How one woman’s actions impacted generations

Margret with one of her early classes. In this photo three of her children are also among the students.

Margarita (Markarit in Armenian) is the woman who not only directly impacted and shaped the future of generations of Sarvarian family members, but she also skillfully helped develop hundreds of children into being educated and becoming better individuals throughout their life time.

Margaret Harutunian was born in 1885 in an Armenian family in Georgia. After finishing her early education in Armenian and later Georgian-Russian schools, Margret perused higher education in Tbilisi’s university of psychology and child development by studying Friedrich Froebel’s kindergarten curriculum method and educational philosophy. Froebel had discovered that brain development is most dramatic between birth and age three, and recognized the importance of beginning education earlier than was then practiced. His method became a lifelong technique for Margret and several accounts of her students vividly recall how her uplifting personality was beneficial to incorporate game and play as the most significant tool for learning in children. Upon graduation Margaret was invited to Iran to revive the traditional child development structures of the time.

After moving to Tehran in 1905 to work with Haykazian school she also takes part in an Armenian theater production where she meets her future husband Mgrdich Sarvarian, who despite being a businessman was a fan of art and creativity.

Margret and Mgrdich marry in 1907 and have their first child Napoleon born in 1908 followed by a second son, Mushegh born in 1910 and Sonia, their only daughter in 1912. Their youngest son Sasha is eventually born in 1915.
Margret begins her first classroom with her own children among the students and in a few years turns it into a respectable school with several students from all across the region. All four of her children eventually become involved with Sarvarian school, exercising their creativity in various aspects of the school management.

Margaret Sarvarian sitted in the middle with her students

The bold decision of teaching the Armenian language at school in a country where Persian (Farsi) was the dominant and only official language has not only helped to shape the identity of numerous generations of her Armenian students , but it has also been a shining light for her direct descendants to love and cherish their Armenian identity and language. Throughout the years her children, grand children and their children have been involved with cultural, artistic and social activities that in one way or other were meant to nurture the roots of the tree that Margarit had planted way early on.

In our future posts we will bring more interesting stories from Margarit’s teachings, her unique character and memories from her students.

This website aims to put on display all the contributions, activities and history of Margret and her dissidents with hopes to inspire the future generations and to credit what would have otherwise been a forgotten history.