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CRAG E-Alert - 14 February 2005

Dear Friends & Supporters:

We are aware that many people do not like to be bombarded with constant e-messages! We don't either, as the dividing line between unsolicited spam and wilful information is hairy at times. So CRAG takes on board some of your recent comments about super-saturation and constant e-mails.

Having said that, we would like to share with you today in headline form the following items - in the hope that you would have a quick look at them over the weekend!

Wishing you all a pleasant weekend.

Lecture by Professor Richard Hovannisian in London

The 90th Anniversary Committee of The Armenian Genocide in the UK, with Hamazkayin, the Armenian Cultural and Educational Society, are pleased to invite you to a lecture by:


The Centre is near Northfields Tube Station: turn right at station, and you need to walk for one minute only.

for further details see the events section of the CRAG website

Armenian Film Festival

Unique chance to encounter one of world cinema's hidden national treasures. From 11-17 February Cine Lumiere will host the `Return to the Promised Land: London Armenian Film Festival', the first season of Armenian Cinema in the UK for 25 years.

The festival will showcase shorts, features, documentaries and artists' film from Armenia, a nation with a rich creative heritage despite years of hardship and tragedy. Classics like Paradjanov's The Colour of Pomegranates and work from established director Atom Egoyan will be featured, alongside lost gems and overlooked directors.

The festival also features two panel discussions: `Armenian National Cinema' and `Arat, Genocide Remembrance and Armenian Cinema' considering the unique qualities of Armenian cinema and the cinematic legacy of the Armenian genocide respectively.

When: 11-17 February 2005 - Where: Cine Lumiere

For more information about the festival please visit the following website:

Armenian Insurance Settlement Fund Board

Dear Friends:

As you may know, the heirs of Armenians who had purchased life insurance from New York Life Insurance Company in the Ottoman Empire prior to 1915 filed a class action lawsuit, Marootian v. New York Life, in US District Court. The heirs contended that upon the deaths of the policyholders, many of whom were murdered by Turks during the Armenian Genocide, New York Life did not pay the benefits on these policies.

Last year, New York Life agreed to settle the class action suit by paying a total of $20 million, including up to $11 million for the individual heirs of the policyholders and at least $3 million for specified Armenian charities. The settlement also called for the creation of an "Armenian Insurance Settlement Fund Board," appointed by California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi. I have the honor of having been appointed to the Board, along with my colleagues Berj Boyajian and Viken Manjikian.

The job of the Board is to evaluate individual claims and determine which have merit and are entitled to payment pursuant to the settlement agreement. The Board is scheduled to begin considering these individual claims as early as next month. In order to be eligible for consideration, however, all potential claimants must file a simple "Notice of Claim" form with the Board. The form must be postmarked no later than March 16. Anyone who believes there is even a possibility that they are the heir of a New York Life policyholder whose benefits were not paid must submit the form before that deadline in order to avoid waiving the right to recover. Claims may come from anywhere in the world.

For further information or to obtain a Notice of Claim form, please do not contact me directly, but rather call the toll free information line at 1-866-422-0124 or visit The website includes useful information about the settlement, FAQs, and a partial list of New York Life policyholders from the relevant period (note, however, that it is NOT necessary that your ancestor's name appear on the list in order to submit a Notice of Claim).

I encourage you to forward this message to any Armenians whom you think may benefit from this information, anywhere in the world.

Very truly yours, Paul Krekorian - Armenian Insurance Settlement Fund Board

Let's Keep Turkey Out of Europe

Speakers for the Motion:

Dr Michael Stuermer, Foreign Policy Analyst with Die Welt newspaper.

Dr John Casey, Fellow of Gonville & Caius, Cambridge

Kevin Myers, Broadcaster, novelist and award-winning correspondent for his coverage of the conflicts in Bosnia and Northern Ireland. He is also a columnist for the Sunday Telegraph and the Irish Times, for which he has been writing his column An Irishman's Diary for 24 years.

Speakers against the Motion:

Professor Norman Stone Profesor of International Relations at Bilkent University, Ankara and Director of the Russian-Turkish Centre.

Dominique Moisi Political analyst and Deputy Director of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI).

Mark Leonard, Director of Foreign Policy at the Centre for European Reform and a former Director of the Foreign Policy Centre and one of Britain's foreign policy thinkers.

The debate will take place on Tuesday, 22 February 2005, at the Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7. The entrance is on Exhibition Road, and doors are open from 6:00pm. The debate starts at 6:45pm and end by 8:30pm.

Tickets cost £20 per person, and can be booked online at or by calling 020-7494 3345. Nearest tube: South Kensington (Circle, District and Piccadilly lines).

My Travels through Armenian Diasporas with Arshile Gorky

A presentation by Nouritza Matossian, author of Black Angel, A Life of Arshile Gorky, on Sunday, 20 February 2005, at 6:30 pm at St Stephen's Church Hall, 48 Emperor's Gate, London SW7.

For tickets or bookings, contact


The CRAG data-base network is constantly updated and edited. If you received this message in error, or would like to be removed from the list, send an e-mail with "Please Remove" in the subject heading to Kindly accept our apologies for any inconvenience whatsoever this may have caused as we try to deal with your request.

Kindly forward this message only to friends and family whom you know would be interested in the issue. If you have received this e-mail from a friend and would like to be included on our CRAG network, send an e-mail with "Please Include" in the subject heading to - with your name and address.

Most of the news items, messages or documents that CRAG shares with you on its data-base can also usually be found on the CRAG link at (with regular updates) or for background events. CRAG remains thankful to the ACCC Webmaster for keeping the CRAG page up-to-date, and welcomes all constructive and helpful comments.

Given the numerous requests CRAG receives these days for adding addressees to its data-base, we appreciate your letting us know who you are as well since some of the electronic addresses are totally incongruous. Thanks!

Sending unsolicited e-mail is considered "spam" and is therefore deemed illegal according to both national and EU directives.

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