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USF Hosts Expert on Armenian History

Dr. Garabet Moumdjian

One hundred years ago this week, what some call the Armenian Genocide began in the country now known as Turkey.

By 1918, at least one million Armenians were dead and many others were displaced by the Ottoman government.

Even today, the events are still shrouded in controversy, with many in Turkey saying what happened shouldn't be classified as a "genocide."

The USF Libraries Holocaust and Genocide Studies Center is hosting a speaker Thursday who'll discuss not just that event, but many others in the Armenian people's 5,000 year history.

Dr. Garabet Moumdjian has studied and taught about Armenian people and their culture for three decades. He understands that, even generations later, the effects of events a century ago still reverberate for many.

"People have come to a place where they have either tried to forget or they have lived with the trauma for so long," he said. "I'm not an expert in psychology, but what we are trying to do is give them a sense of relief by trying to make them understand that regardless of the calamity, we lived and we prospered, and today we are strong again."

He adds that his talk is not going to "bash" anyone either.

"It's not going to be against anybody, it's going to be an event which will speak about history, about humanity and about a brighter future for humans," he said.

Moumdjian will speak Thursday, April 23, at 2 p.m. in the Grace Allen room on the 4th floor of the USF Tampa Library.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.
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