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Opinion: By Jirair Magarian

The damage is done… could it be undone?

Well, miracles might happen.

First in the beginning there were rumors, counter-arguments and denials. Then the rumors became realities and the denials became official announcements of fait accompli. We came out of our forced hiding and staged a war against the false architects of “Azkabahbanoum”. Melkoniantsis never dispute the guardianship of AGBU for long decades, if they got tired of preserving the legacy of Melkonian brothers, well, why not pass the torch to those who will not get tired. Let history repeat itself.

It is a matter of life and death to some extent. It is annihilation of a unique vision of two brothers, Krikor and Garabed Melkonian; they saved a whole generation from oblivion. After almost eighty years, the Armenian Diaspora does not have a substitute to Melkonian Institute. Do we need educational institutions in the image of Melkonian? Yes, more than ever.

Our humble opinion, if we were asked, would have been very simple and reasonable. If the intentions are good and all the declared projects are put into proper perspective, it would have been wise, first, to ensure the continuity of Melkonian’s mission without interruption at its present location and then start a smooth transition to a new haven, again in Cyprus. If we have a herd of cattle, we don’t destroy the barn and leave the cattle to roam in the fields, prey to the wilderness!

Also, we never dispute the humanitarian, educational and charitable accomplishments of AGBU since its establishment almost a century ago. The Centennial Anniversary of AGBU should not be tarnished by the closure of Melkonian Educational Institute by June 2005. The self proclaimed honorable AGBU Central Board Members have no right to misinterpret the Will of Melkonian brothers into desperation and liquidate the legacy of Melkonian. If we want to help our motherland, we are all for it, but not at the expense of Melkonian.


We want AGBU’s ears unplugged. They should reason with the Armenian community of Cyprus and listen to the outcry of the world wide Melkonian Alumni. Reconsider and regain the hearts of parents. Stop paying Gordon and his group of collaborators for the dirty job with people’s donation money; wouldn’t one month’s salary pay a whole year’s tuition for a child? What a waste! We will not forgive them because they are obsessed by greed.

Dear Melkoniantsis, we are not the enemy of AGBU, stop throwing stones to the house, the Melkonian House that nurtured us, its walls are made of very precious stones, which have watched us grow with knowledge and wisdom. They are built to last a thousand years. Support your local Alumni.

The end is near unless the verdict is reversed; otherwise we will all be the great losers. Others have their eyes on the property of Melkonian, they don’t care about our entity, and AGBU might fall into the pit of their own. They have no guarantees and all intermediary elaborations will be of no avail.

To resolve this awkward situation of implosion, the self proclaimed leaders of AGBU have to reconsider their announcement to close Melkonian by June 2005, save Melkonian and continue to keep it as an educational stronghold for all Armenian children living outside Armenia. This is the best way to promote our language, enrich our western culture and safeguard our churches.

When there is the will there is always a way out. To retreat and not to be disgraced is bravery.

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