Assyrian Genocide Seminar Held in Australia

Seminar guests included the Hon. Jenny Mikakos, Member of the Victorian Parliament and Her Worship Councillor Helen Patsikatheodorou, Mayor of Hume City Council. Representatives of Australia’s peak Greek and Armenian social, political and advocacy bodies were in attendance along with Mr Hermiz Shahen and Mr David David representing the Assyrian Universal Alliance and Mr Simon Essavian, president of the Assyrian Australian National Federation. Also present were clergymen from the Assyrian Church of the East and Syriac Orthodox Church along with leaders of Melbourne’s Assyrian community organizations. It is noteworthy that the Consulate of the Hellenic Republic in Victoria had also sent a representative to participate in the Seminar.

Jenny Mikakos, a member of the Victorian Legislative Council, addressed the Seminar noting her solidarity with the Assyrian community in Victoria and pledging ongoing support for the Assyrian Genocide recognition movement in Australia.

Dr Anahit Khosroeva (AINA 7-10-2011), senior researcher at Armenia’s National Academy of Sciences and Scholar-in-Residence at Chicago’s North Park University, delivered the Seminar’s keynote lecture focusing on the Assyrian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The lecture gave an account of state-sanctioned crimes against the Assyrian, Armenian and Greek peoples referencing primary resource materials, including photographs and governmental documentation from the Ottoman Empire and other states.

Dr Khosroeva received her doctorate in genocide studies in 2003 and has published more than 40 articles on the history of the Assyrian people since. Most notably, her paper “The Assyrian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire and Adjacent Territories” was published in Richard Hovannisian’s “The Armenian Genocide: Cultural and Ethical Legacies” in 2006.

Professor Paul Bartrop, former head of the department of history at Melbourne’s Bialik College and Honorary Fellow at Deakin University, gave a lecture entitled “Rescuing Genocide from the Darkness: Recent Trends in Academic Research.” Professor Bartrop has written and published extensively in the field of Holocaust and Genocide Studies having also taught at Northern Arizona University and Virginia Commonwealth University. From September 2011 Professor Bartrop will be Visiting Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at New Jersey’s Richard Stockton College.

Both Professor Bartrop and Dr Khosroeva are members of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) and serve on the editorial boards of international genocide studies journals. Members of the IAGS voted overwhelmingly to recognize the Assyrian and Greek genocides in 2007.

The Melbourne Seminar concluded a whirlwind tour of Australia by Dr Khosroeva who also participated in a number of functions and meetings in Sydney where she advocated for enhanced scholarly research into the Assyrian Genocide as well as its formal recognition by the state and federal governments in Australia.

By Naramsin Daro

Source : AINA, Assyrian International News Agency.

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