Kasbarian Speaks At Kirikian School Genocide Commemoration
Lucine Kasbarian Speaks At Kirikian Armenian School Genocide Commemoration
By Mary Ann Saraydarian
April 24 remains a constant reminder in the heart of every Armenian. It is the memorial date of the planned annihilation of all Armenians – a genocide – by the Turkish Ottoman government in 1915. Now, 104 years later, Armenians prosper and flourish all over the world, demonstrating the failure to exterminate an entire race of people.
Today, after stressing the importance of the 104th anniversary of the Genocide, Mrs. Maro Hajakian introduced Ms. Lucine Kasbarian, a journalist, political cartoonist, and author of several books. Ms. Kasbarian addressed the students of the Kirikian School. Her talk was titled “How is April 24, 1915 relevant today?”
A remarkable individual, Ms. Kasbarian carried the responsibility of dispensing knowledge about her Armenian identity throughout her life. She related that, as a young student in public school, she would inform her classmates about our culture through dance and factual anecdotes about Armenia and Armenians. She helped the Kirikian students understand the importance of being American while never forgetting their Armenian heritage. Experiencing a “double life” by attending American public school and Armenian private school; participating in American and Armenian sports teams; cultivating friendships with Americans as well as Armenians – she eventually immersed herself completely into Armenianism through travel and volunteerism. She went to Armenian communities such as Haleb and Kessab, Syria; Bourj Hammoud and Anjar, Lebanon; San Lazzaro Island in Venice; Cairo, Egypt; Artsakh, Der Zor and present-day Armenia. As a trained journalist, she wrote about her travels and experiences and incorporated into her writings the struggles shared by all Armenians. Through her writings and cartoons, she hoped to relate her perceptions about genocide and the Armenian identity to unfamiliar audiences.
As an important note of final advice, Ms. Kasbarian encouraged the students to never forget our history when pursuing future endeavors. She said, “Whatever you decide to do when you grow up, I think you can find something about your profession that can allow you to give back to the Armenian Cause. In this way, you can do something every day to make a difference for Armenians -- and not just on Genocide Memorial Day.”
It was a wonderful presentation, leaving a lasting impression on our students regarding this most important event in our history.