LA CRESCENTA—Prof. Rubina Peroomian will be the honorary guest speaker on “The Significance of Atrpatakan in the Armenian Liberation Movement ” at Armenian Apostolic Church of Crescenta Valley, located at Western Prelacy’s ” Dikran and Zarouhi Der Ghazarian ” Hall, at 6252 Honolulu Ave., in La Crescenta, California on Sunday, March 20, 2011 at 1 pm, following the church service. Prior to the lecture program, there will also be a Requiem Service in memory of Atrpatakan’s Armenian intellectuals and public servants at 11 a.m. Participating in the cultural program will be Mr. & Mrs. Bogos Oganisyan and Zhanna Khachatryan. This memorable program is a joint undertaking of Urmia Armenian Society with Educational Committee of Crescenta Valley Armenian Apostolic Church.
Rubina Peroomian is a Research Associate at UCLA, where she earned her PhD. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. She has taught Armenian Studies courses at UCLA, Glendale Community College, and the University of Laverne. Her publications include: Literary Responses to Catastrophe: A Comparison of the Armenian and the Jewish Experience, and And those who Continued Living in Turkey after 1915, The Metamorphoses of the Post-Genocide Armenian Identity as Reflected in Artistic Literature, as well as, Hayastane HHD-Bolshevik Haraberutunneri Volortum, 1917-1921 (Translated and published in Russian); a series of three secondary textbooks, Hay Tahd, for Diaspora Armenian high schools, Haykakan Hartsi Patmutiun 9-10, for high schools in Armenia. She has compiled and edited a teacher’s guide on how to teach the Armenian Genocide to Armenian students in K-12 Armenian schools. She has authored several research articles on the Armenian Genocide and diasporan literature in English and Armenian in scholarly journals and has contributed chapters in books. She has lectured widely and made presentations in Armenian and international symposia.
In an e’poque of political reawakening, when Armenian secret cells were mushrooming in the Ottoman and Russian empires, Atrpatakan Armenians were still dormant, submerged in ignorance, living under the constant threat of local Turks and Kurds. Atrpatakan, the Persian Azerbaijan, was the unique socio-political milieu to give birth to Raffi the revolutionary novelist and the harbinger of the Armenian liberation movement. And very soon Raffi’s characters, Sarhat, Vardan, Aslan, Karo, Farhat, Vorsord Avo, were reincarnated in an elite generation with strong dedication to the Armenian cause, Nikoghaios Melik Tangian was one of them. Atrpatakan in its proximity to Russian and Ottoman Armenia became a bridge and a beehive of political and paramilitary preparative activities, and many of these selfless devotees crossed Atrpatakan to go to Erkir leaving a memory, a trait, a character to remember.
As a result of concentration of manpower in Atrpatakan-cultural, political and revolutionary-community life was bolstered. Revolutionary activists assumed teaching positions in Tabriz, Salmast, and Urmieh. Schools were opened in Muzhumbar, Maragha and Gardabad. Atrpatakan Armenians developed a sense of sympathy and enthusiasm toward the Sourp Gorts. They patronized the activists with financial means and by interventing with the government when they were in trouble. Were they only the facilitators with insignificant degree of participation-as reflected in so many memories? What psychological impact did the presence of these outsider Armenians leave upon the Atrpatakan Armenians? Did that impact result in a lasting mindset?
The lecture will sketch the political history of Atrpatakan Armenians in critical period between the initial years of burgeoning enthusiasm for the liberation movement to their fervent support of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution. Within the paradigm of Atrpatakan Armenians’ response to this history also lies the answer to the question above.
The general public is invited to participate in this special Requiem Service and this interesting and very informative lecture and public service program. Admission is free. There will also be a reception.