States News Service
October 15, 2014 Wednesday


The following information was released by the office of California
Rep. Adam Schiff:

Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) announced that the White House will
be displaying the Armenian Orphan Rug, also known as the Ghazir Rug,
as part of an exhibit at the White House Visitors Center. The exhibit
entitled Thank you to the United States: Three Gifts to Presidents
in Gratitude for American Generosity Abroad will showcase the Ghazir
rug, as well as the Svres vase, given to President Herbert Hoover in
appreciation for feeding children in post-World War I France, and
the Flowering Branches in Lucite, given to President Barack Obama
in recognition of American support of the people of Japan after
the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2010. These three gifts
to American presidents will be on display so visitors to the White
House and those wishing to see the artifacts can view them.

The Armenian Orphan Rug was woven by orphans of the Armenian Genocide
in 1920, and presented to President Calvin Coolidge in 1925 as a
symbol of gratitude for American aid and generosity for U.S.

assistance during the genocide. The rug, which measures 11'7" x 18'5,
has over 4,000,000 hand-tied knots and took the Armenian girls in the
Ghazir Orphanage of the Near East Relief Society 10 months to weave.

President Coolidge noted that, "The rug has a place of honor in the
White House where it will be a daily symbol of goodwill on earth. The
rug which has been in storage at the White House for decades will be
displayed from November 18 23 in the White House Visitors Center.

Schiff and the Armenian community have worked with the White House
to find a way for the Ghazir rug to be sensitively and appropriately

The Armenian Orphan Rug embodies the resilience of the Armenian people
through their darkest days and serves as a poignant reminder of 1.5
Armenians who were murdered in the first genocide of the 20th Century.

It also reminds Americans that our government was a central player
in efforts to call attention to the plight of the Armenian people
and provide relief to survivors, said Rep. Adam Schiff. Since first
raising this issue with the White House, we have worked to find a
dignified way to display the Rug so that Americans can come to see
this important artifact, and learn about an important chapter of the
shared history of the Armenian and American peoples. I want to thank
the White House for working with us, and look forward to seeing the
rug displayed at the White House Visitors Center.

Rep. Adam Schiff and Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) sent a letter along with
31 other Members to President Obama last year urging the Administration
to allow exhibition of the rug. The full letter is below, and can be
found here, and in the letter they stated: The Armenian Orphan Rug is
a piece of American history and it belongs to the American people. For
over a decade, Armenian American organizations have sought the public
display of the rug and have requested the White House and the State
Department grant their