Montebello: Armenian official on fund-raising trip

Armenian official on fund-raising trip
By Tracy Garcia Staff Writer

Pasadena Star-News, CA
Oct 13 2004

MONTEBELLO — Armenian Prime Minister Anoushavan Danielian of the
Nagorno Karabakh Republic visited with Montebello city leaders Tuesday
as part of a West Coast campaign to raise money to complete a badly
needed north-south roadway in his home country. Montebello has long
been known to have one of the oldest Armenian populations in the
United States, as many Armenians relocated here immediately after
World War II, officials said.

As a result, Danielian chose to make Montebello one of about a
half-dozen stops on his California tour this week, also taking the
opportunity to place a brightly colored wreath at the city’s nearly
40-year-old Armenian Martyr’s Memorial Monument at Bicknell Park.

“I’m very impressed about how ethnically diverse Montebello is,”
Danielian said through a translator during a reception held for him
at the Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Cathedral in Montebello.

“The city houses many different communities — Armenians, Latinos —
and as an outsider, it’s good to see that they are all able to live
together for so many years, learning and helping and working with
each other,” he added.

But the main purpose of Danielian’s visit, officials said, was to
kick off a campaign for a Thanksgiving Day telethon that hopes to
raise $12.5 million to complete the North-South Backbone Highway in
Nagorno Karabakh.

“The road connects the north and south regions of the country, and
it’s a very important infrastructure that needs to happen for economic
development of the country,” said Maria Mehranian , chairwoman of
the Armenian Fund, a humanitarian group that has given more than $100
million in assistance to Armenia in the past decade.

The 12-year-old telethon is aired in 30 U.S. cities, including Los
Angeles, and in Canada, Europe and the Middle East to about 20 million
viewers. Mehranian said the Thanksgiving Day telethon will be aired
on KSCI-TV Channel 18 in Los Angeles.

Although telethon funds have gone to aid orphanages, hospitals and
schools, it has raised money for the past four years for the Backbone
Highway and hopes to raise the rest of the $12.5 million needed to
complete it this year.

Since last Friday, Danielian has visited Fresno, San Francisco,
Los Angeles and will stop in Anaheim, Irvine and San Diego before
heading home Friday, Mehranian said.

“We are always honored to have Armenian dignitaries visit this city,
particularly because we have such a large number of Armenians in
our boundaries,” said Montebello Mayor Norma Lopez-Reid . “For us,
it’s very important to maintain those positive relationships.”

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS