Posts Tagged ‘Marina Bazayeva’


[FAR Schools]: Ounjian School Continues to Grow.

July 31, 2010

Although construction has already been in progress for five months, an opening ceremony dedicated to the launch of the Ounjian School’s new sub building was held on July 8 in honor of its chief supporter Dr. Hovhannes (John) Ounjian’s the arrival at the project site.

The former N21 secondary school, which was completely ruined after the 1988 earthquake, was reconstructed due to the generous benevolence of Dr. Ounjian, who is from New York and also an honorable citizen of Gyumri. The school is named after the benefactor’s parents Armenak and Yeghisabet Ounjian.

Dr. Ounjian also undertook the expenses of the reinforcement and renovation of the school’s sub building, which will contain new classrooms, a library, and language room.

The Reverend Father Tateos Abdalian, a representative of the Armenian Apostolic Church in America (Eastern Diocese), opened the ceremony with a hearty blessing. During his welcome speech, FAR Country Director Bagrat Sargsyan recognized Dr. Ounjian’s mission in Gyumri, which enables 450 children study in favorable conditions. Since 2002, nearly 150 school graduates have also obtained higher education thanks to the support of Ounjian Scholarship Fund.

Dr. Ounjian, Shirak Regional Governor Ashot Giziryan, and several program executives carved their signatures in the wall of one of the rooms to commemorate the ceremony.

Several guests attended, including Armenia’s Deputy Regional Governor, FAR Programs Director Arto Vorperian, who was visiting from the USA, FAR Shirak Department Director Marina Bazayeva, ACYOA APS group members, students, teachers, and journalists.

Shortly after the schoolchildren’s acknowledgement speeches, Dr. Ounjian promised to support the school so that it will one day be rated as the best educational institution in the Republic of Armenia.

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Credit: FAR Staff


[Octet Music School]: The Rebirth of Gyumri’s Art Scene.

June 4, 2010

More than 1,000 participants from nations like Russia, Belarus, France, Egypt, Iran, and China, gathered in Gyumri last month for the Veratsnund International Music Contest. Commemorating the 95th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, the Veratsnund – or Renaissance — contest also marked the revival of Gyumri’s vibrant art scene, which has grown significantly in recent years.

The Gyumri “Octet” School of Music was one shining example of this growing community of artists. Sixth grade violin student Ani Khachatryan won an award for the performance of her signature “music rhapsody.” Ani is just one of the many students under the tutelage of teacher Anahit Grigoryan, whose kids are some of the most talented young musicians in the area.

Ani Khachatryan


Ani Khachatryan with Octet students


Credit: Marina Bazayea


[Opinions]: Gray Eyeglasses Show Gray Signs of Soul Disaster.

April 7, 2010

“Every thinking man — and by man I also mean woman —
MUST be occupied only by this interest: to develop a soul.”

G.I. Gurdjieff (as quoted in Solita Solano’s diaries)

Gyumri FAR Employee Marina Bazayeva’s Response to Tyler Guthrie’s WaPo article about Armenia.

It may sound absurd that a nation born in the III millennium B.C., the one that was the first to proclaim Christianity as its state religion, one that has a very rich language and alphabet dating back to 405 A.D., one that printed its first book in 1512, has no words to distinguish between flesh and body.

If one knows Armenia and sees its palette, however, they would understand what is meant by this. An Armenian has a soul irrespective of his body’s shape and color. An Armenian puts his soul into everything he produces and perceives: monasteries, babies. An Armenian is bred as a part of a culture and mentality that is transferred from one generation to the other. An Armenian constructs buildings as a piece of architecture. From multi-colored natural stones that do not need artificial paint, an Armenian restores the Mother Armenia monument and pays attention to it in his thoughts, as it is a symbol of durability and respect to one’s motherland. Unlike the Statue of Liberty, which was a gift from France, Armenians constructed and reconstructed Mother Armenia themselves to keep the torch of hope, lost after the earthquake, alive.

Gyumri in 2009

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Armenians are the ones that gave their lives to preserve their homeland. They did not escape to distant lands to save themselves. Armenians have deep and ancient roots as people, but lacked a state of their own from 1375 to 1918. They learned how to survive and flourish within multi-ethnic states, such as the Ottoman, Persian, Russian, and Soviet empires. Armenians managed to preserve Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, which was founded in 753 B.C. — 29 years before the foundation of Rome.

For an American like Mr. Guthrie it may be hard to comprehend how a person can ignore waste management or extinguish a cigarette into water because throughout his entire life he saw perfect roads, waste and litter designated containers, and everything in a normal shape that was taken for granted. He personally did not do anything for that. He was just born in a warm and comfortable maternity building, was taken to his comfortable house with running cold and hot water, then to a modern school, and later to a contemporary university, and an air-conditioned office.

Gyumri in 2009

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When he enters a “Bath and Body Works” or a “Body Shop” and cannot decide which shower gel to choose — with a strawberry or raspberry flavor — it may never occurs to him that someone like him, born in Gyumri who has the same body, has no bath to sponge himself with the lotions. It never occurs to him that an Armenian who has two university degrees and is a son of physicians, has to go outside to carry in a bucket of water, heat it on a wood stove, pour it on his body to bath, and dry his hair on the diesel heater. An Armenian is so occupied with solving routine problems that he forgets to extinguish his cigarette in the litter. Allow him to take his time, as only 20 years passed after the natural ordeal and independence, whereas 200 years of American prosperity make Americans to forget what a world with a shortage of bread or electricity means.

Gyumri in 2009


The strength and durability allowed Armenians to produce brandy and beer that are not worse than Cognac or Heineken.

Let us not wear glasses when we visit other places and see the soul, the flesh and not just the body, which can be worn or outdated. It is better to have an old-fashioned coat than an ugly soul.

Links to Gyumri:


[Armenian Life]: The outstanding women from Gyumri.

March 15, 2010

By Marina Bazayeva

“Eve” stands for “living one” or “source of life.”

Gyumri dialect is the only one in the Armenian language that has the word man in the word “woman,” just like in the English language.

The Armenian language is called “maireni” that derived from the word “mother”.

A meeting with the Shirak diocese Primate Archbishop Mikayel Ajapahyan was held to honor outstanding women of the Shirak province. The Primate mentioned the big role and essential contribution of Shirak’s women to the social, economic and political life of Gyumri and the Shirak province. Armenia was one of the first countries that, in the first decade of the XIX century, gave women the right to vote. During the Soviet era most of the high positions in this province were held by women. For many years the leader of the leading party was Ms. Donara Harutyunyan, whose contribution to the city development is hard to overstate. Today’s Shirak’s Governor is a lady, a fact that is frequently mentioned in Strasbourg at the European Union. Ms. Lida Nanyan is officially acknowledged as one of the best governors in Armenia. The deputy governor, Ms. Kirakosyan is a lady, too. Two villages in the Shirak region have elected female village supervisors.

The Primate also acknowledged the key role of women in child education and their importance to the family. He praised their devotion and dedication to the church, today and in history, noting that only the women stayed with Jesus Christ after he was crucified.

Primate Archbishop Mikayel Ajapahyan
honors women of the Shirak province

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Credit: FAR Staff


[Octet Music School]: Gyumri School started its “Musical Spring” tour.

March 11, 2010

By Marina Bazayeva

Flowers are mainly associated with women, beauty, happiness, appreciation and love. Gyumri Octet School of Music started its musical spring tour devoted to the project Armenia Grateful to Rock.

The Octet orchestra visited one of the oldest educational establishments of Gyumri, a 75 year old Pedagogical Institute. The concert was dedicated to March 8, the International Women’s day. The majority of the teachers both in Octet and Pedagogical Institute are women and such bouquet was a quintessence of charm, intellect and devotion. The concert comprised music pieces performed by the school kids and poetry recitals by the Institute students.

The University staff was amazed by the wonderful performance level of the kids and high professionalism of the teachers. The school kids were proud to perform in front of such a big audience outside their school. The Institute issued a thank-you letter to Octet and wished the best to the school.

The school principle also thanked the Institute and announced about two benevolent concerts that a rock legend Ian Gillan will perform on March 26 and 27 to provide the profit for the school construction and invited the Institute students and professors to visit the concerts. He mentioned VivaCell and MediaMax that recently presented musical instruments to the school. He also thanked FAR for channeling the information concerning the school. The concert ended with an orchestra performance of “Mesmerized Flowers” and long encore!

There is a series of similar concerts to other Schools of Music around Armenia this spring.

Young Musicians of the Octet School in Gyumri



Credit: FAR Staff


[Octet School]: Securing Gohar’s Future

October 14, 2009

By Marina Bazayeva

In a novel by Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist, the King of Salem says: “Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is….there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.”

A strong young girl, Gohar, despite having been born in a shattered damp temporary house after the 1988 earthquake, persists in working towards her mission and knows that through study, through great learning, it can be fulfilled. But under the strained monetary situation in which her family lives, she faces many obstacles. With the father unemployed and the mother supporting the family as a violin teacher at the FAR-affiliated Octet School of Music in Gyumri, their daughter’s dream of enrolling at university might be left unfulfilled.

During concert

Credit: FAR Staff

Fortune sent a group of young American professionals and among them an enterprising individual, Daniele Sahr, to help. This young woman immediately focused her time and energy to organize fundraising among her family and friends to meet an impending tuition deadline – Gohar would start university at Yerevan State in 3 weeks or she would not. Daniele’s genuine desire to help quickly mobilized people’s concern and in timely fashion their goal was met.

Thanks to those who took the challenge into their hands, Gohar, full of hope and gratefulness, attends the Turkish Department of the Oriental Faculty bachelor program. As Daniele explained to the donors,  “This opportunity leaves Gohar poised to return to Gyumri (near the Turkish border) to work as a specialist in the event of the Armenian-Turkish border opening. Armenians must continue developing their knowledge in intercultural relations, culture, and history to help maneuver future changes in border rules and diplomatic activities. It is key that we ensure intelligent, driven students, like Gohar, get the education they need.” And most certainly, to fulfill their missions.

Gohar Seyranyan

Gohar Seyranyan

Credit: FAR Staff