|In Memory of Anahit Bayandour
Anahit Bayandour was born in Yerevan in 1940. Her father, Sergey Bayandour, worked as editor-in chief of “Arvest” magazine/Art/. He was also a playwright, the author of numerous plays. Her mother was a prominent poet, Maro Margaryan, whose brilliant lyrics have had an everlasting impact on the hearts and minds of numerous generations of Armenians. Her brother, Ashot Bayandour’s exclusive artwork was appreciated both in Armenia and abroad for its unique expressiveness and new artistic approach.
Anahit also has an amazing family. Her son, Areg Bayandour, a specialist in oriental linguistics, especially ancient Iranian language edits and publishes the scientific magazine “Armenian Studies Journal”. Shushan, her daughter-in-law is an artist and also mother to two wonderful children.
In 1962 Anahit Bayandour graduated from the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute. In the same year she started her translation activity, mainly of Armenian prose. Hrant Matevosyan’s first book “Menk enk mer sarer” /Only We and Our Mountains/ was translated by Anahit Bayandour into Russian, “Mi i Nashi Gori,” and published in Moscow in 1967, thus giving a start to a fruitful cooperation between the outstanding writer and a wonderful translator which later resulted in overall translation and publication of Hrant Matevosyan’s works in Russian. Anahit Bayandour also translated many other Armenian writers from classical writer Hovhannes Tumanyan to our contemporary Aghasi Ayvazyan, selecting the pieces for translation by the standard of exquisite taste fulfilling an important mission of popularizing Armenian literature.
In 1988 Anahit became an active participant of the Karabakh movement and her brilliant activity won the hearts of democratic leaders, dissidents and other intelligent representatives of the former Soviet Union. Due to her efforts, the Karabakh movement was rightly presented in the eyes of the international community as a movement for self-determination of nations, as a battle for human rights and freedoms.
In 1990 Anahit Bayandour was elected MP of the National Assembly of Armenia of the first convocation. She was also appointed to be the representative of Armenian Parliament to Russian Duma /Russian Parliament/
In 1992 Anahit established one of the first NGOs in Armenia named “The Armenian Committee of Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly,” which played an exclusive role in the public life of Armenia.
In later years, this organization had a great input in the development of civil society, both in Armenia and Artsakh. It also supported the integration process in the region of the South Caucasus.
With all her dedication and commitment, Anahit Bayandour encouraged the process of peaceful dialogue between Armenian and Azerbaijani confronting sides. Her efforts resulted in the successful release of over 500 Armenian and Azerbaijani captives and hostages. Anahit also proactively participated in the solution of refugees’ problem, establishing many centers of social assistance, where the refugees could become fully integrated into the society.
The international community highly evaluated her activity by granting her one of the most eminent awards – Olof Palme’s International Foundation Prize for “Cooperation for Peace.”
Anahit also initiated Armenian-Turkish dialogue between the most prominent representatives of Armenian and Turkish society. Moreover, she shared her opinions and viewpoints with Georgian and Russian civil society leaders.
In the latest years she founded a debate club “School of Democracy” where political and social leaders shared their views on the most urgent issues and challenges of the country.
She never ceased to be a true patriot, she never betrayed her principles. Her principles were firm and stable but her human approach was tender and sensitive.
She was always on the move, designing new projects, planning new initiatives, preserving a dignified posture, and leading a life full of light until the last moment of her breath.
People, who love and know Anahit Bayandour.