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Student brings panelists to discuss Armenian genocide

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Jacob Barriga
Staff Writer

A panel of six, put together by third-year law student Raquel Parseghian, discussed the severity of the events in Azerbaijan and the current second genocide against the Armenian people last week during a virtual presentation.

The conflicts stem from Turkey’s desire to expand their geographical area into the Armenian land. Azerbaijan is now receiving weapons from Turkey to fight off the Armenian rebellions and it is becoming a one-sided fight and the repercussions of this could be devastating.

“This is do or die for us. There is no ‘what if we lose,’ we must win” Parseghian said. 

Panelist Jason Niedleman, professor of political science, said the Armenian people are fighting the war of their life and it is starting to become unfair. Azerbaijan is using their wealth to acquire weapons from Turkey to fight the Armenian people and it is becoming hard for the Armenian people to resist their attacks, Niedleman said.

“Azerbaijan is using their oil wealth to purchase drones from Turkey, and they are now fighting an unjust war. Turkey is changing from a democratic society to an authoritarian power”  Neidleman said. 

This act of genocide is the second in the last century with the first coming about 100 years ago when Russia and Stalin gave Armenian land to Azerbaijan. 

A few years ago, the Armenians fought back by overthrowing the Azerbaijan government in the Velvet Revolution. Attacks from Azerbaijan have been consistent since and there has been little to no help from the United Nations or any of the big powers in the world. 

Panelist Juli Minoves-Triquell, associate professor of political science, said he believes there is virtually no solution to the conflict at the moment. 

“The United Nations has attempted to unite the two parties unsuccessfully,” Minoves-Triquell said. “And at this point, the situation may be too complicated for a diplomatic solution.”

Armenian people in the United States are pushing to bring awareness, educate and move people to support their family members who are fighting for their lives half-way across the world, said panelist Daron Kachatourian, a business professor at Glendale Community College. He explained the three areas in which the average person can show their support. 

“We must avert a second genocide of the Armenian people they have suffered once and cannot afford another” Kachatourian said. “Second, we can help by giving a tailwind to sustainable justice to these people, they want the right for independence and self-determination with their neighbors. Lastly, we can provide humanitarian aid.” 

Kachatourian also explained how the American people must spread awareness to their peers because of the lack of coverage the U.S. media has on these Armenian conflicts through peaceful protest and social media. The Armenian activists in America are hoping to get more coverage as they continue to demonstrate their concern for the war through these peaceful actions. Yet, without the proper incentives, people will not be willing to help.

“I have two motivators for the average American, your actions now will provide a tangible step towards a more just, humane and sane world. Also, we cannot afford selective activism. When people are silent in the face of injustice of others, we run the risk of facing injustice in solitude when it affects our own lives” Kachatourian said. 

For more information, visit armeniafund.org.

Jacob Barriga can be reached at jbarriga@laverne.edu.

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