“Nothing compares to the thrill of giving and seeing its results, and I wish everyone can experience it,” Hacop Baghdassarian had stated in a 2017 interview.
The late benefactor’s simple yet profound notion of giving became a palpable reality once more on July 16, when Armenia Fund USA inaugurated the newly-built multifunctional community center of Krasni, a village in Artsakh’s Askeran Region. The last project to be sponsored by Baghdassarian prior to his death in 2017, the construction of the community center was completed this month with the generous support of his widow, Mrs. Hilda Baghdassarian, and her sons, Gevik and Peter. The new facility is named after Hacop and Hilda Baghdassarian.
“One of the pillars of Armenia Fund USA, Hacop Baghdassarian was always guided by a singular vision of enabling communities in the homeland to fulfill their potential, to reach for greatness,” said Maria Mehranian, President of the U.S.-based Armenia Fund. “Baghdassarian was also a benefactor in the truest sense,” Mehranian continued. “He was as modest as he was tireless in his dedication — a deeply inspiring guardian angel who dreamed of bettering the lives of his compatriots and gave generously for the realization of his dreams. Today, Hacop Baghdassarian’s legacy of altruism is being carried on by his gracious family, through their support of wonderful projects such as the community center of Krasni.”
The unveiling of the community center in Krasni was marked by a jubilant atmosphere, equally in celebration of Hacop Baghdassarian’s philanthropic work and the ongoing socio-economic development of the village. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was led by Mrs. Hilda Baghdassarian and her son, Peter. Attending the event were a large number of local residents, community leaders, and elected officials, among them Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan; Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan, Primate of the Artsakh Diocese; and Ashot Ghoulyan, Chairman of the Artsakh National Assembly.
In his remarks during the ceremony, Gevik Baghdassarian said, “My father always told my brother and me that he considered it his duty to help support the development of Artsakh. And now that I’ve come to see Artsakh with my own eyes, I know that rather than speaking about the recovery of our homeland, we must now speak about its growth and prosperity.”
As a special recognition, the Krasni Village Council awarded the Baghdassarian family with the title of Honorary Citizens of Krasni.
A bright, spacious, and state-of-the-art facility, the newly-constructed Hacop and Hilda Baghdassarian community center houses municipal and administrative offices, a medical clinic, a multi-purpose event hall, a library, and a computing center. The building features a complement of modern amenities and comforts, including central heating and air-conditioning.
Prior to the construction of the community center, Krasni’s municipality had to make do with a woefully inadequate, dilapidated structure, and the medical clinic of the village operated out of a small, cramped space inside the community school.
Like scores of other multifunctional community centers built throughout Armenia and Artsakh, the one built in Krasni is designed to streamline and improve public services, foster more robust civic engagement, and, ultimately, give residents one more compelling reason to continue to live and work in their birthplace.
“To me, even a relatively small-scale project, such as providing the classrooms of a school with new desks, is invaluable, as it brings joy to the faces of students, strengthens their attachment to their school,” Hacop Baghdassarian had said once. “If everybody supports Armenia Fund USA in its quest to improve lives in our homeland, imagine what an enormous difference would be made.”