ADG Launches Study Abroad Program in Karabakh

During the ADG presentation in Glendale

ADG: Artsakh Development Group, a non-profit, non-partisan organization devoted to and engaged in raising awareness in the United States on issues pertaining to Artsakh, launched its educational campaign.

In October ADG organized an educational event at Cal State Dominguez Hills University Campus with the participation of Robert Avetisyan, Permanent Representative of Nagorno-Karabakh in the United States, who spoke briefly about Artsakh. The event launched the establishment of a Study Abroad Program with the University of Artsakh. An exclusive lunch with the university professors was followed by a lecture by Dr. Levon Marashlian. Attended by a great number of students and the general public, the event proved to be a remarkable start of the Program.

Dr. Marashlian presented a summary of the conflict over Artsakh from 1991 to 2011, using numerous news reports from American, European, and Turkish television to support his analysis. His presentation included the Armenian-Azerbaijani war in the early 1990s and the ceasefire in 1994, the conflicting claims of the two sides and international mediation to reach a peace settlement, Turkish President Turgut Ozal’s promotion of the “Goble plan” in Washington D.C., the oil factor and competing pipeline routes, the strategic importance of the South Caucasus, and the currently deadlocked peace process.

The Study Abroad Program is anticipated to allow between 12 to 15 Cal State students to spend a summer in Armenia or Nagorno-Karabakh with an opportunity to learn about history, politics, culture, and economy of Artsakh.

ADG Hosts Presentation in Glendale
The ADG launched its educational campaign. On October 9 ADG organized an educational seminar – Conference: “Artsakh in Today’s World” – with the participation of Robert Avetisyan, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh in the United States.

Conference: “Artsakh in Today’s World” held at the Glendale Public Library, offered a multi-faceted program. The event consisted of three panels: History & Politics, Economy, and Cultural, each followed by a Q&A session. The event was a call to action for Armenian Americans to mobilize resources in order to raise awareness in the U.S. on issues pertaining to Artsakh. In his speech, the Founder and President of ADG, Sevak Khatchadourian, highlighted the purpose of the event: “Misinformation has to be addressed with your help and the help of this organization. This organization will be giving seminars at universities and raising awareness about our history, culture, and certainly about our rights.”

The History and Politics Panel opened with “The Academic War Over Karabakh: Part II” by George Bournoutian, followed by Levon Marashlian’s “NKR From Military Victory to Diplomatic Deadlock, 1991-2011”, and concluded with Razmig Shirinian’s “The Absurdity of Diplomacy and The Absence of Politics: The Case of Artsakh”. The Economy panel began with “Economic Prosperity as a Cornerstone of Independent Artsakh” by Vladimir Shekoyan and concluded with “Business and Entrepreneurship in Artsakh” by Alec Baghdasaryan. The first two panels were moderated by the Publisher of The California Courier Harut Sassounian. The Cultural panel opened with moderator Hrayr Eulmessekian’s visual piece “On Deep Background” followed by a photography collage from a collaborative project by Vahe Oshagan and Ara Oshagan “Father Land” presented by Ara Oshagan. The final speech “Artsakh Culture: Past and Present” was presented by Armine Alexanian, a representative from the Foreign Ministry of Nagorno-Karabakh who flew in from Artsakh specifically to participate in the Conference.

One of the speakers, Professor Levon Marashlian, stated a fresh perspective, “Negotiations are deadlocked, each side claiming historical and legal rights, tit for tat.  The Armenian side’s claims are more valid of course, but it might help to add to the argument the difference between survival and prestige: for tiny Armenia, Artsakh is a question of survival, of life and death, for big Azerbaijan it is a question of prestige and national honor because the Azeris do not need Artsakh since they are rich with resources, swimming in oil–they even have caviar.”

The first of its kind, covering controversial topics on historically famous Artsakh, the Conference proved to be a great success. It was attended by close to 180 people of various age groups and backgrounds and was covered by several television stations. Among the guests were Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, The Consul General of the Republic of Armenia in the U.S. Grigor Hovhannissian, representatives of U.S. Armenian Veterans Association, and other noted members of the Armenian community in the United States.

The ADG Board consists of distinguished members of the Armenian community in Los Angeles: Pattyl Aposhian, Gerard V. Kassabian. Esq., Sevak Khatchadourian, Tamar Sinanian, and Taleen L. Tertzakian, Esq.

For information: http://www.adgus.org

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