Armenian Student Association (ASA) is raising awareness about the Azerbaijan invasion of Armenia in what ASA described as a lasting “ethnic cleansing” of over 120,000 people in the region.
ASA will hold a booth on Dexter lawn from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2 to educate students about the ongoing conflict and its effect on Armenians everywhere.
In 2020, Azerbaijan launched a Turkish-backed military offensive into a region of contested territory known as the Republic of Artsakh. The area is technically within Azerbaijani territory, but it is historically recognized as Armenian land and populated by Armenians.
Since Dec. 12, 2022, Armenians in Artsakh have gone without gas stations, internet connection, food supplies and other necessities after Azerbaijan launched a blockade of a road connecting the region to Armenia.
ASA members have been directly affected by the invasion.
When the initial invasion occurred, Armenia drafted many young men, including the friends of one of ASA’s members. ASA vice president Sophie Martyrossian said she talked with ASA members whose loved ones lost their lives.
“This issue affects the younger generation because it is younger Armenian men [that are] fighting in these battles,” Martyrossian said. “To see their youth being taken away from them for something that they have no part in is just, I don’t know, a lot,” Martyrossian said.
Martyrossian shared this grievance at the ASI open forum during the second week of fall quarter. There she got the endorsement of ASI President Gracie Babatola to put out a joint statement with ASI asking students to stand in solidarity with the Armenian people.
“We want to make sure our voices are being heard, because during the Armenian Genocide there were no repercussions for the atrocities that were committed,” Martyrossian said. “We as Armenians the lack of recognition of the [Armenian] Genocide led to more atrocities later on and that wouldn’t have happened if the Armenian Genocide was acknowledged.”