Balakian, Nasri and Zaki Receive Armenian Presidential Award

Balakian, Nasri and Zaki Receive Armenian Presidential Award

YEREVAN (A.W.)—The Republic of Armenia’s 2015 Presidential Award for significant contribution to the process of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide was awarded to Pulitzer Prize winning Armenian-American author Peter Balakian, as well as to Mohamed Hanafi Nasri and Miriam Zaki of Egypt for their documentary “Who Killed the Armenians?” on May 26.

Peter Balakian accepting his award

“The Armenian nation is grateful to you for this enormous undertaking. Mr. Nasri, Mrs. Zaki, you have proved clearly that the Armenian Genocide is not an Armenian issue exclusively but a great pain for the people of good will all over the world, regardless of their nationality or religion, while Peter Balakian with his dual identity—Armenian and American—has revealed in English the power of the artistic manifestation of that pain,” President Serge Sarkisian said in his address during the award ceremony, which took place at the Armenian Presidential Palace.

Miriam Zaki accepting her award

Balakian is the Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities at Colgate University. He is the author of seven books of poems and four prose works, including The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response, a New York Times best-seller, and Black Dog of Fate, a memoir and winner of the PEN/Albrand Prize. Last month, Balakian won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for Ozone Journal.

Egyptian satellite TV anchor Myriam Zaki and filmmaker Mohamed Hanafi’s Arabic-language “Who Killed the Armenians?” was the first documentary film of its kind produced in Egypt and dedicated to the Armenian Genocide. The 70-minute film was shot in Armenia, Egypt, and Lebanon. It presents several documents collected from the archives of the countries visited—documents that prove the Ottoman Turks’ barbaric acts against the Armenian nation, beginning with the Hamidian Massacres (1894-96), the Adana Massacre (1909), and ending with the 1915 genocide. Those documents were revealed to the Arab audience for the first time.

The film also includes testimonies of survivors of the genocide, especially from the Davtashen district. It features interviews with Armenian and non-Armenian public figures, activists, genocide scholars, lecturers, and clergymen, such as Richard Hovannisian, Vera Yacoubian, Haig Demoyan, Mohamed Refaat Al-Imam, Rupen Safrasdian, Ashod Melkonian, Taner Akçam, Catholicos Aram I, and Catholicos Karekin II.

Mohamed Hanafi Nasri accepting his award

Since its establishment in 2001, the Republic of Armenia’s Presidential Award has been bestowed on 335 individuals and organizations.

By other decrees of the President of Armenia, the RA Presidential Award for Year 2015 was awarded to:

Natural Sciences

  • Poghos Vardevanian, Valeri Arakelian, and Armen Karapetian for the series of scientific articles “A bond between the nucleic acids and biologically active compounds: Theory and Practice”
  • Grigor Karagulian for the series of scientific articles “Some issues of the convergence of the orthogonal series”

Technical Sciences and Information Technologies

  • Sevan Davtian and Anahit Tonoyan for the monograph (in Russian) “Theory and Practice of Adiabatic and Frontal Polymerization”

Medical Sciences

  • Armen Minassian, Hrant Kalenterian, Igor Nalchajian, Shahane Gevorkian and Marine Hovakimian for the work on the “Reanimation of the Newborns and Development of Intensive Therapy in the Republic of Armenia”


Arthur Ishkhanian, Tigran Shahverdian, and Tigran Ishkhanian for the series of scientific articles on “Analytical Models of the Duplex Quantum Task”


Susanna Harutyunian for the book Ravens before Noah.

Humanitarian Sciences

  • Albert Kharatian for the work “Western Armenian periodicals at the closing of their history (1900-1922)”

The RA Presidential Youth Awards

  • Narek Barseghian for the series of “Identity” paintings
  • Guy Ghazanchian for the series of “Beyond the Walls” paintings
  • Simon Petrossian for the series of the “Mythological Stories” sculptures
  • Grig (Grigor Shashikian) for his collection stories The Cat of Jesus
  • Christine Safarian and Tigran Ohanian for their outstanding vocal performance
  • Ani Parsadanian (violin)
  • Instrumental Trio – Anahit Dilbarian (piano), Vigen Harutyunian (basson), and Avetik Ghazarian (clarinet)


Source: Armenian Weekly Mid-West