On Friday, April 13th, the land-breaking ceremony of the new office building of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) in the center of Yerevan took place. It was presided over by His Grace Bishop Hovnan Hakobyan, Grant Sacristan of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. Present at the ceremony were Vasken Yacoubian, AGBU Central Board member, Simon Ter-Simonyan, Head of the RA Government's Committee for Coordinating Humanitarian Projects, AGBU Armenia staff, AGBU Yerevan Scouts, AGBU Armenia members and invited guests. As part of the ceremony heartfelt speeches were given by Vasken Yacoubian, who explained the intricate details of the construction of the new AGBU building, as well as its structure and future facilities, and AGBU Armenian Representation Interim Director Hovig Eordekian.

Following the blessing ceremony a time-capsule was lowered into the foundation of the building containing the following statement: “On this 13th day of April, 2012, during the presidency of Berge Setrakian, the blessing ceremony of the Armenian General Benevolent Union’s new office building took place in the Capital by the hand of His Grace Bishop Hovnan Hakobyan, Grant Sacristan of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin”. The ceremony was concluded with the AGBU anthem sung by all those present.

The Armenian General Benevolent Union, AGBU, has been present and continuously active in Armenia, but it was not until recently that the organization purchased land and commenced the construction of its own office building on Melik-Adamian Street, adjacent to the RA Government building in the center of Yerevan. The six-story office building in addition to two underground parking levels will be built on a land area of 1380 sq.m. with a total area of 6,700 sq.m. The building will offer modern facilities with fully equipped office space, and conference and exhibition halls.

The new building will preserve the architectural aspect of Old Yerevan by delicately blending new modern and environmentally friendly features with the historical façade of the old building that was once built on neighboring street and later dismantled by the government.

In addition to serving as the main headquarters of AGBU in Armenia, the building will allow the expansion of AGBU’s existing educational, cultural, humanitarian, and youth programs in the country, provide the needed resources and motivation for the implementation of new projects, as well as create a new hub for cultural events. Finally, the new building will deepen AGBU’s roots in the soil of our homeland and strengthen the Armenia-Diaspora ties.

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