Islamized Armenians

Islamized ArmeniansThe Armenian Assembly of America is sponsoring a presentation and discussion at the University Club of Pasadena on Monday, December 2 at 7:00 PM on “Islamized Armenians.” The discussion will feature PhD candidates Doris Melkonian, Arda Melkonian and Anoush Suni, who presented  their research at the groundbreaking conference in Istanbul, Turkey earlier this year  in partnership with the Hrant Dink Foundation and the Malatya Hay Foundation. The event will be moderated by Dr. Osheen Keshishian. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity.




Updated Book List

Are you a book lover? Need a new book to read? Want to learn more about Armenia? Then check out my book list, complete with works on Armenian history and the Armenian Genocide among others. This list is updated regularly. Click here to view it. Have a book suggestion? Comment below!

Armenian Cathedral of Mren Featured on 2014 WMF List

Interest tid bit this morning from PanArmenian news about the Armenian Cathedral of Mren, which according to the news outlet is being included in the World Monuments Fund’s (WMF) 2014 World Monuments Watch. Click here to view a complete list of 2014 sites.

The WMF is an organization that brings international attention to the threatened cultural heritage of sites around the world. Their watch listings provide an opportunity for sites and their nominators to “raise public awareness, foster local participation, advance innovation and collaboration, and demonstrative effective solutions” to preserve historic sites. Since 1996, WMF has labeled over 740 sites in 133 countries/territories as needing preservation.

According to PanArmenian news:

Modern-day photo of the Cathedral of Mren

Modern-day photo of the Cathedral of Mren

The Armenian the Cathedral of Mren, located in the isolated Kars region of Turkey, was built during the reign of Heraclius in 638 and is associated with the Prince of Armenia and Syria, Dawit’ Saharuni. It was constructed during the Byzantine-Persian wars and at the beginning of the Arab conquests, the cathedral represents a moment of creation and collaboration during a time of major destruction. Mren is representative of the churches built in medieval Armenia and Georgia. It is thought to be the largest preserved domed basilica from seventh-century Armenia, built with rubble masonry and decorated with interior frescoes and a ceramic tile roof. Over the centuries the cathedral changed hands, and additions and inscriptions were added to the structure. The settlement ceased to exist after the Turkmen invasions in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and the cathedral has been abandoned and exposed to the elements for hundreds of years.

The structure is in desperate need of documentation and conservation, as its condition has deteriorated dramatically in recent years. Due to its isolated location with a militarized zone, access to the site requires permission from government authorities. The south façade has recently collapsed, threatening the structural integrity of the cathedral. Measures must taken to stabilize the entire structure if it is to be saved. It is hoped that the Watch will elicit a universal call to action to increase awareness about the site’s regional and global significance, as well as enhance the protection of the site and ensure that the monument will survive for future generations.

Click here to read more about the history and view pictures of the Cathedral of Mren.




For the second time this year, the Armenian Assembly of America was invited to submit testimony to Congress on issues of concern to the Armenian-American community. This move drew the ire of Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to the United States Elin Suleymanov, who expressed his “surprise” at the Armenian Assembly testimony and attempted to dispute Armenian-Americans’ right to set the record straight on Azerbaijan’s aggressive posture toward Armenians at a Congressional briefing held earlier this year entitled “Troubled Partner: Growing Authoritarianism in Azerbaijan.”

 A new video released by the Assembly today showcases Ambassador Suleymanov’s reaction and highlights segments of the Assembly’s testimony, specifically Azerbaijan’s state-sponsored policy of cultural genocide as seen in the destruction of an ancient Armenian cemetery in Julfa, Nakhichevan; Azerbaijan’s plummeting human rights  record and deteriorating press freedoms; and the repatriation, pardon and glorification of Azerbaijan soldier Ramil Safarov who brutally murdered Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan with an axe while the latter was sleeping at a NATO Partnership for Peace training course in Hungary in 2004.

As previously reported, the Assembly has been keenly focused on taking the necessary steps to protect the Armenian-American community from the continuing threats posed by Azerbaijan. In February, the Assembly released a ten-page report on the Sumgait Pogroms and Azerbaijan’s targeting of Christian Armenians. In July, the Assembly released a new Fact Sheet on Azerbaijan which was shared with Members of Congress.”The government of Azerbaijan can shower American officials with lavish junkets to their country and launch fancy public relations gimmicks to try to turn American attention away from their petro-fueled authoritarian oligarchy,” stated Assembly Communications Director Taniel Koushakjian. “Fortunately, Americans, especially our elected officials in Congress, are much better informed,” he said.

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization. The above information was taken from the Assembly’s website. For more information on this and other related topics, visit their website at