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Aren't we also important?

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As an Armenian immigrant, I have always struggled with the fact that my community is constantly under attack, and no one ever seems to speak about it.

Growing up in the United States' public education system, I remember always hearing and learning about painful and horrific parts of our history, but never about a part that was particularly painful to me: the Armenian Genocide. Up until a few years ago, the United States did not even accept the Armenian Genocide, the first genocide of the 20th century.

During the pandemic, Azerbaijan, a nation with very close ties to Turkey, attacked a region with ethnically Armenian people known as Artsakh to the Armenian community, but you most likely know it as Nagorno-Karabakh. Earlier this school year, ethnic Armenians living in this region were forced to flee to Armenia and leave everything behind. More than 120,000 ethnic Armenians had to leave their homes, ancient Armenian history, cemeteries, and lives behind. After years of living in fear that this day may come but hoping it was simply a nightmare, Armenians all over the world were faced with a harsh reality.

These events aren't news to the Armenian community and have been taking place since they started in 2020, yet Cal Poly has never spoken up about it. The Armenian Student Association at Cal Poly was very vocal about how painful this experience was for Armenian students and even organized a fundraiser for the displaced families in Armenia, yet the school never released a statement.

When the atrocities in Israel and Palestine occurred, it was very painful for me personally to see as I had just seen something similar happen in my own community. That week I received emails from professors stating that they were here for their students regarding these horrific events, and almost every class discussed these events. This is a very large step in supporting students, and I am proud of our community for taking these measures to try to support students, yet it was still hard to sit and have to relive my own experiences.

This was particularly hard because it made me realize that when the school and administration want to speak up and support their students, they can and are able to. So it left me with the question, why are we not important enough to be talked about and supported as well?

Irina Sargsyan

San Luis Obispo

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