By Anahit Tokatlyan
Special to t he Mirror-Spectator
WATERTOWN, Mass. — On October 15, Simon Payaslian, professor of Modern Armenian History and Literature at Boston University, gave a presentation on Human Rights in Armenia at the Armenian Library and Museum (ALMA).
The evening began with a brief synopsis of Human Right s in Armenia by Mariam Stepanyan, ALMA’s executive director, and an introduction of Payaslian, who is the Elisabeth Kenosian Chair of the Modern Armenian History Department at Boston University.
Payaslian’s current project is analyzing how Armenia has a “disrupted” political history,
which has led to its difficulties in the field of human rights today. Human rights must be defined through a long-term prism, he said; and Payaslian began by looking back at successful Armenian legal systems. Payaslian describes t he Cilician Dynasty of Armenia that had a successful government.
Cilician Armenia was secular and was able to develop its own government institutions, he said. “They were discussing laws and issues because they had independent government
Once Armenia fell into a pattern of oppression through the years, it began to
lose its political identity, which would allow for a strong government foundation.