“Today we are already fully Armenian”-Balians acquired citizenship of the Republic of Armenia

On September 27, RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan received Diaspora Armenian writer and publicist Hagop Balian and his wife, Marie-Louise Balian after they had obtained their Armenian passports.

Congratulating the Balians on acquiring citizenship of the Republic of Armenia, Hranush Hakobyan appreciated their pro-national activities and their concerns about preserving and disseminating the Western Armenian language and transferring it to the future generations, preserving the purity of the Armenian language, teaching Armenian abroad and forming the linguistic mindset of adolescent Armenians in foreign countries.

Hranush Hakobyan particularly mentioned: “Today is one of the most historic, the most memorable and the most important days of your lives. Today you became citizens of the Republic of Armenia. You have lived abroad all these years, but have stayed genuinely Armenian, motivating many young Armenians with your acts and examples. Today you became the citizens of your country. I congratulate you.”

The guests expressed their gratitude for the cordial reception and words of appreciation. The sides discussed issues on future cooperation and plans for the future.

In 2014, Hagop Balian was awarded with the Movses Khorenatsi Medal by the President of the Republic of Armenia and the “Ambassador of the Mother Language” Medal of the RA Ministry of Diaspora for his efforts for the preservation and development of the Armenian language and his contributions to the preservation of the Armenian identity.

Even today, Hagop Balian actively continues to collaborate with the RA Ministry of Diaspora by participating in the pan-Armenian events organized within the scope of the Armenia-Diaspora partnership, the 5th Pan-Armenian Forum of Leaders and Representatives of Diaspora Armenian Organizations, the 6th Pan-Armenian Forum of Writers, the Pan-Armenian Forum of Journalists, as well as the conferences entitled “Current State of Instruction of the Western Armenian Language” and “Issues of Convergence between Western Armenian and Eastern Armenian”.

Diaspora Armenian writer and publicist Hagop Balian was born in 1935 in the Alexandret state of Lebanon. His ancestors were from the city of Teort-Eol (Chork-Marzan) of Cilicia. The Balians are from Eastern Armenia (Kapan) from where they migrated to Aleppo and later to Alexandret. Later, they moved to Homs and then Beirut. In 1948, Balian graduated from the Abgarian School of Beirut. In 1956, he graduated from the Karen Eppe College of Aleppo. From 1958 to 1961, he worked at the College as an Armenian language teacher. From 1961 to 1974, he taught French in Beirut. He also received his higher education at the French University (French Higher Katchar), becoming a Master in and teacher of French language and philosophy. He has also taught at the S. Nshan School of Beirut and the Nshan Palanjian College.

In 1974, he moved to France where, upon the order of Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society, he established the Marseille College. In Paris, he has served as the director of the Armenian radio program and editor of KAMQ Daily. For more than ten years (until late 2015), he has been the head of the editorial office of BAGIN literary magazine. He has also been a member of the Central Committee of Hamazkayin.

Hagop Balian is author of several literary works and publications and has published 17 books.

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