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MinDiaspora and ChuckIMG_1874                On Firday, October 10, Hranush Hakobyan, RA Minister of Diaspora, welcomed the visit of AMAA Benefactors Charles and Doreen Bilezikian and their family, accompanied by the AMAA’s Executive Director Zaven Khanjian and Board member Jeanmarie Papelian.

The Minister praised the charitable activities of the Bilezikians in Armenia and Karabagh, especially in constructing elementary schools in Yerevan and Shushi, and renovating the second floor of Markarian Hospital in Yerevan. Hranush Hakobyan highlighted the role of the Bilezikians in rebuilding the motherland and spoke with them about the future projects of the Ministry.VisitMinDiasporaIMG_1906DoreenMinDiasporaIMG_1891

Taking into consideration the unique philanthropic activities of Bilezikians for the advancement of educational and cultural projects in Armenia, the Minister awarded Mr. Charles Bilezikian with the Ministry’s “Boghos Nubar” Medal of Honor, and presented a framed Armenian rug to Mrs. Doreen Bilezikian.

On Wednesday, October 8, on the occasion of the Grand opening of AMAA’s Khoren and Shooshanig Avedisian School and Community Center, Mr. Serge Sargsyan, President of Republic of Armenia, bestowed the Presidential Medal of Movses Khorenatsi to Mr. Edward Avedisian for his outstanding achievements in theIMG_1097 spheres of culture, art, literature, education, social sciences and sports. Mr. Sargsyan thanked Edward Avedisian and all those who through their active participation, contribution and input move Armenia forward and make it a better place for its people.

In his remarks, Mr. Avedisian thanked the President for this honor, recalling the story of his mother who dreamt of this school and expressed his deep appreciation to see the dream realized for the benefit of the children of Armenia.President and Avedisian AIMG_1102

AGO- Avedisian Ribbon Cutting

Pam and Ed Avedisian cutting the ribbon with family and friends.

On Wednesday, October 8, the the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) celebrated the Grand Opening of the Khoren and Shooshanig Avedisian School and Community Center!

Participants at the opening included: Serj Sargsyan, President of the Republic of Armenia; Armen Ashotyan, Minister of Education and Science; Bradley Busetto, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative;Hranush Hakobyan, RA Minister of Diaspora, national and local government officials; members of the Avedisian and Bilezikian families; Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian, President of Haigazian University; Joseph Zeronian, Ed. D.AMAA President; Zaven Khanjian, AMStudents ready for President Sargsyan’s arrivalAA Executive Director and CEO, and hundreds of local and international guess.

AGO - Bread and Salt Offering

Students ready for President Sargsyan’s arrival

The first ribbon cutting ceremony was at the Bilezikian Building, by the members of the Bilizekian family, followed by the ribbon cutting ceremony of the Avedisian School.

Following a beautiful symbolic Armenian traditional dance, Melanya Geghamyan, principal of the school conducted a tour of the building for President Sargsyan. He was very impressed and inquired about several aspects of the LEED certification and the facilities; our student body, and our plans for the future.

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Doreen and Chalres Bilezikian cutting the ribbon of Bilezikian building.

In his remarks, Mr. Khanjian stated, “1600 years ago, Saint Mesrob’s invention of the Armenian Alpabet and its direct and significant impact of translating the Bible into Armenian is commemorated in the month of October. Could there be a more appropriate, worthy, sacred and wise expression of gratitude to reciprocate that immortal gift to the Armenian nation than the realization of the dream of the Avedisians and Bilezikians, with the implementation of this beacon of education, a newly constructed, modern and magnificent school.”

“Today, with the official dedication of this sacred structure, it is the heartfelt wishes of the Avedisian and Bilezikian families, joined with members and supporters of the Armenian Missionary Association of America, that these wonderful children, born in our sacred Motherland, following the example of the immortal martyred poet, spark their young impressionable minds with the perpetual light of learning provided at the Avedisian School and the Bilizekian Primary School”, stated Mr. Khanjian, who also thanked President Sargsyan for honoring the Grand Opening and this historical and memorable day by his participation.

AGO - Pres Sargsyan

President Sargsyan addressing the guests.

There were two special components of the day. The first was President Sargsyan bestowing The Presidential Medal of Movses Khorenatsi to Mr. Edward Avedisian for his outstanding achievements in the spheres of culture, art, literature, education, social sciences and sports. Mr. Sargsyan thanked all those who through their active participation, contribution and input move Armenia forward and make it a better place for its people.

In his remarks, Mr. Avedisian thanked the President, recalling the story of his mother who dreamt of this school and expressed his deep appreciation to see the dream realized for the benefit of the children of Armenia.

AGO - Pam Playing Piano

Pam Avedisian plays a musical selection on the piano she donated in honor of her parents.

The second special component of the day was when Mrs. Pamela Avedisian offered some very touching remarks in Armenian and proceeded to playing two beautiful classical pieces on the piano that she had dedicated to the school in honor of her parents.

The day also included individual ribbon cutting ceremonies of the spaces for which other benefactors were present to celebrate. The guests then toured the facilities, while other benefactors conducted ribbon-cutting ceremonies of classrooms.

At the evening banquet, Joseph Zeronian, Ed.D., President of the AMAA Board of Directors addressed more than 220 guests who attended a lavish dinner. He offered the sincere thanks of the entire Board to all of the donors of the School and the other fine work of the AMAA.

The PAROS Chamber Choir, comprised of mostly disabled musicians who perform while seated in their wheelchairs, provided a stunning presentation of a medley of sacred music and Komidas songs.

Melanya Geghamyan was presented with an impressive hand watch as a gift of appreciation for her tremendous efforts to move this project along, while running a very impressive school. Mr. Avedisian was presented with a beautiful rendering of the Avedisian School by a local artist.

The amazing historical and memorable day thus ended with all attendees moving away with a feeling of awe, gratitude and thankfulness to the benefactors and AMAA for this magnanimous achievement.

We are extremely grateful to all who have supported the creation of this new school.

During the last week of September, my wife Sona and I traveled to Massachusetts to meet friends of AMAA. On Friday evening, we had the pleasure of attending “A Celebration in the Spirit of Giving to Benefit Children in Crisis” in Wellesley, MA. It was a delightful evening to support the AMAA’s work for the children of Armenia. I am most grateful to all of the Committee members who spent numerous hours preparing and orchestrating the terrific affair!

On Saturday afternoon, we met with Rev. Avedis Boynerian, Pastor of the Armenian Memorial Church, in Watertown, MA.

I was graciously invited to offer a few words to the congregation during Sunday’s service. I spoke of the history of the Church and the people who have been faithful servants of the Lord providing leadership to the AMAA over the past century and who have made the AMAA the strong and vibrant organization it is today. I reminded the community that these individuals have been role models to us and we have learned treasures from them.

In my remarks I noted that the Church’s website tells of the two gallant actions which demonstrated the love and compassion the congregation has for our people following in the footsteps of the teachings of our Savior Jesus Christ. The first action was the sizable aid provided to the victims of the Armenia earthquake and the second was the Church’s Emergency Endowment Fund.

I spoke of the pain our nation is in and how much it hurts to realize that darker days are still ahead in the Middle East, before we see the hope of a rainbow. What is happening in Syria today with the death and destruction caused on the ground and from the air is not good news. I asked all to join me in pray to God for peace and to continue our support of our embattled communities until the rainbow of peace rises over the horizon in the Middle East.

After the services, we spent time in fellowship with some of the parishioners. One gentleman introduced himself to us and spoke of why he supports the AMAA. In past years, he and his family have donated significant amounts of money to advance AMAA’s educational programs and services. I told him, as I tell all our donors, our work is carried out in the name of our God but is made possible because of you – His children!

As I continue my service to AMAA, I look forward to many more trips to our churches and to meeting our generous and faithful friends.

May God’s Blessings and Favor remain with all who remember, “… in so much as you did it to the least of my people, you have done it to me.”
 Zaven Khanjian
AMAA Executive Director/CEO
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Little Haig with his mother in front of their house.

The Armenian Children’s Milk Fund (ACMF), is a service of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) and was founded in 1989 by a diverse group of caring individuals in Belmont, Massachusetts. For nearly 25 years, the ACMF has been providing essential care for a healthy start in life to some of Armenia’s most vulnerable citizens. ACMF‘s mission is to provide a life-sustaining nutritional program of vitamin-enhanced formula to infants during their first year of life. ACMF focus is to support the children from families where their mothers are ill, absent or for some reason physically unable to breastfeed. The ACMF also supports children in families where the economic circumstances prevent them from purchasing this crucial food.

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Jeanmarie Papelian (right) visiting with the family of little Haig.

Recently, Jeanmarie Papelian, Chair of the Armenian Children’s Milk Fund and a member of the AMAA Board of Directors was in Armenia visiting with children from families who benefitted by the work ACMF. While there, Jeanmarie met Haig, a 10 month old who lives in the Cilicia district of Yerevan with his parents, grandparents and 6 year old brother Armand. The economic situation for Haig’s family is dismal.   The family lives in a two room house, and all six sleep in the same room. There is no running water in the house. They bring water from a neighbor’s house. There is also no gas to heat the house. They just have a small gas stove and they heat the house in the winter by burning trash, as firewood is expensive. Haig’s father can hardly maintain a seasonal work as a laborer, his grandmother washes dishes at a nearby restaurant.

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Little Haig enjoying his new toy.

Haig’s mother has a chronic illness which can be passed on from a mother to her infants. Two of her babies died shortly after birth because of a result of this illness. When Haig was born, the doctors recommended that he not be breastfeed in the hopes that he would live. The physician directed Haig’s mother to the to AMAA’s Armenian Children’s Milk Fund to receive assistance in getting Haig’s infant formula.

Thanks to the Armenian Children’s Milk Fund, Haig is now a healthy little boy, and is preparing to walk. Support to the ACMF has helped hundreds of babies grow up to be healthy little children. If you are interested in helping the ACMF please click here http://www.amaa.org/milkfund.htm or contact the AMAA at 201.265.2607.

 

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Little Haig with his mother.

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Little Haig with his mother, grandmother and brother Armand.

 

A Call to Save Aleppo from Destruction11Crisis in Syria Worsens

The Christian Community in Syria has the growing fear of being targeted.”  Rev. Haroutune Selimian, President -Armenian Community of Syria

“This is a moment filled with awe and fear! Thus we move to announce a state of emergency in order to preserve what remains of the Christian presence in the east and circumvent its demise.” Supreme Council -Evangelical Churches in Syria and Lebanon
A Call to Save Aleppo from Destruction5

MESSAGE FROM THE AMAA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/CEO

In the comfort of our daily lives, it is hard to realize the dangers our kin are facing in Syria. The danger though, is real, imminent and extremely serious.

The above quotes are not picked from history books. They are taken from two very recent appeals received from the Near East that describes the current grave situation on the ground.

A century ago, under the blanket of darkness, a nation was murdered, while the world plunged into dead silence and total inaction. Today, with technology on hand, we witness the crime, hear the cries and relive the Genocide.

Can we allow a deja vu?

A Call to save Aleppo

Armenian Apostolic, Catholic and Evangelical Church leaders visit a damaged and destroyed Armenian neighborhood in the Nor Kyugh area.

We might not be able to change the course of history. But then again, history teaches us that we just might.

In a hymn written in 1774, William Copter said “God works in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform.”

Let us reach out, inject hope and anchor the will of the people to survive and sustain. You and I might just be called to perform His wonders.

Thank you for contributing to the AMAA Syria Relief Fund.

Zaven Khanjian AMAA Executive Director/CEO

 

Visit AMAA’s website www.amaa.org for further information and to make your donation today.

 

On a beautiful morning in Yerevan, the doors to ???????????????????????????????the new Khoren and Shooshanig Avedisian School of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) opened to welcome a large crowd of excited teachers, students, parents and friends.

Built for the Future

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With the love and generosity of the Avedisian and Bilezikian families, and many other generous donors, the AMAA was able to construct this state-of-the art campus to house preschool through twelfth grade. The building, is the first LEED certified building in Armenia, setting the standard for all countries in the region. Focusing on another exciting project, the AMAA has collaborated with the Armenia Tree Project (ATP) for work on the School’s green roof gardens, which will not only provide insulation and lower heating and cooling costs but will be an educational feature in itself.

IMG_7996In addition to continuing offering first-class education for children from the economically disadvantaged neighborhood of Malatya-Sebastia, the campus will serve as a Community Center where civic groups can meet, athletic teams can practice and courses will be offered for adults to develop employment skills. In time, colleges and universities will be invited to offer courses for credit during the summer.

Join Our CauseIMG_8208

The Avedisian family pledged $5 million dollars towards this project. Please help the AMAA reach its goal of matching the Avedisian family’s pledge.
Make your tax-deductible gift online today!
  Visit AMAA’s website www.amaa.org for further information and to make your donation today.
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