Center Holds Coexistence Community Reception

The Center held its first-ever Coexistence Community Reception on Thursday, September 8, 2005, introducing current and former students to each other and to faculty and staff affiliated with the Center. The reception was attended by approximately 40 people, including past and present Slifka Scholarship students, graduate students in the Coexistence and Conflict master's program, and ECSF fellows. The reception was also attended by Office of the Arts director Scott Edmiston, MusicUnitesUs director Judith Eissenberg, playwright Torange Yeghiazarian, and Adrianne Krstansky, Janet Morrison, and Elizabeth Terry of the Theater Arts Department.

In addition to getting to know one another, audience members were treated to a showing of Yeghiazarian's play Abaga (The Future), directed by Krstansky and performed by Morrison, Terry, and undergraduate student actors. Abaga tells the story of an Armenian Christian man who falls in love with a Turkish Muslim woman in 1915 Constantinople, against the wishes of their parents and against the backdrop of a series of Armenian executions at the hands of the Turkish government. The two have a daughter, born after her father has already been executed, who eventually falls in love with a young Jewish man in 1935 Jerusalem amid the tensions leading up to the Arab Revolt of 1936-39.

After the performance, audience members divided into groups of four to discuss the question "Is it enough to be human?" Discussions began in the context of the fictional star-crossed lovers in Yeghiazarian's play, but the talk quickly broadened into conversations on tradition versus progress and the passing down of prejudice from one generation to the next.

Through introductions and introspection, the evening provided all involved with a chance to form new alliances, both professional and personal.