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Friday, 23 November 2007 - Independence Day at Mesrobian High School


Beirut, Lebanon

On Thursday the 21st of November 2007, the Armenian Catholic Mesrobian High School celebrated Lebanon’s Independence Day at Hovhannes Boghossian theatre. His Excellency Msgr. Vartan Ashkarian, the former ambassador of USA Dr. Joseph Ghougassian, the principal of the school, Mr. Gregoire Kaloust, the clergymen, the schools' administrative and teaching staff, the members of the Parents' Committee, as well as the elementary, intermediate and secondary students were gathered for this special occasion. The special guest was the famous Lebanese artist, musician and composer Mr. Ghassan Rahbani.

The celebration started with the Lebanese, the Armenian and the Mesrobian anthems. Then, the school’s principal Mr. Gregoire Kaloust gave the opening speech. He thanked the artist Mr. Ghassan Rahbani for accepting the invitation of the school and also thanked him for the song that he had dedicated to the Lebanese Armenian brothers. Mr. Kaloust emphasized that the Lebanese Armenians have always been loyal to Lebanon; they have fully served it and have firmly clung to the country of the cedars.

On behalf of the students, Khatchig Sayegh and Talar Alajajian spoke in Arabic and Armenian followed by an artistic program which was organized by the schools' Kindergarten, elementary, intermediate and secondary students. This program had surprises. The school’s choir lead by Mr. Manuel Keshishian and elementary school’s general supervisor Mr. Vartan Aznavourian performed Mr. Ghassan Rahbani’s song dedicated to the Lebanese Armenians.

After the artistic program, Mr. Rahbani gave his speech thanking the school for giving him the opportunity to be among Armenians. He emphasized on the importance of the existence of Armenians in Lebanon and that it has had a positive outcome all through the years. And by referring to the Christian Lebanon understanding, the respectable guest said, "It's not mere coincidence that in 1943, the French decided that Lebanon’s president should be a Christian. Christianity was the majority because of the Armenian number."
To conclude this celebration Most Reverend Father Kevork Yeghiayan was invited to the stage and he said, "The presence of Mr. Ghassan Rahbani among us is a great honor for us because he belongs to the distinguished Rahbani family that still fights against lies and deception. The Independence is not a simple holiday; it's a task that is laboured upon everyday, an education that is transferred to the Armenian students to enable them to be useful to our native-country Lebanon, turning it into the torch of the Middle East that will never be extinguished, even under difficult circumstances. We, the Lebanese Armenians, like our Lebanese brothers are loyal to this country and its independence. Long live the independence; long live Lebanon."

After father Yeghiayan's speech , a souvenir was presented to the honorable guest by Bishop Ashkarian and Mr. Gregoire Kaloust, as a token of gratitude for his acceptance to be present at Mesrobian school on this memorable day and also for his song " Armenian Brothers" dedicated to the Armenian people.

Mr. Ghassan Rahbani encouraged and inspired by the atmosphere surrounding him gave a live presentation of his song. The theatre was filled with thundering applause and cheering.

After the celebration, Mr. Gregoire Kaloust introduced the prominent guest to the school. Mr. Rahbani wrote his impressions in the school’s Golden Book which says, "Please, Please, Please, I want you all to keep and never to forget your Armenian roots, for the sake of your mother country Lebanon, because we as Lebanese need your assistance and to your great Armenian origin. I, as a Lebanese feel very proud to be one of you”.



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