Presentation of Alice Navasargian’s Latest Book The Immortals

In celebration of the “Year of the Armenian Book”, on Thursday, October 18, 2012, the second in a series of literary luncheons was held at the Prelacy “Dikran and Zarouhie Der Ghazarian” Hall under the auspices of H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, and organized by the Prelacy Ladies Auxiliary.

The event featured the presentation of author Mrs. Alice Navasargian’s latest book The Immortals: A Pictorial Anthology of Historiographic Works and a Brief History of Armenia and Armenians in Persia. This is the author’s third book devoted to Armenian contributions to the arts.

Prominent scholar and author Mr. Stepan Topchyan presented the book.

Among the guests in attendance were Crescenta Valley Pastor Rev. Fr. Ghevont Kirazian, Executive Council Chair Mrs. Rima Boghossian, sponsors, friends, and representatives of sister organizations.

The event began with welcoming remarks delivered by Ladies Auxiliary Chair Mrs. Salpi Srourian, who then invited the Prelate for the invocation and the blessing of tables. Continuing her remarks, Mrs. Srourian noted that the day’s event is among those organized by the Ladies Auxiliary in celebration of the “Year of the Armenian Book” as proclaimed by H.H. Catholicos Aram I. She concluded by giving a brief overview of Mrs. Navasargian’s literary accomplishments, among them her third book The Immortals.

After lunch there was a brief cultural program during which Mrs. Srourian recited a poem by Barouyr Sevag. She then invited the day’s keynote speaker to present the book.

Mr. Topchyan began by commending the book, noting that in addition to having historical and cultural significance, Mrs. Navasargian’s latest book is of importance to the present day. He reflected on certain portions of the book which relate to our cultural losses in the past and in modern times, stating that as it was centuries ago, today also Armenia finds itself under the influence of outside powers, and it shapes its life and new history in that environment while Azerbaijan and Turkey continue their efforts to obliterate our cultural heritage, specifically noting the recent destruction of ancient stone-crosses in the Jugha cemetery of Nakhichevan. Mr. Topchyan highlighted that The Immortals is a reflection of greatness of the Armenian people, a greatness that came about through immortals such as those found in the book. In conclusion, Mr. Topchyan focused on portions of the book that are devoted to the contributions of Iranian-Armenians to our cultural and national life, which our people are generally not too familiar with, and closed his remarks by once again commending Mrs. Navasargian for bringing to life the message of our immortals.

Following the presentation, Mrs. Srourian invited the Prelate to deliver his message.

The Prelate first highly commended the Ladies Auxiliary for organizing important events such as this presentation. His Eminence then reflected on the book’s important subject matter and the author’s praiseworthy work in the preparation of the book. The Prelate continued his message by citing passages from one of Barouyr Sevag’s poems, the message of which is that in our collective life it is not the “individual” but rather the individuals that make up the “collective” which brings about progress. It is not the “I” but the “We” that is important. This book, stated the Prelate, brings together individuals and represents their story as a collective. This colossal work is in itself an immortal work, bringing to life the message of the martyrs and heroes who built our history, and it can be regarded as a guidebook for the familiarization and preservation of our religious and national values, and an example to think and serve not in terms of “I” but in terms of “We”, the collective good. The Prelate highly commended Mrs. Navasargian for her work, which shows that she not only compiled in one volume the lives and stories of our immortals, but revealed the true depth of their message and legacy. “As we read and learn about our immortals, we must apply their message and build our national and religious legacy, be the preachers of those values and live our lives led by their example, with humility, the spirit of service, and love”, concluded the Prelate.

Mrs. Navasargian was then invited to deliver her remarks on this occasion. The author first conveyed her thanks and gratitude to the Prelate and Ladies Auxiliary for their initiative to organize this event and for the successful outcome of the event. She also thanked Mr. Topchyan for his apt presentation, expressed appreciation to all those who contributed to the preparation of her latest book, and hoped that through this book she will have contributed to the familiarization and preservation of the Armenian history and heritage. In conclusion, she thanked the guests for the appreciation and encouragement of our culture and values they demonstrated by their attendance.

At the conclusion of the official program, the Prelate presented Mrs. Navasargian with a memento, and the Ladies Auxiliary presented the author with a bouquet of flowers.

Guests then had the opportunity to converse with Mrs. Navasargian and purchase signed copies of her book, the proceeds of which the author donated to the Prelacy.

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