Gourgen Melikian

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Gourgen Melikian is a renowned Professor of Oriental Languages and environmentalist at Yerevan State University, Armenia. He entered Yerevan State University in 1958 and became a faculty member after graduation. In 1992 Professor Melikian was elected Dean of the Oriental Language Faculty.

Professor Melikian is a specialist in the Persian language and has written extensively on this subject, including the New Persian grammar system and the New Persian vernacular dialects. Though he has publications such as Dvandva Formations in New Persian (published in Yerevan by the Caucasian Centre for Iranian Studies, 1996) and the article "Examples of Judeo-Kurdish Lexical Parallels" in Acta Kurdia, Vol. 1, 1994 (published in London by Curzon Press). He has made significant contributions to the study of Persian local dialects and argots (the secret language of specific groups), to the study of lexical similarities between Armenian and New Persian languages, and the lexical borrowings by New Persian from the Armenian language.

Professor Gourgen Melikian was among the final contenders for the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature. He was the only candidate from Armenia.

He also served as president of Hyranashen, a university-based organization devoted to improving Armenia's environment. An accomplished alpinist and avid environmentalist himself, he endeavored to instill in his students a love of Armenia's natural environment by taking them regularly on hiking and mountain climbing trips. It was on these trips that he spearheaded Hyrenashen's program to restore the environment by planting trees.

It has been estimated that he is responsible for the planting of several hundred thousand trees all throughout Armenia and later in Karabagh as well. It was his avocation as an environmentalist that took him to Karabagh in 1985 and thus he came to know the land and the people, becoming one with them in their struggle for freedom.