The tall, strapping man was recording the event with his smartphone camera, intent on capturing every smile and subsequently sharing the photos with family and friends. He was among the many Argentinean-Armenian guests who kept taking photos of the jubilant residents of Khachardzan. The visitors from Argentina are always anxiously awaited in the village.
This time around, the community of Khachardzan, in Armenia’s Tavush Region, welcomed Carlos Terzian, a benefactor of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s Argentinean affiliate, as well as other supporters from Argentina. There was a big surprise in store for Mr. Terzian. Immediately after the greetings and welcome remarks were conveyed, it was announced that Khachardzan’s first annual volleyball tournament in honor of Mary Terzian would take place that day. Mr. Terzian himself was asked to raise the billboard banner. As he began to read the announcement, he couldn’t hold his tears back.
Mary Terzian was just 23 years old when she left this world in 2014. Her parents’ only consolation was to fulfill the dreams she had cherished, one of which was to help improve the lives of children in Armenia. Thus Mr. and Mrs. Terzian provided support to the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund for the construction of a sports complex in Khachardzan. “This is a monument that perpetuates my daughter’s memory,” Carlos Terzian told the residents of Khachardzan in his remarks. “We are happy and grateful that Mary continues to live through this sports complex.”
The state-of-the-art sports complex opened its doors in 2016. Although numerous sports events have been held here since, the volleyball tournament in memory of Mary Terzian was unprecedented in terms of its emotional significance. The tournament’s competing teams consisted entirely of local athletes. It was a friendly game, and the winner was Armenian-Argentinean friendship. Of course, the tournament will continue, with Khachardzan youths competing against athletes from neighboring villages. The sports complex is an intercommunal facility.
Several Argentinean-Armenian families have sponsored development projects in Khachardzan. With support from the Kalciyan, Avakian, and Terzian families, the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund has renovated Khachardzan’s high school and built a potable-water network. In addition, it continues to support the development of beekeeping by donating beehives to local beekeepers, and provides scholarships to local youths. Today, likewise through the sponsorship of the donor families, the Fund is paving and renovating Khachardzan’s main road. As the residents of Khachardzan say jokingly, the Embassy of Argentina should be relocated here.