THE 1988 ARMENIAN EARTHQUAKE AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF DIASPORAN/HOMELAND RELATIONS
December 13 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Introduced and Moderated by Stephen Kurkjian, Investigative Reporter (Retired), Boston Globe, and Member, Board of Directors, National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR)
With the participation of John A. Simourian, Michele Simourian, Dr. Hayk Demoyan (on video), Dr. Carolann Najarian, and Elaine Kasparian
The devastating earthquake that struck Soviet Armenia on December 7, 1988, caused massive devastation and death especially in the cities of Spitak, Leninakan (now Gyumri), and Kirovakan (now Vanadzor). As many as 50,000 people were killed and well over 100,000 were injured. The earthquake prompted a massive international humanitarian response which included historic contributions from the worldwide Armenian diaspora.
In a recent article published in the AMAA News and reprinted in the Armenian Mirror-Spectator, multiple Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Kurkjian told the story of how Watertown native John Simourian led an effort to bring dialysis equipment to Armenia, relating also the work of Dr. Carolann Najarian, the Armenian Milk Fund, and other individuals and organizations who rapidly mobilized to save lives. The rescue effort, Kurkjian makes clear, had a transformative effect on the relationship between the Armenian diaspora and the then Soviet republic, creating bonds and relationships that continue to flourish today.
Co-sponsored by the First Armenian Church of Belmont and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) / Calouste Gulbenkian Lecture Series on Contemporary Armenian Issues, this event takes place at the First Armenian Church, Nahigian Hall, 380 Concord Avenue, Belmont, Mass., on Thursday, December 13, 2018, 7:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public free of charge. Doors open at 7:15 pm for seating.