AGBU culminated its week of meetings, openings and excursions in Karabakh and Armenia with its 87th biennial General Assembly this past Saturday, October 20, 2012. The below photo shows Armenia’s Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan addressing members and special guests at the assembly, which was held at the newly inaugurated Vatche & Tamar Manoukian Library on the grounds of Holy Etchmiadzin.
Later that night during the farewell dinner, hundreds of AGBU guests, inspired by all that they saw and learned this past week, donated and pledged $250,000 on the spot toward the AGBU Syria Emergency Relief Fund. AGBU is continuing its efforts in Syria to help the greater Armenian community caught in a realm of chaos overwhelming the country and you can help by donating here.
More exciting coverage and photos to come, but in the meantime, enjoy this video with highlights from the spectacular concert sponsored by AGBU at the Karen Demirchian Sports & Concert Complex in Yerevan on October 19, 2012, which was attended by RA President & First Lady Serj and Rita Sargsyan, and a number of high-ranking dignitaries. http://youtu.be/Uwd90O_SPV8 Performers included Shusan Petrosyan, the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, the AGBU Nork Children’s Center students and more.
Click here to download the PDF (2.64MB) of the August 2012 AGBU Armenia Newsletter.
AGBU’s leadership, delegates and supporters have not had a moment of rest since arriving in Yerevan, and are enjoying every second as anticipation builds for the organization’s 87th General Assembly tomorrow morning. They all applauded with delight during a visit to the TUMO Center on Wednesday night when its students unveiled a video they had produced in collaboration with our Armenia Representation Office about AGBU and its programs. Watch it here: http://youtu.be/1LOOeaNSQHY.
AGBU President Berge Setrakian gave his much-anticipated State of the Union address to launch the two days of Chapter and YP meetings that began yesterday morning at the American University of Armenia (AUA), and later led the AGBU delegation to Holy Etchmiadzin to witness the inauguration of the Vatche & Tamar Manoukian Library (Madenataran), attended by RA President and First Lady Serzh and Rita Sargsyan, His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, and of course the benefactors themselves.
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.