AYF Canada Rallies Against Environmental Violations in Armenia

Posted by Weekly Staff, 27 June 2012

TORONTO, Ontario—On June 10, the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) of Canada “Simon Zavarian” Chapter hosted an information session in Toronto regarding recent environmental and social rights violations in Armenia. The event focused on the deforestation of the Teghut forest and the illegal construction of kiosks in Yerevan’s Mashdots Park, and was broadcasted live online.

Posted by Weekly Staff, 27 June 2012

TORONTO, Ontario—On June 10, the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) of Canada “Simon Zavarian” Chapter hosted an information session in Toronto regarding recent environmental and social rights violations in Armenia. The event focused on the deforestation of the Teghut forest and the illegal construction of kiosks in Yerevan’s Mashdots Park, and was broadcasted live online.

Among the attendees was Jim Karygiannis, PC, MP, Scarborough-Agincourt and member of the Armenian Canadian Parliamentary Group, who voiced his support for the cause and the activists. He commended the youth for hosting the event and urged attendees to “practice the power of the pen” and to persevere.

The executive director of the Armenia Tree Project (ATP), Jeff Masarjian, was invited from Boston, Mass., to further illustrate the issues in Teghut and the potential damage the mine can cause in the region. He discussed in detail the unjust actions the Armenian Copper Program has taken to make open-pit mining a reality in the area.

During the event, the attendees connected live with the leaders of the Save Teghut initiative via Skype, gaining a first-hand perspective of their ongoing efforts in Armenia. The activists voiced their support for the Toronto-Armenian community and encouraged other regions to take note and host information sessions to spread awareness.

During the event, photographs of Armenia’s landscape, donated by young Armenia-based photographers Azat Gevorkyan and Daron Titizian, were displayed. The attendees also participated in a photo petition, urging the Armenian government to take immediate action regarding the deforestation of Teghut and other political, social, and environmental injustices in Armenia.

The AYF Canada “Simon Zavarian” Chapter also collaborated with the ARS Armenian Day School, asking students to draw what they would like Armenia’s green spaces to look like in the future. Their works were displayed during the event and later sent to the activists in Armenia. Armenia’s youth has united in taking a stand against political, social, and environmental injustices, with the agenda to change the future of the country. The AYF Canada “Simon Zavarian” Chapter commends this movement and will continue to collaborate with the activist to ensure a fair and just society in Armenia.

 

2 comments
  1. Chic Genocide

    Recently a Miss Holocaust Survivor was inaugurated in Israel. Some claimed the election of this elderly lady is an ultimate expression of resilience in spite of Holocaust. Others claimed it cheapened the Holocaust. Beauty is in the gazers’ eyes, I say.  Resilience in spite of holocaust is a tribute to resilience, as far as I am concerned, and that tribute is made more dramatic because it is portrayed against the Holocaust as its background.

    Recently the ARF related media and ANCA have been promoting Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian as an epic Armenian Genocide literature. I have yet to experience such a barrage of promotion. I admit that I have not read the book and yet here I am biased against it. It may be the title of the book that has me biased against it or it may be this unrelenting promotion of the book by the standards of our media in the absence of serious literary critique, save an interview of the author with Tom Vartabedian and some attempted review that seemed to justify its promotion as an epic Armenian Genocide literature rather than offer serious literary scholarship. It may also be the Amazon’s review of the book that claims the Sandcastle Girls “ is a sweeping historical love story steeped in Chris Bohjalian's Armenian heritage”. Christ Bohjalian is a best selling author.

    I think we are stepping in the era of Chick Genocide Literature. I wonder if Sandcastle Girls in any way will make me understand the horrors of the Genocide’s reality any better. If it is an enduring love story during the Genocide or in spite of the Genocide, then I think it’s a tribute to love and the Genocide makes the love story the more poignant. Why the book is then being promoted as an epic Armenian Genocide literature and not as another love story, akin to its namesake book and the film in the sixties by Warren Betty and Natalie Wood, I wonder?

    Should I buy the book and read to find out? I have not made up my mind yet.
     

  2. A Call to AYFers

    It behooves that AYFers be diligent of the organizations they support and may lead one day. I have ANCA in mind. Any reference to the Armenian Genocide by the AYF or ANCA make should be rooted in fact and not in fiction.

    ANCA may have a monetary incentive to promote the book in return of royalty form the sale of the book. However, promoting "The Sandcastle Girls" as an "epic Genocide novel" was uncalled for and unexpected coming from ANCA. It has definitely eroded its credibility. 

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