Armenian Jerusalem
St Tarkmanchats school
Arpine’ Yaghlian Khatchadourian was born in the Armenian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, Palestine, on June 30, 1925, of parents fortunate to escape the Armenian Genocide in Turkey. Her father, Dr. Nazaret Yaghlian, studied Medicine in Istanbul. During the First World War was able to join the British Army fighting the Ottomans, entering Jerusalem with General Allemby’s army. There he met and married Alice Kurkjian, originally of Aintab, Turkey, who had arrived in Jerusalem earlier. They had five children: Aram, their son, and daughters Araxie, Arpine’, Nevart and Elise. All are now deceased.      Arpine’ received her elementary education at the St. Tarkmanchats Elementary School, and her secondary education at the Jerusalem British Girls’ College, graduating at 17 and passing the Palestine Matriculation Examinations with several distinctions, including English and Armenian. Soon after graduation, she was offered a teaching position at her elementary school. There she taught English and served as the girls’ supervisor for eight years, until her marriage to Haig Khatchadourian in September 1950. During her early teaching years her mentor at St. Tarkmanchats was the then-Rev.Torkom Manoogian, later, the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem. After her marriage, she and her husband spent a year teaching English at the Melkonian Educational Institute in Nicosia, Cyprus. The following year they settled in Beirut, Lebanon, where, besides raising a family, she taught for several years at the AGBU Tarouhie-Hagopian Secondary School in Beirut.     After the family moved to the United States in 1967, Arpine’ studied Comparative Literature at The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, receiving, with Distinction, a B.A. and an M.A. in Comparative Literature, while teaching as a Lecturer in the Comparative Literature Department. Her Master’s thesis was an in-depth comparative study of the Armenian Folk Epic “David of Sassoun.” Later she moved to the English Department, where she completed, with the same brilliance and distinction, all the requirements for a PhD in English Literature, with the exception of a Dissertation, which she did not desire to write.     At her retirement from teaching in 1997, she was interviewed by Ms. Bea Bourgeois, a reporter for The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The following are excerpted from the interview:     “When she talks about her long career as a teacher whether elementary level, junior high school, or college—Arpine’ Khatchadourian’s eyes light up. As she describes the rewards of her chosen profession, her hands wave in the air (‘Armenians cannot talk without moving their hands, she describes’) and a gentle smile reflects a lifetime of happy memories.” :     “Arpine’ experienced ‘many different emotions’ when she retired “after 47 years as a teacher.” ‘There is some sadness [Arpine commented] because I love teaching and I won’t be teaching any more. I would teach for nothing if someone asked me. But I also would like to reestablish ties with friends I haven’t written to for a long time.’”     At the end of the interview, Ms. Bourjoeis wrote:     “Most of us have had one or two outstanding teachers who made their subject come alive and inspired us with the sheer joy of learning. Arpine Khatchadourian played that role for hundreds of students, many of whom still write and call her.” ‘People want to talk about those days, and that makes me feel very good,’ “she added “with quiet pride.”     Arpine’ is survived by her husband, Haig, sons Apo Ara, Vicken, and daughter Sonia Nora, and grandchildren Eric Alexander and Marc Adrian           [ Quoted passages reprinted with kind permission of The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. ]