Following the 1988 Armenian earthquake, the Boghossian family invested heavily in the country’s reconstruction, financing various educational, economic and cultural programmes in a number of its cities. The Boghossian Foundation is also actively involved in Lebanon with humanitarian, educational and philanthropic activities.
BeirutTogether for Lebanon Lebanon ◇ 2020
Following the devastating explosion that hit Beirut on August 4th 2020 and the tragedies that ensued, the Boghossian Foundation is committed to significantly increasing its contributions, efforts and aid in Lebanon.
After the explosion, the Boghossian Foundation responded to the population’s most urgent needs, providing meals and protection for the younger Lebanese generations, thereby ensuring their continuing education.
Jean and Albert Boghossian took immediate action in Lebanon with 400,000$ of funding for:
- the distribution of thousands of emergency food rations
- rebuilding schools
- awarding 80 scholarships of 2,000$ each
Last summer, with the new school year approaching, rebuilding schools in Beirut was a priority.
The explosion caused extensive damage to the Mesrobian school which the Boghossian Foundation has supported since 1996. The building’s windows were shattered and walls destroyed.
A portion of the donations was also allocated to clearing and rebuilding the Collège Notre Dame de Nazareth, whose buildings were destroyed in the explosion only a few weeks before the beginning of the school year, as well as the Zahrat El-Ihsan, Mont de la Salle and Hripsimiantz schools.
Whether they are studying physiotherapy, medicine or management, these low-income students are the future of Lebanon and will contribute to rebuilding their country.
The Foundation has granted scholarships to 80 students from the Université Saint-Joseph as well as the universities of Antonine, Haigazian and Notre Dame. The Université Saint-Joseph, located in close proximity to the explosion site, was particularly impacted.
A united stand
Following our call for solidarity in August 2020, countless donations helped amplify our efforts for action in Beirut. With almost 40,000$ raised, the Foundation was able to grant 20 scholarships. The entire Boghossian Foundation team in Brussels and Beirut was very moved by this outpour of generosity and demonstration of solidarity.
A year after the explosions that killed 207 people and injured more than 6500, Beirut is still hurting and lies at the heart of a country that remains in the throes of a political, economic, social and sanitary crisis.
If, like us, you have been moved by the situation in Lebanon and want to help the country rebuild itself, please join us in our efforts by making a donation; this will increase the impact of our actions and help us to be able to fund more scholarships.
Your donation will strengthen the aid we are planning to provide; please make a payment to the Fund of the Friends of the Boghossian Foundation, via the King Baudoin Foundation.
Make a Donation via the King Baudouin Foundation
Account number: BE10 0000 0000 0404
Donations of more than 40 euros to the King Baudouin Foundation are entitled to a tax reduction of 45% of the total amount paid.
Aleppo, in the heart of the conflict zonePROVIDING EMERGENCY MEDICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL HELP Syria ◇ 2018
Since 2011, ethnic and religious minorities in Syria were forced to leave their homes. Currently more than 3 million people experience an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.
Traveling through conflict zones, EliseCare provides medical and psychological assistance to displaced populations. By being more mobile and responsive than institutional organizations, EliseCare can helop Syrian civilian populations, survivors and refugees living in remote areas, far from cities and medical centres.
Through the support and financing of the Boghossian Foundation, EliseCare will finally be able to open a mission for Syira in the city of Aleppo, through the setup of a Mobile Clinic and build a dispensary.
A museum of photography in BeirutAt the Oriental Library of the Saint Joseph University Lebanon ◇ 2016
Since June 2016 the prestigious Oriental Library of the Saint Joseph University of Beirut houses a museum of photography in its walls.
With a fund of more than 70,000 photographs, the Oriental Library of the Saint Joseph University of Beirut owns an invaluable source of documentation on the Middle Eastern history. Thanks to the partnership signed on July 24, 2014 with the Boghossian Foundation, the Oriental Library is now able to protect this unique heritage and make it accessible to the public.
This museum is entirely dedicated to the photographs taken by generations of Jesuits. Since the early second half of the 19th century, alongside Constantinople and Jerusalem, Beirut became one of the most important photographic centres of the region. Among the orientalists who flocked to the East, many renowned photographers, such as Tancrède Dumas and Félix Bonfils, took up residence in Beirut. They were soon followed by indigenous photographers as George Sabounji and the Sarrafian brothers. The missionaries themselves also played a big part in the strong momentum that the discipline knew around that time. As early as 1865, father A. Bourquenoud and A. Dutau, followed by many others, systematically took along and abundantly used their camera during their trips, be it through the Lebanese mountains, the Beqaa valley, or during their travels to Syria, Armenia and Egypt.
The enthusiasm the Jesuits showed for photography is mainly due to the fact that they saw it as a valuable educational and documentary means. As missionaries, they often used photography to spread their apostolic message. Besides this the Jesuits are also known for their interest in science, which explains the variety of disciplines covered. The photos taken by the Jesuits and exhibited by the museum cover several decades of photographic history, archaeological discoveries, ethnographic studies and scientific innovation.
As part of this partnership the Boghossian Foundation and the Oriental Library of Beirut worked along with the Photography Museum of Charleroi to set up an exhibition end 2014. The exhibition presented a selection of works from the photographic archives, all around the theme of population movements in the early 20th century in the East.
The photographic library’s purpose reaches further than just managing and exploiting the photographic collection, it also intends to enrich the collection through the acquisition of other private, scientific and artistic collections. A call was sent out to all collectors!
The implementation of this project included several steps:
• Fitting a room with appropriate equipment, including temperature and humidity control. Saint Joseph University provided a 100 m² room located on the Oriental Library’s ground floor
• Preserving documents in acid-free cabinets, boxes and envelopes
• Compiling, inventorying and digitizing the collection for its subsequent management, development and distribution, including the purchase of the, therefore, necessary equipment (computers, appropriate scanners, databases…)
• Training qualified personnel to handle the collection’s digitizing and preservation
A part of the collection has been highlighted in various exhibitions and publication of exhibition catalogues:
• The origins of Aerial Archaeology, (exhibition – USJ, Beirut), 2000
• Father Joseph Delore’s “Little Schools of Mount Lebanon (exhibition – USJ, Beirut), 2003
• An archaeological adventure, (exhibition Musée Archéologique, Arles), 2004
• Michel Jullien and Paul Soulerin’s archaeological trip to Syria and Lebanon in 1888, 2004
• The Armenian people, a quest for sanctuary, 1917-1939, (exhibitions USJ, Beirut and Cité de l’Emigration, Paris), 2006
• Photographic portraits of the East, 2010
• The Armenians of Cilicia, 2012
Support for the Kayany FoundationBuilding schools for Syrian refugees in Lebanon Lebanon ◇ 2016
By supporting the Kayany Foundation and its Ghata Projet, the Boghossiand Foundation empowers ine of the most effective NGOs involved in community education and helps it offer scholarships and protection to the most vulnerable child-refugees – those residing in Informal Tented Settlements in the Bekaa Valley (Lebanon).
Since the beginning of the crisis in Syria, more than 4.5 million Syrians have found refuge in neighbouring countries. By welcoming more than a quarter of these Syrians, Lebanon is coping with the most refugees in the region. There, 80% of Syrian refugee children do not go to school.
In response to this crisis, many NGOs have set up community educational programmes, in addition to measures to protect children and provide nutritional support in areas hosting large numbers of Syrian refugees.
Since the beginning of the crisis in Syria, more than 4.5 million Syrians have found refuge in neighbouring countries. By welcoming more than a quarter of these Syrians, Lebanon is coping with the most refugees in the region. The large scale of this influx has put intense pressure on the Lebanese public sector, especially on the education system. Despite all the Lebanese government’s efforts, and those of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the influx of Syrian children is overwhelming the Lebanese school infrastructure and nearly 80% of Syrian refugee children do not go to school.
The Kayany Foundation, a Lebanese non-governmental organisation founded in 2013 in response to the Syrian refugee crisis, is one of the most effective NGOs involved in this mission. Since its inception, the Gatha Project has initiated four schools in refugee camps in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valey, offering high quality education to 3.500 students aged between 6 to 18 years. Besides these four schools, Kayani has built and runs two secondary and vocational schools for girls aged between 14 and 18 years old.
Ghata is the name given to the portable structures designed by professor Rabih Ghibli of the American University of Beirut and his students. These structures, each approximately 20 square meters in size, can be assembled to create a 40 square meter space which can host up to 35 students.
Easy to assemble and disassemble, and resistant to the most severe weather conditions, these units can be built by refugees using inexpensive local materials. The modularity of these elements makes it easy to adapt them to the specific needs of each site, and also to give them diverse functions, ranging from classrooms to kitchen areas which can then provide refugees students with two daily healthy meals. To this day, Ghata is the only portable structure approved by the Lebanese Ministry of Social Affairs.
Partnership with Haigazian UniversityLebanon ◇ 2016
Every year the Boghossian Foundation offers scholarships to distinguished students of Haigazian University in Lebanon.
For many years, the Boghossian Foundation has offered scholarships to eight distinguished students of Haigazian University in Lebanon. Students are selected based on academic potential and financial need, with the grants renewed until they have completed their courses. In this way, the Foundation allows them to complete their studies in a context of financial security, with freedom to realize their full academic potential.
The Armenians. Pictures of a destiny (1906-1939)Belgium ◇ 2014
For the commemoration of the centenary of the Armenian genocide in 2014, the Museum of Photography in Charleroi presented an exhibition of photos mainly from the collections of the Oriental Library at the Saint Joseph’s University in Beirut. The University’s picture library is a place of outstanding historical wealth.
On Saturday 24 April 1915, in Constantinople, capital of the Ottoman Empire, seven hundred Armenian distinguished citizens and intellectuals were arrested and murdered by order of the Young Turk government. That date marks the beginning of a vast programme of deportation and extermination of a people that had been integrated for centuries with other communities into the Ottoman Empire. The first twentieth century genocide would cost the lives of almost one million three hundred thousand Armenians and would leave thousands of refugees and orphans scattered throughout Europe and the Middle East.
Few pictures of the horrors of those massacres are known. Nevertheless, from 1881, photographs of ruins, deportees or orphans, in the refugee centres of Alep or Beirut, were collected by Jesuit missionaries present in that part of the world or taken directly by them. Some of those Jesuits turned out to be talented photographers, such as Antoine Poidebard (1878-1955) or Guillaume de Jerphanion (1877-1948). If some of these photographs have sometimes been previously reproduced, the exhibition The Armenians. Pictures of a destiny makes it possible for most of the photos to be released for the first time from the collections of the Oriental Library at Saint Joseph’s University in Beirut.
Almost a hundred photographs made up this exhibition. They were divided between original prints and photos printed from glass plate negatives in the laboratory of the Museum of Photography in Charleroi.
If the exhibition The Armenians. Pictures of a destiny resounds unfortunately like an appalling echo of news from the Middle East, its intention was not to bear witness to the actual tragedy of the massacre of the Armenians, but rather to its consequences. In addition, it made it possible to put a face to these people, to discover their living conditions prior to 1915 and their attempts to rebuild their lives in exile, in camps or schools.
This exhibition was the fruit of cooperation between the Picture Library of the Oriental Library at Saint Joseph’s University in Beirut, the Boghossian Foundation and the Museum of Photography in Charleroi, within the framework of patronage by the Boghossian Foundation. Patronage is devoted to the development of that picture library aimed at preserving the photographic collections of the Oriental Library, with the guidance of the Museum of Photography in Charleroi.
Lover’s Park YerevanRenovating lover's park Armenia ◇ 2006
Between the years 2006 and 2010 the Boghossian Foundation took on the task of designing and renovating Lovers’ Park in Yerevan, the capital of the Republic of Armenia. The Park was officially inaugurated in 2008, in the presence of Mr. Sarkissian, the President of the Republic of Armenia and several representatives of the Boghossian Family.
This Oasis of greenery at the heart of the capital, inspired by oriental gardens and the stony mountains landscapes of Armenia, was designed by the Swiss landscape artist Pierre Rembach.
Amongst other artists, the Boghossian Foundation invited Jean-Michel Othoniel and Nadim Karam to design new monumental works for the Lovers’ Park making it a space for cultural and artistic events, as well as a playground and meditation area all of which alternate in a harmonious rhythm, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
In 2014, Jean-Michel Othoniel created the sculpture Coeur d’Obstidienne. The sculpture is made entirely from obsidian, this material come from seams of obsidian, which are one of Armenia’s particularities. This work seems to burst out from the water. Its shape symbolizes the country itself, the material stands for the power of fire, and the place where it was installed was chosen to symbolize permanence.
In 2017, Nadim Karam conceived a work entitled Trio Elephants. It consists of 3 sculptures representing a family of elephants. Made of perforated corten steel sheets, the sculptures combine shapes of the 1001 elements of Karam’s lexigram, suggesting that the elephants carry memories within. The installation thus invites the strollers of the Lover’s Park to weave their own stories, while playing hide and seek with the elephants that seem to disappear and reappear in the park due to their color.
Contemporary Experimental Art and Documentation Center in YerevanArmenia ◇ 2002
Since 1992, the Boghossian Foundation has been actively involved in Armenian infrastructure development and activities aimed at opening up and educating the youth of Armenia.
In collaboration with UNICEF and with Sonia and Edward Balassanian, the Boghossian Foundation worked on creating and funding a Center for contemporary art and documentation in Yerevan.
The center has been created with following objectives:
- The center aims to provide young Armenians quick and easy access to knowledge concerning international art news.
- To support the process of search, discovery, and conquest of “new frontiers” in the arts.
- To facilitate creation and presentation of contemporary art by Armenian artists, at home as well as at international fori.
- To counteract commercialization of art, and to replace market criteria by intellectual and emotional determinants.
- To create partnership between Diaspora Armenians and the art community in the Republic of Armenia in support and promotion of the Armenian arts and literature.
Equipped with a library, a video archive and computer facilities, the center is now staffed with professional guides and organize courses and lectures on art history.
An ambitious cultural and educational platform in SpitakArmenia ◇ 2002
The earthquake of 1988 greatly affected the cultural establishments of Spitak city. Most of them were either ruined or turned in emergency conditions. After the earthquake the cultural centers did not function or served for the purpose they were not designed for.
The Boghossian Foundation constructed a cultural center in the city of Spitak to provide Armenians an access to knowledge and education. In the centre of a ravaged city, the Spitak Cultural Centre with its elegant and contemporary architecture stands out as a symbol of rebirth.
It has the capacity to welcome over 400 persons for concerts, plays and film screenings. The center also provides many library rooms, lecture halls, sports facilities and foreign language classes.
Gyumri Art SchoolArmenia ◇ 2002
In 2002, Jean and Albert Boghossian in collaboration with the Embassy of Italy purchased and renovated the Gyumri Art School in Armenia.
Considered the best Art school in town, the Gyumri Art School boasts 265 students, 27 teachers and 65 new students every year.
In parallel with the College of General Education, 5 to 8 years of courses are taught in fifteen disciplines : Music, Singing & Choir, Dancing, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture…
Every year the school has an average of 5 students winning national and international competitions.
A colorful park in the heart of GyumriThe Boghossian park Armenia ◇ 2001
The construction of a beautiful park in the Ani district, near the Notre-Dame d’Arménie convent, is not only an ideal place for children from around the neighbourhood, but also the people of Gyumri.
It is a veritable little paradise where colourful flowers and plants are in harmony with the carefully planted trees, and the playgrounds and sports facilities are well equipped making it the perfect place for children and adults to spend quality leisure time.
In 2002, Robert, Jean and Albert Boghossian were appointed as honorary citizens of the city of Gyumri as a token of gratitude for helping to fund the park.
School Mesrobian in BeirutLebanon ◇ 2001
Together with the Gulbekian Foundation in Lisbon, the Boghossian Foundation funded the construction of a 1.500 m² space that holds the technical, culinary and hospitality colleges of the Mesrobian School of Borj Hammourd (Beirut).
Every year it supports the school by picking up the fees for children whose parents cannot afford them.
Additional funds have been mobilized for restoring the school following the damage caused by the explosions that devastated parts of Beirut on 4 August 2020. The scholarship funding of $ 15.000 per year has also been tripled.
The Spitak music schoolArmenia ◇ 2000
The Spitak Music School, left damaged after the 1988 earthquake, had to wait for the intervention of the Boghossian Foundation in 2000 to finally be renovated. The Foundation is still funding it.
Today, more than 130 pupils visit the school to learn to sing, play the violin, accordion, piano and zither, a key instrument of Armenian culture. After seven years of study, the best students are able to attend the graduate schools of music.
The school currently has 18 classes and a large concert hall.
Renovation of the physics and mathematics High School in YerevanArmenia ◇ 1997
Thanks to the Boghossian Foundation, the boarding house of physics and mathematics High School of Yerevan was totally renovated, and new classrooms were created.
The High School depends on the State University and welcomes young physics and maths prodigies and provides them with a professional and high-standard education.
Providing safe drinking water in TalinArmenia ◇ 1997
Water shortages and access are major problems in certain regions of Armenia. This predicament had the effects of generating high emigration rates, displacing people away from their native regions.
To counter the phenomenon, the Boghossian Foundation invested in the construction of a 12 km long drinking-water distribution network in Talin. Helping bring water to more than 10 villages and 15.000 people, and prevents mass emigration.
The Notre-Dame school in GyumriA warm home for orphaned children Armenia ◇ 1996
Following the disastrous earthquake of 1998, the nuns of the Catholic Church of Armenia, led by Sister Arousiag Sajonian, returned to Gyumri to help the devastated population.
The Boghossian Family has contributed to the construction of their welcome and education centre for abused, disadvantaged and orphaned children. This day the centre welcomes 45 children from 6 to 20 years old.Each child has three meals a day and their presence is adapted depending on their school timetable.
The purpose of the centre is to provide care and familial education for underprivileged children and sometimes those who are victims of domestic abuse.
The nuns do not impose any religious orientation and give to all those in need of maternal warmth and human attention. Children can also learn many different subjects and disciplines such as singing, dancing, foreign languages, computer science, piano, zither, embroidery and intellectually stimulating games.
During the summer, the children spend their holiday in the centre of the Tsaghkadzor mountain town.
Rehabilitation school of MaralikArmenia ◇ 1988
The Maralik secondary school was also rehabilitated and restored by the Boghossian Foundation.