In New York City, the public television network WNET ran genocide-themed programming during the month of April. I saw a program about a man seeking (and finding) ‘righteous’ Moslems who helped Jews survive during World War II. Thanks to WNET, I also finally mustered up the strength to watch the feature film, Hotel Rwanda, based on a the true-life story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda. I highly recommend the film.
And, as an Armenian, I wanted to attend the excellent programs commemorating the Armenian Genocide here in New York, including a reading of literature written by several of the Armenian intellectuals arrested by the Turkish Government on April 24, 1915. Most of the Armenian leaders and intellectuals were subsequently murdered and their voices silenced. In fact, this organized act of brutality has been described as ‘decapitating’ the Armenian nation. But, we owe a debt of gratitude to the dedicated staff of the Zohrab Center, who made it possible for the audience to hear the words of our poets, writers, and representatives in parliament come to life again, in the sanctuary of St. Vartan’s Cathedral.
I encourage you to learn about the histories of all three genocides and make it your business to know about the genocide being committed in Darfur. Of course, no one wants to look at the dark side of life, but it is important to know about man’s inhumanity to man, so we can recognize the signs and break the cycle of genocide. And, please make your voice heard for all those who can’t speak out.
Please read this excellent article written by Governor-General Michaëlle Jean of Rwanda:
April and Genocide
The Globe and Mail | April 30, 2010