BY KHAJAG BORNAZYAN
In an ongoing effort to help our fellow Armenians in Syria, Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School is taking an active role to raise awareness and much needed funds for those in need. Three Pilibos students, George Kekejian, Manuk Karapetyan, and Khajag Bornazyan created a Power Point presentation about the ongoing conflict that occurs in Syria today. Syria is experiencing a Civil War in which the nation is divided between supporters of President Bashar al-Assad and those opposed to his rule. This turmoil has created massive bloodshed leaving the country in complete disarray and chaos. We were shaken to learn of these events for many of us, along with our parents and grandparents migrated from Syria. As such, we felt obligated to take immediate action. In the presentation, we discussed what the Armenian community is experiencing in that region and what we can do to help. Our goal was to inform our fellow students about the struggles facing Armenians around the world and educate them about Syria’s ongoing battle. We felt an urge to raise awareness about this conflict in an effort to aid those in need. We strongly believe that in order to take action, we must first become enlightened.
The presentation was organized with the help of our fellow teacher, Sona Madarian, and with ANCA Western Region Executive, William Bayramian. We discussed the efforts of the Armenian Syrian Relief Fund (SARF) along with the various other support organizations available in sending much needed aid and assistance. As a part of our preparation, we conducted extensive research detailing all the facts of the conflict in Syria. Throughout the process, we became so immersed in the details that it deeply affected each one of us to our core.
This effort launched a fund-raising campaign on campus centered on the theme of “Peace and Unity”. Three eleventh grade students, Alice Khachmanyan, Harout Klian, and Andre Ksajikian, worked tirelessly to create bookmarks that will be disturbed to the student body in return for a donation. The money raised will be donated to Syrian Armenian Relief Fund (SARF) which aids Armenian families in need. The students also created cut outs of peace doves that created the Wall of Peace and Unity on campus.
As educated students of Pilibos and future leaders of our community, we felt it necessary to shine a light on the conflict in Syria as an initiative to raise awareness. In addition, we wanted to instill the sense of urgency to take action, raise funds, and to unite as a community to help the Armenians of Syria.
As Allen Ginserg said: “The only thing that can save the world is the reclaiming of the awareness of the world. That’s what poetry does.”