Goguikian Foundation holds its 8th Al Bayan Awards Night

For the 8th consecutive year, the Goguikian Foundation held its Al Bayan Awards Night and awarded Lebanese-Armenian high school students who had excelled in Arabic. The speeches delivered during the ceremony invited parents to encourage their children to speak Arabic and underlined the fact that “the era of ‘Broken Arabic’ in the Lebanese-Armenian community is over.”

The Awards Night took place at the Auditorium of Jdeideh-Sed el-Bauchrieh Municipality, in the presence of high-school principals, students and their parents, as well as the Executive Director of the Foundation, Soheila Hayek, members of the Administrative Board, Dr. Antoine Abdo, professor at the Lebanese American University (LAU), Member of jury for Al Bayan Essay Competition and social, media and academic figures. This year’s guest of honor was Sevag Ketenjian, The Coordinator of the Sports Department at Haigazian University and basketball coach of the Homenetmen Women’s Team.

After opening the ceremony with the Lebanese National Anthem, journalist Lolita Sahyoun gave a brief overview of the history of the Al Bayan competition organized by the Goguikian Foundation every year in order to encourage the Lebanese-Armenian youth to master the Arabic language.

Cynthia Najjar, one of the Jean Goguikian scholars, stressed on the necessity of encouraging and supporting the “integration of the Lebanese-Armenian community in the Lebanese society as a whole.” She added, “All people are proud of their mother tongue, but we are even prouder because we have two of them.”

The guest of honor Sevag Ketenjian underlined the importance of the Arabic language and the “essential role of parents in encouraging their children to speak Arabic.” “We have to put an end to the prejudices that some of our Lebanese compatriots have on this matter. The era of ‘Broken Arabic’ in the Lebanese-Armenian community is over,” he added. To conclude, he told the youth, “Do not be afraid of failure, and do not avoid difficult responsibilities, for this failure could be the beginning of success.”

Then, Lebanese-Armenian high-school students who had excelled in Arabic during the year 2018-2019 each received an honorific plaque.

Finally, the results of Al Bayan Arabic Essay Writing Competition were announced. Hrag Derderian, from The Holy Cross Harboyan College (Zalka), won first place. The School of the winner also received the AL Bayan Trophy, given to its principal Mr. Aram Karadaghlian, who will keep it for one year.

Garo Giritlian, from AGBU (Dbayeh) was ranked second, while Nora Nourian, from Hripsimiantz College (Fanar), and Nerses Chouljian, from the Armenian Evangelical School (Ashrafiyeh), were tied for third place due to their results being very close.

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