Saturday, October 22, 2005


According to my daily journal, it has been 20 days since I left home. My days at the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem continue to be full to capacity. Each morning, after breakfast, I come to my office to continue research, fulfill assignments, and interact with the staff as a participant-observer. My phone and e-mail communication to home keeps me abreast of what is going on States-and-Armenia-side. Currently, I am working on shelving configurations for the Calouste Gulbenkian Library and the inventory of artifacts for the Mardigian Museum, all in the name of archival documentation.

The heading on this entry refers to a film which was shown here last Thursday evening. Eleven years ago, a group of hearty Armenians decided to construct a masted sailing ship, a replica of the kind that would have been used during the period of the Cilician kingdom (10th to 13th centuries). This ship would then be taken overland from Armenia to the port city of Poti, in Georgia, to begin its watery sojourn to the cities of the ancient Armenian kingdom. Fourteen adventurers, among them the writer Zori Balayan, faced all kinds of obstacles to live this legendary adventure. Two of the fourteen sailors are here in Jerusalem, and they shared this film, already in five parts, and the sixth to be produced. The program was held in the Seminary auditorium, which was packed. The audience was totally enthralled by the raw footage of this voyage on the high seas and became part of the adventure. You can always tell when an Armenian audience is impressed. They remain very quiet :-) and they were. His Beatitude spoke after the program and it was obvious he was very moved also. I would very much like for this program to be repeated in Los Angeles.

One thing I really like about being here is that it is very natural to maintain a disciplined life- and work-style. And so, on with my work on this sunny Sunday afternoon.


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