Joint Commemoration of the Holocaust and Genocide

YEREVAN, Armenia—On April 12, the College of Humanities and Social Science (CHSS) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) organized a joint commemoration program to mark the occasion of the Jewish Holocaust and Armenian Genocide, the commemoration days of which fall on the same day this year. The program included presentations by AUA Visiting Professor Yair Auron and AUA Lecturer Suren Manukyan, and was moderated by visiting journalist-in-residence Thomas Gorguissian. There were also musical tributes performed by AUA lecturer in music, pianist, and composer Artur Avanesov that featured works by composer William Weiner, Komitas, and others. The event brought together Armenian and Jewish perspectives on these human catastrophes from the 20th century, which remind us of the urgency of genocide prevention. This occasion served as a platform to affirm both nations’ common humanity and commitment to a better world.

Dr. Auron has served as the head of the Department of Sociology, Political Science and Communication at the Open University of Israel. He received his master’s degree from the Hebrew University and his Ph.D. from the Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle. He has been a strong advocate of raising awareness of the Armenian Genocide in Israel and has published a series of books in Hebrew and English on various major cases of genocide, including one on the Armenian Genocide earlier this year. As part of his time at AUA, Dr. Auron has visited other institutions in Armenia, including UWC Dilijan College, where he gave a lecture on genocide to students, academic staff, and Dilijan locals.

Mr. Suren Manukyan has several years’ experience of working for the Ministry of Defence of Armenia, the Institute of Strategic Studies, the Institute of Oriental Studies, and the National Academy of Sciences. As a passionate researcher, he graduated from the Yerevan State University (YSU) with a degree in Oriental Studies. He is currently the Deputy Director at the Armenian Genocide Museum and Institute. Mr. Manukyan is also a lecturer at YSU and AUA.

Mr. Artur Avanesov has studied piano at various music schools in Baku, Kapan, and Yerevan as a child and studied music theory at the Alexander Spendiaryan School of Music in Yerevan. He specialized in composition and piano at the Komitas State Conservatory, earning his doctorate in Musicology. As a pianist, he performed his own works and other new music in Armenia and abroad. Mr. Avanesov has worked as a musicologist since 1998. His writings have been published in numerous journals, and he has served as the co-editor of the magazine Musical Armenia since 2002. He has taught composition at the Komitas State Conservatory, and currently is a lecturer at AUA as well.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.