Hratch Dasnabedian Laid to Rest At ARF Pantheon

BEIRUT–The Armenian community of Lebanon gathered in huge numbers on Wednesday–March 21 to pay their last respects to prominent ARF intellectual Hratch Dasnabedian–who passed away on Friday–March 16. Dasnabedian was the longtime principal of Hamazkayin’s Djemaran’schools–and was a member of the ARF Bureau for years.

The national funeral held under the auspices of the Great House of Cilicia–was attended by hundreds of community members. The Bourj-Hammoud market was closed for the day–since many of its residents congregated on the main road of Bourj-Hammoud. The casket left the Jeytowi Hospital and was transferred to Bourj-Hammoud’s bridge–where the Armenia’s had assembled. Priests and community leaders had gathered at the entrance to Bourj-Hammoud upon the arrival of the casket. A procession–led by Djemaran’students–Homenetmen members–clergy–and Prelate Bishop Kegham Khacherian–made its way to the Zankou intersection. The casket–accompanied by a motorcade–was then transferred to the main cathedral at Antelias–where a memorial service was held at 2:30 p.m.

Attending the funeral were His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia–Lebanese Youth and Sport Minister Sebouh Hovnanian–deputies George Kasarji–Jean Oghasabian–Yeghia Jerejian–Hagop Kasarjian–and Serge Toorsarkisian–Lebanese Diocese Prelate Bishop Kegham Khacherian–Bishop Vartan Ashkarian–Bishop A. Bedoghlian–Reverend M. Karaguezian–ARF Bureau representative Hrand Margarian–ARF Bureau member Yervant Pamboukian–a delegation from the ARF Central Committee of Lebanon–and representatives of the Hunchagian and Ramgavar parties.

A eulogy was presented by Bishop Kegham Khacherian–highlighting Dasnabedian’s contributions to the intellectual–political–and public life of Armenia’s. After condolences were conveyed to Dasnabedian’s family–the ARF Bureau–the ARF Central Committee of Lebanon–and the Central Executive of Hamazkayin–a procession marched to the National Cemetery located in Bourj-Hammoud where orations and eulogies were read.

Dikran Jinbashian–who spoke on behalf of Hamazkayin’s Djemaran’schools–praised Hratch Dasnabedian for his dedication to the educational institution. Speaking on behalf of the Central Committee of Lebanon was Shahan Kandaharian–who mentioned the valuable contributions made by Dasnabedian in terms of recording the history of the ARF–and transmitting the accomplishmen’s and goals of the party to the Armenian people.

ARF Bureau member Yervant Pamboukian described Hratch Dasnabedian as "a high-profile individual–an exemplary Armenian–a model ARF member–who was able to combine these qualities into one entity." Pamboukian also credited Dasnabedian for his major role in the development of Hamazkayin’s Djemaran’schools–especially during the Lebanese Civil War. His determination to overcome dangers and hardships was an example for others to follow.

Pamboukian also took account of Dasnabedian’s efforts toward the restructuring of Diaspora communities–and his role in raising more awareness of the Armenian Cause. He concluded by saying Hratch Dasnabedian’s dream of an independent–free–and united Armenia will be realized by future ARF members.

Hratch Dasnabedian was put to rest at the ARF Pantheon–while his fellow ARF members sang "Verkerov Li." Djemaran’students marched around the Pantheon–and placed red roses on their beloved principal’s tomb–just before singing the schools’ anthem.

ARF Bureau member Albert Ajemian and members of the ARF Executive Council of Armenia received condolences at the Yerevan office of the Executive Council. Representatives of various Armenian political parties paid their condolences either in person or by telegraph. Visits and condolences were also made by members of Parliament and Armenia’s ambassadors to Iran and Syria.

Telegraphs were sent by the ARF Central Committees of Canada and the Western Region of the US.

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