[Photos by Edward Nasr, Lala Attarian]
PROVIDENCE, R.I.—The Sts. Vartanantz Church Mourad Armenian Saturday School celebrated Armenian Christmas on Saturday with more than 160 guests present at the event, including students.
Following the special church services and Holy Communion, everyone gathered at the Aramian Auditorium. The guests enjoyed a luncheon followed by a beautiful performance by the students. Present at the event were members of the Sts. Vartanantz Church Board of Trustees, Rev. Fr. Kapriel Nazarian, Mourad School Committee members, representatives of various sister organizations, parents, families and other guests.
“Siamanto Lsaran” students Garo Tarbinian and Bedig Zaytounian emceed the event. After welcoming all the guests, they invited Der Kapriel for his blessings and the opening prayer.
In his remarks, Mourad School Committee member Hagop Khatchadourian mentioned that this year, as we celebrate the 850th anniversary of St. Nerses Shnorhali, “We pray to God that during these devastating times, He protects the Armenian nation, our land, Armenia and specifically Artsakh, from all visible and invisible enemies.” Khatchadourian thanked all the guests for supporting the school and extended his gratitude to the school administration, teachers, students and the parent-teacher organization (PTO) for their hard work.
On behalf of the administration, co-principal Lala Attarian hoped for prosperity and peace to the Armenian nation in the new year, especially to Artsakh. “We stand with the young children of Artsakh today, whose Christmas wishes and dreams sadly were not fulfilled this year,” she said. Attarian stressed the importance of the dedicated work of both parents and teachers in preserving the Armenian identity. “It is our duty to revive our Diaspora, in order to preserve our schools, language, religion and culture, especially at a time when external factors are a daily threat in the extraordinary work we do to preserve and protect our Armenian-ness,” Attarian stressed. She then extended her appreciation to all who in one way or another helped to make the event a success.
This year, the Regional Board of the ARS of Eastern USA had allocated special gifts for the teachers as part of the “Supporting our Teacher Heroes Campaign” for Armenian teachers from different Armenian institutions in the Eastern USA and around the world. On behalf of the ARS, “Arax” Chapter chair Manoushak Krikorian distributed the gifts to the teachers, thanking them for their dedication.
Zaytounian and Tarbinian recited the poem “Hayreni Lezou,” followed by the presentation of the “Madour” (Chapel) project the older students had prepared during Armenian cultural month.
All the students presented a series of songs under the leadership of music instructor Raffi Rachdouni. Nayiri Corriveau, Mardiros Karazian, Nadia Keshijian and Garen Zeitounian played a musical piece on the piano, saxophone and the dumbeg, respectively.
Students and guests welcomed Santa Clause with great excitement while singing Christmas songs. All the students received special gifts donated by the ARS of Eastern USA and other individuals. PTO chair Ani Dedeyan announced the winners of the raffle prizes and the silent auction item.
In her closing remark, co-principal June Mangassarian spoke highly of the parents, grandparents and the families who are committed and do their very best every Saturday to ensure their children come to school and receive an Armenian education. Mangassarian thanked PTO members Ani Dedeyan, Alenoush Hagopian, Megan Khatchadourian and Meline Zeitounian, the students and teachers who all worked hard for this unprecedented event.
Thanks to the Sts. Vartanantz Church Ladies’ Guild and Men’s Club for their help and the following establishments and individuals for their generous donations:
ARS of Eastern USA Regional Board
Dedeyan, Hagopian, Zeitounian families
Mr. Steve Elmasian
Hercules Pizza Works
Homenetmen Providence Chapter
Karo’s Barber Shop
Mr. and Mrs. Chris and Manoushak Krikorian
Mr. and Mrs. Ara and Maggie Nalbandian
The Patio on Main
Sonia’s Near East Deli
Mr.and Mrs. Apet and Anoush Vartanian
Virginia and Spanish Peanuts
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