Since September 27, 2020, civilians of Nagorno-Karabakh have been under aggressive, massive attacks by Azerbaijan with the military support of Turkey. This attack is being launched on the Armenian Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) which has resulted in civilian casualties of the peaceful Armenian population living in their homeland. These large-scale armored attacks have completely destroyed the capital city Stepanakert, as well as other cities of Artsakh region.
Turkey, which continues to officially deny the Armenian Genocide of 1915, supports Azerbaijan fully, while the Republic of Armenia is allied with Nagorno-Karabakh. News organizations have covered the events of the past week as a clash over territory. For Armenians, it’s about a right to exist and a fear that a genocide that began 105 years ago will continue while the world turns its eyes away.
Armenia has a population of about 3 million people and its diaspora is concentrated in the US, with significant hubs in Lebanon, Australia, Iran, France and Russia. Woven deeply into its culture are the events of 1915, when historians estimate as many as 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks in a campaign widely consider by scholars (stridently denied by Turkey) to be genocidal.
Generations of displacement have nurtured a resilient national identity-in-exile, and a powerful political machine to match. Its heart is southern California, with an Armenian-origin population of at least 500,000 people.
As you may guess, a number of our classified staff, faculty, and administrators are personally impacted by these events. Many are doing what they can to support the people of Armenia. In addition, our students are also heavily impacted as many have relatives and loved ones in the impacted areas. Your thoughts are appreciated in these times and if it is appropriate for your position or work area, please check in with students you know or work with.