Return to Asbury 2013 – August 2-4th – Armenian Kef Weekend at the Beach!

AGLA NY is proud to be a co-sponsor of the 2013 Return to Asbury – Armenian KEF Weekend!

RETURN TO ASBURY 2013 – AUGUST 2-4th
ARMENIAN KEF WEEKEND AT THE BEACH!

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After 40 years, Armenians will be making their second appearance in mass in Asbury!
 
For Armenians on the East Coast in the 1950s and 60s, Asbury Park, New Jersey was THE place to come together on summer weekends. Days were spent on the beach and in the water, and at night everyone would gather at places called the Hye Hotel, the Van Hotel, the Sunset Lounge and the Hye-Da-Way kef room…crowds lining the sidewalks, late night hook-ups, and the sounds of oud and doumbeg filling the air.
With Return to Asbury, we’re bringing back this summer tradition — in perfect symmetry with the historic beach town of Asbury Park, which is currently in the midst of its own exciting rebirth!
 
Friday, August 2nd
Start the weekend off at the Watermark Lounge on Asbury Park’s boardwalk, 6PM+
 
Saturday, August 3rd
Join us for a day at the 7th Avenue Beach in Asbury Park from noon onward. Entry is $6 at gate.
Tavloo tournament at 11 AM at Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel. RSVP required to secure sufficient space.
KEF PARTY – 8PM to 1AM. KEF Style party featuring live Armenian music and mezze at the historic Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel. Music by: The Artsakh Band, Michael Gostanian Ensemble, & DJ Robbie
Tickets $50 until July 15, $65 until August 4, $85 after.
ADVANCE PURCHASE REQUIRED.
Tickets can be purchased at http://returntoasbury.eventbrite.com/

Because of restrictions with the venues, tickets cannot be sold at the door. Please plan ahead! 

For hotel information, please contact:
Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel
1401 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ
(732) 776-6700

Quote “KEF” for $219/night (two-night stay)

facebook.com/returntoasbury

Have a story or photo to share from the past? Please submit them at returntoasbury@gmail.com.

This event is sponsored by the ASA.
Additionally, we thank the following organizations for their support:

AGBU YP Philadelphia • AGLA NY • ARMNET-NY • ARMNET-DC • AYF • ACYOA Philadelphia • Knights of Vartan • SOAR • Fund for Armenian Relief

Event proceeds to benefit Camp Haiastan, Camp Nubar & St. Vartan Camp.

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First Annual AGLA NY Benefit a Smash Success!

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Some thirty guests came together on May 23rd at the home of Veken Gueyekian and Hrag Vartanian in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to celebrate Armenian gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered unity and to raise money for specific organizational goals.

Specifically, the benefit targeted three areas, Chairman and AGLA NY board member Christopher Atamian outlined: “We’re beginning a small ‘Emergency Fund’ to help LGBT people in need both in the Republic of Armenia and the diaspora—for example to help rebuild a bar like DIY which was firebombed in a recent hate crime, or to help with legal fees for LGBT people in need.” A second aim was simply to raise funds to help with the everyday expenses of running the organization and the many meetings, conferences and events such as New York’s PRIDE March that it participates in. One of the night’s guest speakers Maria Mähl, a Human Rights Advocate who currently works at the UN on women’s security and peace building and SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) rights,  commented on the importance of the work that AGLA NY does: “It is especially important now given the backlash against LGBT people that we have seen of late.”

A third and very exciting goal of the benefit was the creation of the Geroge Stambolian Memorial Scholarship for students for LGBT students or those of Armenian origin.  Stambolian was a beloved professor of French literature at Wellesley College, one of the founders of LGBT Literature and the editor of the famed Men on Men writing series. Stambolian passed away from AIDS in 1991. The guests were truly lucky to have one of Stambolian’s own former students Nancy Agabian talk affectionately about him: “[He was] aware of and appreciated the paradoxes of life and of literature…[he] embodied them and worked for them in a meaningful way.”  Agabian read two excerpts from her own books where she mentions Stambolian: Princess Freak and Me As Her Again.

Atamian was upbeat about the event, which raised close to $2,000: “There are so many established benefits already in New York and in the Armenian community….but everyone reacted beautifully and understood the importance of our organization and its activities.” The organization’s board members plan to build on this success: “Every year we’ll build on the previous one,” Gueyekian noted, “It’s a first very important step.”

Particularly for Armenian LGBT youth and community members who sometimes feel ostracized in a conservative community, AGLA NY provides a lifeline of hope and friendship to its members and allies. From its modest beginnings in 1998, AGLA NY continues to grow. Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible donation to the organization as a whole or to any of its specific programs—such as the emergency Fund or the Stambolian Scholarship—can do so at aglany.org or by contacting a board member directly.

 

March with AGLA NY in the 2013 NYC Pride Parade

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AGLA NY at the 2012 Pride Parade

We will be marching once again in this year’s NYC Pride Parade!

This is an event that our members are excited about each year, and we hope to make this year another great one.

We are meeting on 38th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues at 12:30pm – specifically, we are in section 8 / group 8. If you have trouble finding us or want to make sure you have a phone number to contact on the day of the event, please email info [at] aglany.org.

You can also RSVP to the Facebook event as well – and again, all are welcome to attend!
https://www.facebook.com/events/284774101668052/

Announcing the 1st AGLA NY Benefit Fundraiser

Thursday, May 23, 2013
7 – 10 pm

22 N. 6th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11249

Eventbrite - AGLA NY Annual Benefit

Keynote speakers: Nancy Agabian and Maria Mähl
Appetizers: (Armenian-style) mezze and pomegranate martinis will be served
A silent auction: featuring art and books by prominent Armenian talents

The primary goals of our first benefit event will be to establish an emergency fund to help LGBT people in need in Armenia and the diaspora, and to continue to support AGLA-NY’s activities for the following year. Notably, a portion of the funds raised will be used to establish the George Stambolian Memorial Scholarship for LGBT students or those of Armenian descent.

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George Stambolian was a scholar of French literature and became an early proponent of LGBT literature in academia and within the U.S. at large. Born in 1937 to an Armenian American family in Racine, Wisconsin, he attended Dartmouth College, then earned his PhD from the University of Wisconsin.  Soon after, he become an expert and beloved professor of French literature at Wellesley College, and a noted figure in the literary scene of New York City, where he lived.  In the late 1980s and early 90s, he edited the groundbreaking anthology series Men on Men and helped to establish LGBT literature as a genre and field of study during the gay rights movement.  Stambolian was known for his quick wit, wry sense of humor and his remarkable humility.  Like many in his generation, his life was cut short by AIDS, in 1991.  AGLA-NY honors his legacy by establishing a scholarship in his memory.

Nancy Agabian is an author and a professor at NYU and Queens College. Her memoir, Me as her again, was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award and a William Saroyan International Writing Prize.  Agabian has served as co-President of AGLA NY in 2005 and 2006 and currently sits on its Board of Trustees.  She was a student of George Stambolian at Wellesley College and will speak about his legacy.

Maria Mähl is a Human Rights Advocate who currently works at the UN on women’s security and peace building and SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) rights.

The general public may RSVP at https://aglany.org/benefit-2013/ or send checks payable to AGLA-NY, c/o GOS, 181 N. 11th Street, Suite 302, Brooklyn, NY 11211.

Since 1998, AGLA NY has been providing space for lesbian, gay, bi, and transgender Armenian Americans, their partners, and their allies to come together as a community. The forum to network fosters their visibility and strengthens their cultural and ethnic ties to queer and Armenian communities. We seek to inform these communities, as well as the general public, about issues of importance to LGBT Armenians.

April 24th: Commemorating 1.5 million Armenian martyrs

April 24 Demonstration 185

Throughout the year, AGLA NY honors both our LGBT and Armenian identitites, but on one day in particular – April 24th – we are called upon to reflect on a particularly tragic part of that heritage: The Armenian Genocide of 1915.

On April 24th, 1915, several hundred Armenian intellectuals and professionals were rounded up during the night, deported to concentration camps in Ayash and Chankari. Many were brutally murdered along the way and virtually all were executed or starved to death within months. Starting with the mass murders of Armenians during the reign of Abdul Hamid in 1896 and the Adana Massacres of 1909, over 2 Million Armenians were masscred by the Ottoman Turks between 1896 and 1923, a crime that today’s Turkish state continues to deny. Billions of dollars in property were expropriated and never returned to the Armenian survivors who scattered all over the world and formed the modern Armenian Diaspora.

Today we also honor the memory of 1.5 million other Christians brutally murdered by the Ottoman regime–half of them Pontic Greeks and the other half Assyrians. Today, we ask everyone who reads this page to bow their heads and observe a moment of silence for those who perished.

AGLA Bowling Night! Sunday March 24

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Hey everyone! Join AGLA at the lanes as we go bowling on Sunday, March 24 6-8PM

RSVP and get the details on Facebook

New members and old members alike are welcome to join us, socialize, and throw for strikes at this gathering, and we are hoping to see all of you there. Please feel free to invite your friends!

The cost for bowling will be $22/person for the lane cost and shoes. Food and drinks are also available at Bowlmor Lanes.

Looking forward to seeing who can bowl a perfect yerek hariur (300)!

Dealing with Difference: Nancy Agabian and Nelli Sargsyan-Pittman present creative and documentary approaches to LGBT Armenian Issues

Join us for a fascinating lecture series from two of our scholar-members at the LGBT Center Room 310 on Friday, April 5th at 7:30pm. No tickets needed.

RSVP and get more details on Facebook

In May of last year in Yerevan, two self-identified neo-fascist youths firebombed the gay-friendly bar DIY, and a mob of young protesters attacked a peaceful diversity march several weeks later. Many in the Armenian-American community were dismayed by these acts of hatred in their homeland, but others expressed homophobic sentiments — as evidenced by articles and online comments. This event will shed light on some of the roots, causes and effects of homophobia and intolerance towards difference in both Armenia and its diaspora. This will hopefully start a reflective conversation on how to effect positive change in both these spheres.

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