By Zaven Khanjian
Nerses is a Syrian Armenian professional. An ardent one indeed. A graduate of Syrian universities, Nerses had a prosperous dental practice in Aleppo before the Syrian crisis erupted in 2011. Set in the devastated and hard hit Armenian neighborhood of Nor Kiugh, his practice has been severely curtailed. Nerses is also an activist. An avid member of the community dedicated to the service of his people, faithful to his identity and roots and loyal to our national aspiration of truth and justice.
Nerses is set to perpetuate the heroic and historic presence of the Armenian community in Syria, contribute to its rich and resourceful legacy and live in peace and harmony with the indigenous Syrian Arab neighbors whose fathers graciously embraced the survivors of the Genocide; instilled hope to live, opportunity to prosper and freedom to worship.
Nerses and the Syrian Armenian Community continue to suffer as the Syrian conflict continues to spill blood, sow destruction, harvest lives and destroy communities.
Hagop too is a professional dentist and a graduate of Syrian universities. At the outset of the Syrian bloody conflict, he took refuge in a place, Diaspora Armenians have always aspired and dreamt to move to and settle in; the homeland Armenia. Hagop and his young family are eager to anchor in the homeland, settle there and extend roots in the land of their forefathers. Hagop practices his profession in a medical facility owned funded and operated by the Armenian Missionary Association of America – AMAA, that serves the hygienic needs of the impoverished and fellow Syrian Armenian refugees in the homeland.
Hagop is set to anchor in Armenia, despite its economic woes and scarcity of opportunities. He is industrious, creative, spirited and productive. Hagop needs and deserves all the help to own a bird’s nest that he can call home in the homeland.
In the absence of a national strategy to invest the immense potential of the Syrian Armenian refugees in the homeland, we are joyfully burdened to take charge and do our very best to sustain Nerses and Hagop in Syria proper and/or Armenia and diminish the national bleeding caused by the dismemberment of the suffering Syrian masses in the melting pots of the West or the dark and unknown wilderness of the world.
A few might be tired of hearing our continuous appeals and pleas to help, support and sustain the Syrian Armenians both in Syria and the homeland. They might call it a broken record, an unimportant calamity far from a national priority and turn their heads away. But I know my people and have experienced their love, care and compassion, generosity, graciousness and following the example of our Lord, Jesus Christ, their gallant spirit to lift.
This February 21st, the Syrian Armenian Relief Fund – SARF, is set to have a fund raising Telethon to “Save a Life”. A noble cause indeed, which deserves our unwavered support and participation. Whether your support is demonstrated thru a generous gift to the ‘SYRIA RELIEF’ Fund of the Armenian Missionary Association of America – AMAA (Tel. 201.265.2607 – website www.amaa.org), or thru the Syrian Armenian Relief Fund – SARF’s February 21st Telethon (Tel. 866.888.SARF – website www.SARFtelethon.org),, let us collectively BREAK RECORDS in GIVING and silence the blues of Broken Records.
Let us contribute to “SAVE A LIFE.”
The life of the Mother Armenian Diaspora Community!
Zaven Khanjian is the Executive Director Zavan Khanjian Armenian Missionary Association of America