AGBU Magazine |September 2015

Spiritual Rebirth

Uniting the Global Armenian Community

On April 1 to 3, the AGBU 88th General Assembly held an inspirational series of symposia that engaged participants to develop ideas and roadmaps for strengthening the global Armenian community. The #AGBUtalks embody the organization’s recent efforts to propose new avenues of thinking and promote understanding between Armenia and the diaspora. The #AGBUtalks featured keynote speakers from major educational institutions and foundations as well as state and international organizations operating domestically and internationally.

TUMO x AGBU Expands Beyond Yerevan

On May 25, the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies, a state-of-the-art facility that offers Armenian youth access to learning resources, digital media and leading professionals in the fields of media and technology, opened a new location in Gyumri. The center is the product of a partnership between AGBU and the Simonian Educational Foundation. In the fall of 2014, a telethon to raise funds to launch the center was organized by Shant TV president Arthur Yezekyan.

The Kardashian Effect

The frenzy started long before their plane touched down in Yerevan. Indeed for months beforehand many Armenians were buzzing with questions, demanding to know when are they coming? Where will they visit? Will there be a chance to take a selfie together?  Whether you love her or love to hate her, Kim Kardashian West is undeniably one of the most famous people in the world. And for those who criticize the reality TV star as being famous for pretty much doing nothing of substance, they disregard her status as a worldwide media phenomenon —followed on social media by more than 35 million people, while her signature reality TV series, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, is currently in its tenth season That enormous platform and ability to influence public opinion is not lost on Kardashian West.

Spiritual Rebirth

As the late afternoon sun enveloped Etchmiadzin in a soft glow, the sounds of ringing bells and hymns filled the air. In the shadow of Mount Ararat, thousands of Armenians from around the world gathered outside the world’s oldest cathedral to witness the sacred rite of canonization for the first time in more than four centuries. The historic ceremony began with a solemn procession through the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the headquarters of the Armenian Apostolic Church, upon whose soil one hundred years ago, thousands of Armenian refugees found sanctuary after fleeing the massacres of the Ottoman Empire.

Return as a Form of Resistance

Among the many different regions of the world to commemorate the Armenian Genocide on April 24, 2015, the centenary was also marked by a series of unprecedented and emotional events in Istanbul, Turkey.  Three years of planning on the part of AGBU Europe led by director Nicolas Tavitian, in coordination with several other human rights and civil society organizations including the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM) and Durde!, resulted in the successful mobilization of thousands of young people from Armenia, Turkey, all over the Europe to honor the victims of the Genocide on

Recognizing Outstanding Achievement

For well over a century, AGBU has enjoyed the support of tens of thousands of members and volunteers in carrying out its mission of preserving and promoting Armenian identity. During the General Assembly, the organization honored the dedication of its members and recognized individuals for their contributions. The presentation of the AGBU Garbis Papazian Award to former Ambassador Alexander Bojko was a particular highlight of the assembly. Razmik Tamrazian, Papazian’s representative, thanked AGBU and the General Assembly for providing the forum for the award.

Over $1 Million in Scholarships Awarded

In the 2014-2015 academic year, AGBU awarded over $1 million in scholarships to students in nearly 40 countries. For almost a century, the AGBU Scholarship Program has helped further the educational pursuits of tens of thousands of promising young Armenian university students enrolled at some of the world’s top-ranked universities.  AGBU awarded over $300,000 to 275 students in the form of AGBU International Scholarships to those pursuing study outside the United States. 

Canonization of the Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide

Under the gaze of biblical Ararat, in this cherished holy shrine of the Christ-built Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, today with unified prayer we offer glory up to our Omnipotent God for all of His gifts. We praise the Heavenly One, Who gave strength to our nation to overcome centuries of historical trials, to rise up from the horrors of the Armenian Genocide, and to create the victories and accomplishments of their new life.

Highlights from the 88th General Assembly

On April 4, more than 200 delegates from across the Armenian diaspora participated in the AGBU 88th General Assembly, which took place at the Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts (Matenadaran) in Yerevan, Armenia. The event gave the delegates the opportunity to reassert their commitment to strengthening relations between Armenia and the diaspora as well as to rediscover Armenia’s cultural treasures and its potential for development. 

Gratitude, Unity and Remembrance

Inside the cavernous stone walls of the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, beneath large stained glass windows etched with the faces of Christian saints, Armenians from around the world once again stood united in a prayer for justice. On the grounds where former US President Woodrow Wilson—who was instrumental in providing aid to Armenian survivors a century ago—lies buried, more than two thousand people joined Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, pontiffs of the Armenian Apostolic Church, US Vice President Joe Biden, diplomats, senators and members of Congress for an ecumenical service to remember the nearly 1.5 million martyrs of the Armenian Genocide.

Divine Intervention

Never before have two words reverberated around the world as rapidly, and resonated as deeply. When Pope Francis referred to the massacres of nearly 1.5 million Armenians as the “primo genocidio” of the twentieth century, the impact was felt immediately, igniting international headlines while instilling an enormous sense of recognition and pride in millions of Armenians.

AGBU Yerevan’s New Home Inaugurated

On Saturday, April 4, the new AGBU Yerevan Building opened amid fanfare surrounding the 88th AGBU General Assembly. The event drew AGBU leadership and delegates from across the diaspora as well as Armenian dignitaries, most notably President Serzh Sargsyan, His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians; Mayor of Yerevan Taron Margaryan; United States Ambassador to Armenia Richard M. Mills, Jr.; and many cabinet members and government officials. 

A Year of New Achievements

The 2014-2015 academic year was a whirlwind of events, celebrations, and achievements for the AUA community. Internally, the university was buzzing with fresh ideas and projects. AUA launched its independent student newspaper, The Bridge, and celebrated the commencement of the first graduating class of the new Master of Science in Economics program, with over half of its graduates finding employment with the Central Bank of Armenia.

A Statement of Armenian Unity at Eurovision

It was not the first time Armenia had entered Eurovision, the annual song competition organized by Europe’s public broadcasters. But this year’s entry to the musical event, initially created in 1956 to unite post-war Europe, was the country’s most contentious yet. A fiery power ballad that accommodated a wide array of voices, “Don’t Deny” featured a sophisticated crew of Armenian artists who formed a band called Genealogy for the May 2015 event held in Vienna. 

A Century of Revival

The preparations began in 2011 when the president of the republic formed the State Committee. And this entity was unique since it brought together not only the government officials and representatives of the civil society in Armenia, but also diaspora organizations. It was very important that this committee represented all Armenian societies internationally.