The session was attended by the university administration, representatives of the professorial staff, students, various structures and the Diaspora.
YSU Rector Aram Simonyan made a comprehensive report “From Genocide to Revival” with a special focus on the Armenian genocide, planned still several centuries ago, the policy of Turkey then and now, the unity of the Armenians who survived the Genocide, the revival of our people, etc.
“Taking as a basis the provisions of the UN Convention, the term “genocide” describes the genocide committed by the Young Turks in 1914-1916. Sometimes the massacres of the 1890s, organized by Sultan Hamid, are also included here, as well as the new stage of the massacre committed by the administration of Kemal Ataturk in 1920 -1923. Of course, these massacres on the scale and brutality were unprecedented in the history of the Armenian people, who had lived for centuries on the Ottoman territories. There is no other definition for the policy pursued for centuries by Turkish sultans and pashas. Here we should mention about the decrease of number of Armenians. Armenians were subjected to cruel oppression, ethnic and religious persecution, faced obstacles in the development of their culture, the Armenian toponyms were being renamed,”- said Mr. Simonyan.
Then Aram Simonyan presented the clear chronology of the policy and actions carried out by the Turkish authorities, the culmination of which was the idea of pan-Turkism. This idea is manifested in various ways, but the goal was one - Western Armenia without Armenians. The last part of the report was devoted to the lessons of history.
“Which sides of the Armenian national character are weak? What were the mistakes of the leaders and structures responsible for the livelihoods of the Armenian people? What does one need to do to fix bad traits of our identity and to avoid mistakes in future? All this should be analyzed by the Armenian people, and Yerevan State University should play a major role in the formation of national thinking. Turks should have today enough courage to meet with their history face to face, but we must have the courage to analyze ourselves, to condemn our vices,”- said YSU Rector.
Then the band “Norayr Kartashyan Project and Van” came to the stage. It is active since 2010, has united young musicians who skillfully play on the traditional Armenian instruments which are also very popular today (tar, kamancha, flute, duduk, zurna, qanon, dhol). They also play on the already forgotten two-barrel Armenian bagpipe.
In 2010-2015 the band visited a number of cities of the historical homeland (Arabkir, Malatia, Dersim, Kharberd, Diarberkir, Van), has conducted many activities in Hamshen (ethno-musical studies, workshops), participated in Arguvan (Malatya) and Mndzur (Dersim) festivals and gave concerts in Yerevan, Istanbul, Diarberkir and Van.
Then the members of YSU Cultural Centre performed national dances.
We should note that abstract photos by Gabriel Panosyan were exhibited in the hall. The photos of the exhibition under the slogan “Light in the Darkness” were without names: the author had decided to leave it to the imagination of people.
“It is up to everyone to decide what there is shown. Students saw there the objects of which I had not even thought. Basically, everybody saw here the characters of Genocide and revival. 470 names were offered at last exhibition,” - said Mr. Panosyan and added that exhibitions will also be held in Gyumri, Vanadzor, Art Union “Narekatsi” and then in the United States and Canada.