Armenian Jerusalem
    PROPOSAL THE kaghakatsi PROJECT Arthur Hagopian, Project Coordinator 12/209 Waterloo Road Marsfield, NSW 2122, Australia [ed: this address has now changed] e-mail: Request from the Patriarchate: Arthur Hagopian, the Founder and Project Coordinator of "The kaghakatsi Project", is seeking the Patriarchate's permission to photograph the genealogical information contained in 3 ledgers of the Patriarchate: names, births and baptisms, marriages, deaths, funerals, etc. For this purpose, the Project Coordinator solicited the assistance of Garo Nalbandian, who promised his professional services free of charge (a) to photograph the ledgers (3 ledgers, 146 pages total), and (b) to provide at no cost a copy of the final product not only to the Project Coordinator, but also to the Patriarchate. The photography will take place in the office of David Kaplanian, so that the ledgers remain on the Patriarchate's premises. Mr. Kaplanian has expressed willingness to assist the photographer on a limited basis and as his time allows. The Patriarchate stipulates that the photography must be accomplished during the normal working hours of the Patriarchate and convenient to Mr. Kaplanian. The information gleaned from the photographed ledgers will form a database of information to be published on the Internet, on the dedicated website located at The Project Director has requested a formal letter of “blessing” for the project from His Beatitude the Patriarch to post on the website. Purpose:  The project aims to preserve the history, records, culture and traditions of the kaghakatsi Armenians of the Old City of Jerusalem through a dedicated website available to kaghakatsi and other Armenians. The website would contain not only a register of the family trees of kaghakatsi Armenians, but also other archival material of photos, artwork, anecdotes, traditions, cuisine, etc. Access to the personal information on the website will be administered under strict guidelines by the Project Coordinator, and is to be used by kaghakatsis and other Armenians for the purpose of tracing and verifying their family lineage. Justification:  (1) The desire to prevent the fading away of the important history of the kaghakatsi Armenians that have, inter alia, contributed at least two Patriarchs to Jerusalem; (2) To create a permanent electronic record not dependent on very old, handwritten paper records subject to disintegration/destruction through the passage of time. Access: For reasons of privacy and security, access to the the registry database will only be available to individuals/families who have themselves submitted their genealogical information for addition to the registry. To gain access, the Project Coordinator will provide a secret ID and password to each individual/family concerned [different for each family] to access their respective familial files on the database. Progress to date: The secure computer database houses 3,4200 names (as of end March 2008) and expands continually as new information is received. Financial aspects: The Project Coordinator approached The Gulbenkian Foundation for financial support, and the Foundation promised a small donation (ranging from US$3,000- $4,000) for technological assistance. The Coordinator also indicates that individuals have made [ed: offers of] donations in cash and in kind in support of the project. [Editor's note: While we acknowledge receipt of a few such offers, we do NOT solicit any financial contributions from individuals, keeping this project on a strictly non-profit basis. The Gulbenkian Foundation donation covered only the purchase of the hardware/software and peripherals necessary for the project] The Patriarchate has clearly and definitively indicated to the Project Coordinator that the Patriarchate is unable to provide any financial assistance to this project. Its sole assistance would be to grant access to the archival information contained in the ledgers mentioned above. IF YOU HAVE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET, KINDLY VIEW THE DEDICATED WEBSITE TO HAVE A BETTER IDEA OF THE WORK THE PROJECT COORDINATOR HAS DONE ON THIS ISSUE. June 4, 2008 Jerusalem