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The Armenian-language forebear of The Armenian Weekly, the Hairenik newspaper, began publication in 1899, reporting, analyzing, and commenting on the events of modern Armenian history from the office of the Hairenik Association in Boston, Massachusetts.
In June, 1932, a column in English appeared in the Hairenik to address the needs of English-speaking Armenians. Response was so great that by March 1934, the Hairenik Weekly (renamed The Armenian Weekly in 1969) began publication entirely in English, mostly through the efforts of young volunteer contributors.
By June, 1934, the Hairenik Weekly had acquired a full-time editor, James Mandalian, and an assistant editor, Queenie Pambookjian. Of special interest from those days were the translations of short stories by such prominent Armenian writers as Avetis Aharonian and Hamasdegh and the poems of Gostan Zarian. Moreover, the very stories that initially brought William Saroyan national recognition by the American public were first published in the Hairenik Weekly (under the pseudonym Sirak Goryan).
In those early days, news in the Hairenik Weekly reflected mostly the United-States-born, English-speaking youth movement, particularly the activities of the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF). As these generations grew older, the need for a more mature publication in English was eventually filled by the Hairenik Weekly as it graduated to the status of a full-fledged organ of the ARF and its community.
Today, along with news of general interest to the Armenian-American community, the Armenian Weekly publishes editorials, political analyses, regular columns, and short stories and poems by such contemporary writers as Diana Der Hovanessian and Vahe Oshagan. The newspaper, while reflecting the current of the ARF and Armenian National Committee (ANC) of America, is also open to a wide variety of views and opinions in which the pros and cons of issues can be discussed openly and honestly. Several pages are devoted to news and events of general interest within the Armenian community. Youth activities are still reported in each issue on the AYF Page, upcoming events are announced in the paper's calendar of events, and cultural activities are reported through music, dance, and movie reviews.