Cummings Foundation Grant Recipient

ST. THOMAS MONASTERY Of KANTZAG ~ Սբ. Թովմաս վանք, Գանձակ

Ararat-Eskijian Museum Maurice Misak Kelechian NAASR St. Thomas Monastery of Kantzag

Saturday, May 1, 2021, at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET
On Zoom and NAASR's YouTube channel Armenian Studies.

MAURICE MISAK KELECHIAN, Independent Researcher

The ruined monastery of Surp Tovmas (Սուրբ. Թովմաս / St. Thomas), located on the southern shores of Lake Van, is perched in isolation almost halfway up a mountain and north of the village Kantzag (Gandzak), currently Altinsaç, Turkey. Believed to have been built in the 11th century, it is rarely visited because of the difficult ascent to an elevation of 6,600 ft / 2,000 m above sea level.

A group of pilgrims from around the world visited the ruined monastery in June 2019 and spent several memorable hours communing with nature, their faith, and ancestors. Among them was Maurice Misak Kelechian, an Electrical Engineer and a pioneer entrepreneur in the field of IT technology. He is an independent investigative researcher passionate about finding untold stories of courageous expressions and service to humanity by the U.S. government, its people, and Near East Relief organization that became the catalyst for the survival of hundreds of thousands of Armenian victims between 1915-1930.

Ararat-Eskijian Museum (AEM)
National Association for Armenian Studies and Research

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