The official opening ceremony of the AGBU Vahe-Karapetian Center took place in Yerevan on September 24 attended by RA President Serzh Sargsyan, RA Diaspora Minister Hranoush Hakobyan, Mayor of Yerevan Taron Margaryan, AGBU President Berge Setrakian, US-based Armenian benefactor Vahe Karapetian, Member of AGBU Board of Trustees Karnig Yacoubian, AGBU Central Board Members Sinan Sinanian, Vasken Yacoubian and Yervant Zorian, as well as by more than 200 guests. American-Armenian benefactor Vahe Karapetian donated his building at 1 Zakaria Kanakertsi Street in Yerevan to the Armenian General Benevolent Union in 2014. It is now called “AGBU Vahe Karapetian Center” and occupies an area of 5500 sq. m. “This center will serve to strengthen ties between the youth of Armenia and Diaspora. Our main purpose is to bring students from various communities of the Diaspora to their Homeland, show them what it is like to live in Armenia and ensure their future communication and friendship with their Armenia-based peers. To serve this purpose we intend to hold various educational, cultural and networking initiatives inside the walls of this center”, AGBU President Berge Setrakian said. Welcoming speeches were made by AGBU President Berge Setrakian and benefactor Vahe Karapetian. The word of blessing of His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, was delivered by Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan, Primate of Tavoush Diocese. During the opening ceremony, Vahe Karapetian was awarded AGBU Golden medal and AGBU Benefactor Member certificate in appreciation of his benevolence. “I have never been an AGBU member, but this union has always been very close to my heart. For years, in the United States, whether on TV or elsewhere, I have always followed the activities carried out by AGBU, as an organization with a distinct policy and mechanism of national unity. I am familiar with the biography and activities of Boghos Nubar Pasha. We didn’t intend to build this into such a center. We worked very hard and I was very meticulous about this building. And then, when everything was ready, we just realized we didn't want to use it, neither did we want to give it out for rent, nor sell it. And I thought that I can only give it to AGBU - the organization that has always thought about the unity of our nation", Vahe Karapetian said. Accompanied by Berge Setrakian, Vahe Karapetian, Vasken Yacoubian and others, RA President Serzh Sargsyan toured the center, got acquainted with the facilities, as well as the programs to be implemented in the center. Serzh Sargsyan also visited the office of the “Syrian-Armenian Relief Coordination Center” NGO, which already operates in the AGBU Vahe Karapetian Center. AGBU Central Board Member Vasken Yacoubian presented the interior design concept of the 3rd building of the center, developed by “Storaket” Architectural Studio. AGBU Vahe Karapetian Center is expected to become an important hub and bridge for the fulfillment of the Union’s mission of strengthening ties between Armenia and Diaspora, the expansion of AGBU’s presence and activities in Armenia, as well as the implementation of Armenia-centered programs aimed to build a larger and stronger network of Armenian youths. The center will also be home to hundreds of Diaspora youths and schoolchildren from different countries of the world participating in annual AGBU summer programs, as well as host various conferences, meetings, cultural and educational events.







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