For Immediate Release
May 20, 2005
THE GIFT OF WATER BROUGHT TO NOR EDESSIA, ARMENIA
Armenian Businessman Partners with Armenia Fund USA To Bring
Residents of Nor Edessia Water, an Easier Life and Greater Prosperity
NEW YORK, New York — The days of Armenian women carrying heavy
jugs of water on their shoulders and treading miles to transport
water to their homes may have past. Yet, today many towns throughout
Armenia do not have water, a key resource so easily taken for
granted in the Western world and so badly needed in Armenia.
Recently, an Armenian businessman saddened to hear of the lack
of water in the town of Nor Edessia became inspired to bring water
to the residents of that town. Vasken Kassabian of Long Island,
New York partnered with Armenia Fund USA on The Water Rehabilitation
Project for Nor Edessia, to bring residents water, an easier and
healthier life as well as prosperity. Nor Edessia will receive
a reliable and safe water supply, improved drinking water quality
and enhanced water access for more sanitary conditions.
“My father was from Edessia (Urfa), a town
of 40,000 Armenians. About 20,000 Armenians died there in the
massacres at the turn of the 20th century,” said Kassabian. He
first learned about Nor Edessia’s water plight last year from
the Armenian Argentinean Urfatsis. In his mid-twenties while in
Beirut, Lebanon, Kassabian witnessed his father bring water to
a small Armenian village. “What my father did was a hint to what
I needed to do for Nor Edessia,” said Kassabian.
When Kassabian heard the current plight of Nor Edessia residents,
he was determined to come to their aid and fund the Water Rehabilitation
Project in that village entirely himself through the work that
Armenia Fund USA works to accomplish in Armenia and Karabakh.
This project represents one of many carried out by the Armenia
Fund USA whose mission continues to stand strong by aiding in
the large-scale infrastructure development projects and providing
sustainability by going beyond bricks and mortar.
Armenia Fund USA is the largest contributor toward strategic
infrastructure projects in Armenia and Karabakh and has helped
build 138 miles of roads, 81 miles of waterways, 36 schools, 3
electric transmission networks, 210 residential buildings and
14 healthcare institutions. After completing the Goris-Stepanakert
Highway, linking Armenia to Karabakh, Armenia Fund USA completed
support for the North-South Highway, a 105-mile road serving as
the backbone of Karabakh.
“Every year, I contribute to the Armenia Fund USA telethon and
follow what they were doing. I believe in them, because I know
that they are very legitimate,” said Kassabian.
Construction began a few months ago on this project, and the
project will be completed in May. Already, the crew repaired a
large reservoir, or well, to collect drinking water, repaired
a pipeline to transport water to the homes, constructed a fence
around the reservoir and restored a guard station.
As Nor Edessia residents now have water to bathe and wash dishes,
and with water no longer an issue, residents now can focus on
other life pursuits and become more prosperous. During a recent
trip to Nor Edessia, “We saw the children, beautiful children,”
Kassabian said tearfully. “I was very happy I was going to help
them. It means everything. I wish I could do more,” said this
generous man who also learned about a school there that requires
complete renovation. “We discussed how we could help, as a next
project. The children will have their own school,” he said with
Kassabian acknowledges that he gets emotional when he speaks
about Armenia and its children, and was lucky to grow up right
after the massacres and deportations. He attended Armenian schools,
a French college, an American university and a French law school
prior to joining his father’s businesses of importing textiles
and military surplus and extensive travel throughout his career
included living in Germany and Japan and settling in New York
in 1980. Mr. Vasken Kassabian has been married for 43 years, has
two children and four grandchildren. “I consider myself very lucky,”
ABOUT ARMENIA FUND USA: ARMENIA FUND USA, founded in 1992,
was the first of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s 18 international affiliates and serves constituents in all states east of the Mississippi.
As a non-profit, non-governmental, nonsectarian organization,
the Fund represents all Armenian constituents.
Armenia Fund USA is the largest contributor among the 18 international affiliates – supporting strategic infrastructure projects in Armenia
and Karabakh, and having helped build 138 miles of roads, 100
miles of waterways, 36 schools, 3 electric transmission networks,
210 residential buildings and 15 healthcare institutions.
Armenia Fund USA’s Mission is the development of strategic
socio-economic infrastructure in Armenia and Karabakh, focusing
on major projects such as major highways, schools, drinking water
to communities and humanitarian programs in education, training
and medical facilities. The Fund has adopted a policy to go “Beyond
Bricks and Mortar” to provide sustainability for projects it sponsors.
To learn more about Armenia Fund USA, please visit
our website at
or call us at 212-689-5307.