Upon insistence of of my girlfriend, I am posting a summary of my recent talk in Toronto by one of the organizers of the event.¬† I have the cold. ūüôĀ

This is me and Hon. Jim Karygiannis, a Toronto MP (like the national Canadian representative) who joined us at the end of the lecture.  I had e-mailed him a few days before the talk and he made the commitment to attend.  I am shocked with the accessibility of Canadian elected officials.  My own American representative, the Tom Tancredo, would never attend such a meeting even though he has paid tribute to me in the U.S. House a few years ago.  Wow, a lesson for us Americans to learn.

Simon Maghakyan, a 20 year old student at the University of Colorado, flew to Toronto and in the span of three days, he participated in an Armenian Genocide related Workshop in Montreal over the weekend, then gave an excellent talk on the destruction and vandalism of Djulfa khatchars.  His talk took place on Monday, March 19, 2007, at 8:00pm, in the Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church in Toronto.  Without the help of Rev. Arch Father Zareh Zargarian, the pastor of the Church, this event would not have taken place.

Simon began his presentation with his 5-minute film –¬†“The New Tears of Araxes” – that documents the destruction of thousands of khatchkars.¬† The film was followed by¬†his talk on the destruction discussing its connection to oil, politics and cultural rights.¬† At the end,¬†his PowerPoint presentation showed satellite images of the Djulfa cemetery before its 2005 final destruction. These images had not been shown to the public before

Simon’s talk¬†was enthusiastically received¬†by the audience, as evidenced by the lively question and answer period at the end.¬†¬†Here is a comment¬†from¬†one of the attendees.

Simon’s lecture was enlightening and he inspired hope in our new generation. God bless him and hope it will inspire other youth to go¬† in his footsteps. We the grown ups should keep an eye on these youth, help them every which way, so they will be encouraged.”

The Toronto Armenian youth was conspicuous by its absence.  Perhaps this was due to excusable circumstances, such as bad timing, late advertising, etc.  Here are some other comments from other members of the audience.

¬† …he [Simon] has all the qualities to become a scholar. ¬†We thank all those who helped organize the special event.

Just wanted to say that I enjoyed Simon Maghakyan’s lecture yesterday, he had strong and energetic presentation skills at that young age with the knowledge of someone twice his age, a very bright young man, and¬†he wasn’t shy at all, may he have a very successful future, my heartiest congratulations to him.¬†I¬†just¬†wish that this lecture was advertised¬†sooner.. as I believe¬†there would’ve been a¬†larger audience attending.

Thank you Simon.

Artin Boghossian, Toronto