Spiritual Armenia is Becoming a Reality

Mariet Simonyan

Spiritual Armenia is not a myth, it is not a brain delusion. I was thinking about this while standing in the yard of the "Holy Resurrection" Church in Tsaghkunk, listening to the general education mentor of the "Gagarin" project, Ashot Bleyan, the founder of the Mkhitar Sebastatsi Educational Complex: “Give Armenia a deep breath, put heart and soul in your work, bring love and devotion, and Armenia will rise from the ashes like Phoenix.” And Armenia is the villages Tsaghkunk, Zovaber, the EduComplex  young learners and these healthy energetic young people of the basin of Lake Sevan that give breath and soul to Armenia, and also these teachers who have made summer a holiday for their learners. Give life to education and it will become a kind of spiritual chant, ritual, educational camp, public event, educational-human connection connecting town and ․․․ And this life-assirting education will create a citizen who appreciates his land and water, his trees and flowers,  mountains and valleys, his spiritual chants and national rituals and culture.


I met the campers in the yard of Holy Resurrection Church. I am looking at the teachers who are coordinating the camp work. Healthy, colorful faces and happy conversation ․․․ Stories from the camp days; real camp mood, camp activities, camp life.

The Tsaghkunq "Holy Resurrection" church is a basilica. It is impressive and has the breath of God, but there is a lack of human care here. To put it mildly, it is in a deplorable state. When was the last time these walls heard a spiritual chant? Was there been a liturgy here? When, in which year? And now the campers and teachers of Tsaghkunq, Zovaber, Sebastatsi are singing here. The church is filled with prayer. The church becomes a church with the people, it is nourished by spiritual chants and prayers. Mr. Bleyan suggests holding morning services in the church of the village, like the teachers and learners of the EduComplex do in the Holy Trinity Church in Yerevan.

When some weeks ago we were speaking about this educational project in the village, I doubted whether the city children would be able to live a camp life in the village, during their holidays for ten days. Wouldn’t they get bored? What would they do in the village? Would the village families be able or would they want to host the children in their houses? On the other hand, my experience over the years told me that not everything in our unique educational world can be explained by logic. So many seemingly impossible things have come true! During my long and hard pedagogical experience in our Mkhitar Sebastatsi EduComplex I have witnessed so many seemingly impossible, surprising, and admiring situations! However, suspicion arose again. Could such a camp be organized in such a situation? Depressed people, disturbing situation in Gegharkunik region, full of worries and problems ․․ This was weeks ago.

And today I went to Tsaghkunq with a group of teachers from our EduComplex. It was the third pedagogical gathering with the "Gagarin" project, this time in Tsaghkunk. I went to participate in the pedagogical meeting, but I had in mind to see the camp with my own eyes. Of course, I look through the "Gagarin project-general education" website, I read and watch the stories published on it, but what you see with your own eyes and hear with your own ears, is different. It already has a documentary value.

Listen, it's hard to imagine a more interesting story.


Our Sebastatsi pedagogy is special because it always has a tendency to surprise and admire in its constant development. We have set ourselves the task of transmitting and disseminating our pedagogy. And we do it with love and responsibility. Spiritual Armenia is not a dream and it is not something to dream of. It can become a reality through my, your, other's efforts.

Today, the Gagarin project has created one of the opportunities to implement it. Ashot Bleyan, the general education manager of the project, mentor, is carrying out that transfer-dissemination with his colleagues. Author pedagogy is transmitted through educational camps, joint rituals, educational trips, jointly implemented projects and pedagogical gatherings.

That pedagogy is inspiring because it drives educators and learners to activities where they are able to express themselves with all their talent and abilities. The teachers Mkhitar Sebastatsi EduComplex admire their colleagues from Tsaghkunq and Zovaber. Gohar Yeghoyan, Suzy Margaryan, Iveta Janazyan can talk for hours about those capable people.

Our latest pedagogical gathering was aimed at this pedagogical partnership.


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