Zareh Sinanyan met with the Armenian community of Michigan
06 June 2022
High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs of the Republic of Armenia Zareh Sinanyan is on a working visit to the United States of America. For the first time, the High Commissioner visited the state of Michigan and held meetings with organizations and representatives of the Armenian community of Detroit.
On his first day visit, Zareh Sinanyan attended the St. John Armenian Church Women's Guild annual membership dinner, where he met with 70 women leaders of the community and was acquainted with their work. The High Commissioner noted the importance of the inspiring activities of women in the community and their contribution to the preservation of the Armenian identity.
Afterwards, High Commissioner Sinanyan visited the Manoogian Manor, an assisted living facility for elderly Armenians and other nationalities, which was opened in 1949 as the first Michigan Home for the Armenian Aged by thirteen dedicated Armenian Women and the entire Armenian Community, and the generous support of Mr. and Mrs. Manoogian. Mr. Sinanyan had the honor of meeting one of the Manor’s oldest residents, 100-year-old Margret who told Mr. Sinanyan stories of her travels to Armenia.
Later on, the High Commissioner sat down with Edmond Y. Azadian and Harry Kezelian from the Armenian Mirror-Spectator at the Edward and Helen Mardigian Library for an in-depth conversation about the work of our Office and the future of Armenia-Diaspora Relations.
Then, Mr. Sinanyan visited the St. John’s Armenian Apostolic Church and complex in Southfield, Michigan which has been the pillar of the Armenian community in Greater Detroit. Very Reverend Father Aren Jebejian and Reverend Father Armash Bagdasarian introduced the High Commissioner to the church’s history and activities. Known for its large golden dome, the expansive church complex is home to the Parish Council, the Women’s Guild, the Komitas Choir, the Church Sunday School, The Armenian Church Youth Organization of America (ACYOA), Detroit Junior and Senior Chapters, the Men’s Society, and the Armenian Heritage & Culture Lyceum. On the church grounds are the complex houses, the Armenian-American Veterans Building, dedicated to veterans of World War II and the Korean War, as well as the Alex & Marie Manoogian Museum, the Edward & Helen Mardigian Library, and Perish Bookstore.
Zareh Sinanyan also visited the Alex & Marie Manoogian Museum which is North America’s largest museum of Armenian art, artifacts, and culture. The museum’s eight galleries offer a unique glimpse of Armenia’s past and present, paintings, sacred vessels and vestments, rugs and carpets, household and personal objects, early printed books, manuscripts, textiles, and ancient objects.
High Commissioner Sinanyan's next visit was at the AGBU Alex & Marie Manoogian School, a tuition-free, multi-cultural school located in Southfield, Michigan that serves students in preschool through 12th grade, with a robust Armenian language program for all grades. The AGBU Alex & Marie Manoogian School’s Middle and High School programs have both been ranked by U.S. World & News Report as high-performing charter STEAM-focused and college-prep schools.
During the tour, High School Principal Dr. Hosep Torossian showed the recent expansion of the school for the STEAM program, which will soon have a fully functioning robotics workshop. Mr. Sinanyan also had the opportunity to speak with the 12th-grade students in their Armenian class and introduce them to the work of our Office and opportunities for youth in Armenia.
High Commissioner Zareh Sinanyan's visit to Michigan was concluded with a meeting attended by community leaders from various Armenian churches, educational and cultural organizations in the Greater Detroit area. During the meeting, Mr. Sinanyan presented our Office's programs, emphasizing the importance of professional repatriation and the need for highly skilled employees in the public sector. The meeting was attended by the leadership of multiple key Armenian-American active organizations. Zareh Sinanyan also touched upon the current challenges of Armenia-Diaspora cooperation and our Office's work to create and deepen healthy relations with the Diaspora. The meeting continued in the format of questions and answers. Very Reverend Father Aren Jebejian thanked the High Commissioner for his visit and meetings, stressing the importance of working locally with the community.