John Arakelian

John Arakelian

John was born in Broussa near Constantinople in 1886, one of 11 children in a wealthy Armenian family. After his father’s death, he relocated to England with his brothers. After completing his studies and working as an engineer for a few years, he joined the military. In 1908 John was sent to India to serve and immediately stood out because of his skills and ability to speak 6 languages.

After being discharged from the army he went back to Constantinople (where he was arrested by the Turkish authorities), and then travelled to Egypt where he joined the British Intelligence in the Middle East (his military number was 22007). John recalls that he ‘collected about 380 Armenian boys and girls at Baghdad, where an orphanage had been founded by the Americans for their welfare.  Again in Baghdad I collected about 40 Turkish officers and Turkish government employees, who by proclamation should have surrendered’.


After many obstacles, he was naturalised in 1926, and after his last trip to the Middle East in 1959, no further trace of his activities could be found. John Haig Arakelian passed away in 1960.

Our charity is working hard to respond to the changing situation around Coronavirus (COVID-19) related issues. We do our best to continue to provide our services for our members and the Armenian community at large and ask for your patience during this challenging time.

Our staff and volunteers are working hard to continue supporting you in the best way that we can, whilst also staying on top of reducing risk of spreading infection and supporting our colleague who may be more at risk.

However, due to the current situation and in the best interest of all of us, we had to make some changes to our normal services. Starting from Monday 16 March 2020, all our services including the face-to-face advice work, the Parents & Toddlers Group, the English classes, Library, the elders lunch club and the youth club are suspended until further notice.

We ask that anyone experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or having to self-isolate due to being exposed to someone with coronavirus, does not attend Hayashen until further notice and call NHS 111 for advice.

However, as we wish to support you as best as we can, our advice work continues by telephone, email and online. You may contact us on 020 89924621 or use our website ( to leave an enquiry or email us on

Please let us know what other forms of communication are available to you, such as Whatsapp, Viber, Messenger etc.

You can also follow us on social media:

The main symptoms of Coronavirus are high fever, dry cough and shortness of breath but for full details, including Government guidelines and precautions you should take, please search for “Coronavirus” on the following Government and NHS websites.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you.
Misak Ohanian (CEO) & CAIA Board of Directors. – 14/3/2020