ANTELIAS–Lebanon (Aztag)–During a special ceremony Friday at the Siran Manoukian Center His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia bestowed the coveted "Cilician Knight" medal upon three leaders–Dr. Antranig Manougian–Dr. Melkon Eblighatian and Hratch Dasnabedian–whose contributions to education–culture and politics have been noteworthy.
Present at the ceremony were representatives of the Catholic and Evangelical communities of Lebanon–as well as Armenian parliament member and newly-elected parliamentarians–Armenia’s ambassador to Lebanon Arman Navasartian–Armenian Revolutionary Federation Bureau member Yervand Pamboukian–Social Democratic Hunchakian party Central Executive chairman Vahridj Djeredjian–ARF Lebanon Central Committee member–organizational leaders and community representatives.
In his remarks–Evangelical leader Rev. Paul Haidostian presented the life and work of Dr. Antranig Manougian–whose contributions in the field of medicine earned him notoriety and respect in the community. Haidostian further praised Manougian’s leadership within the Evangelical community and as a activist for Lebanese-Armenian unity.
ARF Bureau member Pamboukian presented the life and work of Dr. Melkon Eblighatian–who for many years served as representative of the Armenian bloc in the Lebanese parliament. Pamboukian pointed to Eblighatian’s more than six decades of service to the Armenian community in various leadership positions.
The long-time principal of the Jemaran and a former member of the ARF Bureau Hratch Dasnabedian was introduced by his colleague Dikran Jinbashian–who praised Dasnabedian’s astute leadership at the Hamazkayin Nshan Palandjian Jemaran and other educational institutions as a teacher–instructor and later principal. Dasnabedian’s work as a writer and coordinator of the ARF Archives was also commended–as were his efforts in preserving ARF history through numerous publications.
The three leaders were awarded the "Cilician Knight" medal by His Holiness Aram I–who concluded a program with remarks praising the medal recipients and addressing last week’s parliamentary elections in Lebanon.
In his remarks–the Catholicos stressed the importance of preserving Armenian national unity and expressed hope that the newly-elected Armenian members of parliamen’s should have been elected by the votes of the Armenian community.