How L.A.’s Armenian food community has banded together to support their homeland

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An October 2020 photo shows Armen Martirosyan, center, with his father, Hovik, and mother, Alvard. They own and operate Mini Kabob in Glendale. (Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

An October 2020 photo shows Armen Martirosyan, center, with his father, Hovik, and mother, Alvard. They own and operate Mini Kabob in Glendale. (Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Early on the morning of Sept. 30, Armen Martirosyan’s mother came to him with some news. Cousins in Armenia were joining the fight against Azerbaijani forces in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The territory, a mountainous area a little larger than Rhode Island, is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. The enclave, however, is self-governed and populated by ethnic Armenians, who fought off attacks by various empires over the last 2,000 years. They continued to control the area, despite being made part of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic by Josef Stalin in the 1920s.

Since the end of September, more than 100 people have been killed in the region, referred to as Artsakh by ethnic Armenians. Both sides accuse the other of escalating the violence. Russia brokered a cease-fire Saturday, but each side has accused the other of violating the agreement.

“My family is so far from Armenia, so I had to think, what can we do from here?” said Martirosyan, 31, who along with his parents owns and operates Mini Kabob restaurant in Glendale. His immediate reaction? Donate a day’s proceeds to humanitarian efforts in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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