Elie Berberian

NEW YORK, NY – Classically trained opera singer Elie Berberian will serve as the special headliner of the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide at the Times Square Commemoration on Sunday, April 22, 2018.

Hosted annually by the Knights & Daughters of Vartan, the commemoration serves as an opportunity to share in remembrance of the 1.5 million Armenians massacred by the Young Turk government between 1915-1923 and to spread awareness of the first genocide of the 20th century.

Attracting visitors from around the world, the diverse programming features top elected officials who underscore their efforts in Congress in their push towards genocide recognition, as well as renowned scholars and artists.

“Times Square is the business and entertainment capital of the world,” said Berberian. “It’s an extraordinary step for my nation to have an event of this scale that amplifies the Armenian cause.”

Berberian will debut a special song during his performance, titled “Hayer Jan,” which spreads the message of united Armenians. He will sing two additional songs, including the emotional folk melody “Horovel” by Gomidas.

Emphasizing the importance of Armenian Genocide remembrance on both “moral and historical levels,” Berberian says it’s paramount to teach the new generation “the strength of our ancestors who fought to keep their religion.”

“As descendants of genocide survivors, we are advocating our history to the world in the face of denial.”

Bryan Ardouny, the Executive Director of the Washington-based Armenian Assembly of America, who serves as the commemoration’s official media liaison, elaborated on the event’s historical significance over the past 30 years “standing together in Times Square united against genocide denial and its consequences.”

Ardouny noted the attempts of the United States to prevent the Armenian Genocide and aiding those who survived.

“Given this proud chapter in America’s history, we strongly encourage all people of goodwill to join us in marking this important occasion as we commemorate the Armenian Genocide and continue our collective efforts to prevent future genocides.”

Serving as Master of Ceremonies of the commemoration for the past decade, attorney Armen McOmber, Esq., who will be joined by Professor Nvair Beylerian, remarked on the program’s theme of “Truth, Justice and Recognition.”

“For over a century we remember and honor the one and a half million victims of the Armenian Genocide and we continue our efforts towards worldwide recognition,” said McOmber. “The annual Armenian Genocide Commemoration in Times Square brings together thousands of human rights supporters and is invaluable to our community and the world at large.”

As a member of the Diaspora who maintains deep ties to his heritage, Berberian looks forward to a strong and resilient future for Armenians, both in the homeland and in the Diaspora.

“As we continue to commemorate the Armenian Genocide, we do so not as victims, but as advocates of hope and peace.”

The 103rd Armenian Genocide Commemoration is organized by the Mid-Atlantic chapters of the Knights & Daughters of Vartan (www.kofv.org), an international Armenian fraternal organization headquartered in the United States, and co-sponsored by the Armenian General Benevolent Union (www.agbu.org), the Armenian Assembly of America (www.aaainc.org), the Armenian National Committee of America (www.anca.org), the Armenian Council of America and the Armenian Democratic League – Ramgavars.

Participating organizations include the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, Prelacy of the Armenian Church of America, Armenian Missionary Association of America, Armenian Catholic Eparchy for U.S. and Canada, the Armenian Church Youth Organization of America (ACYOA), the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF-YOARF), Armenian youth organizations and university Armenian clubs.

For more information please visit, http://www.kofv.org/MAIN/APRIL222018 www.april24nyc.org, www.armenianradionj.net, www.theforgotten.org, www.armenian-genocide.org, www.twentyvoices.com.

Taleen Babayan

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