“Year of the Armenian Book” Kicks off with the Presentation of Garo Bedrosian’s Latest Book ‘Journey to the Armenian Heritage’

The celebration of the “Year of the Armenian Book” kicked off on the evening of Wednesday, March 28, 2012, with the presentation of Journey to the Armenian Heritage, the latest book by esteemed educator Mr. Garo Bedrosian.

The event, which was held under the auspices of H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, brought together writers, educators, scholars, and literary enthusiasts at the “Dikran and Zarouhie Der Ghazarian” Hall.

Among the guests in attendance were H.E. Archbishop Yeprem Tabakian, Clergy and Executive Council members, Prelacy Schools’ principals and educators, members of media, artists, and others.

The event began with Master of Ceremonies Mr. Sarkis Mahserejian reading an excerpt from the Pontifical message of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I on the “Year of the Armenian Book”. The MC also noted that this is the first event in celebration of the Armenian book but it will not be the last. He then invited prominent editor and community activist Mr. Harut Sassounian to present the book.

Mr. Sassounian noted that the “Year of the Armenian Book” coincides with the 500th anniversary of the first printed book in Armenia, which has prompted UNESCO to proclaim Yerevan the 2012 World Book Capital.

In the first part of his presentation, Mr. Sassounian focused on the book’s design and synopsis, noting the beautiful artwork and layout by Siroon Yeretzian and Harry Mesrobian, and the high quality of the printing by Mr. Hovig Mahserejian. He then went over the three sections of the book, the first of which covers 12 Armenian religious, national, and social celebrations and commemorations, the second which is devoted to the Armenian Apostolic, Catholic, and Evangelical Churches, and includes information on the historical, spiritual, and educational service and organization of the three, and the final section which is dedicated to major Armenian cultural and benevolent organizations and their service to the community in the areas of literature, drama, music, and the arts.

In the second part of his presentation, Mr. Sassounian reflected on the word “journey” in the title, stating that of course the value of the book is in the rich information and knowledge it presents to the reader, and especially to our youth, however, it is equally important to utilize that information and knowledge to draw in the youth to our community life. He also noted that as Californians we are proud to have the largest Armenian community in the Diaspora, however that is not enough. It is crucial to bring in all those who are isolated from the Armenian community or passive in our national life, and this book can have an important role in this aspect by cultivating in all a new appreciation for our rich heritage through the valuable information it imparts.

The MC then invited the Prelate to convey his remarks.

After greeting Mr. Bedrosian and welcoming the guests, the Prelate reflected on the prologue where the author highlights the bond and love of our people to our feasts, church and culture, and community organizations, and noted that the bond and love developed as respect and admiration for the great role and service of those values in our national life.

The author is an alumni of the Seminary of the Holy See of Cilicia, said the Prelate, and for decades he has imparted the spiritual nourishment he received at the Seminary to generations of students. This book is a testimony of his love and faith in our church and community organizations, and as an educator, he strives to make this information and these values comprehensible to all readers. Mr. Bedrosian’s priority has always been the Armenian student, in whom he aims to inspire faith, patriotism, and education. This book has been published as an accompaniment to Armenian textbooks, to provide invaluable information to our students. Finally, with its vast information, this book is a call to awakening for readers to familiarize themselves with this values which are the path to the perpetuation of the Armenian people. In conclusion, the Prelate blessed the author and his great contributions and service, and also commended Mr. Sassounian for his apt presentation.

Finally, the author himself was invited to convey his thoughts.

Mr. Bedrosian first thanked all those who supported and contributed to the publication of his latest book. He noted that the book aims to familiarize our youth especially with our feasts, our church and organizations, so that our heritage becomes ingrained in them and leads them to become more active participants in our community life. Given that there are tens of thousands of Armenian students attending non-Armenian schools, the author stressed the importance of having similar books published in English. In conclusion, Mr. Bedrosian expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Prelate, Board of Regents of Prelacy Schools, Master of Ceremonies, the designers of the book, principal and alumni of Ferrahian School, media members, the guests in attendance, and especially Mr. Harut Sassounian.

The event also included a cultural program of musical selections, played on the kanun by Lilit Khachoyan.

The MC also announced that letters of commendation addressed to the author had been received on this occasion, and read passages from letter sent by Principal of Levon and Sophia Hagopian School in Lebanon Mr. Vicken Avakian, Mr. Yervant Babayab, H.E. Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate, and Principal of Holy Martyrs Armenian School in New York Mrs. Zarmine Boghosian.

The event concluded with the benediction by the Prelate, after which guests had the opportunity to speak with the author and purchase autographed copies of his book.

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