’s vanguard position on cutting-edge, legal issues in Armenia and the Diaspora. More than one hundred lawyers, law students, and business professionals witnessed an important chapter of history-in-the-making, a groundbreaking, truly phenomenal legal education conference entitled The Startup Revolution: What Are Your Rights and How to Protect Them.
The Startup Revolution Conference, which was the headline event of the Mid-Year Meeting, took place at Columbia Law School on Saturday, after the conclusion of the Armenian Bar’s morning plenary meeting. The Startup Revolution brought together distinguished industry and thought leaders in the fields of intellectual property law, technology, business, and government, from the United States, Canada, Armenia, and Russia, in four signature panels, to share their knowledge and expertise on what works and what doesn’t in the vital and burgeoning world of startups. The world-class panels, featuring participants such as the Hon. Grigor Hovhannissian, Armenia’s Ambassador to the United States, and Ara Ohanian, CEO of Systech International, addressed topics such as establishing and growing a startup, raising capital through IPOs, ICOs, and crowdfunding, protecting the key assets of any startup – intellectual property and trade secrets, and cybersecurity.
The Startup Revolution was attended by lawyers and entrepreneurs representing startups in various lifecycle stages, in industries from IT to biotech to finance, from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Texas, Michigan, Illinois, Oklahoma, Utah, Florida, Virginia, Canada and Russia. The program was streamed live, and people participated from three locations in Armenia – Yerevan, Gyumri, and Vanadzor – and another in Stepanakert, Artsakh.
Robert Avetisyan, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Nagorno Karabagh (Artsakh) in the United States, delivered the luncheon keynote speech, and the Hon. Mher Margaryan, Armenia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations also attended.
The Startup Revolution was the brainchild of Souren Israelyan, Co-Vice Chair of the New York | New Jersey | Connecticut Chapter of the Armenian Bar Association, and Emma Arakelyan, CEO and Co-Founder of Orion Worldwide Innovations LLC and Managing Director of her multimedia company Open Mind Productions LLC, who took the lead in putting together the substantive program.
This year’s Mid-Year Meeting was scheduled to coincide with the historic “Armenia!” exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, “the first major exhibition to explore the remarkable artistic and cultural achievements of the Armenian people in a global context over fourteen centuries.” The Mid-Year Meeting opened on Friday, October 12 with a special, private lecture about “Armenia!” given by Dr. C. Griffith Mann, the Michel David-Weill Curator in Charge of The Met’s Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, and one of the show’s curators. The lecture was followed by a visit to the exhibition, and a Welcome-to-New York cocktail reception at the Liederkranz Foundation in the historic Phipps Mansion, nearby. The 2018 Mid-Year Meeting closed on Saturday evening with an Armenian Wine and Brandy Farewell Reception at Columbia Law School, after the conclusion of The Startup Revolution program.
To harness the energy created by The Startup Revolution and foster the formation of professional networks around its subject matter, the Board of Governors of the Armenian Bar Association voted on Thursday, October 18 to create a standing committee on Intellectual Property The committee will be the forum for members of the Armenian Bar to remain professionally engaged in this vitally-important space, and to assume a leadership role in the flourishing startup ecosystems of Armenia and beyond. All those interested in joining the committee are encouraged to contact email@example.com.
The Startup Revolution is the first of many enterprising, substantive programs to come, sponsored and organized by the New York | New Jersey | Connecticut Chapter of the Armenian Bar Association, aimed to have far-reaching impact. The next major event on the calendar is the 2019 Public Servants Dinner at the Yale Club in New York, on April 25, 2019. Save the date.
To download a commemorative copy of the 2018 Mid-Year Meeting Program, click here.