Khachkar inauguration in Paphos
Broadcasted live On Aypoupen Facebook
On the 30th of April 2017, Armenians and Greek Cypriots gathered on the green corner of Charalambos Mouskos and Evagoras Pllikarides streets of Paphos, to witness the opening ceremony of the “Armenian Genocide Park” and the unveiling of a KachKar Cross-Stone (Kach-kar), which is in UNESCO cultural heritage list and considered as a symbol of Armenian land.
The man behind the initiative is Vartkes Mahdessian, the Representative of the Armenian society in the Cypriot Parliament; associated with Mayor of Paphos Phedon Phedonos and the Paphos Municipal Council who unanimously accepted the project and executed it.
The event began with a moment of Silence in Memory of the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the masterminds of the Ottoman Empire.
The “Sourp Asdvadzadzin” Armenian Church Choir chanted the National Hymns of Cyprus and Armenia. Followed by the Unveiling of the Khatchkar, that was prayed upon and blessed by His Eminence Khoren Doghramadjian Archbishop of the Armenian Orthodox Church of Cyprus.
In a greeting word (at 11:30 in the video above) the Prelate of Cyprus, HE Khoren Doghramadjian, addressed the present Cypriot and Armenian brothers, recounting the memory of the awful days of the Armenian Genocide, During World War I, in the absence of media, and sometimes willingly or not, ignored by countries who were well aware of the circumstances in Armenia.
The Archbishop highlighted that the Khachkar in Paphos is proof that more than a hundred years after the Genocide, Armenians worldwide are creative people who love to build and live peacefully.
Unlike the destroyed occupied lands of Western Armenia, and unlike the occupied Northern Cyprus, one could see a trace of Armenians wherever they may be. Our Sanctuaries have been desecrated, churches have been turned into barns, garages or storing facilities by Turkey and his younger brother Azerbaijan, where hundreds of Khachkars have been destroyed in Nakhichevan.
His Eminence added that the Khachkar in Paphos is proof that Armenians are not extinct and that they will never bow out, as long as we remain united with our brothers and sisters. Artsakh, Armenia and the Diaspora are strong because of our unity; and our enemy is well aware of it.
The Archbishop demanded, “Let us vow to remain as firm as the khachkar, as a stone, and pursue the final victory of Cyprus and Armenians.” He added “Our sanctuaries, our mountains, and rivers await… let’s not keep this khatchkar an orphan but let it be a message to all the tourists who pass by to pay respect to those fallen victims during the Genocide”.
Mr. Phedon Phedonos addressed the present crowd, followed by Mr. Vartkes Mahdessian and Mr. Baghdasaryan, the representative of the Republic of Armenia.
The event ended following a few songs by “Sourp Asdvadzadzin” Armenian Church Choir, (at 43:00 in the video above) and traditional Armenian dances by “Sipan” Nicosia and “ANI” Paphos dance groups (at 56:00 in the video above) of Hamazkayin Cultural and Educational Society of Cyprus.