Nancy Najarian: Armenian American Candidate for Congress -
Nancy Najarian is running for the U.S. Congressional seat being vacated by Congressman (Jim Moran, 8th District VA) – considered a safe Democratic district. The primary winner will very likely win the general election. Najarian plans to put an Armenian in that seat!
Nancy Najarian is married and the mother of two children. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts, baptized in St. Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church in Watertown, and raised in Belmont. Her father’s family is from Kharpert, and her mother’s from Aintab.
Her father, K. George Najarian, is the son of Arshalous and Nishan Najarian. In 1916, Nishan who was 19 years old and living in Boston MA, answered the call to fight with the French Foreign Legion against the Turks in Anatolia. Three years later he returned to the U.S., bringing Arshalous Garabedian, a genocide survivor, back with him. They married and settled in Cambridge MA, and raised 4 children who were all active in Armenian community life. On her mother’s side, the family comes from Aintab – her grandfather emigrated before the Genocide, and her grandmother afterward. They raised their family in New Jersey and then in Massachusetts.
Nancy’s stepmother, Dr. Carolann Najarian, the daughter of Arpen and Avedis Abrahamian, also were both genocide survivors. Nancy’s father and step-mother were active in humanitarian work in Armenia after the earthquake and during the Nagorno Karabagh Conflict. They have supported numerous Armenian projects in the U.S. as well.
Nancy Najarian’s Career and Volunteer Activities:
Nancy has been an active participant in a variety of Armenian organizations and causes over her 30-year career in New England, New York City during college, the Washington, D.C. area, and in Armenia. She was a charter member of the Cambridge (MA) – Yerevan Sister City Association in the 1980’s, traveling with her family and the group in 1988 to visit Moscow and Yerevan prior to Armenia’s independence. As a young graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service Master’s program, she volunteered at the Armenian Embassy in Washington, D.C. for the Economic Attache’. In 1993, she moved to the newly independent Republic of Armenia during the worst time of the blockade of the country.
-- 1993: Nancy Najarian taught English to Armenians seeking to enter newly established MBA programs in Yerevan,
-- 1993-1997: Nancy Najarian created, co-founded and ran a non-profit organization, Technical Assistance for the Republic of Armenia (TARA, Inc. 1993-1997). TARA’s mission was to help struggling Armenian entrepreneurs to start new businesses in Armenia, by bringing Diasporans to teach Western approaches to management and marketing, law, and finance.
-- 1996: Nancy Najarian co-organized through TARA the 1996 Armenian Judicial Conference, bringing 12 Armenian and American judges and justices to Armenia for a 3-day conference. The goal was to educate the entire Armenian judicial body about judicial reform prior to the ratification of the first Armenian Constitution.
-- Nancy Najarian joined the Armenian Assembly’s ARAMAC, as a Board member, working to raise the awareness of the US government on the severe consequences of the energy blockade on the Armenian people and its economy.
-- In the international sector, Nancy Najarian has worked on projects funded by the U.S. government to help increase development of the Armenian private sector.
In addition, Nancy Najarian has been active for many years in the Armenian community --- an active member of the Armenian Network of America; a Sunday school teacher at St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church, Washington, D.C.; a participant at many local events hosted by the ANCA and the Armenian Assembly; and has advised college and graduate students seeking to enter international work on how to begin their own private voluntary organizations to help others in the world achieve their economic dreams and goals.
If elected, Nancy Najarian will bring to Congress a steady support for issues effecting the Armenian community and Armenia. Throughout her private life and her professional career, Najarian has already shown her deep ties to and commitment to her Armenian heritage, and an ability to work with diverse groups tirelessly fighting for Armenian issues. This would continue if she were to be elected.
The 8th Congressional district borders Washington, D.C., encompassing Arlington County, the City of Alexandria – home to the Alexandria – Gyumri Sister City Association and its yearly Armenian festival, and parts of Fairfax County (McLean and Falls Church). This seat is considered a “safe” Democratic seat, in that 68% of the district voted for president Obama in 2012. The current and retiring Congressman, Jim Moran, previously held his Congressional seat for 22 years with little challenge. The field of candidates is crowded; the candidate that can raise money quickly will have an opportunity to challenge the others by running TV ads in a very expensive media market.