ALEPPO, Syria (A.W.)—The funeral of longtime Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) member and leader of the defense of the Armenian neighborhoods of Aleppo Raffi Bchakjian (b. 1961), who was killed in a rocket attack on June 10, took place at Aleppo’s Sourp Asdvadzadzin (St. Mary) Armenian Apostolic Church on June 11.
The service, which was led by Der Houssig Setrakian, was attended by Armenia’s Ambassador to Syria Tigran Gevorgyan, leader of Aleppo’s Armenian Evangelical community Haroutune Selimian, representatives of community organizations and the Armenian National Assembly, Bchakjian’s family, friends, and comrades, as well as scores of Armenian community members.
During the service, Der Houssig read Prelate Archbishop Shahan Sarkissian’s letter of condolences—the Archbishop was unable to attend the funeral, since he was on a working visit to Antelias, Lebanon. After the service, Bchakjian’s casket was taken to his final resting place as his comrades sang the Armenian revolutionary song, “Verkerov Li.”
Following the funeral service, Bchakjian’s obituary was read in Arabic by Hagop Kiledjian, the principal of the Karen Jeppe Armenian College, and in Armenian by Haygaz Asadourian.