Date: June 2, 2008
Armenian National Committee of America
Eastern Region
122 W. 27th St. Floor 12, New York, NY 10001
Contact: Karine Birazian
Tel: 917-428-1918


Prospect, PA-- Hundreds of Armenian youth from the Armenian Youth
Federation (AYF), Eastern, US gathered at the annual Junior Seminar
this past Memorial Day weekend to take part in educational,
athletic, and social activities that are geared towards creating a
fraternal Armenian atmosphere for all members, reported the
Armenian National Committee of America, Eastern Region (ANCA-ER)

Among the organized schedule of speakers was ANCA-ER Executive
Director Karine Birazian who spoke to groups on becoming active on
Armenian issues and the importance of grassroots mobilization.

During her lecture entitled "Got Hai Tahd," Birazian focused on the
genocide in Darfur and why it is critical that Armenian youth
become involved in attempting to stop it.. "We must be the voice
for those Darfurians today. In 1915, when Armenians did not have a
voice, others, who never had even heard of an Armenian, helped,"
commented Birazian during her lecture.

Following her lectures, Birazian had the youth place their hands in
red paint and then on a large cloth provided for them. The
activity, encourage by Africa Action, is sending a message to
President Bush that we are all witnesses to the ongoing genocide
today in Darfur.

Those present in Birazian's lecture also received information on
key issues that the ANCA is working on, including economic and
military aid to Armenia, the nomination of a new U.S. ambassador to
Armenia, and the current status of the Armenian Genocide
Resolution. Activists also learned how to call their
representatives, as well as learning where their Members stand on
issues of importance to Armenian Americans.

Following Birazian's lecture, Becca Biesel, an AYF Junior member
from the New Jersey "Arsen" chapter contacted Birazian over
Facebook (c) asking for more information on how to contact her
Congressman. "I decided to call my Congressman because I had
learned from Karine that not only do we come to Seminar to see our
friends, but to learn about our Armenian culture. After watching
her presentation, it made it me feel like I can make a little
difference. It is very important to have your Congressman's
support because it makes you feel safe, as well as being a step
closer in recognizing the Armenian Genocide."

Among the lecturers were several ANCA activists in leadership
roles, including: George Aghjayan; ANCA ER Board member: Serouj
Aprahamian; ANCA Capital Gateway Program Director; Ara Chalian, ANC
of Pennsylvania Chairman; and Zohrab Khaligian, ANC of Wisconsin
Chairman, as well as community volunteers.

Photo Caption #1: Activists taking part in the handprints for

Photo Caption #2: Handprints for Darfur