The RA President Armen Sarkissian, the Acting Minister of Education and Science of the RA Arayik Harutyunyan, the Acting Minister of Diaspora of the AR Mkhitar Hayrapetyan, YSU Rector, Professor Aram Simonyan, guests from Armenian and foreign partner organizations were present at the event.
Rector Aram Simonyan came up with a greeting speech. “This day is special for the university. It is a real holiday, as we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Faculty of Oriental Studies and because so many orientalists came together in one place”.
Rector Aram Simonyan remembered the people standing at the grounds of the faculty foundation: Georgi Nalbandyan, Hakob Papazyan, Mery Kochar, Boris Balayan, Gurgen Melikyan who had put lots efforts and devotion to make it succeed.
The RA President Armen Sarkissian greeted and congratulated those present.
“I am very happy to be here today and I want to share with you not only as the President of the Republic but also as this university alumnus, university friend, as one of you”, said President Sarkissian.
“When I was a student the Faculty of Oriental Studies considered to have a great scientific potential. In a way, I was among the worshippers of the Faculty of Oriental Studies. I’d like to speak to you about the future, however we can’t speak about the future leaving aside the past and the present. The past of our Oriental Studies is glorious: it wasn’t created today or yesterday, but rather decades or even a hundred years ago, and not in Yerevan but outside it. Let’s not forget that the RA National Academy of Science was held 75 years ago by the orientalist Hovsep Orbeli”, said the President.
The President told about the “Armenia” exhibition held at the “Metropolitan” museum in New York during which one of the organizers
gave such a comment on the exhibition, “In the Middle Ages the masters and rulers of the Silk Road were Armenians”. According to the President, it an example of applied Oriental Studies and Armenians were orientalists.
“I hope that a number of powerful structures will be established on the basis of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, and they will fulfil the essential and significant national demand we have. Armenia is a crossroad of various civilizations, the center of great political situations, and being such a center Armenia must undertake its role. And Oriental Studies have an enormous significant in that role”, concluded his speech President Sargsyan wishing the congress a fruitful activity.
The acting Minister of Education and Science of the RA Arayik Harutyunyan, congratulating those present particularly said, “Actually I don’t know in which position to speak: as a former student, current lecturer or the minister. The Faculty of Oriental Studies is one of the most important structures of our university. It has played an important role in my life both as a student and the lecturer or political figure”, said the acting Minister.
The faculty has got serious academic traditions, and I felt them when I studied abroad and compared them with other students. I saw it in Damask, in Moscow. The faculty has also been an important political forge. I was surprised that even during the Soviet years the faculty was active. In the 90s, and in the 2000s and particularly during the recent events the students and lecturers of our faculty were very active”, said Arayik Harutyunyan.
While observing the way passed by the faculty I want to point out a feature which has always defined our faculty. It is the atmosphere of academic free culture, least bureaucracy, student-oriented environment. In the 21st century there must not be situations when academic freedom is pressed, when self-administration of the higher educational establishment is under pressure. I am sure that bringing together healthy forces and direct partnership with the MES we will achieve success”, added Mr. Harutyunyan.
Speaking about continuity of traditions he remarked, “I will do my best to promote the Faculty of Oriental Studies to carry on playing a serious role in our science, scientific research, education and upbringing of citizens”.
The greeting speech of the acting Minister of Defence of the RA David Tonoyan was conveyed by Deputy Minister Gabriel Balayan, and the greeting speech of the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Zohrap Mnatsakanyan was conveyed by the General Secretary, Chief of Staff Vahagn Melikyan.
The Dean of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, Professor Ruben Melkonyan made a report on the history of the faculty and its current challenges, present achievements, distinguished alumni and the main spheres of activity.
“Festive mood is reigning at the faculty, congratulations have started since midnight, the students have decorated the faculty, the atmosphere of love and peace is characteristic for the faculty”, he stressed.
Professor Ruben Melkonyan presented the documents of 1921-1922 where it was marked that one of the first faculties of the university was the Faculty of Oriental Studies which later was joined with the Faculty of History and Philology.
Referring to the alumni of the faculty Ruben Melkonyan stressed that have always been oriented to statehood but never to authorities. One third of diplomatic sphere come from the Faculty of Oriental Studies.
Video greetings of Professor Gurgen Melikyan, of the Director of the Scientific-Research Institute of Ancient Manuscripts after M. Mashtots, Doctor Vahan Ter-Ghevondyan the Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the NAS, Doctor, Professor Ruben Safrastyan, the President of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the RAS, Professor Vitaly Naumnik were watched.
The Dean of the Faculty of Oriental Studies Ruben Melkonyan and the head of the Chair of Iranian Studies, PhD in Philology, Associate Professors Vardan Voskanyan were awarded with YSU Gold Medal for the significant contribution to organization of education and research at the university, preparation of young scholars, and on the event of the 50th jubilee of the Faculty of Oriental Studies.
YSU honorary diploma was awarded to the employee of the RA NAS Levon Petrosyan for the achievements in professional activity, significant assistance in organization of education and research at the Faculty of Oriental Studies and on the event of the 50th jubilee of the faculty.
Honorary diplomas were awarded to the Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Vahagn Melikyan, Aram Grigoryan, Karen Mirzoyan, Andranik Hovhannisyan, Garnik Badalyan, Grigor Arakelyan, the RA first class advisor Tigran Gevorgyan, assistants at the Chair of Turkish Studies, PhD in Philology Siranuysh Galshoyan, PhD Naira Poghosyan, the assistant at the Chair of Iranian Studies, PhD Garnik Gevorgyan, the Associate Professor of the same chair, PhD Hasmik Kirakosyan, the head of the Chair of Arabic Studies, PhD in History Hayk Kocharyan, the assistant at the same chair Mariam Elmasyan, Associate Professor, PhD Alice Eloyan.
Thanksgiving diplomas were awarded to the deputy Dean, the lecturer of the Chair of Iranian Studies Svetlana Harutunyan, the assistant to the Dean, assistant at the Chair of Turkish Studies Tatevik Hakobyan, the assistant at the Chair of Iranian Studies Zaruhi Khachatryan, the assistant at the Chair of Turkish Studies, PhD Anushik Martisoryan, the lecturer of the Chair of Arabic Studies Zaruhi Hamazaspyan, the lecturer of the same chair Sedrak Hrayr Yovsepean.
After the opening ceremony started the First Annual Armenian Congress of Oriental Studies which is dedicated to the 50 anniversary of foundation of the faculty and the Centennial of the end of the World War I.
About seventy scientific reports on the history of Middle East, Oriental languages, literature, culture, Islam will be made at the Congress. Nearly thirty foreign scientists from USA, RF, Europe, Middle East are participating in the Congress.
It should be noted that the Congress is to continue tomorrow, on November 10, at the Faculty of Oriental Studies.