EDITORIAL: A Call to More Action

We Armenians, descendants of Hayk Nahabed, have been brought up knowing the historical truth that is the Armenian Genocide. For as long as we’ve had the capacity to understand spoken and written words we’ve been students to the story of our People’s greatest tragedy; we’ve heard countless sources and accounts conclude that the episode is a fact and a crime.

And it’s only too right that we’ve been hammered with the story! It is our responsibility and our duty to know this truth, not merely for the sake of knowing one’s roots – that goes without saying – but because we are indebted to those who perished while we fled. This debt grows deeper because they proudly asserted their Armenian roots with the full knowledge that certain death will follow as a result – probably a slow and painful death at that. They remained true to their identity in the face of the ugliest evils, and in doing so they ensured that no act would belittle them or their people; this people; us.

The Armenian Genocide is a well-documented fact in archives across the globe. Some organisations and governments have already come to agree that what took place constitutes genocide, and many average-Joes quietly know the truth too. However, until every last soul can no longer sensibly refute the evidence, is convinced of the fact and recognises accordingly, in spite of any selfish reasons to remain in denial, we, the bearers of this massive cross, still have work to do.

The vast majority of recognition to date has not come by idle luck. Particularly regarding recognition from countries, groups such as the Armenian National Committee (ANC) have scurried around tirelessly to raise awareness of the Genocide amongst policymakers, rally up support from the influential figures, and drive the issue through the corridors of governments right up to the leader’s desk.

It is a long, drawn-out process to say the least. It is an honourable and important process. It is a process that needs more hands; a process that deserves more hands.

It is groups like this, and work like that which they carry out, which ultimately move our national case forward. If you’re unfamiliar with such groups and activities, get to know them. Engage with them and follow their movements. Educate yourself and then educate those around you. Centralised and uniform action, through such groups for example, is our greatest hope.

Every April we see an assortment of Armenian Genocide pictures, banners and messages bubble up on social media such as Facebook. The intentions behind them may be great, but what do they achieve? One must step back and wonder for a moment if “1915 never again” makes any sense to somebody who doesn’t know the story. Similarly, plastering the message “April 24 never forget” here and there does little to raise awareness or educate. These phrases are more meaningful internally and amongst those that know to what we refer.

The point here is not that we should do away with these messages – not at all! Rather the point is that with only minimal acts such as these we should not blissfully feel content with our contribution to the struggle for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Most activities like this fall on deaf ears. Tweets – even from the likes of Kim Kardashian, which hits millions of feeds – also have the effect that is proportionate to the difficulty of their doing. Publicising a song that powerfully describes the Armenian Genocide won’t return any official recognition either, even if it reaches the number one spot in the music charts. Similar can be said of a video on YouTube trending to become the most-watched of the week. It’s very valid to say that these do well to raise awareness amongst the general population, but that gets us only so far.

Again, to reiterate, this isn’t to say that these actions are pointless and should stop. Instead it is to say that such actions should complement the work undertaken by our organised groups such as the ANC and the AYF. This work in question is close to all of our hearts, but unfortunately too few lend their time, skills, expertise, knowledge or services to this cause; one of the only causes which is common to us all. Approach, engage, understand and help undertake this work – it belongs to each and every one of us.

— Heros Jojaghaian

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