An Evening to Remember for a Long Time


By Yeghishe Hajakian

PARAMUS, N.J. — July 20 was meaningful to this writer due to the fact that we were witnessing a representative of the younger generation, Baydzig Kalaydjian, delivering a speech concerning the Armenian Diaspora and the formation of many communities in the Middle East and Europe, subsequent to the Genocide and the preparation of leadership and the efforts of survival as a community.

Kalaydjian is the editor of the Armenian daily newspaper, Zartonk, in Beirut, Lebanon. She has replaced my beloved high school teacher, Kersam Aharonian, from the days of yore. Kalaydjian is truly deserving of Ahoronian’s mantle, with the dedication she has manifested for the last five years of the publication of the paper.

Kalaydjian belongs to a generation who are still idealistic concerning the Armenian community’s future and their visibility in this world. Hence her unswerving belief in disseminating it through the pages of Zartonk in the very language in which it was created and developed.

Kalaydjian supports the notion that Armenians succeeded in implementing a heroic task of survival. Armenians have thrived by constantly remembering that we do have a fatherland called Armenia, always loving it, caring about it under any condition and any circumstance.

Why is this phenomenon of utmost importance to us? The land that was there in the Caucasus has always been a magnet attracting Armenians from every corner of our planet for more than 4,000 years. Our language, our church and our culture was originated on this land and summoned us like a lighthouse from all over the world. I do not care who the king has been, who the president has been, what party has dominated on the land of Armenia, it was there as a symbol of a nation called Armenians throughout the ages. Loving our fatherland has always been without any conditions — without any regard to who is governing it.

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Recently though I came across a book written for the young generation by a member of a certain Armenian political faction whereby 1918 and 1992 were mentioned as the only two dates that we had governments in the 20th century. A whole period of 70 years in between was erased from the history of Armenia. Soviet Armenia did not exist between 1922 to 1992. The writer of this book is Kalaydjian.

Garbis Kazanjian of the Armenian Radio Hour of New Jersey has been contributing articles to Zartonk recently on a regular basis. Knowing his political background, I asked him once how on earth he has been contributing articles to a so-called opposite party’s organ. Answer?

Kalaydjian is so convincing, devoted to Armenia, Armenian issues, the Armenian nation and she has such a charming personality that he just could not refuse her request of contributing articles in Zartonk, he explained.

That is what she displayed on Friday, July 20, charming her audience and moving them to such an extent where many monetary donations to Zartonk were given along with much admiration toward the work Kalaydjian has been doing.

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