January 17, 2014 - 16:02 AMT
Artsakh honors Annie Totah with Medal of Gratitude

The Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) Republic honored Armenian Assembly board member Annie Totah with its Medal of Gratitude at the Assembly's annual holiday briefing and reception at the Embassy of Armenia last month, reported the Assembly.

Robert Avetisyan, Nagorno Karabakh Representative to the United States, presented the medal to Totah on behalf of his government. Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Legate of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) also presented Annie Totah with an encyclical from His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II. Organized by the Assembly's Capital Regional Council, the annual event has become a tradition for the Armenian American community of the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area for over a decade and brought together local community leaders, dignitaries, religious leaders and a broad cross-section of friends and members of the Armenian Assembly of America.

"I am honored, humbled and moved by the medal bestowed upon me by President Bako Sahakyan of the Republic of Artsakh," stated Annie Totah. "I'm happy that I have been able to bring in my share to help in the struggle of independence of Artsakh. And I will continue to do so, and I think it is every Armenian man and woman's responsibility to help with the challenges being faced by NKR," Totah said. She shared her passion for a democratic and prosperous Artsakh stating, "I am a believer that with optimism, with hard work and perseverance, we will be able to achieve our goals and realize our dreams of having the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh recognized internationally." "Once this is done, the sky will be the limit of all the good things we will be able to bring into and for NKR," Totah said.

In 2013, six U.S. States recognized the independence of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, including Totah's home state of Maryland.

The NKR government awards the "Gratitude" medal to individuals, organizations and collectives for significant contribution in restoring and developing economy, science, culture, and social spheres of the NKR as well as for defending and promoting international recognition of the Republic.

"We're delighted to see so many new and familiar faces at our annual capital gathering," stated Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. "We especially appreciate our hosts, our Capital Regional Council team, and the entire Assembly family as we continue to grow and strengthen the bonds between our local community and the homeland."