Armenians’ Allies

April 24 is a heavy and somber day for Armenians. Every year, it brings up emotions and a longing to be seen and have our stories heard. This year was even more painful with the atrocious blockade of Artsakh and the disingenuous words of politicians to appease us only on this day. We marked 108 years today since our ancestors were victimized and brutally forced to leave their ancestral homeland. The world turns a blind eye and has a deaf ear when it comes to Armenians. Every single Armenian has a story from their grandparents or great-grandparents that still causes enormous sadness and a renewed fight for justice.

AYF members Nareg Kuyumjian and Jibid Melkonian

I attended the April 24 Rally for Humanity organized by the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Western Region. The AYF has always been near and dear to my heart. This group of young activists made me so proud. I spoke with AYF members Jibid Melkonian and Nareg Kuyumjian. Nejdeh’s spirit is alive and well. These youth were so passionate and so impactful with their calls for justice. The Turkish Consulate was handed demands for recognition, reparations and restitution. “We don’t have the luxury of being passive,” Melkonian stated. 

Rob Komoto showing solidarity

I also noticed several non-Armenians and wanted to know why they were there. I spoke with Rob Komoto, who said he wanted to support the Armenian community. He said he learned about what had happened to the Armenians back when he was in college in the 70s. He said he took a two-day course and said he couldn’t believe that he had never been taught about the Armenian Genocide. He felt compelled to come out and stand up for humanity. Mr. Komoto held a sign throughout the rally stating, “Humanity Over Politics.”

Ashley Sayad, Assyrian ally

Another strong supporter was Ashley Sayad, who was draped in the Assyrian flag. She felt she had to be at the rally because people need to acknowledge and recognize what happened to the Armenians, the Assyrians, the Greeks, the Yazidis, the Lebanese and Christian Syrians. She stated that her great-grandmother was Armenian from Iran. She said the more acknowledgement, the less likely horrific events like systematic annihilation of minorities will happen. Sayad said that we all have to band together to prevent future genocides.

It was heartwarming to see different ethnicities who truly care for humanity, standing up against discrimination and genocide. Collectively, we can do so much more.

Talar Keoseyan

Talar Keoseyan

Talar Keoseyan is a mother, educator and writer. She is the author of Vanna's Adventures (discusses Armenian traditions and customs); Mom and Dad, Why Do I Need to Know My Armenian Heritage? (a children's book about being proud of our heritage); Our Tigran and Tigran's Song (written in honor of Tigran Harutyunyan, a fedayee from the 44 Day War). Talar was a member of the Philadelphia AYF (Papken Suni and Sebouh chapters), as well as Homenetmen, Hamazkayin and ARS. She is currently a member of the La Crescenta "Talin" ARS chapter. She can be reached at talar725@gmail.com or Hokees1111 on Instagram.

2 Comments

  1. We need neighbour state like assyria supporting arabs such as lraq syrians long term for us not good as a lebanese armenian from beirut honestly l can say that if canada allow armenians middle east settle there no any armenian would stay in arab states because of discrimination against local christians

  2. I read about how at the time, the genocide got overshadowed by Gallipoli (when the British government used ANZAC troops as cannon fodder).

    Get this: right before he invaded Poland, Hitler got asked how he thought the world would remember him, and he responded something to the effect of “Well, does anyone remember the Armenian Genocide?” (he also said something like “We should admire the US’s extermination of the redskins.”)

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