By Aram Yelahyan
May be the reason was in the ancestral roots that Albert Sharuryan chose the sphere of the Western Armenian literature and did his best to serve it during his literary activity lasting half a century. His parents were orphans who immigrated in 1915 from the villages Narek and Paykhner that were situated on the southern bank of the lake Van – famous for Narek Moanstery where was the tomb of St. Grigor Naregatsi and his prayer-place situated in the cave of the mountain. May be he has inherited the kindness and decency from those saint places. Sharuryan was one of those persons in who’s the genuine scientist and decency are joined: unfortunately, such couplings are rare nowadays.
Albert Sharuryan was born in the year of 1931…
Albert S, Sharuryan would have been 81 on the 10 of March.
The Scientist and Intellectual
The name Albert was chosen by his father, who thought that the name in armenian means red fortress. The son was hardly ten years old when together with his studies at school he started to help his father in transporting the materials and selling wooden things in order to earn the daily bread for the family. The years of the Second World War were especially hard when the care of the family was on his shoulders because his father was in the battlefield. From those times Sharuryan remembers the tragedy when a boy of his age trying to run away with the stolen piece of bread in his hand had fallen under the wheels of the tram.
During the years at school Albert Sharutyan already chose his specialty and in 1949 goes to the philological faculty at the Yerevan State University. The years at the university as it was typical for the people of his generation passed in self-sacrifice work and sometimes he and his friends wounded their fingers and put some salt on the wounds in order to stay awake and study the whole night.
The first years after his study was devoted to the reporter’s work and from 1962 till his death Sharuryan turned to literary activity and teaching sphere taking the position of professor at the Yereva State University since 1976.
The literary heritage of Albert Sharuryan are all-embracing and valuable: he is the author of a wide range of books and textological works:
Srbuhi Tyusab: ”Srbuhi Tyusab: her life and literary activity”
Petros Duryan: ”Petros Duryan: his life and literary activity”, ”The Nightingle of Skyutar”, ”The Life and Literary Activity of Petros Duryan”, ”The collection of works in two volumes”, ”Petros Duryan. Collection’, ”Petros Duryan in the Documents and Memoirs of the Contemporaries”. (Sharuryan has also taken a practical participation in giving an accurate information for the creation of Duryan’s portrait – about his life, literary activity, surrounding, clothes and hairdressing. Together with Andranik Chagharyan he participated in reconstruction of Duryan’s face and bust, edited the work on it).
Misak Metsarents: ”Misak Metsarents”, ”The full collection of works by Misak Metsarents”, ”Misak Metsarents and Daniel Varuzhan in the Memoirs of the Contemprtories”.
Daniel Varuzhan: ”Daniel Varuzhan: the chronology of his life and works”, ”The full collection of Varuzhan’s works in three volumes”.
Grigor Zohrap was Albert Sharuryan’s last shelter in his literay activity.
In 1996 Sharuryan published the scientific and investigative huge work entitled ”The Chronology of Grigor Zohrap’s Life and Literary Activity” due to encouragement of Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin I.
His Holiness was acquainted with the works by Sharuryan from the Catholicosate of Antelias and in 1995 in Echmiadzin he got to know him personally. Sharuryan told about such a dialogue which had taken place during their first meeting in the Veharan. His Holiness had asked him if he had visited the Mother Cathedral that day and getting an affirmative answer went on asking if he had prayed. Sharuryan had replied: ”Your Holiness, I don’t know how to pray but I asked God first of all to guide my children and grandchildren in their hardships, then to help those who are in need, and then at the very end if he wishes to assist me”. ”That is the utmost right prayer”,- was the reply of the Catholicos of blessed memory. The great bibliophile highly appreciates Sharuryan as specialist and intellectual..
The publishing house of Holy Echmiadzin also published ”Grigor Zohrap, Pages from the Diary of a Traveler”.
In 1994 Albert Sharuryan’s monographic work entitled ”From the Pages of Grigor Zohrap’s Life and Literary Heritage” received Hamazkayin Award and was published in Beirut.
In 2001-2004 was published the Full Collection of Grigor Zohrap’s Works. This book was highly evaluated. The six volumes of about 3500 was a great performance in the armenian literary world, where one can discover another Zohrap – the national promoter and statesman, publicist, intellectual, a husband, honest man and unselfish friend. in a word we see the whole face and merit of Grigor Zohrap in these pages.
The next and the last work by Sharuryan was “Grigor Zohrap in the Memoirs and Statements of the Contemporaries” published in 2006.
Albert Sharuryan is also the author of other works and translations and more than 200 articles which have been published in the scientific and literary periodicals of Armenia and abroad.
He was cooperating with all national, cultural and spiritual establishments all over the world, and Matenadaran and National Library can really be considered as his second home.
The Luminous Man from Yerevan
This is the title of the article about Sharuryan printed by reporter and publicist Sergey Bablumyan in his book entitled ”Far and near”. There he writes: ”The beginning of the 90-s of the last century Yerevan was noticeable also for one thing, that, it was easy to get acquainted with the professors in the queues for bread where everybody was equal but not alike each other. The extraordinary personality and decency of Sharuryan was expressed even here, in this limited area for the daily bread. And while he appears as if out of nowhere and unexpectedly rose the atmosphere of mutual compromise and understanding. At first I thought that the reason was only in the fact that Sharuryan was known in that block of houses: at the crossroad of the streets Hanrapetutyan and Toumanyan where he had lived for decades – everybody really knew him. But it turned out that even when trying to get a piece of bread sometimes we are over-passing the notions of blocks and the territory prescribed to each of us in the queues… May be the reason is that decency is everlasting … and for life”.
Sharuryan had no special demands for his own benefit and lived in modest conditions. He had his own system of evaluation and was indifferent for taking offices and special positions. Instead of it he was illuminating the lives of people surrounding him by invisible rays coming from his inner world and thus he was fixed in their memories. Sharuryan was one of those rare intellectuals whose lectures were attended by the students of other specialties as well as from other universities as they were getting not only scientific information but also cordiality and love. … The author of those lines had also the luck to be one of his students.
By some providence during his lifetime Sharuryan in the status of a friend, schoolmate, or collegue was in touch with many people well – known to all us who had left and are still leaving their traces in the national, culture and scientific life, are participating in writing of the contemporary history. And I think there is no need to innumerate their names here but I am sure that Albert Sharuryan has given a part, let it be a small part from his illumination to those people due to which their deeds have become kinder or at least less evil.
Sharuryan was a happy man. He was thankful to God for having a good family and beloved work. “A human needs these two things to be happy”,- he used to say. The only thing which he wished and could never realize was to see all his grandchildren together which were impossible as his elder daughter lived far abroad.
Later after his death this wish was fulfilled in an artificial way: when looking closely at the family photo one can notice that the photo of the elder granddaughter is installed.
Albert Sharuyan died on 22 of January in 2007 at one of the hospitals in Yerevan after undergoing surgery. His life was protracted for four days with the help of medical equipment. The doctors were amazed. ”He too much wants to live”, – had said one of them. Yes, he too much wanted to live but he was not afraid of death: he had spoken about it. By staying alive he only wanted to make possible the already scheduled visit of his son to elder daughter.
May be one day Albert Sharuryan’s the only unfulfiled dream will become true in a natural way also, and when one beautiful day all his grandchildren will manage to gather togather – he will surely visit them from Heaven.