LOMITA, Calif.—South Bay Armenians gathered at the local Armenian center earlier this month for a breakfast fundraiser benefiting the Armenian community of Syria. Organized by the local ARF, AYF and ARS chapters and in partnership with the Syrian Armenian Relief Fund, the event attracted more than a hundred twenty guests who contributed generously.
The SARF Executive Committee Chair, Mr. Zaven Khanjian offered a thorough report on fundraising. “The dire situation of Armenians in Syria is troubling for Armenians everywhere,” said Khanjian. “The SARF, in partnership with community organizations throughout the region, is working round the clock to assist our brothers and sisters in Syria. All raised funds exclusively benefit Syrian Armenians.”
South Bay AYF member Joseph Kaskanian addressed attendees drawing a parallel between William Saroyan’s famous quote about Armenians and the Armenian community of Syria. “Our ancestors rebuilt our historic churches and created new places to pray. They constructed new homes and rebuilt their families. They built new schools and preserved our language and literature. They founded Armenian centers and protected our culture,” said Kaskanian. “They laughed, sang and prayed again. They were able to create a new Armenia in Syria and now it is our responsibility to assure its stability and longevity.”
A video presentation aimed to give a visual report of situation on the ground and showed collapsed buildings, injured Armenians and the extensive damage the Syrian Armenian community is trying to cope with.
“In an environment filled with high hopes for the well-being of Syrian Armenians, the community of South Bay came together to help the efforts of the Syrian Armenian Relief Fund,” said Kaskanian. “We will continue our efforts and remain committed to the well-being of our brothers and sisters in Syria.”