ARS Mourns Iranian Air Crash Victims

GLENDALE—It was with a very heavy heart that the Armenian Relief Society of Western USA (ARS-WR) learned last week of the tragic news of the crashing of Caspian Airlines Flight #7908 from Tehran, Iran to Yerevan, Armenia which went down near the village of Jannatabad, outside the city of Qazvin in north-western Iran.

According to reports from the Armenian Foreign Ministry, 40 of the 168 victims confirmed dead on board were ethnic Armenians, among them being Dr. Levon Davitian, a widely-known and respected psychologist and former member of the Iranian Parliament, chairman of the Tehran Prelacy Executive Council and the father of a former ARS employee.

Throughout the morning, our offices have been inundated with requests and inquires related to this tragedy. Every effort has been made, on behalf of the ARS, to accommodate these appeals. As its first order of business, the ARS compiled and posted in three languages (Armenian, English and Farsi) the names of all 42 victims on board who perished.

In realizing that the ARS-Western Region office has a significant Iranian-Armenian constituency and  having extensive background and experience in reacting and responding to similar crises – as it did during the Great Earthquake in Armenia 20 years ago and Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the assistance it has extended to Armenia, Javakhk, Artsakh over the years – immediately, the ARS leadership set in motion the proper procedural apparatuses to provide, through both its Social Services and Psychological offices, fitting and functional information, guidance, counseling and assistance to anyone who sought or required such services.

“As with any such tragedy, the ARS stands at the ready and is fully prepared to employ all of its global resources to help the surviving loved ones of those who needlessly perished today in this awful airplane crash.” Stated Sossie Poladian, ARS of Western USA Regional Executive Chair. “We encourage anyone in need assistance to contact the ARS immediately, having the full assurance that the ARS will help any way it possibly can to ease the pain of their horrible loss.”

The ARS extends its deepest condolences to all of the surviving families, friends and loved ones of all of the victims of Caspian Airlines Flight #7908. May God rest their souls and provide peace and comfort to those they have left behind.

The ARS of Western USA, is one of the 12 regions of the ARS international. Its operations are coordinated through its regional headquarters in Glendale, CA, with 26 chapters, five Social Service offices, a Child, Youth and Family Guidance Center in Glendale, 17 Saturday and after-School Programs, and one day care center in Montebello, CA.

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