Pierre Dunia Award


Suhail and Suzan Dunia of New Jersey have set up an annual award in memory of their sun Pierre, an altar servant of the Church of the Virgin Mary in Paramus, New Jersey, who passed away on November 21, 2005. The award will be annually given to the an altar servant from the Archdiocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church for the Eastern USA during the Holy Liturgy celebrated in conjunction with the Annual Youth Convention in North America

The recipient of the award should be form among the ranks of a Mzamrono (Psalter) or Qoruyo (Reader).


Recipient should be recommended by his Parish Priest and Head of Deacons. Testimonies by parishioners will also enhance the chances.

Recommendation letters should describe:

  • Level of commitment
  • Frequency of attendance
  • Self improvement especially in learning Syriac Language and different liturgical practice
  • Positive impact on other altar servants
  • Adherence to the “Guidelines of Altar Service”


  • Announcement should made by the clergy at the beginning of every year.
  • A reminder be read out in churches at the beginning of March
  • Submissions should be received no later than the end of April
  • Name of recipient should be announced by the end of May


  • Amount of award is to be determined by the selection committee on annual basis
  • Be made in person at the youth convention in July. If not possible, then in local church at a later date.
  • Award to be accompanied by a commemorative plaque.

Selection Committee

Selection Committee is set up under the auspices of the Eastern Archdiocese composed of:

  • Rev. Fr. Edward Hanna, great uncle of Pierre Dunia
  • Rev. Fr. Eli Shabo
  • Rev. Archdeacon of the Archdiocese
  • Mr. Suhail Dunia or another designate by the family

Financial arrangements

  • A special account will be maintained by the Archdiocese designated as the Pierre Dunia Award account.
  • An initial contribution of minimum 3 years award is to be made by the Dunia Family.
  • An annual contribution is to be made by the Dunia Family and Friends.