Hrayr Jebejian: “I seek the trace of Armenians during every trip”

On November 14, the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia hosted the presentation of the book “The Bible for a Young Family”, which is published under the sponsorship of the Bible Society of Germany and one of the authors of which is General Secretary of the Bible Society in the Arab Gulf countries, Dr. Hrayr Jebejian.

During an interview with Hayern Aysor, Hrayr Jebejian said helping his nation was fundamental for him and that is why he undertook the tremendous task of providing Armenian children and their families with access to the book.

Hayern Aysor: Mr. Jebejian, which biblical excerpts are included in the book?

The book “The Bible for a Young Family” is a special book. The Bible Society in the Arab Gulf countries dedicates it to all Armenian children.

The book comprises twenty chapters, each of which features seven stories from the Bible. Overall, there are 140 stories. As is written in the Bible, the series of stories is devoted to the events that are related to Jesus. The end of each story features the relevant part of the Bible that provides more details about the given story.

The sequence of the book is very interesting since it starts from Genesis and ends with the Lord’s Commandments. However, when there are talks about Elijah or Moses in the process, we return to the Old Testament to explain who they are. In other words, we travel through time and link the Old and New Testaments to each other as a way of answering the questions of children’s concern. The main purpose of the book is to first present Jesus Christ through the Bible and make it interesting for Armenian children to read through colorful pictures.

Our mission is to translate, publish and distribute the Bible so that all nations of the world read the Bible in their respective languages.

This upbringing through the Bible is an integral part of national upbringing and will help provide our generations with a Christian upbringing.

Hayern Aysor: Which age group of children is this book designed for?

Hrayr Jebejian: The book has been published in 5,000 copies and is designed for children between the ages of 5 and 11. One of the disciplinary parts of the book is the strengthening of bonds between a parent and a child. It is no secret that parents always want to give the best to their children. Nowadays, parents have a lot on their hands and aspire to spend more meaningful time with their children and make it worthwhile, and one of the ways of spending time with them can be reading them stories of the Bible before they go to sleep at night. Now parents have the opportunity to read a story for their children every day for twenty weeks.

The Bible plays a major role in shaping the spiritual life of an Armenian family as it resists the challenges in life and becomes empowered by the words of God. By reading these easy-to-read stories, parents will be able to introduce their children to Christian values at an early age and shape them to become self-confident and strong individuals.

Hayern Aysor: Has the book been distributed to Armenian communities in the Diaspora?

Hrayr Jebejian: Of course. We started distributing the books to the Armenian communities of Kuwait, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi and continued to distribute them to the communities in Lebanon, the USA and Australia. We are also planning on sending the books to our compatriots in Aleppo, Istanbul and Cyprus.

We have properly organized book presentations at the Prelacies of the Armenian Dioceses or Armenian Saturday schools.

We also focused on providing the books to Syrian-Armenian families having settled in Armenia as a result of the Syrian war. It was very important to organize the book’s presentation with the support of the Armenian government, and for that I am more than grateful to the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia.

Hayern Aysor: How excited were the children?

Hrayr Jebejian: The children of all the communities were very excited. When I would ask schoolchildren about their knowledge of the Bible, they wouldn’t give each other turns to answer. It is safe to say that all the children have a vast amount of knowledge of the Bible. This is also very exciting and encourages me.

Children are our hope and future. We need to give them strength and support them. In the future, I will do my best to try to publish more books like this.

Hayern Aysor: Mr. Jebejian, I have noticed that you also write articles. Please, tell us what makes you want to write articles from time to time?

Hrayr Jebejian: You are right. I will soon release my collection of articles. The first large-scale volume was published in 2015. My articles are entirely devoted to the reality in the Armenian Diaspora. Due to my job, I travel a lot, and during each trip, I seek the trace of Armenians. It makes me feel spiritually calm.

I am more interested in meeting Armenians to understand their state of mind and how much they have preserved their Armenian identity. After all, there are half-Armenians among them. I also hear interesting stories. I have met people who have told me that they didn’t know Armenian and decided to learn the language after visiting Armenia.

My articles are based on these encounters. When you raise the current issues, you must not forget the truth that the “presence” of Armenia will be in the axis of the solutions to the key issues of the Armenian Diaspora.

Interview by Gevorg Chichyan

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