By Zaven Khanjian

What word have Americans heard most in the past several months? Wall would be a good contender for first place.

Walls are an integral part of our lives. They are all around us. In our homes, offices, properties, parks, gardens, parking structures.

The dictionary defines wall as ‘a high, thick masonry structure…. chiefly for defense.’

God did not create the wall.

Early man created the necessity as a result of his behavior and need for protection, defense and convenience and thus built the wall. Society evolved to create larger, longer ramparts which surrounded cities and towns.
It is ironic that while walls protect, they also hold an adverse function. Walls separate, block, impede, obstruct and restrict.

Civilization knocked down the walls, inhabiting hills and prairies, liberating imagination, stimulating creativity and confining walls to touristic attractions.
Or so we thought.

Walls do not come in just brick and mortar. They bear many ugly faces. The inhumanity of man has applied mental, psychological and physiological forms of walls. Religious persecution, slavery, poverty, racial discrimination, occupation, oppression, censure, sanctions, blockade, hate and abuse are all ugly faces of walls.

On my home office desk I have a stunning photo of my father at age 14 covered in rags while enrolled as the only Christian Armenian in a Turkish school. Intimidated, bullied and constantly spat at, my father spun out of the persecution walls into the welcoming arms of his Syrian hosts and, like many of his orphaned kin, proudly advanced himself.

A friend of the AMAA has reminded me how much he is agonized, but also greatly inspired, by picturing his father confined to the walls of refuge, orphaned and homeless, and vows to liberate children from the constrains of their miseries.

A dignified professional imprisoned in an open solitude, tortured by the loss of loved ones, passionately cries for the safety of persecuted Christians, generously contributing the means.

A super hero with a golden heart can’t wait to see a Child Sponsorship posting on AMAA’s Donor Shop and then grab the opportunity to dignify a child with improved living conditions.

An angelic anonymous couple, humbled by the love of God, magnanimously contribute to the AMAA and disseminate the Word of God and illuminate lives in all aspects in areas darkened by conditions beyond one’s control.

A family who unselfishly and generously pursue the passion of giving to educate the youth, arm them with a degree in higher education and lead them to independence in the arena of life.

These are true examples of breaking down walls.

Today, in 2019, we are at the dawn of the AMAA’s second century leaving behind a Century of Faith, Love and Service. The legacy of Faith, Love and Service is perpetual.

Our vision during the AMAA’s second century is to demolish walls of poverty, shatter obstructions and hindrance to education, spread the Word beyond limits, emancipate imagination and to thrust our youth into open fields of creativity, soaring high, taking the lead and perpetuating the mission.

We are blessed with your generous support each and every day and pray that there will be no more walls on the path of AMAA’s important mission.

(AMAA News JanFebMarch 2019 Editorial)