AGBU Magazine |September 2014

The Road Ahead

Armenia’s Little Switzerland

Surrounded by lush evergreen forests, Dilijan is proving to be more than a resort town in the Tavush Province known for its natural beauty. The newly-built modern campus of UWC Dilijan combines a center for academic excellence with a philosophy that aims to unite people and cultures from all over the world to work for peace and a sustainable future.

Twenty Years of Cease-Fire

In May 1994, Vachik Melkumyan pointed his rifle Into the air and fired a victory shot into the empty Karabakh sky. The 34-year-old Armenian soldier and his comrades had just heard the news that Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed on a cease-fire. The war was over—or so it seemed. 

A Partnership for Progress

In April 2014, the American University of Armenia (AUA) and the Armenian Ministry of Defense, with financial support from the AGBU, launched a series of initiatives to provide valuable educational resources to support military officers, servicemen, and non-military civil servants working within the Ministry of Defense. 

Building a Community

When Russian writer Maxim Gorky visited the Armenian town of Dilijan roughly a century ago, he wrote: “The most striking impression of the valley is its gentleness…The air is unusually transparent and seems to be colored by dark-blue shade. It seems that mountains envelop and guard this valley with animated love and tenderness.” Fifty years later, the sylvan setting was a popular retreat for Soviet painters, writers, musicians and filmmakers—a source of creative rejuvenation where curative mineral water and inspiration sprang forth eternally.  

A Cultural and Historical Treasure

Established in 1928 by AGBU founder Boghos Nubar, the AGBU Nubarian Library in Paris, France has compiled one of the world’s foremost collections of Armenian and Ottoman contemporary history over the years.  Thanks to the longtime directorship of Aram Andonian (from its inception until 1952), the library now boasts an impressive collection of more than 42,000 books on Armenian history, nearly 1000 periodicals dating back to the 19th century and 10,000 original rare photographs.  It also brings together several important collections of great historical value, such as the Armen

An Engine for Economic Growth

Information technology (IT) has long been a major driving force for economic growth and job creation in Armenia. Promoting technological innovation and boosting productivity was a priority for the government of former Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, helping to make the industry one of the most successful and fastest-growing in the country. Under Hovik Abrahamyan’s new administration, IT continues to grow and outperform other sectors of the economy.  

Anchoring the Past to the Future

On a bright day in April, the Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts in Yerevan was buzzing with youthful energy. The Institute, more commonly referred to as the Matenadaran, is a bastion of Armenian history, boasting an impressive collection of over 100,000 manuscripts, books and documents from as early as the eighth century. But on that day, it was not the glory of the past, but the promise of the future that was on display. 

Armenia as a Good Neighbor

While armenia faces domestic challenges arising from issues such as constitutional reform, energy tariffs and the implications of membership in the Eurasian Economic Union, the tiny republic is not entirely isolated from events that threaten to redefine the broader regions of the post-U.S.S.R. and the Middle East. 

Under New Management

Not long after Armenia’s Parliament appointed him to lead the new government, Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan stepped out of his office to face a crowd of protesters opposed to the controversial pension reform act. If the public gesture was intended to show that the new prime minister was willing to listen to detractors, it also emphasized the contrast between Abrahamyan and his predecessor, former Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, who during his six years in office reportedly never confronted a protester.