This numbered print (36 x 28 inches) of an original painting by Philadelphia artist Mary Zakarian (1927-2020) dates to the early 1990s, the time of the first Armenian-Azeri conflict It takes on added relevance today as Armenians find themselves in a renewed struggle to maintain the Independence of the Republic of Artsakh.
The highlight of this work is the Armenian Tricolor, flown on the battlefields of the first Artsakh war and signed by five Armenian soldiers. The flag was given by the only surviving soldier to Arthur Khatchadrian, of Philadelphia, who showed it to Rev. Fr. Nerses Manoogian. Together, Zakarian and Father Manoogian planned an artwork that would be a memorial to our heroes and a tribute to the Armenian quest for freedom and dignity.
In the work, the flag with the soldiers’ signatures flies in glory on the wings of an eagle, an element of the official seal of Artsakh. Directly under the flag is the Church of Shushi, surrounded by images of soldiers protecting it. Above it, imprinted on stones of the church, is a cross encased in a teardrop, symbolizing the countless tears the Armenian nation has shed to preserve our Christian faith.
The sculpture, “We are our Mountains” (Also known as “Dadig and Babig”), built from the rocks of Artsakh, expresses the Armenian people’s strength and resilience. The segmented Tricolor, representing separation from the homeland, is enmeshed with the sculpture. Soldiers depicted in action surround the structures.
The words, in Armenian letters, are lyrics from a song dedicated to Armenian heroes: Massisuh Vga, Hayots Kachern En, “Massis [Ararat] is witness to these Armenian heroes,” The twin peaks of Mt. Ararat rise above these words.
The original painting is owned by the family of a noted Armenian benefactor from North Jersey.
The Armenian Relief Society condemns the indiscriminate armed attacks of the Azeri government’s armed forces on the Republic of Artsakh which targeted innocent civilians in cities and villages. The Armenian people have been living peacefully in the homeland for centuries while their peaceful lives have been continuously subjected to unrest due to the constant targeting and attacks by the Azeri government.
We stand in solidarity with our people.
In light of the recent escalation of violence in Artsakh, the Armenian Relief Society of Eastern USA is asking community members to donate to the ARS Artsakh Relief Fund, so that we can provide immediate assistance to our compatriots.
The ARS Regional Executive Board appeals to the community to join in this cause and fulfill collective responsibility to stand in solidarity with Artsakh. This is the time for benevolent action, as ONE NATION.
Community members can also send their checks to ARS of Eastern US – 80 Bigelow Ave. Suite 200, Watertown, MA 02472