Below is the text of the speech by Dr. Rubina Peroomian after accepting the ANCA-WR Lifetime Achievement
Fighting for the just solution of the Armenian Cause, Hye Tahd, has run in my veins, as I was growing up an orphan in Iran, never certain if my father, convicted of nationalism, enemy of the people by Stalinist standards, would ever return from the Siberian tundra. I fought the fight the way I knew best. And today, I am humbled with this award. The Armenian National Committee of America recognizing, acknowledging my modest efforts.
I was not comfortable accepting this award when I was told about it. I am not comfortable keeping it to myself. I want to share it with my family … I want to dedicate it to my father, my role model, who sacrificed his life for his ideals and never gave in, to my mom who raised two orphan children in misery and depravation, but never lost hope that her husband will return someday. I want to dedicate this award to the thousands and thousands of orphans of the Armenian Genocide whose doleful life stories touched my heart and whose unresolved, unsettled cause engulfed my soul.
This is a beautiful evening, a happy occasion. We are enjoying the beautiful ambience; we are taking pride in the many achievements of the Armenian National Committee of America. So forget about my sad reminiscences; I just want to share something with you. Thirteen years ago, October, 1999, I received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Armenian Educational Foundation. To tell you the truth, I was kind of depressed. I thought well, this means my life is over, at least my productive life is over. Well here I am again, continuing, going strong like an energizer battery. So see you again in thirteen years. See you all healthy, happy, and successful, and who knows, maybe celebrating together a huge step forward in Hye Tahd. Shall I repeat the 3Rs? My Hye Tahd students know: Recognition, Reparation, Restoration.