By Hratch Sepetjian

March 31, 2011, 8:00 p.m., Broad Hall, UCLA

As we approach the 96th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide the AGBU Asbeds have taken on the bold undertaking of organizing a remarkable event unique in its kind featuring Hasan Cemal, author, journalist and columnist of the Milliyet Newspaper, and also the grandson of Cemal Pasha, responsible for the Armenian Genocide who was later assassinated by the hand of an Armenian. Hasan Cemal lives and works in Istanbul. He is known in Armenian circles as a courageous intellectual who has not only accepted and condemns the Armenian Genocide, but has also visited Armenia and Dzidzernagapert. The event will be held at UCLA’s Broad Hall on March 31, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.
Entitled “From Der Zor to Dzidzernagapert”, the event is part of the AGBU Asbed’s annual lecture series “An evening with a Scholar.” The presentation will feature two discussants, the first of which is Prof. Richard Hovannisian, Professor of Armenian and Near Eastern History and Chair of the Armenian Educational Foundation in Modern Armenian History at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The second is Dr. Pamela Steiner, Director of the Inter-Communal Trust-Building Project; Fellow, FXB Center, Harvard School of Public Health & Affiliate, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. She is also the great granddaughter of Henry Morgenthau, US Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.
The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session. Admission to this exceptional event is free. For further details please visit the AGBU Asbeds website at [email protected].
The Armenian Genocide is an unforgettable part of Armenian History and to most Armenians is associated with the names of three Pashas, Talaat, Enver, and Cemal. The latter Ahmet Cemal was born in 1872 and assassinated in 1922 in Tbilisi by Stepan Dzaghigian. Cemal Pasha was trained in the military, served in the Ottoman defense department and held several high ranking positions. During 1908-1918 he was one of the key figures in both the empire’s foreign and domestic politics, along with Talaat and Enver. How remarkable that the grandson of the engineer behind such despicable acts against the Armenians will arrive in Los Angeles and address an audience of both Armenians and non-Armenians as a contemporary Turkish journalist, a columnist for the Milliyet Newspaper, author of several volumes, but most importantly as a representative of the new generation of Turks, and an individual who is aware of the Armenian genocide and has expressed sympathy towards the Armenian people.
I anxiously await the moment that evening when I will look deep into his eyes, and face-to-face, eye-to-eye, we will let our minds, memories and the present day reality take flight. Was this not, perhaps, the same objective of the AGBU Asbeds when a year ago they spearheaded this project – to find ourselves face-to-face with such a magnanimous Turk like Hasan Cemal? It is truly commendable to see that an Armenian and a Turk from present-day society are willing to come together to share past mistakes and hear each other’s similar and opposing points of view; a concept pioneered by none other than the self-sacrificing Hrant Dink.
Mark your calendars and don’t miss this unique event organized by the AGBU Asbeds. “A Conversation with Hasan Cemal” will take place Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. at UCLA’s Broad Hall (parking structure #3. Parking booth located at Westholme Avenue and Hilgard Avenue for $10, Los Angeles).

Translated by: Arsho Azadian-Melikian

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