Armenian Genocide: a commemorative walk

A little over a month ago, a historical event passed another milestone. While not as important as last year, it is still a day of remembrance. 101 years. 101 years of remembrance but also of waiting for world-wide recognition and more importantly, recognition from one country in particular: Turkey. The Armenian genocide, also referred to as a genocide against ALL Christian-ethnic groups and other minorities proposed during the final waning years of the Ottoman Empire, still leaves deep open cultural, spiritual and social wounds and scars.

This year, the focus picked up where it was left off during the centennial anniversary: the conflicts in Syria extending to Turkey, Lebanon (to some extent), Azerbaïdjan, and North Africa as well as social and politic repercussions coming from Saudi Arabia. This year, the demonstrations focused around the current situation and conditions within Turkish and Syrian borders (F.Y.I Christian refugees for example). More importantly, the Armenian communities are calling for action and raising awareness on the Azerbaïdjan-Armenia border conflict (Karapagh region) and regional ethnic conflicts.

As of beginning of June, some of their efforts have paid off: on 2 June, the German Bundestag voted unanimously to recognize the Armenian genocide. This has fired up numerous comments from the Turkish officials as well as threats directed to 11 German MPs who have Turkish origins but the German people have spoken and the fight must go on.

I had not had the chance to participate in the centennial commemoration but this past 24 April 2016, thanks to the last minute warning from a friend, I walked with the Armenian community in Strasbourg. Here are photos of that memorable Sunday afternoon:

Flag in sunshine breeze ©le_chah_errant
Preparing the leading vehicle  ©le_chah_errant
Laying out the flags ©le_chah_errant
The crowds gather so do the flags. ©le_chah_errant
And we’re off!! ©le_chah_errant

The following photo shows a flag, which had been handed to the children to hold and carry first in the beginning. Extremely excited and proud to handle the huge flag, they more often than not became lost in the back of the march, resulting in several of the adults carrying it for the remainder of the afternoon.

Huge Armenian flag during the march. ©bdl.chahine
The arrival at place de la République ©le_chah_errant
Arrival at place de la République ©le_chah_errant

Never had I seen so many flags at one demonstration and this includes the marche républicaine of January 2015 in Strasbourg. This is an event to repeat surely.

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