Lebanese premiere of the movie “Map of Salvation”

Haigazian University organized the Lebanese premiere of the movie “Map of Salvation”, on Thursday, 14th of July, 2016, in the ABC Grand Cinemas, Beirut – Lebanon.
The capacity audience of 350 people, filling two main movie halls, included religious leaders, among others Mgr. Gabriel Caccia, Ambassador of the Vatican, officials, community leaders, and supporters of the Armenian Cause.
Specially here were the narrator of the movie, genocide scholar Svante Lundgren from Finland, as well as the movie producer Manvel Saribekyan from Armenia.
“Map of Salvation” is a documentary produced by MAN Pictures, about the humanitarian wave of support and resistance during the Armenian Genocide. It tells the story of 5 women: Maria Jacobsen (Denmark), Karen Jeppe (Denmark), Bodil Bjorn (Norway), Alma Johansson (Sweden), and Anna Hedvig Büll (Estonia) who had left their comfortable lives in Europe and come to the Armenian lands, to devote their lives selflessly and unconditionally to the citizens enduring a genocide.

Svante Lundgren, Rev. Paul Haidostian, Manvel Saribekyan

Svante Lundgren, Rev. Paul Haidostian, Manvel Saribekyan

Rev. Megerdich Karagoezian, Mgr. Gabriel Caccia, Rev. Paul Haidostian

Rev. Megerdich Karagoezian, Mgr. Gabriel Caccia, Rev. Paul Haidostian

Map of Salvation 3

President Haidostian's reflections:

The MAP OF SALVATION film (MAN Pictures 2015) is a contrast of maps.

The Armenian Genocide was planned and executed using clear maps and plots, yet partial salvation came through compassionate persons, organizations, and missionaries whose main map was that of the heart. It was faith, empathy and selflessness that moved them and penciled their saving map wherever the victimized and vulnerable children and women found shelter.
Screening the film at Beirut’s ABC Grand Cinemas on July 14, 2016 led me once more to appreciate the power of image, movement, music, word, story and voice all come together, and film director Aram Shahbazyan had successfully integrated them all.
A small part of the Genocide story was told, and a humble part of the heart-warming journey of the five women missionaries was presented. The large part was left to the viewers: to look back, to learn, to be thankful, to think about today, and to be inspired for tomorrow.
Film producer Manvel Saribekyan’s presence with us from Armenia, and film narrator Svante Lundgren’s personal message made our day much more meaningful.
Such films do not belong to the screens. They belong to our hearts. Manvel is a tireless producer and a man of vision, and Svante is a Genocide scholar and theologian who has enriched the MAP OF SALVATION through his personality.

The MAP OF SALVATION felt only like a start of a new journey to recapture the beauty of faith on the ugly pages of human intrigue. There is more to the story, and more in the story, waiting to be unearthed. 

Rev. Paul Haidostian, Ph.D.
President, Haigazian University

Haigazian University Honors the Armenian Printing and Publishing Houses

On Friday, December 7, 2012, within the framework of numerous events commemorating the 500th Anniversary of Armenian Printing and the 100th Anniversary of Armenian Press in Lebanon, Haigazian University honored the current Lebanese-Armenian printing and publishing houses, an event conducted under the patronage of the Minster of Industry, H.E. Vrej Sabounjian.
After the Lebanese national anthem, the event opened with the welcoming words of Dr. Antranig Dakessian, Director of the Armenian Diaspora Research Center. In the name of the 500th Anniversary organizing committee, Dakessian shared the importance of the Armenian printing and publishing houses in preserving the Armenian culture, identity and heritage. He noted that the oldest published book in Lebanon was in 1894, in both Armenian and Turkish with Armenian Alphabet.
Through a power point presentation, Dr. Armen Urneshlian, member of the organizing committee, traced the more than a century-long history of Armenian printing and publishing houses, noting that “currently 20 Armenian printing and publishing houses are operational in Lebanon,a number shrinked originally from140, around a century ago.” During his presentation, University President, Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostain and Minister Sabounjian distributed appreciation plaques to representatives of those currently operating houses.
In his word, Minister Sabounjian expressed his ministry’s readiness to support the printing industry, as books are considered asvital agents in building righteous future generations, and pillars of healthy societies. In this respect, he encouraged the owners of the printing and publishing houses to improve and advance in their domain and production, and to issue even more publications on Armenian history, culture, philosophy, literature, art, etc… Sabounjian also gave the example of Hagop Meghabard, who, in 1512 printed the first Armenian book in Venice, Italy.
President Haidostian appreciated the efforts of the organizing committee for this unprecedented event, the extensive researchconducted in the field of printing and publishing houses. He finally highlighted the contribution the Armenian community has had on the local Lebanese printing industry.
At the end, the audience moved to the Mugar Hall and had the chance to watch a unique exhibition featuring rare Armenian books and manuscripts dating back to more than one century.

Mira Yardemian
PR Director

President of Armenia, H.E. Serge Sargsyan pays a historic visit to Haigazian University

Beirut, 28/11/12- Armenian President Serge Sargsyan during a three-day visit to Lebanon—addressed Haigazian University students and faculty, underlying the importance of fostering the ties between the two countries, Lebanon and Armenia. Present were a number of students from three other leading universities in Lebanon.
Sargsyan, who was heading a delegation of 20 people including four Ministers, of Foreign Affairs, Education, Diaspora and Culture, was first welcomed bythe University President, Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian, Board members, Deans, and Administrators.
The program started at the Mugar building, where the President and his delegation toured the Matossian Gallery having a look at a unique photo exhibitionfeaturing the history of the University, after which Sargsyan signed in the Golden Book of Haigazian, and registered words of appreciation.
While proceeding to the Philibosian, Mehagian and Heritage buildings, where symbols of Mount Ararat and the Cedar tree decorated the playground, Sargsyan was greeted by hundreds of students. A short cultural program was presented.

 In the First Armenian Evangelical Church Hall, Rev. Haidostian introduced President Sargsyan, noting that “Haigazian witnessed a special renaissance by this historic visit, the very first of a president of the Republic of Armenia”. Expressing his pride, Haidostian said that the Armenian spirit and identity are always present on campus, and that through ongoing cooperation with the Ministry of the Diaspora, as well as Armenian educational institutions, ties have been further strengthening with Armenia.
In recognition of the President’s achievements, and quoting the University’s motto, “truth, freedom and service,” Haidostian granted Sargsyan with the University’s Service Shield.
Sargsyan started his speech by first thanking the Lebanese President, General Michel Sleiman for his invitation, underlying the importance of the strong ties of the two countries, Lebanon and Armenia, which are linked by well entrenched and deep-rooted cultural and historical relations. He further encouraged the youth of both countries to visit and cooperate.
Commenting on the situation in the Middlle East, Sargsyan voiced his deep concern over Syria, especially on the fate of at least 80,000 Syrian Armenian in the war-torn country. He called for a halt to the bloodshed and restoring peace.
Turning into internal issues in Armenia, Sargsyan shared the economic and political challenges faced by his country, especially in resolving the issue of NagornoKarabagh, the issues related to protocol signature with Turkey, and the 100th commemoration of the Armenian genocide.
Sargsyan concluded his speech by a short Q & A session.

Mira Yardemian
PR Director

Haigazian University Founders’ Day Celebration

Haigazian University celebrated its Founders’ Day on Monday, October 15, 2012, in the presence of Board members, faculty, staff and students.

The processional march kicked off the annual event, which pays tribute to the unaiversity’s founders. Following the Lebanese national anthem, a prayer of invocation was offered by thenew campus minister, Rev. Bruce Schoup.

Dr. ArdaEkmekji, the Dean of Arts and Sciences at Haigazian,prepared a special presentation about the historical HU Rocket Society, famous for being the first to launch a rocket in the Middle East during the 1960s, the age of space exploration. The audience was then shown the movie trailer for “The Lebanese Rocket Society”, a documentary film by Joanna Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige that was featured at this year’sToronto International Film Festival.

After a short musical interlude, in which Arno Babajanian’s “Elegie” was beautifully performed by current Haigazian student ShogherGerboyan,Haigazian University President Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian delivered a speech for this commemorative celebration, placing particular significance on the university athletics department.

In his address, Haidostian acknowledged all the various sports teams of the university, praising them for their effort and dedication. Additionally he stressed on the importance of the university’s collaboration through a memorandum of understanding with the Beirut Marathon Association, an internationally recognized non-profit and non-governmental organization that aims to promote unity and wellness in Lebanon now and for generations to come.

Mrs. May El Khalil, the president of the Beirut Marathon Association, was the keynote speaker of the event. After presenting a brief overview of the organization’s history and development over the years, Khalil concentrated on the main traits that make any organization a success, such as vision, perseverance and belief, all of which are vital to the sport of marathon running.

Furthermore Khalil discussed the memorandums of understanding with the universities and how this relates to the importance of youth participation in national events. As she spoke, Khalil also revealed inspirational photos from the Beirut Marathon over the years in a powerpoint presentation.

Afterwards, President Haidostian presented El Khalil with a plaque of appreciation and congratulations in celebration of Beirut Marathon’s 10th Anniversary.

At the conclusion of the ceremony everyone rose to sing the university’s Alma Mater, which was followed by the recessional.

Haigazian University Launches the Future Armenian Leadership Fund

Haidostian: In this new scholarship program, excellence and leadership potential will receive special prominence.
Beirut, 19 Sept. 2012. On Wednesday, September 19, 2012, Haigazian University officially launched its newly established, the Future Armenian Leadership Fund.
The creation of FALF came as a response from the Haigazian Board of Trustees to the ever increasing need of financial aid for deserving Armenian students. Thus FALF will award academically excellent and financially challenged students with a chance of higher education, covering full or part of their tuition.
At a reception attended by trustees, Armenian educational leaders, and members of the Haigazian community, University President, Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian thanked the Board of Trustees for establishing the program and the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) for taking leadership in the fundraising campaign.
Haidostian announced that though a full scholarship grant would require a $25,000, donors may grant any amount for this purpose.  He further disclosed that thus far, $100,000 has been raised, and a fresh $50,000 need to be raised annually, in order for this program to bear good fruit.
Haidostian reiterated the vital importance of the financial aid program at Haigazian University in general, as “one of the most significant contributions the university makes to the future of the Lebanese and Armenian youth.” “More particularly, in this new scholarship program, however, excellence and leadership potential will receive special prominence”, Haidostian concluded.
Recipients of FALF are Armenian students majoring in any subject or scholars majoring in Armenian or Christian Education. Financial Aid Officer, Maral Gurunian declared that the fund, at its first year, granted 2 outstanding students with a full scholarship.  The proud recipients are NanorKalayjian from YeghisheManoukian College and Raffi Kestenian from the Armenian Evangelical College.
The Future Armenian Leadership Fund has been introduced as an opportunity for supporters, alumni and friends of Haigazian to make an impact on one student, helping him/her become a leader in local and global community.
For further inquiry, pls. correspond with the AMAA at amaa@amaa.org

Mira Yardemian
Public Relations Director

Launching “Towards Golgotha” in the USA

Glendale’s Central Library buzzed with excitement on the evening of July 25, 2012 as the crowd poured into its second floor auditorium to hear Dr. Arda Arsenian Ekmekji, Dean of Arts and Sciences at Haigazian University. She had traveled more than 7000 miles to launch the U.S. release of Towards Golgotha, memoirs of her grandfather Hagop Arsenian, a pharmacist and survivor of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
 Elizabeth Grigorian, director of Armenian Outreach at the library, invited Ardashes Kassakhian, Glendale’s City Clerk, to the podium to introduce Dr. Ekmekji. Mr. Kassakhian is the great grandson of Hagop Arsenian and nephew of Dean Ekmekji who had painstakingly translated the memoirs from Armenian to English. She revealed that she wasn’t aware her grandfather’s handwritten memoirs even existed until her uncle, visiting from Ottowa in 1996, carried them with him to the Middle East.
 Hagop Arsenian documented his early life in the suburbs of Constantinople and the eventual deportation of his family to Aleppo, Syria, then described his life in Palestine from 1919 until 1940. Dr. Ekmekji, during her research at the comprehensive Derian Armenological Library of Haigazian University, read numerous accounts of other survivors and, in comparing their identical descriptions, discovered that the authors had been detained in the same encampments, but never met.
 The audience hushed when an audio tape was played of her father, Noubar, reading a portion of her grandfather’s writings in Armenian in which he chronicled the atrocities he had witnessed using the terms “massacres” and “slaughter house.” The word genocide had not yet been coined, not until the mid ‘40s by Raphael Lemkin.
 Dr. Ekmekji, a full professor at Haigazian, holds a Master of Arts in Ancient History and Archaeology from the American University of Beirut and a Doctorate in Archeology from the University of Paris. Her translation is the first book to be published by Haigazian University Press. As it came off the presses, Dr. Paul Haidostian, President of the University remarked that “all memoirs of genocide survivors or stories of the Armenian genocide are considered as a resurrection, in the Armenian collective conscience.” It is available at Amazon.com and the Armenian Missionary Association, amaa@amaa.org.
 Audience members who were present and recognized during the evening were Elise Kalfayan, President of the Friends of the Glendale Library, Arno Yeretzian, representing Glendale’s Abril Bookstore, Dr. Richard Hovannisian, Prof. Emeritus at UCLA, Rev. Father Ghevont Kirazian, Pastor of the Crescenta Valley Armenian Apostolic Church, and Frank Quintero, the Mayor of Glendale. Also in attendance were members of the Haigazian University Board of Trustees, the Haigazian Women’s Auxiliary of Los Angeles, and the Haigazian Alumni Association.

A Plaque in Memory of Late Hagop Terjimanian

A plaque in memory of Hagop Terjimanian, long time professor in the Faculty of Humanities (1965-1977), was unveiled by his widow Anahid and University President Paul Haidostian, during a ceremony held on June 28, 2012.
““Count your blessings” was the motto repeated by my late husband, and we both considered Haigazian University as our great blessing,” said Mrs. Terjimanian, who was on a visit to Lebanon with her family and grandchildren.
The ceremony, which was held in the Humanities department, was attended by HU trustees, deans, faculty, staff, friends and members of the Terjimanian family.
 The audience had the chance to remember the late Hagop, and his years of service at Haigazian, through a PowerPoint presentation, after which President Haidostian gave a glimpse on his life. “Anahid and Hagop met at Haigazian, where they studied, graduated, and married later on. Ever since those days, they have kept the University in their heart and mind,” Haidostian said.
Few friends, classmates and colleagues of Hagop were present, and publicly shared some memories. JirairTanielian, Haig Kendirjian, MeguerdichBouldoukian, and HratchHatjetian described the late Hagop as a gentleman, kindhearted, honest, sociable, and professional human being.
As for Anahid Terjiamnian, deeply touched by the ceremony, thanked everyone, and on this special occasion surprised the audience with a special gift to the University: a Bible in classical Armenian, dated September 1, 1817, printed in St. Petersbourg, bought by the couple from the village of Everek, during their trip to Historical Armenia.

Mira Yardemian
PR Director 

A Plaque in Memory of Late Haig Tilbian

A plaque in memory of Haig Tilbian, Registrar (1974-1976), was unveiled by his widow Maro and University President Paul Haidostian, during a ceremony held on July 20, 2012.
The ceremony, which was held in the Registrar’s office and later in the Auditorium, was attended by Armenian Institutions’ representatives, HU trustees, faculty, staff, and friends of Haig Tilbian.
President Haidostian gave a glimpse on the life of Tilbian, describing him as a caring human being, a man of vision, with an energetic character and innovative mind, after which the audience had the chance to remember through a PowerPoint presentation, the late Haig, and his years of service at Haigazian, from student recruiter, to alumni affairs officer, and then registrar.
Few friendsand colleagues of Haig, from Haigazian, AFED and the Jinishian Foundation,publicly shared their memories, all acknowledging his relentless efforts towards the advancement of the Armenian institutions in particular, and the Armenian community at large.
In conclusion, his widow Maro, deeply touched by the ceremony, thanked everyone, and expressed her gratitude towards Haigazian University for always remembering Haig, who considered this University his home and haven.

Mira Yardemian
PR Director