BEIRUT–The ARF Armenian National Committee of Lebanon organized a lecture by Dr. Richard Hovannisian–professor of history at UCLA–titled "Memory and Denial – The Case of The Armenian Genocide." The lecture took place on Monday–April 30th–at the Alexander Hotel.
Attending the lecture were Archbishop Vartan Demirjian–representative of Catholicas Aram I; Lebanese Prelate Bishop Kegham Khacherian; Deputies Serge ToorSarkisian–Jean Oghasabian–Mahmoud Ahbou Hamdan–Antoinne Haddad–Elias Skaf and Nabil Bustani. Also in attendance were the representative of the ARF Central Committee–along with members of various Lebanese political parties.
Opening remarks were made by Lebanon’s ARF ANC representative Zohrab Sarkisian–who presented Dr. Richard Hovanissian. Hovanissian mentioned he was in Beirut–to participate in a conference on WWI–which was organized by the Orient Institute. Before lecturing about the Genocide–Hovanissian introduced colleagues Prof. Yeran’s Hasiotis of Greece–and Prof. Wolfgang Vieperman. Hasiotis spoke about his research on Armenian-Greek relations. In his address–Vieperman apologized to the Armenia’s for the role played by the Germans in the Genocide–perpetrated by the Turks. He mentioned how many German officials working in the Ottoman Empire instituted the same genocidal policies later in the Jewish Holocaust.
Key note speaker Dr. Richard Hovanissian presented the different dimensions of the Turkish campaign of denial of the Armenian Genocide. He emphasized the different tactics used by the Turkish government–including Turkish attempts at making it seem as though both Turks and Armenia’s suffered. He mentioned excuses used by Turks to justify the killings of Armenia’s; The fact that the Turks refuse to admit that over 300,000 Armenia’s were massacred.
Hovanissian also touched upon the necessity of demanding recognition of the Genocide. According to Havanissian–a talented and industrious people such as the Armenia’s cannot construct their own future as long as the past is denied–and the truth: concealed.
Speaking on Armenian-Turkish dialogue–Hovanissian said that the precondition of affirming the reality of the Armenian Genocide must be met before any sort of dialogue is initiated. He concluded his remarks by stressing that the struggle will continue until recognition is achieved.