$50,000 raised in Australian Appeal to Help Armenians in Syria

$50,000 raised in Australian Appeal to Help Armenians in Syria –

SYDNEY: The Sydney Armenian community has responded magnificently to an “Appeal to Help Armenians in Syria”, donating $50,000 during a week of fundraising between 22nd June and 28th June, 2015.

The Australian chapters of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, the Armenian Relief Society, Homenetmen, Hamazkaine, the Armenian National Committee, the Armenian Youth Federation and Armenia Media Inc., joined forces to organise a series of fundraising activities in response to news of severe financial hardship coming from their counterparts in Syria.

These activities were:

  1. Radiothon on Armenia Radio 99.3FM on Monday 22nd June;
  2. Door Knock Appeal throughout Sydney’s suburbs, powered by members of the ARS, AYF and Hamazkaine, every night between Monday and Thursday;
  3. Online Credit Card Appeal, organised by the ANC;
  4. Appeal to Businesses for Donations;
  5. Sydney Benefit Concert for Syrian-Armenians, which was held at Galstaun College’s Nalbandian Hall on Sunday, 28th June.
All fundraising activities leading up to the Benefit Concert had already raised $26,000, and the attendees at the Concert increased the amount to $40,000.

Considering the Benefit Concert had a turnout of just over 120 people, the result of raising an additional $14,000 was amazing and commendable.

The Benefit Concert featured five of the Armenian-Australian community’s top singers, who had donated their services to help their brothers and sisters in Syria. Karnig & Hovik, Styop Avedissian, Raffi Adourian, Vartan Gulumian and Hagop Gulumian entertained the audience with their repertoire of Armenian dance and patriotic songs. The audience was on their feet with a Kochari tribute to Syrian-Armenians, when Karnig & Hovik raised the roof with the popular song, Ter Asdvadz.

The finale featured all singers on stage, singing “Hayer Miyatsek”.

Nora Sevagian was the MC of the Concert, and she delivered an emotional opening address in Armenian, which outlined the troubles being faced by the Armenians in Syria. She called on the community to unite and help a community that had given so much to the rest of the Armenian world.

Garineh Torossian delivered a deeply personal opening address in English, in which she thanked the community in Syria for some of the people who had influenced her Armenian upbringing here in Sydney, including her mother and many friends who had recently moved as refugees to Australian shores.

ARF Australia Chairman, Haig Kayserian delivered a message on behalf of the organisers.

He said: “Despite the physical and psychological turmoil they face, our brothers in sisters in Syria have not forgotten the importance of their Armenian origins. Our schools are still open, our churches are praying, our clubs are serving… these are some of the modern heroes of the Armenian world, and they deserve our moral and financial support.”

During his speech, the contributions of the volunteers fundraising over the week were acknowledged with applause, as were the donors who had given so generously.

Kayserian ended his speech with a meaningful quote by historic Armenian military commander, Andranik, which says: “Every night, when you place your head on your pillow and before you go to sleep, ask yourself what did you do today to help your race.”

Primate of the Armenian Apostolic Church, His Grace Bishop Haigazoun Najarian, closed proceedings with a message of praise for those who participated in this fundraising drive, and with a prayer for Syrian-Armenians.

Immediately following the Concert, which took the total amount raised to $40,000, Armenian-owned businesses were approached and generously contributed in order to bring the total to $50,000, which will aid the Armenians in Syria, particularly those in war-torn Aleppo.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.