At the request of members of Hamazkayin residing in the United Arab Emirates, the Central Committee of Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Association founded Moushegh Ishkhan Chapter of Hamazkayin in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday, 16th April 2011, at the Pierre Keoseyian Hall of the St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Church in Sharja.
Mardig Demirjian, member of the Central Committee of Hamazkayin, presided the founding meeting and officially declared the foundation of the Chapter. He appointed the first ever committee of the chapter, with the following members: Seta Baliozian, Suzy Karajian, Nshan Basmajian, Khachig Sebeyian, and Simon Manoogian.
The Committee had the following representation:
Nshan Basmajian, chairperson
Seta Baliozian, secretary
Simon Manoogian, treasurer
Suzy Karajian, counselor
Khachig Sebeyian, counselor
An official ceremony followed the founding meeting. At the meeting were present Vahagn Melikyan, the Ambassador of The Republic of Armenia to the United Arab Emirates, Mher Mkrtumyan, the First Secretary of the Embassy, members of the ARF chapter in the United Arab Emirates, members of the Parish Councils in Kuwait and the Arab Gulf, representatives of the Armenian National Councils in Dubai and Northern Emirates, as well as Father Aram Deirmenjian, the parish priest.
Nshan Basmajian delivered the opening speech. After welcoming the representative of the Central Committee of Hamazkayin and the audience, he briefly presented the goals and the mission of Hamazkayin. He said that it is with Hamazkayin that a cultural and educational system is to be created in this developing community. Mr. Basmajian said that this chapter of Hamazkayin will sincerely cooperate with all the organizations and associations functioning in the Armenian community. It will stand by the Armenian national authorities to support and be supported by them.
Within its means, it will serve the educational and cultural needs of the community, finding in the latter its very source of energy. He also urged the community to provide constructive criticism to the leaders of the newly founded organization, as well as encouraging its good and, always bearing in mind that the right to appreciate or criticize is acquired only through participation in the cultural and educational life.
Afterwards, Mardig Demirjian, the representative of the Central Committee of Hamazkayin was invited to the stage. He welcomed the initiative of the committee who had succeeded in grouping 20 individuals and founding a chapter of Hamazkayin.
“The Central Committee of Hamazkayin encourages similar initiatives and supports the projects of the chapter.
“This large family which has several chapters in many countries is thus extended to new countries and regions.
“Being an educational and cultural association, Hamazkayin has come to fulfil a need with its committees and projects, to have its input in the Armenian education of future generations, to gather the cultural and intellectual youth in its folds.
“Cooperating with the Armenian associations and churches, the local chapters of Hamazkayin serve the Armenian people from the first days of their foundation,” he said.
Towards the end of his speech, Mardig Demirjian said that it is the wish of the new committee to name the chapter after the great Armenian educator and intellectual Moushegh Ishkhan. He wished the newly founded committee a successful implementation of all its projects. He also called the intellectual Armenian individuals to join the chapter and together find solutions to issues which concern them.
Afterwards, Ambassador Vahagn Melikyan delivered his speach. He appreciated the initiative and congratulated the committee. He expressed willingness to cooperation to find solutions to issues of interest to all Armenians. Moreover, the Ambassador said that the Embassy offers its building as a venue for events to be organized by Hamazkayin. He encouraged everyone to go beyond personal interests and work for issues that concern all the Armenians.
Following the Ambassador’s speech, Nshan Basmajian, the chairperson of the committee read congratulatory letters by Bishop Shahe Panossian, the Prelate of the Armenian Diocese in Kuwait and the Arab Gulf, and by the Regional Committee of Hamazkayin in Syria. Salpi Apelian, the chairperson of the UAE chapter of ARF also delivered heartfelt words of congratulations and encouragement.
Father Aram Deirmenjian, too, wished success to the committee.