Nancy Kalajian (Ken Martin Photo)

CYSCA Offers a Look Back at Its History


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Continuing their 35th anniversary of the founding of the Cambridge -Yerevan Sister City Association (CYSCA), former and current CYSCA members, CYSCA Board of Directors and members of the Cambridge community met at the main building of the Cambridge Public Library on April 18, for an opening reception titled “From Cambridge to Yerevan:  35 Years of Friendship.”

The drawing element of the night was a small exhibit of ephemera, paraphernalia, and objects collected by individuals and members of delegations over the years.  Other gifts by friends and the government of the Armenian Republic were given by exchange students from Armenian and other delegates to Cambridge from Yerevan. The exhibit was located at the library entrance, on the second floor, and in the basement meeting room for the event.

Philip Ketchian with an old CYSCA poster (Ken Martin Photo)

During the presentations and reminiscences the speaker showed several objects associated with their past work for the organization. Board member Philip Ketchian brought in a multilingual poster from an environmental program that he organized during his days in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. Another board member Nancy Kalajian, a well-known personality and teacher (and former longtime correspondent for the Mirror-Spectator) worked on issues of conflict resolution during her teaching life and showed some artwork created by Armenian youth during a project that she created and ran for CYSCA. She offered many insights into comparative education systems in Armenia and the United States.

Harout DerSimonian (left) speaks with Harry Parsekian. (Ken Martin Photo)

An early board member, Ellen Mass brought in her much cherished scrap book full of articles, photographs and correspondence collected over CYSCA’s early years to display the importance and breadth of work carried out in the name of world peace between citizens of two great cities and peoples, that was enjoyed by all.

Ketchian, in his presentation mentioned the Board of Directors who were present and that there were other board and general members who were not. Some of those others included Jeb Brugmann, the former Cambridge Peace Commissioner, Mayor Frank Duehay, Suzy Pearce, translator and facilitator Jackie Abramian, Eva Medzorian, Methodist Rev. Wesley Williams, Veteran Joe Tichanauk, Edward Casey, David Wiley,  and School Committee member Jane Sullivan. Jackie Abramian (translator, facilitator and former Board member) was also present.

President of the Board Roxanne Etmekjian in the foreground with Ellen Mass (Ken Martin Photo)

President of the Board Roxanne Etmekjian and Vice-President Isabelle Hamel spoke about current and upcoming activities and plans for CYSCA including re-invigoration of the oldest continually operating Sister City Association in Cambridge.

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The cordial gathering continued upon the meeting adjournment enjoying the good company and delicious Armenian meze treats and a final viewing of the exhibit.

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