Armenian National Institute Exhibit Opens at Republic of Armenia’s Ministry of Defense

Yerevan, Armenia – United States Ambassador to Armenia Lynne Tracy and Kansas Army National Guard Adjutant-General, Major General Lee Tafanelli, joined Armenia’s Minister of Defense Davit Tonoyan for the opening of the exhibit “The United States Military in the First Republic of Armenia 1919-1920” on January 27 at the Republic of Armenia’s Ministry of Defense in Yerevan.

Major General Lee Tafanelli of the Kansas Army National Guard with U.S. military delegation, U.S. Ambassador Lynne Tracy, Dr. Ashot Melkonian of the Armenian Academy of Sciences, and Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan at the Republic of Armenia’s Defense Ministry for the opening of the ANI exhibit

Created by the Washington, D.C.-based Armenian National Institute, the exhibit focuses on the enormous extent of humanitarian assistance rendered by the United States to Armenia in the aftermath of World War I through the services of American military missions sent to Armenia.

In his opening remarks, Minister Tonoyan thanked Ambassador Tracy for the support extended by the United States in recent years to Armenia. Reflecting on the historical exhibit, Tonoyan noted that: “For many, U.S. assistance during those years was critical, especially the new opportunities created to provide education thanks to which many Armenians received schooling during that difficult time and went on to make impressive achievements.”

Ambassador Tracy delivered welcoming remarks congratulating those present on the occasion of the 28th anniversary of the Armenian Army and spoke about the important work done over the past 100 years.

U.S. General Tafanelli along with his delegation of officers viewed the exhibit and are in Yerevan as part of the U.S.-Armenia military partnership program.

U.S. Ambassador Lynne Tracy, Major General Lee Tafanelli, and Babken Vartanian at the Republic of Armenia’s Defense Ministry for the opening of the ANI exhibit

Regional Director Arpi Vartanian, speaking on behalf of the Armenian Assembly of America and the Armenian National Institute, pointed out the importance of the high level military mission that U.S. President Woodrow Wilson dispatched to Armenia and stressed their effective intervention in stabilizing the humanitarian crisis in the country despite the small size of the American contingents. She thanked as well Armenia’s servicemen on the occasion of the 28th anniversary of the founding of Armenia’s modern-day army.

The 27-panel exhibit documents the tremendous importance of the U.S. humanitarian intervention during the most difficult years in the life of the newly-formed Armenian state. Based upon the photographic collection of an American medical officer, Dr. Walter P. Davenport, the exhibit reveals the depth and breadth of measures taken by U.S. military personnel to stabilize the humanitarian crisis in Armenia, and especially the caretaking of the most vulnerable part of the population through hospitals, orphanages, food distribution points, and other facilities.

Subtitled “The American Relief Administration and Walter Davenport of the U.S. Army Medical Corps,” the exhibit reveals how in 1919, U.S. military personnel and civilian aid workers cared for tens of thousands of children. As Dr. Davenport reported: “At the present time we are furnishing food and medical relief to 75,000 children daily, this work being done through the medium of orphanages, orphanage hospitals, soup kitchens, cocoa kitchens, milk stations, bread distributing points, orphanage infirmaries, and public dispensaries.”

Dr. Walter P. Davenport with local Armenian medical staff

The Davenport collection of photographs not only documents the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Armenia but also the measurable difference American relief efforts made in the span of only a few months. The exhibit displays official and personal records related to Dr. Davenport’s activities in Armenia, which he subsequently reported in The Military Surgeon journal. With 103 photographs, 3 maps, 14 documents, and several newspaper articles, the exhibit pictorially reconstructs the conditions that U.S. military personnel witnessed in Armenia.

The digital version of the ANI exhibit is available online and free to download from the ANI website where five other exhibits may be viewed. Designed for instructional purposes, the exhibits explain several aspects of the Armenian Genocide that were well documented photographically.

Founded in 1997, the Armenian National Institute (ANI) is a 501(c)(3) educational charity based in Washington, D.C., and is dedicated to the study, research, and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide.

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NR# 2020-001

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Award Winning TV Anchor Araksya Karapetyan to Keynote Armenian Assembly Annual CA New Year’s Gathering

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) is pleased to announce that Emmy Award winning television anchor Araksya Karapetyan will be the keynoter at its annual New Year’s Gathering in Westlake Village, California on Sunday, January 19 starting at 2:00 pm.

Araksya Karapetyan has been reporting and anchoring at FOX 11 in Los Angeles for the past 7 1/2 years. She anchors the morning newscasts on FOX 11’s Good Day LA program.

A native of Armenia, Araksya moved to the United States from Gyumri when she was seven years old. Over the years, Araksya has volunteered her time and talents on behalf of the Armenian community of Greater Los Angeles. In September 2019, she emceed the welcoming ceremony of Republic of Armenia Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan at Los Angeles City Hall and had an opportunity to interview the Prime Minster at an Armenia-focused business conference in Burbank.

In April 2019, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recognized Araksya for her dedicated work within the Armenian American community. And Pan Armenian TV named Araksya “Television Personality of the Year” during its 2019 Armenian Influencer Awards.

Araksya Karapetyan began her television career as an intern at KABC-TV in Los Angeles, KFI 640 AM Radio in Burbank, and Torrance CitiCABLE 3. Before coming back home to Los Angeles, Araksya worked in Idaho Falls, Idaho as a reporter, photographer, editor, writer, producer, and weekend anchor. She then moved to Portland, Oregon, where she spent two years there as a general assignment reporter, always leading the evening newscasts with the big investigative stories of the day. Araksya also had an opportunity to host a lifestyle show while in Portland, giving her a chance to showcase more of her personality.

“This year’s gathering will inform Assembly members and friends on our advocacy priorities and on developments in Armenia from esteemed broadcast journalist Araksya Karapetyan, who will share her insights with us. This event is a fun and informative way to start off the new year, and a wonderful opportunity to answer questions from SoCal-based Armenian Americans,” Assembly Western Region Director Mihran Toumajan stated.

Assembly Co-Chair Anthony Barsamian and Executive Director Bryan Ardouny will be discussing the historic passage of the Armenian Genocide resolutions in the House and Senate, as well as the Assembly’s advocacy priorities for 2020.

Armenian Assembly members, activists, friends, and family are welcome to attend the gathering, with a requested contribution of $75 per person. Please RSVP by Friday, January 17. Tickets are available online at http://www.aaainc.org/events.

For more information, please contact Mihran Toumajan at (818) 817-1714 or mihran@aaainc.org.

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.

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NR#: 2020-001

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