[FAR New York]: FAR Honors the Memory of Armine Zambak

  • November 14, 2012 1:38 pm

Armine and Garabed Zambak

It is with deep sorrow that we inform our readers that beloved humanitarian, mother, and educator Armine Zambak has passed away. May her soul rest in peace.

Armine Zambak was a woman who strived to strengthen Armenia and inspire its future generation of political leaders. She created the Armine and Garabed Zambak Scholarship Fund in 2010 in honor of her husband, the late Garabed Zambak, a successful entrepreneur and business leader in Istanbul who was especially dedicated to preserving Armenian heritage. After Garabed Zambak’s death in 1977, she continued his legacy.

Like her husband, Mrs. Zambak believed strongly in furthering educational opportunities. Through this particular scholarship she hoped to strengthen Armenia’s future by providing support and greater opportunity for young Armenians with dreams of becoming strong and dedicated future leaders in politics, international relations and public administration. Each fall the program provides full scholarships to four outstanding graduate students at Armenian universities.

“Now, I am not just another member of the civil service community. I will have to work very hard to serve my country,” said Tamara Ghalayan, one of the first recipients of the scholarship who is now working in Armenia’s Ministry of Finance.

Mrs. Zambak shall remain a great role model to all young Armenians. She was born Armine Tahtalyan in Ankara in 1916, shortly after her father was taken during the genocide. Despite numerous hardships, she graduated at the top of her class from Uskudar American College in Istanbul and excelled as a top employee in a bank. She later supported her husband, in business and volunteer work, often serving as his translator. Following her move to the U.S. in 1984, Mrs. Zambak remained a devoted supporter of the Armenian community.

Pontish Yeramyan, Armine Zambak’s eldest daughter, has been a member of FAR’s Board of Directors since 2006. She, too, continues in her parents’ footsteps to strengthen Armenia’s future through a commitment to continuing this scholarship program. According to her, “[FAR’s] purpose, to ‘Create a Bright Future for People in Armenia,’ is a perfect match with my parents’ purpose.”

When establishing the endowment fund in 2010 , Mrs. Zambak noted that “It is important that fresh, new approaches to leadership and progressive ideas in governance be brought to Armenia while honoring our precious culture and our people’s history.” Indeed, the Armine and Garabed Zambak Scholarship will continue to stimulate young Armenian students’ achievements through which they will benefit their communities for years to come.


Tracing the success of Zambak Scholarship recipients

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[FAR New York:] A Great Humanitarian Remembered

  • November 14, 2012 12:52 pm

With great sadness we want to inform that a great humanitarian, mother and educator passed away…


Armine Zambak 1916-2012

Armine Zambak was born Armine Tahtalyan in 1916 in Ankara, Turkey, the youngest of three children.  Her father was taken in the genocide before she was born.  Her sister went to live in an orphanage and their uncle took care of the rest of the family.

Armine attended Uskudar American College in Istanbul where she graduated first in her class.  As a young woman she worked in a bank – unprecedented for an Armenian at that time – and excelled as a top employee.

She married Garabed Zambak in 1944, a successful business man and an influential leader in the Armenian community in Istanbul.  He served as treasurer and as the financial backbone of Tibrevank seminary as well as the Sourp Pirgich Armenian Hospital.   Armine had a large part to play in her husband’s success.  She supported him in his business and volunteer work and traveled extensively with him, sometimes serving as his translator.  She was also a worldly and gracious hostess, entertaining with elegance.   The couple had two daughters, Agavni Pontish and Marie.

Garabed Zambak died in 1977 and in 1984 Mrs. Zambak moved to the United States where she remained a committed and passionate supporter of the Armenian community.  She was a regular attendee of the St. Sahag and St. Mesrob Armenian Apostolic Church in Wynnewood, PA and an active supporter of the Armenian Sisters Academy in Radnor, PA.  She followed politics closely and was committed to the development of strong national leaders.  She funded a scholarship program in the early 1990’s for Armenian graduate students in the United States.  She then transferred the fund to the Fund for Armenian Relief, dedicating it to supporting graduate students in political science and public administration at Armenian Universities.

At home, Mrs. Zambak enjoyed entertaining.  An avid bridge player, she had a keen eye for the cards and a delightful demeanor.  People loved to play cards with her.  She enjoyed knitting and teaching the craft to boys and girls alike, and was fond of reading biographies of great leaders.

To all who knew her, Mrs. Zambak was the gentle teacher of life lessons.  People around her were always left learning something valuable, about being graceful, about how to be in relationship with others, about being a lady.  She was filled with practical wisdom.

Throughout her life, Armine Zambak was a constant source of strength for her family, always praying and always standing for everyone’s success.  She is survived by daughters Agavni Pontish and her husband Ara Yeramyan and Marie Zambak Gregory; by granddaughters Araks Yeramyan and Ani and her husband Daniel Speirs, and by five great-grandchildren.  She will be deeply missed.

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[FAR New York]: A Humanitarian Approach to IT Performance

  • November 9, 2012 8:07 am

Saro Jahani, a dear friend of FAR and Chief Information Officer at Direct Edge reflects on his approach to IT performance.

By Anne Rawland Gabriel via wallstreetandtech.com.

“Studying [Mahatma Gandhi] teaches that consistency and endurance are fundamental components of being human. It also teaches us to be humble, because behind every role there is a human being, and that as long as we respect all human beings, that’s probably the most important thing that we can do for each other.”

Please continue reading here.


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[FAR New York]: Race for Dignity

  • October 16, 2012 7:15 am

New-York based attorney Anahid Ugurlayan runs a marathon to support a charity each year. This year, she raised funds for two charities at the Hamptons Marathon: the Armenian Relief Society and the Fund for Armenian Relief.

Anahid has been a supporter of FAR for many years. She first witnessed its deep investment in Armenia’s vulnerable population and promotion of individual rights during her first trip in Armenia in 2002 with the Young Professionals. In 2005 she ran the NYC Marathon to benefit the FAR Children’s Center. This year, she ran for FAR’s soup kitchens.

On the unusually humid and damp fall morning of September 29, Anahid braved the poor running conditions of her 8th marathon to proudly support ARS and FAR. She reflects, “I simply ignored the pain and the weather and focused on two things — the charities I was running for and running the best race I could.  I remembered the beautiful faces of the elderly men and women I met when I visited the FAR Soup Kitchen in Gyumri in 2002 and 2010 and the children in Hadrut for whom the ARS Sosse Kindergarten is a second home.”

Anahid’s high spirits, as well as encouragement and generous donations from her friends and family saw her through to the finish line in 5:17.45.

Anahid remarks that “we can all make a difference in the lives of others and it need not be on a big scale.” Indeed, we wholeheartedly thank her and her fans for raising funds for FAR’s nutritional programs. Together, we will help disadvantaged families and the elderly of Armenia lead a life of dignity and respect.

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[FAR New York]: FAR Board of Directors Tour of Armenia Draws to a Close

  • September 27, 2012 11:08 am

The final days of the FAR Board Members’ visit have been full of exciting travels.

Certain Board Members journeyed to the Zangakatun village, which is famed as the birthplace of the legendary poet Paruyr Sevak and known for its multitude of apple varieties. Members had lengthy discussions with the Center for Agribusiness and Rural Development (CARD) Foundation officials about advancing the financing of the agricultural economy in Armenia. FAR Board Member Greg Toufayan was especially moved to visit Zangakatun, as his family has generously financed the construction of a cooling complex for many fruits, as well as the reconstruction of the Zangakatun kindergarten.

The Board also enjoyed touring various sightseeing locations around Dilijan and Lake Sevan.

Board Members left Armenia with a myriad of powerful impressions that will remind them of a future purpose to return to the motherland with new ideas and projects.

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[FAR New York]: A Warm Hug for the Motherland

  • September 25, 2012 5:54 pm

Being on the same page about FAR’s mission is something that is guaranteed by their benevolent consciousness, wherever they may live and work as individuals; however, being together on Armenian land is a rare and unique occasion for all of them to see that mission reflected in reality.

For the past few days, the FAR Board of Directors have been traveling together in Armenia as part of a week-long trip to witness first-hand the outcomes of their most noble efforts. They have already visited various locations in the country that receive their support through a number of programs implemented by the Fund for Armenian Relief.

Official meetings are mixed with short trips and stopovers at sightseeing landmarks. This event proves to be very effective as each of the BoD members has the chance to get to know the others members of the BoD, whom they may only know through electronic correspondence. Some of them have come to Armenia for the very first time in their lives, while others have had the opportunity to travel back and forth with their ideas and projects from the US Armenian community.

After a meeting with His Holiness Karekin II Surpreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians at the Catholicosate of Etchmiadzin on September 23 the members of the BoD made a small pilgrimage to the Noravank monastery with still a very busy and fruitful schedule ahead of them for the coming days.

On September 24 BoD outstanding member Dr. Aram V. Chobanian acted as chairman of the ANSEF forum at the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia. Meanwhile, the rest of the BoD members toured the facilities of the FAR Children’s Center in the Zeytun district of Yerevan. Here, they had the opportunity to socialize with the children, who perceived a benevolent feeling of care and affection each moment that the BoD members interacted with them. To conclude the day’s activities, the group visited the Genocide Memorial of Tsitsernakaberd.

Today, the Board was in Gyumri for a special visit to the Gyumri Information Technologies Center where Mr. Patrick Sarkissian, GTech’s main donor and contributor, was delighted to see the progress of GTech’s Business Development Unit.

Afterwards, the group headed towards the Atinizian Senior Center in Gyumri where they received a warm welcome and heard many heartfelt words of gratitude for their constant charitable support. FAR BoD member and passionate benefactor Mr. Nishan Atinizian received an intensely warm welcome, as he was greeted by a group of elderly women, beneficiaries of the kitchen, all lit up by what might be described as a proud motherly feeling, rather than mere thankfulness.

The next stop was the construction site of Gyumri’s Octet School of Music, where the BoD led the construction commencement ceremony, together with RA Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Territorial Administration Armen Gevorgyan and Governor of Shirak province Ashot Giziryan. His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, who is also President of the Fund for Armenian Relief, performed a beautiful ceremony to bless the construction site with the Primate of Shirak Diocese His Grace Bishop Mikayel Ajapahyan and deacons. The incense filled the site as the Board members among many other guests sang along to the chants.

After returning to Yerevan, FAR Board members had an official meeting with RA President Serzh Sargsyan.

The Board of Directors’ visit to Armenia has been full of gripping and memorable events that will remain in our diary as a page to be read and re-read in the future. Stay tuned for more updates from the BoD Armenia Trip 2012.

(Slideshow  photos N1-5 contributed by Felix Arustamyan)

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[FAR New York]: Armen A. Avanessians joins Fund for Armenian Relief’s Board of Directors.

  • April 17, 2012 12:17 pm

New York —The Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) is pleased to announce that Mr. Armen A. Avanessians, a partner at Goldman Sachs & Co. and a member of Columbia University’s Board of Trustees, has joined the organization as the newest member of its Board of Directors.

Read more here.

Mr. Armen A. Avanessians – partner at Goldman Sachs & Co.
and newest member of the FAR Board of Directors.

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