HOLLYWOOD–A banquet organized by the ARF Central Committee of the Western USA was held Saturday April 7 at Kavar Restaurant in Hollywood in support of the establishment of the House of Lebanon.
The House of Lebanon will help preserve and perpetuate Lebanese heritage–develop an understanding of Lebanese ancestry and culture–and strengthen ties between the Lebanese community and American society. Members of the Lebanese community–with the support of the Consulate General of Lebanon–have established the Lebanese American Foundation–a California non-profit organization dedicated to the establishment and operation of the House of Lebanon.
Master of ceremonies Avedis Ispendjian introduced Prelate Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian–Lebanese Consul General Dr. Jean Makaron–Chairman of the Lebanese American Foundation Dr. Hanna Shammas–and ARF Central Committee representative Viken Yacoubian. Ispendjian spoke in Arabic of the bond that the Armenian people feel with Lebanon–and touched upon the contributions Armenia’s have made toward the development of the country. He appreciated all who contributed to the project–and thanked Raffi Kradjian for sponsoring the banquet–and Minas Markarian of Saharex Inc. who provided refreshmen’s for the evening.
During his remarks–ARF Central Committee representative Viken Yacoubian praised Lebanon for being a safe haven for Armenia’s. He mentioned how his own grandparents had sought refuge in Lebanon after narrowly escaping the massacres of the Armenian Genocide. Yacoubian also appreciated the fact that the Armenia’s were invited to participate in the House of Lebanon project–which will serve as a symbolic center for all since Lebanon became a homeland for many Armenia’s. Yacoubian spoke of the ARF’s diligent activities in Lebanon and pledged support on behalf of the party and the Armenian community toward the House of Lebanon project.
Prelate Bishop Moushegh Mardirossian also expressed his appreciation for Lebanon. He took pride in the $20,000 that was raised by the community for the House of Lebanon project. Lebanese Consul General Dr. Jean Makaron said the center will be home to all Lebanese. So far–$250,000 has been raised for the project–and a special committee has been set up to deal with this fund. The consul thanked the ARF and the Armenian community for the banquet–and the generous contributions that have been made.
Member of the Board of Directors–attorney Jihad Chammas–addressed the attendees in Armenian–thanking them for sharing this dream of establishing the House.