Armenian Church of Bangladesh

Looking Forward, Remembering Our Past

Bangladesh Success in Dilijan

Our friends at UWC Dilijan have featured the students from Bangladesh in their latest newsletter.  We are delighted to read about their success and hope more students from Bangladesh go to study in Dilijan.  Read their story here.

One inspiring story from UWC Dilijan

Dilijan, 15 July 2022

Building bridges between Bangladesh and Armenia

At UWC  Dilijan we have had students from Bangladesh since 2016. Our first student was Anogh Zaman (UWCD’18), who graduated with a BA from Macalester College, Massachusetts, USA and is now a Student Programs Coordinator at Kofi Annan Institution for Global Citizenship.

From a single student in 2016 we now have four current students going into the second year and four incoming students as part of the new 2022-24 cohort. It makes the total number of Bangladeshi students and alumni sixteen, five female and eleven male. Those seeking admissions to UWC school, including UWC Dilijan apply via the UWC National Committee Bangladesh.

All our Bangladeshi students have been outstanding academically and also active participants in the school life, including as core members of the Student Council. (In the main picture L-R: UWCD’22 graduates Zarrin Mahdiyat Ali,  Ayman Asif,   and Shahib Uddin Prokhor.)

However, the most exciting moment came when Ayman Asif together with Brianna Renatte Titiheruw (UWCD’22, Indonesia) surprised us with a beautiful rendition of “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King.

This May, while at UWC Dilijan our Bangladeshi students gave a tour to Bangladesh-based Arsen Stepanyan, Team Leader, P4D, British Council who was visiting Armenia. Arsen was so taken with our Bangladeshi students that he volunteered to keep up the links and invited them to visit him in Dhaka over the summer, which they did in June, without delay. It was a convivial occasion where our past and present Bangladeshi students had a chance to meet Mr Rashel al Mamun, Bangladesh Country Manager, NATco, who is hoping to visit Armenia some time.

Meanwhile, having heard about the links between Armenia and Bangladesh via UWC Dilijan, the warden of the Armenian Church of Bangladesh in Dhaka, Mr Armen Arslanian, wanted to highlight them in a blog  on the church’s website. With the mission of “Looking Forward, Remembering Our Past”, the Armenian Church of Bangladesh has been serving its local community since 1781. Even though at this stage it hardly has any Armenians parishioners around, the church is a centre of activity for the population in its vicinity, from provision of food to healthcare.

L-R: Rashel al Mamun, Bangladesh Country Manager, NATco; Arsen Stepanyan, Team Leader, P4D, British Council; Taufiqul Abrar Khan, UWCD’23; Neehan Rashid, UWCD’23; Zuhair Mahmud, UWCD’23; Ayman Asif, UWCD’22: Zarrin Mahdiyat Ali, UWCD’22

As we are getting ready to embrace our new cohort in August, here is what Nazmus Sakib, one of the four incoming students from Bangladesh shared with us: “Being born in a terrain village of Bangladesh, I learned to love nature along with the people. But my curiosity to know the world and its people just increased as I grew older. I want to have a roller coaster ride in my lifespan through cross-culturalism and adventures…  I am really excited about my journey at UWC Dilijan and I hope to gain an experience of a lifetime from it.”

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Bangladesh in Armenia

Zarrin, Ayman, and Shahib

Zarrin, Ayman, and Shahib

We often highlight the Armenian presence in Bangladesh via the history of our church in Dhaka and the past community, but recently we learned of three Bangladeshi students studying in Armenia, and we were keen to know more about them. We were delighted to speak via Zoom with Zarrin Mahdiyat Ali recently about her time in Armenia.  Zarrin, and two other students, Ayman Asif and Shahib Uddin Prokhor, are all from Dhaka.

Dilijan is a long way from home, but it is at the United World College (UWC) at Dilijan, where, after two years studying,  they have all recently graduated. We wanted to know a little about their time in Armenia and Zarrin kindly shared some of her thoughts and observations with us.

UWC have schools in 18 countries around the world, and the one in Dilijan was opened in 2014. “UWC Dilijan is a story of developing international education in Armenia. Its location in Armenia, a country that is reimagining itself in the post-Soviet period, made the school a perfect social venture that could grow and gain strength together with the new Armenia”. 

 The students apply to this program and are unsure where exactly they’ll get placed. Zarrin chose Dilijan from a selection of Armenia, Thailand, and Hong Kong because she was gravitated towards the nature of Armenia, very different from Dhaka, where she grew up her whole life.

Zarrin, Ayman, and Shahib spent two years in Dilijan and graduated this month.

Their curriculum consisted of 6 core subjects:

    • Native Language
    • Foreign Language
    • Humanities (Econ, politics, geography, history, philosophy, etc)
    • Sciences – physics, chemistry, biology
    • Mathematics
    • Arts (theatre, music, etc)

The school in Dilijan is for grade 11 and 12. It has about 100 students who are from over 80-90 nationalities.

The Artsakh war broke out two months after Zarrin arrived in Armenia, and with Covid still being an issue, her experience was quite unique. She got to live through the hardships of Armenia as a nation, and the interpersonal impact from her peers and mentors who were directly affected by the war with having a loved one on the front line, or them personally.

Nonetheless, Dilijan felt like home. Zarrin said: “The nature is beautiful, the monasteries, surrounding cities. Gyumri was a personal favorite of mine”.

Although Zarrin and the other students knew of the Armenian Church, Dhaka, none had visited.  We have, of course, extended an invitation to come and see us when they are back in Bangladesh and we’ll make sure our Warden, Armen Arslanian and his daughter Julie are there too.  Zarrin would absolutely love to visit Armenia again, she considers it now a part of her, and her journey of growth.

She knows of four Bangladeshi students that have studied in Dilijan before. She’s one of three that graduated this year. Four will graduate next year.

Zarrin will be attending the University of Chicago in the fall, and we wish her and all the other Bangladeshi students much success in the next stage of their further education.

We are thrilled to see young, vibrant, talented Bangladeshi students embracing Armenia and everything it has to offer and choosing Dilijan, not only for their educational needs but for unique life experiences that will live with them forever.  We look forward to seeing more students from Bangladesh taking advantage of Armenia’s once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, for we are, most definitely, the land of endless possibilities and opportunities.

Armenian Church Bangladesh: Michael Martin Scholarship Success in Armenia

The memory of Mr. Michael Martin, the late caretaker of the Armenian Church, Dhaka now stretches further than ever before.

 

Today we are featuring the applicants who received the Mr. Michael Martin Scholarship to matriculate at the Artsakh State University under the Yunus Social Business Centre.

Participants who applied for the scholarship had to present a business proposal and these eight candidates now have access to an education and the resources needed to be able to pursue their small business plans and help drive the economic and social future of Artsakh.

 

The Armenian Bangladesh Church strives to not only give back to the community in Bangladesh, but in Artsakh and Armenia as well.

 

Our warmest congratulations are extended to these best winning business ideas:

Narine Krikoryan – Grigoryan’s Natural Cosmetics
Artsakh Abrahamyan – Haka Group
Samuel Kirkoryan – ARTsakh’s GReeN Garden
Hasmik Ardzanyan – Sand Planet Learning Center
Milena Ohanyan – Ohanyan Dairy Factory LLC
Lusine Vanyan – Languages Learning Platform
Margarita Afanasyan – DedoBabo
Nanar Aleksanyan – Fun Way Training + Development Center

The same scholarship opportunities were provided to a group of students at Gavar State University in Armenia earlier this year.

 

The Board of the Armenian Church of Holy Resurrection, Dhaka, will continued to extend assistance through the respective Mr Michael Martin Programs both here in Bangladesh and Armenia, and we are very much looking forward to new ways and opportunities of helping each community.

 

 

 

Short Film Christmas Mass 2022

We are delighted that a local news agency make a short news report on the Christmas Mass held at the Church on January 7th.

You can watch the short report here on the Twitter feed of DD News.

Christmas Mass 2022

A Christmas Mass was held by The Church of Bangladesh hosted at the Armenian Church Dhaka on Friday 7th January 2022. Even with limited space available, the church was able to accommodate just over 200 people with additional seating being made available adjacent to the entrance in the grounds. Afterwards refreshments were served.

 

The service was conducted by Reverend Martin Adhikari and Brother Guillaume de Wolf respectively.  Our staff were on hand to help make the occasion go smoothly and we think they particularly excelled themselves with the beautiful lighting effect displayed.  Given the current pandemic, we are extremely grateful any kind of service was held at all, and our thanks are extended to both Rev Martin and Brother Guillaume for taking the service and ensuring it was conducted safely.

 

Christmas Service January 7th 2022

We are delighted to announce there will be a Christmas Mass conducted at the Armenian Church, Dhaka on Friday 7th January 2022 between 5pm and 6pm. There will be refreshments afterwards.

Please note this is NOT an Armenian service.

The service will be undertaken by the Church of Bangladesh led by Reverend Martin Adhikari and assisted by Brother Guillaume respectively.

**IMPORTANT COVID-19 NOTICE** To enable everyone to participate safely, we must ask you to ensure there is always adequate spacing between all those attending. Visitors are also respectfully requested to wear masks. This is for your own health and safety, as well as our staff and those conducting the service.

 

Armenian Church, Dhaka
January 5th, 2022.

BBC Film About the Armenian Church, Dhaka

On December 25th 2021 the BBC published a short information film on the Armenian Church Bangladesh, it is actually mostly in English with some Bengali, please do take a look. Our warden, Armen Arslanian speaks about our historic building and his involvement in keeping the church preserved, and our Heritage Coordinator, Liz Chater, speaks about the history of the church as well as her own family ties to Dhaka.

We continue to raise awareness of our unique and special Armenian heritage and the footprint the Armenians had in Bangladesh. To watch the clip please follow either of these links.

https://www.facebook.com/BBCBengaliService/videos/305869961456366

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQLbJXbrlrI

Christmas Service 1st January 2022

We are delighted to announce there will be a service conducted at the Armenian Church, Dhaka on Saturday 1st January 2022 between 9a.m. and 12 midday.

Please note this is NOT an Armenian service.

The service will be undertaken by Father Augustine, a Coptic Priest.

**IMPORTANT COVID-19 NOTICE** To enable everyone to participate safely, we must ask you to ensure there is always adequate spacing between all those attending. Visitors are also respectfully requested to wear masks. This is for your own health and safety, as well as our staff and those conducting the service. Let’s look after each other.

 

Armenian Church, Dhaka
December 29th, 2021

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

It’s been another difficult year for all of us. May the spirit of Christmas bring us peace, love, health, and joy to you all.

The Board of the Armenian Church of Holy Resurrection, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Christmas – Armenian Church Bangladesh 2021

All Souls Day 2021

Today is All Souls Day. Our caretaking team here at the Armenian Church Dhaka humbly remember all our Armenian ancestors buried in our Churchyard. On a calm, still evening, we light a candle for each soul and remember them with reverence and respect. Always remembered, never forgotten.

 

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