MARSEILLES–November 8 will remain an unforgettable day for the Armenian community of Marseilles–France. The opening of the Hamazkayin Jemaran School complex took place at 6:00 PM–with the official ribbon-cutting ceremony by Marseilles’ mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin–who also serves as vice-president of the French Senate. A large crowd gathered for the occasion and marched into the new building to tour the complex.
Addressing the gathering were Hamazkayin Jemaran’school board chairman Sarhad Kilindjian–ARF Western Europe Central Committee Representative Mourad Papazian–Jemaran graduate Anais Derderian–Hamazkayin Central Committee Chairman Megerdich Megerdichian–the regional president of Provence Alpes Cote d ‘Azur–a representative of France’s Foreign Ministry–French Senate member Jean-Nol Gurini representing des Bouches-du-Rhne–and Senate Vice President Gaudin.
Representing a broad spectrum of politics–all representatives of the various political parties pledged to block Turkey’s entrance to the European Union if the country fails to recognize the Armenian genocide.
Another momentous occasion awaited the school the following morning on November 10–when the Marseilles state commission forwarded a total of 1 million Euros for construction costs–which it had pledged to the school earlier; the regional commission pledged 300,000 Euros to also go toward construction expenses.
The 7,000 square meter lot that the new buildings are situated on–was a donation from the Marseilles city hall.
Under the auspices of the Antelias and Etchmiadzin Catholicosates–an additional 1.3 million Euros has so far been raised through a public fund drive.