Sarkis Zeitlian Armenian Center Opens in Ainjar

AINJAR–Lebanon–In the observance of the 111th anniversary of Armenian Revolutionary Federation–as well as commemorating Sarkis Zeitlian–Zaven Tashjian and Bedik Injeyan–who died while serving the Armenian Revolutionary Federation–the "Red Mountain" committee organized a ceremony on December 8–2001–during which an Armenian community center was named after veteran ARF leader Sarkis Zeitlian.

The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Youth and Sports of Lebanon Sebouh Hovnanian–ARF Bureau member Yervant Pamboukian–ARF Central Committee representative and Bourdj Hamoud Mayor Antranik Messerlian–Ainjar Mayor Sebouh Sekayan as well as representatives from other Armenian organizations.

On behalf of Red Mountain committee–George Apelian spoke inviting the honored guests as well as the family members to officially unveil the dedication plaque on the building. In his opening remarks–Apelian also paid tribute to the late ARF members–stating that the committee meeting hall of the center was named after Zaven Tashjian–and the AYF room was named after Bedig Injeyan. Apelian added that the ARF Red Mountain Committee–the Lebanese Armenian Youth Federation Shavarsh Missakian chapter–the Haraj youth union and the Hamazkayin Baruyr Sevag chapters will all operate in the Sarkis Zeitlian Armenian Center. "This Center is for those who will contribute to the ARF and Armenian culture," concluded Apelian–who also expressed his gratitude to those who contributed to the Center.

Yeprem Dukmejian presented Bedik Injeyan’s biography. Injeyan was born in 1950 and was a devoted ARF and Homenetmen member throughout his life. Injeyan died in 1976 while working for the Armenian cause.

Hakop Ayntablian presented the life of Zaven Tashjian–who was born in 1944 in Ainjar. Tashjian was a junior member of the AYF–Homenetmen and one of the founders of Hamazkayin’s Baruyr Sevag branch. He served in the Lebanese civil war and was viciously killed in 1986.

Sarkis Zeitlian’s biography was presented by Raffi Kevorkian. Zeitlian was born in 1930 in Musa Ler and graduated from the Nshan Paladjian Academy in Beirut. He was the editor of Husaber daily in Cairo and later founded the ARF Aharonian Student Association. Upon his return to Lebanon–Zeitlian became actively involved in the ARF life by becoming the principal of Yaraj Armenian School–working for the ARF press and later becoming the editor-in-chief of Droshak weekly. Sarkis Zeitlian was a member of the ARF Bureau and the ARF Central Committee of Lebanon and greatly contributed to the creation of Armenian National Committee offices worldwide.

Zeitlian lost his life while pursuing the goals of the ARF–when he was kidnapped and killed in 1985.

On behalf of ARF Lebanon Central Committee–Hovig Bertizlian stressed the significance of the Sarkis Zeitlian Armenian Center in preserving the Armenian identity. "We are proud to continue the holy mission of our perished friends like Sarkis Zeitlian–Zaven Tashjian and Bedik Injeyan," he pointed out–adding that those who lost their lives fighting for the Armenian Cause must never be forgotten.

Yervant Pamboukian closed the ceremony thanking the Red Mountain Committee and the people of Ainjar for the Zeytlian Armenian Center. Pamboukian later presented a eulogy-type speech for Zeytlian–saying Zeytlian was a true believer of the ARF ideology as well as an individual who bore the troubles of Armenia and all Armenia’s worldwide. Pamboukian challenged the younger generations to follow Zeytlian’s steps–which will contribute to the accomplishment of the ARF’s supreme goals.

The speeches were followed by the opening ceremony and the ARF’s 111th anniversary celebrations.

On the same day–the official website of the Red Mountain Committee–www.mousalerAinjar.org–which reports Ainjar’s news to Armenia’s and non-Armenia’s worldwide was completed.

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