“ZHAMANAK” NEWSPAPER'S 100TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION AT THE MOTHER SEE OF HOLY ETCHMIADZIN

On June 28th,, the 100th anniversary celebration of Istanbul’s “Zhamanak” newspaper took place in the Events Hall of the Gevorkian Theological Seminary of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, presided over by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. Present at the celebration were Vigen Sargsyan, the President of the Republic of Armenia’s chief of staff, Hasmik Poghosyan, the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Armenia, members of the Brotherhood of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, prominent figures from the fields of education and culture, and faculty and students of the Gevorkian Theological Seminary. The greetings and opening remarks were given by Father Asoghik Karapetyan, Director of the Archives and Museums of the Mother See, who expressed his appreciation for the path followed by “Zhamanak” newspaper during the 100 years of its existence so far, emphasizing its positive influence on the national, spiritual and cultural life of Istanbul’s Armenians. Speeches were also made by Hovig Eordekian, Acting Representative Director of the AGBU in Armenia, and the Reverend Father Shahe Ananyan, Director of the Publications and Official Press Departments of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, who shared their personal reflections on the foundation and century-long activities of “Zhamanak” newspaper, underlining the profound importance of the newspaper’s place and role in the worldwide Armenian press. Following this, a selection of works from some of “Zhamanak”’s best publications and authors (Zabel Esaian, Vahan Tekeyan, Zahrad) were read by the Honored Artist of the Republic of Armenia Davit Hakobyan. After the readings, the Cathedral Choir performed works by Armenian and Western European composers, which they dedicated to “Zhamanak” newspaper. Hasmik Poghosyan, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Armenia; reflected on the ambitious path followed by “Zhamanak” newspaper, and its important mission in Istanbul Armenian life, gratefully remembering all those who helped in the creation, establishment and development of the newspaper. The Minister extended her warmest congratulations to the editorial team on the occasion of the anniversary, expressing the wish that the second century of the newspaper’s life be as successful as the first. The Editor-in-Chief of “Zhamanak” newspaper, Ara Kochunian, spoke heartfelt words on the occasion of the celebration. Mr Kochunian, reflecting with satisfaction on the events that have taken place commemorating the 100th anniversary of “Zhamanak” newspaper in Istanbul and Armenia, thanked all the individuals and organizations who helped with the celebrations, considering it a great honor that the festivities were being concluded under the auspices of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, with the blessing and in the presence of the Catholicos of All Armenians. In his speech, Mr Kochunian, describing the mission of the newspaper, stated that together with the political, community and cultural events of Armenian life, it has also reported extensively on the activities of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, always keeping in mind the spiritual and nation-preserving role of the Armenian Church. Expressing his thanks to the Catholicos of All Armenians for the warmth he has shown towards the newspaper in recent years, the Editor-in-Chief presented to the Mother See a bust of the newspaper’s founder, Mr. Misak Kochunian, which had been made in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the publication. At the end of the celebration, Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, conveyed his appreciation and blessing to all those present. “Today we are gathered together to celebrate an important event in the cultural history of our nation. This is the 100th anniversary of “Zhamanak” newspaper, which has for so many years formed an indispensible part of Armenian reality, published in our native language to strengthen and support Armenian national life in Istanbul and its environs. From the beginning of the 20th century, the pages of the newspaper have given voice to the events of our history, both tragic and joyful, as well as all kinds of cultural and national-ecclesiastical issues. Even during the years of the Armenian Genocide, “Zhamanak” newspaper did not cease its activity, but instead continued to speak the truth and to express its condemnation of the periodic outbreaks of robbery and slaughter of Armenians and the organized persecution of cultural and national minorities taking place within the Ottoman Empire. With the moral and intellectual support of Yervant Odian, Krikor Zohrab, Vahan Tekeyan, Teotig, Hovhannes Tumanyan, Arshak Chobanian and other great figures in the nation’s cultural and social life, even in the Armenian people’s darkest days, the editors of the newspaper, as they themselves put it, “did not just cry, but cried and kept on walking”. “Zhamanak” newspaper to this day continues to reflect within its pages the important events taking place in Armenian national life, both in Armenia and the Diaspora, never betraying the vision of its founders, shaping and preserving national culture even in its most fatal and desperate moments. “Zhamanak” newspaper can be said to be the heir to the centuries-long tradition of the Armenian press, which has given Armenians throughout the world the opportunity to partake of their national language and culture; throughout the years of its existence, always remaining faithful to the spirit of our nation, it has brought new life and impetus to the Armenian cultural traditions that have come to us from the depths of time. On the occasion of this anniversary, we cannot fail to note that the newspaper and its editorial staff continue unswerving along the national-ecclesiastical path they have followed for more than a century now. In the new sociopolitical conditions of the modern world, “Zhamanak” newspaper continues, in the spirit of Armenian journalism, to keep our Diaspora Armenians informed of important events, issues and questions in the life of their nation and their church. This is an opportune moment to look through the lens of 100 years of history and gain a proper appreciation of the noble tradition within Diaspora Armenian journalism created and continued by “Zhamanak” newspaper. We would also like to take the opportunity on the occasion of this anniversary to convey our Pontifical blessings and wishes to all the staff of the newspaper, raising up our prayers to God from the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, spiritual centre of the whole Armenian nation, for the souls of all those noble Armenians who helped in the creation and establishment of the newspaper, who built up and passed on to the present generation the honest and just reputation of the Armenian journalist and commentator. We also extend our Pontifical love and thanks to all those Armenian thinkers who, with the fruit of their mind and spirit, within the pages of the periodicals of the Diaspora, and “Zhamanak” newspaper in particular, continue even now to pass on to new generations the historical lessons and morals provided by Armenian national, church and social life,” said His Holiness. The ceremony was concluded with prayer and a hymn of Pontifical blessing. On June 29th, at the end of Divine Liturgy in the Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, presided over a requiem service for the souls of the founders of “Zhamanak” newspaper and of all those who helped in the 100 years of its activity, asking that their souls may rest in peace.

 

 
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