Lebanon Office

Until 1990, the Central Committee of Hamazkayin was formed by appointments. Until the 1980s, the Committee did not have its own offices or management. Karnig Panian would be present at meetings and keep minutes. There was no need for more, since at that time there was no direct or daily contact between the Central Committee and the regions. The weekly or at times biweekly meetings took place at the Nshan Palanjian Djemaran of Hamazkayin. In the 1980s, Sarkis Zeitlian was the representative of the ARF Bureau at the Central Committee of Hamazkayin.

After Sarkis Zeitlian was kidnapped and because of the increasingly dangerous situation in Beirut, the meeting place was moved to East Beirut, where offices were rented in the Mkhitarian Building, near the municipality of Bourj Hamoud. The management of the Central Committee gradually changed. Karnig Panian could no longer serve because of old age and lack of transport between the East and West sides of the city. Thus, a management office was established and Peno Tontian took responsibility for it. At that time, Hrach Dasnabedian replaced S. Zeitlian in the Central Committee meetings.

In fact, Peno Tontian carried two tasks. Not only was he office guard and manager, but he also became the supervisor of the complex and the vast construction activities that were launched in the 1980s in East Beirut; first when Shaghzoian Center was altered into a school to house Djemaran, and then when the construction of the school buildings in Dzaghgatsor took place.

The year 1990 was a cornerstone in the history of both Hamazkayin and its management. In that year the first pan-diasporan general assembly of Hamazkayin was convened in Athens, with the participation of the delegates from all of Hamazakyin’s remote regions. The first elected Central Committee took office.

Given the fact that Dr. Yeghig Konialian, from the United States, was elected as the chairperson of the Central Committee, the latter was obliged to keep two offices, one in the United States, under the management of Naz Der Sarkissian, and the second in Bourj Hamoud and managed by Hagop Havatian.

Although the chairperson of the Central Committee was living in the United States, nonetheless a board of six members functioned with great autonomy and was maintained in Lebanon. The chairperson of this board was Garbis Harboian. The offices of the Central Committee had been moved to the Shaghzoian Center.

For a short period (from 1990-1994) the Central Committee functioned with two offices.

In 1998, Hagop Havatian was appointed executive director of the Vahe Setian Printing House of Hamazkayin. Subsequently, Arin Kalousdian was appointed as the manager of the Central Committee office, a task which she continues to this day.

In 2001, the offices of the Central Committee were moved from the Shaghzoian Center to Nshan Palanjian Djemaran. Later, in 2005, the office was moved to M. and H. Arslanian Djemaran, where it is currently located.


Armenia Office

Hamazkayin Armenian Cultural and Educational Association opened its offices in Armenia in 1991.

In the past 17 years, acclaimed intellectuals such as Razmik Davoian, Sos Sargsian, Rouben Hovsepian, Sargis Mouradian, Vahagn Stamboltsian, Romen Joulhakian, Felix Meloyan, and Yervand Yerkanian have been members of Armenia’s Hamazkayin council .

Like all members of the Hamazkayin family spread around the world, the institution in Armenia has also accomplished the association’s mission : imbue the Armenian individual with national features and character and assume the role of a unique cultural bridge between Armenia and the diaspora.

Activities have included wider educational and cultural spheres such as book publishing, music, sciences, arts, cultural exchanges, and others.

The Hamazkayin Theater, established in 1994, has carried out many creative projects. Although still sponsored by Hamazkayin, the theater is now a state institution, though it remains central to artists and theater audiences.

Periodic conferences (for example, celebrating the 2,100th anniversary of Dikran the Great’s enthronement ) as well as discussion clubs, lectures, meetings, book discussions, and exhibitions,  have all greatly contributed to the recognition and prestige the Armenia offices of Hamazkayin enjoy. The office plays an organizational role in the pan- Armenian festival, “One nation, one culture. ”   The organization has also hosted performances of Hamazkayin dance troupes (“Gayaneh” and “Knar” of Lebanon, “Sartarabad” of Syria, “Sevan” of Sydney, and “Ani” of Los Angeles,) choirs (“Gargach” and “Gomidas” of Lebanon,) and theater troupes (George Sarkissian of Argentina, Kasbar Ipegian of Lebanon.)

In addition, Hamazkayin has helped to host Armenian artists’ concerts and appearances in the diaspora. These include performances by A. Babakhanyan, A, Davtyan, C. Simonyan, L. Markosyan, C. Sahakyan, A. Movsisyan, R. Hakhvertyan, the Komitas Choir, the National Chamber Choir of Armenia, Barekamutioun Dance Ensemble, and many others.

Many lecturers, artists, intellectuals, and scientists have been sent on mission to various Hamazkayin chapters in the diaspora. 
Acclaimed Brazilian novelist Paolo Coelho’s visit to Armenia in 2004, and the concerts of Canadian-Armenian soprano Isabelle Bairakdarian in 2006 are among the major achievements for cultural life in Armenia.

All these projects have not only enriched Armenia’s cultural life , presented the diasporan culture in Armenia, and fostered Armenia-diaspora spiritual and cultural relations, but they have also reestablished once more that Armenian culture lies at the heart of preserving the Armenian identity.