Rwanda, Bosnia, Armenia, Cambodia, and Darfur- what do all these countries have in common? The answer is: genocide. Lawyer Raphael Lemkin coined the word genocide in 1944 after he found a dire need to describe such atrocities of the past. I’m sure this was not the reason linguists thought of when new additions were made to the English language, but necessary and welcome nonetheless.
So necessary that an event that fits that description like a glove has been unrecognized longer than the word has even been around! I’m speaking about the Armenian Genocide of 1915. April 24th, 2015 marked the 100th anniversary of the systematic ethnic cleansing of mainly the Armenians as well as Greeks and other minorities of the Ottoman Empire.
According to The New York Times: “Armenians mark the date April 24, 1915, when several hundred Armenian intellectuals were rounded up, arrested and later executed as the start of the Armenian genocide and it is generally said to have extended to 1917. However, there were also massacres of Armenians in 1894, 1895, 1896, 1909, and a reprise between 1920 and 1923.”
While many countries including Canada, Greece, Italy, Russia, and Uruguay (to name a few) have recognized these crimes as genocide, The Unites States as a whole as well as Turkey (formerly the Ottoman Empire) have not.
For a brief overview of the aforementioned watch this informative clip narrated by respected journalist Katie Couric:
Katie isn’t the only one in the public eye with some clout that are raising awareness to this day and what it represents:
His holiness Pope Francis himself said this regarding the issue (specifically at 1:22):
Lawyer Mrs. Clooney, Amal, pleads her case as she represents Armenia here:
The Kardashian sisters Kim and Khloe also posted on social media by saying the following, respectively:
“I am saddened that still 100 years later not everyone has recognized that 1.5 million people were murdered. But proud of the fact that I see change and am happy many people have started to recognize this genocide.”
“…Knowledge is power!… It is [our] duty to not be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation no matter their race or creed… I pray that the moral universe ultimately will bend towards justice.”
The highly acclaimed band System Of A Down (whose members are all children of survivors) ended their Wake Up The Souls Tour on April 23rd, 2015 with their first show ever in the capital city of Yerevan, Armenia. The weekend will close out with a special service to be held on Sunday (April 26th, 2015) at St. Vartans Cathedral on Second Avenue in NY followed by a march to Time Square.
Take a look at our gallery for the pictures Kim and Khloe posted as well as others.