LOS ANGELES—Alongside its humanitarian programs and activities, the Armenian Relief Society has placed particular attention on the strengthening of Javakhk and the preservation of the Armenian identity in the region. The ARS Javakhk Fund Committee places direct focus on advancing the needs of Armenians in Javakhk and annually organizes events to promote this cause.
This year, the ARS Javakhk Fund’s annual luncheon on Sunday, April 2, 2017 aboard The Queen Mary will raise vital funds for youth centers in Javakhk. The event will also honor two dedicated committee members, Harout Madenian and Emma Salmassian, who have served as devoted members of the ARS Javakhk Fund Committee since its inception. The biographies of both honorees follow:
Harout Madenian was born in Beirut, Lebanon and received his education from the St. Nishan Armenian School. At an early age, he became involved in Homenetmen and held leadership positions within the organization. He also joined the Armenian Youth Federation in Lebanon and the ranks of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. During the Lebanese Civil War, he was at the forefront of the defense of Armenian neighborhoods and was seriously injured as a result.
In 1987, he married Aida Avedikian and the couple had two children: Maria and Razmig. In 1990, they relocated to the United States where he continued his dedicated service in Homenetmen and the ARF. As a chapter scouting leader, he has carried out a great deal of work in the Homenetmen Montebello and Los Angeles Chapters. He has also held leadership positions in the ARF Montebello Dro and Hollywood Karekin Njdeh Gomidehs. In 1991, he participated in activities centered on re-establishing Homenetmen Armenia. He has participated in four Homenetmen general conventions and Pan-Homenetmen scouting camps organized by the Homenetmen Central Executive.
With special affinity towards Javakhk and as a member of the ARS Javakhk Fund Committee since its establishment, Harout Madenian has played a vital role in the Committee’s fundraising and outreach activities, which have included the purchase of the youth centers in Javakhk. He has visited Javakhk on several occasions and currently serves as the Vice-Chairperson of the ARS Javakhk Fund Committee.
Emma Salmassian has been a member of the Armenian Relief Society since 1990 and is currently a member of the ARS Glendale “Sepan” Chapter, where she has held various leadership roles in regional committee, the chapter’s executive board and committees.
She has served as a member of the ARS Javakhk Fund Committee since its inception in the region. Her valuable input and contributions to the committee’s events, programs and activities, which advance the welfare of Armenians in Javakhk, has been instrumental. Her dedication to this cause has been remarkable and, alongside multiple visits to the highly Armenian-populated region, she has brought her moral and financial assistance to Javakhk Armenians.
Her professional career boasts over 35 years of uninterrupted nursing experience. She began her career as a nurse’s aide while attending college and completing her education in nursing, culminating in an academic degree and ultimately receiving a Professional Registered Nursing License from the State of California.
She is a graduate of the Faculty of Foreign Languages from the University of Tehran, yet has preferred to work in the nursing field. She was among the pioneering founders of the Armenian Nurses Association and is also a member of the Armenian American Doctors Association. She is an active member of Homenetmen Ararat, an Armenian organization dedicated to the education of sports and scouting.
Khoren and Emma Salmassian have two children and she believes her family is the hallmark accomplishment of her life. Her son, Eric, is an Emergency Room Medical Board Licensed Physician and her daughter, Jennifer, is a university graduate with advanced degrees working as a professional teacher. In 2012, her daughter wrote a children’s book, “Javakhk: A World That Cares,” which was published and provides an educational supplement to teach school children about Javakhk.