LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As violence reignites between Caucasus countries Armenia and Azerbaijan, a group in Las Vegas came together Friday to push for peace across the region.
The sound of sadness echoed for 7,000 miles, as dozens of Armenian-Americans grieved for their homeland.
“The silence of the world to us is deafening,” Lenna Hovanessian, Nevada Co-Chair of the Armenian National Committee of America said.
“We as Armenians are concerned about our homeland,” Hovanessian added. “About our people over there and also that this could really start a global issue.”
The situation stems from decades of tensions, as both countries fight over control of Nagorno-Karabakh. The region lies in Azerbaijan, but has been under the control of indigenous Armenians since the end of a separatist war in the mid 1990s.
“They are bombing civilians, churches and schools,” local Armenian advocate Ani Gullickson explained. “And they need to be held accountable.”
Hundreds have died since the latest outburst began at the end of September, but Armenian-Americans in Nevada don’t just worry about the thousands of others in danger. They are also concerned about the threat of history repeating itself.
“For our community it is reminiscent of the genocide, Armenian genocide of 1915,” Hovanessian explained. “Committed by the Ottoman Turks.”
This is why they are speaking out, asking local and national governments to intervene.
“We want our senators, our congressmen to affect policy change,” Hovanessian said. “The White House and the State Department to stop what’s going on.”
They added that they will use their passion and power here at home to inspire change a world away.
“We’re stronger than Turkey, we’re stronger than Azerbaijan,” Gullickson concluded. “And together we can take a stand.”
The St. Geragos Armenian Apostolic Church has raised $600,000, which will go towards humanitarian efforts in Armenia.
For more information on the Armenian National Committee of America, CLICK HERE.