Thank You…

As we enter the final major holidays of the year, naturally to be able to reflect upon the past year seems to be an automatic for us, but in my case there is much to be thankful for and thankful to a whole lot of people.

I am very blessed to have experienced many things this past year it’s certainly it is been an emotional one for me.

I was able to realize a dream of producing a film documentary about a topic that is near and dear to me and had it air nationally on television. You really can’t complain much after that, can you?

This is such an important year for Armenian’s around the world and as we draw toward the end of the centennial year of the Armenian Genocide, I feel that in a very small way I did my part to honor my ancestry for the horrors they endured.

This is certainly not is a bragging point but it felt like more of an obligation that I have as an Armenian. This year has allowed me to present music to a non-Armenian audience (of all ages) and educate them not only about the Genocide but about the importance the music played (pardon the pun!) in our history.

I am so proud of the many musicians, artists, writers that I have created special projects in honor of the genocide this year. They are too numerous to mention in my blog, but I would venture to say that they too felt the same obligations that I did and still do.

So where do we go from here?

As both a musician and as an Armenian I am always looking for that next project to pursue. I cannot help but still think that the obligation and feelings I have experienced this past year should still continue. Recently at a concert I performed at, I discussed how the attention the Armenians received this year has been simply monumental. Celebrities that have gone to Armenia or have talked about Armenians and the Genocide in the media have never been so abundant his it was this year. Unfortunately I don’t think we will see that next year and that is truly a shame.

Check out some of the celebrities that brightened the Armenian map this year:

Conan O’Brien went to Armenia
Amal Clooney (wife of George Clooney)
Additional Armenian celebrities comment on Genocide

I grew up like every Armenian knowing about the Genocide but it was this year where it had its most profound effect on me. Just the sheer number of events that I have attended, lectures I have seen, artwork, videos – it has changed the emotion inside me as to how I feel about Genocide. It is almost heightened the feeling within me. I don’t think it should go away and as I look into next year and I hope that whatever project I look to pursue, I include elements that I learned this year.

I want to thank a lot of people that made this a memorable year. First and foremost, my wife, Della. She is constant inspiration for me and helps me out most of the time when I am in a mental jam. I would like to thank Brian Golden, a friend and a patient one at that. Brian and I worked closely for over a year putting Guardians of Music together and I am very proud of the work we did. Speaking of the documentary, I owe a big thank you to Detroit Public Television and the entire staff for airing my documentary and centering an entire pledge night on the Armenians. Finally, I would like to thank all of the musicians featured in the documentary and those current musicians I have worked with this past year. We cant do it alone, and I am grateful to all of you.

Happy Holidays and cheers to a wonderful and healthy 2016!

Ara

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