BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
The biggest loose end we have, as of this writing, is H. Res. 252, of course. With the House recessing for the elections on September 30, things ain’t looking none too good… Very disappointing!
But there other things have been going on the last few weeks that merit attention.
On Saturday September 11, the Echmiadzeen See consecrated its new cathedral in Burbank. At this late date, I don’t pretend this is news. But, I want to mention a few observations. The new church is very spacious, with lots of standing room for those busy holidays. It’s an attractive building. I remember in the mid-late ‘90s speaking before the Burbank City Council or Planning Board, one or the other, during the permitting process. I recall there were some objections about the church’s “dome” that had to be addressed. Those allergies were overcome. A worrisome aspect was the small number of people at the consecration. Certainly, the pews were full with more people standing in the back. There was a large screen in the parking lot projecting the ritual to people who watched there. But attendance numbered in the high hundreds. I can only hope that large crowds were there the next day, Sunday. This is a pretty big deal, community-wise, and low turnout is not a good sign. I wonder how many watched its on-line streaming.
An interesting development is Garin Hovannisian’s book, Family of Shadows. While I haven’t read it yet, I went to one of the book signings last week. The bookstore’s employee told me the participation was “crazy”, and the number of books sold was substantial. Hopefully, more of these will be organized both for the general public, and in specifically Armenian settings. Two friends who have read the book spoke well of it, one remarking that “it should be required reading for anyone who wants to work in this (Greater LA) community”.
Hot on his grandson’s heels, Professor Richard Hovannisian spoke to the question of lessons to be learned from the first Armenian Republic that might be applicable to the current Third Republic. Over two hundred attended the lecture, with over half having hair, and non-white hair at that. It probably helped that it was the AYF organizing the program.
These two events triggered a realization. Of late, the last two-three years, there seems to be a relative abundance of mentally stimulating events in the Greater LA Basin’s Armenian community. Two stalwart organizers of lectures and seminars have been the ARPA Institute and AESA (Armenian Engineers and Scientists Association). Couple these with Hovannisian’s semi-annual seminars on the UCLA campus, the broad range of groups (including the library itself) holding informative sessions at the Glendale public library, and USC’s new Armenian Institute, and you can see that we have something to be pleased with and proud of— a respectable public intellectual atmosphere. This is something that is crucial to our progress as a community, a nation, and a group with a profound and grand political agenda.
Step out and attend some of these loose ends. You may get hooked and learn something while getting engaged in our future.