Following the devastating attack on Artsakh on September 19, 2023, and Azerbaijan's subsequent ethnic cleansing of the historic Armenian land, we have been privileged to witness the emergence of many extraordinary volunteers. Among them, Mher Arutyunyan stands out for his unwavering dedication and impactful contributions to Armenia and Artsakh during these challenging times. His commitment not only exemplifies the spirit of our program but also embodies the resilience and solidarity essential during such pivotal moments in our history.
Mher Arutyunyan's Journey with Birthright Armenia
Mher joined the Center for Truth and Justice (CFTJ) as a volunteer. A recent graduate from UCLA with a major in Political Science, he was volunteering in Armenia when Artsakh faced the brutal consequences of ethnic cleansing. Recruited by CFTJ, a leading NGO, he quickly became proficient in interview techniques through an intensive training program, significantly surpassing the usual learning curve.
“Thanks to his dedication and swift learning abilities, Mher successfully underwent training focused on essential techniques and methodology endorsed by CFTJ for collecting first-hand testimonial evidence from war survivors, in compliance with established international legal requirements."- Arshak Gasparyan, CFTJ Country Director
Mher collected testimonial evidence from civilians displaced from Artsakh, conducting in-depth interviews, some lasting up to six hours. These interviews were critical for CFTJ's pursuit of justice through international legal and legislative avenues. His ability to compile photos and videos depicting war crimes and human rights violations was pivotal in shedding light on the injustices committed in Artsakh in 2023.
Moreover, Mher handled legal documentation and demonstrated remarkable research abilities. His work extended beyond CFTJ to other prestigious organizations, including the Tatoyan Foundation and the Armenian Research and Development Institute. Here, he engaged in cutting-edge research on the historical roots of Armenophobia and its current manifestations.
“There is nothing more dangerous and harmful in this world than seeing yourself as a helpless victim. If we wish to succeed as Armenians, we must break out of this mentality by reclaiming our agency and fighting for a bright and just future."- Mher
In this spirit, we extend a heartfelt invitation to the next generation of diasporan Armenians. If you are driven by a similar passion for service, a longing to connect with your roots, and a desire to contribute meaningfully to Armenia’s future, Birthright Armenia awaits you.
Embark on a journey that promises not just personal growth but also a unique opportunity to make a tangible difference in the homeland at a time when it matters most.