Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Opening Ceremonies: His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan speaks to the gathered AYFers with  featured speaker Chris Bohjalian, the New York Times Best-Selling author of The Sandcastle Girls, standing under the tent, directly behind the Armenian flag.

Prof. Dikran Khaligian, past chairperson of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Eastern United States, spoke to the gathered crowd:  "Today we are all AYF.  Today we are all Mejdeh.  .  . "  And he ended his talk with, "Getse Hayasdan!"  His mother, Seta Khaligian, former President of the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) and long time good friend of Marash Girl, proudly commented, "I taught him that many years ago . . . Getse Hayasdan!"  

Featured speaker, Chris Bohjalian, well-known author of many best-selling novels, his latest novel SANDCASTLE GIRLS (2012),  (add it to your reading list!),   began by commenting that he was spectacularly unqualified to speak at the AYF Olympics, as he had no athletic prowess whatsoever. . . [Whether or not he had athletic prowess, he certainly has speaking and writing prowess, notes Marash Girl!]  Humble man that he is, he told the gathering that he received 250 rejection slips before he sold one word!  At 25, he decided that his plan was not working . . . and began trying a new approach . . . Now, 15 published novels later, he has written the "most important novel of his life", THE SANDCASTLE GIRLS, written in honor of his grandparents and his ancestors who were among the 1.5 Armenians slaughtered during the Armenian Genocide  which began in 1915 in the Ottoman Empire.  "My success," he said, "is a study in persistence; in falling down, and getting up and trying again. . . " He ended his talk with a heart felt,  "I can't thank you enough for having invited me." [See Marash Girl's earlier blog posts on Chris Bohjalian.]]
Barkev Khaligian (right) watches the opening ceremonies.

Prof. Dikran Khaligian, after delivering the welcoming remarks, sits in the stands with his father, Barkev Khaligian.

Leon Janigian chats with a friend the morning after he played until 1 AM at the Alumni Night Dance, at the Armenian Cultural and Educational Center, 47 Nichols Avenue, Watertown.  Indeed, we did dance the night away, as the brochures promised, with John Berberian (oud), Mal Barsamian (saxophone), Leon Janikian (clarinet), Stepan Megerdichian (bass guitar), Bruce Gigarjian (guitar), Jay Baronian (dumbeg and vocals), and Paul Mooradian (daf).
After his welcoming talk, Chris Bohjalian, (left) author of THE SANDCASTLE GIRLS,  chats with (l.tor.) Khachig Mouradian, Editor of the Armenian Weekly,  Garo Adanalian and his wife Anoush with their son Areg.


Post a Comment