BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN
Perhaps what defined Hacob Shirvanian’s unwavering commitment to the Armenian Cause was his father, Vagharshsk’s prominent role in the defense of Van-Vasbouragan during the Armenian Genocide. That history and the knowledge that persistence and resolve will lead to perseverance made Hacob a true national hero.
Hacob Shirvanian passed away on Thursday, leaving behind a legacy of activism, benevolence and courage. More important, however, was his zealous patriotism, which propelled him to become such a staunch believer in justice for the Armenian people and an advocate for advancing the new generations of Armenians who would carry the torch to further the aspiration of our Nation.
Few years ago, Hacob said that his only wish was for the youth in Armenia to prosper and flourish so our homeland can be strong and filled with brightness and innovation. This was immediately before he announced a generous donation, as a result of which today hundreds of young people in Gyumri call the Shirvanian Youth Center a home away from home and, on a daily basis, are engaged in preserving our culture, heritage, language and our country’s future.
Hacob’s passing truly leaves a void in our community because he touched so many individuals through his drive for advancement, his uncanny ability to elevate those around him and his infectious personality, which made it a delight to be around him.
His imprint on countless Armenian organizations, schools and cultural centers have made it possible for generations to advance and become resilient fighters of a cause, which Hacob believed was just and justified.
Hacob was also a staunch reader and supporter of Asbarez. Every time I would see Hacob he would always bring up an article or a commentary that he had read in the paper. The discussions that would often ensue would always be grounded in our shared conviction of strengthening our homeland and our nation. I welcomed his criticism, because I knew it came from his desire for others to always strive to do better and I became better person—a better editor—for it.
Last December, Hacob lost his soul mate and inspiration—his rock—his wonderful wife, Mina, herself an advocate, activist and a revolutionary. Together, they inspired and humbled us. Now Hacob has joined his beloved Mina, and together they can rest in peace, leaving us to advance their individual and collective legacies.
On behalf of all of us at Asbarez, we offer our most heartfelt condolences to the Shirvanian family.