ARF Leader Khajag Der Grigorian Passes Away

YEREVAN (ARF Press Service)–Armenian Revolutionary Federation leader–devoted intellect and community activist Khajag Der Grigorian passed away Tuesday–after a long illness–at his home in the town of Massis on the foothills of his beloved Mount Ararat. He was 60.

He devoted his entire life to serving the Armenian Cause–and selflessly committed himself to any responsibility placed on his shoulders–becoming an example of a true ARF member by fostering discipline and the humble characteristics of a leader.

Der Grigorian became a force in the sacred task of educating future generations on the ideals of the ARF as the director of the Armenian Studies chair at the University of Isfahan in central Iran–or as an educator for the ARF youth organizations. Through his countless articles and writings–Der Grigorian commanded respect toward the goals and aspirations of the ARF–as an intellectual and a leader.

Der Grigorian was born on March 21–1941 is Rasht–Iran. In 1948 he and his family relocated to Tehran–where Der Grigorian attended the Koushesh Davtian school. He received a degree in Armenian history from the State University at Isfahan–following which he studied in Germany and France–graduating with a doctorate in history from the renowned Sorbonne University in Paris.

In 1971–he was called back to Isfahan to teach at the university–where in 1972 he assumed the position of director of the Armenian Studies chair. He continued to lead the important program at Isfahan University until 1986.

Der Grigorian joined the ran’s of the ARF in 1959–quickly becoming an activist and organizing student movemen’s within universities in Iran. He was an active participant in editorial activities of the Alik daily newspaper in Tehran.

While a student in Germany and France–Der Grigorian was influential in establishment of Armenian Student Organization of Europe and was a member of the ARF Central Committee of Western Europe.

After his return to Iran–he served on the ARF Central Committee of Southern Iran–while simultaneously serving as director and organizer of ARF youth organizations in Iran.

In 1981–at the ARF 22nd World Congress held in France–Der Grigorian was elected on the ARF Bureau. From 1984 to 1985 he was sent to France to oversee the launch of the Gamk newspaper in Paris.

He was reelected to the Bureau at the 23rd ARF World Congress held in Athens in 1985–but was unable to complete his four-year term–since he was arrested and jailed by Iranian officials due to political reasons. After being released in 1989–he went to Athens–where he worked as the director of the ARF Bureau office and closely participated in the editorial activities of Droshak–the official publication of the ARF Bureau.

In 1990 he was dispatched to Armenia–where he served as the director of the ARF Bureau offices and helped in organizing the return of the ARF to Armenia. He became one of the founders of Azadamard newspaper–the official publication of the ARF Bureau in Armenia and oversaw the activities of the Mikael Varandian publishing house in Yerevan.

In 1993–Der Grigorian was appointed as the chairman of the ARF Central Committee of Armenia–and in 1994 he was reelected on the body after the fourth ARF Convention in Armenia. He served on that body until December 28–1994–when then president Levon Ter-Petrosyan banned the activities of the ARF and subsequently expelled Der Grigorian from Armenia.

From 1994 to 1998–Der Grigorian relocated to Tehran–where he continued his research and ARF activities at the Alik newspaper.

It was at this time that Der Grigorian’s health began to suffer and despite efforts to seek medical attention in various countries–including the United States–his health continued to fail–to a point that he had pulled back from public life and retreated–focusing his attention to writing and research.

Despite the physical debilitation his illness cause–he continued to serve as an articulate and vocal advocate of national issues and ARF ideology. Along with his wife Maro–he completed and submitted for publication a book about his revered ARF hero Honan Davtian–one of the founding members of the ARF.

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