Haigazian University Commemorates the 92nd Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide
Missak Keleshian on “the Armenian Genocide and an Unprecedented Global Relief Response to it”
On the occasion of the 92nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Haigazian University hosted Mr. Missak Keleshian, a popular name in the Armenian community for his surveys of Armenian historical facts, photos, monuments and heritage sites, who presented an inspiring lecture on the global relief response which took place on the eve of the genocide.
The lecture took place on Wednesday the 25th of April, 2007 in the hall of the First Armenian Evangelical Church, next to Haigazian University, among a capacity audience, which included many dignitaries, such as the British Ambassador to Lebanon, Francis Guy, the Swiss Ambassador, Francois Barras, the Public Affairs officer of the US embassy, Juliet Wurr, in addition to representatives of other embassies, the President of the Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches of the Near East, Rev. Megrditch Karagoezian, Chairman of the Haigazian University Board of Trustees, Hrair Mouradian and the University President, Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian.
The program opened with a welcome speech by the Haigazian University Public Relations Director, Mira Yardemian, who explained that the lecture “will not focus on the tragic side of the Genocide story, but rather on the positive relief response to the victims carried out in an unprecedented way by the Near East Relief”. Yardemian also acknowledged that among those present in the audience, certainly there are families who have survived as a result of these relief efforts, and others whose countries have been instrumental in that relief.
Then, Mr. Keleshian, presentated his illustrated lecture by focusing on the tremendous relief support the Near East Relief had carried out on the eve of the Armenian Genocide, in April 1915. This global welfare organization was led by the United States, and included many offices in countries like Australia, Great Britain, Denmark, Switzerland, Greece and many others.
“Between 1915 and 1930, the Near East Relief had administered 117,000,000 USD of assistance, which is the equivalent of 1.25 billion USD in today’s dollar value”, stated Keleshian.
He also showed some touching photos of Armenian orphans, deported on their way to the Near East. “Near East Relief is credited for having rescued 132,556 Armenian orphans, who were housed, fed, taught and provided medical care”, note Keleshian.
The audience had the chance to see many campaign posters for fundraising at the time, which read slogans like, “Clear your plate-remember the starving Armenians”, “Adopt a Child like Shushan” and many others.
As a fitting conclusion to this inspiring presentation, the program ended by Stevie Wonder’s “Visions”, performed by Scott Johnson, accompanied by former Haigazian students, Arek Karagoezian on the keyboard, and Shahan Kilaghbian on the base guitar.
Public Relations Director