Events dedicated to 100th anniversary of First Republic of Armenia held in New Julfa and Shahinshahr

On the evening of May 22, at the initiative of the Central Committee of the Armenian Diocese of Isfahan for the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the First Republic of Armenia, the gym of Ararat Armenian Sport and Cultural Union of New Julfa hosted a solemn national event dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the new Armenian State and the new declaration of independence of Armenia.

The program began with the national anthem of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The tricolor national flag of the Republic of Armenia was brought into the hall by the members of the Scouts Unit of Ararat Armenian Sport and Cultural Union of New Julfa, after which spiritual superintendent of the Armenian community of Shahinshahr, Supreme Archimandrite Anania Gujanian and the clergy made a Patriarchal Wish under the direction of Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Isfahan, Bishop Sipan Kechejian. Afterwards, the national anthem of the Republic of Armenia was played and the Armenian national flag was waved. The songs were performed by Komitas Choir of the Holy Savior Monastery and under the direction of Armen Amirkhanian.

The Master of Ceremonies Ani Ghazarian gave her welcoming remarks, after which the leader of the Diocese, the spiritual superintendent, as well as chairmen of the diocesan and religious councils of the Assembly of Delegates of the Diocese Tatoul Ohanian, Varouj Minasian and Varouj Movsisian and member of the Armenian National Committee of New Julfa Vahe Torosian accepted the solemn and already traditional parade, which was held with the participation of members of the Diocese’s national bodies, the Armenian National Committee of New Julfa, unions and choirs and youth unions, students and staffs of Armenian national schools, members of the subcommittee for the celebrations dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Armenia and members of the Scouts Unit of Ararat Armenian Sport and Cultural Union of New Julfa.

The keynote speaker of the event was Chairman of the Assembly of Delegates and the Central Committee for the 100th anniversary of the First Republic of Armenia Tatoul Ohanian, who touched upon the idea of independence and emphasized that the Armenian people led their struggle for independence in the areas of culture, diplomacy and armed operations. He stated that, throughout its centuries-old history, the Armenian nation has always been a nation that has wanted freedom and aspired for independence, and he recalled one of the first battles that the Armenian people led on the path to freedom, that is, the battle of Haik Nahapet against the dictator Bel.

Stating the culture-oriented struggle that the Armenian people have led for independence, the lecture indicated the creation of the Armenian alphabet and the creation of the Armenian Holy Apostolic Church. As for diplomacy, he stated the diplomatic actions of Catholicoses Stepanos E. Salmastetsi, Mikael Sebastatsi and Hakob Jughayetsi IV, as well as Israel Ori.

Listing the armed battles that the Armenians have led throughout their history, Ohanian mentioned the battles against the Romans; the Vardanants and Vahanants wars; the Battles of Sardarapat, Gharakilisa and Bash-Aparan; the battles for the liberation of Artsakh and the Fedayin movements and said the following: “Although the First Republic of Armenia was short-lived, thanks to the battles of freedom fighters and the heroic battles that were led in May, the Turks failed to empty Western Armenia of the Armenians. May 28th crushed the chain of slavery of the Armenian people and made the Armenians of the Diaspora look towards one homeland. The idea of  May 28th helped shape the future Armenian republics and led to the battle for the liberation of Artsakh.”

The leader of the Diocese conveyed his patriarchal message to the attendees. He stated that the events of May 1918 will always remain in the memories of Armenians and that the suffering undergone during the Genocide, the assaults and blockade of the inimical forces turned the Armenian people, particularly the brave Armenian soldiers into “diamond-like” individuals who clashed with the wall of Sardarapat and the heroic battle of May, reviving the tree of existence of the Armenian nation – a tree that grew and became the pedestal and pillar for the eternity of the statehood established on May 28th.

In his concluding speech, Bishop Sipan Kechejian referred to May 28th as a monument and symbol of the pride and glory of the Armenian people, basically the essence of the Armenian nation.

The event also featured performances of songs by Voice of Artsakh Music Ensemble. All the performers received warm rounds of applause from the audience.

The festive event ended with a fireworks display.

It should be mentioned that a festive event was also held in Shahinshahr, particularly the Aram Manukyan Hall of Shahinshahr branch of Ararat Armenian Sport and Cultural Union of New Julfa on May 21. The corresponding subcommittee had organized the festive events for each community. The Master of Ceremonies of the event in Shahinshahr was Maria Khudaverdian.

Correspondent of New Julfa

Photographers: Gevik and Andre Khachatrian

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