Cultural and Charitable Events Featured in AGBU Young Professionals of Philadelphia Spring Calendar

Aline Kamakian (second from right), co-author of “Armenian Cuisine” and co-owner of the Beirut restaurant Mayrig, gathers with YP Philadelphia members at a cooking demonstration in April.

The AGBU Young Professionals of Philadelphia (YP Philadelphia) had a calendar filled with fun and informative cultural and charitable events this past spring, promising an even more exciting summer ahead.  On March 29, the group organized a special lecture, “Ancient Armenian Wonders Wine and Cheese Reception,” which was held at Jet Wine Bar in Center City, the heart of downtown Philadelphia. There, Dr. Jill Weber, who wears two hats as both the venue’s owner and an archeologist, led a presentation on her time spent conducting excavations in Armenia. She discussed her experiences traveling across the country, uncovering Armenia’s ancient sites and meeting the people who live near them today.

Another unique journey, this time to historic Armenia, was highlighted at YP Philadelphia’s April 20 cooking demonstration, which showcased the recently released “Armenian Cuisine” cookbook by Aline Kamakian and Barbara Drieskens of Lebanon. The co-authors, who traveled to the ancestral Armenian homeland of Cilicia (present-day eastern Turkey), published a cookbook of the region’s traditional recipes. Attendees enjoyed sampling dishes from the cookbook while Drieskens and Kamakian, the co-owner of the famed Mayrig restaurant in Beirut, presented oral histories and striking photos gathered during their journey. The evening drew crowds from the Armenian community, as well as the wider Philadelphia community, connecting history buffs and food enthusiasts alike.

The most recent event, a fundraising social at Revolution House in Old City, was held on June 14. Proceeds raised from the evening were matched by YP Philadelphia and donated to the local Armenian Sisters Academy’s inaugural summer camp.

YP Philadelphia is proud its events attract a cross-section of young Armenians from the five Armenian churches and various Armenian organizations throughout the Greater Philadelphia area and the northeastern United States. Members of the YP Philadelphia 2012 Steering Committee include: Chairwoman Karina Ambartsoumian, Armena Ballard, Vicken Bazarbasian, Tina Hagopian, Noushig Hovannesian, Lori Panossian, and Paul Sookiasian.

To purchase a copy of “Armenian Cuisine,” click here.

Established in 1906, AGBU ( is the world’s largest non-profit Armenian organization. The AGBU Young Professionals ( is a growing network of groups and supporters around the world who are committed to preserving and promoting the Armenian identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs for young Armenians between the ages of 22 to 40. To learn more about YP Philadelphia and its upcoming events, please write


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