The Genocide no one told you about

Gayana Parsegova, Opinion editor

Shots are fired, people are running with fear in their eyes, and you, being the young and innocent child that you are, look up to your parents in horror. You’re confused to why people are frightened, why your homeland appears to be crumbling into pieces before your eyes, and why your loved ones are dying in front of you.

You’re traumatized, and the only action you can take is uttering a prayer under your breath. You feel nothing but helplessness as tears trickle down your cheeks. This was the state of the Armenian people throughout the years of 1893 to 1922.

This year marks the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the first genocide of the 20th century that still remains unrecognized not only by the United States government, but by many countries around the globe.

On that day, April 24, previously known as the Ottoman Empire (present day Turkey), seized many of Armenia’s highly revered figures like government leaders, clergymen and educators. Upon eventually being deported, abuse and fatal deaths followed suit, and this became the notable bookmark in history for the kidnappings and killings that happened for close to two decades leading up to this day.

Imagine being tortured against your will, starved until you can no longer have the strength to speak and to finish it all, to be forced into bodies of water until you drown to death.

As an Armenian born in the USA, it saddens me. It saddens me to meet people who have never heard of this genocide occurring in history, because people refuse to acknowledge it.

It saddens me the government has not taken an open stance in recognizing the massacre that took place as the first “genocide” of the 20th century.

The Turkish government still denies any claims of killings to this day, and have rather labeled the events that occurred as “population migrations.” This is the most disgusting part of their denial. Look to what degree they stoop down in order to ensure their image is not only protected, but so that the masses are not persuaded into believing what photo documentation and journalism proved.

Although the Turks attempted to annihilate the entire Armenian race years ago, we stayed strong and persevered through our sufferings. We migrated to different countries and formed new Armenian communities everywhere we went, in order to sustain our culture, our story and lastly, the one thing that ultimately put us in the situation we were in to begin with, our ancient Christian faith. We will never be silenced no matter where we go.

By the end of the Genocide, 384,000 Armenians remained in the Ottoman Empire. Today, there are close to 3,000,000 Armenians throughout the whole world.

Today, you can see the film, The Promise in theaters and learn more about the Armenian Genocide. Bring your friends, your family and everyone you know to learn and spread awareness of this significant part in history you were never told.

Although CSUSM is still a young and rising community, my hope is for it to not only grow in student population, but to enroll more Armenian students like myself in order to someday create an ASA (Armenian Students Association), much like SDSU and other universities have across the United States.
We remember, and we STILL demand.