Armenian Assembly Honors Elizabeth Hanessian at Annual Holiday Reception


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WASHINGTON — On Sunday, November 23, the Armenian Assembly of America held its annual Holiday Reception at the Embassy of Armenia. This year, the Assembly honored Elizabeth Alice Hanessian, and her late husband, Dr. John Hanessian Jr., for their role in the founding of the Armenian Assembly and their contributions to the Armenian-American community. A capacity crowd remembered and reflected on the life, success, and dedication of the Hanessians to the advancement of Armenian American issues in our nation’s capital.

Assembly Board Member Aram Gavoor served as the afternoon’s master of ceremonies. He discussed the role of Dr. Hanessian, to whom he referred as a “founding father” of the Assembly in the early 1970s. Gavoor praised those dedicated Armenian Americans who traveled to Washington from across the United States to discuss forming an “Assembly” of Armenian American organizations.

“Elizabeth Klanian Hanessian is a great lady, a dedicated and loving mother of four boys, and the rock and support behind her husband, John Hanessian, and his legacy,” stated Assembly Board Member Annie Totah before presenting the award. In her remarks, Totah described Elizabeth and John’s relationship as a “moving love story,” and offered historical background into their lives during the founding of the Armenian Assembly.

“I am very proud of him, and love him for everything he did in his lifetime,” stated Alice Hanessian upon accepting the award.

Hratchia Tashchian, deputy chief of mssion of the Republic of Armenia to the United States, offered remarks on behalf of Ambassador Tigran Sargsyan. “[The] Armenian Assembly of America is one of the most important organizations of the Armenian Diaspora,” he said. “Being established as a nonpartisan organization, it proved to be very efficient in consolidating the potential of the Armenian Diaspora. It is not accidental, therefore, that today the Assembly plays a pivotal role in presenting and promoting Armenian interests in the United States of America,” Tashchian said.

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The program included an uplifting invocation by Rev. Vartanes Kalayjian. Kalayjian led the crowd in prayer before enjoying the delicious Armenian cuisine and refreshments graciously provided by the Assembly Capital Regional Council (CRC). The musical interlude provided by famed pianist Naira Babayan drew avid applause, as guests heard selections from Alexander Arutiunian and Aram Khachadurian. Also on hand from the national Daughters of Vartan was Grand Matron Lisa Kradjian and Naira Serobyan.

The Assembly would like to thank Clara Andonian and Doris George, Co-Chairs of the Assembly’s CRC, and all the members, namely: Naira Babayan, Nadya Carson, Seda Gelenian, Anahid Ghazarian, Yer. Anahid Kalayjian, Nora Maghrablian, Anahid Nishanian, and Marguerite Satian. The Assembly also thanks event co-hosts Naira Babayan and Anahid Nishanian for their generosity and support.


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