GLENDALE–Community members gathered at the Glendale Adult Recreation Center on May 1 to discuss “The State of Javakhk During the First Republic of Armenia” with distinguished guest speaker, Professor Ashot Melkonyan, organized by the ARS Javakhk Fund Committee.
ARS Javakhk Fund Committee Member Talar Kossakian welcomed guests, which included Honorary Consul of Armenia to Las Vegas, Andy Armenian; Armenian Relief Society Central Executive Vice-Chairperson Nyree Derderian; Armenian Revolutionary Federation representatives; ARS Regional Executive and chapter members, as well as guests. Kossakian highlighted the many accomplishments of Professor Melkonyan, including over fifteen books he has authored, countless medals and awards earned and received, and his endless commitment to sharing Armenian history.
ARS Javakhk Fund Committee Chairperson Lena Bozoyan addressed the audience and encouraged Diasporans to visit both Armenia and Javakhk. She stressed the importance of helping Javakhk and continuing to strengthen Diasporan connections with the homeland. Ninth grade students of Rose & Alex Pilibos Armenian School then presented the audience with an Armenian recitation of Baruyr Sevag’s “We Are Few but We Are Called Armenians,” followed by a trio of students, who sang “Trchei Mtqov Tun.”
Professor Melkonyan shared his vast knowledge of Armenia, Javakhk, and the history of the First Republic of Armenia with the audience. Born in Akhalkalak, Melkonyan first stated that he could have never imagined this many people being aware about Javakhk. He also pointed out that he did not expect the people of Javakhk of being aware of their own history as it was forbidden to discuss during the rule of the Soviet Union.
Melkonyan continued to discuss the various battles that took place in Javakhk and on historical lands, which ultimately lead to the borders observed today. He shared biographies of historic Armenians from Javakhk, who have shaped the First Republic of Armenia and the nation today, including natives of Javakhk Hovhannes Kajaznuni, Ruben Ter-Minassian, Ruben Darpinyan, and Hamo Ohanjanyan.
The event concluded with a discussion of the history of Javakhk, as well as the current state of Armenia.