Armenia and Artsakh are under Attack! How you can help
This is not a normal post for Phillyfoodlove. There is nothing normal about this situation.
On September 27th, amid a global pandemic, Turkey and Azerbaijan launched an unprovoked pre-planned, large-scale attack against the people of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and Armenia.
As you're reading this, massive missile and aerial drone attacks against Armenians in peaceful civilian settlements are taking place.
Schools, churches and other vital infrastructure in Artsakh and Armenia are deliberately being targeted, and innocent lives are lost everyday. These Armenians are indigenous to the land and are simply defending their right to live in peace. For them, this is not a dispute over borders, Armenians are fighting for their lives and for their existence.
Furthermore, these attacks are a continuation of the Armenian Genocide that started in 1915, the first genocide of the 20th century, which was orchestrated by the Ottoman Turkish Government and killed over 1.5 million Armenians. The Armenian community has always been at the forefront of this issue, and continues to rally to stop the cycle of genocide. Yet today, the Genocide has come full circle and Armenians are once again being targeted. Azerbaijan and Turkey want to continue their mission to annihilate all Armenians from existence simply for being a Christian minority.
Armenians all over the world are coming together to raise awareness of what is happening because the international media has been relatively silent.
Even locally, on Sunday, October 4th, hundreds of members of the Philadelphia Armenian Community gathered at Dilworth Park to protest these aggressive military attacks committed by Turkey and Azerbaijan against Armenia and Artsakh.
Why is this happening?
The answer is complicated.
The area at the center of these "conflicts" is The Republic of Artsakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh. Roughly the size of Rhode Island, Artsakh is the subject of some dispute. Although the land was part of the ancient Armenian Highlands for thousands of years and is comprised of a fully ethnic Armenian population, it was declared part of Azerbaijan during the Soviet Union.
After the occupation of the South Caucasus area by the Bolsheviks in the early 1920s, Stalin- then Commissar of Nationalities- separated the regions of Artsakh and Nakhijevan from Armenia to appease Turkey by placing it under the control of the Azerbaijani Soviet Republic.
For 70 years under the Soviet Azerbaijani occupation, the cultural, political, religious rights of the indigenous Armenian community of the region were systematically violated.
In the late 1980's, Armenians gathered peacefully in the hundreds of thousands to demand Artsakh's reunification with Armenia. Azerbaijan, in response, initiated a wave of pogroms that resulted in the forced displacement of over 400,000 Armenians living throughout Azerbaijan.
As a remedy of last resort, the citizens of Artsakh declared their independence from the USSR following a democratic referendum in full accordance with the existing domestic and international laws.
Azerbaijan responded by waging a full-scale war during which the government of Baku engaged in human rights violations including wholesale massacres, the targeting of civilians, and blocking the provision of humanitarian assistance to besieged populations.
Armenian sources were successful in fending off the onslaught, and a trilateral ceasefire was signed in 1994.
In the years since the war, Azerbaijan has routinely violated the ceasefire and sought the capture of Artsakh by force, repeatedly obstructing the OSCE peace efforts.
How you can help!
Social Media Activism:
We need your help to spread the message and raise awareness. Share posts to your stories and your feed on all platforms to help educate people about this issue. There are not enough Armenians in the world to do this on their own. Please help amplify the voice of the oppressed. Tag local media outlets to make sure they see your posts. Ask them to cover the issues accurately. Use some of these below hashtags:
Start by going to www.ANCA.org
Here you will find the latest updates and all the information you need to contact your local elected officials. You can sign up for action alerts where you can access pre-written messages and suggested scripts that make is super easy and take just a few minutes from your day. You can even sign up to be a rapid responder to automatically send letters as needed. www.ANCA.org/Alert
Some of the immediate actions include:
Asking the House to schedule a vote for H.Res. 1165, Condemning Azerbaijan's military operation in Nagorno-Karabakh and denouncing Turkish interference in the conflict.
Urging President Trump and U.S. senators and congress to sanction Turkey and Azerbaijan.
Donation of Supplies:
Soldiers on the front line are in desperate need of things like warm clothing, sleeping bags, medical supplies and much more. Supplies are being collected at the below locations (More to come):
You can even send directly to the school from this Amazon Wishlist
Here are some trusted and legitimate sites that allow you to safely and securely donate money for the cause.
You can even set up AmazonSmile for Armenia Fund to donate easily with just your normal everyday purchases.
ARS Armenian Relief Society Artsakh relief fund