Letter: Armenian rug would stand as a reminder

The Armenian Genocide was carried out by the “Young Turk” government of the Ottoman Empire in 1915-16. Rougly 1.5 million Armenians were killed, out of a total of 2.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. Most Armenians in America are children or grandchildren of the survivors, although there are still many survivors among us. The Armenian Genocide is similar to the Jewish Holocaust in many respects. Both people adhere to an ancient religion. Both were religious minorities of their respective states. Both have a history of persecution. Both have new democracies. Both are surrounded by enemies. Both are talented and creative minorities who have been persecuted out of envy and obscurantism.

President Obama should allow a public display of the so-called Armenian Orphan Rug, a carpet woven by orphans of the genocide and presented to President Calvin Coolidge in 1925. In a pattern common to the last three presidents, Obama pledged, as a candidate stumping for Armenian-American votes in the 2008 campaign, that he would recognize the genocide if he became president. But since taking office he is not doing anything for Armenians. I believe President Obama should be pushed to allow a public display of the rug. By doing this we will remind the U.S. and the world that Armenia is still there and we have to consider their rights as well as those of everyone else.

Tomik Gharabeigi


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