Happy 90th to The Armenian Weekly

Per the internet, the first Armenian language newspaper ever published was Azdarar.  It was first published on October 16, 1794 in Madras, India. The first Armenian language newspaper in the United States was the Hairenik that began publication in 1899 in Watertown, Massachusetts. In 1932, the Hairenik included an English language column. It was so popular that an English language newspaper, Hairenik Weekly, began publication on March 1, 1934. In 1969, the Hairenik Weekly was renamed The Armenian Weekly.

Today, March 1, is the 90th birthday of the paper that is a part of so many of our lives. In its modern format, both print and online, it is a source of news of all things Armenian that are simply not covered in the mainstream U.S. press. The Weekly, over the years, has been led by dedicated editors and staff. Working at the Weekly is a labor of love. The contributors and columnists are equally dedicated. Great writers got their start in the Hairenik family of publications. Some of William Saroyan’s early short stories were published in the Hairenik.

When I think of this wonderful paper, I think of editors James Mandalian (35 years) and Jimmy Tashjian (36 years). I think of the shorter tenure editors who came after, many of whom I knew and admired: Tom Vartabedian, Mimi Parseghian, Georgi Bargamian, Antranig Kasbarian, Vahe Habeshian, Jason Sohigian, Khatchig Mouradian, Nanore Barsoumian, Rupen Janbazian and now, Pauline Getzoyan. The editors were mentors and friends to many. Tom Vartabedian was certainly a friend and mentor of mine. I would not be writing for the Weekly as much as I do if it wasn’t for Tom getting me involved and encouraging me all along the way. Being a part of the AYF Olympics reporting and photography crew is a true labor of love. The current editor, Pauline Getzoyan, picked up where Tom left off. She is nurturing and encouraging to everyone. 

Beyond and behind the editors are the hale and hearty, almost anonymous staff that edit articles, lay out the paper, fact check, create graphics and process photos, and I am probably only scratching the surface. I think of the contributors and columnists like my great uncle Rouben Gavoor, Tom Vartabedian, C.K. Garabed and now, my AYF contemporary, Stepan Piligian. 

I have read pieces in the Weekly that made me laugh, made me cry, made me angry at an injustice, made me angry as only Armenians can be from an opinion we disagree with, and kept me informed of the comings and goings, events and passings in our community. Once I started subscribing, I never stopped, and I encourage everyone to do so…even more so since everything is presented online for free.

Mark Gavoor
Mark Gavoor is Associate Professor of Operations Management in the School of Business and Nonprofit Management at North Park University in Chicago. He is an avid blogger and oud player.


  1. Great article. The Hairenik started at 212 Stuart Street in Boston, at the original Hairenik Building.

  2. Thank you, Mark, for so concisely articulating what many of our generation have experienced up to now. The contributions of these publications to what we know and the emotions that we carry in our American Armenian communities cannot be overstated. Great job!

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