On Mon., May 21, at the banquet celebrating the opening of the Armenian Heritage Park in Boston, Intellectual, playwright, director, scientist, actor, educator, and poet, Dr. Herand Markarian, was awarded the Movses Khorenatsi Medal, the highest cultural medal of the Republic of Armenia.
The medal was bestowed by Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian in the presence of Diaspora Minister Hranoush Hakobian.
The Movses Khorenatsi Medal was established on June 26, 1993 as the highest award recognizing the contributions of individuals in cultural, artistic, and humanitarian fields.
Herand Markarian was born on Oct. 6, 1938 in Basra, Iraq, and immigrated to the United States in 1962, where he obtained his master’s degree and Ph.D. in chemistry, and master’s in management of technology.
He first appeared on the stage in Basrah in 1956 and directed his first play in Baghdad in 1957. Markarian has authored 27 plays, published 10, staged 51, and directed 151, while acting in 56 roles. He has portrayed Yohanne Lepsius in Toukhanian’s “Assignment Berlin” feature film. He has also dramatized the works of 15 writers.
Markarian founded the Hamazkayin New York and New Jersey theater groups and trained 485 actors. Under his directorship, the Hamazkayin appeared Off-Broadway in 1995, in Armenia in 1992, and in London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and North Andover, Mass. His works have been performed in the U.S., Canada, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and Greece. Markarian has presented numerous audiovisual presentations. He has served as the chairman of Hamazkayin of New York, the U.S. Eastern Regional Body, and has been a member of the Central Executive of Hamazkayin for eight years. He has been the executive secretary of the Armenian Medical Fund since 1992 and was instrumental in planning and executing anti-tuberculosis aid to Armenia. He has been a member of the ARF since 1956, and has been the chairman of the New York Gomideh and a member of the Central Committee of Eastern USA.
Markarian was the principle of St. Illuminator’s Saturday School for 4 years, and taught at the Siamanto Academy of the Prelacy of Armenian Churches for 25 years; the Nareg School in New Jersey for 4 years; the Mesrob Mashdots School in Rockland County; and was a professor at the NY State University for 11 years. He has lectured in Armenia, Artsakh, Canada, Lebanon, Syria, and the U.S. He was the chairman of St. Illuminator School Board for 11 years.
Markarian holds the record for the number of Armenian plays authored; the number of premieres in the diaspora; the longest uninterrupted run of Armenian plays (45 years); and the first appearance of an Armenian theatrical group Off-Broadway.
His awards include the St. Mesrob Mashdots Medal for cultural achievements by His Holiness Karekin II of the See of Cilicia and medals from the Ministry of Culture of Armenia, the Writers’ Union of Armenia, the Central Library of Armenia, and the Theatrical Society of Armenia. He is also the recipient of Hamazkayin New York and Eastern Regional and Central Executive medals; the ARS Eastern Regional’s Agnoony Award; and the City of Union City’s and Queens Borough’s awards.