On the afternoon of Monday, May 14, 2012 His Grace Mar Awa Royel, Bishop of California and Secretary of the Holy Synod, met with the California State Assemblymember Kristin Olsen, Republican representing the the 25th congressional district at the State Capitol in Sacramento. His Grace was accompanied by the Rev’d Father Genard Lazar, Secretary to His Grace and Diocesan Youth Coordinator. Also in attendance was Mrs. Carmen Morad, a member of the Church in the Central Valley area and activist for Assyrian genocide recognition.
The meeting was a courtesy call to Assemblymember Olsen, who hails from Modesto, and important issues such as the recognition of the Assyrian genocides of the 20th century were discussed, in particular that under the Ottoman Turks in 1915-23, and the Semele massacre at the hands of the Imperial army of Iraq in 1933. Other issues discussed were the possibilities of helping the Assyrian Church of the East in the Central Valley to organize programs that will benefit the faithful of the Church, such as the children and elderly.
Assemblymember Olsen promised to aid in the promotion of the present rights of the Assyrian people in the state and to further education concerning the tragic past of the Assyrian people—a past marked by the murder and massacre of hundreds of thousands of innocent Assyrians in the Middle East at large, since the First World War. This visit follows many local and regional proclamations concerning Assyrian genocide recognition and Assyrian Martyrs Day, which is observed annually on August 7th.[nggallery id=384]