Booksigning Ceremony of “Towards Golgotha"

Official Launch of the Haigazian University Press
Booksigning Ceremony of “Towards Golgotha”, The Memoirs of Hagop Arsenian, a Genocide Survivor, by Dr. Arda Arsenian Ekmekji

On Friday Sept 9, 2011, in the beautiful courtyard of its New Heritage Building, Haigazian University launched its newly established Haigazian University Press, amongst the presence of religious leaders, members of parliament, government officials, University Board of Trustees, faculty and staff, and a very big crowd of audience. On this special occasion, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Arda Arsenian Ekmekji signed her book “Towards Golgotha”, the first book published under Haigazian University Press.

The ceremony opened with the welcoming words of the University’s Public Relations Director, Mira Yardemian, who considered this event as a proud culmination of the University’s 55th Anniversary events and series of conferences.
Keynote speaker, former Minister of Information and Culture, Dr. Tarek Mitri brought forward his reflections on the book. Mitri considered “Towards Golgotha” a journey into a century of memoirs of a genocide survivor, and the collective memoirs of a whole nation. He said that the book is more than a simple visit to a museum, as it is rich in memories, feelings and emotions. “It instills pride, strength and challenge in the psyche of the new Armenian generation,” Mitri noted.

After a short musical interlude, “Hoy Nazan” by Gomidas, beautifully played by the string trio, with Shushan Artinian on the cello and Garin Haidostian and Meghry Baghdoyan on violins, next to speak was University President, Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian.
In his congratulatory speech, Haidostian considered that “Life is a story …, story of families, such as in today’s case, the story of the Arsenian family.” He noted that all memoirs of genocide survivors or stories of the Armenian genocide are considered as resurrection, in the Armenian collective conscience. He considered that “Towards Golgotha”, is an additional book of history, tackling universal issues such as resurrection, truth, justice and search for life.

In her address, Editor of the book, Dr. Arda Arsenian Ekmekji, the granddaughter of Hagop Arsenian, warmly thanked all those who helped her make this book become a reality, and dedicated the work to the fourth generation of the Arsenain family. After reading some moving excerpts from the book, and listening to the voice recording of Noubar Arsenian, Ekmekji then proceeded to give her audience a brief glimpse into the content of the book; The first part narrates the early life of Hagop Arsenian in the suburbs of Constantinople and then the eventual deportation of his whole family all the way to Aleppo, Syria.The second part describes the Arsenian’s family life in Palestine from 1919 until 1940 especially in Jerusalem and Gaza, where Hagop Arsenian practices as a pharmacist. It is worth noting that Dr. Ekmekji has translated the whole manuscript of her grandfather into English with historical annotations and references.
The program ended with a book signing and reception in the Mehaguian courtyard.

Mira Yardemian
Public Relations Director