Seta Ohanian: “I feel that the warmth of the sun in Armenia is different and inexplicable!”

During the meeting with Syrian-Armenian Seta Ohanian (Srpouhi Palanjian) in the office of Chief of Staff of the R Ministry of Diaspora Firdus Zakaryan, whether I wanted to or not, I got emotional as I looked into her eyes that were as clear as the sky and filled with tears as she expressed her gratitude to Firdus Zakaryan for including her two grandchildren, 17-year-old Krikor Kalaijian and 15-year-old Aren Chakrian in the 2016 “Ari Tun” Program and shared their wonderful impressions. After the meeting, at our request, she talked a little about her life during an interview in the editorial office of Hayern Aysor.

“My husband is from Sasun. I got married when I was very young and have spent my entire life in an environment of the brave Armenians from Sasun. My father, Habet Palanjian is from Arabkir (my father was gone too soon), and my mother, Mari Demirjian is from Urfa. My extended family was saved from the massacres of 1915 and settled in Syria where I was born. I have a brother, Minas Palanjian, who is a famous singer in Aleppo and moved to Armenia one-and-a-half months ago. My daughter, Maral has also settled in the Homeland. Her husband, Vatche is a good craftsman and now works as a mechanic in Yerevan. I am a mother of four. I have two sons and two daughters. Thank God, I have good children and all of them are married. This is my fourth visit to Armenia. I have also visited Artsakh. In 2000, I paid a four-day visit to Artsakh where the nature is wonderful and the people are great. I have been here for a month now. I satisfy my longing for Armenia and my relatives. My children are at a camp. Mr. Zakaryan said I could visit the camp on Friday and witness the farewell bonfire, but the boys said we shouldn’t come so that they wouldn’t have to come back. They want to spend another day there and come back with the other children. This already says a lot. My grandchildren were so excited and had so many impressions. They kept telling me about the program…This is a joy, and for this I thank the Minister of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia, Deputy Minister Serzh Srapionyan, Chief of Staff Firdus Zakaryan, all the organizers of the program and the teachers. Our children have good knowledge of Armenian, but the Armenian language courses helped them enrich their vocabulary. The Armenians of Syria are very patriotic and have strong faith. Our children learn the Armenian language, Armenian patriotic songs and have strong faith. Nevertheless, they learned more Armenian songs and dances through this program. We have always been spiritually connected to our Homeland, have followed all the events taking place in Armenia and have cared for the lives, joy, sadness and worries of the Armenians in Armenia. I first visited Armenia in 1988. The plane had a problem and fell, but thank God, nobody suffered. There were artists and singers on board. God saved us. When the earthquake happened, I saw that my husband (God rest his soul, he was a great person), who had a habit of listening to the radio every morning, was crying. When I asked what was wrong, he said there had been an earthquake in Armenia and many people had died. He went on to say that he wished the people on board the plane had died and not so many people during the earthquake…We were mute. The Armenians in Armenia rose to their feet. It was difficult. Now we face the situation in Syria. We don’t know how it will end, but I feel bad that the Syrian-Armenians left Armenia for Canada. Believe me, I feel that the warmth and the rays of the sun in Armenia are different,” these words were the last words in my interview with the grateful Armenian, Mrs. Seta. It is this type of Armenian that makes every Armenian feel proud and certain that the formula for the perpetuation of an Armenian is the viability of these kinds of human values.

Karine Avagyan

Scroll Up