Mourad Armenian School visits historic institutions of Watertown

Mourad Armenian Saturday School students visit the Hairenik Building, April 22, 2023

WATERTOWN, Mass. The students of the Mourad Armenian Saturday School of Rhode Island visited Watertown on Saturday, accompanied by co-principal Lala Attarian, instructor Angel Kozinian and chaperones Sonia Nasr and Haigouhi Corriveau.

The goal of this educational trip was to learn more about the history of Armenians in Watertown and visit the important Armenian institutions that have had a great impact in preserving the language, culture, religion and history of Armenians for generations.

The first stop was the Hairenik Association, where students were welcomed by ARF Eastern USA Central Committee member George Aghjayan and ARS Eastern USA Regional Office executive director Vart Chiloyan. 

Aghjayan gave a tour of the Hairenik building, including the offices of the Armenian Weekly and Hairenik newspapers, the newly-built Antranig and Alice Karjian Hairenik Media Center center and the ARF archives, including the archives of the First Republic of Armenia. The students were excited to see and read the original copy of the 1918 Declaration of Independence of Armenia.

Mourad Armenian Saturday School students tour the ARF archives with George Aghjayan

Chiloyan introduced students to the various local and regional ARS projects and talked about the importance of preserving Armenian schools in the Diaspora. The students thanked the ARS in person for supporting the Mourad Armenian Saturday School students and teachers.


From the Hairenik Building, the group walked to St. Stephen’s Armenian Saturday School, where they were welcomed by its principal Mayda Melkonian and teachers. The Mourad Armenian School students met their peers and participated in music class before heading to St. Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church. 

Rev. Archpriest Antranig Baljian introduced students to the canonization of the Armenian martyrs and the special sanctified painting inside the sanctuary ahead of the 108th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Mourad Armenian Saturday School students visit St. Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church, April 22, 2023

The Mourad school students wrapped up their day in Watertown with a visit to the Armenian Museum of America. Curator Gary Lind-Sinanian shared several treasured items with the students, some of them dating back to the Urartu era. History, culture, embroidery and religion were intertwined as students listened attentively to Lind-Sinanian and asked questions. It was not surprising at all to see their impressions when they walked through the Armenian Genocide exhibit.

Mourad Armenian Saturday School students visit Armenian Museum of America, April 22, 2023

The Mourad Armenian Saturday School staff, parents and students thank all the individuals and institutions who helped to make this trip a memorable and inspiring one. We hope this is the beginning of a continuous plan to bring the students at our schools together while they learn about the history of Armenian communities and institutions.

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