“Marzig,” Homenetmen official newspaper, has been published continuously since 1980. The monthly newspaper which consists of more than 400 issues, is the outcome of sacrifice, perseverance, and determination to make the impossible possible.
During the worst days of the Lebanese war, when deaths and destruction were rampant in Beirut, some “crazy” people who were true believers in Homenetmen, started publishing a newspaper which would mirror the activities of the worldwide chapters of the organization starting from “Kaylig” and “Mrchnig” and reaching to the General Assembly.
“Marzig” became a permanent detailed archive of all the movements of Homenetmen. Not only did “Marzig” become the expression of Homenetmen’s activities, but it also presented the successes and the achievements of motherland (Armenia) athletes and world champions. Moreover, “Marzig” started to be published with the aim of lasting a long time.
Although the idea of the publishing the newspaper existed long ago, the beginning of “Marzig” was not easy for it required a year to be prepared. In 1974, during the first General Assembly the matter of the publication of an official newspaper was discussed.
The scattered chapters of Homenetmen were united to form a whole one organization around the world. The idea of unity strengthened Homenetmen and expanded its activities.
The main concern of the Homenetmen Central Committee that was elected by the First General Assembly, was to establish the organization, strengthen its new structure and initiate community-based work during its tenure.
In 1979 during the Homenetemen Second General Assembly, a clear decision was made to publish the organization's official newspaper. The Assembly instructed the newly elected Central Committee to pursue the undertaken decision.
It was a time of distress and everyone believed in the importance of the existence of the newspaper because it would be a direct link between the chapters and spread the ideology and spirit of Homenetmen to a wide range of young people. The first issue of "Marzig" was published in February 1980. Although the Homenetmen's Central Committee appointed an editorial board, Yeghpayr Vartkes der Garabedian took the responsibility of the work by editing all the received articles, supervising the printing work, proofreading, arranging, and preparing the content of the newspaper. Yervant Demirjian wrote editorials and articles and Yeghpayr Haroutiun Kazanjian (H. Keghart) prepared the entertaining crossword puzzle page and wrote articles related to sports life. Yegpayr Varoujan Muradian prepared international sports pages. Yeghpayr Terenig Terjanian edited the health related page of the newspaper. Also, well-known intellectuals Mushegh Ishkhan and Garo Poladian provided writings. Elder Homenetmen members: Priest Dikran A. Khoyan, Shavarsh Mehrabian, Archbishop Nerses Pakhdigian and Vaghinag Miskjian published their memoirs. Joseph Nalbandian wrote about international sports life. Sarkis Sarkisian provided satirical articles on episodes taken from sports life. The chapters of the organization also sent articles and reports about their activities.
During the first years of publication of “Marzig,” its editorial and administrative offices were Homenetmen clubs, printing press, members' apartments, and shops.
Although the work of the newspaper was slowed down due to frequent blackouts, power outages, and blockades that hindered mobility in the country, it was still published. This was the result of sacrifice, commitment and perseverance of Homenetmen.
But giving birth to a newspaper was one thing, reviving it was another. In 1983, the Central Committee that was elected by the third General Assembly, appointed Yeghpayrner Yervant Demirjian, Garo Tutunjian and Varoujan Muradian as editorial members of the newspaper. Yeghpayr Vartkes Der Garabedian and Haroutioun Kazanjian continued to work closely with the editorial board and supported the work of the newspaper. Yeghpayr Krikor Sukiasian was invited to support the editorial and some other tasks of the official newspaper.
Yeghpayrner Puzant Torikian and Mihran Shimshirian carried out the administrative tasks of the newspaper.
The period between1983 and1987 was fruitful and full of enthusiasm. Unfortunately, unexpected events hindered the success of the newspaper.
Due to the Lebanese war, the Homenetmen Central Committee left Beirut chapter center and moved to Bourj Hammoud, where after wandering from one place to another, it settled in one of the rooms provided by the Prelacy. Finding an editorial office for The Central Committee and "Marzig" became an urgent issue. After long search, Yeghpayr Vartkes Der Garabedian and Yeghpayr Puzant Torikian found a suitable location and Homenetmen was headquartered on one of the main avenues of Bourj Hammoud.
However, there are two occasions disturbed the enthusiasm and emotions of Homenetmen members. First, the assassination attempt of Yeghpayr Haroutiun Kazanjian in his
dispensary. Then, the murders of Yeghpayr Vartkes Der Garabedian on January 31, 1986, along with two other Yeghpayrner Levon Berberian and Nerses Khudaverdian.
The whole Diaspora, along Homenetmen Central Committee and “Marzig” editorial, was in a shock. The loss was great, but the work had to be continued.
Immediately arrangements were made and Homenetmen Central Committee member Yeghpayr Varoujan Muradian was assigned as the editor, whereas Yeghpayr Yervant Demirjian continued to write the newspaper's editorial.
In 1987, 4th Homenetmen General Assembly took place and elected a new Central Committee which in its turn appointed new editorial and administrative staff members from the committee. The editorial staff consisted of Yeghpayner Yervant Demirjian, Hovhannes Der Haroutiunian and Garo Tutunjian. The administrative staff consisted of Yeghpayrner Mihran Shimshirian,Badrig Gulbenkian and Ara Hagopian. The editorial staff appointed Yervant Demirjian as the editor of "Marzig" and Varoujan Muradian as the administrative director.
At this point, the Lebanese war displaced the people of the country and made them spend most of their time in damp and dark shelters. During temporary peace, the activities of the organization and the publication of "Marzig" were dealt with. There were no regular working conditions, one had to adapt to the conditions created by the situation, and publish the newspaper at all costs and record the efforts of Homenetmen.
A terrible earthquake struck Armenia in December 1988 and caused deep mourning among the Armenian people. The "Marzig" editorial board found it convenient to address the terrible catastrophe. Materials are plentiful. The abundance of materials forced the editorial board to expand its planned volume, and publish the unique issue dedicated to the earthquake in 184 beautiful and colorful pages.
Artsakh was claimed in 1988. The collapse of the Soviet Union was emerging, Armenia was on its way for independence, and Homenetmen considered the path to returning home.
In December 1989, the Homenetmen Yerevan chapter was established. Then, Homenetmen chapters developed in different regions of Armenia, and gave new impetus and dimensions to the work of the organization.
The 15-year-old brutal war came to its end in Lebanon and everyone realized the time lost, and tremendous human and material losses.
Homenetmen wasn’t among the losses. On the contrary, it kept its pace and strived for the best. The 5th Homenetmen General Assembly that was held in 1991, considered all the issues related to the newspaper and decided to continue its publication as a requirement, demand and necessity.
The Central Committee that was elected by the Assembly appointed a new editorial staff, consisting of Yeghpayrner Varoujan Muradian and Zaven Torigian. The responsibility of writing the editorials was attributed to Yeghpayr Haroutyun Kazanjian. The newspaper was very lively and its content became modern and diverse.
There were many challenges that had to be faced. In 1994, Yeghpayr Varujan Muradian.passed away. For a period of time Yeghpayr Zaven Torigian took over the newspaper's editorial work, but this time financial difficulties prevented it from being published regularly.
In the first six months of 1995, "Marzig" was not published. The newspaper clarified the chaotic situation through its editorial and administrative sections.
The 6th general assembly that was held in 1995, reaffirmed the decision to publish "Marzig" and took appropriate steps in that direction. A new editor and administrative staff were invited to take positions.
In 1995 “Marzig” was getting stabilized because of the efforts of its new editor, Yeghpayr Vicken Avakian. The editorial office brought together a group of new staff who gave the newspaper a new lease of life. Khachik Muradian, Betty Panossian, Kevork Toroyan, Shaghig Kevorkian, Seta Beshlian, Diran Aghazarian, Salpy Ladoyan and Alin Zeytunlian made important contributions to the enrichment of the various sections of the newspaper.
Due to generation change, some faithful staff of the newspaper passed away: Yeghpayrner Barkev Shirinian, Hovhannes Der Haroutiunian, photographer Vazken Der Ghugasian, Dr. Misak Arzumanian, Dr. Haroutiun Kazanjian, Bedros Shammesian, Garo Tutunjian, Mihran Shimshirian, Garbis Kouyoumdjian, Hovhannes Mardoyan and others.
New members followed who were dedicated and faithful to the newspaper just like the previous memebers. It’s worth to mention that a dozen reporters regularly sent correspondence from Yerevan, various European and Arab capitals conducted interviews and prepared articles. Moreover, “Andzanot Zinvorner” (anonymous soldiers) Yeghpayrner Krikoris Bogharian and Apraham Aharonian from Beirut and Buenos Aires had been translating the articles into English and Spanish on a regular basis for many years.
Since 1995, 7 General Assemblies have been held, which once every four years positively evaluate the work done and make new sacrifices to ensure the continuity of the newspaper. Editor Yeghpayr Viken Avakian, developed “Marzig” gradually and because of his efforts it united all Homenetmen chapters around the world. In addition to the editor, successive administrative staff, under the supervision of Central Committee representatives, assist in the modernization and spread of the newspaper. They provide advertisements, find donors and manage to keep the newspaper at its prestigious position.
Today "Marzig" has become a bilingual quarterly publication on Facebook and the web page of the organization. It is published in fine print, often in exceptional numbers, dedicated to Homenetmen sports and camps.
It is impossible to talk about all the issues published by "Marzig.” The readers themselves have to evaluate the newspaper.
Years have passed, but the goals of the newspaper remained the same.
- Connect with all Homenetmen chapters worldwide.
- Deliver the word of the Central Committee to the youth of Armenia and the Armenian communities all over the world.
- Introduce them to the ideological features of Homenetmen.
- Spread the national spirit of Homenetmen.
- Provide national education.
- Prepare Homenetmen members that have the same mindset and performance.