By Hagop Vartivarian
GLENDALE, Calif. – Ara Karekin Aharonian was born in Tripoli, Lebanon on June 28, 1952 to Paylag and Mari Aharonian. He received his primary education at the Khrimian-Noubarian [Armenian] National School in Tripoli, but when his father was invited to be a teacher at the Vahan Tekeyan School of Beirut, Aharonian moved with his family to Beirut in 1966 and went to the secondary school for boys of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) Hovagimian-Manougian School. He went then to Haigazian College, followed by the American University of Beirut, where he majored in engineering. He simultaneously pursued musical interests, including voice training.
The Lebanese Civil war led him to move to Los Angeles, where in 1978 he graduated university with a degree in electrical engineering. While a student, in his spare time he served as secretary and organized the activities of the AGBU Armenian Youth Association of the Western United States.
In Service to the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party and Tekeyan Cultural Association
At an early age, Aharonian joined the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party (ADL) in Beriut, where he joined the Portukalian Youth Club. After coming to the US, he was an active member of the Tekeyan Cultural Association (TCA) Los Angeles chapter, serving as its vice chairman, as well as chairing two different ADL chapters.
In 1980, he was elected a member of the ADL District Committee of Western America, and served in various executive positions. For many years he represented the party in inter-political party committees. In 1982 he was one of the founders of the ADL Armenagan Youth Movement, and was its first chairman. In 1987-89 he edited that movement’s Armenagan Yeramseay [Armenagan Quarterly] periodical. In 1996-1997 and 2003-2008, he served as chairman of the ADL Western District Committee executive.