Armenian Monastery Finds Unlikely Saviour in Arab Sheikh

13th-century Haghartsin monastery, some 110 km northeast of Yerevan, pictured on June 8, 2013
13th-century Haghartsin monastery, some 110 km northeast of Yerevan,
pictured on June 8, 2013 (AFP Photo/Karen Minasyan) (Source, AFP)

Haghartsin Monastery (Armenia) (AFP) – Standing next to a newly refurbished bell tower, priest Aristakes Aivazyan says it needed divine intervention to save Armenia’s medieval Haghartsin monastery.

But it also took a lot of money from a very unlikely benefactor —- the Muslim ruler of the resource-rich Arab emirate of Sharjah, Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed al-Qasimi.

“I cannot recall anything similar to this happening in our history that some Arab sheikh, a Muslim, helped to restore and rescue an Armenian Christian church,” Aivazyan told AFP.

“Without doubt it was God who brought the sheikh to Haghartsin,” the priest, dressed in long black robes, said. Continue reading “Armenian Monastery Finds Unlikely Saviour in Arab Sheikh”