YEREVAN—On the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of the declaration of the independence of the Republic of Armenia, President Serzh Sarkissian signed a decree dated September 16, awarding Anna Astvatsaturian-Turcotte the “Mkhitar Gosh” medal for her services aiming at strengthening relations between Armenia and the Diaspora as well as her contributions to maintain Armenian identity.
The Mkhitar Gosh Medal rewards exceptional achievements in the political-social spheres, as well as outstanding efforts in the fields of diplomacy, law and political science.
In 1988, Anna was a ten year-old girl living in the city of Baku. But her life was swept away as the majority Azeri population drove the Armenians out of the country using terror and violence. Her family was forced to flee for their lives to Armenia, which was still reeling from the massive earthquake of 1986 and an economic and political blockade imposed on it by its neighbors, and was unprepared for the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing Azeri-orchestrated pogroms. In Armenia, the Astvatsaturians faced harsh conditions living in an unheated basement until 1992, when the family moved to the United States. During these years Anna kept a diary that she published in June 2012 in a book titled Nowhere, a Story of Exile. In 2013, Anna Astvatsaturian-Turcotte played an important role in the official recognition of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic by the US State of Maine.
Electronic or print copies of Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte’s book Nowhere, a Story of Silence can be obtained by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or through Amazon.com.