Los Angeles—On Sunday, April 28 over 200 supporters of the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance joined the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) and the Museum of Tolerance for a joint film screening of Kay Mouradian’s My Mother’s Voice.
The evening was opened by Nora Hovsepian, Co-Chair of the ANCA-WR with a pointed speech addressing the relevance of denialism and drawing ties between the Jewish Holocaust and the Armenian Ganocide. Ms. Hovsepian’s full remarks can be seen at the end of this release. Liebe Geft, Director of the Museum of Tolerance also made opening remarks, commenting on the need to hear the words and sentiments Ms. Hovsepian addressed. “We are long overdue in recognizing the Armenian Genocide,” she remarked.
The screening of My Mother’s Voice is just the beginning of the ANCA-WR’s renewed relationship with the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The ANCA-WR looks forward to continuing and developing its relationship with the Museum of Tolerance in the coming months. It is important that as organizations and as cultures sharing similar stories of genocide that we come together not once a year, but multiple times to bring awareness to the causes.
Kay Mouradian’s short film presented the rousing story of her mother’s plight after the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Those who attended were captured by the poignant story of Flora Munushian, a fourteen-year-old Hadjin native, who lost her family during the Armenian Genocide but gradually made her way to America. “Like the 6 million Jewish people lost in the Holocaust, Armenians lost an incredibly vibrant, successful and valuable gene pool of more than a million as a result of the Armenian genocide,” remarks Mouradian. She continued, “I found the heartfelt cooperation between the Museum of Tolerance and ANCA-WR on April 28 in commemorating the Armenian Genocide with the screening of MY MOTHER’S VOICE gratifying. The story of my mother, Flora Munushian, who at age fourteen was deported from her home in Hadjin, Turkey brings an epic chapter in Armenian history to life. Flora’s voice is that of all the victims and survivors of the Armenian genocide, a story that must not be forgotten. Flora’s personal story has opened the door to a deeper understanding of the suffering of our two peoples.”
Following the screening, Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian was invited up to make his remarks where he recognized the importance of sharing these stories of survival, “From the Armenian Genocide to the horrors of the Holocaust, we have too often seen that the world will continue to suffer genocide until we emphatically reject hate in all its forms and hold accountable the perpetrators of crimes against humanity,” says Councilman Krekorian. He continues, “Each year in the City Council, we honor those whose lives have been irreparably affected by the Genocide and the Holocaust, including this past April, when survivors of both atrocities stood side by side. It was a historical and emotional moment that reminded us all to never forget our shared history and commitment to justice.”
The movie screening was followed by a spirited panel discussion by Kay Mouradian, Mark Friedman, Director of My Mother’s Voice, and Harut Sassounian, Publisher of The California Courier. The panel was led by Liebe Geft, Director of the Museum of Tolerance. The panel discussion, was fueled by a multitude of questioned for the audience where it became further obvious how important this film is to Dr. Mouradian, “this has been 20 years in the making,” she remarks. “In my earlier years I didn’t listen to my mother as she spoke about the horrific ordeal of the Genocide, but in her later days I sat by her and truly believed that it was my duty to publish her story of survival from the Genocide.”
The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.