We write to you as scholars who have devoted our careers to studying Armenia’s cultural heritage. For two decades we have worked with local communities to illuminate the country’s archaeological record. Several years ago, we founded The Aragats Foundation, a charitable organization that seeks to harness Armenia’s past as a resource for education and prosperity. But today, there is much more immediate work to be done.
We are deeply troubled by the resumption of war in Nagorno-Karabakh. The fighting has caused civilian casualties, and displaced thousands of people. Cluster bombs have landed in populated areas; typically, they scatter unexploded ordnance that can imperil lives years after the fighting ends. When there is peace, The Aragats Foundation stands ready to help in the culture heritage work that lies ahead. But now there is an immediate need for humanitarian relief.
In order to help, we have partnered with The HALO Trust to organize a double-matching fundraising campaign. HALO Trust is delivering humanitarian assistance in this moment of crisis, providing much needed basic necessities like blankets, flashlights, batteries, and gas stoves to civilians, who are taking cover in bomb shelters. HALO Trust’s team on the ground is also geolocating undetonated munitions and will undertake the difficult work of clearing them when conditions permit.
Between now and the end of 2020, we pledge to match gifts to The HALO Trust's Karabakh Relief Fund up to $15,000 (previously $10,000). In addition, each of your gifts will unlock a second dollar-for-dollar match from an anonymous HALO Foundation donor, allowing your gift to touch even more lives.
Whether you are already deeply involved in the aid effort in Karabakh, or you are unfamiliar with this part of the world, we ask for your help in providing desperately needed humanitarian assistance.
We thank you in advance for your concern and generosity.
Lori Khatchadourian, Associate Professor, Cornell University
Adam T. Smith, Professor, Cornell University
Co-directors, The Aragats Foundation