Ara Sarafian, director of the London-based Gomidas Institute, will present a lecture entitled “Van 1915: The Great Events of Vasbouragan” at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23, in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, Room 191. The presentation is part of the Spring Lecture Series of the Armenian Studies Program. The Leon S. Peters Foundation is a co-sponsor of the event.

“Van 1915: The Great Events of Vasbouragan” is the most detailed report on what happened to Armenians in the Ottoman province of Van in 1915. It was published in Yerevan in 1917 and remains one of the most important works ever published on the Armenian Genocide.

Author A-Do [a pseudonymn used by Hovhannes Ter Martirosian, who was afraid to publish the book under his own name] personally interviewed eye-witnesses, described key incidents in harrowing details and gave a sober analysis of what had happened. He pinpointed April 16, 1915, as the beginning of genocidal attacks against Armenians.

However, A-Do also related how Armenians were not passive victims and defended themselves in many places, most notably in the city of Van and Shadakh. Much of this book is a blow-by-blow account of the actual fighting that took place.

A-Do’s report also covered the formation of a provisional Armenian government during the Russian occupation of this region, as well as the great exodus of Armenians to the Caucasus when the Russians withdrew.

In his presentation at Fresno State, historian Sarafian will introduce A-Do’s work in its broader historiographical context, before focusing on some of the critical details at hand. His presentation will include photographs, maps, and diagrams that bring A-Do’s work alive.

Sarafian is an Armenian historian specializing in the late Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. He was a founding director of the Gomidas Institute and is its current director. He has edited and written critical introductions to several of the institute’s publications.

“Van 1915: The Great Events of Vasbouragan” will be available for sale at the presentation.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in Fresno State Lots P5 and P6, near the University Business Center, Fresno State. A parking code, 273825, must be used at a kiosk to receive the free permit.

INFO: Armenian Studies Program at 559.278.2669 or visit www.fresnostate.edu/armenianstudies.