Presentation of Kevork Bedigian’s Latest Book at the Prelacy

On Thursday, April 19, 2018, writer and educator Kevork Bedigian’s latest book dedicated to Aleppo, in particular to Karen Jeppe College on its 70th anniversary, was presented at the Western Prelacy “Dikran and Zarouhie Der Ghazarian” Hall. The event was held under the auspices of H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, and was organized by the Western Prelacy Cultural-Education Committee in conjunction with Asbarez and the Karen Jeppe College Alumni Association Los Angeles chapter.

The program began with welcoming remarks by Mr. Herair Jermakian, Chair of the Cultural-Education Committee. Committee member Mr. Moushegh Bedevian, who served as the Master of Ceremonies, highlighted the rich history and valuable contributions of Aleppo’s Armenian community and spoke about the current situation and rebuilding efforts. Asbarez editor Mr. Apo Boghikian lauded Mr. Bedikian’s intellectual discipline and his allegiance to our national values, both of which are reflected in his writings. He pointed out that Aleppo is oftentimes the topic of Mr.
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Bedikian’s writings, with this seventh book solely dedicated to Aleppo and Karen Jeppe College. He also commended that the fact that the event had a young MC.

ARS “Talin” Chapter Saturday School student Lily Dabbaghian read an excerpt from the book and a group of students sang two songs, one of which was written by Mr. Bedikian.

Mrs. Dzovinar Ghazarian-Melkonian gave a synopsis of the book and spoke about the author’s life and his inner world, noting that the book can be deemed an autobiography for through the pages one gets a sense of his upbringing, that which influenced and molded him. She stated that the book also gives a sense of Mr. Bedikian’s eternal bond with his birthplace, how he carries the memories of decades past in his heart and is moved by the crisis of the present day, and his hope for Aleppo’s rebuilding and revival of its invaluable role in our national and cultural life. The book is also a representation of the Aleppo’s Armenian community in general, of its triumphs and hopes, she said.

Mr. Bedikian’s granddaughter Vana, presented a moving rendition of the song “Dear teacher” dedicated to her grandfather, her first teacher.

The author first and foremost thanked the Prelate and organizers, those who assisted in the preparation and publication, the presenter and all program participants, family, and friends for their support. He reflected on his half-century of service as an educator and his deep love for our language which has been the driving force of his life. He noted also that the event itself is a demonstration of the people’s love of reading. Finally, he stated that Aleppo is not a distant memory rather a living emotion, and that the book is a portrayal of this essence as well as an expression of gratitude to all the individuals, to Karen Jeppe College and the environment which shaped his identity.

The Prelate began his message by stating that the day will be an unforgettable one, for in addition to the book presentation earlier in the day the Prelacy had hosted the visit of Tufenkian and Pilibos Schools’ students who had come to renew their allegiance to our nation and cause. He echoed Mr. Boghigian’s portrayal of Mr. Bedikian as a disciplined intellectual and highlighted the importance of discipline in all aspects of life. His Eminence commended Mrs. Ghazarian-Melkonian’s presentation and lauded the book’s merit as a beautiful expression of gratitude toward Aleppo and its national institutions. This evening is an invitation for optimism and strengthening of hopes regarding the rebuilding and revival of Aleppo, he said, and quoted a passage from the book where the author expresses this same hopefulness. The Prelate noted also that H.E. Archbishop Shahan Sarkissian, Prelate of Aleppo, was just recently in Antelias to report the community’s rebuilding efforts to His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, which is yet another sign of the community’s impending resurrection. He concluded by wishing that the book spur efforts to preserve and promote our national and religious treasures.

The program concluded with the benediction and Cilicia. Guests enjoyed a reception hosted by the Karen Jeppe College Alumni Association Los Angeles chapter while the author signed copies of his book.

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