Concert held with participation of singers from Armenia and the Diaspora

On October 3, singers from Armenia and the Diaspora participated in a concert entitled “Open Your Arms, Land, I Am Coming Towards You” at Aram Khachaturian Grand Concert Hall in Yerevan.

RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan was attending the concert.

The concert featured performances by beloved U.S.-based Armenian singers Papin Poghosyan, Armen Hovhannisyan (son of famous singer Raffi Hovhannisyan), Hermine Amiryan, Emma Tovmasyan and Salbi Mayilyan, as well as singers Vardan Badalyan, Anahit Sahakyan and Mavr Mkrtchyan and Norayr Davtyan’s State Orchestra of National Instruments of Armenia.

Each of the singers performed his or her repertoire, as well as the songs of Armenian composers and the songs of troubadours.

The concert tour was organized by Hasmik Zalyan in Armenia.

The event ended with a speech by RA Deputy Minister of Diaspora Serzh Srapionyan, who transmitted the Komitas Medal of the RA Ministry of Diaspora to Papin Poghosyan, who had been granted the medal in 2016 for disseminating Armenian arts in the Diaspora, the high level of his mastery in creating and performing and for making great contributions to the development of the Armenia-Diaspora partnership.

Artists Salbi Mayilyan, Emma Tovmasyan, Hermine Amiryan and Armine Hovhannisyan were awarded with certificates of the Ministry of Diaspora.

Diaspora Minister participated in opening of Bulgarian-Armenian painter Petik Petrosyan’s exhibition

On October 3, Minister of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia Hranush Hakobyan participated in the opening of Bulgarian-Armenian painter Petik Petrosyan’s exhibition called “Docks” at the National Gallery of Armenia. The event was held at the initiative of the Armenia General Benevolent Union, sponsored by His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians and organized with the support of the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Armenia, the National Gallery of Armenia and the Gallery of Sofia.

Among the attendees were RA Minister of Culture Armen Amiryan; Head of the Department of Foreign Relations and Protocol of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, His Grace, Fr. Archbishop Nathan Hovhannisyan; Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Bulgaria to Armenia Maria Pavlova Tsotsorkova; President of AGBU Armenia, member of the AGBU Central Board Vasken Yacoubian, as well as public and political figures and artists.

The more than 90 paintings and graphic works portray the beautiful sites and cozy corners of Armenia, Silistra, Balchik and Dobruja. The exhibition also showcases works from the family and private collections, the Gallery of Sofia, the galleries of Silistra, Varna, Tutrakan, Pazarjik, Dobrich and Plovdiv and the Armenian Apostolic Church of Silistra, portraying landscapes, scenes of the city and sea, as well as one iconic image and reprints of ornaments in a church.

The exhibition will run until November 3.

The Krmzians’ gift to Istanbul

On October 7, the opening ceremony of the mausoleum of Petros Duryan will be held at the Armenian cemetery in the Skyutar District of Istanbul. The works were launched and funded by France-based brothers Hrach-Anoushavan and Hagop Krmzians. The goal is to pay tribute once again to the poet and transmit to the generations the idea of keeping the memory of people like Duryan alive.

The idea was conceived a year ago when the cemetery memorial of the famous Palyan family of architects of Istanbul was renovated and opened at the initiative of Hrach-Anoushavan and Hagop Krmzian on October 1, 2016. The cemetery memorial was built in the shape of the altar of the St. Mary’s Church built by the Palyans in Beshiktash.

“We carried out the plan to eternalize the memory of the Palyans and built the cemetery memorial with the help of the “HaiTchar” Society of Armenian Architects and Engineers of Istanbul and Ashot Grigoryan who, by coincidence, was preparing a book devoted to the Palyans. The book is entitled “The Treasures in the Garden of the Armenian Nation: The Palyans” and was released last month.

The Palyans have left a rich legacy, including palaces, military structures, churches, mosques and schools, and all this can be the pride of any nation. As is the case for such people, the opening of the cemetery memorial was held in a very interesting atmosphere and was attended by Mayor of Istanbul Kadir Topbas, Turkish Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Omer Arisoy, as well as several members of the local Armenian community and journalists. It was very nice to see that people remember the Palyans in the country where they carried out their activities for nearly two centuries and aren’t trying to make others forget their origin and the fact that they are sons of the Armenian nation. What was extremely important for us was the fact that Turkish mass media outlets provided good coverage of the event and weren’t able to find anything that was negative,” Hrach-Anoushavan Krmzian stated in an interview with Hayern Aysor.

The sole purpose was to make sure the new generation of Armenians recognizes great Armenians, people who can be the pride of any nation. “When we assumed this task, we were often asked if we were relatives of the Palyans, to which we would say that even though we are not, every Armenian is a descendant of the Palyans to a certain extent since they don’t belong to one community, but rather the Armenian nation.

I am a retired electric engineer, and my brother is a businessman and runs a factory in Romania. We would always think about doing something to help our nation. Unfortunately, we are a little too old, and it will be a little hard to start a business in Armenia. We tried to help our nation with this. Every Armenian needs to do his best to try to help the homeland because you can also convey the idea to the next generations with your example,” the author of the initiative stated.

Hrach-Anoushavan also added that these efforts provided them with the opportunity to become familiar with interesting people, without whom they wouldn’t be able to succeed. The brothers have also sponsored the publication of the book “Treasures of the Garden to the Armenian Nation: The Palyans”, which will also be published in Western Armenian, Turkish and English. “I am happy that I was able to meet members of “HaiTchar” Society, including Nazar Binatli, Kevork Oskaragyoz and Davit Aynal. I also admire Ashot Grigoryan’s work. He has carried out a major task and has published a valuable book. It is a great honor and joy for us to meet such people. When you are on the road, you don’t know who you will encounter on the way. God helped us meet very important people on the road and helped us make a contribution to our nation. I often repeat the following: a written paper is more valuable than a blank paper, even if the written paper is wrong. I prefer to write something on paper. If it is wrong, I will polish it. I might also be able to taint others with what I have “written”.

The same goes for our country, Armenia. True, the people face many hardships, but it is temporary. A couple of days ago, I visited the international school in Dilijan and TUMO Center for Creative Technologies. When I saw all this, I believed that the future of our nation will be bright. I hope the new generation lives in a better country.”


U.S.-based Armenian artists hosted at RA Ministry of Diaspora

On October 3, the RA Ministry of Diaspora hosted Armenian American artists Hasmik Zalyan, Anahit Nersisyan and Sona Van.

Greeting the guests, Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan highly appreciated the artists’ activities for preservation of the Armenian identity and their dedication to Armenian culture. “The Armenian identity and culture are the spirit and ‘passport’ of existence of the Armenian nation, and you contribute to preservation of the Armenian identity, popularization of Armenian culture and consolidation of the powerful Armenian community in one of the remote corners of the world, that is, Los Angeles. Today, at the initiative of Hasmik Zalyan, U.S.-based Armenian singers Papin Poghosyan, Salbi Mayilyan, Emma Tovmasyan, Hermine Amiryan and Armen Hovhannisyan will perform during the “Open Your Arms, Land, I Am Coming Towards You!” concert to be held at Aram Khachaturian Grand Concert Hall. The singers also performed marvelously during the Nairi Pan-Armenian Music Festival,” Hranush Hakobyan stated.

The Minister of Diaspora awarded producer Hasmik Zalyan with the Gold Medal of the RA Ministry of Diaspora for her contributions to the strengthening of Armenia-Diaspora relations and for her great contributions to preservation of the Armenian identity. Artists Papin Poghosyan, Salbi Mayilyan, Emma Tovmasyan, Hermine Amiryan and Armen Hovhannisyan were awarded with certificates of the Ministry of Diaspora.

Hasmik Zalyan expressed gratitude for the award and stated the following: “This is the greatest gift in my life that I will never forget.”

Poetess Sona Van emphasized the following: “I am happy to be here since I see how the spirit of the homeland and the willingness to serve Armenia lives within each of you. I congratulate you, dear Hasmik! I consider you one of the top producers of our days and someone who is able to see and notice young and talented Armenians, appreciate their work and create conditions for them to perform and present Armenian songs around the world.”

At the end of the meeting, opera singer Anahit Nersisyan performed one of the works of composer Ashot Satyan.

Lragir Armenian Monthly marking 15th anniversary

On September 30, Nuard Armenian Cultural Union hosted an event dedicated to the 15th anniversary of Lragir Armenian Monthly, which is one-of-a-kind in Belgium and the countries of Benelux.

As reported the news service of Nurad Armenian Cultural Union to Hayern Aysor, the event began with an opening speech by President of the Union, editor-in-chief of the Armenian monthly Gevorg Minasyan, who talked about the history and problems of the monthly newspaper and stated that in spite of the current challenges, the monthly continues to publish. The editor-in-chief also expressed gratitude to the monthly’s readers who have been loyal to the monthly to this day.

Several readers and organizations had also conveyed their congratulatory remarks.

Coordinator of the International Committee, member of the Council of Elders of Antwerp Galina Matyushina participated in the event and gave a speech.

Let us add that Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian and, of course, Armenian choirs and dance ensembles congratulated the newspaper with their performances, and young painter Arman Vardanyan opened his personal exhibition.

Shoghik Pahlevanyan: “Teaching a language through song is easier and more pleasurable”

Director and teacher of “Veratsnund” (Renaissance) Armenian Sunday School of Moscow (adjunct to the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in the Russian Federation), Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences Shoghik Pahlevanyan recently released her book “Collection of Armenian Songs”. On this occasion, Hayern Aysor’s correspondent sat down for an interview with the book’s author.

Hayern Aysor: Mrs. Pahlevanyan, you recently released your new book entitled “Collection of Armenian Songs”. What made you publish this book? What is the purpose?

Shoghik Pahlevanyan: The idea of publishing the “Collection of Armenian Songs” was conceived a long time ago since teaching a language through songs makes the process of teaching easier and more pleasurable. It also helps students have a solid understanding of the tones and words of a particular language and helps enhance linguistic thinking.

Hayern Aysor: What audience is the book designed for?

Shoghik Pahlevanyan: The book is designed for preschoolers, small school-age children and schoolchildren at the intermediate and higher levels, as well as teachers and those wishing to learn Armenian and examine Armenian songs.

Hayern Aysor: How did you select the songs?

Shoghik Pahlevanyan: This book serves as a wonderful way of helping people learn about Armenian musical culture since it includes 68 Armenian ethnographic songs and the songs of great Armenian composers. I divided the songs into themes and presented the whole picture of Armenian song.

Hayern Aysor: Mrs. Pahlevanyan, is this your first textbook of Armenian songs?

Shoghik Pahlevanyan: I think this is the first handbook of Armenian songs for Armenians since it features the originals of the songs in Armenian, their translations, the transcriptions and the musical notations of the songs.

Hayern Aysor: How has the feedback been?

Shoghik Pahlevanyan: There have been critiques and many words of appraisal from not only specialists in Armenia, but also teachers of Armenian schools of Russia, and they are all objective.

I have received critiques and opinions from Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, Professor, Merited Pedagogue of the Republic of Armenia Yuri Yuzbashyan; Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, Professor Julieta Gyulamiryan; Candidate of Philological Sciences, Associate Professor Ashot Galstyan; Doctor of Philological Sciences, Director of M. Abeghyan Institute of Literature Vardan Devrikyan; Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences, Associate Professor Lilit Ter-Grigoryan, as well as the book’s editor, Candidate of Philological Sciences Lusine Hayriyan and others.

Hayern Aysor: Mrs. Pahlevanyan, alongside this book, you have also been holding Accelerated Armenian Language Courses, which are part of the “Ari Tun” Program. What experience have you gained throughout all these years?

Shoghik Pahlevanyan: I must say that working with the young Armenians visiting Armenia through the “Ari Tun” Program has been very interesting. During their short stay, I have to instill in them the love for the Armenian language, and that love can grow in the future.

At the same time, these courses helped me become convinced that the methodical benchmark of my textbooks (“Russian-Armenian Conversational Book”, “Russian-English-Armenian Conversational Book”, Collection of Armenian Songs”, etc.) is right, and this helps accelerate the process of teaching the Armenian language.


Mher Hovhannisyan meets with students of “Haiordats Toon” Armenian School in Moscow

On September 24, Deputy Director of the Institute for Armenian Studies at Yerevan State University, Candidate of Historical Sciences Mher Hovhannisyan had a meeting with members of “Haiordats Toon” Armenian School in Moscow. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the students to the programs of Yerevan State University and encourage them to pursue their studies in the homeland, reported the information center of “Haiordats Toon” to Hayern Aysor.

“Every year, Armenians travel from several countries to Armenia to participate in the training programs organized by the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia and Yerevan State University, including the accelerated Armenian language course, the course for journalist, the course devoted to Armenian songs and dances and a training course for organizers of education. The courses also feature tours of Armenia’s government agencies and cognitive visits to sites worth seeing. To participate, the applicant must be at least 17 years old, complete an online application form and have a letter of recommendation. This is free for those participating for the first time,” Mher Hovhannisyan said during the meeting. Hovhannisyan was in Moscow to participate in the conference convened by the International Committee on Historiography, and Armenia has joined the 54 members of the Committee.

Afterwards, the speaker presented his new “Hamaspyurk” (Pan-Diaspora) program, after which the participants of the meeting asked about the programs that Yerevan State University has to offer to Diaspora Armenians and the terms and conditions of instruction.

“You can receive a higher education in the fields of genocide studies and Armenian studies in Armenia. There are 70 free spots in the Bachelor’s Program, and those with a higher education can apply to study in the Master’s Degree Program. For those who have a problem with accommodation, I would like to say that construction of a hostel for 500 international students will end this year and will be the equivalent to a costly hotel in terms of the opportunities that it has to offer,” Mher Hovhannisyan assured and advised the students to visit many academic websites by clicking on the links at in order to self-educate themselves.

Spiritual superintendent of “Haiordats Toon”, Fr. Priest Arakel Amiryan and Director Hmayak Gevorgyan thanked the guest for the interesting conversation and presentation, welcoming the continuity of such meetings and the various types of programs that are organized for Diaspora Armenians in Armenia and that Mher Hovhannisyan also participates in and makes contributions to.

At the end of the meeting, some students assured that they plan on studying at Yerevan State University and might join the students of Yerevan State University in the next academic year.

Church of the Most Holy Virgin Mary consecrated in Mekhakavan (Jebrayil) settlement of Artsakh

On October 2, the Church of the Most Holy Virgin Mary was opened and consecrated during a solemn ceremony held near the borderline Mekhakavan (Jebrayil) settlement of Artsakh.

According to Artsakhpress, the solemn ceremony of consecration of the church, which was built with funding from benefactor Grigor Movsisyan, was performed by spiritual leader of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia, His Grace, Fr. Bishop Vrtanes Abrahamyan.

The duplicate cross of the Holy Cross, which was the guardian of the Armenian army of King Ashot Yerkat, was consecrated, after which the church was consecrated. During the Holy Mass following the consecration, the spiritual leader of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia expressed his congratulatory remarks to the attendees, attaching importance to this divine initiative of building the House of God in the liberated areas of the homeland of the Armenian nation. “By God’s wil, today we have a shrine, which is the first shrine built in the liberated and ancestral Mekhakavan settlement. We have a shrine that will reinforce our soldiers to stand more firmly during their military service because this is where the border of Christianity starts from, and this was affirmed by the construction of the Church of the Most Holy Virgin Mary,” Bishop Vrtanes Abrahamyan said.

At the end of the Holy Mass, the spiritual leader of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia read the condac of the Catholicos of All Armenians by which the church’s benefactor G. Movsisyan was granted the highest St. Nerses Shnorhali Order of Honor of the Armenian Church.

Among the attendees of the ceremony were Primate of the Aragatsotn Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Bishop Mkrtich Proshyan; commander of the Defense Army of the Republic of Artsakh Vardan Balayan; sponsor of the church’s construction G. Movsisyan; representatives of the board of the Union of Volunteer Land Defenders, as well as high-ranking servicemen and guests.


WWII Armenian-American Veteran Charles S. Sahagian Awarded France’s Highest Military Honor

Ludér Tavit Sahagian

On September 21, 2017, in the presence of MA Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and MA Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs Francisco Ureña, Consul General of France in Boston Valéry Freland decorated four WWII American veterans with the French Legion of Honor medal at a ceremony held at his residence. Of the four honorees, notably two were of Armenian descent: Mr. Avak Avakian of Concord, MA and this writer’s paternal grandfather, Mr. Charles Sahag Sahagian, of Needham Heights, MA.

According to the Consulate General’s official announcement, these veterans “were selected to be awarded the Legion of Honor for their bravery and heroism, and for their outstanding contribution to the liberation of France in World War II.” Established in 1802 by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, the Legion of Honor “is exclusively awarded in cases of exemplary military and civilian services. It is the oldest and highest honor in France. It is awarded by decree of the President of the French Republic, [in this instance by] Mr. Emmanuel Macron. Since the 60th anniversary of D-Day, France recognizes every year many American veterans of WWII for their courageous service.”

A native of Dorchester, MA, Pvt. Charles S. Sahagian “served as a rifleman and heavy weapons specialist in the 347th Regiment, 87th Division of the 3rd U.S. Army in the European Theater during 1944-45. While clearing German units in the Moselle region in France, General Patton ordered Sahagian’s battalion to immediately recapture the town of Saint-Hubert, Belgium. The resulting 30-hour march from France to Belgium was recognized as one of the fastest and furthest movements of infantry in U.S. army records! Honorably discharged in February 1946, [now Pfc.] Sahagian received the Purple Heart, three Bronze Star Medals, the WWII Victory Medal and the American Campaign Medal. [Following his military service, he] led an impressive career, serving as [the] U.S. Representative to NATO specializing in military materials research. He [also] served as a U.S. Representative to NASA [recommending materials experiments in space] and [for three decades] as a Supervisory Physicist for the U.S. Department of Defense.”

Charles S. Sahagian was born 91 years ago to Zarouhi Khoshabjian Sahagian and Sahag Bedros Sahagian. His parents hailed respectively from the cities of Digranagert and Kharpert in Western Armenia and were survivors of the Armenian Genocide.

He attended the Mather School in Dorchester, MA, the oldest public elementary school in the U.S., and Boston Latin School, the oldest public high school in the U.S. Interestingly, a few years following his military service, he attended the Graduate Program in Applied Physics at Harvard University, the oldest university in the U.S.

While still a teenager, he volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army. A few months later, he was assigned to the famous 3rd Army commanded by Gen. George S. Patton.

The fierce compulsion of Gen. Patton at the time to capture and neutralize the German forts protecting Metz, France, to then cross the Moselle and drive full-force to Berlin to precede the Soviets, was suddenly thwarted by a multi-division Nazi attack in the Ardennes that was personally mandated by Hitler. This massive onslaught is today known as the “Battle of the Bulge.”

It was during this period that Sahagian was introduced to and had to experience war at its worst. His division (the 87th) and other units still eliminating enemy resistance in the Metz sector were directed to advance immediately northward to help exhausted American troops in Bastogne, Belgium and to blunt the deadly German offensive. The resulting formidable forced march occurred under total radio silence. Over 130 miles under the worst possible winter conditions were traversed in less than two days.

Sahagian’s division moved clandestinely out of France, through Luxembourg, into Belgium. This silent operation has taken its place as one of the major tactical operations of WWII.

Gen. Patton, after sending armored units to insure Bastogne would not be recaptured, then ordered a precipitous, even reckless attack in a western arc around the strategic Belgian town, “with the 87th Division and 11th Armored carrying the load.” “Had I not attacked,” Gen. Patton reports in his memoirs, “it would have permitted the Germans to drive home their attack”, imperiling the lifeline into Bastogne that had been forged a few days earlier.

The “Battle of the Bulge” had been joined. The German High Command and the Allied Forces both realized that the winner of this battle would win the war.

On January 11, 1945, the inevitable orders came down from Gen. Patton; his 3rd Army “was to assault and recapture the key hub of Saint-Hubert, and thus insure the giant Ardennes offensive would go no further.” The lead assignment to take the town was given to Sahagian’s battalion (the 3rd Battalion, 347th Regiment). There was one caveat that Gen. Patton demanded in issuing his battle orders: no military units save the 347th were to participate in this operation.

Saint-Hubert was taken in two days. By early February 1945, the German offensive in the Ardennes had been beaten back and then some. After 40 days of continuous combat, Sahagian and his comrades were able to cross into Germany proper.

On the 42nd day, February 9, 1945, injured Sahagian was jeeped off the front lines on a stretcher. After a year of hospitalization in four countries, the young, now 19-year-old soldier returned to his family in Dorchester. As previously mentioned, he has been awarded many commendations and medals for his military bravery, also including the renowned Combat Infantryman Badge.

Sahagian can claim important career accomplishments following his military service. In addition to serving as a scientific consultant to NASA and NATO during the 1970s and 80s, he was appointed an Adjunct Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston. Additionally, he was an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Crystal Growth, conducting peer reviews of articles, including those submitted by Armenian scientists from abroad. In a private 1963 meeting in Boston with his foster Needham High School student Daniel Jumah of Kenya, he had the opportunity to discuss several human rights issues with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., including the unaddressed Armenian Genocide. In 1972, the Armenian Academy of Sciences invited him to give the keynote speech at the Fourth All-Union Conference on Crystal Growth held in the resort town of Dzaghgatsor. In the mid-1990s, Sahagian organized the collection and delivery of several tons of gifts and school supplies under the auspices of the Cambridge-Yerevan Sister City Association to the children of Saroukhan, Armenia. A committed resident of the Town of Needham for over sixty years, he has served on numerous municipal committees, including most recently on Needham’s Human Rights Committee.

Ludér Tavit Sahagian is a MA-based writer specializing in international relations and diplomacy. 

Primate of Armenian Diocese of Romania: “The 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference was successful”

“I am very glad that I participated in the 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference held under the title “Mutual Trust, Unity and Responsibility”, and I think the conference was successful and all the discussions were effective. Armenians from Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora gathered and discussed our common concerns and future actions,” Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Romania, His Grace, Fr. Bishop Tatev Hakobyan said in an interview with Hayern Aysor, adding that this conference will have its special place in the lives of Armenians in Armenia and all Armenians around the world.

Talking about the Armenian community of Romania, which has a history spanning millennia, His Holiness informed that there are 3,000 Armenians living in Romania, adding that the Armenians are mainly based in Bucharest and that there are Armenians in almost all cities across the country. He also stated that the Armenian community is a unified community and that all the Armenian community organizations stand united as one when it comes to the solution to pan-Armenian issues and pursue a solution to the Armenian Cause and the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Touching upon the spiritual life of the Armenian community, he said the Romanian-Armenians are church-centered and participate in Holy Masses in an attempt to be a part of all the ceremonies. However, the main issue of the community is mixed marriages and the preservation of the Armenian language since most of the Armenians of Romania don’t speak in Armenian.

President of Artsakh Republic Bako Sahakyan meets with Delegation of AMAA

On September 19, Artsakh Republic President Bako Sahakyan met with the delegation of the Armenian Missionary Association of America led by Zaven Khanjian, Executive Director/CEO of the Association at the Artsakh Republic’s Permanent Representation Headquarters in Yerevan, Armenia.

At the meeting a number of issues related to the implementation of various projects in Artsakh were discussed.

For the services provided to the Republic of Artsakh and on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Association, President Sahakyan handed Zaven Khanjian the Medal of Gratitude for the Association, expressing hope that the cooperation between the Armenian Missionary Association of America and Artsakh will maintain its positive dynamics.

AMAA Board of Directors President, Dr. Nazareth Darakjian stated:  “That is great news that should make all Armenian Evangelicals proud! Artsakh is the fruit of great sacrifice contributed by Armenians all around the world and we are happy that the AMAA has shared in that sacrifice and deserved this honor today.”

AMAA Executive Director/CEO, Zaven Khanjian remarked: “The gracious recognition expressed by the heroic people of Artsakh through a medal of gratitude presented to the Armenian Missionary Association of America on its Centennial by President Bako Sahakyan humbles us and forges our collective resolve to continue our Christ centered decades long service in the Artsakh Republic.”

Las Vegas Armenian-American Community Celebrates 26 Years of Independence

With a full house and over 400 in attendance, the Las Vegas Armenian-American community and local government representatives gathered at the Clark County Library Theater on Sunday, September 24 to celebrate the independence of the Armenian nation. The evening highlighted both the history and culture of the Armenian nation, as well as the strength and unity of Armenians in the diaspora.

Hosted by Joseph Djavairian and Grisha Sandalyan, the celebration commenced with a colorful procession by the Las Vegas “Artsakh” Homenetmen Scouts with national anthems sang by Naree Asherian. Very Reverend Father Sassoon Zumrookhdian of the Western Diocese, Very Reverend Father Torkom Donoyan of the Western Prelacy, and Pastor Sam Agulian of the Armenian Evangelical Church of Las Vegas blessed the celebration with a prayer and remarks encouraging the community to be active both in the diaspora as well as the Armenian homeland. Also present were representatives of the Nevada Consular Corps.

The cultural program included violin and piano performances by Elizabeth Bedrosian and Levon Aghadjanian. The Saint Geragos Church Seta Tajirian Saturday School Students and ARS “Shoushi” Chapter Verjine Koujakian Saturday School students sang cultural songs and recited poems demonstrating the strength and determination of the Armenian youth. 60 dancers of both the Armenian Dance School of Las Vegas and the Armenian Dance Academy of Las Vegas highlighted the nationalistic dances celebrated through generations of war, genocide, and overcoming such hardships. Directors of both dance groups, Izabel Martirosyan and Gohar Markarian, were presented with Certificates of Gratitude presented by Danny Tarkanian and Sarkis Kotanjian, on behalf of Hranush Hakobyan, Republic of Armenia Minister of Diaspora.

Special guests included Grisha Asatryan, grandson of famous Armenian singer Aram Asatryan, who brought the crowd to a cheerful stand, and professional rhythmic gymnast Silvia Hayrapetyan, and ballroom dance of Jolene Yeghiayan. The evening concluded with closing remarks by Honorary Consul of the Republic of Armenia in Las Vegas, Andy Armenian who emphasized the continuous growth of the Armenian community in Las Vegas and each audience member’s civic duty both in Nevada and Armenia-Artsakh.

Godly initiative: young Bulgarian-Armenian businessman has organized Petik Petrosyan’s exhibition in Yerevan

The Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia hosted young Armenian businessman Gevorg Grigoryan, who has traveled from the Bulgarian city of Varna to Armenia in order to organize Bulgarian-Armenian painter Petik Petrosyan’s exhibition. On this occasion, I had a short interview with Gevorg for Hayern Aysor.

Karine Avagyan: Gevorg, you are a businessman. How are you associated with painter Petik Petrosyan’s exhibition?

Gevorg Grigoryan: Yes, I am a businessman and am the executive director of AGRIK-Bulgaria. We produce and export wheat and corn. I was born in Bulgaria and am the descendant of Armenians who escaped the Genocide. My ancestors are from Kaiser and Constantinople. Born and raised in the Diaspora, I have never forgotten my origin and my roots. I visit Armenia twice a year. Living in Varna, I would visit the city of Silistra when I was a child and would spend my vacation at the home of painter Petik Petrosyan, who is the husband of my grandmother’s sister. Many years have passed since those beautiful days, and I decided to organize the late Petrik Petrosyan’s (1912-89) painting exhibition in the Homeland. I consider it a sort of duty of the soul to the memory of that great person and talented painter. The exhibition called “Docks” will be held at the National Gallery in Yerevan and will showcase Petik Petrosyan’s 100 paintings and graphic works that portray the beautiful sites in Armenia, Silistra, Balchik, Dobruja, Pazarchik, Tutrakan and Dobrich. They are landscape paintings and show scenes of the sea. There will also be a showing of an icon and reprints of the ornaments found in churches. The series of works includes works belonging to the family, as well as collections showcased in the Gallery of Sofia and the galleries of Silistra, Varna, Plovdiv and other cities.

Karine Avagyan: As far as I know, Petik Petrosyan is the creator of the drawings of iconic images in the Armenian church of Silistra, right?

Gevorg Grigoryan: Yes, in 1941, he decorated the walls of the oldest Armenian church in Silistra in the 1620s. The small model of the monument created by the worthy son of the Armenian nation will be shown at the National Gallery for the first time. The monument is the work of famous Bulgarian sculptor and professor Georgy Tsipkanov. Next year, the monument will be erected in front of the gallery in Silistra, and the gallery will be named after Petik Petrosyan. Petik Petrosyan’s album has also been printed in three languages (Armenian, English and Bulgarian) and will also be presented during the exhibition. Petrosyan has also written poems, but they have not been published in a book. They will also be showcased. Later, we will integrate them in a collection and publish them.

Karine Avagyan: You are carrying out a godly initiative by organizing the Armenian painter’s exhibition…Gevorg, where do you go first when you visit Armenia?

Gevorg Grigoryan: Etchmiadzin, the Holy City, the Place of Pilgrimage…I visited the Ministry of Diaspora for the first time by accident, without asking anyone where it is located…I was received wonderfully, and it seemed as though I had been there 100 times. My friends, relatives and acquaintances in Bulgaria are amazed when I tell them about this…Only in a familiar home will you feel such warmth.

Interview by Karine Avagyan

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