LOS ANGELES–The Armenian community of Kessab, Syria, celebrated on Sept. 7, the opening of the newly constructed campus of the Ousoumnasirats High School. Presided by Bishop Shahan Sarkissian, Prelate (Aleppo), the opening ceremony was attended by several Syrian elected officials and Armenian community leaders, many of whom delivered remarks, as well as a large number of Kessab residents.
The construction of the new campus was made possible by a $125,000 seed fund collected by Kessabtsis living in Kessab, the Arab Emirates, Canada, and Australia. Presently the Ousoumnasirats High School requires an additional $175,000 for the completion of the project.
According to the Kessab Educational Association (KEA) of Los Angeles, funding for the second phase of the initiative will provide the school with vital facilities and equipment including a library, computer and science labs, and a climate-control system. When it becomes fully operational, Armenian secondary education in Kessab will be assured for the first time since 1939.
Recently the KEA has announced plans to raise much of the second-phase funding. To date the association has already collected $70,000 from Kessabtsis living in the United States, with major contributions by Apo Saghdejian and his daughter, Nayiri, of Fresno ($30,000); the Churukjian brothers: Aram, Misak, and Harutyun, of Los Angeles ($15,000); Mr. and Mrs. Garbis Karamardian of Orange County ($5,000); and others.
The KEA said that soon its fundraising committee will launch a major fund drive across the United States, appealing to not only Kessabtsis but the Armenian-American community as a whole. In the meantime, the fundraising committee is encouraging supporters to send their donations to the following address: Kessab Educational Foundation School Building Fund, P.O. Box 1507, Reseda, California 91335.
The Kessab Educational Association of Los Angeles is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization.