In war, there is much loss. The fallen souls depart us, but they leave us behind to a life stricken with grief, longing for the past, clutching hard to the memories in our mind until they fade and we can no longer recover them.
In the 2020 Artsakh War, many young men perished—they left behind parents, siblings, wives, children, and many other loved ones. For AUA student Greta Sargsyan, it was the young man she loved, Vazgen Galstyan, whom she lost. Vazgen was 18 years old and had been serving in the army for merely two months when the war began. During the war, Greta received one phone call from him, on October 1, 2020—after that, no communication. She searched and tried to make contact to no avail. Months later, on December 17, 2020, his body was found.
Heartbroken, Greta dealt with the emotional blow of losing the man she loved and she turned to writing as an escape from the tragedy surrounding her.
Greta ended up writing a book, “The Hello was Guilty” (Բարեւն էր մեղավոր), about their love story, dedicated to the memory of Vazgen. All proceeds from the sales went to the Vazgen Galstyan Scientific-Education-Cultural Foundation, established by Vazgen’s parents in an effort to keep his memory alive. Greta helps lead the foundation, which aims to promote the development of talented young people in the fields of education, science, and culture.
Today, Greta looks forward to her future at AUA where she studies English and Communications. “Studying at AUA was one of my dreams, and I achieved it by receiving the chance of being so much more confident in myself and the future opportunities that the University will create for me.” She expresses gratitude for the AIWA San Francisco: Tamara Hovhannisyan Scholarship, which provided her with the means to obtain an education without worrying about the expense. She describes the support as an investment made into her future, for which she will forever be grateful.
Dr. Tamara Hovhannisyan is an established artist, writer, educator, and owner of the largest art gallery in the city of Carmel, California. She was born in Yerevan, Armenia, where she began to write and teach, earning her master’s degree in Language and Literature from Yerevan State University, and later her Ph.D in Philology from the National Academy of Science of the Republic of Armenia – Institute of Literature.
When she moved to the United States, she joined the Monterey Institute of International Studies as a curriculum writer. Her passion for arts and culture enabled her to open a fine arts gallery, for which she was later honored as one of the most influential people in the art business. In addition, she is also a talented writer, having written over 3,500 pages of poetry, multiple literary publications, and countless art articles, including ones in her own virtual magazine, The Art of Collecting.
Dr. Hovhannisyan has received many awards and accolades for the work she has done, and has also earned a place on the advising committee to the Ministry of the Armenian Diaspora, where she advises on different issues and supports the connection between the Armenian diaspora and her homeland. As an advocate for education, she is a valued member of the community and has contributed much to the betterment of the Armenian people and the world in general. “I am a woman of the world, but it has been my connection with my ancestral land that makes me who I am,” she has said before. In recognition of all she has done, the Armenian International Women’s Association – San Francisco affiliate established a scholarship at AUA in Tamara Hovhannisyan’s name.