Talk will cover three centuries of Armenian heritage in India

Belmont, Mass. – Dr. Omar Khalidi of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will give an illustrated lecture titled, “Three Centuries of Armenian Heritage in India,” on Thursday, June 4, at 8:00 p.m., at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research Center, 395 Concord Ave., Belmont, Mass.

This lecture is the second talk given in memory of Arshag Merguerian (1926–2005), architect and active member and friend of NAASR for nearly 50 years. The expenses for the lecture will be covered by funds contributed to NAASR in Mr. Merguerian’s memory.

Though Armenians were in India from early times, the Armenian presence in India is well-documented from the 16th century, after the establishment of the important mercantile community in New Julfa in Persia. The community grew in size and importance in the 17th and 18th centuries, with many Armenians rising to positions of prominence, and publishing and the arts thrived.

Dr. Khalidi’s lecture will give an overview of India’s Armenian diaspora, its churches, cemeteries, and related art, in such locations as Kolkata (Calcutta), Bombay, Delhi, Agra, Surat, Hyderabad, Madras, and Dhaka (in modern Bangladesh).

Dr. Khalidi has a Ph.D. in Islamic studies from the University of Wales. Born and raised in Hyderabad, he is the author of several books and articles on art and architecture and Indian politics and history, including “Approaches to Mosque Design in North America” and Muslims in Indian Economy. He was invited by the Armenian Church in Calcutta for its 300th anniversary celebration in November 2008.

Admission to the event is free. The NAASR Center is located in Belmont opposite the First Armenian Church and next to the U.S. Post Office. Parking is available around the building and in adjacent areas. The lecture will begin.