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Lives of Service: Three Generations, Confronting and Commemorating Genocide

Luther Eskijian, founder of the Ararat-Eskijian Museum and my grandmother’s cousin, had a focused, intense character. Only later in life did I learn that his father, Rev. Hovhanness Eskijian, had been just as driven, serving as a pastor in Aleppo during the Genocide, bravely directing an underground network rescuing Armenians destined for Der Zor, and dying of illness and exhaustion the day before authorities had planned to execute him.

Last Week at Arpa Film Festival

I enjoy the gratification that comes from watching movies at film festivals. They open up new windows and allow us to see new perspectives. This proved true again last week at the 14th annual Arpa International Film Festival at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Each year I attend the festival and try to watch as many films as possible. And each year, there are at least one or two standout films.

Celebrating Vardavar from Tehran to Glendale

Last Sunday as I drove past Verdugo Park in Glendale, I noticed a big crowd picnicking under the shades of the trees. Instantly it occurred to me that they were there celebrating the feast of “Vardavar.” The day before, when I had talked to my daughter who is in Yerevan, she had casually mentioned that Sunday is “Vardavar” and that they were told to stay inside if they didn’t want to get wet, because the youth get rowdy and throw buckets of water to each other in the streets.