House of First Armenian Republic Prime Minister to Become Museum

AKHALKALAK (A-Info)–Financed by Archbishop Mesrob Ajemian of the Samtskhe-Javakhk Armenian Diocese–restoration work has begun on the home of the Prime Minister of the first Republic of Armenia Hamo Ohanjanian–a native of Akhalkalak and a prominent ARF figure. Akhalkalak’s regional government donated the home to the Armenian Church to convert one of the rooms to a museum honoring Ohanjanian. Although the entire home will be repaired–the remaining rooms will continue to house the existing music school the home was originally used for.

Born in Akhalkalak in 1873–Ohanjanian became a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation while a student–and served on its Eastern Bureau beginning in 1905. A devout socialist–he took part in the Geneva Council and ardently defended the "Caucasian Plan." In Tbilisi–he organized the publication of Harach. Arrested by the Czarist police in 1908–Ohanjanian was sentenced to Siberian prison in 1912 as a result the trials against the ARF.

Freed in 1915–he began work to protect Western Armenian refugees. In 1917-18–he was part of the mission sent to Berlin by the Tbilisi National Council and took part in the delegation of the Armenian Republic in Paris–under the leadership of Avedis Aharonian. He served as the prime minister of Armenia May to November 1920. Ohanjanian was arrested after Armenia became a part of the Soviet Union–but was released due to the February 1921 revolt. He went to Cairo in 1928 to spend the rest of his days as a member of the ARF Bureau and president of the Hamazkayin Cultural Association; he was also one of the founders of Hamaskayin. Ohanjanian died in 1947.

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