WATERTOWN, Mass.—During the course of his informative tour to the Armenian-American communities of the United States, on Wednesday, October 22, the Prelate of Aleppo Archbishop Shahan Sarkisian, visited the international office of the Armenian Relief Society, Inc. During the visit, Archbishop Sarkisian met with both the ARS Central and Regional Executive Board members. He was accompanied by the Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan.
During this meeting, discussions focused on the problems facing the Syrian-Armenian community. Archbishop Sarkisian expressed his profound appreciation for the continuous humanitarian aid and assistance sent to the beleaguered populations across Syria, made possible by the collective efforts of the international network of ARS entities.
On the evening of October 22nd, a public briefing was held and organized by the Watertown “Leola Sasouni” and Cambridge “Shoushi” Chapters of the ARS/Eastern USA Region. As the keynote speaker of the evening, Archbishop Sarkisian, referring to the benevolent efforts of the ARS, stated that the Armenian Relief Society was the first organization to rush substantial assistance to meet the educational, social and medical needs of the stricken Syrian-Armenian community.
As an expression of appreciation and gratitude for the sustained humanitarian efforts demonstrated by the diligent and devoted membership of the global ARS family over the last few very difficult years, Archbishop Sarkisian bestowed the “Medal of service to the Armenian Prelacy of Aleppo” upon the ARS.
To date, the ARS has expended half-a-million dollars in relief aid directed to assist the traumatized Syrian-Armenian community in its struggle to survive in these dire circumstances. These efforts include several educational, social, and other humanitarian programs made possible by the tenacity of the ARS’ global membership and the generosity of its loyal supporters.
As the ARS Central Executive Board Chairperson, Vicky Marachelian summed it up: “This Medal, bestowed upon us by the Armenian Prelacy of Aleppo, is in recognition of the collective humanitarian endeavors of our Society’s entities. At this time, we give our assurances that our humanitarian assistance to our brothers and sisters will continue unabated, as long as their need for our helping hand is apparent. It will continue until the survival of the Syrian-Armenian community is guaranteed.