NEW YORK — The year 1993 was a life-changing year for Hrair Hawk Khatcherian. That year, he was told that he had lung cancer and had only 10 days “to die.”
Subjected to unbearably painful treatments in the hospital, he had placed on his hospital room wall a cross and photographs of Armenia and Artsakh.
“It was by staring at them fiercely, day by day, with my mortally wounded hawk’s eyes that I succeeded in tearing myself from the claws of death, to take flight again, and to rise high in the sky in the direction of my true destiny,” he revealed. It marked the beginning of a unique mission for him.
Since that crucial year, Khatcherian made a solemn promise to God that he would photograph Khachkars around the world. “My approach comes from the biblical, faith and soul-filled side of my life. The story of Khachkars is to bring humanity back to heaven.”
And so began a 24-year grueling journey involving “research, planning, cars, boats, airplanes, helicopters, cameras, reflectors, tripods, cameras, flash and tape measure.”
The result became a monumental book, Khatchkar.