This year, there were SEVERAL events all commemorating the Armenian Genocide. To list them all would almost be impossible for me, so I shall talk about the MAIN things.
a) First, there was a walkathon organized by the AYF, from Alex Pilibos Arm. School all the way to the Turkish Consulate on Sunday the 21st. The reason why I think this was significant, is because in Monday's LA TIMES, the walkathon made front page of the News-Press section. There were 2 great articles both highlighting the event and stating several facts about the Armenian Genocide.
b)Then, there was a week-long Genocide Commemoration organized by a special council in the Glendale District. This began on Monday the 22nd and ended on the 26th (the main event being on the 24th).
c) An All-ASA (Armenian Students' Association) Vigil held at California State University Northridge, during which Genocide survivor Sam Kadorian spoke to an audience of University and College students, staff and faculty.
d) The AYF's Youth Rally at the Ferrahian gym. The evening included a touching reinactment of Siamanto's "Kheghtamahuh", along with performances by Harout Pamboukjian and Razmig Mansourian.
e) Commemoration at the Montebello Armenian Genocide Monument, where several city and state officials gather with the Armenian community. Thousands of Armenians were present, despite the fact that there was rain.
f) Little Armenia: United Armenian Students organized a March in Little Armenia. 15,000 Armenians marched along the half-closed streets in Hollywood. This was the second year the students organized this march... a great beginning!
g) Protest at the Turkish Consulate: The AYF held its annual protest at the Turkish Consulate, this year later on in the day than usual, making it a more successful rally than previous years.
h) City of Glendale's Main Event: At the Civic Auditorium, the city hosted a commemoration of the Armenian Genocide... There was not only a program going on, but downstairs there was a museum type display set up about the "Armenian Genocide Project" and a viewing room for "Voices from the Lake".
i) Glendale Unified School District, for the first time brought together the Armenian Clubs of each high school and organized an evening to commemorate the Genocide on April 26th. The program consisted of student performances, as well as from members of the community. This was the first time an event like this was held...mainly thanks to the efforts of the Armenian school board member, Greg Krikorian.
These were just some of them.
Now, someone might think.. "Woahhhh, how did they pull all of this off? Were there 5 people at each event?" ... the answer? NO. Each event I attended had a GREAT number of Armenians present, as well as non-Armenians. There was something different about it this year. I haven't quite put my finger on it... but I narrowed it down to a couple possibilities, and here they are. I think maybe the community has finally realized the importance of unity. Their activism this year showed that there was some sort of awakening within these Armenians who used to go to Vegas on April 24th.. just another day off for them! The television ad campaigns, the endless interviews on Armenian shows and radio... the newspaper articles, the activism of the YOUTH...... all of this had a GREAT impact on how the community responded. For example, I have been attending the protest for several years... and no other year has been like how it was this year. This April 24th, I looked around in the crowd and saw a WHOLE different bunch! There were all kinds of people there....even non-Armenians! That just tells me a lot about the activism of the community.... it was a good feeling!
That's all about April 24th.. if there are people who have questions, feel free to email me and i'll be glad to answer them....
As for everything else? WOW... it's going FAST!!!! I can't believe April is almosttttt over with and May is just around the corner! Don't get me wrong, I'm very excited to finally go back to Armenia.... but this means that in the next 3-4 weeks I'll be working on papers and projects! Akhhh.... don't remind me! :)