WRIGHTWOOD, Calif.—The 2011 AYF Educational Seminar took place the weekend of May 20th at AYF Camp. The theme was “Artsakh: Past, Present and Future.”
Several lectures were presented by individuals who were involved in the Artsakh Liberation Movement and were there from the beginning of the Republic’s self determination efforts.
The attendees were told firsthand stories of the liberation struggle. They learned about the humble beginnings of the movement and about how brave volunteers carried supplies on foot across Azeri lines. The attendees were inspired by untold stories of local heroes who live among us in different parts of California. During the lectures, the participants discussed future steps necessary to ensure Artsakh’s survival as an independent and prosperous region.
AYF member and organizing committee member, Gev Iskajyan said, “We often sing to the tune of the past, not quite realizing the past is the present. The heroes, sons, and daughters of the Artsakh liberation movement are everywhere around us. There is nothing more relevant to our identity as a people than Artsakh, with its beautiful mountains and extraordinary people. Solutions to the lingering problems in Artsakh need to be addressed, and we are here this weekend to educate ourselves about them.”
The weekend included an AYF oath ceremony and a night of singing commemorative songs to honor the heroic deeds of fedayees, past and present. Participants also held an in-depth brainstorm discussion regarding activism in pursuit of justice for the Armenian Genocide.
Founded in 1933, the Armenian Youth Federation is the largest and most influential Armenian-American youth organization in the United States working to advance the social, political, educational, and cultural awareness of Armenian-American youth.