NEW YORK (A.W.)—On Fri., Dec. 7, Dr. Meline Karakashian presented her recently published book Gomidas: A Psychological Study (Կոմիտաս՝ Հոգեբանական Վերլուծում Մը) at the Armenian Center, in an event organized by the New York chapter of the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society.
Following opening remarks by Dr. Ara Caprielian, the chairman of the Hamazkayin chapter, Karakashian gave an engaging presentation, highlighting several critical points in Gomidas Vartabed’s life that affected his emotional and psychological state. Given the tragic events that befell Gomidas—a celebrated patriot and giant of Armenian music—as well as the countless Armenians who lived through the harrowing experience of 1915, behavioral changes or expressions of post-traumatic disorder are not surprising. Yet, had the knowledge and treatments we have now been available then, Gomidas surely would have lived a different life, continuing to carry out his sacred mission of developing, preserving, and enhancing Armenian music.
Karakashian’s meticulous research and archival photographs make this worthy study even more fascinating. Her presentation incorporated this visual material and was enhanced by her tone and sympathetic and caring approach when talking about this under-studied aspect of the genocide.
As Karakashian noted, many archives in Armenia and France are still awaiting their researchers. Perhaps someone might embark on this worthy project before the centennial of the genocide?
The in-depth presentation was followed by a lively Q&A period. At the conclusion of the program, the executive board of the chapter presented Karakashian with a portrait of Gomidas Vartabed by well-known artist Minas Minassian, generously donated by Hamazkayin member Roupen Barsoumian.
Rev. Father Mesrob Lakissian, the pastor of the St. Illuminator’s Cathedral and a valued supporter of the Hamazkayin chapter, added a special touch to the evening by performing the traditional ceremony of Kinedzon. Der Mesrob also gave brief remarks and invited the audience to honor the memory of the 1988 earthquake victims with a moment of silence.
It was a rare pleasure to witness the disappearance of the books from the sale table. Hamazkayin is grateful to Dr. Meline Karakashian for the thought-provoking presentation, her patience at the seemingly endless book-signing, and her generosity, expressed through her donation of the proceeds from the book sale to the New York Hamazkayin Chapter.
Gomidas: A Psychological Study was published by the prestigious Richard and Tina Carolan Literary Fund (Holy See of Cilicia, Antelias) and is available at the Prelacy bookstore in New York, or by visiting www.armenianprelacy.org. Publications in English and in Eastern Armenian are forthcoming. We encourage readers to purchase this book and take the fascinating journey with Gomidas Vartabed.