Khatchig Babikian

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Lexingtonians help Armenian school

Lexington residents Nicole and Jean-Jacques Hajjar, on behalf of the Khatchig Babikian Fund, recently donated $50,000 to St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School of Watertown.

The donation was made in recognition of the mission of the school to promote excellence in education in an Armenian environment. The fund earmarked this sum to be used during the 2007-08 academic year, for two specific programs. One half will fund scholarships for needy students, while the remaining half will fund teaching staff incentives and enrichment programs.

“I am thrilled with this donation, especially as it takes into consideration what our school needs: helping families financially so that sending their children to a private Armenian school will not pose a burden, and also helping the teacher learn valuable skills,” said principal Houry Boyamian.

The Khatchig Babikian Fund was created in January 2007 by the five daughters of the late Khatchig Babikian (1925-1999). The fund honors the memory of Mr. Babikian, a philanthropist, attorney, former member of the Lebanese Parliament (1957-1999), cabinet minister successively of Administrative Reform, Health, Tourism, Information, and Justice in the Lebanon government, and former chairman of the executive council of the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia — Antelias, Lebanon.

The fund’s purpose is to contribute to the welfare of Lebanese Armenians in particular, and Armenians in general. It was the will of Mr. Babikian to establish such a charitable fund to benefit Armenians in humanitarian, educational and cultural projects.

“I feel very strongly about keeping one’s Armenian identity and pride, and that’s what I love about St. Stephen’s,” said Nicole Babikian Hajjar, one of Mr. Babikian’s daughters. “We in the Boston area are so lucky to have a quality private education mixed with the Armenian culture.”

In addition to the donation to St. Stephen’s, the Babikian Fund has made large donations to Beirut’s St. Joseph University and the American University of Beirut, providing scholarships for needy students.

Hajjar and her husband, Jean-Jacques, send all three of their children, Serena, Joseph and Anelga, to St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School.

“We are extremely grateful to the Khatchig Babikian Fund, especially our own Nicole Babikian Hajjar,” added Boyamian.