GLENDALE — Professor Vahram Shemmassian to lecture on The Armenian Legion and World War I on the opening day of the exhibition on Friday, October 4, 2013, at 7pm at the Glendale Central Library Auditorium, 222 East Harvard Street in Glendale. The traveling exhibit was created by the Armenian Museum of America and has been shown around the country, most recently at the French Cultural Center of Boston. The exhibition will be held on the first floor of Central library and will run until October 19, 2013.

Prof. Vahram Shemmassian is the Director of the Armenian Studies Program in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures at the California State University, Northridge. He has received awards of appreciation from the Knights of Vartan and the Mousaler Association of California, as well as a certificate of recognition from the California State Assembly. In the summer of 2010 the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia awarded Dr. Shemmassian the William Saroyan Medal for his contributions to the promotion and preservation of Armenian culture in the Diaspora.

Légion Arménienne The Armenian Legion was formed during the darkest days of World War I, when the Allies (France, England, and Russia) were deadlocked in a military stalemate on both the European and Middle Eastern fronts against the combined forces of Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. Leaders of the Armenian Diaspora were determined to raise a volunteer fighting force to support the Allies. The brave men who volunteered to risk their lives in a struggle for their people’s political and human rights ultimately failed in their quest. Betrayed by the Allies, the Armenians were unable to achieve any redress for their tremendous losses of life and property. Yet the brave and dedicated Armenian Legionnaires join the ranks of those who, throughout history, have struggled to advance the cause of justice and freedom.

Armenian Museum of America (a division of the Armenian Library and Museum of America, ALMA), is the largest Armenian museum in the Diaspora and is funded solely through contributions of individuals and foundations. Located in Watertown, MA., it is a major repository for a vast array of artifacts and publications that illustrate the heritage and creative achievements of the Armenian people over the centuries.

The program is organized by the Glendale Library Arts & Culture and the Armenian Studies Program, California State University of Northridge and is cosponsored by the United Armenian Council of Los Angeles and the Armenian Museum of America. The exhibit has been made possible by the generosity of Aurora Adajian Lehmann and the Honorable Jacob Adajian in fond memory of their legionnaire father, Serop Adajian of Kheder Beg, Musa Dagh.

Admission is free; seating is limited. Library visitors receive 3 hours FREE parking across the street at The Market Place parking structure with validation at the Loan Desk.

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