CONTACT US donate now

Human Rights Essay Contest Launched in Artsakh

02 September 2017

On September 1, during the ceremonies of the Zabel Yessayan School of Arajamugh, we witnessed the launch of Artsakh’s Second Annual Human Rights Essay Contest. The contest is initiated and run by Artsakh’s Human Rights Ombudsman, Ruben Melikyan, with support from Judith Saryan.

Judith Saryan, co-organizer of the contest, donates Zabel Yessayan books to the Arajamugh school library

The contest has two objectives: First, the contest will introduce the students of Artsakh to a leading Armenian writer and human rights activist who bridged the history of both Western and Eastern Armenia in the early 20th century. Zabel Yessayan was a pioneering author and political activist who fought for human rights and free speech in the Ottoman Empire, Soviet Armenia, and the Soviet Union. However, as Yessayan’s works are largely excluded from literature curricula across schools in Artsakh, most of the local youth are unfamiliar with the inspiring life and writings of this groundbreaking writer.

The contest will not only help Artsakh’s new generation discover the literary and human legacy of Zabel Yessayan, but will also encourage them to explore the world of human rights and social justice through her works. Specifically, the students will write short essays (1200 words or less) based on the human rights discourse in Yessayan’s The Gardens of Silihdar, the memoir of her childhood in Constantinople (Istanbul) in the late 19th century.

Drawing from Yessayan’s wisdom and insight, high school students (grades 9-12) from all schools of Artsakh are eligible to participate to address the following universal question: “Why human rights are important?”

A jury of 18 prominent individuals from Artsakh, Armenia, and the Diaspora, including the celebrated author Antonia Aslan, will participate as contest judges. One of the judges, Siobhan Nash-Marshall from Manhattanville College, encouraged the contest by stating that “every people need a voice, and Zabel’s voice rang loud.”

The Tufenkian Foundation is proud to co-sponsor this important initiative along with the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), and we hope that the contest will foster interest in human rights and the literature of Zabel Yessayan not only among the participating students, but also the general community of Artsakh.

 

Similar news

24 June 2019

Hochants' 17th Century St. Stepanos Church Re-Opens After Renovation

The liturgy filled the walls of basilica for the first time in a while.

read More
21 June 2019

Newly Built Football Field Opens for Kovsakan

The new field creates opportunities and inspires the children and they are the key players in the process of community development.

read More
17 June 2019

The Heartwarming Story behind Aramjamugh’s New Football Pitch

Ara and Haykuhi Melkonians are the donors of the football pitch, and this was an act of great love towards their daughter, whose biggest dream was making Artsakh a great place for its people.

read More
18 December 2018

20 Years in Armenia, for Armenia: Celebrating our Anniversary

2018 was a special year for the Tufenkian Foundation. A few months ago, we celebrated our 15th anniversary of resettling and developing Artsakh. And this week, we marked our 20th year of operations in Armenia.

read More