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A Genocide Remembrance Event: Remembering the Past, Building the Future in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (A.W.)—The Armenian Inter-Communal Committee of Philadelphia commemorated the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide with a cultural program at St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church on April 23. A crowd of over 200 was present for the event.

Some of the dignitaries, guests, and attendees

Antranig Kzirian, Chairperson of the Committee, made opening remarks and served as Master of Ceremonies. He strongly encouraged those present to attend the Armenian Genocide film, The Promise and to take family, friends, and non-Armenians as well. He also mentioned Turkish efforts directed against the film’s success.

Philadelphia Armenian Clergy then offered a special prayer in memory of the 1.5 million Armenian Saints who were lost during this heinous crime.

Allan Arpajian and Susan Arpajian Jolly then presented a discussion of their new book, Out of my Great Sorrows. The book is about how the genocide impacted their aunt, Mary Zakarian’s paintings. Mary’s mother, a Genocide survivor, strongly influenced Mary’s psychological state and her art. Allan and Susan also presented three of Mary’s paintings and discussed her background.

This was followed by a performance of songs and poetry by students from the Armenian Sisters Academy.

Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), followed the students. He spoke about how the Armenian National Committee and Armenian Assembly promote Armenian interests in Washington D.C. and within our local communities. He focused on the need to continuously strengthen Armenia and Artsakh through economic support, political activism, and countering anti-Armenian propaganda. Lastly, he addressed how the ANCA has encouraged Congress to provide financial support that will help improve the Armenian economy and its transition to an open market-based system. His presentation was very well received by attendees.

Aram Hamparian addressing the crowd

The Inter-Communal Committee was pleased to receive a letter of support from Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, expressing his support of the event. Emily Movsesian of the Committee read the Governor’s letter to attendees.

After the program, everyone enjoyed an exquisite dessert presentation prepared by the St. Gregory’s Ladies Guild. The following Inter-Communal event is scheduled for October, focusing on Armenian Culture.

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