Students at the Berdzor School

Tchobanian Institute Renovates Berdzor Vahan Tekeyan Middle School Classroom


By Gayane Muradyan

BERDZOR, Artsakh – The times have changed, and so has the educational environment in Berdzor’s Vahan Tekeyan Middle School No. 1, located in the Kashatagh (Lachin) District.

At present, around 200 students study in the Berdzor school, and they now have the possibility of studying in the fourth renovated classroom, which bears the name of Sarkis Hatsbanian. The renovation of the classroom was supported by the Tchobanian Institute of Paris.

The inauguration of the renovated classroom took place on April 21. The president of the Tchobanian Institute, Varoujan Sirapian, was present, along with Gayane Muradyan, representative of the Tekeyan Cultural Association of the United States and Canada, Artsakh Minister of Education, Science and Sports Narine Aghabalyan, Davit Davtyan, head of the district administration of Kashatagh, and school administrators, teachers and students.

School principal Anahit Kosakyan declared that the students of the school, participating in various competitions and Olympiads, have always stood out due to their high achievements and won prizes and awards. In the last year and a half, their progress and enthusiasm increased further when they were able to study in several bright, clean and warm classrooms renovated thanks to outside aid, including the Armenian language and literature room (Canada), the history room, dedicated to Hrant Dink (Canada), the military preparation room (France) and now the patriotism course room dedicated to Sarkis Hatsbanian (France).

Kosakyan stressed that the dedication of this fourth classroom to Hatsbanian was a unanimous decision of the entire administration and teaching staff in recognition of his service in the Artsakh War and to the Armenian homeland.

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The school principal then handed a letter of thanks to Sirapian, who in turn remarked that the education of Armenian children was important for their institute, and that it would continue to aid in the realization of similar projects.

The ninth- and tenth-grade students presented the biography of Hatsabanian, who graduated the Sorbonne University in Paris, having studied to be a film director. However, he came to Armenia in 1990 and joined Leonid Azgaldyan’s liberation brigade. The students depicted details from his battles in Artsakh, as well as how he defended the Azerbaijani women and children who had fallen into captivity in Karvachar district.

The famous photo of the Azerbaijani grandmother thanking Sarkis Hatsbanian

They also told the story about the famous photograph which has received world recognition, which the Azerbaijanis have presented as distorting reality. Supposedly the Azerbaijani grandmother was expressing her gratitude and thanks to the Azeri soldier for freeing them from the Armenians.

However, the reality was that when the Azerbaijani soldiers retreated from the village they promised to come back to take the elderly and children left behind but did not return, so the latter remained waiting, sitting in the street. Hatsbanian, during the battle for the liberation of the village, encountered the elderly Azerbaijani woman by chance. She thought that the soldier approaching her was an Azerbaijani. She began to reproach him for deserting them and said that the Armenians would soon come and they would not be able to escape.

Hatsbanian, understanding the misunderstanding, began to explain that they were Armenian soldiers and that they would now organize their safe evacuation. The elderly woman was so confused and moved that she hugged and kissed Hatsbanian, saying that while their soldiers had deserted the residents of the village, the Armenian soldiers were organizing their safe withdrawal.

1. Minister Narine Aghabalyan greeted by Principal Anahit Kosakyan, Varoujan Sirapian, Gayane Muradyan and teachers

After the students’ presentation, Aghabalyan declared, “This small event has great significance. The authorities of our country after the war first of all have realized a program of school construction, placing importance on education for the development of the country. During this period, several dozens of schools, including in the Kashatagh District, have been built or fundamentally renovated, and the work continues. The role of our compatriots in the diaspora is great in this work. This speaks to the unity of the Armenians.”

Topics: tekeyan

(Translated from the Armenian)




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