Looking Forward, Remembering Our Past

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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.

 

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

Opening of Armenian Church Dhaka – Post Lockdown August 2021

On the 10th August 2021, lockdown will end in Dhaka. We would like to advise all our followers that the Armenian Church will be reopening to the public on the 11th August 2021.  We look forward to welcoming visitors again to our beautiful church.  Should we experience excessive numbers of visitors our staff will limit how many people enter at any one time.  This will be for your safety as well as our staff.  We do request that when you are on the church premises, you continue to ensure social distancing from other visitors.  We must all help each other to stay safe.  Our opening times will be 9am – 5pm each day. Should you have any queries, you can contact our Manager, Al Mamun M Rashel on 8801730738151.

Christmas Mass 2021

A Christmas Mass was held by The Church of Bangladesh hosted at the Armenian Church Dhaka on Friday 8th January 2021. With limited space available, the church was able to accommodate just over 60 people in a Covid-19-safe environment. Afterwards refreshments were served. The service was conducted by Reverend Simpson Mazumdar, assisted by Father Franco, and Brother Guillaume respectively. Given the current pandemic, we are extremely grateful any kind of service was held at all, and our thanks are extended to Reverend Simpson for ensuring it was conducted safely.

Christmas Service 8th January 2021

We are delighted to announce there will be a Christmas Mass conducted at the Armenian Church, Dhaka on Friday 8th January 2021 at 5pm.

Please note this is NOT an Armenian service.

The service will be undertaken by the Church of Bangladesh led by Reverend Simson Mazumdar, and assisted by Father Franko and Brother Guillaume respectively.

**IMPORTANT** Our Church is quite small and, regretfully, because of the Corona virus, we must limit the number of people in the congregation this year to 50 individuals only. For your own health and safety, this will allow our staff to ensure adequate spacing between all those attending. We also request that all visitors should wear a face covering.**

Armenian Church, Dhaka
January 6th, 2021

Mr. Michael Martin

It is with the utmost regret and deepest sadness that we must inform you of the passing away today of Mr. Michael Martin the late caretaker of the Armenian Church in Dhaka. He was 89 years of age.

It was only a few years ago Mr. Martin had retired to Canada to spend more time with his family. A devoted family-man he particularly enjoyed being with his grandchildren.

Mr. Martin was instrumental in maintaining the survival of the Armenian Church in Dhaka. Without the many personal sacrifices and complete devotion to the church, the premises and the history of the Armenians in Dhaka, would not have survived today. He and his family spearheaded what can only be described as a monumental effort to preserve our beautiful church, and it is something that will never be forgotten.

You may wish to take some time to read Mr. Martin’s life story, written in his own words http://armenianchurchbangladesh.com/…/mr-martin-in-his-own…/

Our condolences are extended to Mr. Martin’s family and in particular his daughters, Eleanor, Christine and Cheryl.

Armen Arslanian
Warden, Armenian Church, Dhaka

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