AUA students visit Armenian Genocide memorial

AUA Students Visit Armenian Genocide Museum and Memorial

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YEREVAN, Armenia On July 26, students in the American University of Armenia (AUA) Armenian Genocide course, taught by Dr. Suren Manukyan, visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial and Museum. 

The students toured the museum built in 1995, which stands as an extraordinary repository of the invaluable testimonials of the Armenian Genocide. The visit gave students an opportunity to affirm and further expand their understanding of the topics covered during the course, including the preconditions, causes, and implementation of the Genocide, as well as its victims, perpetrators, bystanders, and upstanders. 

Following the museum tour, students proceeded to Tsitsernakaberd, the Armenian Genocide Memorial, where they paid their respects to the Genocide victims at the eternal flame. 

The students also learned about the construction of the memorial complex. Following decades of silence, 1965 marked a turning point with the Armenian Genocide issue receiving revived global attention. Demonstrations echoed public sentiments in Yerevan and propelled an immense collective force that ushered the decision to erect the memorial complex.The project was inaugurated in 1967.

Following the visit, students reflected on their experiences.

Anna Khachatryan (BAPG ’26) noted, “It was an eye-opening visit. The visit to the museum, especially coupled with the guided tour, really helped me grasp the atrocities committed and reflect on my thoughts.” 

Classmate Anush Avetisyan (BAB ’26) shared, “Our visit to Tsitsernakaberd was very informative and interesting for me. I have been there two times but did not entirely understand the history, and this visit was very useful to thoroughly understand what had happened to our nation in the past. And another thing that got my attention was that there were many foreigners in the museum and I was happy to see that people from various countries are eager to learn about our past and the Armenian Genocide.”

Noting the importance of the tour as a component of the course, Kristina Shakaryan (BAB ’24) shared, “It was a great opportunity to visit the Genocide Museum with Dr. Manukyan. The experience was truly enlightening, and I am immensely thankful for the valuable information and insights gained during the visit. Professor’s expertise and passion for the subject were evident, and it added an extra layer of significance to the entire experience.”

The visit was not every student’s first visit to the museum, as David Mamyan (BSES ‘24) noted: “This is the second time that I have visited Genocide Museum in my life, but unlike the first one, this time I was more aware of the topic as I covered them during the lectures, readings and presentations. This visit gave me a chance to better know the history of Armenian Genocide in depth, and how it could be compared with other genocides, as we’re facing an important challenge of the Genocide being recognized by the countries of the world, especially Turkey.”

The Armenian Genocide course is part of the General Education curriculum at AUA. Students take this course as an elective in their undergraduate studies or as part of a minor in Genocide Studies and Human Rights. 

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.