Dr. Melkon Eblighatian Passes Away

Dr. Norair-Melkon Eblighatian–former Armenia representative in the Lebanese parliament–died on Saturday–November 26–in Lebanon. Eblighatian served the Armenian community for more than six decades in various leadership positions.

Born April 11–1919 in Big Island–in the Sea of Marmara. Eblighatian’s family fled to Bulgaria in 1922 where they lived for three years before settling in Athens–Greece (1924-1932). Eblighatian received his elementary education at the Armenian Center for Refugees in Athens.

In 1933–Eblighatian’s family settled in Aleppo–Syria. He received his secondary education at the French Secular Mission School. In 1938–he moved to Beirut–Lebanon in order to pursue his education. He attended the Jesuit University of Beirut Medical school–while following the science program at the Jesuit University (1941-1943). He graduated in 1945 with a Medical Degree–specializing in surgery.

In 1948–he married Anahid Dolabjian–with whom he had three children: Lena–Norair–and Sylva.

From 1950-1952–he practiced his specialty in Paris–and moved to Latakia–Syria where he worked at the government hospital. While continuing his work at the hospital–he opened his own hospital in 1953. In 1961 he moved to Beirut and worked at the Geitaoui Hospital. He also worked periodically at Saint Charles and Maryousef hospitals. He joined Lebanon’s Doctors Union–and collaborated with Lebanon’s "Doctor" publication.

Eblighatian became a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) family at an early age–joining the ARF Christapor Youth organization in Aleppo in 1934. He joined the ARF Zavarian Student Organization in 1940 in Beirut–and while in Paris–transferred to the ARF Roupen Sevag Student organization. He served two terms on the ARF Lebanon Central Committee; during those terms–he also served as the editor of "Aztag" Daily for two years.

In 1972–Eblighatian is elected to Lebanon’s Parliament where he represented the Armenian bloc in Parliament for twenty years–served on various parliamentary commissions–and represented Lebanese delegations throughout the world. In 1989–he participated in Lebanon’s historic Taif Accords.

Dr. Eblighatian also played an instrumental role in formulating and implementing Armenia’s’ policy of "positive neutrality" during Lebanon’s Civil War. In the height of that war Eblighatian acted as negotiator between various factions numerous times. In 1981–he survived an assassination attempt but received two bullet wounds–one of which remained lodged in his chest.

Aside from his political and professional inclinations–Dr. Eblighatian served several other bodies including Homenetmen–Hamazkayine–and the Holy See of Cilicia.

Eblighatian’s literary ambitions included his long-term work for "Pakin" monthly–collaboration with the Aleppo-based "Arevelk,"Aztag," and Aztag’s "Troshag Weekly." He wrote under various pennames–including Norair Bartevian–N. Bartev–Aram Dikranian–Sarkis Toukhmanian–Aramig–and Vachagan.

Eblighatian wrote four books as well–the last of which was published a few weeks prior to his death.

He also received Lebanon’s National Cedar Medallion–and in 2000 was decorated with the Holy See of Cilicia’s Cilician Knighthood.

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