Lebanon, Middle East

LEB03 - Support of Armenians in Lebanon: Partnership Reports

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Report Date: February 28, 2023

Report from BHW Middle East Partnership Facilitator Following Visit

In view of my plan to spend three days in Beirut and two of the three with Bassam Haddad (LEB01), it worked out very well that the two sisters involved with the ministry supporting Armenians, Maral and Taline Boghossian, were willing to pick me up at the airport and take me to the Sewing Centre they were using prior to the August 2020 explosion in Beirut.  These women are unmarried, in their late thirties/early forties. I also went to their home and met their elderly parents who in their younger years had been deeply involved in this work.

Recent Events


As with our other partnerships in Lebanon, the increase in the number of needy people and the decrease in purchasing power of the US$/Lebanese pound has significantly reduced what this ministry was once able to achieve. It seems that these two dedicated women, with the support received from BHW and from ACM (Armenian Christian Mission) in the USA and Australia, do whatever they can to help a number of desperately poor people, including a number with serious medical issues.

Most of the Armenians they seek to help are Syrian Armenians. They are unable to have a Lebanese ID which means, unlike Lebanese and Syrians, they have no access to financial help of any degree. This also means their children are unable to go to school. Maral and Taline try to find work for some of these people. They took me on a visit to a number of these people in their homes. They are currently helping 33 families with about US$50 per month and seek to visit each one every month. Maral has a list of a further 86 people who they seek to help at some time with some food. 


Maral and Taline talked about how their sewing centre had been partially damaged in the explosion. This was their personal business, one of making uniforms for different groups in the city (nurses, restaurant staff, etc, but with the serious economic decline in the country, very few of those they once supplied for can afford to order and buy from them.  


Personal Stories

difficult lifeMaral Bourounsouzian 

Maral lives in one room on a roof with her son, who has a part-time job. Outside her room on the rooftop, most of her things are under a tarpaulin. (I tried to imagine the situation in winter). Maral is on medication. She picks up plastic bottles and cans, then sells them, and sometimes she gives baths for elderly people, who pay her less than $1 for each bath.


Jack Sahagian

difficult situationJack has glucose problems (diabetes), and his feet are blackened from the scars that have eaten up parts of his skin. After some surgeries, he is now able to be back on his feet, though his wounds are not yet healed fully. He lives with his wife and with two grown up sons. The elder son has epilepsy and is unable to find a job due to his health state, and due to the economic crisis in the country. The younger is a soldier, but his wages are too low to provide the family’s basic needs. With the help from BHW, Jack has now been able to buy some goods, such as detergents, soaps, toilet paper, etc and started a small business, placing some shelves on the street in front of his house.  


A man aged about 60, his wife and their daughter live in a 2.0 m by 1.5 m room. They have no electricity. Once or twice a week they get food provided by a shelter. Previously, in the mornings he used to pick up garbage from people’s apartments and at night worked as a security man in a parking lot. Then he had a car accident, with multiple injuries. He has had surgeries and needs more but as he is unable to pay the hospital bills, he is being held indefinitely at the Police station.


Plans for the Future

They have recently been encouraged by the arrival of a container of goods for the needy from Armenian Christians in the USA and in the days before my visit saw God provide an excellent storage facility at no charge on the ground floor of an apartment block. I imagine they will need to expand their team from Armenian Christian fellowships in Beirut in order to distribute to the needy.  


Current Issues and Challenges

For the most part it has been the challenge month by month with the rapid devaluation of the currency to see what support they can provide and to how many.


Prayer and Praise Points

1) Praise for these two dedicated women (Maral and Taline) who are alone in visiting and seeking to meet some of the needs they are aware of. A young couple are helping with storage of goods for distribution.

2) Pray for continued patience, grace for them, and provision for their own needs after the loss of income from their business. They live with their parents in the family home. 



It was the first time I had met the Armenian sisters and they took me on a number of visits to desperately poor people. It is obvious that their ministry is hugely appreciated. Despite the fact that their own sewing business has basically had to close down because of the economic downturn, and also due to some damage to their facility with the explosion, it seems to me that they serve the poor with sacrificial love and compassion. 

As with all our other partnerships in Lebanon, the BHW funding is very much appreciated but obviously does not go as far as was the case in the past. I only saw about five or six families but nearly all of them had medical issues on top of their basic needs of daily sustenance.