September 3, 2013 - 15:21 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The Zoryan Institute’s twelfth annual Genocide and Human Rights University Program (GHRUP) was held in Toronto, Canada, in August, amid atrocities and human rights violations in Syria, Egypt, and several countries in the Middle East and Africa.
According to gagrule.net, this year, 22 students from ten countries met to study with ten distinguished genocide scholars. Many of the students come from backgrounds where gross violations of human rights and genocide are part of their national or personal experience, such as Kurds, Nigerians, Pakistanis, Armenians and Jews.
The Course Director, Prof. Joyce Apsel of New York University, noted, “Several students who are teachers commented on how much they learned from watching the pedagogy of different instructors, as well as from the course content. Other students consulted me and other instructors about which directions and schools to pursue for graduate education. They proved to be an outstanding group of students, and it was a privilege to have two weeks in and out of the classroom to exchange ideas and interests.”
“It was remarkable to see descendants of perpetrator and victim groups in the Armenian Genocide —students of Armenian, Kurdish and Turkish backgrounds — find common interests with each other, and within the academic environment of the program and, based on historical facts, explore issues of stereotypes, memory, denial and reconciliation together, seeing each other through the prism of humanity,” said a statement from the Zoryan Institute.
Realizing that there was a significant gap in the university curriculum concerning genocide, the Zoryan Institute began planning for a unique course entitled “The Genocide and Human Rights University Program” in the summer of 2001.
The course ran successfully in Toronto in August 2002 as a pilot project under the directorship of Lorne Shirinian. It attracted students from Armenia, Australia, Canada, England, France, Japan and the United States. The participants finished the course with a strong commitment to the ideals of human rights, and the desire to pursue genocide studies at an advanced academic level. Three students who attended the pilot course made presentations at the prestigious Biennial Conference of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) in Galway, Ireland following the course.
The Zoryan Institute and its subsidiary, the International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, is the first non-profit, international center devoted to the research and documentation of contemporary issues with a focus on genocide, diaspora and Armenia.