GLENDALE—The Syrian Armenian Relief Fund (SARF) was established in 2012 due to dire circumstances, to extend a helping hand to our compatriots living in the civil war waging in Syria. SARF continues its assistance with the initial enthusiasm. There is no peace yet in sight, and the war is still waging on in the country that provided a safe haven to our ancestors during the Genocide, and now the Armenian community is being dispersed again, with an unknown future. From one side, the destruction brought on by the war – bombing Armenians’ homes, business establishments, kindergartens, schools, community centers, athletic and sport centers, and churches, and on the other – the lack of basic staples such as drinking water, electricity, food, and the extreme difficulties in distribution, give a clear view of the terrible situation. The center of all these is the most important – the preservation of human lives, and the fate of the future generations. It is impossible to stay on the sidelines and not lend a helping hand. It is not enough to be satisfied by helping once. In this case, continuous support of all Armenians will ease the burden of our compatriots in Syria, always keeping in mind that Syrian Armenians have been the backbone of the Diaspora.
SARF has provided more than a million dollars through donations, and continues the charitable work, since the war is still going on, and the condition of our compatriots is worse than before. Ordinary heartfelt donations are not enough to sustain a community. We are planning another fundraiser, this time as a theatrical presentation. Famous renowned actress Marie Rose Abousefian has offered to donate the proceeds of her performance to SARF. She will present “Tigran Medz”, a monologue in two acts in Armenian on Wednesday, November 19, at 7:30 p.m., at Beyond the Stars Palace in Glendale, Calif.
When Marie Rose was asked why she chose Tigran Medz, she explained, “It has historical significance with Syria, Damascus, Lebanon, Palestine, in a word – with the Middle East region. Due to internal and external wars, Syria feeling that she could not rise out of the situation, created the Patriotic Party. The party had asked Tigran Medz to help them come out of the dire situation, reminding him that Armenia was a mighty nation with an undefeatable army. Circa 83 B.C., Tigran Medz was invading Syria. Tigran Medz reached Damascus and established his reign. The city was called Dimitrias at the time, named after the previous ruler. The name was changed to Damascus, and it is known as such until today. It is in the same Damascus, where the coins depicting Tigran Medz’s likeness were minted, and the royal crowns and other royal objects were crafted.”
She continued, “Arab historians regard highly Tigran’s political strategy to rule the Arab world. Today, it is a coincidence that Syria faces similar dire situations, and is being attacked from internal and external forces. Today, however, there is no Tigran Medz to assist Syria to come out of the quagmire. There are, however, Armenians, the descendants of Tigran Medz, who are willing to lend a helping hand to their compatriots living there.”
Marie Rose continued, “That’s not all, Tigran Medz has been the most patriotic and greatest politician and war strategist. Our generation should thoroughly study his accomplishments. After all, we owe this great king the achievements and legacy he left behind in the Middle East. My presentation will expose all the facets of Tigran. It is amazing that Tigran’s analytical thinking and psychological analysis are so contemporary, and do not seem to be from ancient history. As the Armenian historian Movses of Khoren described him as ‘… he was envied by his contemporaries, and appreciated by those following him for the person and the era’.”
“Today, we still have threats of war in the unresolved conflict in Artsakh, we are approaching the most significant anniversary of our demands, our nation is being depopulated of its inhabitants, the survival of our Diaspora is in danger, and this play is the fitting theatrical presentation of the times. I will be presenting all 14 characters throughout the play.”
“I was born in Aleppo to a family established there. Right after the start of the recent conflict, I have thought on ways to support my people, who had endured spine-shaking blows for the umpteenth time. I have been planning for two years to implement my plans to support Syrian Armenians, and I am happy that it is finally becoming a reality. I am sure that there are many, like me, who do not have the large financial means to provide support individually, however, with their modest means are able to collectively support this humanitarian effort, and especially for our compatriots. This play has given me the means to give my support through my acting abilities, to donate the proceeds to SARF, and to the Greater Los Angeles Armenian population to attend and fill up the auditorium with their presence, and do their part to support of this great effort. Today, the bombings have intensified, this time for eradication of ISIS by the US forces, Syrian Armenians once again are living under dire conditions of the conflict. This is not the time to sit idly with arms folded. We are obliged to support them beyond our means. SARF is not just a charitable and humanitarian organization, but also among others, an organization which conveys irreplaceable psychological support and patriotic spirit, and the stamina to endure during these difficult times. Having this knowledge, each of us will contribute to this noble organization to continue its mission.”
And in closing, Marie Rose added, “We are convinced that the Armenian community, as always, will support SARF’s humanitarian efforts by attending the play with great enthusiasm.”
As a reminder, the “Tigran Medz” monologue by renowned artist Marie Rose Abousefian will be held on Wednesday, November 19, at 7:30 p.m., at the Beyond the Stars Palace, located at 417 N Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91203. For tickets, please visit itsmyseat.com/marie_rose or call (626) 869-7328.
The following churches, charities and organizations came together to form the Syrian Armenian Relief Fund in August 2012: Armenian Catholic Eparchy in North America; Armenian Evangelical Union of North America; Western Diocese of the Armenian Church; Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America; Armenian General Benevolent Union; Armenian Missionary Association of America; Armenian Relief Society of Western U.S.A.; Armenian Democratic Liberal Party; Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Western U.S.A.; and Social Democrat Hunchakian Party-Western U.S.A. For more information, please check the SARF website.