5 Reasons We Started The 100 Years, 100 Facts Project

October 6, 2014 (200 days until the centennial)
The 100 Years 100 Facts Project is an educational initiative to commemorate the centennial of the Armenian Genocide through one hundred facts about Armenia and the Armenian people. Led by Lena Adishian, with research and writing from Nareg Seferian, the team shares the driving forces behind honoring this historic event in such a way.

1. Celebrate Survival – We are an ancient people and have survived centuries of adversity. Today we proudly claim an independent Armenian republic and a strong global community that actively contributes to society in all corners of the world. We hope that each fact we publish will remind all of us of the beauty and importance of our rich cultural heritage, and that the online format will make it easy to share our history with the wider world as well.

2. Never forget – In this day and age, our day-to-day buzz of activities sometimes means we don’t spend much time thinking about what happened to our ancestors during the Armenian Genocide. The acts committed against us were monstrous and the attempt to annihilate an entire population can be hard to fathom. But, just think – if this was a hundred years ago, you might be fighting for your life. You might have seen things you can’t unsee. And you might have found yourself alone, in a new world. This was the reality back then – but atrocities like that continue around the world against other peoples and groups, whether based on ethnicity, religion, race, sex, or politics. We must never forget our past and work toward preventing such horrors today and in the future. Justice, after all, is a universal issue.

3. Be smart: Let’s learn it, let’s share it – “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” (Nelson Mandela) There is just so much to learn about Armenians and Armenia. For us, there is a real sense of pride about all that Armenians have endured and also have accomplished. There is a cultural richness in each of us by way of our ancestry. When we are out and about, meeting people all around the world, we should be knowledgeable about that wealth we carry with us. We should know about our history, our language, our culture and the diversity of the Armenian experience. Of all the times to do so, let’s learn it and let’s share it now.

4. This is as much about the future as is it is about the past – At first glance, this project may seem like a window into the past – we hope it accomplishes that. But we also hope that this, in some small way, is a driver to get involved in the Armenia we have today. We have an independent country that might seem a bit rough around the edges and unfamiliar for some in the Diaspora. But it is ours to nourish and to contribute something meaningful to. There are so many talented individuals in the Diaspora that have skills and resources that would be of immense benefit to Armenia. This isn’t about “saving” the country. This is about working with the multitude of thoughtful and successful people and organizations on the ground in Armenia and coming up with ways to boost specific aspects of an entire society. There is nothing more entrepreneurial than playing a part in developing a nascent country – the opportunities are limitless. It may just be one of the more rewarding experiences you will have in your life.

5. Do something for the centennial – This is one way we (Lena and Nareg) decided we could make a, hopefully, meaningful contribution to the global Armenian community in order to honor our ancestors. It ties our skills, interests and resources together and works around our existing jobs and community commitments. We work around the clock in Yerevan and in Los Angeles and we love how much this project has grown in numbers already (over 19,000 users in over 100 countries!). Each of you has something special you can do to honor the centennial. For some of you, you are already deeply involved in your community. Others dip in and out of Armenian activities. In our view, this is all okay. We all have a shared ancestry that ties us together. The important thing is that you find something that means something to you, whether it be reconnecting with your local church, taking Armenian lessons (again!), attending a picnic, sending your children to camp, contributing monetarily, visiting Armenia, moving to Armenia, or volunteering time for other Armenian activities. There are so many possibilities – we would like to encourage you to find your way. You’ll be happy and proud you did.

The team at The 100 Years, 100 Facts Project can be reached through 100years100facts@gmail.com.

Link to the 100 Years, 100 Facts website – http://100years100facts.com/
Link to 100 Years, 100 Facts on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-100-Years-100-Facts-Project/440618652708444
Link to 100 Years, 100 Facts on Twitter – http://twitter.com/100YearsFacts
Link to 100 Years, 100 Facts on Instagram – http://instagram.com/100years100facts
Link to 100 Years, 100 Facts on Google+ – http://plus.google.com/+100years100facts
Subscription to a newsletter via e-mail is also available at the bottom of the website.