NEW DATE! St. Gregory of Narek roundtable moved to Monday, Sept. 12th

The roundtable discussion around Prof. Abraham Terian’s new translation of St. Gregory of Narek’s Prayer Book has been moved to Monday, September 12th.

Please see the updated information below:

RSVP at the following link: https://bit.ly/depth-of-the-heart

To watch on YouTube, click on https://bit.ly/StLeonEvents at the beginning of the program

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A Roundtable Discussion on St. Gregory of Narek’s Prayer Book with Dr. Abraham Terian, Bp. Daniel Findikyan, and Dr. Jesse Arlen

The Zohrab Information Center, St. Leon Armenian Church, and St. Nersess Armenian Seminary are proud co-sponsors of a roundtable discussion around St. Gregory of Narek’s Prayer Book, with Dr. Abraham Terian, His Grace Bishop Daniel Findikyan, and Dr. Jesse Arlen, that will take place on Monday, September 12th at 7:00pm at St. Leon Armenian Church (Abajian Hall), 12-61 Saddle River Road, Fair Lawn, NJ 07410.

Join scholars of Armenian Christianity to explore St. Gregory of Narek’s magnum opus and celebrate its recent translation into English by Abraham Terian: From the Depths of the Heart: Annotated Translation of the Prayers of St. Gregory of Narek (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press Academic, 2021).

RSVP at the following link: https://bit.ly/depth-of-the-heart

To watch on YouTube, click on https://bit.ly/StLeonEvents at the beginning of the program

Tomorrow: A Literary Evening in New York!

Join the Zohrab Information Center and the International Armenian Literary Alliance for an in-person literary evening tomorrow on August 23, 2022 at 7:00 pm ET, to hear Armenian writers read from their short stories, novels, poetry and nonfiction.

Readers include Aida Zilelian, Alan Semerdjian, Garen Torikian, Jesse Arlen, Lola Koundakjian, Nadia Owusu, Nancy Agabian, Nancy Kricorian, and Olivia Katrandjian. A wine and cheese reception will follow. 

We’ll convene on the Plaza (in front of the Cathedral), weather permitting
630 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10016

A Literary Evening: Armenian Writers in New York

Join the Zohrab Information Center and the International Armenian Literary Alliance for an in-person literary evening on August 23, 2022 at 7:00 pm ET, to hear Armenian writers read from their short stories, novels, poetry and nonfiction.

Readers include Aida Zilelian, Alan Semerdjian, Garen Torikian, Jesse Arlen, Lola Koundakjian, Nadia Owusu, Nancy Agabian, Nancy Kricorian, and Olivia Katrandjian. A wine and cheese reception will follow. 

At Guild Hall of the Armenian Diocese, 630 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10016

Week 3 Readings for Tenny Arlen poetry reading group

The third session of the 5-week reading group around Tenny Arlen’s book of poetry To Say with Passion: Why Am I Here? (Կիրքով ըսելու՝ ինչո՞ւ հոս եմ) meets tonight by Zoom.

ZOOM REGISTRATION

In the first week, UCLA Western Armenian professor Dr. Hagop Kouloujian discussed Tenny Arlen’s linguistic and creative journey, from growing up with no Armenian knowledge until the age of 20 when she began an intensive study of Armenian language and literature at UCLA and soon after began composing original poetry of her own. The poems discussed in the first session touched on themes of creativity, language, the power of speech, and poetics. 

Last week the discussion was led by Dr. Jesse Arlen around a series of poems relating to themes such as solitude, speech and silence, the individual vs. the crowd, isolation and connection.

The discussion of this week’s readings will be led by Dr. Christopher Sheklian, a postdoctoral research fellow at Radboud University and the former director of the Zohrab Information Center.

Tonight’s readings:

Հայ լեզուի խնդիրը (էջ 19) | The Problem of the Armenian Language (p. 8)
Տեղատուութիւն եւ մակընթացութիւն (էջ 22–23) | Ebb and Flow (p. 10)
Մտմտալով (էջ 38–39) | Musing (p. 18)
Հին ու նոր (էջ 48–49) | Old and New (p. 24)
Լոյս (էջ 58–59) | Light (p. 29)
Յուշագրութիւններ (էջ 71–79) | Memoirs (p. 36–40)
Մեռելածին (էջ 82–88) | Stillborn (p. 43–46)

PDFs of the book are available in Armenian and English.

The book is available for purchase here or from Abril Bookstore.
Or, be in touch directly with Jesse Arlen to arrange payment and shipping (zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org)

Week 2 Readings for Tenny Arlen Poetry Reading Group

The second session of the 5-week reading group around Tenny Arlen’s book of poetry “To Say with Passion: Why Am I Here?” (Կիրքով ըսելու՝ ինչո՞ւ հոս եմ) meets tonight by Zoom.

ZOOM REGISTRATION

Last week UCLA Western Armenian professor Dr. Hagop Kouloujian discussed Tenny Arlen’s linguistic and creative journey, from growing up with no Armenian knowledge until the age of 20 when she then began an intensive study of Armenian language and literature at UCLA and soon after began composing original poetry of her own. The three poems discussed last week touched on themes of creativity, language, the power of speech, and poetics. 

The discussion of this week’s readings will be led by Dr. Jesse Arlen, director of the Zohrab Information Center and the late poet’s older brother.

Tonight’s readings:

Բառեր (էջ 12–13) | Words (p. 4–5)
Արծաթէ սանդուխը (էջ 14–15) | The Silver Staircase (p. 6)
Զարթնում (էջ 20–21) | Awaking (p. 9)
Մեծ քաղաքը (էջ 32–33) | The Big City (p. 15)
Մշուշ (էջ 36–37) | Mist (p. 17)
Երազ (էջ 56–57) | Dream (p. 28)
Պատուհան (էջ 62–63) | Window (p. 31)

PDFs of the book are available in Armenian and English.

The book is available for purchase here. Or, be in touch directly with Jesse Arlen to arrange payment and shipping (zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org)

REMINDER: Poetry Reading Group around Tenny Arlen’s “To Say with Passion: Why Am I Here?” begins tonight at 7:00pm

Tonight’s session, the first in a 5-week series meeting on Thursday evenings at 7:00pm (June 23–July 21), will be led by Dr. Hagop Kouloujian, professor of Western Armenian language and literature at UCLA, who was Tenny’s Armenian language teacher and wrote the afterword to the book. Readings and discussion will take place in Armenian and English.

ZOOM REGISTRATION

The readings to do in advance of tonight’s session are:

Յետգրութիւն այս գիրքի մասին (էջ 107–118) | Afterword about this book (p. 54–61)
Գիշեր (էջ 7) | Night (p. 1)
Բանաստեղծութիւն (էջ 8–9) | Poetry (p. 2)
Պատումը (էջ 10–11) | The Narration (p. 3)

PDFs of the book are available in Armenian and English.

Summer Poetry Reading Group: Tenny Arlen’s “To Say with Passion: Why Am I Here?”

The Zohrab Center is hosting a dual language summer reading group around Tenny Arlen’s newly published volume of poetry To Say With Passion: Why Am I Here? (Կիրքով ըսելու՝ ինչո՞ւ հոս եմ, Yerevan: ARI Literature Foundation, 2021), which will meet by Zoom on the five Thursday evenings between June 23–July 21 at 7:00pm ET. Each session will be led by a different facilitator, around a cluster of poems from the volume. Readings and discussion will take place in both Armenian and English. The schedule and reading list is below.

To register for all the Zoom sessions, please click here.

With no prior knowledge of Armenian, Tenny began taking Western Armenian classes in 2011 at UCLA with Prof. Hagop Kouloujian. Over the next two years, she began to compose her own poetry in the classes, and with Prof. Kouloujian’s assistance was preparing a book of verse, before her untimely death in a car accident in 2015 at age 24, just before beginning her doctoral program in Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan.

The posthumous book release event, which took place at UCLA on May 20th, can be viewed here. An article about the event can be read here.

The book is available for purchase here. Or, be in touch directly with Jesse Arlen to arrange payment and shipping (zohrabcenter@armeniandiocese.org)

PDFs of the book in Armenian and English translation are available below.

ZOOM REGISTRATION

Session 1: Thursday, June 23 with Prof. Hagop Kouloujian (Professor of Western Armenian Language and Literature, UCLA)
Reading List:
Յետգրութիւն այս գիրքի մասին (էջ 107–118) | Afterword about this book (p. 54–61)
Գիշեր (էջ 7) | Night (p. 1)
Բանաստեղծութիւն (էջ 8–9) | Poetry (p. 2)
Պատումը (էջ 10–11) | The Narration (p. 3)


Session 2: Thursday, June 30 with Dr. Jesse S. Arlen (Director, Zohrab Information Center; Postdoctoral Fellow, Fordham University)
Reading List:
Բառեր (էջ 12–13) | Words (p. 4–5)
Արծաթէ սանդուխը (էջ 14–15) | The Silver Staircase (p. 6)
Զարթնում (էջ 20–21) | Awaking (p. 9)
Մեծ քաղաքը (էջ 32–33) | The Big City (p. 15)
Մշուշ (էջ 36–37) | Mist (p. 17)
Երազ (էջ 56–57) | Dream (p. 28)
Պատուհան (էջ 62–63) | Window (p. 31)


Session 3: Thursday, July 7 with Dr. Christopher Sheklian (Postdoctoral Fellow, Radboud University)
Reading List:
Հայ լեզուի խնդիրը (էջ 19) | The Problem of the Armenian Language (p. 8)
Տեղատուութիւն եւ մակընթացութիւն (էջ 22–23) | Ebb and Flow (p. 10)
Մտմտալով (էջ 38–39) | Musing (p. 18)
Հին ու նոր (էջ 48–49) | Old and New (p. 24)
Լոյս (էջ 58–59) | Light (p. 29)
Յուշագրութիւններ (էջ 71–79) | Memoirs (p. 36–40)
Մեռելածին (էջ 82–88) | Stillborn (p. 43–46)


Session 4: Thursday, July 14 with Dn. Yervant Kutchukian (PhD Candidate, Oxford University)
Reading List:
Անվերջ սկիզբ (էջ 18) | Endless Beginning (p. 8)
Գիշեր (էջ 24–25) | Night (p. 11)
Գնացք (էջ 26–27) | Journey (p. 12)
Լուսանկարներ (էջ 30–31) | Photographs (p. 14)
Ըսել (էջ 40–42) | To say (p. 19)
Հիւանդանոց (էջ 43) | Hospital (p. 20)
Մինչեւ (էջ 44) | Until (p. 21)
Լուսանցք (էջ 64–65) | Margin (p. 32)
Աստ անդ (էջ 68–70) | Here there (p. 34–35)


Session 5: Thursday, July 21 with Alexia Hatun (PhD Student, UCLA)
Reading List:
Միտքս (էջ 16–17) | My Mind (p. 7)
Ես ու ես (էջ 28–29) I and I (p. 13)
Մենք (էջ 34) We (p. 16)
Անաւարտ (էջ 45) | Unfinished (p. 22)
Եղար (էջ 46–47) | You were (p. 23)
Կարապներ (էջ 50–53) | Swans (p. 25–26)
Ծաղիկ (էջ 54–55) | Flower (p. 27)
Երկուք (էջ 66–67) | Two (p. 33)
Գեղեցկութիւն (էջ 80–81) | Beauty (p. 41–42)

Sonia Tashjian’s personal library finds a home at the Zohrab Information Center

Sonia Tashjian (née Ekizian) was born in Jounieh, Lebanon in 1929 to parents Hampartzoum and Haigouhi (née Karagosian) Ekizian who hailed from Chomachlou and Yozgat, Turkey, respectively.  Her father had emigrated to New York prior to World War I to earn money for his family.  Her mother survived the Armenian Genocide by walking in constant peril through the Syrian desert before reaching a refugee camp in Aleppo, Syria, where Hampartzoum had rescued his two surviving children, Garabed and Turvandah.  He married Haigouhi and together they had four children, Margaret, Youghaper, Sonia, and Hagop.  

Sonia Tashjian (middle back) with her father, mother, and three siblings

Sonia emigrated to New York in 1937 at the age of eight with her parents and siblings.  She graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in the Bronx, NY.  She married Martin Sonny Tashjian, in 1951, shortly before Sonny was deployed to Korea.  They had four sons: Douglas, Glenn, Craig, and Roger.  Sonny died in 1981 from Leukemia.  With her well known strong will and determination, Sonia re-entered the workforce and still managed to send her two youngest sons to Lehigh University.  

Sonia Tashjian in 1950

Sonny and Sonia were among the founding families of St. Thomas Armenian Church in Tenafly, NJ.  She later became an active member of St. Leon Armenian Church in Fair Lawn, NJ, where she was a member of the women’s guild for 30 years.  Sonia’s faith in God and never-give-up spirit got her through several illnesses, including her final battle with COVID-19 and its aftermath.  She died peacefully on the morning of July 29th, 2020.   

Sonia Tashjian later in life

Sonia was an exceptional bibliophile, as evidenced by her collection of over a hundred Armenian-related books that were donated by her son Douglas to the Zohrab Information Center in 2021.  Several titles were original contributions to the Center’s library, e.g., The Adventures of Wesley Jackson by William Saroyan, and Source Records of the Great War, Volume III (an anthology of official documents for the year 1915, with a chapter dedicated to the Armenian Genocide).  

Title page of The Adventures of Wesley Jackson by William Saroyan, from the Sonia Tashjian Collection

Many other titles were in better condition than the Center’s copies, such as George M. Mardikian’s autobiography, Song of America, which also included the original 1956 dust jacket.  

Front cover of Song of America by George Mardikian, from the Sonia Tashjian Collection

Others were earlier editions than books in the Center’s collection, such as the two-volume travelogue Armenia: Travels and Studies by H. F. B. Lynch. Sonia had the first edition from 1901, while the Center had previously only held later editions.  

Front cover of Armenia: Travels and Studies, vol. 1 by H. F. B. Lynch from the Sonia Tashjian Collection
Title page of Armenia: Travels and Studies, vol. 2 by H. F. B. Lynch from the Sonia Tashjian Collection

One of the most intriguing dimensions of Sonia’s collection was the compilation of book-related ephemera: book catalogues of bygone decades, correspondence, and order receipts with Armenian book dealers spanning from 1961-1982, notably seller Mark Armen Kalustian in Arlington, Massachusetts, with whom Sonia exchanged extensive correspondence and was a loyal customer of many years.  

Sonia Tashjian correspondence with bookseller Mark Kalustian
Sonia Tashjian correspondence with bookseller Mark Kalustian
Bookseller Mark Kalustian order form and correspondence with Sonia Tashjian
Bookseller Mark Kalustian order form and correspondence with Sonia Tashjian

Sonia’s collection, both the books and the ephemera, are a magnificent testament not only to the strength of life pulsating through the 20th century Armenian-American community, but also to the love and care of one extraordinary woman toward that community and its literary heritage. Her personal library of Armenian books, collected over a lifetime, has now found a permanent home in the Zohrab Information Center’s research library. 

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD! | ARMENIAN DIASPORA SURVEY

We are delighted to note that the Armenian Diaspora Survey (ADS), a public opinion study project, has been launched throughout the United States and in the province of Ontario, Canada.  

If you consider yourself to be a member of the Armenian Diaspora, we invite you to share your thoughts and views about identity, culture, and community and help us gain a better understanding of the Armenian diaspora.   

The survey will be available across the Unites States and Ontario, Canada until July 29, 2022. Your answers will remain anonymous and the results will be made public early next year through the ADS website.   

Your views and ideas are important. Make your voice heard by completing the questionnaire at www.armeniandiasporasurvey.com.   

We also kindly ask for your help in spreading the word by forwarding this information to your friends and family currently living in the United States and Ontario, Canada. 

The study is funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and administered by the Armenian Institute in London. For more information, please consult ADS’s Frequently Asked Questions and Privacy Policy.  

Many Thanks!