Yessayan Krikor Haroutioun Ohanian
Chamlian eighth grade students at Dzidzernagapert ahead of the Armenian Genocide Centennial (Photo by Sarkis Ourfalian)
The Vahan and Anoush Chamlian eighth grade students visited Armenia last month, as part of the school’s annual program to take students to Armenia and introduce them to their homeland.
Below are impressions and reflections by the students.
Ancient country, centuries of old culture, Armenia my motherland is the best place…Abnous, Osheen V.
Our trip to Armenia reminded me of how ancient our ethnicity and story is. The images of the churches and cities will always be held in my mind. Artounians, Nayiri
During my visit to Armenia, the most memorable moment was in Echmiyazin. We have read and learned about it, but being there and seeing it through my own eyes brought it all together for me. Baghdassarian, Leah
Armenia is a very amazing and influential country; however, the place that left the most significant impact on me was Geghart. The beautiful monastery including its mountainous surroundings was breathtaking. During my time there, I imagined how difficult it must have been for the Armenian people who had to go into hiding to pray and practice Christianity. Boyadjian, Talia. (Watch Talia Boyadjian’s performance in below video)
Everlasting memories have been created. Chebishian, Meri
Armenia had very beautiful sites and places that we visited, but by far my most favorite was Khor Virab. It was very interesting because in our textbooks we read about Gregory the Illuminator and how he was stuck in Khor Virab. When I went down there, I felt like I was trapped. Donabedian, Lara
When I went to Armenia with my classmates it was the best experience for me because I went and saw my motherland with my own two eyes and I loved that. Gharibi, Monte
Chamlian Students at Sardarabad (Photo by Sarkis Ourfalian
Armenia is a great country and I was happy to have the opportunity to visit and get to know my homeland. Ghazarian, Matthew N.
I really enjoyed seeing the things in real life in Armenia that we have learned about for eight years. Grigorian, Gregory S.
I am ecstatic to have been given the opportunity to go to my motherland with all of my classmates and to have seen and experienced everything that makes up our culture. Hadjinian, Christina
While visiting Armenia I was influenced the most by Armenia’s capital, Yerevan. Yerevan is beautiful and thriving with its new buildings, striking architecture, museum, shops, and friendly citizens. I am so proud and happy that our little Armenia is continuing to evolve. Hagopian, Arev
It was the most fun I have ever had, in the most beautiful country I know. Haritoonian, Chris R.
Armenia in general is a beautiful place with the most amazing scenery. Everywhere we went we could see Mount Ararat as if it was a picture with the illusion that if we put our hands out we would be able to touch it. Kaypekian, Andrew G.
I really liked Armenia and no matter when it is I would go back. It was a very memorable trip and I will never forget it. Keoshgerian, Monique
Going to Armenia really opened my eyes and mind. It also brought the whole eighth grade together as one. Khodadadi, Mara
In my life, I have never seen a more beautiful country than my motherland, Armenia. Marcarian, Kaitlyn
The trip to Armenia had many fun parts, but my favorite adventure was to the Khor Virab School. Before we went, I heard the school was broken down with broken windows. When we got there, I saw painted walls, happy students, a very nice auditorium like set up with chairs and banners. I really enjoyed it because they are students like me who are learning about the same history and story of our people. Mardirosian, Michael N.
I really liked Armenia. The people there were very nice, the architecture and the churches were beautiful, and the experience was unforgettable. Movsessian, Shaunt
Mount Ararat in the background (Photo by Sarkis Ourfalian
Armenia was an unforgettable trip. We got to go see our homeland and experience things we will never forget, and we will have the memories to carry on with us for the rest of our lives. Ordubegian, Tara K.
This was my first time being in Armenia, my homeland. Being there made me realize how beautiful Armenia is and how much of an impact it had on our lives. My favorite place was Tzeetzernagapert. When we were there we remembered our lost ancestors and made a vow to always be an Armenian and to never stop demanding for our lands. Rajoyan, Rafi
I was so excited to visit Armenia because it was my first time seeing my homeland. When I went there it was like I was in heaven. It also felt like I knew all the people there because there were all Armenian. Tchalikian, Varant
I thought that Armenia was not going to be fun. I was completely wrong. It is the best place on the planet. Abrahamian, Harout
This wonderful trip to Armenia that I experienced with my friends was unforgettable. I got to see my homeland and cannot wait to go back. Avakian, Meghedi
During our visit to Armenia, the one place that has inspired me the most is Sevana Lake. The view was amazing and beautiful and I finally got to see the place I have been dreaming about for eight years. Balabanian, Ashley A.
Armenia, it would be a futile attempt to try to describe your beauty by words, because you were simply created to only be seen by the eye. For one to visit you is the only possibility for being able to decipher your exquisiteness. I am glad that I was lucky enough for being able to. Bandek, George F.
Our beautiful Armenia is full of astonishing churches and monuments. Yes, they are all very impressive but the most impressive was the Garni Temple. It is the only pagan temple left in Armenia and its architecture and the surrounding mountain ranges along with the flowers and trees makes Garni a hundred times more stunning. Bedoyan, Areen K.
Everywhere in Armenia was breathtaking and beautiful, but one place that I thoroughly enjoyed was Sartarabad. This monument reminded me of the thousands of Armenians who bravely fought until the end to protect our small homeland. If this vigorous battle did not take place, Armenians today would not have possession of our present motherland. Chorbajian, Areni
During my trip to Armenia, I was nearly amazed by all the things I saw. But more than anything, I absolutely loved the Geghard Monastery because it had the most beautiful and breathtaking church. It also had a small fountain that consisted of holy water, and a colorful tabernacle. Eskandarian, Eric
The trip to Armenia sealed our grades friendship and made me feel closer to my homeland. The memories we made were unforgettable. Ghazarian, Ani G.
Seeing my homeland and my culture for the first time was so breathtaking that I am speechless. Hajjar, Nicole M.
When my friends and I visited Armenia, we had the most educational and the most amazing time. The place that I liked the most was Keghart Monastary because it had a stream that was blessed and the whole Monastary was built from a cave. Haroutounian, Harout R.
During our Armenia trip, I loved many places that we visited, but my favorite was Keghart. It was so beautiful and interesting. It interested me to see the carvings on that church. From inside, holy water flowed and near it was a beautiful river with trees around it. On the tree branches, we tied napkins or cloth and made wishes. Karaguzian, Katrina M.
My Armenia trip experience was something I will never forget, especially because it was with my friends that I won’t be seeing in high school. Kazangian, Natalia N.
My favorite part about Armenia was Geghart because it was something that I did not expect, and it was there when I felt when I was in my homeland Armenia. I also thought the architecture and the details on the church were amazing and breathtaking. Khoury, Nicholas C.
When we visited our Motherland Armenia we saw some spectacular sights. My two most favorite places were the Khor Virap monastery and Haghpat monastery. Haghpat monastery was one of my favorites because of its breathtaking view. Khor Virap monastery was also my favorite because that was the closest and clearest view of the Ararat Mountain. Kurkdjian, Liana
My favorite site in Armenia was Khor Virab because our teacher taught us all about it. She taught us how Krikor Lousavoreech lived inside a little hole for 13 years. We finally got to visit it and it was the closest we got to Ararat Mountain. It was a very memorable moment that I will cherish and never forget. Markarian, Brandon S.
Armenia our homeland was amazing. I was touched when we visited the school in Khor Virab. When I took a look around the school, I noticed how lucky I am with what I have compared to the kids in that school and the school’s situation. My heart filled with happiness when we handed them the gifts from our school to theirs. Menachian, Herag S.
Armenia is a great place to be with your motherland and you can see how and where our ancestors. Ohanian, Andrew
My class trip to my homeland, Armenia, was very memorable and amazing. One of the most inspiring places was the Geghard monastery. I was in awe at the fact that my ancestors were able to make a church that was carved inside a mountain. Ourfalian, Sebou N.
When I visited Armenia a few years ago, I enjoyed my time there, but when I went to Armenia with my friends this year, I didn’t want to go back home. Sabounjian, John H.
I truly enjoyed our trip to Armenia and all our visits to the marvelous and breathtaking sites. This trip left an enormous positive impact on how I view my homeland. Shahinyan, Mary
My favorite site in Armenia was Lake Sevan. The serenity was absolutely breathtaking and the scenery was amazing. Shamsi, Alia
After eight years learning about our history; all of our churches our songs and our stories all came together in a perfect and harmonious moment. For myself, it was such a privilege to be able to see the 100th anniversary of the genocide, which is an unforgettable moment in my life. Yacoubian, Ara V.
Out of all the places we visited in Armenia, I personally like the Geghard monastery the best because of its amazing and beautiful construction. Something that really interested me was a tree with pieces of cloth tied to the branches. You simply make a wish and supposedly it is supposed to come true. Yepremian, Loreni
There was no need long ago
to perspire. And salt
had not been discovered.
It took medieval pain
and pressure, the worry
over fate and free
will to make man sweat.
Then salt crystallized and those
who discovered it lived
in an Armenian village called Koghb.
Even before that day
the Greeks in books of alchemy
labeled salt, sal armenicum
in deference to the origins of
alum, malachite, and lazulite.
Along the river Vardamark,
along the Arax and Akhurian
through the valley Aghto
traders came, by oxcart
and caravan along Salt Road
to the mines
of Nakhijevan, Keghzvan
from the west
until the railroad’s time.
From the east another horde
decided there might be
a better way to speed
by making the Armenians
weep and weep.
But do not think salt came
from Armenia because
it was the land of tears.
Tears come from laughing too.
Salt is what is left
when the sea recedes,
when the flood subsides.
It is what is left
when passion is eased
to coat the face of calm.
The same salt that flavors
the table sweetens the breath,
causes the blood to rise, spoils
the pilaf and brightens the smile.
Salt that eats the heart
can erode the sun.
When you throw it over
your left shoulder to blind
the eye of Bad Luck
invite Good Luck to your table,
and say with the Armenian poets
let us toast one another,
but don’t let the salt
of longing close our throats
our differences, like salt
flavor what we eat.
But let us not consume
more salt than meat.”
"Salt" first appeared in AGNI