Join us on May 28th at 7:00 P.M. EDT for AFC’s May World Peace Book Club, an online FB discussion.
This month’s selection, ‘In the Shadow of the Banyan Tree,’ by Vaddey Ratner, traces 7 yr. old Raami’s journey through the horrors of the Cambodian genocide. While this text clearly depicts the inhumanity of genocide, Raami’s father’s poignant, and often poetic, message on hope and humanity remain with Raami throughout her ordeal, and it is a message we can all learn from. Learning about genocide and human rights violations isn’t about suffering and depression; it is about hope and rising above the most encompassing of darknesses. It is about the value of a life. Join us for this worthwhile discussion – and please share widely.
The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum held a beautiful and worthwhile commemoration of the Armenian Genocide on the evening of 4/23/2015. I feel hopeful in seeing so many faiths gathered to remember and take a stance for life.
I hope that one day soon governments will gain the courage to recognize the Armenian Genocidal for the crime that it is rather than succumb to political pressure and threats, as recognition is the first step in preventing future genocides. Hitler himself knew, as he planned to enact the Final Solution against European Jews, that he would get away with it. As he stated, “After all, who remembers the Armenians.”
History will continue to repeat itself until the world understands that genocide will be recognized and called by its name, that its leaders will not receive impunity, and that sanctions will be enforced.
Until true action occurs, we have the power of memory and the power of education. One of the many compelling statements from this night that truly stood out to me, especially as we instinctively turn away from the horrors that the word “genocide” evokes, “Learning about genocide isn’t depressing. It is about the value of a life.”
It’s Time to Call a Thing for What It Is
To end genocide, we must first stop the denial. The political act of denial, protecting perpetrators for the sake of alliances or economics, condones genocide. Without impunity and with proper sanctions and recognition, genocide would no longer be profitable. When we fail to call genocide by it’s name, we impede cultural healing and enable the cycle of violence to continue.
I’d like to give a special shout out and thank you to Ngor Mayol, former Lost Boy of Sudan and Mothering Across Continents project volunteer, and Alan Sherko, Kurdish survivor of Saddam Hussein’s Al Anfal campaign, for their outstanding efforts at yesterday’s FCHS speaking event in support of April as Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month. Education and memory are integral in combatting future genocides, and your stories touched many hearts.
#WorldPeaceBookClub: Black Dog of Fate, by Peter Balakian
This April marks the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian genocide. Join us for a FB discussion of ‘Black Dog of Fate,’ by Peter Balakian, on April 19th at 7:00 P.M, on our AFC Facebook page. Be sure to invite your friends and colleagues.
RSVP on our AFC #WorldPeaceBookClub event page
Purchase the text through our #AFCWorldPeaceBookFair