The Legacy Goes On

“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve” (Mathew 20:28)

This is how Dr. Arda Jebejian described Mrs. Nevart Kassouni-Panayiotides’ educational and ecclesiastical service in Cyprus. In fact, her service was the continuation of her father’s legacy, the late Mr. Manuel Kassouni whose educational and ecclesiastical ministry in Cyprus among the Armenian and Cypriot communities has left its tremendous impact over the years and across many generations.

Manuel Kassouni’s newly-published book, Historical Studies, Reminiscences and Memoires, edited by Dr. Yervant Kassouni and published in Beirut in 2010, was launched on Monday, April 11, 2011, at 8:00 pm, at the Utujian Hall, Nicosia, Cyprus. On the same night, Mrs. Nevart Kassouni-Panayiotides was acknowledged for her long years of service in Cyprus. The event was organized by the Armenian Evangelical Church in Cyprus and was held under the patronage of H.E. Archbishop Varoujan Hergelian and the Armenian Representative in the Cyprus Parliament Mr. Vartkes Mahdessian.The program included a presentation of Manuel Kassouni‘s book by Mr. Hrayr Jebejian. The book is a collection of Manuel Kassouni’s historical researches on the formation of the Armenian nation, memoires,
sermons and various reflections from his childhood years in Aintab, his deportation during the Genocide, and his settling in Cyprus. Mr. Manuel Kassouni taught in the American Academy in Larnaca for 40 years and was a prominent intellectual, historian, publisher and lay preacher.
The Rev. Dr. Vartkes Kassouni, Manuel Kassouni’s son, who had flown from the US for this particular event, shared his thoughts about his father’s life and work. Mr. Philip Panayiotides, Nevart’s son, who came from Switzerland for the event, shared his appreciation of his mother’s life. H.E. Archbishop Varoujan Hergelian, accompanied by Rev. Dr. Vartkes Kassouni and Fathers Momig Habeshian and Mashdots Ashkarian, dedicated the book through the traditional Kinetson ceremony.
Mr. Vartkes Mahdessian acknowledged Mrs. Nevart’s long years of service with the presentation of a plaque. Alik and Vahe Jebejian presented two musical pieces by Handel and Mendelssohn on the flute and the piano respectively. The event was concluded by the Bahbanitch offered by the Archbishop and the Orhnouyian Aghotk by Rev. Kassouni.

The Utujian Hall was packed by members of the Ar-menian community in Cyprus as well as guests from the American Academy. The event was quite an emotional one for all, remembering the old days and the hard labor of the Kassouni teachers for several generations. The event was also an occasion to reconfirm the community’s legacy and to highlight the imperative to move forward with the determination to do more.