ARLINGTON, Mass. — From the highest positions in the government to various professions, as well as the arts and architecture, Armenians made major contributions to the growth and development of the Ottoman Empire. Among the least known and overlooked aspects are sports and physical education prior to the Armenian Genocide.
The latter two will be the topic of discussion on Tuesday, November 3, at 7:30 p.m. by Dr. Hayk Demoyan, director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute (AGMI), in a lecture titled “Armenian sports and physical education in the Ottoman Empire: Between Patriotism and Competitive Nationalism” at the Armenian Cultural Foundation.
The presentation is based on Demoyan’s extensive research and most recent publication on the subject, titled Haykakan sporte Osmanean Kaysrut’yunum [Armenian Sport in Ottoman Empire], a revised second edition of the 2009 publication which includes newly discovered materials. This important publication, rich in historical documents, contains about 600 original photographs as well as the images of medals and decorations bestowed upon Armenian athletes, posters, communiqués and press coverage.
Born in Gumri (former Leninakan), Armenia, Demoyan is a graduate of Yerevan State University. He received his PhD from the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences. Demoyan is the author of several books on the Armenian Genocide, Turkish foreign policy and Turkey’s involvement in the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict of 1991-1994.
He has been the director of the AGMI since 2006. In conjunction with this position, he has also served over the past two years as the secretary of the state commission tasked with planning and implementation of the worldwide commemorations of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide. In addition, Demoyan regularly lectures on the AGMI’s activities and related topics in Armenian and other countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Slovenia, Russia, Iran and Cyprus.
In addition to the work on sports, he has just published major bilingual (Armenian and English) work titled Hayots’ Ts’eghaspanut’ean lusabanume hamashkharhayin mamuli arajin ejerin [The Armenian Genocide: Frontpage Coverage in the World Press]. This 266 page-long book contains about 500 images, photographs and texts, in color and black-white, of selections from English, French, Italian American, German, Austrian, Russian, Polish and Norwegian publications from 1856 to 1926. The launching of this major project including an exhibit of the posters which took place in October 2014 at AGMI received rave reviews.