BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
This week’s going to be a medley of topics appearing on my radar screen. Hopefully, given all the Thanksgiving eating you’ll have done by the time you read this, you won’t get indigestion from the strange mixture, not to mention this interconnection of metaphors.
Last Friday, I had the honor of interpreting for Artsakh’s President, Bako Sahakian, at the Orange County World Affairs Council dinner. What added spice to that event were the picketers outside and the questions inside. I was told the “Turks” were outside. By the time I went out to look, they were gone. Perhaps it was the same group of Azeris who were also inside and submitted a number of questions, at least some of which were asked. They received good responses from Sahakian. Then, they were outside picketing again as people were leaving. Ridiculouosly, one of the picketers was holding a sign that read “I AM FROM SHOUSHI…” but confessed he wasn’t from that city! They got minimal, if any, mileage out of their presence, but it did add excitement.
Of course Sahakian’s in the LA area because the Armenian Fund Telethon physically occurs here. Let’s hope it does better than ever, so homeland infrastructural improvements can continue.
Unfortunately, I missed a celebration of Woodrow Wilson’s Arbitral Award held at the Glendale Public Library and organized by the Defense Council of Western Armenia. This is another manifestation of the very important and growing interest in taking action to recover Turkish occupied lands.
Now that we’ve moved to Turkey related issues, I was incensed twice today. First, I learned that the commander of Lebanon’s defense forces had ordered the removal of protest signs along part of the main highway there. These were protesting Erdogan’s visit to Lebanon. Our parliamentarians there are pursuing the matter. But being incensed was not enough, revulsion also set in, when I learned that one of the leading Turcophiles in the U.S. Jewish community, Abe Foxman, will be speaking at the LA World Affairs Council event on December 8th, at 7:30 pm, Renaissance Hollywood Hotel. Can anyone spell p-i-c-k-e-t?
But Foxman’s gig presents a dilemma, since at the very same time, probably about two miles away, is a panel organized as part of the series of Armenians and Progressive Politics presentations. If you’re not picketing, you should be at the Hollywood Armenian Center for this program which starts at 7:00 pm.
Finally, regarding a topic I’ve written about before, there’s good news. The formal opening of the LA River Bike Path is at 10:00am on December 4 (details at http://la-bike.org/glendale). You’ll recall this facility is something that is readily available to everyone and is particularly close to two of our LA area ghettos.
Unfortunately, the bike path opening presents yet another conflict. That’s the same day as the academic conference being held at the University of Southern California about the ARF, on the occasion of its 120th anniversary.
Make sure to get out to some of this stuff. You’ll come away enriched.