BY DONIG L. DONABEDIAN
As Homenetmen followers, we know well what’s entailed in producing generation after generation of exemplary citizens. As willing volunteers, we excel in putting our best foot forward to get things done selflessly. Often, we forget to stop, take a breath, and look around us. This year, though, it’s different and it’s special. We can take a step back and admire the organizational big picture. This year’s Navasartian games have been graced by a young couple, Honorary Presidents, whose respectability would compel anyone to stop unwittingly and take notice. Sarkis and Alin Nourian, this year’s Honorary Presidents, shone at the center of Homenetmen’s universe, the Navasartian Games.
Well known for their unbridled support of the Armenian American Community, Sarkis and Alin have been part of this community since early childhood.
Born in Beirut, Lebanon, to Krikor and Jeannette Nourian, Sarkis was the youngest of four siblings, Natalie, Peter and Caroline, with Natalie being the eldest of them all. Sarkis grew up in a very close knit family. His father, himself, an avid Homenetmen Member and Honorary President of the games in 1978, 1980 and 1983 in Beirut Lebanon, has been in the construction business in Beirut, Lebanon, for many decades. Jeannette, his beloved mother, now passed away, was a homemaker and strict disciplinarian. She was, if you will, the school after the school.
Sarkis began his early childhood education in nursery at Mkhitarian, followed by Aksor Kassardjian (’73-’75), where he left after 2nd grade and joined Khanamirian as an elementary school student from 1975 to 1976. Logos English School, British Curriculum, in Cyprus (’76-’86), would be his final stop until he graduated high School, proceeded by his subsequent move to the U.S. in 1987 where he embarked on a career in Jewelry Manufacturing and joined the much vaunted Armenian Jewelers Association in 1997, where today he is its Vice-Chairman.
Before his eventual move to the U.S., Sarkis Nourian’s family life as staunch supporters of the Armenian Community was a common thing. As a result of his family’s fervent involvement in Armenian Organizations, it was a natural fit for Sarkis to be involved from early on. His first involvement in Karekin Njteh’s Badanegan ranks in 1976 propelled him to join the Akhpalian Chapter’s AYF ranks for 10 years, from 1976 to 1985. In the meantime, in Lebanon, Sarkis was a Homenetmen Scout from 1974 to 1982. Once in the U.S., Sarkis joined the Homenetmen South Bay Arakadz Chapter as an Executive Committee Member in 1990, and has been there ever since. It didn’t stop there. His unabashed love for his community transcended all else in those days, and because of that he has been in the ARF’s ranks since 1991 and was even a member of the ANC from 1992-1994. His deep involvement in all matters Armenian drove him to a path that would make his life complete, meeting his future partner in life and soul mate, Alin, whom he met in 1990 and married in 1996.
Alin Baghasarian was born in Beirut, Lebanon, to Hovhanness and Ardemis Baghasarian. Alin moved to the United States with her family in 1974 when she was two years old. She has two older siblings, Hagop and Antranig. They first moved to Hollywood and lived there for five years where Alin went to Alex Pilibos Armenian School until 2nd grade, and eventually ended up moving to Montebello where she went to Mesrobian Armenian School until her graduation from high school in 1989.
In 1995 Alin graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in Accounting and worked for the family’s jewelry manufacturing and retail business which had roots in Beirut, Lebanon.
Much like Sarkis, Alin came from a close knit family as well, with deep Armenian roots and pride in her heritage. Her father was involved in Homenetmen Montebello as an Executive Committee Member and was on the Board of Trustees of Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Church as well as the Mesrobian School’s Support Committee. Alin, being an avid supporter of the Armenian American Community’s causes, was herself a Scout Khoumpabed Leader in Homenetmen Montebello from 1985 to 1988.
After getting married in 1996, both Sarkis and Alin built a wonderful home life together and have three beautiful children. Talar, 13 years of age and twins Rita and Hovig, 8 years of age are the pulses that beat their hearts and their “raison d’etre” in life.
While both work very hard to enjoy their successful and fruitful life, their lives are immeasurably enriched by being surrounded by their children and families. At every chance they get, they travel and delve into hobbies they enjoy. Sarkis particularly likes to hunt, go fishing and ride motorcycles; hobbies he enjoyed while growing up in Lebanon.
Sarkis and Alin Nourian draw their inspiration from their children on whose futures they are completely focused and committed. They intend to pass on their heritage and culture as Armenians and community leaders to their wonderful children in order for them to keep it alive at home as well as in the community.
Both Sarkis and Alin exude compassion, humanity, and responsibility, in demeanor and in action, and find it a priority to support the future generations of Armenian youth. They intend to preserve and nurture their heritage, remaining true to the teachings and values of their families, in order to leave behind a legacy that their children and others may follow.
Homenetmen’s future looks bright as Sarkis and Alin Nourian add a touch of class and ignite our passion for Homenetmen while gracing this year’s Navasartian Games and Victory Banquet as Honorary Presidents. What makes it even brighter is the fact that they are a young and successful couple, and focused on Homenetmen’s traditional path of “making history and not living in it.”
As custom has always dictated, the Homenetmen Western United States Regional Executive Committee hosted its annual Navasartian Victory Banquet on Saturday, June 29th, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium with 750 guests, Homenetmen members and supporters and community leaders present to enjoy the lavish banquet. A very tasteful event, where Sarkis and Alin Nourian, as well as this year’s Exemplary Homenetmenagan, Zareh Ekmekjian, were given awards for their unfettered dedication to Homenetmen over many decades. The banquet’s entertainer, the much loved, Harout Pamboukjian, had saved his best for the beautiful occasion and delivered as expected, keeping the crowd thoroughly entertained until the event’s conclusion.