After a two-year break due to the hiatus brought on by Covid, the year-end function of Mourad Armenian Saturday School of Providence, RI, took place on Sunday, May 22, at the Aramian Auditorium. This year’s theme was dedicated to the “Year of the Diaspora” as proclaimed by His Holiness Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia. The event began with the opening prayer by Rev. Fr. Kapriel Nazarian, followed by the Armenian and the Mourad School anthems. The performances varied from singing, dancing, playing the piano and the dumbeg, or goblet drum, to presenting famous Armenian-Diasporans who have had an impact internationally. The younger groups also performed the “Hampartsoum”, “Hink Pateegner,” and other songs.

Speeches were given by the Mourad Armenian School Committee Chairperson, Mr. Hagop Khatchadourian and Mrs. Lala Attarian, co-director of Mourad School. Mr. Khatchadourian highlighted the importance of the Diaspora in preserving the Armenian identity, language and culture. He talked about the significance of strengthening the Diaspora-Armenia-Artsakh ties. Referring to the proclamation by His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, Mr. Khatchadourian emphasized the importance of re-organizing the church, prioritizing Christian education, social services and “the Armenian school reemphasizing its mission in the building of the Armenian nation.”

Mrs. Attarian extended the greetings and wishes of co-director Mrs. June Mangassarian. She thanked parents and teachers for their dedication and support, and she congratulated the students for their academic success and enrollment, especially during the pandemic as they worked hard both remotely and in-person. Mrs. Attarian emphasized on the importance of Armenian education at a time when negative influences are numerous and preserving our Armenian identity has become an everyday struggle in the Diaspora. “Schools have an irreplaceable role in preserving nations, let alone Armenian schools.” She also highlighted the teachers’ training program in regard to the new curriculum introduced by ANEC, as well as the importance of the Siamanto Academy that students of higher grades attend.

The ARS Arax and Ani chapters, Ararat Association, Dr. Ara and Mrs. Betty Sadaniantz, Sts. Vartanantz Church BOT, Mourad School PTO members, all supporters and volunteers were acknowledged for their financial and moral support.

On behalf of all former and current students, the teachers and the Mourad School Committee, Fr. Kapriel and Mr. Khatchadourian thanked Mrs. Zvart Tahmassian for her service and dedication of over thirty years. Special thanks were also given to Anahid Donoyan, who sadly will not be joining the school staff next year. Her colleagues expressed good wishes in her new pursuits.

In his closing remarks, Fr. Kapriel thanked the co-directors, teachers and everyone who made these two difficult years possible. While addressing the students, he asked each one of them to thank their teachers and parents for granting them the lifelong gift of Armenian language and culture.  The school function concluded with his blessings and prayer.