On the occasion of the 95th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Ara Ashjian delivered a lecture in the National Academy of Sciences – Institute of Oriental Studies in Yerevan, Armenia, entitled “The Arab World and the Armenian Genocide“.
During the lecture he stressed the importance to know the attitude of different nations towards the Armenian Genocide, especially the attitude of the Arab nation, which has old historical and cultural ties with the Armenians, besides the fact that the two nations have similar issues.
Ashjian reviewed the persecution policy of the “Young Turks? towards all subject nations of the Ottoman Empire, especially towards the Armenians and Arabs. He mentioned the names of the Arab governors who refused to carry out state orders to deport and liquidate the Armenian population. As a result of this honorable stance they were either dismissed from office or killed.
The Ottoman Turkish government adopted the policy of starvation against the Arabs in Syria and Lebanon, which left 320 thousand people dead till 1917. This policy also targeted Muslim Syrians, Kurds and Shiites. He noted that Turk officials counted on the Arabs to continue the Turkish genocidal actions against Armenians. However, Arabs aided and protected the survivals. Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca, who declared “the Great Arab Revolution” in 1916 against the Ottoman yoke, issued the well-known “Decree for Protecting the Armenians” in 1917.
Ashjian referred to the fact that, unfortunately, there is no united attitude towards the issue of the Armenian Genocide among Arab intellectuals and among Arab states. Only Lebanon has recognized the Armenian Genocide in 2000.
At the end of his lecture, Ashjian highlighted that historical and cultural relations between the two peoples can serve as a base to developed relations in all aspects. He stressed the importance of paying more attention to oriental and Arab studies in Armenia and setting up relations between the young people of the two nations.
He expressed hope that Armenia will set plans with the friendly Arab countries to maintain its national security. Nothing separates Armenia from the Arab states, however, common interests, including strategic interests, unite them.
Ara Ashjian's lecture was aired on ?Yerkir Media? Armenian TV Channel.
Adjusted from Ara Ashjian's blog (URL). Printed with permission.