On the second day of his official visit to Lebanon, on November 27, Serzh Sargsyan met with the President of Armenian Evangelistic Churches in the Middle East, Rev Mkrtich Karagyozian, visited the Armenian spiritual and cultural complex in Zmmara and met with the Armenian Catholic Patriarch, His Eminence Ter Nerses Petros XIX. In Zmmara, President Sargsyan participated in the official opening ceremony of the cultural center and renovated section of the library (matenadaran) dedicated to the 500th anniversary of publishing the Urbatagirq – the first Armenian printed book and visited the exhibition of manuscripts and ancient books.
“Throughout its millennia-long history, the Armenian nation had pages full of glorious victories, enlightenment, cultural rebirth, and struggle for physical existence. There can be no doubt that the struggle for existence is a heroic mission. However, one is overwhelmed with pride when one realizes that Armenians have been able to create bounty and values everywhere they went. Etchmiadzin or Saint Lazarus Island in Venice, Jerusalem or Vienna, or here in this charming corner of Lebanon, Armenians have always manifested their undying resilience,” President Sargsyan said at the opening of the cultural center in Zmmara.
According to the President of Armenia, the collection of the Armenian manuscripts in Zmmara speaks volumes about our past, our history and our ancient cultural heritage. “The Zmmara congregation, Matenadaran and the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs have come up with a commendable initiative to study these manuscripts, to clean the dust of ages, to bring out the fruits of our nation’s thought and spread light on the pages of our past. We will continue to support this initiative on the state level so that this enormous material is examined, and comes to serve not only the Armenian people but also the entire mankind,” President Sargsyan said.