Nowadays it seems natural that every single adult is aware of the First World War and the scars that it had left on our society. But what comes to our minds when we think of WW1? The majority certainly thinks of it as the first military conflict of such a scale in human history. Some might recover from their memory that it saw more than 20 nations directly involved in a bloody conflict, 65 million people mobilised and more than 30 million people killed and injured. Others might find themselves more concerned with the disastrous effects of the war: ruined cities (just in France 9 villages were completely destroyed during the war and some of them were never rebuilt) and collapsed economies (inflation in Europe caused by the heavy debt of over $10 billion).

When I think of WWI I usually see it as an evidence of the fragility of the international political system and the upsetting absence of inter-state links that would be strong enough to prevent a war between European countries. And I certainly think of the place this war has in the Armenian history as the stage for massacres of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire – the genocide of 1915.

Meanwhile, there is something that remains hidden under the significance of historical, political and economic aspects of this war. It is the recognition of the importance of those who became part of this bloody conflict over the bare facts and statistics. Those soldiers were not just faceless crowds, they were real people, each with a personal story; people who had families, plans and hopes and were destined to abandon them and join millions of other nameless heroes.

This project is about learning about those heroes and their deeds, discovering their stories and delivering them to the wider public to ensure that their names are not forgotten. I joined this project not only because of my interest in the First World War but also because of the unique chance to hear those fascinating stories and to feel like touching history that has been covert for many years.

Mariam Torosyan is a volunteer of the UK Armenians & WW1 project and an International Relations student.

Coronavirus Notice

 

Our charity is working hard to respond to the changing situation around Coronavirus (COVID-19) related issues. We do our best to continue to provide our services for our members and the Armenian community at large and ask for your patience during this challenging time.

Our staff and volunteers are working hard to continue supporting you in the best way that we can, whilst also staying on top of reducing risk of spreading infection and supporting our colleague who may be more at risk.

However, due to the current situation and in the best interest of all of us, we had to make some changes to our normal services. Starting from Monday 16 March 2020, all our services including the face-to-face advice work, the Parents & Toddlers Group, the English classes, Library, the elders lunch club and the youth club are suspended until further notice.

We ask that anyone experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or having to self-isolate due to being exposed to someone with coronavirus, does not attend Hayashen until further notice and call NHS 111 for advice.

However, as we wish to support you as best as we can, our advice work continues by telephone, email and online. You may contact us on 020 89924621 or use our website (www.caia.org.uk) to leave an enquiry or email us on info@caia.org.uk

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If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you.

Misak Ohanian (CEO) & CAIA Board of Directors.           20 June 2020