YEREVAN — The AUA community has been deeply affected by the recent violation of the ceasefire on the entire Nagorno-Karabakh-Azerbaijan line of contact. Turning sentiment into support, on Monday a group of students in collaboration with faculty set up a working group to translate news and information from official sources into 19 languages. Posts in Arabic, Turkish, Armenian, French, Persian, Russian, Spanish, Polish, German, Estonian, Japanese and even Hebrew have been shared through AUA’s independent student newspaper The Bridge. Over 100 news and articles have been translated since the launch of the project.
“In such situations every citizen wants to make his or her contribution to the improvement of the situation…since we are an educational institution, and quite a unique one, we have the capability of reaching the international community. And, we have many students from the Diaspora who know many different languages. I thought we could have our impact on the international media,” says Eduard Avetisyan, the Undergraduate Student Council Secretary and a third-year Computational Sciences student.
Arpi Janyan, a second-year business student, noted that, “a lot of misinformation is being spread in the media… Before starting the project, we wanted to make sure that everyone has some basic knowledge of how to be literate in the media field. So, one of our instructors, Maria Titizian, organized a workshop in media literacy. We are getting our information from the official websites of the president of the Republic of Armenia, Ministry of Defense and their speakers.”
There are around 50 AUA students working on the initiative. To expand, AUA’s Undergraduate Student Council met with students from Yerevan State University who will also begin to participate. “There soon might be hundreds of translators working on this project,” continues Eduard Avetisyan.
The number of followers of The Bridge increased by 500 people in the first couple of hours after the launch of the initiative.
Another group of students has started a collection drive to send basic supplies to the afflicted populations. Students have been encouraged to talk with faculty and staff members about additional steps that can be initiated.
On Wednesday, April 6, university counseling services held open discussions with faculty and students and announced extended hours.