Halloween is just around the corner in North America, and AGBU’s youngest members are already playing dress up together. Last Sunday, close to 40 parents and children met at the famous Bronx Zoo in New York for AGBU’s very first “Boo at the Zoo” event, one of the many seasonal activities organized for youth ages eight and under by Camp Nubar Kids. Blue skies and perfect weather kept everyone outdoors and on the zoo’s carousel. With every spin it took, another superhero, Disney character, or athlete went by – and though the AGBU kids weren’t dressed like themselves, their laughter and smiles were unmistakably their own.
Camp Nubar is also looking forward to a full year of fun as it prepares to celebrate its much-anticipated 50th anniversary. An exciting Parents’ Night Out is planned for November 1 in New Jersey. Visit the Camp Nubar site for all the details and more.
Day five of the week leading up to AGBU’s 87th General Assembly in Yerevan proved to be one of the most eventful – and emotional – yet. This morning, a procession of AGBU delegates led by AGBU President Berge Setrakian arrived at the city’s Dzidzernagapert memorial. Together, the representatives encircled the eternal flame, laying flowers alongside it as they paid their respects to the countless victims of the Armenian Genocide. They then continued to tour the adjacent museum, where they reviewed exhibits that document the horrific atrocities of the Armenian Genocide and tell inspiring stories of survival.
Later in the day, AGBU supporters attended the grand opening of AGBU Hye Geen’s newest Pregnant Women’s Center, after getting a sneak preview of the new AGBU Yerevan headquarters, which is currently under construction. After a mid-afternoon break, the group departed for the AGBU Nork Children’s Center, where singing, dancing, and acrobatic performances caused everyone to break out into cheers and applause. After the sun set, the talents of more youth were showcased at the TUMO Center – the media institute initiated by AGBU Central Board member Sam Simonian – with an open-air concert featuring the TUMOrchestra and the hit rock band, Dorians. More photos and clips from the show are on their way!
A full week of events leading up to AGBU’s 87th General Assembly in Yerevan officially began yesterday morning when a caravan of close to 110 AGBU delegates and supporters embarked on a two-day excursion to Karabakh. On the way, the group crossed through the beautiful Vayk region before arriving in the Syunik province. There, they took a ride on the world’s longest cable car line, which carried them to the 9th century Tatev Monastery. The visit to Armenia’s historic landmark – one of many scheduled tours around the General Assembly – provided the perfect context for discussions on the region’s future that will unfold over the next few days.
As AGBU President Berge Setrakian noted, “It is not by accident that AGBU’s General Assembly will convene this year in our motherland. The challenges – and opportunities – facing our people are many. Delegates will become more closely acquainted with our programs and the shared responsibility our worldwide membership carries in sustaining our vital mission in support of Armenia and Karabakh.”
Ways AGBU will continue to enhance development in Karabakh was on the agenda yesterday morning when Setrakian, accompanied by Chairman of the AGBU Armenian Representation Managing Committee, Ashot Ghazarian and AGBU Central Board members, met with Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Bako Sahakyan. During the meeting, which was attended by Primate of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church Archbishop Barkev Martirosyan, AGBU Central Board member Vasken Yacoubian and AGBU representatives, President Sahakyan gave an overview of Karabakh’s current political climate and prospects for socio-economic growth. He also praised AGBU for its commitment to maintaining the Armenian national identity in the diaspora and for advocating for Karabakh internationally. Before the meeting came to a close, Sahakyan opened the floor to the AGBU delegates, addressing questions and concerns.
Meanwhile, back in Yerevan, delegates and guests were continuing to arrive in Armenia. Those who had not traveled to Karabakh joined in yesterday’s city-wide celebrations in honor of Erebuni-Yerevan’s 2,794th anniversary. Flags, banners and decorations adorned the capital and roads were closed, transforming downtown into pedestrian walkways where everyone could enjoy public exhibits. The day concluded with outdoors concerts and fireworks, setting a festive tone for the many AGBU-sponsored events that will take place across the capital in the coming days. Stay tuned for more updates from the ground as the week gets underway!
There are countless texts that chronicle Armenia’s history, but there are few professors who can provide a comprehensive account of the Armenian people – from antiquity to today – in a mere two hours. Juan Pablo Artinian, a member of the AGBU Young Professionals of Buenos Aires (YP Buenos Aires) and a recent guest speaker at the group’s History & Culture of Armenia Lecture Series, is one of them.
On both Friday, September 7 and Tuesday, September 11, 2012, Artinian, a PhD candidate at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, gave back-to-back presentations at the AGBU Alex Manoogian Center in Buenos Aires. Each of the interactive talks drew a crowd of over 40 – “students” of various ages who arrived sharing the same basic knowledge of Armenian history and left well-versed in the field. Each gained a sharper understanding of a range of topics including the early Armenian Kingdoms, the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire, the Armenian Genocide and legal efforts to recognize it.
With a focus on the emergence of the Armenian diaspora and ways they are shaping a bright future for Armenians around the world, the attendees not only learned about history, but how they’re helping to make it.
To learn more about YP Buenos Aires, visit their website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Young professionals from across the US and Canada proved that they were never too old for camp during the 7th annual AGBU City Escape weekend that took place at the end of August. The event, which was initiated in 2006 by the AGBU Young Professionals of Greater New York (YPGNY), was co-hosted this year with the AGBU Young Professionals (YP) groups of Montreal and Philadelphia, and gathered over 40 participants at Camp Nubar for a weekend full of outdoor activities, surrounded by the natural beauty of the Catskill Mountains.
Read this press release for more details on the fun-filled retreat.
87th General Assembly Festivities Soon Underway
In just a few short days, AGBU’s 87th General Assembly will begin in Armenia, and excitement is already mounting for the host of cultural and social events that the week will bring.
On Saturday, October 13, 2012, Yerevan will welcome hundreds of AGBU delegates and friends from across the diaspora. Many will kick off their stay with a two-day group visit to Karabakh on Sunday, October 14, and many more will attend an AGBU-sponsored concert on Wednesday, October 17 at the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies in Yerevan.
The TUMO Center, initiated by AGBU Central Board member Sam Simonian and his wife Silva, was unveiled just one year ago. Since then, it has established itself as the city’s premiere institute for media studies, designed to serve over 1,000 students a day. It is the ideal venue for the open-air concert featuring the TUMOrchestra and the popular rock band, Dorians, whose debut album, “Fly,” has topped the charts in Armenia. The outdoor event, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled to start at 8pm, and an after party with DJ Serjo is sure to carry the festivities well into the night. If you are in Armenia next week, don’t miss this much-anticipated event!
Donors and supporters worldwide have responded generously to our appeal to help Syrian Armenians, and we are grateful. Over $150,000 in donations have been received just this month and put to use immediately – dozens of AGBU volunteers are working around the clock to register those who need assistance, assemble and distribute aid packets, and visit the homes of those who have been assailed. Read our full release here. We encourage everyone to contribute. Syrian Armenians need our help during this critical time.
Donate online: http://agbu.org/syriarelief/index.html
Donate by phone Mon-Fri 9 am to 5 pm (EST): +1-855-AID-AGBU (243-2428).
Please send checks to: AGBU
Syria Emergency Fund
55 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022
Another unforgettable summer has come to an end at Camp Nubar, but the festivities are just beginning for camp’s milestone 50th anniversary.
This year, Camp Nubar welcomed over 240 campers – one of the highest number of enrollees in years – from Armenia, Canada, France, Germany and Turkey, plus 14 US states. As in years past, campers spent their days engaging in arts and crafts, fishing, hiking, horseback riding and music, as well as swimming in the private lake. They also enjoyed some new activities, including a basketball class and a hockey league that helped young athletes enhance their game.
Though campers were sad to board the buses home, they can look forward to a year full of celebrations to honor Camp Nubar’s 50th birthday. The new anniversary website has details on upcoming events, including the anniversary celebration, which will take place on Friday, July 26, 2013, in New York City. Tickets are currently on sale – book now to take advantage of a special pre-sale price.
Read the full release here.
AGBU just issued an urgent appeal asking Armenians everywhere to donate toward our emergency fund for Armenians in Syria. Click here to contribute now. Read the entire release here.
Over 50 youth ages seven to 14 from the Bulgarian towns of Haskovo, Plovdiv, Russe, Sofia and Yambol journeyed to the scenic mountains atop the Byalo Kamane resort just a few days ago to enjoy a week of summer fun during the very first session of AGBU Camp Hay Ler. Not wasting a moment of sunshine, the children have already gone swimming and horseback riding, made arts and crafts projects, and began learning Armenian dances. Check out their blog for all the latest updates: http://haylercamp.wordpress.com/.
Congratulations to our AGBU chapters in Bulgaria on this joint initiative! Armenian youth from all over Europe are also welcome to inquire about registering for next summer. Email email@example.com for more information.