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Armenian Students Organization Hosts Tabling Event

Nicole Liddicoat/ Villanovan Photography
Members of the Armenian Student Organization tabled last week.

Villanova’s Armenian Students Organization (ASO) held a tabling event on Wednesday, Sept. 27. This event was aimed at spreading awareness on the refugee and humanitarian crisis happening in Armenia, many of which have gone unnoticed by news stations and non-Armenian U.S. citizens. 

Artsakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, is a landlocked region located in the South Caucasus made up of majority ethnic Armenians. Conflict in this region has stemmed from the claim of self-sovereignty under the Republic of Artsakh coupled with the weight of international recognition as a part of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijani forces imposed a blockade on the Republic of Artsakh in December of 2022, thereby obstructing the humanitarian corridor which connects Artsakh to Armenia and the surrounding world. 

This event was specifically calling for awareness of the attack against Artsakh on Sept. 19, 2023. This was a military invasion that killed hundreds, displaced thousands and shelled civilian infrastructure. The lack of news coverage and overall understanding of overseas crises in the American bubble has left many feeling defeated.

Villanova’s organization’s Vice President, Isabella Balian, stated her frustration about the issue. 

“As Armenian students here at Villanova, it is often hard to gain continued support because of general lack of knowledge of the crisis,” she said. “This week, CNN, AP News, The Washington Post and The New York Times have [finally] begun to cover the attack on human rights in Armenia.” 

The Villanova Armenian Students Organization commented on the “sick irony” that only hours after their efforts to increase awareness among non-Armenians, saying “the independent government of Artsakh was forced into a military defeat and to dissolve its state institutions.” 

The Azerbaijani military offensive was in direct violation of the ceasefire agreement. The impact of the military defeat is leaving behind a significant refugee crisis that is cutting off tens of thousands of Armenians from basic necessities, such as shelter, food and water. The Armenian population was forced to attempt to flee and abandon their homes with very little time, fearing the ethnic cleansing that could follow Azerbaijan’s victory. 

ASO’s President, Taleen Postian, mentioned that the group’s focus is going to shift following the events that have happened within the last week.

“We are currently working on more events aimed at sending humanitarian aid to Artsakh and Armenia,” Postian said. “Specifically, in order to deal with a refugee crisis caused by Azerbaijan’s actions that will lead to more than 100,000 refugees needing help.”

There is a lot that can be done to help by a variety of different individuals and groups. 

ASO hopes that, by holding events and raising awareness, they can “call on fellow Villanovans, students and faculty, to make efforts to learn about the crisis and find ways they each can help.” 

The ongoing genocide and crisis in Armenia is devastating, and demands an outpour of support and recognition of conflict if there is any hope for change. The Armenian population deserves acknowlodgment for the brutal loss of Artsakh through repetitive genocide against those protecting their homeland. 

The organization is also urging Villanova University to condemn the genocide that is taking place in Armenia. 

“For a University that upholds values of truth, unity and love, and claims they are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, I am disappointed at the lack of solidarity and action,” Balian said. 

Additionally, they are urging US lawmakers and leaders to recognize the severity of war in Artsakh.

“For a country that possesses strong freedoms and priorities of human rights, the lack of American action toward the Armenian cause is disappointing,” they mentioned. “The issue poses threats for Armenian-Americans as well, as our churches, schools, and communities are actively being targeted by Azerbaijani and Turkish Americans.”

It is vital to call on local Senators/Representatives to urge the White House to take action on the UN Security Council, increase the delivery of humanitarian aid, and hold Azerbaijan accountable. 

The advocacy demonstrated by these students is inspiring, they hope to get more people on board. You can support by attending ASO events, following them online 

@villanova.armenians or donating directly towards the humanitarian crisis.

“Armenians have faced genocide before and survived. We can and will do it again. The only question is if we will do it alone.”

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Nicole Liddicoat
Nicole Liddicoat, Co-News Editor
One of three Villanovan Co-News Editors, Nicole Liddicoat is currently serving her first year. Nicole is a sophomore double majoring in Political Science and Environmental Studies, while additionally completing an Economics minor. She is an ambitious student whose passion lies in environmental policy and social justice. Nicole has grown a love for journalism through her time writing with The Villanovan and hopes to continue fostering her dedication to accurate and compelling news. Nicole loves all things music, nature, and gluten-free foods. As a native of the Golden State, she will not let you forget it.
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