Skip to content

Havresc: An Armenian Christian Village in Northern Iraq Standing Down ISIS

havresc_sunset_final

Sunrise over Havresc in ISIS-controlled northern Iraq. The domes of the Armenian Church are seen in the foreground.

The Zohrab Center will screen the New York premiere of a new documentary on a northern Iraq community of Armenian and Assyrian Christians that is fighting back the Islamic State. Entitled Havresc: Stand on Courage, the film will be introduced and shown by David Ritter, who produced it.

The event will take place on Thursday, December 8 at 7PM in the Vartan Hall of the Armenian Diocese in New York.

Standing in the face of hatred, oppression, violence and every adversity, these Armenian and Assyrian Christians are defending themselves from ISIS not only for their survival, but to create a home for all Christians facing persecution.

2016-12-havrescflyer-001Documentarian David Ritter’s work focuses on ethnic groups throughout the world, especially minorities. During the Fall and Winter of 2015 he lived in Iraq, volunteering in support of the Assyrian and Armenian Christian militias and communities. He spent much of his time filming and documenting the experiences of the ancient Christian Armenian and Assyrian communities as they struggle against the violence of the Islamic State. 

Ritter will introduce and then screen the 35-minute documentary. A discussion will follow. The evening will conclude with a reception.

Download a flyer by clicking here.

All are invited to the event. For further information contact the Zohrab Information Center at zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org or (212) 686-0710.

#Hravresc.

Sometimes Poetry is the Answer

Join us this Thursday evening, November 17 at the Zohrab Center at 7PM for another thoughtful, uplifting and therapeutic Evening of Poetry. 

Three noted American-Armenian poets will read from their works in English and Armenian.

lola_2012LOLA KOUNDAKJIAN enjoys her poetry diplomacy, touring the world to read at poetry festivals, and, promoting Armenian culture through the Armenian Poetry Project. This fall she is reading in three venues around New York City: in September as part of National Translation Month in the Inkwell series at the KGB Bar, a literary institution in the East Village neighborhood of New York City; in October, in the Americas Poetry Festival; and in November at the ZIC. She is the author of The Accidental Observer (2011 USA) and Advice to a Poet (2014 Peru; 2015 USA).

photo-1SHAHÉ MANKERIAN is the principal of St. Gregory Alfred and Marguerite Hovsepian School in Pasadena and the co-director of the Los Angeles Writing Project. As an educator, he has been honored with the Los Angeles Music Center’s BRAVO Award, which recognizes teachers for innovation and excellence in arts education. His poems have won Honorable Mentions in 2011 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award and Arts & Letters Journal of Contemporary Culture. Shahé was a Semi-Finalist for the Knightville Poetry Contest. He was the first place winner of 2012 “Black and White” anthology series from Outrider Press. His poems have been published in numerous literary magazines.

dana-walrathDANA WALRATH, a writer, artist and anthropologist, spent 2012-2013 as a Fulbright Scholar in Armenia where she completed her first book, Like Water on Stone a verse novel about the Armenian genocide of 1915, loosely based on the story of her grandmother. Her just released graphic memoir, Aliceheimer’s about life with her mother, Alice, before and during dementia, has been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books and the Philadelphia Inquirer

2016-11-poetryevening-001Copies of the poets’ recent books will be available for sale. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A FLYER.

The Evening of Poetry will take place at the Diocese of the Armenian Church, 630 2nd Avenue, New York and begin at 7PM. All are welcome. Admission is $5. Students with ID are free.

A reception and conversation will follow.

For further information contact the Zohrab Center at zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org or (212) 686-0710.

Jerusalem 1000-1400 Every People Under Heaven. Meet the Curators

img_3470Meet the co-curators of the current landmark exhibit at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art entitled, Jerusalem 1000-1400 Every People Under Heaven this Wednesday evening at 7PM in Vartan Hall at the Armenian Diocese in New York.

Drs. Melanie Holcomb and Barbara Drake Boehm, co-curators of the exhibition, will survey the works on display and discuss the importance of this period in the history of Jerusalem and its diverse communities.

The exhibit features several priceless Armenian works, some of which have never before been seen outside the walls of the Holy City.

The continuous presence of Armenian monks, artists, and scholars since as early as the fourth century at least is well known and documented. Their preoccupation with the city, along with that of multiple competitive and complementary religious and cultural traditions gave rise to one of the most creative periods in its history. The Met exhibition is the first to unravel the various cultural traditions and aesthetic strands that enriched and enlivened the medieval city.

2016-11-jerusalemeverypeople-001“Even if the number of Armenian artworks is not many, their quality and beauty are exquisite,” said Fr. Daniel Findikyan, Director of the Zohrab Center. “And in any case, the prominent status of Armenians in Jerusalem at this time is evident throughout the exhibit, from the very first object,” he added.

The conversation with the c0-curators is free and open to the public. A reception will follow. Download a full-color flyer here.

Barbara Drake Boehm, Paul and Jill Ruddock Senior Curator for The Met Cloisters, is co-curator of the exhibitions Jerusalem in the Middle Ages (2016), The Game of Kings (2011–12),Prague: The Crown of Bohemia (2005), and Enamels of Limoges (1996), and curator ofMedieval Jewish Art in Context (2011–12). She recently contributed to the exhibitions L’Art du Jeu (2012–13) (Musée de Cluny, Paris) and Treasures of Heaven (2010–11) (Cleveland, Baltimore, London). A graduate of Wellesley College, Dr. Boehm directs the Curatorial Studies program, administered with the Institute of Fine Arts, from which she received her PhD.

Melanie Holcomb is a specialist in the luxury arts of the middle ages, from treasure hoards to illuminated manuscripts. She is an alumna of Smith College and earned her PhD from the University of Michigan. Holcomb has a particular interest in travel, trade, and other means of cultural exchange among medieval patrons and artists. Her current research is focused on the art and history of the Holy Land

3 Weeks – 3 Great Zohrab Events

Mark your calendars, friends of the Zohrab Center. The next three weeks will feature a series of three exciting enrichment events.

2016-11-voyagefilm-001THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3 • 7PM

ZIC Goes to the MoviesLe Voyage en Arménie (Journey to Armenia) directed by Robert Guediguian. French with English subtitles. Writer, translator, journalist and filmmaker Christopher Atamian will introduce this award-winning film about a man who flees to his native Armenia after being diagnosed with a serious illness. His daughter sets out after him as he seeks to recover his cherished homeland in a country that has changed dramatically since he left it.

Starring Ariane Ascaride, Gérard Meylan, Serge Avédikian, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, and Jalil Lespert. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A FLYER.

2016-11-jerusalemeverypeople-001WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9 • 7PM

Meet the co-curators of the current exhibition at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art: Jerusalem 1000-1400: Every People Under Heaven. Over 200 works of art from Jerusalem illustrate how the Holy City played a key role in shaping the art of the period from 1000-1400. The Armenians’ presence and creative activity in Jerusalem since ancient times are on full display from the very first work in the exhibit, which features several priceless Armenian treasures never before seen outside the walls of the Armenian Quarter.

Drs. Melanie Holcomb and Barbara Drake Boehm, co-curators of the exhibition, will survey the works on display and discuss the importance of this period in the history of Jerusalem and its diverse communities. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A FLYER.

2016-11-poetryevening-001THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17 • 7PM

An Evening of Poetry. American-Armenian poets Dana Walrath, Shahé Mankerian and Lola Koundakjian will read from their works in English and Armenian.

DANA WALRATH was a 2012-2013 Fulbright Scholar in Armenia, where she completed her first book, Like Water on Stone, a verse novel about the Armenian Genocide, loosely based on the story her grandmother. LOLA KOUNDAKJIAN reads regularly at the Zohrab Center. She has read her works internationally and published them in several translations. She is the founder of the Armenian Poetry Project. SHAHÉ MANKERIAN is co-director of the Los Angeles Writing Project and an award-winning educator. He was the first place winner of the 2012 “Black and White” anthology series from Outsider Press. His poems have been published in numerous literary magazines.

Copies of the poets’ recent books will be available for sale. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A FLYER.

All events take place at the Diocese of the Armenian Church, 630 2nd Avenue, New York and begin at 7PM. All are welcome. Admission to the Evening of Poetry is $5. Students with ID are free. All other events are free and open to all. A reception and conversation follows each event.

For further information contact the Zohrab Center at zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org or (212) 686-0710.

 

How Did I Survive? Book Presentation by Dr. Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan

2016-10-howsurvivebookjacketDr. Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan will present the memoirs of his grandfather, the renowned Soviet Armenian philosopher, Professor Artavazd M. Minasyan (1913-1993) in the Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese in New York on Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 7PM.

Entitled, How Did I Survive?, Professor Minasyan’s memoirs were translated into English and edited by Dr. Gevorkyan, who will present the book.

Professor Minasyan was one of the founders of the dialectic school of philosophy. He made immense contributions to the scientific content of philosophy through his numerous research articles, monographs, textbooks, and conference presentations.

The book tells the remarkable story of an intellectual  of the highest caliber, and the challenges, controversies, destruction and injustice posed by life in the Soviet Union. The author unveils intricate details of his time, describing his fight for survival and what inspired and gave him strength to go on from the days of his hungry childhood, Stalin’s purges, facing the enemy one-on-one during World War II, or struggling in peacetime for the right to voice alternative views in science.

2016-10-howsurvivedrevised-001Covering the period of approximately eighty years from the early 1910s to the early 1990s the narrative coincides with the author’s life-journey, touching upon every significant event of the time and the author’s personal involvement in each case. These situations are not told in simple chronological enumeration, but are enriched with complex nuances. They are analyzed through the prism of time and the author’s adherence to dialectical critique. Hence one man’s life becomes the reflection of the life of the entire country.

Dr. Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan is Assistant Professor of Economics in Department of Economics and Finance of the Peter J. Tobin College of Business at St. John’s University in New York City; a Vincentian Research Fellow at the Vincentian Centre for Church and Society, and a Research Fellow at the Center for Global Business Stewardship. Dr. Gevorkyan also serves as Economics Subject Matter Expert for the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See To the United Nations in New York. Additionally, Dr. Gevorkyan has worked as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Central Bank of Armenia. Dr. Gevorkyan’s extensive teaching and research experience covers themes in macroeconomic policy, economic development, international financial economics, labor migration, sovereign debt, commodities markets, and post-socialist transition economics. Dr. Gevorkyan is a co-editor (with Otaviano Canuto) of Financial Deepening and Post-Crisis Development in Emerging Markets (Palgrave MacMillan, 2016). He is also the author of Innovative Fiscal Policy and Economic Development in Transition Economies (Routledge, 2013 in paperback; 2011 in hardcover).

The book presentation is open to the public and free of charge. Books will be available for sale during a reception that will follow the presentation.

CLICK HERE to download a full-color flyer. For further information contact the Zohrab Center at zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org or (212) 686-0710.

 

 

Genocide and Immortality? Dr. Roberta Ervine to Open ZIC Autumn Enrichment Series

The Zohrab Center’s Autumn Enrichment Series will begin on Tuesday, September 27 with a presentation by Dr. Roberta Ervine entitled, In the Harsh Light of Genocide: Armenian Thoughts on Immortality.

2016-09-ervineanmahutiwn-001Dr. Ervine is Professor of Armenian Studies at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary. She is a regular lecturer at the Zohrab Center.

The Genocide forced Armenians to reconsider their human experience in the light of mass death and dislocation. In an insecure and threatening world, what can one depend on? Is there a life after death, and if so, who is in charge of it? Where does it happen? What is it like? What qualities make a person, a community, or an ethnic group immortal? Does immortality have anything to do with faith? How does immortality relate to traditional Armenian religious teaching, if at all?

Prof. Roberta ErvineOn an almost week-by-week basis, Armenian periodical literature from the 1920’s and 1930’s records the process by which these questions worked themselves out in the minds of survivors and Diaspora Armenians alike.

Rereading this long forgotten body of writings, Dr. Ervine will explore the new, post-Genocide thinking on the topic of immortality, and look at where Armenians turned to find inspiration and consolation in the uncertain decades immediately following the Genocide.

Since 2001 Professor Roberta Ervine has taught courses on
Classical and Modern Armenian Language, Church History, and Armenian Theology and Spirituality at St. Nersess Seminary in Armonk, New York. She earned her PhD in classical Armenian Studies from Columbia University and has done extensive research on topics related to medieval Armenian studies. She pursues topics related to the history of Armenians in Jerusalem and the intellectual tradition of the Armenian Middle Ages.

2016-09-ervineimmortality-001During the Spring  she was the Henry K. Khanzadian Kazan Visiting Professor of Armenian Studies at California State University, Fresno.

Dr. Ervine’s presentation will take place in the Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese in New York on Tuesday, Septmeber 27, 2016. All are invited to the event, which is free of charge. A reception will follow. For further information contact the Zohrab Center at zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org or (212) 686-0710.

CLICK HERE to download a flyer.

Noble Lineage: The Mysterious Story of a Book

by V. REV. DANIEL FINDIKYAN

Gdanian

Rev. Fr. Garen Gdanian 1925-2013

Every book tells two stories.

The first is contained within its pages, be it a novel, an atlas, a cookbook or a chemistry textbook. The second is the book’s own story—how that particular volume came to be—from the printing press to the bookstore or dealer—traversing perhaps multiple owners and readers, until it falls into your hands.

Recently the Zohrab Center was the beneficiary of the library of the late and beloved priest Fr. Garen Gdanian, who passed away in 2013. While sorting through cartons of books, I noticed the elegantly embossed leather binding that is the hallmark of a precious old book.

GdanianBOokHandsMy suspicions were confirmed as I plucked it out of the box and carefully turned the book in my hands. Lustrous gilt edging glittered in my eyes while my fingers coursed over the grooves and ridges of the intricately embossed cover. Whoever bound this book spared no expense.

Stamped in gold leaf on the cover was this title: Առ բարձրաշնորհ Տ.Տ. Մաղաքիա Արքեպիսկոպոս Օրմանեան Պատրիարք Հայոց [T0 the Most Gracious Reverend Archbishop Maghakia Ormanian Patriarch of the Armenians].

He, of course, is the great Armenian churchman from the turn of the twentieth century, easily one of the greatest Armenian intellects of modern times, who served as Patriarch of Constantinople from 1896-1908.

Want to read more about the Patriarch Maghakia Ormanian along with an excerpt in English from his famous Gospel commentary, Hamabadoom? Click here for the latest issue of the Armenian Church magazine The Treasury / Գանձարան.

Ormanian

Patriarch Maghakia Ormanian 1841-1918

Yet while Ormanian was a gifted and prolific author, the cover indicates that this book was not written by him, but addressed to him. 

My first thought was that the book contained a letter directed to the Patriarch, who was a controversial figure. He resigned his position as Patriarch under pressure from political extremists, who had attacked him for his stubborn refusal to support any form of violence in the Armenians’ opposition to Abdul Hamid’s regime. Could this book be some anti-Ormanian diatribe?

But no. A gilt inscription on the book’s thin spine reads Կրօնի Ուսում [Course in Religion].

Indeed, turning to the title page, we read the full title of the work:

 Illustrated Course in Religion from the Known to the Unknown, from the Impenetrable to the Believable. A Face-to-Face Course and Graded Study. Intermediate Level. 

TitlePage

Title page of Tavit Khachgonts’ textbook on the Armenian Church. Patriarch Ormanian’s monogram stamp (Մ.Օ) is visible in the center right.

The author is a certain Tavit Khachgonts (1866-1918). It was published by the Balentz Press and Bookstore in Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1905.

Traversing the pages of our book we discover a comprehensive survey of the Armenian Church in 188 pages. It includes brief but incisive summaries of the Old and New Testaments, the history of the Armenian Church against the background of the universal church; key persons and saints, feasts and fasts, sacraments and liturgical services, vestments and vessels, church architecture and hierarchical structures, Armenian church pious customs and traditions, and more. A number of tables, charts and glossaries round out the extremely valuable manual, which may well be the finest one-volume survey of the Armenian Church that I have encountered.

The author adds this codicil to the title page:

Objective
To transmit Armenian Christianity to Armenian young people and to present their mother church as something for them to love. 

A noble goal indeed.

So much for the first story.

The gilt inscription on the leather cover addressing the book to Patriarch Ormanian turns out to be a glorified gift tag. This copy was a personal gift. It was specially bound for the Armenian Patriarch, whose monogram, M.O., is stamped on the title page. This book once belonged to the great Maghakia Ormanian.

How did the book travel from the sacred galleries of the Armenian Patriarchate in Constantinople over 100 years ago to Fr. Garen’s personal library in Troy, New York?

The mystery continues. Read on… Read more…