October 31, 2019
For this week's Crossroads, the seventh prayer from St. Nerses Shnorhali's "Havadov Khosdovanim" is read by Sophia Soulakian, Acolyte of All Saints' Armenian Apostolic Church of Glenview, IL, and student of Taniel Varoujan Armenian Saturday School.

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly adopted H.Res.296 yesterday overriding Ankara’s gag-rule against remembrance of the Armenian Genocide. In a major blow to Ankara’s obstruction of justice for the Armenian Genocide, the U.S. House voted overwhelmingly to pass H. Res.296 in ongoing recognition of this crime and officially rejecting Turkey’s denial of the genocide it committed against Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Maronites, and other Christian nations.

The Armenian Genocide Resolution establishes, as a matter of U.S. policy, 1) the rejection of Armenian Genocide denial, 2) ongoing official U.S. government recognition and remembrance of this crime, and 3) support for education about the Armenian Genocide in order to help prevent modern-day atrocities. Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) led the House effort, while Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) are spearheading the Senate measure (S.Res.150).

Since 1970 this is the third time that the House of Representatives has passed an Armenian Genocide resolution. The other two occasions were in 1975 and 1984.

Archbishop Anoushavan departed for Antelias, Lebanon early this week to attend the meeting of the Catholicosate’s Religious and Central Executive Council. During the meeting a number of issues regarding the Catholicosate and Prelacy were discussed.

This weekend Archbishop Anoushavan will travel to Chicago where on Saturday he will ordain acolytes and preside over the banquet celebrating the 76 th anniversary of All Saints Church in Glenview, Illinois. On Sunday he will celebrate the Divine Liturgy and officiate at the ordination of deacons.
On Monday evening, November 4, His Eminence will attend an ecumenical prayer service service for Lebanon at our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York.

Archbishop Anoushavan with parishioners in Whitinsville.
Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church in Whitinsville, Massachusetts celebrated its 62nd anniversary last Sunday with the presence of His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, who celebrated the Divine Liturgy, and delivered the message on the occasion of the Feast of the Discovery of the Holy Cross. Following the service, the anniversary celebration, presided over by His Eminence, began at the Highfields Golf & Country Club. Richard Kanarian was the MC and Raffi Samkiranian, chairman of the Board, delivered a rousing welcome.
On this occasion Archbishop Anoushavan presented the Prelacy’s Certificate of Merit awards to three recipients, Priscilla Altoonian, Mary Ampagoomian, and Victoria Ovian for their years of dedicated service to the church. Srpazan Hayr and Rev. Fr. Mikael Der Kosrofian, also presented Leah Garabedian the Soorp Asdvadzadzin Youth Award and Mr. Louis Tusino, the Soorp Asdvadzadzin Certificate of Appreciation. Mr. Tusino, owner and founder of Guaranteed Builders Incorporated in Douglas, Massachusetts has silently demonstrated a generosity to Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church that is both unrestrained and sincere.  Whenever he is called upon, he unhesitatingly offers his services without any desire or need of recognition or thanks.  His motivation is simply to aid the church in its mission to care for the spiritual needs of the community.  Mr. Tusino’s humble spirit of generosity is an example for all to follow.
The Erebuni Dance Ensemble performed a number of Armenian dances. The celebration concluded with remarks offered by Archbishop Anoushavan, who congratulated the Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church community on its 62nd anniversary and prayed for the continued success and prosperity of the parish. 
From left, Rev. Fr. Mikael, pastor; Claudia Antranigian; Prelacy Certificate of Merit recipients, Priscilla Altoonian, Victoria Ovian, and Mary Ampagoomian; Archbishop Anoushavan and Chairmen of the Board of Trustees Raffi Samkiranian.
The Prelate and Der Hayr with the Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church Youth Award recipient, Leah Garabedian.
The Prelate and Der Hayr with the Soorp Asdvadzadzin Certificate of Appreciation recipient, Louis Tusino.

The deadline for reservations and donations for the November 17 th Thanksgiving Banquet is fast approaching. Don’t be left out, make your reservations and donations immediately as a “sold-out” audience is expected to attend this special first annual Prelacy thanksgiving day. 
Each year a special “Prelacy Thanksgiving Day” will be celebrated honoring one aspect of the Prelacy’s multi-faceted mission. This year’s first “Prelacy Thanksgiving Day” will take place on Sunday, November 17, 2019. The day will begin with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy by Archbishop Anoushavan at St. Sarkis Church in Douglaston, New York, beginning at 10:30 am. A Thanksgiving Banquet will take place after the Liturgy at Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, New York. Cocktail reception will begin at 2 pm with dinner and program at 3 pm.
In a recent statement Archbishop Anoushavan explained that the “Prelacy Thanksgiving Day” was conceived “in order to thank, without exception, our people for their unwavering dedication to all Prelacy sponsored programs. Therefore, every year we will spotlight a different program. For the inaugural event we have decided to celebrate and honor the services of the Prelacy’s charitable mission in Armenia and Artsakh through the Saint Nerses the Great Charitable and Social Organization ( Medzn Nerses ) that was established as the Prelacy’s charitable office in the homeland. Although the roots of this effort go back to the 1988 earthquake in Armenia, the formal establishment of this charitable office actually took place 25 years ago. Indeed, in 2018 Medzn Nerses marked its official 25 th anniversary. So, therefore, this year on November 17 we will be celebrating its 25 th +1 anniversary. In effect we are celebrating 26 years of love in action in Armenia and Artsakh,” the Prelate explained.

To make your banquet reservations and/or donate for the banquet booklet click here . Or if you prefer contact the Prelacy office (212-689-7810). 

Bible readings for Sunday, November 3, Eighth Sunday of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, are: Isaiah 22:15-25; Ephesians 1:1-14; Luke 8:17-21.

For nothing is hid that shall not be made manifest, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light. Take heed then how you hear; for to him who has will more be given, and from him who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.
Then his mother and his brethren came to him, but they could not reach him for the crowd. And he was told, “Your mother and your brethren are standing outside, desiring to see you.” But he said to them, “My mother and my brethren are those who hear the word of God and do it.” (Luke 8:17-21)

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus and are faithful to Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:1-14)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here .

Today the Armenian Church commemorates St. John Chrysostom ( Hovhan Voskeperan ), a notable Christian bishop and preacher in Syria and Constantinople. He is famous for his eloquence—Chrysostom means “golden mouth.” The Orthodox Church honors him as a saint and one of the “three holy hierarchs” (along with Basil the Great and Gregory the Theologian). He is also recognized and honored by the Catholic Church and the Church of England.
John converted to Christianity in 368 when he was barely 21 years old. He renounced a large inheritance and promising legal career and went to live in a mountain cave where he studied the Bible. He was later ordained a priest and soon his sermons were attracting huge audiences. He challenged wealthy Christians, whose generosity was confined to donating precious objects for display in churches. “The gift of a chalice may be extravagant in its generosity,” he said, “but a gift to the poor is an expression of love.”
His outspoken criticism was not appreciated by the hierarchy and he was sent into exile at various times. He had a profound influence on the doctrines and theology of the Armenian Church because he spent the final years of his exile in Armenia. Some of his important works have survived only in Armenian manuscripts.
He was declared a Doctor of the Universal Church at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and was named patron of preachers by Pope Pius X.

Saturday, November 2, the Armenian Church commemorates the Feast of All Saints, Old and New, Known and Unknown. This is the holiday that compensates for any sins of omission in the list of saints remembered by the Church. The western churches celebrate All Saints Day on November 1. In the Armenian Church tradition, the date is variable depending on the season of the Cross. It can occur in late October or in November. This commemoration is rooted in the belief that there are many saints who are not known to us. Therefore, on this day, all saints are honored.
Also commemorated this week:
Monday, November 4: St. Stephen, Bishop of Rome
Tuesday, November 5: St. Aquiphsimeos the Bishop

Archdeacon Shant Kazanjian, the Prelacy’s Director of Christian Education, will conduct a one-day seminar on “Baptism – Chrismation: The Foundation of our Life in Christ,” at St. Hagop Church in Racine, Wisconsin on Saturday, November 2. All are welcome. For information and registration: Mrs. Shirley Saryan, 414-282-1919.
A scene from the Talent Show during Armenian Cultural Day.
This year the Armenian Cultural Day program at St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School in Watertown, Massachusetts included Guest speaker Tsoleen Sarian, Director of Project Save who spoke about Photo Archives and how they are indicative of the culture and history of the time; a presentation by alumni student Meghri Der Vartanian about her expedition to Mt. Ararat; a presentation by Grade 5 about famous Armenian scientists, including Victor Hampartsoumian (Astrophysicist), Artem Mikoyan (Aircraft Designer), Artem Alikhanian (Physicist), Hovsep Orbeli (Armenologist), Raymond Damadian (Inventor of MRI); and a Talent Show presented by Grades 1-5 students with works by Armenian composers and poets.

Alumnus Meghri Der Vartanian talks about her expedition to Mt. Ararat.

Young violinists participate in Talent Show.
The Salt & Light Youth Group at St. Sarkis Church (Douglaston, New York) held its first Retreat on the weekend of October 19 and 20, at Camp DeWolfe in Wading River, New York, a serene and picturesque campsite and according to all attendees the beautiful weather and scenery, the companionship and the program were contributing factors to the great success of the Retreat. 

The program for the weekend was a carefully planned balance that included religious education, sports, nature and outdoor fun, campfire/song night and of course kef-time with Armenian music and dancing.

The Divine Liturgy ( Soorp Badarak ) was presented and explained to the youth from a book called “In Remembrance of Him,” and each portion of the Badarak was presented by one of the facilitators. The symbolism of everything, from the structure of church architecture to the Vestments worn by the Celebrant, the meaning of The Eucharist, to the hymns and prayers of the Badarak , was broken down and explained by the facilitators and Der Nareg. Additionally, the youth was reminded about proper “Church Etiquette.” All of which facilitated discussions led by Der Nareg late into the evening on Saturday. The lessons were scheduled throughout the day on Saturday, interwoven with a hike along a beautiful nature trail that led down to a beach, as well as free-time for basketball, soccer and gaga-ball.

After dinner, the group gathered around a campfire to enjoy S’mores and, led by facilitator Michael Gostanian, learn the words and melody to the song “Giligia” with the help of facilitator Michael Gostanian. Later the youth all gathered in the main hall and had a fantastic time dancing to Armenian music, hanging out, and playing various games in small groups throughout the room.

On Sunday, in order to capture and apply all the discussions from the day before, the Salt & Light Youth Group attended a special Badarak at the campsite. The same hall that they sat in most of the day on Saturday was transformed into a church setting, with chairs set up like pews, and an altar adorned with the Holy Gospel, the Chalice, Candles, and a picture of the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus.

The children were provided with custom prepared copies of the Divine Liturgy to follow and they participated in the prayers, the hymns, the Kiss of Peace, Holy Communion, and Kissing of the Bible after the service. The service was followed by a “coffee hour” for the youth, where they enjoyed apple cider and donuts outdoors and then spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the campsite and all of the surrounding beauty that nature had to offer.
For more than three decades, the SIAMANTO Academy has brought together and enriched the knowledge of young generations about faith, Armenian identity, history, language, and culture.

Siamanto will resume its activities this Saturday, November 2, and will continue to meet once a month with expert guest lecturers. As always, the participants will be treated to both historical and current subjects, as always, to be connected with their roots, culture, and everyday life. At the same time, this will provide an opportunity to meet new Armenian friends. For registration or information, please call the ANEC Executive Director Mary Gulumian at 212-689-7231 or email ANEC@armenianprelacy.org .

The Prelacy’s Orphan Sponsorship program was established in 1993 and continues to be the central mission of the Prelacy’s programs in Armenia and Artsakh. As part of the program, letters are received regularly from sponsored children addressed to their sponsors. We are pleased to share some of these letters through Crossroads .
This week’s letter is from eight-year-old Emma* who is sponsored by Mariam Grigorian. In her letter to her sponsor Emma describes what she did this summer.

*In order to protect the privacy of the children we use only their first names.
How I spent my summer vacation,

The warm and pleasant days of summer are over, and the cold and sad autumn weather only reminds us that summer is in the past.

I love summer, because I feel well, wear light clothing, play outside as long as I wish, and almost every day I participate in some fun activity: events or family gatherings.

After giving it a lot of thought, I decided to organize my summer day-to-day activities by myself. I asked my mom if we could organize a little summer camp in our backyard. With help from my friends, we did it very fast. We invited several other kids and the summer camp started. In the morning we would get some assignments, and then prepare a program. And in the evening we would have a recital where we would sing songs, recite poems, and dance for our invited audience. We often daydream about growing up and traveling to see Armenia’s historic sites, visit museums, entertainment centers, watch movies, and do sightseeing in Yerevan. I want to grow up fast and live an interesting life, and I also want my mom to smile often and always be healthy.

(signed) Emma.

Currently there are children on the waiting list for the Prelacy’s Sponsorship Program. If you would like to sponsor a child please click here for quick and easy online sponsorship. You may also contact the Prelacy by email ( sophie@armenianprelacy.org ) or telephone (212-689-7810), ask for Sophie. 

Archbishop Anoushavan with participants at the Conference on the Armenian Press last weekend.
St. Illuminator's Cathedral of New York hosted a one-day conference on the Armenian press, sponsored by the Armenian Press and the Hairenik Association, on the occasion of the Year of the Armenian Press, the 120th anniversary of the "Hairenik" weekly, and the 85th anniversary of the "Armenian Weekly." After welcoming words by Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, introductory remarks were offered by Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate; Khajag Mgrdichian, member of the ARF Eastern Region Central Committee; Zaven Torikian, editor of "Hairenik," and Leeza Arakelian, assistant editor of the "Armenian Weekly." Dr. Vartan Matiossian, Executive Director of the Armenian Prelacy, was the keynote speaker. Panel discussions were hosted by Rupen Janbazian and Vahakn Karakashian, with the participation of Georgi Ann-Oshagan, Aram Arkun, Dr. Ara Sanjian, Dr. Khatchig Mouradian, and Vrej-Armen Artinian. George Aghjayan presented a slide show about "Hairenik."
Birth of Maria Jacobsen (November 6, 1882)
Maria Jacobsen in Lebanon and Karen Jeppe in Syria. Two Danish missionaries among several colleagues who became surrogate mothers to the Armenian orphans who had survived the genocide, selflessly offering their entire life to them. In the meantime, they also became living testimony of what had happened in 1915.

Jacobsen was born in the town of Siim (central Denmark) on November 6, 1882. During her childhood, she lived in the town of Horsens, on the eastern coast of the country, with her parents. She learned about the Hamidian massacres (1895-1896) from the Danish media. Feminist activist Jessie Penn-Lewis, coming to Denmark from England in 1898, helped form the Women’s Missionary Workers (KMA; Danish: Kvindelige Missions Arbejdere ) two years later. The new organization supported Armenian orphans sheltered in German orphanages of Mush, Van, Marash, and Kharpert. After completing nursing courses, Maria Jacobsen became a member of KMA in 1906. She left for Kharpert the next year, at the age of twenty-five, as a missionary. She was appointed as director of a small hospital there, and in a short time she learned Armenian in order to communicate with local people. She started writing her 600-page valuable diary in September 1907 and would continue it for the next twelve years.

Jacobsen stated in an entry about the deportation of Armenians (June 26, 1915) that, “It is quite obvious that the purpose of their departure is the extermination of the Armenian people.” She added that what could have been done in 1895 was impossible twenty years later: “The Turks know very well about the war raging in Europe, and that the Christian nations are too busy to take care of Armenians, so they take advantage of the times to destroy their ‘enemies.’” Her diary mainly describes the deportation and exile of the Armenians of Kharpert, and scenes of murders perpetrated by the Turks from 1915-1919: “These poor people did not look like humans any more, not even animals could be found in this state, people would be merciful and kill them.” She reported that the Turkish authorities demanded to hand over the orphans from the American missionaries, but many of them were killed when this happened. During this period, Jacobsen adopted three children.

After World War I, with the support of Near East Relief workers, Maria Jacobsen gathered more than 3,600 Armenian wandering orphans, most of them suffering from infectious diseases and reduced to skeletons. In 1919 she left the Ottoman Empire after contracting typhus from the orphans. After going to Denmark, she was invited to visit the United States, where she had public lectures about the massacres and raised money for the orphans. She tried to go back to Kharpert in 1920-1921, but she was not allowed to enter the Ottoman Empire. She subsequently went to Lebanon, where she continued her activities.

In July 1922 she settled in Zouk Michail which was between the cities of Byblos and Beirut (this was the first orphanage of K.M.A.) with 208 children from Cilicia. They later moved to Saida. In 1928 K.M.A. acquired the building of the Armenian orphanage of Jbeil from the American Near East Relief, establishing the Danish orphanage “Birds’ Nest.” By its status “Birds’ Nest” was more like a school than an orphanage. The same subjects of public schools of Lebanon were taught, along with different crafts.

The Armenian orphans referred to Maria Jacobsen as “Mama Jacobsen.” She often read the Bible to the orphans in Armenian. Her humanitarian activities were deservedly acknowledged by her homeland. She was awarded the golden medal of the Danish Kingdom in 1950, becoming the first woman in the country who earned that highest state award. She was granted the Gold Medal of Honor by the Lebanese government in 1954 for her service and dedication to the Armenian community.

Maria Jacobsen died on April 6, 1960, and, according to her will, she was buried in the courtyard of the Birds' Nest. Her diary, which she had secretly smuggled out of the Ottoman Empire, was translated into Armenian and published in Danish original and Armenian translation in 1979. An English translation was published in 2001. Her bust was inaugurated in California in 2016 and a kindergarten in the town of Ijevan (Armenia) bears her name.
Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s web site ( www.armenianprelacy.org ). 
To read a remembrance of Maria Jacobsen that originally appeared in the February 1993 issue of Outreach (and reprinted by popular demand in the April 1996 issue of Outreach ) click here .
Concert pianist Karine Poghosyan will return to Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall on Monday, November 4 celebrating the release of her new “Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky” CD. The concert will feature works of both composers as well as others and a CD signing will take place after the concert.
Karine was one of the featured artists in 2004 at the Prelacy’s annual Musical Armenia concert at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. The award winning pianist has been widely praised for her ability to get to the heart of the works she performs. Tickets available at Carnegie Charge: 212-247-7800.

This photo was taken on April 24, 1990 at the Argonne Cross Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. On the occasion of the 75 th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide several services took place in the National Cemetery, including at the Argonne Cross that is a memorial to American military personnel who died fighting in France during World War I, especially during the Meusse-Argonne Offensive of September 26 to November 11, 1918. The monument was erected on November 13, 1923. Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian stands in front of the Cross leading the clergy in the memorial service. (Photo by Harry Naltchayan, The Washington Post )

Please send your inquiries and comments (English or Armenian) to  Crossroads@armenianprelacy.org .

Please remember that the deadline for submitting items for Crossroads is on Wednesdays at noon.

All parish news, photographs, and calendar items should also be emailed to crossroads@armenianprelacy.org .

NEW YORK TIMES OP-ED: “A Belated Recognition of Genocide”
Yesterday’s New York Times published an op-ed article by Samantha Power about the passage of the Armenian genocide resolution by the U.S. House of Representatives. You can read the article here .

( Calendar items may be edited to conform to space and style )
November 1 & 2 —St. Stephen Church, Watertown, Massachusetts, 63 rd annual bazaar at the Armenian Cultural and Educational Center (ACEC), 47 Nichols Avenue, Watertown.

November 1-3 —Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, annual Food Festival. Free complimentary parking; featuring Onnik Dinkjian on Saturday! For information: 201-943-2950. 

November 9 and 10 —Armenian Fest 2019, Sts. Vartanantz Church, Providence, Rhode Island, Annual Food Festival at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet, 60 Rhodes Place, Cranston. Saturday noon to 9 pm; Sunday noon to 7 pm. Free admission and parking. Valet parking available. For information: 401-831-6399.

November 10 —Thanksgiving Luncheon hosted by ARS Mayr Chapter, New York, to benefit the ARS Medz Tagher Kindergarten in Artsakh. Byblos Restaurant, 80 Madison Avenue, New York City, 2 to 5:30 pm. Donation: $75. For information/reservations Mina (917-741-2966); Anais (917-225-4326).

November 16 —New England Regional Deacons’ Retreat and Seminar at Holy Trinity Church, 635 Grove Street, Worcester, Massachusetts; 9 am to 5 pm, for all ordained deacons and sub-deacons serving in the New England area Prelacy churches.

November 17 —Eastern Prelacy’s first annual Special Thanksgiving Banquet at Terrace on the Park, Flushing, New York, at 2 pm. Honoring the 25 th + 1 anniversary of the charitable work of the Prelacy’s St. Nerses the Great Charity Program: 26 Years of Charitable Giving in Armenia and Artsakh.

November 23 - Thanksgiving dinner hosted by the Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church Sunday school, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, 5 p.m. in the church hall. For information/reservations please call 508-234-3677.
December 5 —Presentation of “Gomidas—150,” a publication of the Armenian Prelacy. Details to follow.
December 7— Soorp Asdvadzadzin Church Annual Bazaar in Whitinsville, Massachusetts at the Pleasant Street Christian Reform Church Hall, 25 Cross Street, Whitinsville, 10:00-4:30, dinners served at 11:30.
December 19 —Presentation of newly published “The Doctor of Mercy: The Sacred Treasures of St. Gregory of Narek,” by Michael Papazian. Details will follow.
December 31 —Save the date. Sts. Vartanantz Church, Ridgefield, New Jersey, New Year’s Eve dinner/dance.

March 15, 2020 —Save the date and watch for details for the Eastern Prelacy’s 37 th annual Musical Armenia concert, 2 pm at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, West 57 th Street at Seventh Avenue, New York City.

March 28, 2020 —“Faith Building Women 2020 Symposium,” A daylong conference to heighten awareness of women in the Bible, organized by the Adult Christian Education department of St. Peter Armenian Church. The Symposium will take place at Holy Trinity Armenian Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Keynote speakers Dr. Roberta Ervine and Arpi Nakashian.

May 13-16, 2020 —National Representative Assembly (NRA) of the Eastern Prelacy hosted by St. Gregory the Illuminator Church of Philadelphia. The Clergy Conference will begin on Wednesday, May 13; the full Assembly will convene on Thursday, May 14 and conclude on Saturday, May 16.
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