‘Shavarsh Missakian Street’ in Paris

PARIS–Working with the Armenian Cultural Home of Paris situated in the city’s 9th district–the area’s city hall organized three days of Armenian culture. The undertaking marks the second time the city hall holds such an event. In January of 2002–coordinating efforts with the France-based Armenian Land and Culture Organization–the city hall organized a week dedicated to the culture and history of Armenia.

Having fled the Armenian Genocide of 1915–immigran’s arriving in Paris settled in ninth district. It was in the ninth district that the first French-Armenian organizations were founded–establishmen’s organized–restauran’s and stores opened. It was also in the ninth district that the first Armenian newspaper–Haratch was founded–a recently closed Armenian bookstore set-up–and the Paris Armenian Cultural Home established.

In opening the three days of Armenian culture–the district mayor noted the historical presence of Armenia’s in the area–and the active participation of Armenia’s in all realms of life. "Armenian culture is a part of the 9th district–and generally a part of Paris." The mayor pledged to make Armenian days of culture a yearly event.

In bestowing a great honor to one of the most prominent French-Armenia’s–the founder of Haratch newspaper Shavarsh Missakian–who established the only Armenian-language daily in France in 1925 to serve Armenian immigran’s–the mayor announced that a 9th district street will be named "Shavarsh Missakian Street."

The dedication celebrates the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Armenian Cultural Home of Paris. The Home’s director Alice Hekimian recalled its founders–the pains it took to establish the Home; one of founders was Shavarsh Missakian.

In celebrating the days of Armenian culture–a photo exhibit "Our Armenia" was displayed. Prepared by the Armenian Youth Federation of France–Nor Serount–the exhibit portrays churches of Armenia and Artsakh. Other activities included the showing of Atom Egoyan’s "Ararat" in a 9th district cinema–an evening dedicated to fighting genocide denial–with the participation of the 9th district mayor–officials and political representatives–as well as music and dance performances.

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