Armenian Genocide: 94 years of denial and remembrance
Both LAU campuses hosted events marking the 94th anniversary of this unpunished crime committed against humanity.
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Students, faculty and staff from various backgrounds joined LAU’s Armenian students during the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide on the Beirut and Byblos campuses in late April.
Every year, Armenian students honor the death of their 1.5 million ancestors massacred by Ottoman Turks during World War I by attending events organized by LAU’s Armenian cultural clubs.
The crime has remained “unpunished and unrecognized,” said Garo Manjerian, the president of the Armenian club in Beirut.
“We, as human beings, must recognize and condemn all kinds of injustice that have been committed throughout history,” Manjerian said.
“Today we shout out for the help [of states that have not recognized the genocide] and yet they often remain deaf to our screams for justice,” he added.
Byblos students organized a lecture on the history of the genocide followed by a musical performance April 22.
“The Armenian Genocide … began with the decapitation of the nation,” said lecturer Missak Keleshian, an independent researcher on Armenian issues. Mass arrests of leaders, writers and intellectuals took place in Istanbul on April 24, 1915—the day Armenians around the world commemorate the genocide—and ended with their murder.
According to Keleshian, the offenses against the Armenians began much earlier (in 1895) but the atrocities culminated in 1914–1923 when the Ottoman military uprooted Armenians from their houses, deprived them of food and water, and murdered many of them.
Around 1.5 million Armenians lost their lives including children and women, said Keleshian.
The death of a single person is degrading enough to humanity, said Byblos Guidance Director Elie Samia. “So what about the death of 1.5 million of innocent lives?”
“I am full of empathy as an individual, indignation as a political scientist, and full of respect as the director of Guidance [in Byblos],” Samia added.
Photo exhibitions on both campuses depicted the atrocities committed against Armenians.
Genocide-related press clippings from The New York Times, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, and other newspapers were displayed.
Billboards also showcased flags of countries that have recognized the genocide such as Lebanon, Russia, France and Germany.
“It is our duty to remember this day [April 24], and to inform the public of the wrongdoings that had been committed against the Armenian people,” said Manjerian.
“The recognition of the Armenian Genocide is inevitable, for as long as there is somebody ‘knocking on the door,’ someone will open it,” he added.
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