WASHINGTON, D.C.- Knights and Daughters of Vartan held their regular Monthly Public Discussion titled “New Ways of Learning About the Armenian Genocide. Conventional, Digital, and Online Resources” at St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church Cultural Hall. Guest Speaker was Dr. Rouben P. Adalian, Director of the Armenian National Institute, D.C.
Close to 30 guests in attendance felt fortunate and very proud of the many accomplishments the Armenian National Institute (ANI) were realized under Dr. Adalian’s leadership.
Master of ceremonies, Malvina Brown presented the speaker to the audience. Dr. Adalian began his discussion expressing his gratitude to the members of Armenian Community Centennial Committee as well as Washington metro Armenian community at large for their tireless efforts organizing events leading up to the commemoration and celebration of 100 years passing of the genocide. Dr. Adalian was especially elated to have seen the younger generation involved and engaged throughout the week long activities in May, 2015.
The question Dr. Adalian posed “it’s been 100 years, what’s next?” He continued assuring the audience that the hard work put in for the centennial celebration paid off.
Dr. Adalian moved on to present ANI’s role and the impact its website has created within the general public, our elected officials, the media, educators on all levels and much more. He provided statistics on the number of visitors to ANI’s website and what was being analyzed behind the scenes of ANI’s website. In 2013 ANI’s website had 2 million visitors. The numbers started rising every year and reached the peak in 2016 with 6 million hits. Statistics indicated the visitors were mostly from English speaking countries; USA, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. The team at ANI realized there was an audience in Turkey that needed access to the information in their language including the Islamized “Armenians” and Armenians who did not speak Armenian. Hence, access to the information in Turkish language was added to the website and had recorded 10,000 visitors already.
Dr. Adalian added that ANI’s website has realized that one of its goals is actively participating in spreading the historic data about the genocide and reaching out to all age groups, including student and teachers. The website is being used now as a teaching tool and is appealing to the youngsters. The systematic translation of the key documents posted on the website by professionals have to date not been contested as they were all based on U.S. account of what was happening to the Armenians living under the Ottoman Empire rule. Exploiting incontestable evidence extracted from around 37000 pages from the National Archives, meticulously studied over 2 years, Dr. Adalian succeeded in producing a treasure of a document that has yet to be challenged as presenting false information.
Dr. Adalian pointed out that one mission ANI had to accomplish was to prove to the public and governmental officials in the U.S. and around the world the Armenian Genocide happened based on evidence as recorded by non-Armenians. He assured the guests in attendance that we are winning the battle already as documents retrieved from the National Archives for the purposes of reconstructing the history and giving an account of the genocide by using reports by citizens of this significant powerful country, the United States!
Dr. Adalian covered the next phase of ANI’s website, which was the “interactive site.” In his research over 20 plus years, Dr. Adalian sensed the need for a reliable governmental source document to present the Armenian life. He wanted to have a tool that would offer highlights and not to overwhelm the student searching for the information. Consequently, in keeping close tabs with technology he created downloadable documents within ANI’s website to be used as tools for parents and teachers. He estimated 50,000 copies of these documents have already been in circulation for various purposes by the individuals who had accessed them.
Dr. Adalian ended his presentation by posing the question; how we continue telling our story now that our survivors are no longer with us?
Dr. Adalian received a standing ovation from the attendees for his unyielding labor in affirming the genocide and not arguing whether it happened or not, a philosophy he justly claims ownership.
The evening concluded with a reception where Dr. Adalian humbly addressed the attendees’ numerous inquiries.