Archive for January, 2010

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[Beneficiary Potraits]: Araz Pirumyan

January 29, 2010

Sometimes, FAR beneficiaries are able to take advantage of more than one of our programs.  Araz Pirumyan is a student at the Hovhannes Hintliyan school which is operated by FAR and funded by CARS (Constantinople Armenian Relief Society).  Araz is thirteen years old, and a particularly bright ninth grader.  He began school when he was five, and though he is from a family of modest means (his father became handicapped during the Nagorno-Karabagh war), his family has always prioritized the children’s education.  Araz’s three sisters also attended Hovhannes Hintliyan and then continued to pursue higher education at various institutions.

Araz and his Mother Prepare to Enter the Hospital

Credit: FAR Staff

Unfortunately, Araz recently discovered that he had a disorder of the lower and upper jaw (known as Prognathism).  The Pirumyan family lacked the financial means to cure Araz’s illness.  However, CARS and FAR were able to provide the family with some support.  CARS paid for the family to travel to Yerevan and also covered the X-ray expenses. FAR Health Program Coordinator Hambardzum Simonyan arranged appointments for Araz to see the appropriate medical specialists, and these physicians will provide the assistance needed to treat Araz’s condition.  We are happy to report that Araz Pirumyan will receive health care in time to avoid further complications from the illness, and he will be back in school in no time!

Araz Receives a Medical Exam from a Specialist

Credit: FAR Staff

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[FAR Media Release]: Fund for Armenian Relief celebrates its 20th anniversary, honors one of its Founders, and raises close to $1 Million

January 28, 2010

Some 450 people gathered at Cipriani Wall Street in downtown Manhattan on January 15 to mark the 20th anniversary of the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) — an organization that has provided strength and opportunity to the Armenian people — and pay tribute to a true humanitarian and co-founder of FAR, Dr. Edgar M. Housepian.

Many guests traveled hundreds of miles to attend the regal gala, which helped to raise close to $1 million to support FAR operations.

His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, presided over the event and addressed attendees.

Other notable speakers included Tribute Committee Chair Dr. Tavit Najarian; Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) and President of FAR Archbishop Khajag Barsamian; Chair of FAR’s Board of Directors Mr. Randy Sapah-Gulian; President Emeritus of Boston University and FAR Board member Dr. Aram Chobanian; and Dr. Housepian’s son Dr. David Hovsepian.

President Barack Obama sent a congratulatory letter on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Fund for Armenian Relief.

Please click here to read the whole article.

Dr. Edgar Housepian,
His Holiness Karekin II,
the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians,
and Archbishop Khajag Barsamian,
Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)
and President of FAR.

Credit: Julie Dermansky

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[Beneficiary Potraits]: Rafik Armaghanyan of the Vanadzor Old Age Home

January 28, 2010

At 83 years old, Mr. Rafik Armaghanyan is the oldest resident of the Vanadzor Old Age Home (VOAH).  He found peace and love in the confines of the Vanadzor Home, where he has lived since 1994.  Like many residents of VOAH, Mr. Armaghanyan has had a difficult life.  Born in the Shahali (Gugark) village of the Lori Region in 1927, he graduated from the Tbilisi Railway Transport Institute in 1946, and found work in the Gyumri railway depot.  Though Rafik married and had three daughters, his wife passed away at a young age, and only one daughter remained in Armenia.  Left alone, Rafik remarried, only to lose his second wife at an early age.

Left with no one to turn to, Mr. Armaghanyan went to VOAH.  There, he met Sofia Pavlovna, a Russian woman with kind blue eyes, who had been evacuated to Armenia after World War II.  When Rafik and Sofia fell in love, they married in the local church.  Members of the FAR staff have witnessed the great love with which the old couple lived their everyday life. Mr. Rafik chivalrously took care of his wife until her recent passing.  “This woman presented me peacefulness of soul. Finally I understood what real love is,” said Mr. Rafik Armaghanyan.  FAR is happy to be able to provide peace and happiness to the aging members of our Armenian community.

Mr. Rafik Armaghanyan Lives Happily at VOAH

Credit: FAR Staff

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[CME]: Christmas Celebration!

January 27, 2010

At the end of December, FAR’s CME (Continuing Medical Education) program trainers, as well as the FAR FAA (Fellows Alumni Association) members gathered together to celebrate the closing of another year.  As part of the Christmas reception, medical professionals from various institutions in Yerevan participated in a tour of the Yerevan Brandy Company.  After the tour, the group convened to recap the year’s accomplishments for FAR’s CME Program, and to discuss action items for 2010 and beyond.  FAR’s Bagrat Sargsyan was happy to attend, and expressed his gratitude, on behalf of FAR, to all physicians involved in the program for their hard work and devotion to training a new generation of medical professionals in Armenia.

CME Trainers Tour the Yerevan Medical Factory

Credit: FAR Staff

CME Trainers Pose for a Group Photo

Credit: FAR Staff

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[Beneficiary Potraits]: ANSEF 2009 Beneficiary, Armen Trchounian

January 26, 2010

Armen Trchounian pursues laboratory work at the Biophysics Laboratory of Yerevan State University under the ANSEF grant program. Dr. Trchounian’s project deals with regulating issues of bacterial growth, survival, and activity – namely for use in biotechnology, medicines, and alternative energy. This 2009 project, entitled “Electromagnetic radiation of extremely high frequency effects on bacterial sensitivity to antibiotics” is jointly implemented with lab research partner, Hasmik Tadevosyan.

Research Partners Armen Trchounian and Hasmik Tadevosyan

Credit: FAR Staff

Dr. Trchounian is already quite well-known in Armenian scientific circles. Since 2002 he has been Head of the High Quality Attestation Committee, which awards scientific degrees to Armenian scientists. His achievements include such accolades as Doctor of Science degree (1990), Professor of Science degree (2002), and RA President’s Prize for Biological Science (2003). He has also authored numerous articles published in international magazines and recently participated in the Bioelectromagnetics Congress in Switzerland.

Dr. Trchounian greatly appreciates the role of international grant programs promoting the sustainability of Armenian scientific traditions, and is thankful to ANSEF for his grant. He expressed that “the most important aspect is not so much the amount of the grant but rather the attention focused on the science of Armenia, the international expertise, and the responsibility it takes in achieving results.”

At Work in the Lab

Credit: FAR Staff

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Donation Made for Vanadzor Orphanage and Nubarashen Special School

January 18, 2010

This Christmas, FAR was happy to accept the generous donations of Mr. and Mrs. Michael and Mary Haratounian.   As a result of their generosity, FAR was able to implement some initiatives in the Vanadzor Orphanage as well as the Nubarashen Special School.  Gas Pressure Regulation equipment was purchased for the Vanadzor Orphanage, which should lead to a significant cost savings as well as an improvement in the natural gas supply.  Additionally, a water tank was installed to temporarily supply water to the orphanage kitchen.  At the Nubarashen Special School, FAR purchased  warm winter shoes for the children, and a vacuum cleaner for the school.  These incremental improvements in FAR’s facilities help to keep more children happy and healthy, and we greatly appreciate the support of our benefactors.

Presentation of Shoes and Vaccum at Nubarashen

Credit: FAR Staff

Children Trying on their New Shoes

Credit: FAR Staff

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[FAR New York]: Helping the Victims of the Haitian Earthquake

January 13, 2010

You can contribute through our secure FAR Donation Page, please designate the money to “Wherever Most Needed” and write “HAITI” in the comment line.

It has been 21 years now since the earthquake that destroyed large areas of Armenia—and 21 years since the world’s beautiful outpouring of goodwill towards Armenia and its people. It was then that the Fund for Armenian Relief came to existence and with your help and support we reached out to provide relief to hundreds of thousands Armenians.

Over these past two decades, the memory of our sorrow in 1988 has been re-awakened several times, when natural disasters have struck our fellow human beings in other corners of the world. A sense of solidarity in suffering has inspired FAR family, our compassionate people to provide aid to these fellow victims of devastation.

This week, another such tragedy has taken its toll—this time on the island nation of Haiti. In a region already beset by difficulties, this natural disaster has been especially destructive, and the images coming out of the news have been terribly disheartening.

Today, we are appealing to you to donate to the relief of this disaster. The Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR), will be contributing to the effort to assist the earthquake victims, working through the National Council of Churches.

All proceeds collected—100 percent—will go to the relief effort in Haiti, to be distributed through Church World Service, the humanitarian aid arm of the National Council of Churches.

You can contribute through our secure FAR Donation Page, please designate the money to “Wherever Most Needed” and write “HAITI” in the comment line.