Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Pilibos students work together to promote assistance to Syrian

In an ongoing effort to help our fellow Armenians in Syria, Rose
and Alex Pilibos Armenian School is taking an active role to raise
awareness and much needed funds for those in need. Three Pilibos
students, George Kekejian, Manuk Karapetyan, and Khajag Bornazyan
created a Power Point presentation about the ongoing conflict that
occurs in Syria today. Syria is experiencing a Civil War in which the
nation is divided between supporters of President Bashar al-Assad and
those opposed to his rule. This turmoil has created massive bloodshed
leaving the country in complete disarray and chaos. We were shaken
to learn of these events for many of us, along with our parents and
grandparents migrated from Syria. As such, we felt obligated to take
immediate action. In the presentation, we discussed what the Armenian
community is experiencing in that region and what we can do to help.

Our goal was to inform our fellow students about the struggles facing
Armenians around the world and educate them about Syria's ongoing
battle. We felt an urge to raise awareness about this conflict in
an effort to aid those in need. We strongly believe that in order to
take action, we must first become enlightened.

The Dove: A symbol of peace and unity The presentation was organized
with the help of our fellow teacher, Sona Madarian, and with ANCA
Western Region Executive, William Bayramian. We discussed the efforts
of the Armenian Syrian Relief Fund (SARF) along with the various
other support organizations available in sending much needed aid
and assistance. As a part of our preparation, we conducted extensive
research detailing all the facts of the conflict in Syria. Throughout
the process, we became so immersed in the details that it deeply
affected each one of us to our core.

This effort launched a fund-raising campaign on campus centered on
the theme of "Peace and Unity". Three eleventh grade students, Alice
Khachmanyan, Harout Klian, and Andre Ksajikian, worked tirelessly to
create bookmarks that will be disturbed to the student body in return
for a donation. The money raised will be donated to Syrian Armenian
Relief Fund (SARF) which aids Armenian families in need. The students
also created cut outs of peace doves that created the Wall of Peace
and Unity on campus.

As educated students of Pilibos and future leaders of our community,
we felt it necessary to shine a light on the conflict in Syria as
an initiative to raise awareness. In addition, we wanted to instill
the sense of urgency to take action, raise funds, and to unite as a
community to help the Armenians of Syria.

As Allen Ginserg said: "The only thing that can save the world is
the reclaiming of the awareness of the world. That's what poetry does."