Organized by the Armenian Diaspora Research Center (ADRC) at Haigazian University, and supported by the Armenian Communities Department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the conference on “Armenians of Jordan” took place over the course of three days.
On Sunday, 22nd of May, the official opening ceremony took place in the presence of Armenian intellectuals, historians, and academicians. The ceremony started with the opening words of Dr. Antranig Dakessian, Director of the ADRC, followed by a letter from Dr. Razmig Panossian, head of the Armenian Communities Department of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
Due to reasons beyond her control, the guest speaker, Dr. Hind Abu Shaar, head of the Humanities Department of Jordan University could not read her speech in person. Haigazian University Dean of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Arda Ekmekji, read the speech titled “Modern History of Jordan during the Ottoman and National Era (1850-1946).” The ceremony ended with Haigazian University’s President Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian’s closing remarks.
The official opening was followed by a photo exhibition of the prominent Jordan Armenian photographer, Miro Kizirian at the Arthur Matossian Arts Center in the Mugar Building.
The conference, six sessions on two consecutive days, covered twenty-one topics presented by twenty scholars coming from countries such as the United States, France, Armenia, Lebanon and Jordan.
Panelists were Prof. Claude Mutafian on “The Armenian Fiefs in Jordan (12th -14th c.),” Dr. Himler Kaiser on “The Jordanian Lands during the Armenian Genocide; Deportees, Famine and War”, Dr. Jon Armajani on “The Jordanian Constitution and the Rights of Minorities” , Dr. Antranik Dakessian on “A Demographic Study of the Jordanian Armenians (1925-2005),” Anna Ohannessian-Charpin on “The Bedouins of Armenian Descent in South Jordan” and “(Photographer) Hagop of Aqaba”, Aline Benneyan on “The Jarash Armenians” (her paper was read in absentia by HU student Lila Bamoukian, majoring in Armenian Studies), Silva Meneksheian-Baghsarian on “The Jordan Homenetmen”, Hagop Serpekian on “The Ruseyfa Armenians”, Kevork Meserlian on “The Irbid Armenians”, Yeghig Tashjian on “The Photographer of Kings, Hagop Berberian”, Silva Sarkissian-Hayrabedian on “The Jordan Armenians: The Making of a Community” (her paper was read in absentia by HU student Nareg Hanneian, majoring in Armenian Studies), Rosette Alemian-Mahseredjian on “The Amman Watani Club”, Arsiné Jambazian on “The Armenian Relief Society of Jordan”, Madeleine Medzagopian on “The Catholic Armenian Community (Institutions, School, and Church)” as well as on “The Armenian Diaspora in Jordan between Integration in the Hostland and Connectivity with the Motherland”, Nerses Nersessian on “Outstanding Figures in the Jordan Armenian Community and the Armenian Churches of Jordan”, Hratzin Vardanyan on “The Relations of the Committee of Cultural Relations with the Diaspora Armenians and the Jordan Armenians”, Vicken Aslanian in absentia on “Jordan Armenians in Public Life” (his paper was read in absentia by ex-HU student Bedig Torossian), majoring in Armenian Studies), Dr. Lucine Taminian on “The Identity Making of a Diasporic Armenian”, Dr. Araks Pashyan on “The Jordan Armenian Community: Current Challenges”.
Presentations and sessions were moderated by Dr. Arda Ekmekji, Dr. Zaven Messerlian, Dr. Anahid Donabedian, Dr. Armen Urneshlian, Dr. Levon Avedanian, Dr. Nanor Karageozian, and Dr. Anke El Bataineh.
The proceedings of the conference will be published by the end of 2016.