LOS ANGELES – It is only 4 p.m. but the Gevorgyan family barbecue stand on Foothill Boulevard in Tujunga, California, sold out all the food they made for today. This is one of the many charity events organized by Armenian Americans to support people in Artsakh and Armenia, who are struggling with the immediate consequences of the war started by Azerbaijan on September 27.
Tony and Tigran Gevorgyan, respectively a student at Glendale Community College and a recent graduate of the University of Irvine, California, came up with the idea of selling Armenian-style barbecue and kabob made with their mom’s recipe, keeping it a secret from their parents. Everything was set up when the boys introduced the project to Louisa and Arsen.
“But we are Armenians, we have to interfere. We are helping the kids with the preparation, cooking and simple advice,” smiles Louisa as she says, “and besides, this helps me to distract myself a little from the horrible stories that we hear from Artsakh. At least this way we can help our brothers and sisters.”
The customers are mostly Armenians. Most of them return after the first time. “The encouragement is huge. It makes us go on,” says Tony.
During these three weeks, the Gevorgyan family is living on a new daily schedule. After work and on the weekends, the whole family is cooking and selling barbecue. After finishing the fundraiser, in the evening, the boys join thousands of their compatriots in the marches and protests in different parts of Los Angeles, while their parents stay home to prepare the food for the next day. All proceeds go to the Armenia Fund (Hayastan All Armenian Fund).