April 24, 2016
    "Who remembers the Armenians?" Hitler once taunted.
    History has made a mockery of his infamous claim, for who does not remember and mourn the destruction of a million and a half innocent Armenians a century ago? Dispossessed, driven out of their homes, cast out into the desert, annihilated for no other reason other than that they worshipped a different God.


      April 20, 2016
    Anna Vahan Baghsarian, beautiful, elegant, gentle nightingale of the Armenian Quarter's Baghsarian clan, has flown away, after a lingering debilitation. Her voice, before we had even heard of Feirouz, ignited our soul. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her, and all who love music.


     April 18, 2016
    A thousand years ago, a monk in a distant monastery in the western Armenian province of Reshdunik, picked up a reed pen and began etching out what would later become known as the first great Armenian mystic and liturgical poetry. Krikor Naregatsi (Gegory of Nareg), who spent his entire life in the monastery, died at the relatively young age of 50, but what he has left behind has outlived his time and age: as long as one Armenian heart beats anywhere in this world, his inspired odes and lamentations will continue to find an echo there.

    JERUSALEM, March 29, 2016  
The Three Guardians of the Holy Places (the Greek and Armenian Orthodox Patriarchates and the Franciscan Custodia) have pledged to begin renovating the tomb of Jesus (the Edicule) in the Holy Sepulchre church, at an estimated cost of 3m Euros. The work is expected to start within a few weeks and take up to 8 months to complete. The last time the Edicule was restored was 200 years ago.

    JERUSALEM, March 25, 2016
   The highly esteemed Archbishop Aris Shirvanian has resigned from his position as head of both the Secretariat and Ecumenical Department of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, after several years of sterling service. He is being replaced by Fr Goryoun Baghdasarian, lecturer at the Armenian seminary, and a former private secretary to the late Patriarch Torkom Manoogian.
      LYONS, FRANCE, March 16, 2016    
     The Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem has lost one of its most eminent leaders, Archbishop Tavit Sahagian, former Grand Sacristan under the late Patriarch, Torkom Manoogian. Sahagian had been suffering from kidney ailments. He had served the church in various postings around the world, and had settled in France recently. His nephew, Serop Sahagian, has penned this touching obituary in tribute.
     CALIFORNIA, USA, February, 2016 
     Alfred Kevorkian, nephew of the great musician and composer, Ohan Dourian, has passed away after a long illness, scant weeks after losing another uncle, the eminent philosopher Haig Khatchadourian. He gained his 15 minutes of fame early in life when he underwent the first open-heart surgery in the Middle East. He was always known as a gentle, cheerful person, ever eager to lend a hand. He spent several years in Saudi Arabia working as a teacher before retiring in the US. His loss further devastates the Khatchadourian clan, one of Jerusalem Armenians grandest.
     SYDNEY, Feb 2016
     Within a matter of weeks earlier this year, the Armenian community of Jerusalem was decimated by the loss of four of its members. One family alone, the Stepanians of "Dar el 'Ajayez", lost their first-born, Kevork, only days after the death of his sister Arousiag. The devastating development was followed by the departure of Hagop Mnatzaganian, a man of many sorrows. And soon after, the whole Armenian world became poorer for the absence of the great philosopher, Haig Khatchadourian.

     All Armenians, not only Jerusalemites, owe a great debt of gratitude to the unsung heroes, particularly Khatchig Bekarian, Ardavazt Minassian, Anoush Nakkashian and Father Ghevond who are so selflessly and diligently striving to place Armenian Jerusalem on the map. Their untiring efforts have resulted in bringing to the attention of all those who love Jerusalem the unique place Armenians occupy in its history. Long may they continue to live and serve Armenian Jerusalem.

     JERUSALEM, Feb 2016
     The Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem has completed partial structural restoration at our magnificent Cathedral of St James  with the intention of pursuing a fullscale restoration at some future date. In order to accomplish this immensely important undertaking, the Patriarchate has launched appeal for help and support from Armenians all over the world. Click here for full text of Patriarchate statement on the restoration project.
     Haygan Mardikjan has published a new book, called “The Call of the Crane,” as a testimony to the valiant spirit of courage and endurance under inhuman suffering displayed by her Armenian grandparents who survived the Turkish genocide. The book was originally written in Dutch and translated into English by Sarah Owen who has dedicated her work to the memory of Raffi Hagopian who passed away in the US nine years ago. The book will be reviewed here shortly.
    BETHLEHEM, Jan 19, 2016
    While many in the West think of Christmastide ending on the so-called ‘twelfth night’, Armenians celebrate Christmas in Israel and Palestine on 19 January. “While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2. 6-7).
     The august Gulbenkian philanthropic Foundation has expressed its unwavering support for the "Armenian Jerusalem" heritage preservation project with a timely grant that has enabled  us upgrade and update both the hardware and software required to design and manage the website which has now moved to a permanent address at http://armenian-jerusalem.org
     SYDNEY, July 26, 2015

     The Armenian Jerusalem website has now moved to a permanent home, at http://armenian-jerusalem.org
     It's been a long way from the modest beginnings eight years ago, when we began with the rather limited mandate of creating a family tree of the "kaghakatsi" community. It has now been upgraded, an ongoing process, thanks to the support and generosity of the Gulbenkian Foundation which has provided the requisite hardware and software.

     SYDNEY, July 4, 2015

     Two years ago, a French researcher published a story on "L'Arménien de la Bastille" which categorically confirms the Ormanian chronicle of the imprisonment of an Armenian clergyman in the Bastille, and enhances the link with the Man in the Iron Mask.   
     In the research conducted by Arlette Lebigre, and published January 2013, talks about " l'épopée d'un énigmatique patriarche arménien" (the enigmatic epoch of an Armenian patriarch)" named Avediguian.

      SYDNEY, July 4, 2015

For three centuries, sleuths, scholars and conspiracy advocates have extrapolated over the identity of the "Man in the Iron Mask," the enigmatic prisoner of the notorious Bastille.
Ever since the legend was immortalized in the opus of the great French writer, Alexandre Dumas, speculation about who the prisoner was, has been rampant, truth and fiction becoming convoluted, their intermingling making it difficult to give credence to Dumas' tale of treason and intrigue.

     NEW YORK, Feb23, 2015
     Our kaghakatsi family tree database will soon have some of its gaping holes plugged following the generous and highly appreciated efforts of Arpi Hoavaguimian and Rose Youssefi. The two remarkable ladies have provided us with extensive genealogical and other fascinating information that will go not only towards updating the family tree, but also enriching our recollections of the kaghakatsi chronicles. The material we have received is crucial towards completing the family tree of some of the clans directly affiliated to each other. The new input will be processed shortly and merged with our main password protected database which is posted online.

      JERUSALEM, Nov 16, 2014
     Harout Kahvedjian has just published an English version of his father's autobiography, entitled "From the Red Desert to Jerusalem", detailing his life as a survivor of the Armenian genocide. Harout is arriving in Glendale, California, where a sizeable Armenian community makes its home, for the book signing on December 6, 2014. Jerry Tutunjian, who has written a brief preview about the book, will be there with him.

SYDNEY, Oct 27, 2014
    The Armenian-Jerusalem website is currently being streamlined. The site has been due for a revamp and update with new material being edited and/or added. One particularly noticeable change is the inclusion of videos recording various aspects of the inspirational and uplifting rituals and ceremonies of the Armenian church.

      SYDNEY, Jan 3, 2014
     Simon and Madeleine Aprahamian, currently visiting Australia, have contributed more than two dozen names to the Kaghakatsi Armenian Family Tree database, which now stands at over 3200 names. Simon was particularly helpful in filling in some gaps in his family branch, the Aprahamian Razzouks.

      SYDNEY, Dec 28, 2013
     The Jerusalem Armenian website project
(armenian-jerusalem.org) is now on both Facebook
 (www.facebook.com/armenian.jerusalem) and Twitter

     SYDNEY, Oct 20, 2013
    The creators of the website originally aimed at preserving the history, culture and traditions of a selected segment of the Armenians of Jerusalem, the "kaghakatsis", are revamping the site. Registered under the URL www.kaghakatsi.org when first launched a few years ago, the site has now been renamed
     JERUSALEM, Jan 24, 2013
     The Armenian church in Jerusalem is perched on the verge of a new era following the election today of its new Patriarch, the 97th in a direct line of succession from Abraham, the first Armenian patriarch of the Holy City.

     We have now reached a turning point in our efforts to preserve the culture and history of our kaghakatsi entity.
     Our database currently boasts over 2,400 "names", a far cry from only 300 we had over a year ago. The number is impressive but not all inclusive. There are still some families or members of families missing from the overall mosaic.
     JERUSALEM, Mar 1, 2009
The St Tarkmanchatz parish secondary school, the alma mater of almost all the Armenians who have lived in Jerusalem in the current century, will be celebrating the 80th anniversary of its founding by that great benefactor and philanthropist, Calouste Gulbenkian. To mark the occasion, the school has launched a fund-raising drive "to enable us to surmount all obstacles and enable us to keep the school running" in "these days of global political turmoil and economic chaos," in the words of its principal, Father Norayr Kazazian.
Click to see appeal text).
     SYDNEY, Feb 24, 2009
Haig Shahinian and Ruth Bedevian are our latest genealogical information contributors. Thanks to their efforts, we have now on hand more details about the Shahinian and Bedevian clans and will be able to plug up some of the holes in our kaghakatsi family tree database which currently stands at over 3,000. Almost all the kaghakatsi clans are now represented in the database, though some with only a few entries. The Bedevian family tree was created by Oshine Bedevian and traces the clan back to an ancestor who lived circa 1750.
     SALZBURG, AUSTRIA, Feb 22, 2009
Austrian researcher Dr. Jasmine Dum-Tragut is keen to capture the mellifluously tilting kaghakatsi accent before it fades and disappears down the pages of history. An attempt by a US professor, Bert Vaux, was made some years ago. (Click to see paper). Dum-Tragut is determined to go one step further.
     SYDNEY, Oct 7, 2008
    The kaghakatsi family database has been given a tremendous boost with a deeply researched contribution from community leader Hagop Hagopian, an LA resident currently visiting Sydney. The first score of names he brought along have now been entered into the database, bringing the total to over 3100. He has also brought us a veritable treasure trove, a list of the colorful kaghakatsi clan nicknames, dictated to him Ardashes Shahinian's 92-year-old mother. 
SYDNEY, Aug 1, 2008
     The main database containing genealogical details of the kaghakatsi Armenians of Jerusalem has now been updated. The names listed total over 2400, belonging to over 50 clans. Bookmarks have been created pointing to over 50 of clans to facilitate access. The PDF file is password protected and is accessible only to those who have obtained a key. The different spelling of some family names has been made uniform for the sake of consistency.

SYDNEY, July 26, 2008
     The kaghakatsi Armenian Family Tree project has posted all 283 pages of the three official "domar"s recording the birth, marriage  and death details of the Armenians of Jerusalem, on its website, courtesy the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Work is proceeding on indexing the pages and arranging them chronologically. The "domar"s list the names of all Jerusalem Armenians, regardless of whether they are kaghakatsi or Vanketsi, but project orgnanizers will concentrate only on the members of the kaghakatsi community.

NEW ROCHELLE, NY, July 13, 2008
     Professor Apraham Terian, an esteemed and eminent product of our kaghakatsi community, has published two new books, adding to his impressive array of authoritatively researched publications. "Macarius of Jerusalem: Letter to the Armenians, AD 335" and "The Armenian Gospel of the Infancy. "
     JERUSALEM, July 6, 2008
The Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem has taken steps to computerize and preserve the genealogical records of community members dating back over a century and a half, rescuing them from oblivion and the ravages of time and weather.

JERUSALEM, June 14, 2008
The Supreme Synod of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem has given its official blessing to our request for the registers of births, baptisms, births and marriages of the Armenians of Jerusalem, to be photographed and stored electronically on our website. The Synod reviewed our proposal, presented by His Beatitude Patriarch Torkom Manoogian, and gave its go-ahead for photographer Garo Nalbandian (who has kindly offered to do the work) to undertake the work.
     Click here to view the full text of the presentation.

     SYDNEY, May 31, 2008
     The kaghakatsi Armenian Family Tree Project has obtained a copy of a list of all Armenian families (kaghakatsi and Vanketsi) residing in the Old City circa 1950. The list contains over 540 names of heads of families.

     NEW JERSEY, May 25, 2008
     Robert Marashlian has published his first poetry anthology (Vantage Press, New York). The book is entitled "The Odyssey of Life" and brings together the best of his work spanning three decades.
      SYDNEY (Apr 19, 2008)
     The kaghakatsi Armenian community in Sydney has lost one of its most beautiful pillars of society: Angelle Benneian, a charming, sophisticated lady with the very loving nature.
JERUSALEM - LISBON (Apr 10, 2008)
     Efforts to preserve the history and culture of a unique Armenian community residing in the Armenian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem have won the support of two of the world's most prestigious institutions. The Armenian Patriarchate of St James in Jerusalem and the Calouste Gulbenkian philanthropic foundation in Lisbon have pledged their backing to the "kaghakatsi Armenian Family Tree Project."
     New genealogical details of three kaghakatsi clans have now been added to the main kaghakatsi Famil Tree main database: Sarkis Bedevian, Krikor Mukhalian and Shoghig Shahinian have been kind enough to send us the information. The database will be updated accordingly, with new pages and bookmarks.

     We have been receiving a lot of correspondence from several non-kaghakatsi people who have shown great interest in the kaghakatsi family tree project. In most cases, the email senders are seeking information about the database - some are asking outright for a list of the names in the database. To one and all, there is only one reply: Sorry, NO. The database is the property of the kaghakatsi community and remains accessible only to community members whose names appear there.

     For most of the world, Calouste Gulbenkian will always be known as Mr Five Percent, the man who held that much stock in the Iraqi Petroleum Company. But for Armenians in general, and their Old City of Jerusalem in particular, the name Gulbenkian evokes notions of a much grander and more lasting perspective: this is the family that has, for over two centuries, held Jerusalem above all their joys, lavishing upon it veneration, affection and largesse that can never be quantified.
      We have now reached a turning point in our efforts to preserve the culture and history of our kaghakatsi entity. Our database currently boasts over 2,400 "names", a far cry from only 300 we had over a year ago. The number is impressive but not all inclusive. There are still some families or members of families missing from the overall mosaic of the Armenian Quarter.

     The Supreme Synod (Cyraco3n Adyan) of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem has given its official blessing to our request for the registers of births, baptisms, births and marriages of the Armenians of Jerusalem, to be photographed and stored electronically on our website.

     Garo Nalbandian, one of Jerusalem's leading photographers, is getting ready to photograph the 150 pages contained in three old registers of kaghakatsi births, baptisms, marriages and deaths. These will be invaluable in helping us validate the entries so far and in filling in gaps in our database.

     Apraham Mnatzaganian, who teaches in England, has contributed his own labors to augment our database. We have now added about 40 new names to the main file with genealogical information on his own immediate family, and relatives on his father's and mother's sides.

     Syliva Bedevian and Gayane Karen Merguerian are the latest to provide additional information for inclusion in the family tree database.
     Gayane happens to be the daughter of Barbara Merguerian, former editor of the Armenian Mirror Spectator. She lives in Boston, MA.
     Sylvia is the grand-daughter of Oshine Bedevian, currently living in Amman. Haroutune Khatchadourian was her grandfather. Her elder brother is an architect in Dubai. Her father has been working on the family tree and Sylvia has promised us a copy.

     All 283 pages of the three official "domar"s recording the birth, marriage  and death details of the Armenians of Jerusalem are now available on the kaghakatsi family tree project website. We are working on indexing all entries for easy accessibility - so far, only about a third of the Baptism register has been indexed. However, we have created links to all pages (arranged chronologically). The "domar"s list the names of all Jerusalem Armenians, regardless of whether they are kaghakatsi or Vanketzi, but we are attempting to index only members of the kaghakatsi community. Because there is no indication of who is who, we might sometimes inadvertently index Vanketzis as well.


     For years beyond count they have been languishing undisturbed, save for an occasional peek, in the cavernous archives of the Armenian Patriarchate of St James, in the Old City of Jerusalem.
     Three fat tomes of painstakingly meticulous script, with frequent lapses into flowery forays, the official registers recording the births, baptisms, marriages and deaths of the denizens of the city's Armenian Quarter, the kaghakatsis.

SYDNEY (Jan 24, 2008)
     The tiny community of genocide survivors and their descendants living in the Armenian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, has taken a bold and determined step toward ensuring that their unique place in the history of this immortal city, is not irretrievably lost.
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