The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute Foundation is organizing a two-day conference titled, “The Rescue of Armenians in the Middle East, 1915-1923.” The first day of the conference, November 8, will take place in the AGMI Conference Hall, and the second day, November 9, will be held at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.
The conference aims to present the fate of the Armenians who were displaced as a result of the Armenian Genocide, and to highlight the activities of Armenian and international organizations and individuals that were involved in the rescue of Armenian refugees, particularly of women and children.
Twenty-three scholars from Armenia, France, Germany, Lebanon, and the U.S. will participate in the conference, making references to, and presenting details of, the rescue of Genocide survivors. The conference will focus mainly on the roles played partly by international organizations and by religious and national preservation organizations, such as the Armenian General Benevolent Union, and the work carried out by those in Mesopotamia.
The experts will present the Armenian-gathering initiatives undertaken in the provinces of Western Armenia, and references to the activities of separate orphanages will be also made. The conference will also address the issues that existed during the fulfillment of the salvation mission. Self-help practices, data relating to orphans, the salvation of Armenian women and children in the context of the development of international law, as well as a range of other topics on these themes, will be discussed. The working languages of the conference are Armenian and English.
In the framework of the conference, the temporary exhibition, “The Rescue of Armenians in the Middle East, 1915-1923: from National Unity to Revival” will be opened on November 8, at 10 a.m. in the Armenian Genocide Museum’s temporary exhibitions hall.
The event’s opening speeches will be delivered by the Director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute Foundation, Dr. Harutyun Marutyan and Dr. Narine Margaryan, the AGMI Scientific Secretary, who is the coordinator of the conference and exhibition.
The exhibition will focus exclusively on the Armenian contribution to the salvation of Genocide survivors. Separate sections will clarify the roles of Armenian religious organizations. Activities carried out by the AGBU, Armenian National Union, Armenian Orphan Relief of Egypt, Armenian Organizations in Mesopotamia, Armenian Red Cross, as well as orphan care initiatives made the governments of the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian SSR will be presented.
A large section will be dedicated to individuals who worked to save orphans of the genocide in the Mesopotamian deserts and the territory of Western Armenia by providing women and orphans with shelters.
The exhibition will show unique archival materials such as documents, photos, and exhibits mainly from the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, as well as from the National Archives of Armenia, Yerevan History Museum and AGMI staff member Mihran Minasian’s personal archive. Statistics concerning the number of orphans will also be presented. Orphans’ memories and photographs, which have never been seen until now, will be displayed, as will items from deportation routes, objects from the orphanages, and embroideries made by the orphans.
The purpose of the exhibition is to highlight the important role played by the Armenian people during the Genocide years. This salvation work was realized thanks to the unity of the Armenian people and by it being guided by a single idea: the restoration of national identity which laid the foundation for a national revival.