WORLD RENOWNED EXPERTS TO DISCUSS THE OCCUPIED ANCESTRAL ARMENIAN HOMELAND AT ANCA-WR GRASSROOTS
The "Western Armenia and the Hidden Armenians" panel will be on
Saturday, October 24
LOS ANGELES--The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA-WR)
has confirmed the attendance of three highly-respected international
experts on free speech, human rights, and minority rights, Aris Nalci,
Baris Allen, and George Aghjayan, at the 2015 ANCA-WR Grassroots
Conference. The guest speakers will join hundreds of attendees from
around the world to participate in the "Western Armenia and Hidden
Armenians" panel, which will take place on October 24at 9 a.m at
the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. Matthew Karanian, Esq. author of
the best-selling English language books Armenia and Karabakh: The
Stone Guardian Travel Guide and Historic Armenia: 100 Years Later,
will moderate the panel.
With more than 7 million Armenians living outside of Armenia and
Artsakh, in addition to the estimated 2 million forcibly Islamized or
"Hidden Armenians" living in present-day Eastern Turkey as a result
of the 1915 Armenian Genocide, the dynamic panel will engage audiences
in identity politics and issues interfering with cultural preservation
for Armenians everywhere. There will be a question and answer session
at the end of the panel.
Aris Nalci, an author and filmmaker noted for his coverage of
Armenian and minority issues, as well as freedom of speech, will
join geographical and demographic researcher of Western Armenia
(present-day Eastern Turkey), George Aghjayan, and Kurdish human
rights activist Baris Alen.
Aris Nalci graduated from FerikУЖy Merametcian Primary Armenian School,
Getronagan Armenian High School in Istanbul and the Yildiz Technical
University, where he served on the Mechanical Engineering Faculty.
Between 1997 and 2011, Nalci worked as a writer and editor for the
Istanbul-Armenian newspaper, Agos. He has also written for the daily
newspaper Birgun and Radikal, the weekly newspaper Beyoglu, and several
Armenian and Turkish journals. He is currently a producer and editor
at IMC TV in Turkey.
In 2011, Nalci created the first TV show about minorities in Turkey
called Gamurc (Bridge), which is still on air. He has also filmed
documentaries on Armenian issues, minority rights, and free speech,
including Avtobus (2012), 23-and-a-Half (2013), January Nineteen
(2013), Grandma's Receipt (2013), and Turkish Presidents' Exam with
Armenians (2014). In 2014, he co-wrote "1965-50 years after Armenian
Genocide, 50 years before 100т~@Г with Serdar Korucu. Nalci also
contributes weekly blogs to T24.com.tr.
Baris Alen, born in Diyarbakir, Turkey, studied International Relations
at Istanbul Dogus University. He received an M.A. of Global Studies at
Lund University in Sweden and launched his professional career in the
NGO sector, working for the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey in Ankara
and the Federation of Southeast Anatolian Businessman Association in
Diyarbakir. More recently, Alen worked for the Diyarbakir Metropolitan
Municipality as the Mayor's Foreign Relations advisor until the 2014
elections. Since then, he has been working for the International
Humanitarian organization on the Syrian border to provide basic
hygiene, food, and other essentials to refugees out of official camps.
George Aghjayan graduated from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute
with honors in 1988, acquiring his bachelor's of science degree in
Actuarial Mathematics. He achieved his Fellowship in the Society of
Actuaries in 1996. After a career in both insurance and structured
finance, Aghjayan retired in 2014 to focus his efforts on Armenian
related research and projects. His primary area of interest is the
demographic and geography of Western Armenia, but he also researches
hidden Armenians living there today.
Aghjayan has also written and lectured on a wide array of topics,
including Armenian genealogy and genocide denial. He has served
on the Central Committee of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation,
Eastern United States and the National Board of the Armenian National
Committee of America.
"Our featured panelists provide invaluable insight into the occupied
ancestral homeland of Armenians. The panel will serve as a mini-course
in issues faced by Armenians and non-Armenians living in modern
Western Armenia," said ANCA-WR Grassroots committee co-chairman Ayk
The moderator of the panel, Matthew Karanian, Esq. is a
second-generation Armenian American lawyer who wrote the first
self-published guidebook on Armenia. Karanian served as the Associate
Dean of the American University of Armenia's law program and as the
Director of the University' Legal Research Center. Karanian also
founded the Armenian Law Review in 2003 with his students.
Since 1995, Karanian has embarked on journeys to Eastern and Western
Armenia, Artsakh, Javakhk, Ani, and Cilicia. His book, "Armenia and
Karabakh" is based on over a dozen visits to Armenia. His writings
about Armenia have been published in numerous periodicals in the
United States and Canada, and his recent book "Historic Armenia: 100
Years Later" is an impressive encyclopedia and pictorial record of
the present-day status of Western Armenia, its monuments, churches,
villages, and people.
"We are so proud to present this esteemed panel to our community and
the hundreds of Grassroots participants who are sure to gain a new
and unique knowledge about how past and current events in Turkey
directly affect the pursuit of our Cause," remarked ANCA-WR Chair
Nora Hovsepian, Esq.
The ANCA-WR Grassroots conference will take place on October 23 and
24 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel. General admission to the
conference is $85 and $50 for students. Visit www.ANCAWRGrassroots.org
to register online or to learn about sponsorship and booth display
This year's ANCA-WR Gala Banquet will be one of the largest the
organization has hosted. The event, which has become one of the most
anticipated events of the calendar year, will be held on Sunday,
October 25 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel. For information
about purchasing tickets, and corporate and tribute message sponsorship
opportunities, please visit www.ANCAWRGala.org or call 818.839.1918.
The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the
largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy
organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination
with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the
Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country,
the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community
on a broad range of issues.