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Ayo, Menk Enk

Posted on 30th Nov 2011 @ 11:01 PM

Compendium of Armenian contributions to U.S. civilization published in Los Angeles


Book presentation was held November 28 at Glendale Public Library



Los Angeles, November 28, 2011 — An extensively researched compendium of Armenian contributions to U.S. civilization was released this week in Los Angeles.

Titled Ayo, Menk enk (Yes, We Are: Contributions of Armenians to the United States of America), the Armenian-language volume was published by the Armenian Arts Fund. The book will be formally introduced to the public with a presentation at the Glendale Public Library, in Glendale, California, on November 28.

In addition to a complete Armenian translation of the original compendium (Yes, We Have), which was published two years ago, the contents of the latest volume have been considerably expanded to include over 200 new entries. Among the additional biographies featured in the book are those of economist Albert Alchian, sculptor Haig Patigian, Spanish-American War veteran James Chankalian, Armenian doctors who served in the American Civil War, Massachusetts State representative Rachel Kaprielian, Avid Technology founder Thomas Ohanian, astronaut James Bagian, author and editor George Stambolian, euthanasia activist Dr. Jack Kevorkian, Mac OS X developer Avadis Tevanian, California State senator Joe Simitian, and Samuel Sevian, America’s youngest chess master.

“The scale and diversity of Armenian contributions to American life are just astonishing,” said Stepan Partamian, chairman of the Armenian Arts Fund, who has compiled the series. “Throughout my research, I came across stories of Armenian-Americans whose parents had fled the Genocide, and who went on to make outstanding contributions to America, their adopted homeland,” Partamian continued. “Today we not only can feel rightfully proud of the extraordinary achievements of Armenian-Americans throughout American history, but should inspire our young generation to follow in their footsteps.”

Ayo, Menk enk comprises short biographies and photos of Armenian-Americans who have excelled in the fields of science, technology, literature, journalism, fine arts, theater, cinema, medicine, and sports, to name a few. The 320-page volume also includes the patents of hundreds of Armenian-American inventions filed with the U.S. Patent Office.

“Consider actress and television personality Arlene Francis, who was once featured on the cover of Newsweek as the ‘first lady of television,’” Partamian said. “Or the amazing Oscar Banker (Asadoor Sarafian), who invented the automatic transmission, the helicopter gear drive, and the needleless inoculation gun. Moreover, Banker was a consumer-rights pioneer who successfully fought the American auto industry for better safety standards. While such individuals can be role models in any culture, it is especially gratifying for us to know that they were of Armenian descent.”

Proceeds from the 2009 compendium, Yes, We Have, helped finance the initiative titled “The Armenian in America,” Partamian said. For that project, Partamian traveled across all 50 American states and documented institutions and signs associated with Armenian life. Now, Partamian continued, sales of the new volume, Ayo, Menk enk, will support the Armenian Arts Fund’s next major initiative, “The Armenian in the World.” For the implementation of this particular project, Partamian explained, he plans to travel across Europe, and subsequently other continents, where he will photograph a wide range of landmarks and signs associated with Armenian life. His photographs and descriptions eventually will be published both in book form and online.

Speaking of the book presentation which will be held at the Glendale Public Library on November 28, Partamian said he looks forward to sharing with the public some of the more striking discoveries he has made during his research. “The book presentation will be significant to me on a personal level as well, given that the following morning I’ll be traveling back to Armenia, of which I’ve been a permanent resident since 2010,” he added. “So the event will not only be a celebration of the new volume but give me a chance to say farewell to supporters and friends.”

Copies of Ayo, Menk enk can be purchased from Armenian bookstores and online at yeswehave.org. The volume is also available in ebook format and can be purchased form the same site.