Philanthropist and former physician Dr. Aramais Paronyan has a history of supporting and promoting Armenian artists. Aside from sponsoring various relevant symposia, Dr. Aramais Paronyan co-produced the Armenian film, If Only Everyone, which was released in 2012.
A story of friendship between Gurgen, an Armenian veteran of the Artsakh War, and his fallen comrade’s daughter, Sasha, If Only Everyone was Armenia’s official entry to Best Foreign Language Film in the 2013 Academy Awards. The film centers around the late 1980s and early 1990s conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over a disputed region between them, Nagomo-Karabakh. The story follows along as the two protagonists search out the final resting place of Sasha’s father so that she may plant a birch tree atop it to gain closure and peace.
Armenia’s president, Serzh Sargsyan, supported the film, expressing hope that it would offer a means of reconciliation. If Only Everyone was nominated for the Nika Award for Best Film of the CIS and Baltics.
Diocesan Grand Benefactor Dr. Aramais Paronyan, a philanthropist and former physician, helped to raise funds for and develop St. Leon Cathedral in Burbank, California. Aramais Paronyan, MD also helped build another cathedral in the country of Georgia by donating funds, as well as financially supporting other projects of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of America.
St. Leon Cathedral was named for a priest who lived in the fifth century A.D. and was martyred during the Battle of Avarayr. Leon and his companions were travelling with the army, encouraging them in the faith, exhorting them in bravery and giving their lives in the service of Christ.
Leon and his companions were taken captive and brought to Persia, where they were eventually martyred. According to tradition, the companions refused to deny Christ when compelled, and their steadfastness impressed the king of Persia so much that he finally converted as well. The king himself was later martyred.
St. Leon Cathedral was consecrated on September 11, 2010.
In addition to his commitment to a family-centered medical practice, Aramais Paronyan, MD, is firmly dedicated to communal uplift. Having practiced in California for more than two decades while maintaining a keen interest in Armenia, his country of birth, Dr. Aramais Paronyan is a board member of the Armenian American Medical Society (AAMS).
The AAMS is an organization whose mission is to promote quality health services, education, and professional growth in the United States and Armenia. The organization does this through comprehensive medical programs including the Armenian Rural Clinics. These clinics were established in three Armenian villages: the first bordering Karabagh and Aregouni in 2005, the second in Pokr Marik in 2006, and the third in Tsapatagh in 2007. The clinics have been in operation ever since and have served the large refugee population by providing quality and timely healthcare.
Each clinic has a full-time nurse on duty to provide care to patients. A physician visits the clinics at least once every week and the Aregouni clinic offers dental healthcare. The AAMS has begun construction of a fourth clinic in Voskevan, a remote northeastern village that has been in dire need of a facility for 15 years.
Prior to opening the Good Health Medical Center in Hollywood, California, Dr. Aramais Paronyan received his MD at the Yerevan State Medical University and completed his residency at UC Irvine. Dr. Aramais Paronyan is also interested in the arts, and he coproduced an Armenian film titled If Only Every One, which was a candidate for best foreign language film at the 2013 Oscars.
The body of professionals who determine nominees and winners of the Oscars are members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Becoming a member of the Academy involves fulfilling very particular requirements.
Members of the Academy must be exceptional in their respective fields, as determined by the Academy committee. Membership also requires achieving specific numbers of credits on a professional resume. For example, a writer or director must be credited with a minimum of two films, while actors must have three credited film roles in order to be considered for membership.
In the absence of the necessary credentials, two current members of the Academy can sponsor a potential member, who is then approved or denied by the Academy committee and Board of Governors. However, the simplest way to gain membership to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is to be nominated for an Oscar, which grants automatic consideration for membership.
Aramais Paronyan, MD, studied medicine at Yerevan State Medical Institute and treated patients for many years in Los Angeles. Dr. Aramais Paronyan has a diverse set of hobbies, including fishing, yachting, and skydiving.
Skydiving is a demanding physical activity that involves throwing oneself from a moving aircraft and falling for thousands of feet at around 120 miles per hour before parachuting to the ground. Though a high-risk activity, it comes with numerous benefits.
Manipulating the parachute involves several muscles in the upper arm, while perfecting the landing requires that the muscles at the lower extremities be toned. Carrying skydiving equipment may also be an exercise in itself given its considerable weight.
Skydiving also has psychological benefits. Because of the extreme nature of the activity, skydivers are required to focus on the situation at hand, which helps them to set aside distractions and the concerns of everyday life. Skydiving also boosts confidence, as it is an activity that not many individuals can push themselves to do.
Aramais Paronyan, MD, formerly treated patients at Good Health Medical Center
in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Aramais Paronyan also has a love for the arts and sponsored an art exhibit at the Arshag and Eleanor Dickranian Diocesan Complex in Burbank, California, in 2009, providing an opportunity for talented local artists to showcase their works to the public.
Artists who want their works to be exhibited usually have to transact with gallery owners for exhibit space. However, looking for exhibit opportunities is not as easy as finding gallery owners who like the art presented to them. Some gallery owners might be looking for more than just art that interests them. They may be looking for artist personalities that are just as valuable as the art.
The main thing that gallery owners look for in artists is commitment to their art. This might be manifested by a personal philosophy or a declaration of purpose. Because an exhibit is a form of investment, gallery owners want to know what direction the artist is headed in the long run. They may also be interested in artists’ back story to determine their motivation in pursuing their art.
Gallery owners may also expect artists to have background knowledge on the gallery in general, including some history and the art it has represented in the past. Some traits, such as willingness to learn, flexibility, and genuineness may enhance an artist’s chances in getting an exhibit deal.
Dr. Aramais Paronyan is a respected Los Angeles physician who led the family practice Good Health Medical Center and served the health-care needs of Armenian immigrants. Having grown up in Georgia and Armenia, Aramais Paronyan, MD, is active with organizations such as the World Armenian Congress. He earned Diocesan Grand Benefactor status in contributing to the construction of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of America’s main cathedral.
The diocese has its roots in Fresno, California, where there was a growing Armenian population in the early 20th century. Established in 1900, the first Holy Trinity parish church burned down 13 years later and was subsequently rebuilt. In 1927, the Western Diocese was declared a separate entity from the New York-headquartered American Diocese, and to this day there are Western and Eastern branches of the Armenian Church in the United States.
In the 1930s, the St. Paul Armenian Church of Fresno was established, and this longstanding institution was consecrated in 1979 with its current edifice. The Diocesan Headquarters were ultimately created in Burbank, reflecting a shift in demographics to the Los Angeles area. In the early 2000s, under the leadership of Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, the Western Diocese expanded its efforts to welcome and support immigrants from Armenia, as well as from the former Soviet republics and a number of Middle Eastern countries.