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ARMENIAN GENERAL BENEVOLENT UNION

AGBU ARMENIA NEWSLETTER Yerevan, Armenia IN THIS ISSUE ♦ AGBU President participated in the 3rd Diocesan assembly (p.1) ♦ “AGBU Levon Z. Surmelian” printing house opened at WUA (p.2) ♦ AGBU Lebanon welcomes the new ambassador of RA (p.2) ♦ AGBU supports the republican chess tournament (p.3) ♦ Marie Noubar Eye Clinic reopened in Yerevan (p.3) ♦ AGBU YP Yerevan extends a helping hand (p.4) ♦ AGBU and Holy Etchmiadzin Youth Centers participated in a painting competition (p.4) ♦ Maestro Santiago Chotsourian performs with APO (p.5 ) ♦ AGBU and Arabkir Union sponsor publication of a book (p.5) ♦ AGBU Europe campaign for Karabakh (p.6) ♦ AGBU Europe calls on UK to recognize the Armenian Genocide (p.6) ♦ AGBU Europe opens a new office in Brussels (p.7) ♦ AGMI Director Hayk Demoyan presented his new book in Paris (p.7) ♦ AGBU Yerevan Scouts hold annual dinner-ball (p.8)

ISSUE 2, NOVEMBER, 2009

AGBU PRESIDENT BERGE SETRAKIAN PARTICIPATED IN THE 3RD DIOCESAN REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY AT THE MOTHER SEE OF HOLY ETCHMIADZIN From October 31 to November 3, 2009, the 3rd Diocesan Representative Assembly of the Armenian Apostolic Church was held in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin presided over by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians and with the participation of representatives from the Armenian Patriarchates of Jerusalem and Constantinople; Diocesan Primates from Armenia AGBU President Mr. Berge Setrakian during the and the Diaspora; high ranking clergy; 3rd Diocesan Representative Assembly Members of the Supreme Spiritual Council and representatives of the laity. President of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) Mr. Berge Setrakian also arrived in Armenia to participate in the meeting. On October 31, the opening ceremony was held under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II. In attendance for the opening session were Mr. Bako Sahakian, President of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh; Mr. Tigran Sargsian, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia; and Mr. Berge Setrakian, President of AGBU. In his remarks, His Holiness reflected on the current process of development of general guidelines for the Armenian Church. Welcoming speeches were made by President of Nagorno Karabakh Mr. Bako Sahakian and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Mr. Tigran Sargsyan. The Prime Minister reflected on the relations and close cooperation between the Church and the State, stressing the significant role of the Armenian Apostolic Church in the preservation of national identity. On November 2, the Assembly continued its work under the presidency of His Holiness Karekin II. Present for the morning session was the President of the Republic of Armenia, Mr. Serzh Sargsyan. Addressing the clergy and participants of the assembly and wishing them success in their meetings, President Sargsyan welcomed all the steps taken for the reinforcement of the mission of the Armenian Church and for the fulfillment of the spiritual needs of Armenians living in the Diaspora. He also reflected on the 10th anniversary of consecration of His Holiness, expressing his gratitude for the enormous works implemented during the last decade. Wishing long-lasting Pontifical years and new achievements, President Sargsyan granted to His Holiness the Order of St. Mesrop Mashtots - the highest order of the Republic of Armenia - for his efforts in the preservation and development of national and spiritual values and virtues. Also present at the meeting was AGBU President Mr. Setrakian.

In his speech on November 3, Mr. Setrakian reflected on the role of the Armenian Apostolic Church in the history of the Armenian people and the cooperation between the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and the AGBU in the national-political life of our nation. “Armenian Apostolic Church, as a national church, has had an undeniable role in the history of our people. Today, towards the new challenges of the Diaspora, our national and spiritual life is in need of revival and in this sense we all need to act with new approaches and modern solutions”, he said. Speaking about the cooperation between the Mother See and AGBU Mr. Setrakian said, “Traditionally our relaPresident Sargsyan awards His Holiness tions have been strong and enduring. Our cooperation has always Karekin II order of St. Mesrop Mashtots been based on the fact that the joint activities of the Mother See and AGBU have always been favorable for the nation in the Diaspora. In the course of the history, headed by panArmenian interests, we’ve walked hand in hand with the Mother See with love unbiased and impartial. We are united in our endeavors and goals and we are more powerful together”. Mr. Setrakian praised the activities of His Holiness Karekin II in the past decade. “In the past ten years we witnessed important achievements in reviving the spirituality and spreading the faith. You’ve not only been a builder, a Catholicos who raised new churches on our mother land, but also a true Spiritual Leader, who consecrated 240 young clergymen for national-spiritual service. Due to Your active organizational skills You are loved, respected and highly valued by everyone. I wish You good health and well-being, and I wish unwavering strength to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin”, said Mr. Setrakian. For the video material please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPllXmiuJUQ

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AGBU ARMENIA NEWSLETTER

ISSUE 2, NOVEMBER, 2009

“AGBU LEVON ZAVEN SURMELIAN PRINTING HOUSE” OPENED AT THE WRITERS UNION OF ARMENIA For the first time the Writers’ Union of Armenia has its own printing house Continuing its strong support of cultural programs, particularly its contribution to the development of Armenian literature and book publishing both in Armenia and Diaspora, Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) expands cooperation with the Writers’ Union of Armenia (WUA). During the years with AGBU’s financial support the Writers’ Union of Armenia has published works of Armenian writers, organized panArmenian conferences. With a new initiative to pro- AGBU President Berge Setrakian and WUA Chairmote book pub- man Levon Ananian during the opening ceremony lishing AGBU has sponsored the establishment of a printing house at the Writers’ Union of Armenia, which will carry the name of prominent Armenian-American writer Levon Zaven Surmelian. Funds have been provided by the AGBU “Levon Zaven Surmelian” Fund to purchase modern printing equipment. Months ago the same fund had also sponsored the publication of Levon Zaven Surmelian’s “Techniques of Prose: Measure and Madness” book in Eastern Armenian as part of the “History of Literature: XX Century” series. The official opening ceremony of the “AGBU Levon Zaven Surmelian Printing House” took place at the Writers’ Union of Armenia on November 3 with the participation of AGBU President Berge Setrakian and Chairman of the WUA Levon Ananian.

“Even in the Soviet times we could not realize this dream. Today, despite the hardships and the global economic crisis, AGBU extended a helping hand and we have a modern printing house”, Levon Ananian

“To have their own printing house has been the dream of our writers for decades. Surmelian is one of our greatest writers and his name will be on every book published here”, said Levon Ananian in his speech. “Levon Zaven Surmelian was a great writer and a great philanthropist. This is our tribute of respect to keep his memory alive in his homeland”, said AGBU President Berge Setrakian emphasizing the efforts of Torgom Postajian, Surmelian’s executor, towards the foundation of this printing house.

The new printing equipment

Vahagn Mughnetsian, Director of the printing house said, “The most important thing is that we will be printing quality books in this printing house, books that will educate generations without

spoiling our mother language”. For the video material please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5FEXcqJqbA

WELCOME RECEPTION HELD BY AGBU LEBANON FOR NEWLY APPOINTED ARMENIAN AMBASSADOR On November 11, 2009, the AGBU Lebanon District Committee hosted a welcome reception in honor of His Excellency Ashot Kocharian, the newly appointed ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to Lebanon. The reception took place at the Demirdjian Center and was attended by Lebanese ministers and members of parliament, ambassadors, representatives of leading organizations, and AGBU benefactors. AGBU President Berge Setrakian delivered a welcoming speech, in which he emphasized the importance of Armenia-Diaspora cooperation. He also outlined the many projects that AGBU administers and contributes to in Armenia.

programs it runs on six continents. She wished great success to the new ambassador on his endeavors in Lebanon. Ambassador Kocharian expressed his gratitude to the AGBU leadership for the warm welcome and hospitality he has received personally and, more importantly, for the continued support that AGBU extends to Armenia. Ambassador Kocharian also thanked AGBU Lebanon President Gerard Tufenkjian and presented him with a souvenir plate as an expression of his gratitude.

The executive director of AGBU Lebanon welcomed the guest of honor and guests on behalf of the AGBU Lebanon's District Committee and gave an AGBU President Berge Setrakian (left), RA Ambassaoverview of the mission of AGBU and dor to Lebanon Ashot Kocharian with his wife, and the numerous educational, cultural AGBU Lebanon President Gerard Tufenkjian (right)

All attendees joined the AGBU District Committee in wishing the best to the ambassador and his wife, Kohar Kocharian, and hoping that they will enjoy the rich Lebanese tradition of warmth and hospitality in the coming years.

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AGBU ARMENIA NEWSLETTER

ISSUE 2, NOVEMBER, 2009

AGBU CONTINUES SUPPORTING THE REPUBLICAN INTERSCHOOL CHESS TOURNAMENT For the third consecutive year Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) renders assistance to the Republican Interschool Chess Championship, which is organized by the RA Education and Science Ministry, RA Chess Federation and the AGBU. The main goal of the tournament is to support the development of chess in Armenia, discover new young talents and help maintain Armenia’s leading position in the world chess championships. About 15,000 schoolchildren from all the regions of Armenia and Artsakh struggle for the finals. Currently, the 4th republican interschool chess tournament is underway. On November 24, at 11:00a.m., the second round of the tournament kicked off at the Armenian Chess Academy in Shengavit district of Yerevan. On that occasion Vice President of the RA Chess Federation Smbat Lputyan, Shengavit governor Sarkis Hovanissyan, and Director of the AGBU Armenian Representation Ashot Ghazaryan visited From left: Ashot Ghazaryan, Sarkis Hovanissyan, the Armenian Chess Academy, which hosted on that day the winners and Smbat Lputyan at the Chess Academy of the first round of the tournament from all the Shengavit schools. “This is a very important event. We are trying to keep the children away from the streets, instill new interests in them and help develop new skills. These children will continue our traditions and the path laid by such giants of chess as Tigran Petrossyan, Levon Aronyan, Smbat Lputyan, and Rafayel Vahanyan”, said Ashot Ghazaryan, Director of AGBU Armenian Representation. “We are trying to raise the popularity of chess among the people, increase its role and meaning in the society. I would like to thank AGBU, which has already donated more than 4000 chess sets to the schools of Armenia. This creates a solid basis for the development of chess in the republic”, said Mr. Lputyan, Vice President of the RA Chess Federation. Chess Academy of Armenia in the Shengavit

Thanks to the financial assistance of the AGBU this year the participants district of Yerevan of the tournament received 2000 chess sets and 80 chess clocks. Another 300 chess sets and 70 chess clocks will be given to the winners of the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the tournament. The winners of the finale, scheduled for May 2010, will receive computers thanks to the AGBU assistance. For the video material please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUHhkXreCg8

MARIE NOUBAR OPHTHALMOLOGY CLINIC REOPENED IN YEREVAN Marie Noubar Ophthalmology Clinic of the Yerevan State Medical University (YSMU) re-opened its doors after complete renovation on November 27. The clinic was built with the donation of founder and president of Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) Boghos Noubar pasha in memory of his wife Marie Noubar. This was the first eye clinic in Armenia considered to be the cradle of Armenian oculists. Built in 1929 this clinical facility had never been renovated. Today, thanks to the initiative and efforts of the YSMU we have a completely renovated ophthalmology clinic equipped with advanced medical devices and modern technoloMarie Noubar Ophthalmology Clinic gies. It will secure high quality medical service by leading specialists of the republic both for children and adult population suffering from eye diseases. Patients will receive specialized surgical and therapeutic treatment. There are wards for inpatients, rooms for consultation, functional diagnostics and computerized treatment. Officials and specialists at the opening ceremony of Marie Noubar Eye Clinic

The opening ceremony was attended by RA Territorial Administration Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Armen Gevorkyan, RA Health Minister Harutyun Kushkyan, RA Education and Science Minister Armen Ashotyan, YSMU Rector Gohar Kyalyan, AGBU Armenian Representation Director Ashot Ghazaryan, other officials and guests. For the video material please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wC_ONMlnZo

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AGBU ARMENIA NEWSLETTER

ISSUE 2, NOVEMBER, 2009

AGBU YP YEREVAN EXTENDS A HELPING HAND TO BUILD A HOUSE Karapetyans’ Dream To Have A House Came True 24 members of the Young Professionals (YP) Yerevan team of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) together with Fuller Center for Housing Armenia visited Geghard village of Kotayk region to help build a home for the Karapetyan family. The family of six will soon have its own house.

The Karapetyan family was finally able to see their lifelong dream of owning a home come true. Initiators and AGBU YP Yerevan extended a helping hand to help complete the construction of the house.

Eldest son of the Karapetyans is an active participant of the building process. He is currently serving in the Armenian For the last 19 years the Karapetarmy. The family is planning to finish the AGBU YP Yerevan in Geghard village yans have lived in indescribable construction of their house before their conditions in a cabin made of scrap metal donated by the son’s return from the army. village authorities. Since 2000 the Fuller center Learning about the poor social conditions of the family has helped more than 500 Fuller Center, “Tufenkian” and “Hye Dzmer Pap” charity families to build their houses. foundations, and AGBU has worked with the VivaCell compa- Fuller Center for three years ny, joined efforts and helped construct homes to provide the fa- for families like the Karapetmily with a long- yans all around Armenia. term interest free loan. At first they “We had only a small cabin donated by village authorities. It’s bought the land a metal cabin with a leaking roof and then started and it was very cold in winter. It building t h e was our biggest dream to have The happy family house. our home”, Senik Karapetyan. Building a house for the Karapetyans For the video material please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GujCZkm65ig

AGBU AND MOTHER SEE OF HOLY ETCHMIADZIN YOUTH CENTERS PARTICIPATED IN A PAINTING COMPETITION On Saturday, November 14, students of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) Youth Centers participated in a painting competition on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of consecration of His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos and Supreme Patriarch of All Armenians. In a beautiful park in the center of Yerevan the children painted The painting competition in a Yerevan park for a whole hour catching the attention of hundreds of passersby. Papers and pencils, watercolors and oil paints, music in the air, interesting topics, bright smiling faces and an hour to paint.

Reverend Father Komitas Hovnanian, Director of the Youth Centers, made a welcoming speech emphasizing the important mission of the Youth Centers in educating our young generations, “These Centers have been operating for 16 years now. Wonderful children, aged 5-18, learn different arts and crafts, receive spiritual education, develop their national consciousness in these Centers, and what is more important they learn the secret of being good individuals. These children carry creative souls in them and cannot become bad citizens of their country”, said Father Komitas. “When you are in touch with the spiritual world, you have different views and thoughts about life, your human nature is changed and you do not see the bad in everything, you imagine a bright future”, said 15-year-old Susanne Davtian, a student of the Youth Center.

Children are waiting for evaluaToday, the six Youth Centers of the Mother See of Holy tion. The paintings will be graEtchmiadzin and AGBU in Yerevan, Etchmiadzin, Vanadzor ded by specialists and the winand Ashtarak have more than 3000 children studying differners will be awarded. ent arts and crafts and receiving spiritual education. Very soon, a new Youth Center will open its doors in Gyumri.

For the video material please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DezeCuq7VWg

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AGBU ARMENIA NEWSLETTER

ISSUE 2, NOVEMBER, 2009

ARMENIAN-ARGENTINEAN CONDUCTOR SANTIAGO CHOTSOURIAN PERFORMS WITH THE ARMENIAN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA On November 13, famous Armenian-Argentinean musician and conductor Santiago Chotsourian performed with the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra strings at Aram Khachatrian concert hall at the initiative of the Buenos Aires Chapter of Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), and with the support of the RA Embassy in Argentina, AGBU Armenian Representation and Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra (APO). The works of Eduard Grieg, Jean Sibelius, Santiago Chotsourian and Henrik Gorecki were performed during the concert featuring solo performances by soprano Irina Zakyan. This was the first concert of Maestro Chotsourian in his homeland. During the years Chotsourian has headed the orchestra of “Colon” opera of Buenos Aires, and many other symphonic and chamber orchestras and choirs of South America. Currently, Chotsourian is writing music for Carl Dreyer’s new movie “Joan of Arc”. His mother is a teacher, German by nationality, and his father was a famous television director. He speaks Armenian exceptionally with the help of a dictionary. About his belated visit to Armenia Maestro Chotsourian said, “My kids were small and I was very busy with concerts and recordings”. 20 years ago, Chotsourian opened several radio stations in Argentina. Now he is the Artistic Director of the national radio station of Buenos Aires. “We very often broadcast the music of Komitas, Alan Hovaness, Arno Babajanian, Aram Khachatrian and other great Armenian composers. I admire Alan Hovaness’ works and I am going to record 11 of his symphonies in 2010. If I have time I will also record his chamber operas”, said Chotsourian. “I am grateful to AGBU for making this visit and the concert possible”, S. Chotsourian

AGBU AND ARABKIR UNION SPONSOR EMMA HARUTYUNYAN’S NEW BOOK “THE PERMANENT TRADITION OF THE ARMENIAN ARCHITECTURE” At the initiative of Papken Megerian from Philadelphia and with the joint sponsorship of Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) and US-based Arabkir Union Inc., “Moughni” printing house published Emma Harutyunyan’s new book entitled “The Permanent Tradition of the Armenian Architecture”. Emma Harutyunyan, Ph.D. in architecture, is a professor at the Yerevan State University of Architecture and Construction. Her Ph.D. thesis was entitled “The influence of repatriation on urban development and architectural processes of Armenia in 1920-30’s”. The new book is dedicated to such districts as Nor Arabkir, Nor Sebastia, Nor Tomarza, Nor Tigranakert, Nor Kharberd and Nubarashen also founded and constructed by the 1920-1930 repatriates. Before his death prominent professor and academician Varazdat Harutyunyan wrote a review about this valuable scientific work, which is also included in the book.

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AGBU ARMENIA NEWSLETTER

ISSUE 2, NOVEMBER, 2009

AGBU EUROPE CAMPAIGN FOR KARABAKH

AGBU Europe’s new campaign is to press the European Union to provide humanitarian and development assistance to Nagorno Karabakh, to establish confidence building measures between Karabakh and Azerbaijan and to send observers to help monitor the cease-fire. The European Union is not involved in policing the cease-fire, they fund almost no development or humanitarian project there, and have not sponsored contacts between the inhabitants of Karabakh and of Azerbaijan. Far from frowning on Azerbaijan’s policy of boycott of Armenia and Karabakh, the European Union has largely followed Baku’s wishes. In fact, Karabakh is the only part of the region, which the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus, Peter Semneby, has not visited. It is time for the EU to support the development in Nagorno-Karabagh and contacts between Karabagh and Azerbaijan. Karabagh has been effectively independent since it won the war against Azerbaijan in 1994 but there is a real risk that the war will resume. Isolated from the world by geography and politics, the small Republic can count on no one’s help except Armenia’s. Karabakh is reserved special treatment by the international community. There are other non-recognized states in the region, Transdniestria, Abkhazia or South Ossetia. These all benefit from some form of international peacekeeping; they are involved in some form of internationally funded projects; and their residents enjoy contacts with the other countries. Not so Karabakh. Most people in the EU would agree that this policy is wrong. But they are unlikely to act unless we, European citizens, tell them to change course.

AGBU EUROPE CALLS ON UK TO RECOGNIZE THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE AGBU Europe called upon the government of the United Kingdom to rescind its established policy of denying the Armenian Genocide and initiate a more ethical and constructive policy towards Turkey and Armenia by acknowledging the 1915 genocide and its consequences in order to build confidence and contribute to security in the region. The call follows the publication of a legal opinion by Geoffrey Robertson QC, an authority of matters on international criminal law, on the British government's long-held policy of considering that there is "insufficient evidence" to consider the 1915 mass slaughter of the Armenians in Turkey as genocide. The United Kingdom is the only government in Europe that effectively denies the Armenian genocide. Based on a thorough investigation of the written confidential/secret internal documents obtained under Freedom of Information Act (FIA) from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office since 1997, the Opinion concludes that the "advice [upon which the government's opinion is based] reflects neither the law on genocide, nor the demonstrable facts of the massacres in 1915-1916, and has been calculated to mislead Parliament into believing that there has been an assessment of evidence and an exercise of judgment on that evidence". In fact, internal FCO documents make it abundantly clear, according to Mr. Robertson's analysis, that the British government's position was adopted exclusively to placate its ally Turkey and that the UK's stance is, as the FCO diplomats themselves put it, "open to criticism in terms of its ethical dimension". The legal opinion published on Tuesday also refers to the agreement signed on October 10 between the Presidents of Turkey and Armenia to establish relations, which it terms a "welcome development" but warns that debate among historians about the Armenian genocide would be a "pointless exercise" and that the matter cannot be suitably addressed with Turkey as long as article 301 of its criminal code, which restricts public debate on such matters as the Armenian Genocide, remains in force. AGBU Europe believes that the British policy of pandering to Turkey's Armenian Genocide denial is not only unethical but also ineffective and short-sighted. The UK can play a role in promoting trust and stability between neighbors in the South Caucasus and in Turkey, but their policy must be based on the values and standards they would apply to fellow European nations. Armine Afrikian, Member of the AGBU Europe Board for the UK, said, "I truly hope that our government will do the right thing this time. It troubles me that Britain still refuses to acknowledge the basic facts which the UK was the first to denounce at the time". In particular, the UK must support the forces of democracy and tolerance in Turkey. Earlier this year, for example, a group of Turkish intellectuals took the unprecedented step of issuing a public apology for the World War I extermination of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, even though they avoided using the word genocide, perhaps understandably under 301, which nevertheless helped to challenge the taboo about the Genocide in Turkey; in the face of such a bold public collective move, the Ministry of Justice took the equally unprecedented decision not to prosecute the initiators of the petition. Genocide denial, by contrast, further casts doubt on Turkey's questionable reputation, delays the transformation and modernization of its society and institutions and feeds tensions and distrust between neighbors. The 2007 assassination of TurkishArmenian journalist Hrant Dink and the justice system's dismal management of the prosecution of his murderers, for instance, have severely tarnished Turkey's reputation abroad, particularly among the European public and decision-makers. The Mr. Robertson QC's Legal Opinion concludes by regretting that "there is no recognition at all [on the part of the British government] of the importance of nations acknowledging Genocide and their past crimes against humanity or of supporting the descendants of victims who still, almost a century later, have to live with the consequences", suggesting that the contemporary relevance of the recognition of a past crime is self-evident to a prominent expert in international justice. The outcome of the struggle between the forces of tolerance and democracy in Turkey and those who oppose them is by no means a foregone conclusion. As one of Turkey's closest partners and advocates, the UK is ideally placed to help the country overcome its Armenian Genocide taboo. In doing so, the UK can furthermore continue to pursue its own long-term interests with Turkey and stay true to its values.

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AGBU ARMENIA NEWSLETTER

ISSUE 2, NOVEMBER, 2009

AGBU EUROPE STRENGTHENS ITS PRESENCE IN BRUSSELS The sixth meeting of the AGBU Europe Board After Barcelona in Spain and Frankfurt in Germany, AGBU Europe is continuing its European policy by establishing a new representation office in Brussels. Alexis Govciyan, AGBU Europe Chairman, said on this occasion, "After the launch of AGBU Europe on January 1, 2008, we needed a physical presence and visibility in Brussels where many European institutions are headquartered. This office will provide a permanent presence and implement AGBU strategies with European institutions.” The inauguration ceremony was held on October 23, 2009 in the new AGBU Brussels office (131 Stassart Street). More than 70 individuals attended the event, including Alexis Govciyan, Chairman of AGBU Europe; AGBU Europe Board members; His Excellency Avet Adonts, Ambassador of Armenia in Belgium; Michel Mahmourian, Chairman of Bel- Alexis Govciyan, Nicolas Tavitian and Avet Adonts at the opening of AGBU Brussels office gium Armenian Committee; and Reverend Father Zadig Avedikian. Ambassador Adonts congratulated AGBU Europe for establishing a representation office in Brussels, at the heart of Europe, which will closely follow the European agenda on Armenian issues. "I think this is very important for all Armenians,” he said.

The AGBU Europe Board holding its 6th meeting

Alexis Govciyan welcomed the guests, “AGBU is not a political party, but we do have an agenda: the recognition of Armenian Genocide by Turkey; the preservation of identity, heritage and interests of all Armenians, whether in Armenia, Karabakh or the diaspora. Therefore, the opening of this office in Brussels is very significant.”

On this occasion, the AGBU Europe also held its sixth Board meeting. The AGBU Europe leaders met with various individuals and organizations, including Ambassador Adonts at the Armenian Embassy in Brussels, the Inside Europe organization, as well as the association of European Friends of Armenia and Belgium Armenian Committee, with the objective of presenting the goals and mission of AGBU Europe, exchanging views on important issues and exploring opportunities for partnerships and collaboration. The AGBU Europe Board members also had the opportunity to attend Divine Liturgy at the St. Mary Magdalene Armenian Church in Brussels and meet with the pastor, Father Zadik Avedikian.

DIRECTOR OF ARMENIAN GENOCIDE MUSEUM-INSTITUTE HAYK DEMOYAN PRESENTS HIS NEW ILLUSTRATED BOOK IN PARIS On November 27, in the Alex Manoogian Cultural Center of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) in Paris, Mr. Hayk Demoyan, Director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute (AGMI), presented his new illustrated book entitled “Armenian Sport and Gymnastics in the Ottoman Empire” and other books published by the AGMI. Mr. Demoyan thanked AGBU Europe for providing him with an opportunity to present his book in Paris. This was Mr. Demoyan’s second meeting with the Armenian community of France in Alex Manoogian Center. The first one took place in 2008, during which he delivered a lecture entitled “ArmenianTurkish relations: new developments, new challenges”. Speaking about the book Mr. Demoyan said that the gymnastic movement and sport development of the Armenian population in the Ottoman Empire is an underexposed but very interesting and important Nubarian Library Curator Raymond Kevorkian area, which once again proves the and Director of AGMI Hayk Demoyan leading role of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. Rare sources and photos are used in the book. Mr. Demoyan expressed his special gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Patrice and Seda Djololian, who provided to the AGMI the whole collection of Mr. Grikor Djololian. In attendance were AGBU Europe and France Chairman Alexis Govciyan, members of the AGBU Europe Board, Councilor of the RA Embassy to France Hamlet Gasparian, Chairman of the Parish Council of the St. Baptiste Armenian Apostolic Church of Paris Patrice Djololian, Director of the Institute From left: Hamlet Gasparian, Hrach Tamof Ancient Armenian Manuscripts Hrach Tamrazian and representatives of razian, Hayk Demoyan and Patrice Djololian the Armenian community. Page 7


AGBU ARMENIA NEWSLETTER

ISSUE 2, NOVEMBER, 2009

AGBU YEREVAN SCOUTS HOLD ANNUAL DINNER-BALL AT CONGRESS HOTEL On November 28, the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) Yerevan Scouts held their annual dinner-ball at the Congress Hotel in Yerevan. The event was organized by the AGBU Yerevan Scout Council. Members of the AGBU Yerevan Scout Council, team leaders, scouts, parents, AGBU members and other guests were present at the dinner-ball. The event, emceed by AGBU Yerevan Scout Council Head Karen Tirarian and AGBU Yerevan Scout Council Secretary Maral Levonian, passed in a warm and happy atmosphere with a number of interesting activities including AGBU Yerevan Scouts during their annual dinner-ball games and lottery. Generous donations were at Congress Hotel made to support the development of the Armenian General Benevolent Union scout movement in Armenia. AGBU Yerevan Scouts already have more than 100 members, who hold weekly meetings at the Arabkir Youth Center of AGBU and Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. A new branch of the AGBU Yerevan Scouts will be established in the Nor Nork Youth Center in February, 2010. Present at the event were AGBU Armenian Representation Director Ashot Ghazaryan, AGBU Armenian Representation Deputy Director Hovig Eordekian and AGBU Diaspora Youth Programs Coordinator in Armenia Hermine Duzian. In his speech Mr. Eordekian congratulated the members of the scout council for their hard work and achievements, and expressed hope that the AGBU Yerevan Scouts will very soon tangibly increase in number.

Please be advised that in the event of any full or partial reference or citation of the texts above AGBU Armenia Newsletter must be mentioned. All rights reserved. Established in 1906, AGBU (www.agbu.org) is the world's largest non-profit Armenian organization. Headquartered in New York City with an annual budget of $36 million, AGBU preserves and promotes the Armenian identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs, annually touching the lives of some 400,000 Armenians on six continents.

ARMENIAN GENERAL BENEVOLENT UNION NEW YORK 55 East 59th Street, New York, NY 10022-1112 Phone: 212 319 6383 Fax: 212 319 6507 E-mail: agbuny@agbu.org Website: www.agbu.org

PREPARED BY AGBU ARMENIAN REPRESENTATION

YEREVAN 9 Alex Manoogian Street, Yerevan, Armenia Phone: (374 10) 51-22-51 Fax: (374 10) 51-22-52 E-mail: agbuarm@agbu.am Website: www.agbu.am Page 8

November-2009-English  
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