NEW YORK, NY—St. Illuminator’s Cathedral and the US Eastern Regional Executive of Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society organized a recent event featuring author Hermine Avagyan, director of Hamazkayin Artsakh. Representatives of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Eastern US Central Committee, Armenian Relief Society (ARS) Eastern Region Executive and Hamazkayin Central and Eastern Regional Executives were in attendance.
Guests learned about the programs and projects of the Hamazkayin Artsakh office, watched a short documentary entitled “Hamazkayin with the Children of Artsakh” and enjoyed an exhibition of original paintings by children involved in Hamazkayin programs.
The evening’s program also included the presentation of two recently published books by Avagyan: Days Torn from the Calendar and I am Running, Wait for Me. The author also displayed books by several writers from Artsakh. These books were subsequently donated to the permanent collection at the Library of Congress.
Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral and an untiring supporter of Hamazkayin’s initiatives, made opening remarks and expressed his appreciation for Hamazkayin’s accomplishments throughout the world, particularly in Artsakh.
Hasmig Aprahamian, chairperson of the Eastern Regional Executive Committee of Hamazkayin, introduced Avagyan, who recounted the numerous projects of Hamazkayin in Artsakh.
Hamazkayin Central Executive Committee member Arevig Caprielian thanked Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, his family and the Board of Trustees for their sustained support and participation in Hamazkayin’s activities. On behalf of the Central Executive, she expressed appreciation for the hard work conducted by the Hamazkayin offices of Artsakh and Armenia. After outlining the Central Executive’s main programs, she added that none of the undertakings around the world could be carried out without the active involvement and financial support of the respective communities.
“The Diaspora has always supported the motherland and especially Artsakh; its potential strength served for the further development of education, arts and culture,” began Avagyan. “The Diaspora also struggled to achieve the official recognition of the Artsakh Republic and the recognition and condemnation of the 1915 Genocide. For 95 years, Hamazkayin brought its considerable contribution to these sacred causes. During the 44-day Artsakh war, Hamazkayin launched the ‘Hamazkayin with the Children of Artsakh’ program, and today 400 children are included in it. Our little artists in blockaded Artsakh were excited about this exhibition,” she continued, “Our children know very well the conditions of their contemporaries in Syria and how challenging it is to sustain the education of Armenian children in Djemaran because of the dismal economic conditions in Lebanon. Hamazkayin is committed to the realization of national objectives through the hard work and dedication of its members. All of us must help one another to persevere,” Avagyan concluded.
During the reception, guests met with Avagyan in a warm and relaxed environment. Some engaged in lively discussions about her works and that of other writers in Artsakh, while others were enjoying the paintings by the children of Artsakh.