Lily Avagyan: “Our goal is to show ongoing support to our compatriots in Armenia”

On June 12, Support Armenia charitable organization will hold a telethon dedicated to Armenia, Artsakh and Armenian soldiers in the USA (the title of the telethon is “I am with you, Armenian soldier!”).

We present Hayern Aysor’s interview with co-founder of the organization Lily Avagyan.

Hayern Aysor: Lily, what is the purpose of the Support Armenia charitable organization?

Lily Avagyan: The purpose of the organization is to show ongoing support to our compatriots in Armenia through different kinds of programs.

Hayern Aysor: Who are the founders?

L. A.: Support Armenia is a non-profit, charitable organization founded by Hovik Zirakyan, David Ghevondyan and yours truly.

Hayern Aysor: This time the organization has organized the “I am with you, Armenian soldier!” charity action. Has much has it been covered? Who has responded to the initiative?

L. A.: Several Armenians around the world have joined the “I am with you, Armenian soldier!” by posting photos of themselves with a pomegranate in their hands on Facebook and writing the words “I am with you, Armenian soldier!” as a sign of unity. This is a joint program that consolidates Armenians in Armenia and the Diaspora. We have several volunteers who don’t spare efforts to make this program a success.

Hayern Aysor: What is the organization doing ahead of the June 12 telethon?

L. A.: The telethon will be a 13-hour television program that will be broadcast live on six television channels at the same time. We are working hard on planning the 13-hour program and providing the precise information about Armenian soldiers.

Hayern Aysor: How will the donations be distributed? How will the soldiers and families be selected?

L. A.: The organizers of the initiative, including me, Hovik Zirakyan and David Ghevondyan, as well as other members of the organization will travel to Armenia and personally meet the wounded soldiers and the families of deceased soldiers in early July.

Hayern Aysor: Lily, you don’t like to talk about it, but I am aware that you were in Armenia and also visited Artsakh during the four-day war in Artsakh.

L. A.: You are right. I don’t like to talk about it a lot. I simply wanted to be in Artsakh during those days. I left for the border, stood by the side of our soldiers and saw the conditions in which they are defending the homeland of all Armenians. That visit made me grow ten years older. Before that visit, nothing had changed my inner world and I would look at the world with “pink glasses”. Those few hours turned my world upside down.

When I returned to the States, I saw that Armenian Americans were in the same environment. Many Armenian Americans, even those who had never been to Armenia or had left the country and settled in the USA at a very young age, were ready to go and fight for the homeland. Co-founder of the Support Armenia organization, Hovik Zirakyan had gathered a group of young Armenians who were ready to go to Artsakh with Hovik, but they said they didn’t need any more volunteers. Even my brother, who is 22 years old and visited Armenia when he was ten years old, was ready to go and stand next to our soldiers to defend the homeland. True, we don’t live in Armenia, but all Armenian Americans are doing everything they can for the homeland.

Lusine Abrahamyan

P.S.: Hayern Aysor presents some information about the founders of the Support Armenia charitable organization.

Hovik Zirakyan: In 2001, he founded the Unified Armenian Youth organization of Los Angeles and served as the organization’s president until 2006. Hovik Zirakyan is also the founding organizer of the march of protest that is held every April 24th in Hollywood and gathers hundreds of thousands of Armenians. For years, Hovik Zirakyan has carried out charity acts and community programs for the Armenian community of Los Angeles.

Lily Avagyan: From 2009 to 2010, she served as president of the student council of the Educational Institution of Glendale and a member of the Board of Education. She has been recognized as Person o the Year. Since 2011, she has served as a member of the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Committee and Against Human Injustice Committees of Glendale City Council. Until 2014, she worked as a public relations director of the Downtown Glendale organization, which deals with the development of central Glendale. Lily Avagyan is also a journalist and TV host.

David Ghevondyan: David Ghevondyan is the co-founder of ATV established in 2003 in Los Angeles, former member of the Unified Armenian Youth organization, leading marketing expert for several companies and charitable organizations, film producer and director of several programs.

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