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06 October 2008

2610) Genocide Lies, Need No Archives ! Defy Or Admit Facts And Shut-Up !

© This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com


1. LEGALITY:
a- The European Legal system is based on the principle of the 1813 Bavarian Code wording “Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine praevia poenali” which states that there can be no crime committed, and no punishment meted out without violation of penal law, as existing at that time! In short, there can be no retroactive crime and punishment! (Otherwise, even Jews and Romans can be punished for the crucifixion of Jesus) .


b- Any charge of crime such as human murder, must depend on strong irrefutable evidences, to name but a few:

Beneficiary of the murder - time/dates – place – numbers – murder tools – unbiased eyewitness – document – corpses – and finally the verdict of an authorized legal court where charges and defense, was publicly heard! The Jewish Holocaust meets almost all these criteria and an international court verdict, whilst the Armenian allegations are widely spread hearsays, which did not meet any of the above evidences! .

c- U.N. resolution 260 of 09.12.1948 reads (Art.9): “…Disputes between Contracting Parties relating to the interpretation, application and fulfillment of the present convention, including those in Art.3, shall be submitted to the International Court of Justice at the request of any of the parties to the dispute… So far, not even an open debate of scholars could be made, let aside any judicial or arbitrary investigation!

d- The individual wrong doings of some of the persons on duty during the relocations, were mostly investigated by the CUP Government in 1915-1916. Over 1600 cases were put on court martial, 67 persons found guilty were executed, some four hundred persons were found not guilty, and rest was sentenced to diverse penalties. “The New York Times,” Nov.22, 1915 read: Djemal Pasha orders two of their Oppressors for Armenians Hanged…”Djemal Pasha orders two of their Oppressors for Armenians Hanged…”

e. After the 30.10.1918 Mudros armistice, some 144 Ottoman dignitaries, were transferred and imprisoned in Malta on allegations of genocide. The research made in the Ottoman archives by British with the help of Turkish Armenian experts, produced no documents! The British hoped to find documents in the U.S. archives but the telegram sent by the British ambassador to their Foreign Office dated 25.11.1921, read: “I regret to inform your Lordship, that the Americans could not produce any evidence, against the prisoners of Malta” ! They were silently acquitted and sent back to Turkey” without even an official charge for wrong doings by any of them”.

f- The only documents provided about the Armenian allegations, came from one source, namely ambassador Henry Morgenthau who was asked by the President Wilson and State Secretary Lansing to provide “documentary evidence to convince the U.S. Congress” to take a decision to join WW.1 for “ethical and humane values”. The distorted-unchecked missionary reports were sent by diplomatic bags to Lord Bryce, head of the British Propaganda division in London (whom he had met in Beirut), who was passing these to young Toynbee for use.

g- “The BLUE BOOK”: A letter sent by the U.S. Foreign Office to Toynbee dated May 1, 1916, read: “I very much regret that we were unable to fill the blanks in the documents…many of them are not accessible to us”! Toynbee, in his letter dated June 23, 1916 sent from the Wellington House to Professor Margouliouth, was asking help by the following words: “I wonder if you can spare the time to glance at it and glaring mis-statements of fact or wrongdoings of view. My knowledge on the greater part of the ground is very shaky and secondhand. I hesitated to trouble you, but the documents are going to be published as a Government Blue Book, so it is important to make sure that the introduction should come up to a decent level of historical correctness…

Again, Toynbee, in 1966 had elaborated on the Blue Book in the following words: “I have your letter of March 1st. It is true that the British Government’s motive asking Lord Bryce to compile the Blue Book was propaganda”…

h- It is noteworthy to remember that all (distorted) documentation on the subject came from a single person, Ambassador Henry Morgenthau! It was he, who gave the same missionary reports to German missionary Lepsius, who stayed in Istanbul only for one month, and collected information from certain sources through Armenian interpreters. Lepsius gave the notes to his friend Franz Werfel, who came up with his damning novel “Forty Days at Moussa Dagh”. However, Abraham Sou Sever, a Sephardic Jew born in Turkey before WW1, later emigrated to USA and settled in California. Before his death, he gave a written statement to a notary public as his will, in which he wrote: “My dear departed friend Franz Werfel who wrote that book, "Forty Days At Moussa Dagh" never was in that place. Werfel told me that he felt ashamed and contrite for having written the book and for that many falsehoods and fabrications, the Armenians had foisted on him. But he dared not to confess publicly for fear of death by the Dashnag terrorists.”

Morgenthau’s “Diary” presents serious flaws with the incidents he reported in his book “Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story”, he and his secretary brought from Istanbul had drafted and gave them to Burton Hendrick, the ghostwriter of the book. In his letter dated Jan. 9th, 1918 addressed to Honorable Breckenridge Long Assistant Secretary of State, Morgenthau was requesting official assistance for deferment from military service for his assistant. “You probably know that with the approval of the President, I have undertaken to write a book. Mr. Andonian is assisting me in the preparation of that work and owing to his intimate knowledge of the east and his unusual experience, his services to me are truly indispensable”…

This book had more than forty reprints and have been distributed-translated everywhere almost like the bible of the Armenian genocide. Let us see few lines from a letter found in the ambassador’s archive drawer, dated Dec. 1918 in which the Associated Press correspondent George Schreiner (who was the only western newspaper man in the Caucasus front and was cabling reports to Reuters and all other papers), felt the necessity to address the ambassador, in his long letter with clauses such as:

I am writing this letter under the impression that the peace of the world will not gain by such extravagant efforts as yours… Since I knew Baron Wagenheim ( German ambassador) probably better than you did, I hope that future historians will pay little attention to what you have said of the man. But it was ever easy to slander the dead…Nor did you possess in Constantinople that omnipotence you have arrogated onto yourself in the book… In the interest of truth, I will also affirm that you saw little of the cruelty you have fasten upon the Turks. Besides that, you have killed more Armenians than ever lived in the districts of the uprising. The fate of those people was sad enough without having to be exaggerated as you have done. I have probably seen more of the Armenian affair than all of the Armenian attaches of the American embassy altogether!.. To be perfectly frank with you I cannot applaud your efforts to make the Turk the worst being on earth, and the German worse…Has it ever occurred to you that all governments reserve themselves the right to put down rebellion? It seems to me that even Great Britain assumed that stand themselves towards the Fathers of the Republic…

The belying of all documents the Ambassador provided for the “Blue Book”, “Fort Days at Moussa Dagh” and “Ambassador Morgethau’s Story”, comes from another irrefutable document! This is the joint US Senate -Congress Resolution No. 192, April 22, 1922 in which the name of Morgenthau, is clearly printed as a member of the board of trustees of the Near East Relief Organization, and eventually as a member of the executive committee. Subject Relief Report to be elaborated hereunder later, contradicts everything that the ambassador has said or written previously in the documents he supplied to other parties or wrote in his own “story book”. If what he had previously said was to be correct, then the subject resolution accepted in 1922 unanimously, has to be wrong! It will be absurd to contradict, this obelisk-like official U.S. resolution!

2. REBELLION and ATROCITIES:
Among thousands of proofs and headlines in the U.S. newspapers, for the ease of the readers, it is suggested that they at least Why Armenia Should be Free” written by Garekin Pastirmadjian, giving the backstage or bragging part of the treason with a large selection of taken photographs. Mr. Pastirmadjian, was formerly one of the terrorists that raided the Ottoman Bank in August 1896, bombed, killed many innocents but were later pardoned by the pressure of the western powers, and went to Europe freely. He went to school in Switzerland, became a doctor in chemistry, and returned to Turkey after the Sultan was deposed in 1908. He was elected to the Ottoman Parliament representing the province of Erzurum. Pastirmadjian, later became the Washington ambassador of the young Armenian Republic which was founded under protection of the Ottoman Empire! If we surf through the 46 pages of this book, which may be readily downloaded by anyone, among a pile of written and photographed evidence, at least the followings should not be missed:

p.10 “…purpose of the writer in writing this booklet, is to make great American people realize that Armenians are not anemic and unaggressive people with no fighting blood in their veins; that the Armenians have not been butchered like sheep but on the contrary, have fought most bravely and resisted most stubbornly the savage attacks of the Turks, whenever they had an opportunity”.

p.16-17 “In the name of the Turkish government the above mentioned (CUP) mission, appealed to the Armenian Organization (during the August 1914 Dashnag Congress in Erzerum) with the following proposition: If the Armenians –the Turkish as well as the Russian Armenians- would give active cooperation under a German guarantee would promise after the war an autonomous Armenia made of Russian Armenia and the three Turkish vilayets of Erzerum, Van and Bitlis, under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire”. (Photo, showing Armenian volunteers of the Caucasus taking oath of allegiance administered by the church dignitaries before leaving for the battlefield in October 1914). Note: The Ottomans joined WW1 on November 2nd, 1914 but revolutions had started earlier!)



p.19 “The Armenian reservists, about 160.000 in the number gladly responded to the call, for the simple reason that they were to fight the arch enemy of their historic race! Besides regular soldiers, nearly 20.000 volunteers expressed their readiness to take up arms against the Turks”.

p.21 “Opposite Sarikamish, where a battle was waged for three days and nights, the Turks suffered a loss of 30.000 men, mostly due to the cold weather than to the Russian arms... This was invaluable service rendered to the Russian army by the fourth battalion of the Armenian volunteers under the command of matchless Keri. Six hundred Armenian veterans fell in the Barduz Pass, and at such a high price saved 60.000 Russians from being taken prisoners by the Turks.

p.22 “…Andranik strongly enforced the trenches, repulsed the attacks of Khalil Bey for three days continuously until the Russians with the newly arrived forces from the Caucasus, were able to put to the fight of the army of Khalil Bey. Thirty-six hundred Turkish soldiers lay dead before the Armenian trenches in the course of those three days.” (For photo: taken in April 1915, of Armenian soldiers, next to captured Turkish guns inside Van fortress please view the book at given link).

.p.28 “…those few battalions of Armenian volunteers in 1914 and 1915, rendered to the Russians invaluable services, twice saving the right and left wings of the Russian army from an unavoidable catastrophe…”

p.31 “For example in 1916-1917 scarcely 8.000 to 10.000 Armenians were permitted to go back and inhabit the region of Van; the rest were compelled to stay within the borders of the Caucasus as refugees. There was talk of transferring to Siberia nearly 250.000 Turkish Armenian immigrants who had sought refuge in the Caucasus, because it was objected that no available lands existed there for them to settle”.

p.37 “In the battle of Karakilisa, and Erivan, early in June, the Armenians in two fierce battles drove back the Turks almost to their frontier. The battle lasted four days, the Turks left 6.000 dead before the Armenian posts and escaped to Alexandropol”… On June 14, in Batoum the Turkish delegates, together with the representatives of the Republic of Ararat, signed the first terms of armistice, leaving the final peace signature to the Congress of Constantinople, where final negations were to take place.

The delegates of the three nations of the Caucasus reached Constantinople on June 19. They were 32 in number. Among them were also representatives of the Republic of Ararat, Mr. A. Khatissoff, the minister of foreign affairs and Mr. Aharonian, the president of the Armenian National Council
.”

p.38 “They (Germans and Turks) gave the greater part of the Armenian territories to the other two nations, and the remainder was claimed by Turkey, with the exception of 32.000 square kilometers (12.350 sq.miles) with 700.000 Armenian inhabitants, which were left to the Republic of Ararat…while the remaining 1.400.000 Armenians are left in the territories allotted to the Tartars or the Georgians.”

(Note: The Armenian Republic of Ararat, was a protectorate of the Ottoman Empire. The Armenian delegation was received by the Sultan on Sept.6, 1918, after which they cabled PM Khatchaznuni of the reception and prayers of the Sultan! There was no word of any massacre or bilateral claims at that time. However, after the Ottoman Empire surrendered on 30.10.1918 with the Murdros Armistice. The Armenian Republic declared full independence in late November 1918, attacked Ottoman lands with the help of British Forces in Persia. By April 1919, Mr. Aharonian president of the Armenian Parliament who was indebted to the Sultan, was in Paris as the head of the Armenian delegation together with Boghos Nubar, claiming half of Turkey as seen in the below map, and without any Moslem inhabitants. Details are in the next paragraph of Paris Memorandum)

p.44 “We consciously chose this last alternative, namely we tied our fate to the allied victory; we exposed our very existence to the danger in order to realize the complete fulfillment of our national ambition, that is to see the re-establishment of by the United Historic Independent Armenia.

(Note: For additional U.S. newspaper headlines on Armenian atrocities and collaboration with all enemies of the Ottoman Empire, refer to The Rich Selection Of Articles/Headlines )

3. MEMORANDUM GIVEN AT THE PARIS PEACE CONFERENCE RECONFIRMING TREASON & REVOLT
Below excerpts and map have been taken from here which you can download, print and read the full details for additional clarification.

p.3 “…confirmed itself into and Independent Republic in the Caucasus, proclaimed the independence of Integral Armenia and brought that the fact to the attention of the Allied Governments by a note dated November 30, 1918.”

(Note: Since the Ottomans had surrendered on Oct.30th, the Armenian Republic broke up the “Protectorate” relation without hesitation a month later. Avetis Aharonian who was received by the Sultan in early September, had signed and presented to the Paris Peace Conference on Feb.26th 1919, this extravagant memorandum).

p.4 “Armenia has won the right to independence by her voluntary and spontaneous participation in the war on the three fronts of the Caucasus, of Syria and of France, and by sacrifice of hundreds and thousands of men, women and children who fell victim for the fidelity of the Entente cause, which she regarded from the beginning as her own cause. On the fields of battle, through massacre and deportation, Armenia has proportionately paid in this war a heavier tribute to death than any other belligerent nation.

In 1908 the Armenians lent the Young Turks hearty cooperation to bring about the overthrow of the Hamidian tyranny.

p.5 “This agreement signed on February 8th, 1914 [to establish two autonomous inspectorates in the six provinces, to be ruled by Dutch governor Westenek and Norwegian Colonel Hoff] was torn into bits and cast into the waste basket by the Young Turks, when Germany started the Great War.

Under these conditions, the Young Turks offered to enter into an unholy compact with the Armenians: They proposed that the Armenians make common cause with the Tartars (Turks) to rise in rebellion against Russia, and in return, Turkey offered Armenia autonomy. Germany undertook to guarantee the proposal of her Turkish Ally. The Armenians unhesitatingly and categorically rejected this infamous offer. The vengeance of the Young Turks, coolly premeditated and announced in advance, was terrible”.

p.6 “Armenian volunteers fought on all the fronts. In France, in the Foreign Legion, by their bravery they covered themselves with glory. Scarcely one-tenth of their original number now survives. They fought in Syria and in Palestine, in the Legion of the Orient under French command, where they hurried in response to the call of the National Delegation… In the Caucasus, where over 150.000 Armenian men who served in the Russian army on all the fronts, an army of 50.000 men and thousands of volunteers fought throughout under the supreme command of General Nazarbekian… In addition thereto, by their resistance against the Turks until the conclusion of the armistice, they forced the Turks to send troops from Palestine to the Armenian front, and thus contributed indirectly to the victory of the Allied Army in Syria.”

p.7 “The voice of all Armenians, dead and alive must be heard! It is true that the Armenians do not constitute the majority of the population in Armenia, but they do constitute the plurality of the population… In 1914, there were in Armenia 1.400.000 Armenians, against 943.000 Turks and 482.000 Kurds…

But, number should not be the determining factor in the fixing the boundaries of our future State. Not only the rights of the dead and the degree of the civilization of the people should be considered, but the vital fact must not be lost sight of that Armenians are the only element in Armenia capable of setting up a civilized and free state.”

p.8 “In accordance with the principle set forth, the regions which must constitute the independent State of Armenia are the followings:

First: The seven vilayets of Van, Bitlis, Diarbakir, Harpoot, Sivas, Erzerum and Trebizond (in conformity with the provisions of the Reform Measure of February, 1914) excluding there from the regions situated to the south of the Ti gris and to the west of the Ordu-Sivas line.

Second: The four Cilician Sanjaks, i.e. Marash, Khozan (Sis), Djebel-Bereket and Adana, including Alexandretta”

p.9 “Third: All of the territory of the Armenian Republic of the Caucasus, comprising the province of Erivan, the southern part of the former Government of Tiflis, the vetpol, the province of Kars, except the region north of Ardahan (see annexed map)




p.10 Fourth: That an indemnity be fixed by the Peace Conference to repair all damages suffered by the Armenian Nation through massacres, deportations, plunder and destruction of property.

Fifth: That the aiding Power be charged with the following mandate:

(a) To bring about the evacuation by the Turks, Tartars and others of all the Armenian territories!

(b) To expel and punish those who participated in the massacres…

(d) To expel from the country all of the disturbing elements…

(f) Turkey must undertake to pay full value of all the requisitions… The Armenian religious authorities at Constantinople shall have the right to take possession of all national properties… etc…”

p.12 “The Armenian question is not essentially a local and national question; it concerns the peace of Europe, and upon its solution shall depend the pacification, the progress and the prosperity of the Near East.”

Paris, February 12, 1919

A. Aharonian (President of the Armenian Republic Delegation to the Peace Conference)

Boghos Nubar (President Armenian National Delegation)


(Remark of the writer open to all: Are not the above two documents more than enough to prove the extents of the Dashnakist-Revolutionist betrayal and treason?

4. POPULATION CONTROVERSY AND INEXPLICABLE DISTORTIONS:

Below chart from here gives the different figures at the time of compiling the book. The reader is expected to take his own guess of what the correct figure was. I consider the estimates marked (*) inflated, since they were aimed to prove righteousness to demand the huge land of land, as explained in above paragraph. I would give priority to line (l) or the report dated 1.3.1914 and prepared by the French-Armenian committee, for distribution of land to the settlers of the area, conform the “Reform Project” of February 1914, which was canceled when the war started. Readers are asked to surf through the following pages of the book in this chapter, giving various other sources with reliable references regarding the numbers who were alive in 1914, or have been relocated and were still alive in 1918 when the Armenian Republic was founded under Ottoman Protection. Additional references about the “relocation” matter can be read in chapter 14 of the book, with losses and numbers confirmed to have safely arrived or living in various camps. I think that the total number of 1.500.000 Armenians living in 1914 is a close estimate with a +20% margin.

Chapter 15: POPULATION: CONTROVERSY or MATHEMATICAL AVERAGE? from Book P.303

Below are various estimates, made for “Christian Armenians living within Ottoman Empire borders:”



Below mathematical contradictions need to be explained in simple arithmetic and proven by all those who speak or write of 1.500.000 Armenians killed by genocide, out of the total maximum number of 1.500.000 … but leaving the following numbers still alive, according to their writings such as:

(a) Garekin Pastirmadjian, a leading warrior and writer of above book, in page 38 of his book (Par.2) speaks of 700.000 Armenians living in the lands left to Armenia plus 1.400.000 in the lands left to Georgia-Azerbaijan and Turkey, totaling to 2.100.000 alive. If this was to be true, it means that there were no deaths, but the population increased by 600.000!

(b) The official Armenian Delegation at the Paris Conference (Par.3) declares under page 7, that 1.400.000 Armenians are alive at that date, Feb. 1919!

(c) Boghos Nubar declared in his letter of 11.12.1918 that only 700.000 emigrated and that 880.000 were alive. Greek PM Venizelos also gave this number to the Paris Conference as 880.000 alive.

(d) George Montgomery an American Official at the Paris Conference gave a detailed tabulation showing 594.000 in Turkey + 450.000 in Caucasus + 60.000 in Persia = 1.104.000 alive in 1919 excluding those who immigrated to other countries.

(e) Armenian historian Akaby Nassibian gives the numbers 750.000 in Greece-Palestine-Syria according to the British Relief Committee, plus 400.000 or rather 500.000 emigrated to Russia

(f) German missionary J. Lepsius arrives at the figure 948.500 or rather 1.108.000 alive in 1921.

(g) At the Paris Conference, the Research Commission headed by Robert Lansing, Wilson’s State Secretary, presented their formal report dated March 29, 1919 in which the total losses were only 200.000 of which only 8.200 died in bilateral butcheries and 54.000 of other reasons in transit.

(h) Hovannes Katchaznuni, wrote that in 1919 there was 1 million Armenians but by 1921, 200.000 had died because of famine and plagues under the Dashnag rule.

(i) Armenian historian A.A. Lalaian wrote that there were 885.000 Armenians alive in 1918 in those areas, but that by 1920, 195.000 of them died of starvation in the young Republic of Armenia.

(j) And the last monumental document is the “Near East Relief Report” to be elaborated in the following paragraph, unanimously resolving that by December 31, 1921 a total of 1.414.000 Armenians were alive, most of them in need of help.

Simple Question of the Writer: Will any of the scholars, historians, free-pen slanderers, writers of all nationalities or politicians who claim that 1.500.000 Armenians were killed by a “genocide” (which has no location, time, unbiased witness, mass-graves, written documentation, etc.), show me by mathematics and logical proof, how you can arrive to such a mathematical conclusion, in the light of these written-irrefutable evidences? I do not want to believe your words as if I were a dupe! Please prove it openly; I am asking all parties interested or concerned!

5. NEAR EAST RELIEF REPORT, RESOLVED on April 20, 1922 in the joint U.S. CONGRESS & SENATE SESSION.

This monument-like document surfaced after publishing of my book “The Genocide of Truth”. Below “Flier Sheet” was added to the books sent out by me only. The page is self-explanatory and challenging in respect of allegations of genocide, atrocities, numbers receiving aid (absolutely no Moslems) and numbers alive by the end of 1921.

FLIER SHEET for the book “THE GENOCIDE OF TRUTH” ISBN 9789756516249 - Istanbul Ticaret Universitesi, 2008

Full contents of this 28-page report, printed in 1923 by US Government Printing Office can be viewed here. (Report on the Near East Relief, Doc.# 192, presented by Mr. Lodge on 67th session of Congress-Senate, on April 22, 1922) The Relief Organization was approved by the President on Aug.6, 1918 and the report gives the status and audits up to Dec. 31st, 1921. This new “obelisk-like document” sheds more light on the contents of following chapters of my book:

Ch. 2: “Ottoman Treat of Millets” - It confirms that CUP or Kemalist Turks helped-protected Relief !

Ch. 5: “Marvelous Missionaries” - It confirms that Turks never hindered Missionaries and Relief!

Ch. 7: “Distorting Realism” - It shows that HS 106 (Ch. 24) is an official distortion of above!

Ch.14: “Relocations-Arrivals” - It confirms that the figures of HS 106 and others are wrong!

Ch.15: “Population Controversy” - It proves that figures of Art. 1 of HS 106 and alike are all tall lies!

Ch.16: “Propaganda Fabrication - It shows that HS 106 is a propaganda fabrication of high degree!

Ch.17: “Proven Forgery to distort History”- Self-explanatory involving the supporters of HS 106!

Ch.18: “Charity & Relief Organizations” - It gives detailed a/c of over $ 52 million Relief to Christians only!

Ch.19: “Famine & Epidemics” - It implies deaths were caused by epidemics, famine and treks!

Ch 24: “The Success of Armenian Lobbies” - It proves that HS 106 Committee was misguided,

Page 4: It states that 300.000 Armenians returned to Cilicia after British-French occupation, but that they evacuated the region in 1921 after F. Bouillon’s Treaty with Kemalist Turks. It says that 200.000 to 300.000 Armenians were alive in Syria region -in need of help-. (Other sources said 150.000 only!)

Page 5 It states that at the time 1.000.000 are alive in Caucasus Armenia,- 500.000 in need of help!

Page 8: It gives account of 64.000 alive in 124 orphanages + 50.000 in the areas = 114.000 living.

Page 9: It states that 500.000 persons have migrated from Anatolia to Caucasus region. (Other sources had indicated this figure as 400.000). It lists various orphanages in occupied - unoccupied cities of the Ottoman Empire and Kemalists, showing that Turks never hindered their activities! Throughout the report, there is not a word of Turkish atrocities or refusal of cooperation or attacks on relief goods protected by famished soldiers or Turks, and that only Christians received subject Relief!

Articles 11 and 13 of HS 106 refer to previous Resolutions dated Feb.9th 1916, April 13th and May 11th, 1920 but MAKES NO MENTION OF ABOVE REPORT standing like an obelisk ! As a humble researcher, can I ask, the Honorable Congress Members:

Yes gentlemen, why you do not see this gigantic document, and keep acting as if it never existed!

If we are to “trust this important resolution taken by the US Congress & Senate in 1922”, all present charges of genocide, killings, atrocities become paradoxical to this official document.

Even more regrettable, is the complete ignorance of a multitude of scholars, writers, U.S. Senate-Congress Persons, (as well as those defending Turkish views) or even US Presidential Candidates, who are unaware of the existence of this obelisk-like document and still pursue HS.106, and similar absurd – unfounded – fabricated claims.

6. WELL… THEN! WHAT IS ALL THIS “G” FANFARE ABOUT?
(A) A prominent Armenian book writer and man of universal ethics wrote in a very recent essay, some typical Armenian prejudices. Some can be read at this blog site (ref.2592 and others)

* “…the hardest thing is to make an Armenian enemy a friend”

* “… who allow themselves to be brainwashed and manipulated by fund-raising panchoonies for whom the welfare of the people rates far below their own powers and privileges”.

* “Victims of foreign despots, victims of domestic wheeler-dealers, victims of our own narcissism, we are citizens of Victimistan”

* “We should speak less of genocide and more of genosuicide if only because the first is history and the second an ongoing policy implemented by corrupt and incompetent leaders whose number one concern is not the welfare of the people but their own powers and privileges


(B) My book’s last chapter gives a multitude of “wheeler-dealer” letters, all ending with the unchanged last sentence. Send on-line donation right-now… Here is one of the many ANCA letters, dated Oct.12,2007:

-“House Foreign Affairs Committee… voted 27 to 21 to approve the Armenian Genocide.

- We won this battle despite a very visible public attack by President Bush.

- We had power to stay strong because of the secure on-line donations send by you and thousands of devoted and generous people like you

- We are winning the battle in the Congress and in the media – not because we have the most of the money like Turkey but because we have the truth on our side…

- And just because as importantly because we are blessed with devoted caring Armenians like you… with their secure on-line donations… so right now please send $ 100, $ 500, $ 1000 or whatever you can afford!

Signed – Ken Hachikian – Chairman

(C) Again ANCA in an update of Sept.30, 2008 sent out on Oct.1,2008 brags “MENENDEZ HAMMERS TURKEY’S HISTORICAL COMMISSION PROPOSAL” also referring to Joe Biden, Russ Feingold…

(D) Again ANCA in their letter sent out on Oct.3, 2008, brag about having Anna Eshoo and Jackie Speeder in the US Congress and ask support of their community to send David Krikorian as well to the Congress… The letter ends with usual: “Join me in donating whatever you can, $ 23, $ 230 or the maximum of $ 2300 your secure online donation…

Signed – Aram Hamparian – Executive Director “



CONCLUSION and WISH OF THE WRITER:
This short résumé is not aimed to pursue any friction, animosity or competition in differentiation by race, nationality or personal beliefs! On the contrary, it is a challenge to clever charlatans as read above, cheating humans for their personal benefits, by exploitation of personal feelings, other than humane values common to all! I excerpt from p.662-663 of my book, the following closing sentence of an article of the “Reno Evening Gazette” of October 14, 1915:


“If this country, therefore, does not want to appear foolish before the whole world, it will refuse to be duped by impossible tales and let the Armenians severely alone”.

This essay and the sources that I have used should prove that I refused to be duped!

In that context, I openly express my thanks to all and those Armenians (mostly of Turkish origin) who struggle for TRUTH and COMPASSION, be it in my country or somewhere in the world, where decent persons cherish the same ethical values during their short lives.

Sukru Server Aya,
Istanbul - October 6, 2008



(Documented counter comments of mutual respect, may be sent to the publisher and/or the compiling writer)
Sukru Server Aya




© This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com


Below excerpts have been downloaded directly from google and are self explanatory in respect of:






© This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com Download Location of the NearEast Foundation-90th Anniversary Flyer.pdf




“NEF@90: Celebrating Development; Honoring Philanthropy” is the theme of this year’s commemoration of the 90th anniversary year of the Near East Foundation (NEF), which was founded as Near East Relief in 1915 in urgent response to the Armenian genocide and deportations and in the process pioneered international humanitarian assistance. A series of celebratory events is being planned throughout the year, highlighted by a gala banquet to take place September 21 in New York City.

During World War I, the Near East Foundation is credited with saving a million lives of Armenians, Assyrians, Arabs, Persians and others in the region, among them 132,000 orphans. Many an Armenian can trace their lives or those of their parents and grandparents back to Near East Relief orphanages and camps. NEF’s rescue mission and relief operation during war and subsequent reconstruction work in its aftermath employed techniques that reverberated through the following decades and are employed to this day. NEF’s approach created the models for the Marshall Plan, Truman’s Point-4 Program, the Peace Corps, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Development Program…”

(Note: Wikipedia etc. states that this operation started actually in 1915 as “American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief ” founded by Cleveland H. Dodge and chaired by James L. Barton)

1- It states that the Near East Relief was founded in 1915 in response to Armenian Genocide and deportations.

2- It states that it saved one million Armenian lives.

3- It states that among them there was 132.000 orphans.

Now, let us remember what the NEAR EAST RELIEF REPORT, No. 192 of 22.04.1922 unanimously resolved by the US Congress-Senate officially wrote:

1-R: Act of incorporation NEF was approved by the President on August 6, 1919.

2-R: There are one million Armenians living in Caucasus area, plus 200 or 300.000 in Syria.

3-R: There are 64.107 children in 124 orphanages, plus another 50.000 and also unknown homeless children.

Paragraph, 4 of the above referred first study, gives an approximate figure of maximum 1.500.000 millions living within the Ottoman Empire, in 1914.

Question: If 1.500.000 were indeed killed as claimed in HS 106 and other hearsays, where did they come from? Why – how, so many were left living!

Istanbul, Oct. 20, 2008 - Sukru Server Aya
(Serious counter arguments are welcome)




Re: Articles > History > The Transcaucasian Armenian Irredenta by James G. Mandalian

Every time I try to read an article on the fanatic Armenian web sites, I am stunned to evidence a continuous surge of historical distortions, qualified as deliberate falsifications.

Below excerpts have been quoted from referred web site, in “The Armenian Review” in June 1961, added to the web site on Oct, 26th, 2006, found of important value! I am commenting in different characters to make it easier to the reader. For full article, you may refer to above link. .


"At the outset, it should be noted that the Independent Republic of Armenia which emerged from the bloody Armeno-Turkish conflicts in the spring of 1918 was not a recovery of the historic Armenia. It included none of the Armenian provinces of the Turkish Empire, although it was in the Armenian scheme of final integration that at least some of them should be incorporated, as later it was envisaged in the Sevres Treaty of 1920 and the Wilsonian Award.

The Independent Republic was formed in Caucasian Armenia, former territory of the Tsarist Empire, centering on the Province of Erivan. During the two years of the Republic’s life, this territory was expanded to include almost the whole of Sharour Nakhitchevan, the Districts of Kars and Kaghzvan from the Province of Kars, a larger part of Ardahan and a small part of Olti, the District of Zangezur from the Province of Gandzak and Itchevan, as well as, factually, Mountainous Karabagh, and the greater part of Lori from the Province of Tiflis. Thus, in the summer of 1920, on the eve of the Turco-Soviet invasion of Armenia, the Republic of Armenia embraced a territory of nearly 19,305 square miles with a population of 1,200,000 inhabitants, the overwhelming majority of which were Armenians. After the Armeno-Turkish war of 1920 this area reverted back to 10,038 square miles."


Above cornucopia of historical chronology and misinformation, leaves the impression of “victimized heroes” and cleverly camouflage the following pivotal facts.

A- “There was no Armenia” State until May 28, 1918. It was all, “part of the Tsarist Russia” for whom they fought!

B- The Tsarist armies dissolved for Bolshevism in late 1917, leaving the Anatolian front to Armenian volunteers who fought to serve Britain and France, against Turks. However, they could not hold for long against the weak reorganized (Nationalist) Turkish Army. The Communist Revolutionaries had to fight against Germans-Austria-Hungarians and against the Tsarist generals like Wrangel and Denikin who were supported by the Allies. The Communist Russians were forced to sign the Peace Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on March 3, 1918, and accept the new borders drawn by the victors, leaving many areas, “claimed” to be Armenian and other terms to fill up the vacuum of Power and Establish law and order in Caucasus! Georgians, Armenians, Azerbaijanis and Daghestan formed a confederation named SEYM, where Khatacznuni (later prime minister of Armenia) was representing the Dashnag party. However, because of the conflicts between the members of this confederation founded in early 1918, Georgia and Azerbaijan declared their independence, and soon on May 28, 1918, the – first – new Republic of Armenia was founded as an Ottoman Protectorate. Prime Minister Aharonian, was to later go to Istanbul with delegations of other countries and was received by Sultan Vahdettin on Sept.6, 1918, with bilateral compliments, and thanks for given “protection”. These facts are written in the telegram sent by Aharonian to Khatchaznuni after the reception.

C- About two months later following this “gratitude visit” the Ottoman Empire surrendered on Oct..30,1918 with the Mudros Cease Fire. Just one month later on Nov.30th, the Armenian Republic declared independency from Ottoman protection. The occupation of the provinces mentioned above, started immediately in early 1919, under the mandate of British General Wocker and his troops in Iran shortly after the Ottomans surrendering arms under the ceasefire treaty. At the very same time, in Feb. 1919, the Armenian delegation was at the Paris Conference, demanding more than half of Anatolia, and “cleared out of all Moslem population” which was about 85% of residing people!

D- In the summer of 1920, the Nationalist Turkish army of Mustafa Kemal was fighting the Greek troops nearing Ankara. At the very same time, the troops of the young Armenian Republic was fighting the depleted troops of Kazim Karabekir on the Eastern front whilst the Russian Bolsheviks were clearing the last remnants of the Tsarist White Russian armies.

E- The author makes demands, based on “Sevres Treaty of 1920 and Wilsonian Award”, overlooking the simple fact that when the Sevres Treaty was signed by the Ottoman Government on Aug.10, 1920 (who had surrendered, was under Allied occupation, and had declared Mustafa Kemal a traitor condemned to death), the Nationalist Armies of Mustafa Kemal’s Parliamentary National Government founded on April 23, 1920 had just stopped the final advance of the Greeks, close to Ankara! The Ankara government had declared that they will not recognize the Sevres Treaty which was already dead, when born! [Allied Armies were demobilized in large numbers when the war ended] and they had no soldiers to enforce any terms for lands not under their control. [This was one good reason why they used Greek soldiers to occupy parts of Anatolia which was promised to Italy]. However, Mustafa Kemal’s Nationalist Parliamentary government had rejected all! The Sevres Treaty was not even ratified by the even the Ottoman Sultan. The boundaries were to be drawn later by President Wilson and this is what the writer refers to! However, by the time Wilson made his map dated Nov. 22, 1920, The Armenian Republic had lost all wars against Karabekir and was dissolved on Nov.29th, 1920 even before the Wilsonian map was made public. The writer does not observe the chronological order of events, and plays the tune of the “victimized hero”, instead of the “double-crossing gambler”!

The Wilsonian boundary gave to Armenia the Provinces of Van, Bitlis, Erzerum and Trebizond, with a total area of 34,750 square miles.

The Turkish irredenta and the Wilsonian award were cancelled by the treaties of Brest-Litovsk, Moscow, Kars, and finally the Treaty of Lausanne, and therefore, they do not come within the perimeter of this study. This essay is primarily concerned with the Caucasian irredenta, namely, the heavily Armenian populated and Armenia’s contiguous districts of Akhalkalak, Nakhitchevan and Karabagh.

Taking as his starting point the Tsarist census of 1917, Simon Vratzian places the number of the Armenians in Caucasus in 1916 at 1,786,794. The Soviet census of 1925 places the number at 1,352,250. Vratzian traces the differential of some 400,000 to the unique character of the Soviet method of assembling statistics. He takes the Tsarist earlier census as his basis and proposes to reach an approximation by collating other subsidiary sources, such as the Soviet figures, the figures of foreign institutions, national and charitable organizations, as well as information assembled by individuals.


Making allowance for casualties of the war, famine and epidemic, the influx of some 300,000 Armenians from Turkish Armenia, and the prolific Armenia birth rate, the Vratzian estimate raises the figure of Transcaucasian Armenians to 1,776,000, a substantial difference from the Soviet figures which he criticizes severely as unable to meet the test of critical analysis ".


Now, let us use our logic and see how gigantically the Armenian distortions and “numbers” can be distorted!

F- We know from most reliable Armenian and other sources that the population of Armenians in the Ottoman Turkey, before the war, was around 1.5 millions.(The most reliable figure is 1.280.000 – prepared by the joint French Armenian committee for land distribution in March 1914)! The official Armenian claims are that 1.5 million Armenians were killed during the relocation process of 1915 and also 1916. If this was to be true, how is it ever possible to have 1.7 still living in 1917 or 1.3 millions in 1925? Doesn’t these lies or distortions {or whatever you name it}, look worse than childish contradictions?

(P.M) Khatachaznuni wrote in his book that when the new republic was founded in May 1918, their population was about 1 million but by the end of 1920, during their Dashnag rule, 200.000 Armenians perished because of starvation.

Armenian Historian A.A.Lalaian gives the same figures for that period. However, the Relief Report prepared by the U.S. Near East Relief Organization wrote that by Dec. 31, 1921, 1 million Armenians living in Armenia, 300.000 living in Syria and 124.000 in various orphanages need help (total 1.414.000). I stress the fact that these are officially declared figures by Armenian and USA authorities, and they directly defy the claim that 1.5 million Armenians were killed during relocations!

Well, if you were to ask my honest “personal estimate of losses”, I would take the figure of about 1 millions living (out of 1.3 or 1.5 millions of 1914) in 1918 for sure. We know that 200.000 persons perished during the period 1918-1921 where Turks had no control of any sort. We also know that about 400.000 or 500.000 Armenians from Anatolia went to Caucasus with Russian army, some of them came back when Russia had occupied Eastern Anatolia, also some 150.000 – 300.000 Armenians who were settled in Syria, came back with the French-British Armies in 1919-1920 (after Mudros Treaty), but again they left the area with their own decision when the French Forces had to pull out from Turkey in mid 1920. Given these back and forth treks on rough terrain mostly on foot and bad weather under famine and epidemics of all types, it will be fair to estimate that at least 300.000 perished during this long period of time.
I do not wish to argue the extreme famine and epidemics wiping out cities where there was no war of emigration.

The purpose of this article is not to justify the death of so many (mostly innocent) people of Armenian ethnicity, whilst more than 500.000 Moslems died in the same area for similar causes, that no one ever mentions. Armenian historians do not admit the responsibility of their revolutionaries and Dashnag leaders, who caused all these calamities and nearly all their gang leaders escaped to others countries when they lost their gambling on Armenian lives (Andranik, Pastermadjian, Dro Kanajian etc) who were later made heroes. Continuation of chauvinist brainwashing and distortions can bring satisfaction to those in need of such bragging, instead of admitting the simple facts and let them rest in the graves they fell victim for diverse reasons and nothing can bring them back to life.

One good reason why the Diaspora keep on pumping these exaggerations, is the “hope to get restitution or compensation from Turkey” which will make every one rich! These persons are so naïve and forget that these claims or accounts were settled between USA and Republic of Turkey in 1934 and “American Armenians” cannot make any such demands at any time.


Sukru S. Aya – Istanbul, 01.11.2008



Articles > History > The Transcaucasian Armenian irredenta

“At the outset, it should be noted that the Independent Republic of Armenia which emerged from the bloody Armeno-Turkish conflicts in the spring of 1918 was not a recovery of the historic Armenia. It included none of the Armenian provinces of the Turkish Empire, although it was in the Armenian scheme of final integration that at least some of them should be incorporated, as later it was envisaged in the Sevres Treaty of 1920 and the Wilsonian Award.

The Independent Republic was formed in Caucasian Armenia, former territory of the Tsarist empire, centering around the Province of Erivan. During the two years of the Republic’s life, this territory was expanded to include almost the whole of Sharour Nakhitchevan, the Districts of Kars and Kaghzvan from the Province of Kars, a larger part of Ardahan and a small part of Olti, the District of Zangezur from the Province of Gandzak and Itchevan, as well as, factually, Mountainous Karabagh, and the greater part of Lori from the Province of Tiflis. Thus, in the summer of 1920, on the eve of the Turco-Soviet invasion of Armenia, the Republic of Armenia embraced a territory of nearly 19,305 square miles with a population of 1,200,000 inhabitants, the overwhelming majority of which were Armenians. After the Armeno-Turkish war of 1920 this area reverted back to 10,038 square miles.

The Armenia of today is a little country, snuggled around Lake Sevan, on the twin flanks of Minor Caucasus. It is largely a mountainous country with a limited area in plains. In the west it is bounded by Turkey, and autonomous District of Nakhitchevan under Azerbaijani Protectorate and Persian to the south, the autonomous District of Karabagh under Azerbaijani Protectorate and Azerbaijan to the east, and Akhalkalak and Georgia to the north.

The Soviet Armenia of today consists of the following districts: Erivan, Pambak-Lori, Daralakiaz, Etchmiadzin, Kazakh, Zangezur, Leninakan (former Alexandropol), and Nor Bayazid, with a total area of 10,078 square miles.

The Transcaucasian Armenian irredenta to which the Armenian lay ethnographic, geographic, and economic claim are the districts of Nakhitchevan, a protectorate of Azerbaijan, Karabagh, another autonomous district under the protectorate of Azerbaijan, and Akhalkalak, incorporated with Georgia, with a total area of 7,220 square miles.

The Turkish irredenta, immediately contiguous with Armenia but with an entirely different status from the Turkish Armenian provinces, includes the districts of Kars, Kaghzvan (Kagizman), Surmalu (Igdir), Ardahan and Olti, with a total area of 8,044 square miles.

The Wilsonian boundary gave to Armenia the Provinces of Van, Bitlis, Erzerum and Trebizond, with a total area of 34,750 square miles.

The Turkish irredenta and the Wilsonian award were cancelled by the treaties of Brest-Litovsk, Moscow, Kars, and finally the Treaty of Lausanne, and therefore, they do not come within the perimeter of this study. This essay is primarily concerned with the Caucasian irredenta, namely, the heavily Armenian populated and Armenia’s contiguous districts of Akhalkalak, Nakhitchevan and Karabagh.

The Population Statistics

Since the Armenian claim to the above-mentioned districts is based primarily on geography and population statistics, Armenian scholars have devoted considerable time and pain to the study of the statistics, and in their solicitude for accuracy, they have explored all sources in their effort to determine the approximate number of the Armenians in the Transcaucasian area as a whole, and the three districts of the irredenta in question in particular .

Taking as his starting point the Tsarist census of 1917, Simon Vratzian places the number of the Armenians in Caucasus in 1916 at 1,786,794. The Soviet census of 1925 places the number at 1,352,250. Vratzian traces the differential of some 400,000 to the unique character of the Soviet method of assembling statistics. He takes the Tsarist earlier census as his basis and proposes to reach an approximation by collating other subsidiary sources, such as the Soviet figures, the figures of foreign institutions, national and charitable organizations, as well as information assembled by individuals.

According to the Tsarist census, the population of Akhalkalak in 1916 was 107,173, of which 77,275 were Armenians. According to the Soviet census of 1925, this figure has been reduced to 75,671 (Mardagotch, 1925, June 25), a diminution caused by the departure of Russian inhabitants, and the reduction of the Armenian number by 20,000 as result of the massacres.

Making allowance for casualties of the war, famine and epidemic, the influx of some 300,000 Armenians from Turkish Armenia, and the prolific Armenia birth rate, the Vratzian estimate raises the figure of Transcaucasian Armenians to 1,776,000, a substantial difference from the Soviet figures which he criticizes severely as unable to meet the test of critical analysis.

Starting with the Schnitzer and von Eckert comprehensive statistical reports of the Caucasian populations in the mid-19th century, Dr. Vahe Sarafian largely discounts Tsarist census figures of 1897 as woefully biased and worthless, and finds the 1917 census estimates, on the basis of Armenian birth rate, should have shown a much larger figure. Nevertheless, Dr. Sarafian finds the Harbord Mission statistics in remarkable accord with the abovementioned Tsarist census, and, for the Armenian irredenta provinces of the Caucasus he adduces the following figures as acceptable:

Karabagh
Armenians 317,000 72%
Tartars 120,000
Sharour Nakhitchevan
Armenians 60,000 33%
Turks, Tartars 120,000 66%
Akhalkalak
Armenians 90,000 76%
Turks,Tartars 8,000


Vratzian and Sarafian reject the figures of the Transcaucasian Statistical Central Commission, January 1, 1925, for the populations of the Caucasus, finding them defrauding the Armenians to the tune of 400,000. Sarafian is very painstaking and critical in his figures, making meticulous allowance for the factors of birth rate, and casualties from massacres, the famine and the epidemic. He maintains that the Armenian prolific birthrate has overcome the losses of the misfortunes.

Holding the 1939 Soviet census as the crux of his reasoning process, and through a series of deductions based on periodic population comparisons and allowances for population growth, Haik Sarkisian arrived at the unique conclusion that the population of any region of the Soviet Union can at any time be determined by merely doubling the number of voters at any given Soviet election. This conclusion is arrived at by the universally known fact that Soviet elections invariably are 99% and more unanimous.

In the light of this interpretation, speaking of the populations of the Armenian irredenta of the Caucasus, Sarkisian advances the following observations.

According to the tables of the first Soviet census the Georgians in Georgia constituted 68% of the population; in Azerbaijan 64.2%. These two countries have a considerable Armenian population, formerly 12.6% in Georgia, and 13% in Azerbaijan. And while the Armenians are known for their comparatively high birth rate, a very conservative allowance of 11% will give these countries an Armenian population of 850,000. Of this mass population 80% is settled in the immediate vicinity of the Armenian Republic – Karabagh (159,768) the City of Gandzak and the mountain villages, the region of Shulavar, the Province of Akhalkalak (purely Armenian), and the autonomous Republic of Nakhitchevan the precise figures of which we lack, but safe to say, an Armenian population of at least 550,000 to 600,000.

As late as 1953, Hrand Ermoian, real name A. Khondkarian, for years a political analyst of the Armenian language Hairenik Monthly of Boston, having drawn his information from Georgian and Azerbaijani SSR republics at 800,000, almost equally distributed at 400,000 each.

Allowing for population displacements and the casualties sustained in the wars of 1918 and 1920, Professor Abegian, after a lengthy analysis, concludes that out of a total population of 200 – 220,000 of Mountainous Karabagh and Gandzak, 140 – 160,000 are Armenians. He places the figure of the Armenians in Nakhitchevan at 53,000.

L’Armenie Transcaucasienne, official publication of the Delegation of the Armenian Republic to the Paris Peace Conference, breaks down the figures as follows: Akhalkalak, 146,000 Armenians, Nakhitchevan, 54,209, and Karabagh including Zangezur, 200,782.

The Origins of the Boundary Feuds
When in the spring of 1918 the Transcaucasian Confederation (Seym) was dissolved and the three constituent nations - the Armenians, Georgians and Azerbaijani - proclaimed their independence, the Caucasus was in a chaotic condition. After disastrous and counteroffensives, Turkish troops still occupied certain regions which, by the terms of the treaties, were to be evacuated. Their evacuation and the withdrawal of the Russian armies at the behest of the Soviets created a vacuum which instantly provoked a general scramble among the three Caucasian nations to fill the void. These conflicts centered around the mixed populated and in some instances heavily Armenian populated regions of Lori, Borchalu, Akhalkalak, Nakhitchevan, Zangezur, Gandzak and Karabagh.

There were endless insurrections, local fights, international negotiations conferences, Allied interventions, and, finally, open wars among the three major nationalities of the Caucasus which eventually ended in the despoliation of Armenia among the Turks, the Soviets, and their Caucasian neighbours. Zangezur, a purely Armenian inhabited region was incorporated in Armenia, and so was Lori with a population of 60,000 Armenians. Akhalkalak, with a population of 80,000 Armenians, was annexed to Georgia, and the regions of Nakhitchevan and Karabagh were given the status of autonomous districts under the protectorate of Azerbaijan.

It is difficult to determine precisely when the sparks began to fly, between Georgia and Armenia, or Armenia and Azerbaijan. The brief period of two years in the life of the Independent Armenian Republic was so crowded with intraracial problems and conflicts, to say nothing of desperate effort of restoring order out of chaos, that the Government of Armenia did not know where to begin and where to stop. One of the most painful developments of 1919 in Armenia, writes Vratzian, was the emergence of rebellious movements on the part of Mohammedan elements within the domain of the Republic, instigated largely by Turkey and Azerbaijan with the intention of destroying the independence of the new-born Republic.

From the first day of the creation of the Independent Republic, and Mohammedan element of Turkey and Azerbaijan living in the interior of the country took a hostile attitude toward the Government of Armenia, desirous of joining their kinsmen of the south and east. The latter two countries, in turn, were trying to effect a juncture via Armenia, comprehending the Karabagh Zangezur-Nakhitchevan strip.

The principal actor of this espionage-subversive activity was an Azerbaijani agent named Khan Tekinski who was appointed in March of 1919 Azerbaijani representative in Erivan, a fanatical Pan-Turanian who was charged with the responsibility of fomenting insurrections in Armenia.

Tekinski apparently did his job so well that by June the entire Moslem element in Armenia were up in arms against the Government, demanding union with their Turkish kinsmen while the Mohammedans of the Caucasus, under the influence of the then newly-rising Kemalist movement, were bombarding the Paris Peace Conference with their petitions and demands for union with their neighbouring Turkish coreligionists.

Source: James G. Mandalian - The Armenian Review, June 1961



NEAR EAST FOUNDATION CELEBRATES 90th YEAR; FIRST U.S. INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION; PIONEER OF AMERICAN PHILANTHROPY ABROAD

“NEF@90: Celebrating Development; Honoring Philanthropy” is the theme of this year’s commemoration of the 90th anniversary year of the Near East Foundation (NEF), which was founded as Near East Relief in 1915 in urgent response to the Armenian genocide and deportations and in the process pioneered international humanitarian assistance. A series of celebratory events is being planned throughout the year, highlighted by a gala banquet to take place September 21 in New York City.

During World War I, the Near East Foundation is credited with saving a million lives of Armenians, Assyrians, Arabs, Persians and others in the region, among them 132,000 orphans. Many an Armenian can trace their lives or those of their parents and grandparents back to Near East Relief orphanages and camps. NEF’s rescue mission and relief operation during war and subsequent reconstruction work in its aftermath employed techniques that reverberated through the following decades and are employed to this day. NEF’s approach created the models for the Marshall Plan, Truman’s Point-4 Program, the Peace Corps, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Development Program.

Commented NEF President Ryan A. LaHurd, Ph.D., “While the Near East Foundation has an extraordinary record of past accomplishments, we remain on the cutting-edge of practice today. Currently we are at work in a wide range of development projects in a dozen countries of the Middle East and Africa, carrying out this organization’s historic mission–‘To help people the people of the Middle East and Africa build the future they envision for themselves.’”

Corroborating that view, last year NEF received the prestigious Arab Gulf Programme for United Nations Development Organizations (AGFUND) International Prize for Pioneering Development Projects for 2004, for enhancing nursing as a career in Upper Egypt. Announced in Riyadh, the award came as a result of a competition with 83 projects from 32 countries on three continents.

Also, the Near East Foundation received the 2004 Freedom Award, the highest recognition granted by the Armenian National Committee of America for the organization’s “longstanding history of aiding the Armenian people and others in their darkest hours.” In February of this year, NEF was among those honored, and NEF’s President delivered the keynote address, at the “International Relief, Refuge, and Recognition” luncheon sponsored by The Armenian Assembly of America, The Armenian General Benevolent Union, and The Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North American to honor Near East Foundation’s humanitarian response to the Armenian Genocide.

Further recognition came in the 2003 museum exhibition, “Near East/New York: The Near East Foundation and American Philanthropy,” of 300 photographs and objects from the Near East Foundation archive chronicling its early work. The show debuted at the Museum of the City of New York in Manhattan, and has subsequently toured this past winter to the Doheny Memorial Library at the University of Southern California. It will next be on view at the Armenian Library and Museum of America in Watertown, Massachusetts, opening April 24, the commemorative date of the Armenian Genocide. In 2004 NEF’s history and its current work in Morocco and Egypt were featured in two, half-hour, television programs, produced for “The Visionaries,” a series on “philanthropies that make a difference” broadcast nationally on PBS.

ORIGINS

NEF was created in response to an alarming cable from American Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire Henry Morgenthau to the U.S. Secretary of State stating that the Turkish “destruction of the Armenian race is progressing rapidly,” and it was urgent that something be done. Within two weeks a group of civic, business and religious leaders, led by Cleveland H. Dodge, formed a committee, mostly comprised of distinguished New Yorkers, to rescue over a million people caught up in the tragedy. Dodge’s grandson, David S. Dodge, still serves the Near East Foundation, having been for many years the chair of its board of directors. He is representative of the intergenerational commitment of many of the founding families and their ongoing financial support through the years.

The volunteer committee quickly met its $100,000 goal, thanks to donations from those early board members. By 1919 the committee was chartered by Congress and designated the primary channel for U.S. postwar aid to the region. From 1915 to 1930, Near East Relief raised $110 million for refugees—that is about $1.25 billion in today’s dollars—including $25 million in in-kind food and supplies. This remarkable outpouring occurred at a time when bread cost a nickel a loaf.

More than one million people had been rescued from certain death by starvation and exposure. Some 12 million people had been fed, and at one point between 1919-20, an average of 333,000 people were fed daily. Forty hospitals were built. Over 130,000 children were housed, fed and taught in orphanages and provided with medical care. One of these Armenian children was Phoebe Kapikian, who thinking back to her memories of being a two-and-a-half year old in the village of Sivas recalled only “confusion…driven out…groups with bundles on their backs of things that belonged in the house going on ahead…60-70 children left behind and I was clinging all the time to my older sister Ashan…a long, hard journey….”

She was piled into one of the many carriages hired to rescue abandoned orphans and taken to the Island of Syra. “The buildings already were in construction. We were taken care of very well by the Near East Foundation. We would rise on time, wash our faces. There was plenty of water. They tested every child for his or her capacity of how much they could read and write. So we had to go to school and we had food,” she explained, recalling her years at the orphanage. Nearing the age of 10, she was chosen to join a group of children being sent to England, later joining her older sister in America–thanks to the tireless efforts of Katharine Reynolds McCormick, an philanthropist who traveled the United States lecturing about the plight of orphans, raising funds and finding homes. “She was a mother for all that she did for me and my sister too,” said Miss Kapikian in an interview shortly before her death in 2004 after a rich life and career as a librarian in Queens, New York.

Very early in the relief effort attention focused on helping the rescued orphans to become self-supporting and contributing members of the communities that absorbed them. Both in its orphanages and in foster care homes under NEF auspices, attention shifted to teaching agriculture and industrial skills, primarily at NEF demonstration centers. A generation of poultry raisers, dairymen, mechanics, shipbuilders, cabinet makers, masons, shoemakers, tailors and nurses grew up and moved out into their adopted countries. Thus NEF moved beyond relief to become the first true international development organization.

In the Middle East, NEF became a symbol of American generosity and a prototype for the Peace Corps, besides its work with orphans, providing medical aid to six million patients. NEF was the vehicle for service to the region by hundreds of American volunteers—doctors, nurses, teachers, social workers. In short, NEF provided hope, home, training and education to a generation “without a childhood.” NEF saved the remnants of Armenians, helping resettle them in Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, Cyprus, Greece and the United States; and helped rescue other wartime victims including Assyrians, Greeks, Turks and Kurds. NEF was at work in Armenia, Turkey, Persia, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and the Caucasus.

PHILANTHROPY

An unsurpassed achievement at the time and remarkable even today, all this was accomplished by pioneering philanthropic techniques which continue to be used today. Among the innovations, NEF produced a series of compelling posters created by top American illustrators. Their national fundraising campaign feature Madison Avenue-style slogans like “Hunger Knows No Armistice” and “Clear Your Plate—Remember the Starving Armenians.” NEF Bundle Days encouraged Americans to send used clothing overseas, which they did—by the tons. Celebrities became spokespersons.

Child-actor Jackie Coogan spearheaded the NEF Milk Campaign; and cans of condensed milk were collected at screenings of his films at movie theaters around the country. He even visited the region, traveling on a “milk ship” out of New York. Americans were urged to “adopt and orphan,” being told “$60 a year cares for a child.” On International Golden Rule Sunday, families across the country ate a simple orphanage meal and donated the equivalent cost of their average Sunday dinner. Based on population, each American town and city was asked to contribute. President Woodrow Wilson issued proclamations and wrote endorsement letters.

The lingering impact of NEF fundraising is evident in today’s attention-grabbing graphics on through celebrity endorsements. And the Milk Campaign continues as well. Twenty tons of milk were distributed by the Near East Foundation to malnourished children in the West Bank from December 2003 to early May of 2004. Since then milk, cheese and other local dairy products were delivered to the families of 836 children enrolled in all 17 kindergartens in the cluster of West Bank villages north of Nablus, where NEF currently is at work on a range of development projects.

Forty tons of water, much of it to be mixed with powdered milk for children, were trucked to Baghdad by NEF at the height of the Iraq war along an extremely dangerous route during U.S. bombings. Also despite extreme risk to humanitarian personnel, NEF delivered 50 sheep to the Abou Shashir refugee camp in Darfur, Sudan, for the special occasion of the recent Eid Al-Adha celebrations. For a brief time, despair in the camp lifted and life seemed almost normal for people who feel preyed upon by all sides. NEF was the only non-Islamic, Western agency participating in the feast with the local people of Darfur. An NEF shipment of medicines and blankets followed.

FROM RELIEF TO DEVELOPMENT

While providing emergency relief in these circumstances, the Near East Foundation has been a force for the human and economic development of the region since 1930, when it had successfully completed its refugee activities. NEF aimed for long-term change, particularly attending to vocational education and agriculture, including experimental projects and instruction in raising sheep, poultry and cattle and the use of fertilizer’s, seeds and mechanized farm equipment. NEF had become America’s first international development agency, teaching people skills that could permanently improve their lives. The idea expressed in the saying, “give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach him to fish and he will eat for a lifetime” became NEF’s watchword.

“NEF’s approach has had far-reaching significance and has impacted foreign aid programming for the past half century,” according to Dr. Linda Jacobs, a Middle Eastern archeologist and current chair of the NEF board of directors. Dr. Jacobs previously was a member of the NEF staff. The Jacobs Family Foundation, set up by her parents Dr. Joseph and Violet Jabara Jacobs, has been a long-time generous supporter of NEF’s work, and her mother is NEF’s largest individual donor. The Jacobses represent yet another example of the intergenerational commitment of many NEF supporters through the years.

“Today this approach is termed ‘self help,’” Dr. Jacobs continued, “but NEF has been doing this since the 1920s and 1930s, decades before it became widespread practice. And ‘self help’ remains a cornerstone on our development work internationally to this day. In dozens of programs we work at the grassroots where training, technology and community-based organizations touch people’s lives.”

The NEF-American University of Beirut Institute of Rural Life and its specialists provided much of the leadership in the post World War II Middle East in the areas of education, economic development and health. Activities ranged broadly from water purification and sanitation improvements, to decreasing infant mortality and introducing malaria control, to home and welfare demonstrations and small industries employing women, to organizing schools and teacher training and developing rural cooperatives.

The Near East Foundation’s first experimental rural development program was in Greece where they worked in 48 villages on land donated by the Greek government. The program consisted of training in practical farming adapted to local conditions, water management, basic education in literacy, and health maintenance. From the beginning the aim was to develop local leadership and create programs which could carry on after NEF staff departed. Using this Macedonian experiment, NEF’s work spread eastward to Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iran. Just one case in point, in 1946 the Iranian government asked the Near East foundation to establish a rural improvement program for 350 villages based upon their successful Macedonian model. Four years later in 1950, President Truman established the Point Four Program on international aid modeled on NEF’s work in Iran.

“Many of the now standard ways of going about the business of international development,” Dr. Jacobs commented, “can be traced back to the Near East Foundation way before the 1960s cries of ‘power to the people’ and subsequent social movements. I cannot emphasize this enough since it is an amazing fact given the prevalent paternalism or worse at the time.

PHILOSOPHY

“From its earliest days the philosophy of the Near East Foundation has been never to impose an agenda, never to come into a community with preconceptions of what is best, but to listen and learn about the needs from the people themselves, then get down to work and help,” she continued. “The Near East Foundation has an enviable record through the years of valuing the dignity of people and respecting their opinions way before it was considered the preferred way to proceed,” she summed up, concluding, “And unfortunately many organizations involved in similar work still remain painfully remiss on this issue today.”

Her opinion is reiterated by Steven W. Lawry, Ford Foundation staff person who was former representative for that Foundation’s Middle East and North Africa programs, based in Cairo. He had many opportunities to observe NEF in action up close. According to Lawry: “The Near East Foundation has made remarkable contributions toward alleviating human suffering over the many years since its founding. My belief is that NEF is best characterized as a humanistic organization, dedicated to giving vulnerable communities the capacity to shape sustainable solutions to their own problems. Their staff are dedicated professionals, highly trained and practiced in sociology, agriculture, engineering, urban planning and other fields relevant to development and change.

“But they also understand the central importance of giving leadership to beneficiary communities in the design and governance of development and change initiatives. Importantly, NEF staff member bring to their work a profound respect for the dignity and knowledge of those they wish to serve. This results in interventions and programs that build community social capital and better enable individuals and communities to constructively address their problems over the longterm. In short, I personally have had very rewarding experiences with the Near East Foundation and the qualities of professionalism, service and imagination that characterize their work.”

In 1964 the Near East Foundation began working with the newly-independent African countries on agricultural development, recruiting hundreds of technicians trained in livestock improvement, water management, and scientific crop improvement. As its work evolved, NEF established a separate African Endowment Fund that by 1980 funded development of experimental projects in new areas. In the 1980s the Near East Foundation responded to the threat of famine in Mali with a program that embraced livestock rehabilitation, village seed and cereal banks, agricultural credit, literacy, and soil and water conservation. Even before the end of Lebanon’s civil war, in 1988 NEF had launched a vocational training initiative in that country, including projects to assist those disabled by the war to find employment.

In the competition between population growth and food shortages in Africa and the Middle East, throughout the 1980s NEF continued to work on agricultural improvement tailored to local conditions and the strengthening of local institutions and communities—what historically they had been very good at accomplishing. Increasingly NEF worked in cooperation with other donor agencies to implement projects ranging from beekeeping in Sudan and Swaziland to community development projects in Egypt and Jordan and seed and cereal banks in Mali.

It was in Mali that Steve Lawry of the Ford Foundation first became acquainted with the Near East Foundation. He was there supervising a University of Wisconsin team researching forest rights and management. “The locally-based NEF team asked us to help evaluate their efforts to build an efficient, low-cost system for better harvesting rainwater for agricultural and forestry purposes. What we found was astounding,” he still sounds astounded to this day.

“NEF staff had designed a simple water harvesting technology based on surveying natural water run-off patterns and constructing, with village volunteer labor, low-level earthen ridgelines that channeled water to cultivated areas. The practice reduced stress to crops and improved food security. It represented in important ways an adoption and extension of traditional and locally-familiar water conservation techniques.

‘However, traditional harvesting practices were limited to individual farms, “ Lawry continued, “To successfully extend the design to a larger water catchment area, NEF helped community members work through a number of complex questions around land tenure, water rights and labor management. NEF staff worked with intelligence and sensitivity at every level, the technical as well as the social, in helping shape an intervention that yielded sustainable benefits and could be managed by the local community permanently.” He remains an NEF fan to this day and later, as the Ford Foundation representative for the Middle East and North Africa, recommended Ford funding for a variety of NEF research and community development initiatives.

CENTER FOR DEVELOPMENT SERVICES

A major NEF milestone occurred in 1990 with the establishment of the Center for Development Services in Cairo, with assistance from the Ford Foundation to support their initiatives in community development. The center maintained that early focus on self-help in dozens of programs and brought together a cadre of professionals who could become a “think tank” of practicing development workers to refine techniques and mentor local talent. Current projects range widely from a number of local Egyptians initiatives on through working with street children to recover their lost potential in five Arab countries and a six-country initiative on Islamic philanthropy.

Lawry again: “After working in the country for several years, NEF leadership had concluded that the most enduring contribution it could make to Egypt would be to help establish an Egyptian development support organization, embodying many of NEF’s own traditions of professionalism and service, but bolstered by the added knowledge, experience and legitimacy that Egyptian staff would bring to the fore over the longterm.” He adds, “It is rare for international development organizations to design initiatives with the explicit aim of putting themselves out of business. But this was


effectively the goal of NEF in establishing the Center for Development Services as a resource for Egyptians to struggle with complex problems on their own terms,” he continued, adding, “This initiative distinguishes, in my mind at least, NEF as a humanistic as well as a technical assistance organization.”

One of those Egyptians was Montasser Kamal, a medical student 20 years ago at Cairo University when he first became associated with the Near East Foundation’s work in Egypt, and later at manager at the Center for Development Services. “NEF has had a profound impact on my life,” he states categorically, “work ethos, team work, mutual respect and having an investigative mind are all qualities which I gained while at NEF, and which I carry with me to this day. As NEF ‘pushed the envelope,’ its ethos was embraced by its staff throughout their professional and even personal lives and in turn by the communities where NEF worked.” Dr. Kamal also obtained a Ph.D. in medical anthropology and is now with the World Health Organization.

He elaborates further: “NEF has without doubt come to be one of the most influential institutions in the lives of many disadvantaged people in Egypt and other countries of the Middle East. NEF also became influential in my life and the lives of many other development practitioners in the region. The influence of NEF, however, cannot be attributed to the scale of its financial resources, which was always modest.

Rather, the influence can be attributed to the ability of NEF’s leadership to tackle key cutting-edge development issues before they became ‘flavor-of-themonth’ and pursing them long after others were swayed away from them because of their inherent challenges. “The abilities to make timely decisions, charter new strategic directions, and create alliances have helped so many poor because, in part, these were qualities that inspired new generations of professionals to enter the field of development,” he believes.

In 1991 NEF began working in Lesotho in southern Africa on a comprehensive rural development program based on the creation of a local non-governmental organization called GROW. In 1993 an Appropriate Technology Training Center was established in Morocco to promote technical alternatives for development by rural women. That same year they started a micro-credit program in the rural villages of Jordan.

PALESTINE

In 1994 NEF enhanced its program in West Bank/Gaza by supporting water resources with the Palestinian Hydrology Group to help save some 400 springs and ponds. Other programs included a community health unit at Birzeit University; specialized training for United Nations Development Program personnel in multi-village development; technical assistance to U.N.’s Relief and Works Agency providing education, health and social service to 2.8 million registered Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria; job creation and building up technical expertise.

“The needs were enormous,” commented Dr. Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Foundation, an Armenian, long-time NEF supporter and member of its International Council. “If Palestinian selfdetermination and home rule had to become a reality; if its economy had to be viable, its economic infrastructure had to be secured and strengthened.

Hence NEF had established several important programs.”

In 1998 NEF expanded its urban development work in some of the poorest sections of Cairo, which in Ford’s Lawry’s opinion “were decisive in saving a low-income community in central Cairo from being forcibly removed to make way for historic conservation and tourism projects.” He says the Center for Development Services demonstrated that the community, though poor, was stable and had a variety of closely-knit economic and financial arrangements that created large numbers of service and small-scale manufacturing jobs.

“Importantly, and perhaps ironically,” he commented, “the research also found that the volunteer efforts by community members had over the years been decisive in saving many revered Islamic monuments from collapse, while wealthier groups had long-ago abandoned the district for the suburbs.

“The Center’s research findings were taken up by the staff members of the Aga Khan Foundation, who were leading restoration efforts in the district, and used to convince Cairo local government authorities that displacement would destroy vital social and economic support networks and that the community should be allowed to remain,” he summed up.

While working at the Center Dr. Montasser saw NEF’s pro-poor ethos and participatory modus operandi in development in action, up front and personally. He credits NEF’s approach with “substantially helping to alleviate the suffering of poor women, men and children in the region” in both urban and rural areas—and impacting the professional development community in the process. “The work of NEF in urban development, in health programming, in local community development and in economic development has helped so many poor to stand up for their right and to become sufficient,” he says. “NEF was there to see them through and is still there to tap into these communities as a resource to help others in need.

“NEF works in many areas where poverty has alienated people and government apathy has left societies disenfranchised,” he continued. “In the context of this all too common picture in developing countries, the extraordinary work of NEF was felt and will be felt for many years to come. The poor and underprivileged who have become independent and vocal; the women who are now more assertive and financially independent; the youth who are now working and are fully engaged in the affairs of their community; and the men who are now more actively engaged in the governance of the resources in their communities—are all extraordinary examples of how local development can change lives if done properly.

“Through gradual and sustained effort, profound changes in the lives of people NEF works with have taken place,” he reaffirmed. “From dependent, expected handouts with a sense of political hopelessness, NEF has helped people to be independent active members of society who are socially engaged in a process of change.

“Perhaps one of the most extraordinary achievements of NEF has been to bring the voice of the poor to policymakers,” he added. “In the absence of democratic processes, people’s voices are often lost to the more powerful. That is not the case where NEF works. Where NEF works, people now know that power is not a zero-sum game and that they have an ally who can help them bridge this power gap in various effective and constructive ways. I remember the time I was working at NEF, when the concept of citizen participation in development was paid lip-service at best. NEF had embarked on a change strategy by which all its projects and programs had to demonstrate that they were participatory in nature. It was not easy.

It is still not easy. But progress has been made, and NEF has come to set the ground rules on how to encourage participation and create the social sphere for it take place.”

CURRENTLY

Today the Near East Foundation continues to provide qualified specialists to transfer technical skills and training, leverages funding for projects with strong local support, and extends its reach through inter-agency cooperation. “Being the oldest, nation-wide, international assistance organization in the United States gives us certain advantages,” commented NEF President LaHurd. “We have the history and experience that attracts a constantly-growing group of affiliates and contacts as well as highly-qualified staff. And with few exceptions they are all nationals from the countries in which they work.

“So we operate with a strong network of partners and the confidence and trust of local authorities—right now in 12 countries,” Dr. LaHurd continued. “Our Cairo regional office and Center for Development Services are both highly regarded in the Middle East in particular. That we are the largest publisher of development materials in Arabic is just one of many reasons we are so well respected.”

An up-to-the-moment report on the Near East Foundation’s current activities is available at their website www.neareast.org and detailed descriptions of their projects country-by-country in their 2004 annual report also is online at the site. What is particularly noteworthy is how their successful approaches in one country are replicated in others where they work. A case in point, the generation of supplemental income from fish farming in irrigation ponds of poor farmers pioneered in the 1980s in Jordan and now expanding wonderfully in the Jordan Valley—going soon to Gaza and Sudan when funding is available.

For Abou Baker, a 60-year-old farmer in an agricultural community in the Gor Al-Safi district south of the Jordan Valley, fish farming brought in $700 last November, a traditional down-season, increasing his family income 15-20 percent. This was very important to him, since he is getting older…now 60; lost a leg because of a landmine accident, has a family of 14 to support on his small farm burdened by water shortages, high production prices, and poor marketing. Abou Baker was one of 25 small farmers who received fingerlings, fish feed, and technical and financial assistance when NEF initiative a fish farming program in his area in 1999.

Then there is the Near East Foundation’s pioneering work in micro-credit dating from long before it was chic and used in many countries where NEF works, like Sudan. Here the so-called “popsicle lady” lives, a widow with a family to support and doomed to beg in the streets…until receiving her $200 NEF loan. She bought a refrigerator with a freezer and every evening fills small plastic bags with juice. Next morning she heads to the nearby elementary school and sells them to school children at recess—and supports her family. She was able to repay the loan in a year.

In Jordan NEF’s micro-credit activities have recently taken a new twist—home improvement loans for the urban poor. While in Lebanon, where NEF has had long-term involvement in landmine issues, they are now providing loans to disabled victims and their families and caretakers. Like Abo Khalid, a blind man who used his $700 loan to furnish his small kiosk with goods— tea, newspapers, cigarettes, children’s candies. His average monthly income of $300 helps feed his children. Thanks to NEF-provided-credit, wheelchairbound Ali was able to establish a small maintenance service center for computers and electronic equipment—and a reputation for high quality work.

Both have been freed from previous dependency on others, regained control over their lives, and become fully productive members of society.

The Near East Foundation also has particular expertise in desert environments, both adapting agriculture to the harsh conditions and desert reclamation, including 10 years of research on trees best suited to Mali’s Sahel, ultimately fruitful in every sense of the word. Now NEF’s involvement with reclaimed desert around Egypt’s Lake Nasser could in time become the largest agricultural project NEF has ever undertaken in that country.

Speaking of large, the Near East Foundation has completed planning and is now seeking funds for what could prove to be the most far-reaching initiative in NEF’s entire history of development work in Africa, involving nine countries and over 100 million people. It would support local governance in West Africa’s huge Niger River Basin under severe environmental threat and competing demands, building upon successful approaches modeled in Mali since the 1980s.

NEF continues its investment in the people of the West Bank, most intensely involved in a cluster of villages north of Nablus in a wide range of projects, from traumatized children and nutrition, to environmental issues and community organization, to good drinking water and youth centers, even helping train two promising Palestinian athletes bound for the Athens Olympics.

It is a particularly rewarding site to see kindergarteners from the six participating West Bank communities clapping their hands and bursting into grateful song when they see the NEF team approaching to distribute their packages of dairy products. Later, when group pictures were taken, the children held their milk cartons high above their heads and loudly cheered. As the mother of Sabreen from Ijnisniya put it: “I feel so happy when I see my child drinking the milk, especially the chocolate-flavored—she loves that kind. We put the cheese and yogurt in the fridge to eat later. I am so happy that we have these important foods for such a price. You know how bad our economic situation is nowadays, and without this program, we could not get these milk products for our children.” While there had been some absenteeism in the kindergartens at the beginning of the school year, during the “Cup of Milk” distribution date—there was absolutely none.

In over 70 villages in the Souss-Massa Dra’a area of southern Morocco where NEF has been working, in literacy alone, 92 percent of women participating say they have learned to read, and 72 percent can now add and subtract and report using their skills regularly. Fifty-thousand people in southern Morocco—women in particular—have gained new self-esteem, education and income because of NEF’s programs over the years.

Women like Fatima Bouhassi from the village of N’Kob, who can now read and write, has completed NEF-sponsored midwife training, and gathers all the other village women in her house and shares everything she learns. Using innovative theater techniques, NEF promoted Morocco’s new and history Family Code that took effect last July, governing women’s position in society and status. With seven women playing various roles for illustration and clarification, NEF field staff discussed the new laws, particularly marriage, divorce, child custody and inheritance, with large groups of village women. So unique, it got attention from the BBC in news reports.

The little white house at the GROW compound in Mokhotlong, home to NEF Lesotho country director Ken Storan, has some new visitors, named Hlompho, Tumeliso, Rorisang, Thabang, Tiisetso…. The latter is about one-and-a-half years old—his exact age is unknown. Before being embraced by Ken, he lived by himself, most of the time in a cold house, sometimes outside, even in the rain. Hungry and skinny upon arrival, two months later he had gained seven pounds and could stand up by pulling on a chair. Tiisetso also can breathe easily since his pneumonia is gone; and has learned to smile and laugh, and likely will soon walk and run too.

This is what the AIDS pandemic really means and the Near East Foundation is helping children—the most vulnerable victims of disease and poverty—in many countries in Africa and the Middle East. Beyond providing individual children with emotional and physical warmth, safety, rehabilitation from malnutrition and sickness or care with terminal illness; reconnection with family or caring adoptive homes, schooling and mentoring; the Near East Foundation is combating the AIDS calamity with an integrated and comprehensive approach that combines health, agriculture, infrastructure development and more.

In Swaziland, which has the highest HIV infection rate in the world, close to 40 percent, NEF is using that comprehensive approach in 18 chiefdoms in the northern Hhohho area of the country. NEF works with people like Lussy Tfwala, chairperson of the water committee of Nkonjaneni homesteaders. They had a water source in the mountains above, but no means of getting it except by making hours of trips up and down steep slopes, carrying water by oxen cart and upon their heads. With NEF support, the committee, once organized, successful obtained $17 from every homestead family who would benefit from a domestic water supply, for the engineering, materials and heavy machinery needed. Contributing their labor, association members carried the material up the mountain and dug kilometers of trenches to bring the pipes from the water source to local taps. Four homesteads share a tap and take rotational responsibility for maintenance chores.

The amount each homestead contributed has become a fund for repair and maintenance costs, augmented by a small monthly fee, for ownership leads to responsibility and commitment.

This Nkonjaneni association now has the skills, organization, data to build on, new ways to assign community responsibility, and the means to sustain their critical water supply. It demonstrates NEF’s approach: true development is not primarily about the project, but more about the capacities built in the community that sustain NEF undertakings long after their staff has moved on.

And last year the Near East Foundation returned to Armenia, for the first time since their expulsion by the Soviets in 1927, to work with street children. Actually they were the only foreign agency allowed to operate in the Caucasus even after the Sovietization of the region, and supervised the welfare of 17,000 children in Armenia alone until being forced out. NEF Chairperson Linda Jacobs received an overwhelming reception that left her deeply moved by the often tearyeyed Armenian representatives who greeted her so warmly in every sector– government, education, social welfare, religion—and ordinary citizens.

IN CONCLUSION

The final word on the Near East Foundation goes to an Armenian, the Carnegie Corporation’s Dr. Gregorian. “It is an honor and a privilege for me as an Armenian, Iranian, Middle Easterner and an American to pay tribute to the Near East Foundation as it celebrates its 90th birthday.

“NEF is not a charitable institution. It is a philanthropic one. It invests, it welcomes investors. It builds. Its aim has always been ‘to help people help themselves.’ It aims to assist the people of the Middle East and Africa in their quest of autonomy in the social, economic and cultural realms. It provides people know-how, wants to endow them with hope, to assist them in their struggle against poverty, disease, hunger and injustice. That is the mission of NEF. NEF stands for dignity. It stands for our community with mankind.

It stands for the best ideals and impulses of the American people, its idealism, altruism and generosity.” Dr. Gregorian concludes eloquently: “You, who are a rescuer of a nation, planter of seeds of hope, promoter of economic and social progress in the Middle East and Africa, symbol of America’s faith and goodwill, we congratulate you for generating knowledge, generating goodwill, generating hope, generating progress.

Building bridges of brotherhood and sisterhood in a world that will transcend religion, ideological, ethnic, regional and racial conflicts, especially now when more than ever we need to stress common values and bonds that unite the ‘People of the Book,’ the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims. May you continue your good work. May you bring peace to the region.”

Near East Foundation, neareast.org
New York, NY 10004, USA, © 2005 Near East Foundation

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