Armenian American lawyer visits Ministry of Diaspora

On September 29, RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan received founding member of a law group in Glendale, President of the Unified Young Armenians Organization and Doctor of Law Harutyun Harutyunyan.

Greeting the guest, the Minister of Diaspora attached importance to the organization’s active and pro-national efforts and stated that it had received the certificate of appreciation of the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia for its faithful and fruitful efforts for the development of the Armenia-Diaspora partnership and the recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide.

Harutyun Harutyunyan expressed gratitude for the high appreciation and presented the goals and programs of the Unified Young Armenians Organization. He stated that the goal of the independent organization, which was created by a group of young Armenian professionals, is to raise the issues concerning young Armenians in order to give positive solutions to them. “For nearly a decade, the organization has been fighting for recognition of the Armenian Genocide and the injustices against other nations (Darfur, Sudan). The organization has over 500 members who speak out for the just solution to several major issues and for human rights protection,” the Armenian American lawyer added.

Future cooperation and the organization’s participation in the Ministry’s programs were discussed during the meeting.

Georgian-Armenian community was represented at the 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference

From September 18 to 20, 2017, the 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference was held under the title “Mutual Trust, Unity and Responsibility” at Karen Demirtchyan Sport and Concert Complex in Yerevan and stood out with the participation of more than 1,800 Armenians from 71 countries around the world.

The Armenian community of Georgia was represented by 54 guests from Tbilisi, Batumi, Samtskhe-Javakhk and Kvemo Kartli. The guests were the leaders and representatives of Armenian structures and organizations, the Georgian parliament, government and local bodies, as well as intellectuals and community figures.

Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Georgia, His Grace, Fr. Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan gave his blessings to the participants of the conference.

The Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia had organized a conference with plenary and panel sessions and had set up booths in which representatives of TUMO Center for Creative Technologies, Ayb Innovative School and Kvant School presented their achievements.

The representatives of the Armenian community of Georgia took part in the sessions devoted to preservation of the Armenian identity, foreign policy, anti-Armenian propaganda and the development of the Republic of Armenia.

The conference also featured concerts, each of which was very impressive.

The conference also served as an opportunity for Armenians of Armenia and the Diaspora to exchange experiences, interact with each other, meet new people and establish new contacts. It was nice to see that most of the Armenians of the Diaspora knew about the Armenian community of Georgia, were very interested in visiting Georgia and had an extremely great desire to lay flowers near the tombs of great Armenians and feel the scent of the homeland of troubadour Sayat-Nova.

The first pan-national forum was held in September 1999 and was referred to as the Armenia-Diaspora Forum. The first three forums were organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia. In 2011 and 2014, the conferences were organized by the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia.

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Gevorg Grigoryan: “If a person loses his roots, he is done for”

On September 29, RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan received member of the AGBU Central Board, correspondent of the AGBU’s programs in the Middle East and Armenia Vasken Yacoubian and Chairman of AGBU Varna Gevorg Grigoryan.

Greeting the guests, the Minister highly appreciated the Bulgarian-Armenian community figure’s charities and his programs targeted at the development and consolidation of the community.

Vasken Yacoubian presented the activities carried out by the Chairman of AGBU Varna, and issues on further cooperation and participation in the Ministry’s programs were discussed.

Gevorg Grigoryan expressed gratitude for the cordial reception and stated that the business and cultural ties between Armenia and Bulgaria need to be strengthened in order to reinforce the current capacities. “We need to protect and empower the community, and language and culture are important in order to help the young generation preserve the Armenian identity. If a person forgets his roots, he is done for,” he added.

Anton Vardanyan: “I have the best impressions of the 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference”

The 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference was an unprecedented phenomenon of unity through which Armenians from Armenia and the Diaspora set the key objectives to solve many issues through combined efforts, find paths for further development and reinforcement of Armenia and closer collaboration of Armenia, Diaspora and Artsakh, guided by mutual trust, unity and the high sense of responsibility. In relation to this, I had an interview with the young president of “Nairi” Armenian National and Cultural Autonomy NGO of Stavropol, member of the public-consultative council adjunct to the department of the Federal Migration Service of Stavropol, Vice-Chairman of the Ethics Council of Stavropol Anton Vardanyan for Hayern Aysor.

Karine Avagyan: Dear compatriot, you were invited to participate in the 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference, and you surely have your reflections and expectations. Please, tell us about that.

Anton Vardanyan: There is no doubt that my colleagues and I are happy for such working meetings, especially when those working meetings are held in the Homeland. We expect further revitalization of efforts in the entire Diaspora and closer collaboration with the authorities of Armenia.

Karine Avagyan: You are quite young to be the leader of such an organization. Do you face any hardships?

Anton Vardanyan: I took big responsibility when I assumed the duty five years ago. Of course, it was hard at first, but over time, I gained experience and some knowledge. I don’t work alone. Our organization has a board under the direction of Mikhail Beyryumov. Of course, our compatriots’ issues are endless, and you always need to discover something for yourself. Thanks to our team and the people who respond to us, we are able to carry out our activities and implement our programs successfully.

Karine Avagyan: How do Armenians live in Stavropol? What problems do they face? Can those problems be solved?

 

Anton Vardanyan: Currently, there are about 50,000 Armenians living in Stavropol. Most of them have pursued successful careers and worthily represent business, medicine, education, science, as well as the image of intelligentsia and the new generation of Armenians, that is, youth. Our compatriots who escaped the horrors of the 1988 earthquake and the tragic events in Baku, Sumgait and Nagorno-Karabakh particularly need special support. All the refugees have been received cordially and with understanding and have been provided with humanitarian aid and psychological support.

However, as always, most of our compatriots find themselves in dire situations. This mainly refers to the Armenians who recently came to Stavropol with the hope of finding jobs and have no homes, money or jobs and mainly lack education and professional skills. A brilliant example is the Armenian families who have escaped from the seized areas of Ukraine. Those families have been provided with food, first necessity items, financial support and jobs through the efforts of the local Armenian community and, of course, with the support of the city’s administration.

There are many difficulties with employing refugees. This is due to the legal status of a job seeker and the lack of work experience and the required qualifications.

 

Karine Avagyan: Please, tell us about the community’s daily activities.

Anton Vardanyan: Every year, representatives of the “Nairi” Armenian National-Cultural Autonomy of Stavropol actively participated in major citywide events such as the events devoted to Victory Day, Stavropol Day, the Day of Unity of Nations and the international friendship festivals hosted by higher education institutions. The Armenian community organizes events devoted to national holidays (Tyarndarach, Vardavar) and celebrated First Republic Day and Armenia’s Independence Day. On February 23 and on May 9, Armenian veterans of the Great Patriotic War and their widows received gifts, and the community provides assistance to the freedom fighters having participated in the war for the liberation of Artsakh. The community also holds events commemorating the victims of the Armenian Genocide every April 24th.

The children of the Armenian community attend the local Armenian Sunday school and are members of the local folk dance club. Our community also has national culinary mastery, performing arts and Armenian dhol clubs. The young Armenians of Stavropol participated in the summer programs of the RA Ministry of Diaspora every year.

Karine Avagyan: How are the relations between Armenians and the other communities of Stavropol?

 

Anton Vardanyan: We have friendly relations with almost all the communities and organizations. We have employment relations with some of them and friendly ties with others. Our policy is aimed at working effectively with all the communities of the Diaspora. In particular, we are on good terms with an Azerbaijani organization.

We have helped each other many times. We have solved certain domestic issues and settled small debates through combined efforts. We invite each other to events and festivities. It is very important to maintain friendly ties abroad.

Karine Avagyan: Anton, besides community service, what else do you do? Do you work by your profession?

Anton Vardanyan: My main and only job is community service. I am an engineer by profession and have worked by my profession for almost 5 years.

Karine Avagyan: What are the priority issues of the community?

Anton Vardanyan: The key objective is to preserve traditional values by working with the youth, that is, introducing them to all the systems of national and cultural values, teaching them lessons of Armenian history and working closely with the Armenian Apostolic Church. Currently, modern society is facing many domestic challenges. It is very important to keep youth in focus. Marriage and family are the integral values of the Armenian nation that young Armenians need to maintain as things that are sacred, without giving in to gender equality and other destructive social phenomena advocated in the West. The large powers of the world and their allies are making great efforts to destroy historical values and the unity of nations and to shatter the foundations of their moral and spiritual values. Today we see how history is being distorted and how ideas for the revision of the fundamental values of mankind are being set forth, not only shattering the inviolable foundations of morality, but also eliminating the historically established norms of society, including Armenian society. Being one of the ancient Christian nations, Armenia must continue to fight for preservation of its national values such as diligence, family, respect towards human dignity and infinite love for the Homeland. The Armenian Apostolic Church plays a major role. Based on the above-mentioned, I must say that one of the key objectives of the autonomy is to preserve and enhance the traditional national values and the culture and history of and everyday life in Armenia and work closely with the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Karine Avagyan: What are your impressions of the conference?

Anton Vardanyan: It was a great pleasure to see Armenians from different parts of the world. I have the best impressions of the conference. I immediately saw that the conference was organized at a high level, and for that I am grateful to the Government of the Republic of Armenia and the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia.

Interview by Karine Avagyan

 

The Ministry of Diaspora congratulates

The Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia congratulates the following individuals who received the state awards and honorary titles of the Republic of Armenia on the occasion of Independence Day of the Republic of Armenia and by the decree of the President of the Republic of Armenia for their exceptional services of pan-national significance and contributions to the strengthening of Armenia-Diaspora relations and preservation of the Armenian identity:

Great benefactor Eduardo Eurnekian (Argentina): National Hero of Armenia (highest title)

Hollywood actor Marco Khan (Khanlian) (USA): Movses Khorenatsi Medal

Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Armenian Assembly of America Van Krikorian (USA): Order of Honor

Famous Armenian American chef Gerard Gejaro (USA): Medal of Gratitude

Board Member of Converse Bank CJSC Juan-Pablo Gechidjian (Argentina): Anania Shirakatsi Medal

Prime Minister of New South Wales Gladys Berejiklian (Australia): Mkhitar Gosh Medal

Opera singer Isabel Bayrakdarian (Canada): Movses Khorenatsi Medal

Businessman, benefactor Vartan Sirmakes (Switzerland): 1st Degree Order “For Services to the Homeland”

British-Armenian businessman, benefactor Vatche Manoukian (Great Britain): Saint Mesrop Mashtots Order

Businessman, benefactor Armen Sargsyan (Great Britain): 1st Degree Order “For Services to the Homeland”

Surgeon, inventor Lord Ara Darzi (Great Britain): Order of Honor

Football player Youri Djorkaeff (France): Medal of Gratitude

Former French-Armenian fighter Arsen Zakaryan (France): Medal of Gratitude

Primate of the Jezireh Diocese of the Armenian Catholic Church, Fr. Supreme Archimandrite Antranig Aivazian (Syria): Medal of Gratitude

Founder of Lark Musical Society of Los Angeles Vache Parsumian (USA): Movses Khorenatsi Medal

Founding President of Narek Educational and Cultural Institution Rima Saryan (USA): Movses Khorenatsi Medal

Member of ARF-D Bureau Hagop Der-Khatchadourian (Canada): Mkhitar Gosh Medal

Founding Director of Gousan Armenian Orchestra Enrique Avakian (Argentina): Movses Khorenatsi Medal

President of the Tver Regional Unit of the Union of Armenians of Russia, Advisor to the Governor of Tver Oblast Seyran Kochkanyan (Russian Federation): Medal of Gratitude

President of the “Armenian Cultural Society” NGO of Irkutsk, Director of Argishti LLC, businessman Samvel Voskanyan (Russian Federation): Medal of Gratitude

Editor-in-Chief of Havatamq Monthly of Saint Petersburg Armen Meruzhanyan (Russian Federation): Movses Khorenatsi Medal.

Vice-President of the World Armenian Congress and the Union of Armenians of Russia Vladimir Aghayan (Republic of Armenia): Movses Khorenatsi Medal

Member of AGBU Central Board, President of AGBU Armenia Vasken Yacoubian (Republic of Armenia): Medal of Gratitude

German-Armenian journalist, community figure Raffi Kantian (Germany): Movses Khorenatsi Medal

Benefactor of the Armenian Catholic Church of Switzerland, builder of the Armenian Genocide Museum in Lebanon Alec Bezikian (Switzerland): 2nd Degree Medal “For Services to the Homeland”

Superintendent of the Board of Directors of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Director of the Armenian Communities Department of Great Britain and Ireland, grandson of Calouste Gulbenkian, Martin Yesayan (Great Britain): 2nd Degree Medal “For Services to the Homeland”

National and public figure Garabed Babahekian (Lebanon): Medal of Gratitude

Businessman, benefactor, writer, publicist Armen Harutiounian (Lebanon): Movses Khorenatsi Medal

Trustee of the Armenian National School of Kuwait, benefactor Philaip (Philip) Patatanian (Kuwait): Medal of Gratitude

Artist, ceramic artist Levon Osipov (Georgia): Movses Khorenatsi Medal

Director of Yesayan Armenian School of Istanbul Satenik Nshan (Turkey): Medal of Gratitude

Writer, publicist Meguerditch Markosian (Turkey): Movses Khorenatsi Medal

Founding Director of the Japan-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Association Hideharu Nakajima (Japan): Medal of Gratitude

Armenologist, translator Herbert Maurer (Australia): Medal of Gratitude

Professor of the Chair of History of the Damanhur branch of the University of Alexandria, Armenologist/genocide expert Muhammad Refaat Al-Imam (Egypt): Medal of Gratitude

 

Book “The Armenian Diaspora in the Changing World” to be presented

On October 2 at 15:00, the sessions hall of the Presidency of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia will host the presentation of the monograph “The Armenian Diaspora in the Changing World” by Hranush Hakobyan. The presentation is organized by the Social Sciences Section of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia, in association with the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia.

Among the guests will be state, public and political figures, academicians, analysts and experts.

Hranush Hakobyan’s book was recommended for publication by the Academic Council of the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia.

The book is devoted to the development of the Armenia-Diaspora partnership, as well as the outcomes and perspectives.

This is the first attempt to examine the concept of “Diaspora” in the changing world and generally present the stages of origin, formation and advancement of the Armenian Diaspora, as well as the current state and peculiarities of the Armenian Diaspora.

Armenia hosting first rural athletic games

This year, the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs of the Republic of Armenia is hosting the first Rural Athletic Games of the Republic of Armenia event.

The event was launched in the rural communities of the Republic of Armenia in August 2017, and the final stage of the first rural games will be held in Vanadzor from October 1 to 4.

The event has gathered the teams of men above 20 and women above 16 from the provinces of the Republic of Armenia. The competitions will be under the athletic quintathlon.

Artsakh’s State Minister says Artsakh has become not only an energy-sufficient republic, but also a republic that exports energy

On September 28, State Minister of the Republic of Artsakh Arayik Harutyunyan gave a press conference during which he briefly presented certain indicators of the activities of the Government of the Republic of Artsakh over the past decade and answered questions from journalists, reported the Department of Information and Public Relations of the Government of the Republic of Artsakh to Hayern Aysor.

According to Harutyunyan, throughout the past decade, the government, guided by President Bako Sahakyan’s pre-electoral platform, has ensured the growth of the GDP year after year, adding more funds to the state budget and implementing many social programs. “For instance, whereas the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) made up AMD 70.8 billion in 2007 and AMD 229.6 billion in 2016, in 2017, it is expected to see the GDP make up nearly AMD 270 billion, and this means the nominal GDP has grown by nearly 4 times over the past decade. Whereas the size of manufacturing made up AMD 22.4 billion in 2007 and 59 billion in 2016, in 2017, it will exceed AMD 70 billion.”

Arayik Harutyunyan considered the construction of small hydroelectric stations one of the government’s major achievements. “Thanks to the construction of hydroelectric stations, over the past decade, Artsakh has increased the amount of energy production by nearly 4 times (from 90.4 million kW/h to 345 million kW/h). As a result, Artsakh has become not only an energy-sufficient republic, but also a republic that exports energy. We plan on making the indicator reach 700 million kW/h in the near future,” Arayik Harutyunyan stated.

Harutyunyan stressed the fact that Artsakh has also recorded serious economic growth in the agriculture sector, increasing the gross agricultural product by 2.9 times. Whereas the country recorded 53,000 tons of grains in 2007, in 2017, Artsakh has recorded 150,000 tons.

The State Minister also touched upon the growth of construction, the restoration of infrastructures of vital significance and several other development programs.

In closing, Arayik Harutyunyan stated that the government plans on drawing up the budget for the year 2018 within the limits of AMD 100 billion with marked directions for expenditures (implementation f social programs, restoration of infrastructures, implementation of investment projects and other programs).

In response to the question regarding his powers in the office of state minister, Harutyunyan stated that the powers, actions and scope of activity of the state minister are clearly defined in the President’s decree.

“According to the presidential decree, I will be involved in the management of state property and funds and will be coordinating the activities of the ministries in the economic sector. This will provide me with the opportunity to work actively, especially for Artsakh’s socio-economic development. For the time being, it is necessary to add another AMD 27 billion to the economy in order to ensure 10 percent economic growth when the GDP of the republic reaches AMD 270 billion. This requires more efforts in the economic sector and the engagement of additional investments. This will be the direction in which I will be working in order for us to have the desired outcomes,” Harutyunyan said.

In response to the questions regarding the proposals for and announcements regarding the settlement of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh, Harutyunyan particularly stated the following: “We are carrying out several programs in the territory enshrined by the Constitution of the Republic of Artsakh. We have finished construction of the Vardenis-Martakert road and have built a high-voltage aerial electricity line in the Shahumyan region. We also plan on implementing investment projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars in that region. In particular, the projects for construction of hydroelectric stations, a water factory and apartments have already been launched. Housing projects and other projects are underway in the Mijnavan and Ishkhanadzor settlements of the Kashatagh region. We are highly focused on the development of education and culture and are building schools, kindergartens and cultural centers. We plan on making big investments in non-residential areas in order to enhance the agriculture sector. So, those territories are growing and will serve our country as territories enshrined by the Constitution of the Republic of Artsakh.”

Closing ceremony of “We Sing Komitas” Pan-Armenian Festival was held

On September 28, Aram Khachaturian Grand Concert Hall hosted the solemn closing ceremony of the “We Sing Komitas” Pan-Armenian Festival organized by the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia. RA Deputy Minister of Diaspora Serzh Srapionyan was attending the ceremony.

The “We Sing Komitas” Pan-Armenian Festival was held from September 25 to 28, gathering choirs and soloists from Armenia, Artsakh and 12 other countries and featuring concerts in Yerevan, Gyumri and Vanadzor.

The closing ceremony featured performances of the songs of Komitas and other Armenian composers by Vardavar Armenian Choir (Jordan), Makar Yekmalyan Armenian Choir (Georgia), Aghbyur Armenian Choir (Georgia), Nerses Shnorhali Armenian Choir (Armenia), Ovsanna Armenian Choir (Armenia), Varanda Armenian Choir (Artsakh), Narek Armenian Vocal Ensemble (Iran) and Tsaghkazard Armenian Vocal Ensemble (Armenia), as well as individual performers, including Mikayel Kocharyan, Elvira Margaryan and Hrachuhi Gevorgyan from Russia, Sona Talyan from Germany, Johnny Keokjian from Beirut, Serly Rostomian from Iran, Nara Noyan from Belgium, Vardouhi Toroian from Jordan, Soseh Krikorian from Jerusalem, Lilit Davtyan, Arpi Sinanyan and Haik Yesayan from Armenia, Japanese pianist Keyto Nyumata, Argentine-Armenian musician Gagik Gasparyan and the Zorakan Military Ensemble of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia.

The event also featured screenings of videos devoted to the life and career of Komitas.

Greeting the participants and the audience, Deputy Minister of Diaspora Serzh Srapionyan stated that the Armenian choirs and individual performers strengthen the foundations for the existence of Armenians by preserving and disseminating Armenian songs in the Diaspora and preserve their national identity and make Armenian culture recognizable by performing the songs of Komitas and other renowned Armenian composers.

Serzh Srapionyan conveyed the welcoming remarks of RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan and particularly stated the following: “Dear participants of the “We Sing Komitas” Pan-Armenian Festival, welcome to your homeland.

Inspired by the unmatched art of Komitas, you carry out activities for national preservation by singing Armenian songs in the Diaspora and instilling in the soul and blood of the young generation the feeling of patriotism and the ability to recognize and appreciate everything about Armenia and the Armenians. By visiting Armenia, you are conveying the message that genuine and influential art must be “nourished” from the sources.

Eternal is the nation that has a son like Komitas, and this means that you are not only preserving your identity under the unfavorable influence of foreign countries, but also making a contribution to ensuring the existence of the Armenians with your inmost efforts.

At the end of the day, it is the duty of each and every Armenian to be the worthy descendant of the homeland and great Armenians.

In your case, it is manifested through your act of preserving and protecting the legacy of the Mashtots of Armenian song, the Eternal Traveler and our beloved Komitas, namely the “wills” that he left for the greats that followed, especially since his ethereal death symbolized the fate of the Armenian people. Thanks to him, what we have today is rebirth and the will to live. With all this, how can we not be the worthy descendants of Komitas and how can we not “use” culture as a weapon to consolidate all Armenians around the world?

This year, we participated in the third beautiful cultural event that is taking place as part of the Armenia-Diaspora partnership and must be heard in all the halls of Yerevan and the regions, and this will be one of the ways of consolidation.

I am infinitely proud and happy and thank you all for your work and dedication. I believe that today we Armenians have the potential that is the guarantor of the future generation that will be even stronger and more patriotic.

I wish you more success in your careers and many moments of feeling complete in and with the homeland.”

 

U.S. State of Michigan recognizes Artsakh’s independence

The State of Michigan has recognized the independence of the Republic of Artsakh, reported the Armenian National Committee of Michigan, according to Armenpress.

The Senate of the State of Michigan has passed a resolution calling on the President of the United States of America and Congress to recognize the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh, establish economic and cultural ties with Artsakh and support peace and stability in the South Caucasus.

Michigan has become the 8th U.S. State to recognize Artsakh’s independence.

Syrian-Armenian surgeon Johnny Hatdat receives state award

On September 26, Minister of Healthcare of the Republic of Artsakh Karine Atayan received Syrian-Armenian surgeon, President of the Armenian Christian Medical Association Johnny Hatdat. Since 2011, Johnny Hatdat has been visiting Artsakh twice a year and providing free consultations and performing free surgeries at the regional clinic in Shushi. He has performed more than 350 surgeries in Artsakh. This is what was reported on the Facebook page of the Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Artsakh .

During the meeting, Minister Atayan awarded Syrian-Armenian surgeon Johnny Hatdat with the Medal of Gratitude granted by the President of the Republic of Artsakh for his services provided to the  Republic of Artsakh and on the occasion of the 26th anniversary of the declaration of the  Republic of Artsakh.

Participants of “We Sing Komitas” Pan-Armenian Festival hosted in Armenia’s Lori Province

On September 27, the participants of the “We Sing Komitas” Pan-Armenian Festival gave a concert at Music School #1 in Vanadzor, a city of the Lori Province of Armenia. The festival is organized by the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia.

The concert featured performances of the songs of Komitas and other renowned Armenian composers by Byurakan Armenian Choir (Armenia), Aghbyur Armenian Choir (Georgia), Sayat-Nova Armenian Choir (Turkey), Narek Armenian Choir (Iran) and Nayiryan Armenian Choir (Armenia). Among other performers were Elvira Margaryan, Hrachuhi Gevorgyan and Michael Kocharyan from Russia; Johnny Keokjian from Lebanon; Serly Rostomian from Iran and Sona Talyan from Germany. The chamber choir of Vanadzor Municipality also performed during the concert under the direction of Ruzanna Mkhitaryan.

The participants of the festival were greeted by Deputy Governor of Lori Province Tigran Badoyan, who expressed gratitude for enriching cultural life in the province with such events and attached importance to the participation of Armenia’s provinces in the Armenia-Diaspora partnership.

At the end, artistic director of the “We Sing Komitas” Pan-Armenian Festival Edward Yesayants gave his welcoming remarks in which he expressed gratitude to the city of Vanadzor for the cordial reception.

Garo Armen: “Improving the quality of life of young Armenians must be in the focus of the efforts”

From September 18 to 20, Yerevan hosted the 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference under the title “Mutual Trust, Unity and Responsibility”. During the conference, the participants recapped the achievements made by Armenia and the Diaspora, as well as identified the challenges facing all Armenians and pinpointed the future actions. The conference gathered high-ranking state officials, public and political figures, leaders and members of pan-Armenian structures and community organizations, journalists, as well as representatives of the economic, educational, cultural and religious sectors from Armenia, Artsakh and the Armenian Diaspora.

In an interview with Hayern Aysor, founding President of the Children of Armenia Fund Garo Armen voiced hope that the views, proposals and programs of the participants would be considered, taking into consideration the challenges facing Armenia and the priorities of the Armenia-Diaspora partnership.

He also stressed the fact that improving the quality of life of young Armenians must be in the focus of the efforts since all the preconditions for that exist.

The Children of Armenia Fund (COAF) is a charitable organization, the goal of which is to improve the quality of life of villagers through child-centered community development programs. The model of comprehensive programs of the Fund was introduced in 2004, and since then, the Fund has been carrying out educational, health-related, social and economic programs and renovated infrastructures of vital significance for communities.

Daniel Varoujan Hejinian: “You unite the Diaspora”

On September 28, RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan received Armenian American painter Daniel Varoujan Hejinian.

Greeting the guest, the Minister highly appreciated the artist’s activities aimed at preserving the Armenian identity and enhancing and disseminating Armenian culture in the Diaspora.

Daniel Varoujan Hejinian expressed gratitude for the cordial reception and attached importance to the role of the Minister and the Ministry of Diaspora. “You not only preserve the Armenian identity,  but also unite the Diaspora,” he added.

Touching upon the 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference, the Armenian American painter stated that it was a very important conference in the sense that it helped Armenian artists of the world establish new cultural ties, create professional networks and maintain the spirit of patriotism at a high level.

Issues on future cooperation and participation in the Ministry’s programs were considered during the meeting.

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