By Julie Ashekian
ETCHMIADZIN, Armenia—It was a bright, sunny, and joyous day at “Mer Doon,” a home for young adults who have outgrown their childhood home in the orphanages. The anticipation and excitement of the arrival of a very special guest filled the air.
First Lady Rita Sarkisian, who had visited Mer Doon before, was scheduled to visit again to congratulate and celebrate the New Year with the staff and residents. This was a proud day for Mer Doon.
Sarkisian was welcomed as a queen of their country, and as a close family member of Mer Doon. Seven beautiful doves were released into the blue sky in her honor as she exited her car. A key to Mer Doon was presented to her, and she accepted it joyfully, asking that the lock never be changed.
The girls of Mer Doon prepared a short fairytale-like play about Mer Doon in Sarkisian’s honor. “We look back with the eyes of our souls and hear the magic voices of fairytales from our childhood,” it began. “Once upon a time there was a saintly city in the world and a beautiful castle in this city. The girls live there and were very happy, but what kind of past did they have? Each of them had their own dreams and they were as different as they. Kind people helped the girls to make their dreams come true. As in every fairytale let kindness prevail, and if someone cries, let it be tears of happiness. The girls promised the queen to love their country, to be honest and kind as she.”
Together, the staff and residents danced and sang the “Mer Doon” song, which was written by composer Martin Aharonyan, also present for the occasion. Sarkisian, clearly overcome with emotion, parted with these words: “Maybe you haven’t more things, but you have mothers like your staff and me. I am your mother, too.”
Upon parting, she promised to visit often.