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Ghazarian Family Donates Book Collection to the Armenian Studies Program

Staff Report

Dr. Vatche Ghazarian of Pacific Grove, California, has donated 300 books to the Armenian Studies Program in memory of his father Mgrdich Ghazarian, who was the only male member of his family to survive the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

The collection is composed of books from both the late Mgrdich Ghazarian’s library and also from Dr. Ghazarian’s collection, accumulated over the past forty years.

Mgrdich Ghazarian was born in the New Village neighborhood of Palu, circa 1906. In 1926 he moved to Aleppo, Syria, accompanied by his mother, to stay with his aunt Pailoon, with the purpose of moving to America. In 1928, Ghazarian became one of the founders of the Palu Compatriotic Union, and was one of the enthusiastic leaders of the group.

He joined the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party in 1932, and became an active member and often his tailor shop would be a meeting place for the party. In 1933 he joined the Armenian Relief Committee. In 1949 he joined the AGBU and later became a founding member of the Tekeyan Cultural Association of Aleppo.

In 1952 he married Ashkhen Ustaian, who was a teacher in Aleppo’s Cilicia school. They later moved to Antelias and remained there until his death on July 1, 1986,

Mr. Ghazarian did not have the opportunity to continue his schooling but his Armenian roots were strong and he constantly read and taught himself Armenian, enriching his language by reading Armenian newspapers.

He was a modest man, a fighter against injustice, and did not forgive anyone who tried to exploit national interests.