TEHRAN–Under the auspices of His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia–and witnessed by hundreds of Alik supporters–readers–intellectuals and employees–Asbarez sister publication Alik Daily Newspaper held opening ceremonies for its newly built center–Tuesday–July 22.
His Holiness–accompanied by the three Prelates from New Julfa (Isfahan) Iranian Azerbaijan–and Tehran–offered benediction and performed the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the entrance of the building–officially rendering the new Alik center open. Armenian Revolutionary Federation Bureau member Mgrdich Mgrdchian greeted the Pontiff as Alik publisher Albert Adjemian delivered a speech of gratitude. The guests then followed the Catholicos inside the building where the opening ceremonies were to be held. Due to the large number of guests–different levels of the building were equipped with televisions showing the official ceremony to the general public.
Alik Editor-in-Chief Seta Davitian welcomed guests and spoke about the role of Alik in the Iranian-Armenian community. She commended Alik for advancing in such a manner–while fulfilling its responsibilities as the only daily Armenian newspaper in the community. "Alik–not only helps preserve Armenian values through reaching the children–youth and students with its varied publications–but also keeps the community abreast of international–Iranian–Armenian and domestic political–economic–and social issues–while it conveys national ideals and philosophies," she said. She continued to comment on Alik’s reality as not only a center for publication–but also a center for the exchange of ideas and ideologies–between generations.
Publisher Albert Adjemian provided Alik’s history since its inception in 1931. Adjemian remembered the challenges Alik faced and overcame in the years past–as it became a pillar in the Iranian-Armenian community successfully serving it for 66 years. He proceeded to inviteMkrtchian to the podium.
"The opening of the new Alik center once again demonstrates the positive results of the collaborative effort of Armenian individuals and collective–whether through financial and/or moral assistance," Mgrdchian said in praise of the local community and the Armenian nation in general.
He commented that the new center would provide impetus for the Armenian Cause and the Armenian Revolutionary Party. He further explained the Diaspora’s role in the Armenian reality–stating that Armenia and the Diaspora are interdependent. He recommended that Armenia and the Diaspora strengthen their ties more so than they are now.
Mgrdchian concluded with wishing Alik a long life. The Pontiff was then called upon to present the guests with commemorative gifts.
Aram I’s Address
After presenting memorial gifts to the new Alik Center–the Catholicos delivered his pontifical address to the attendees.
Aram I emphasized the importance of Alik’s existence in the reality of the Iranian-Armenian community. "It is impossible to understand or fathom the more than six decades of Iranian-Armenian life without Alik’s big family. Alik is a central element of the community–and it has played a definitive role in Iranian-Armenian life," explained Aram I–adding–"but you (Iranian-Armenia’s) can commend Alik’s work far better than I can."
Aram I continued–"I expect that Alik–like all other Armenian media outlets will continue its worthwhile work–which is not only to disseminate information and news–but to cultivate the values of the Armenian intellectuals and the Armenian spirit among new generations–as well as to keep our struggle alive for years to come."
The Catholicos congratulated the editorial and publishing staff of the newspaper once again at the end–wishing them continued success in their endeavors.
In conjunction with the opening of the newly built Alik Center–the editorial staff of the paper had invited numerous ARF publications’ representatives–who participated in a public seminar series entitled "A Century: From Khanasor to Lisbon–From Lisbon to Karabakh."
The topics of the various sessions included "The 100th Anniversary of the Khanasor Expedition-its Soul and Message,"The Lisbon Accomplishmen’s as Revolutionary Dedication,"The New World Order and National Struggles,"The Armenian Homeland and the Diaspora-Their Role in the Armenian National Struggle."
The speakers included Australia’s Armenia Weekly representative Ayvaz Krikorian–Greece’s Azad Or Daily editor Shaghig Maroukhian–Iran’s Alik Daily editorial member Sonik Baghoumian and Syria’s Gandzasar Weekly editor Khajak Der Mgrdichain. Also–in closing–Lebanon’s Pakin Monthly editor Sarkis Giragosian spoke of the role the ARF media has played in formulating the ideas and the realities of the Armenian Diaspora at various locales of the world.
The Armenian community of Tehran participated in the seminar sessions–and showed great interest during the question-answer period to each session.
Round Table on The Armenian Media
Continuing with the events surrounding the opening of the Alik Center–the editorial staff of the newspaper organized a round table on difficulties and issues facing the Armenian media. With the participation of the various editors–in addition to Armenia’s Nork literary journal editor Rouben Hovsepian–as well as ARF Armenia Executive Council public relations representative Artashes Shahbazian–and ARF Karabakh representative Varchagan Zakarian–the assembly examined the difficulties facing Armenian media in Armenia and the Diaspora.
ARF Bureau Representative’s Remarks and Oath Ceremony
In conjunction with the week-long gatherings–ARF Bureau member Mgrdich Mgrdichian met with Alik and community representatives at the center last Friday. During his visit–and at the 100th anniversary of the Khanaosor Expedition 15 novices entered the ran’s of the ARF in Iran. During an enthusiastic ceremony the novices took their oath to fight for the Armenian Cause under the leadership of the ARF.
Present at the festivities were ARF representatives from Karabakh and Lebanon–and at the end of the oath ceremony–which was officiated by Mgrdichian–an evening of revolutionary and patriotic songs ensued–with the participation of all attendees.
Khanasor Expedition Anniversary Celebration
At the closing of the week-long events–the 100th anniversary of the Khanasor Expedition took place at the Ararat Cultural and Athletic Center in Tehran. With the participation of thousands of Armenia’s in Tehran–the anniversary was celebrated and commemorated.