On April 4, 2015, more than 200 delegates of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) participated in the 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 rediscover Armenia’s cultural treasures and its potential for development. “Investment in the new generation remains one of AGBU’s greatest priorities. The growth of the scholarship program for Armenian students worldwide, the expansion of youth programs—internship, mentorship and leadership initiatives—and the evolution of schools to keep pace with technological advancements all contribute to forming Armenian leaders who are prepared to guide the community into the future,” said Berge Setrakian, President of AGBU. At the first session of the General Assembly, the activities and projects, as well as financial and audited statements of the past two years were presented. The AGBU Central Board was supplemented with five new members: Alexis Govciyan (France), Ani Manukian (USA), Arno Adamian (England), Lena Sarkissian (Canada) and Lori Muncherian (USA). AGBU President Berge Setrakian delivered a welcome speech to all the participants of the General Assembly. (To read the speech, please click here.) The assembly was also attended by the RA Diaspora Minister Hranoush Hakobyan. In her welcome speech she referred to the Union’s century of national service both in Armenia and the Diaspora, wishing all the AGBU members’ success, strength and energy in all their endeavours directed towards strengthening the Homeland, as well as in their everyday work carried out to develop Armenia-Diaspora ties. Afterwards, the Minister awarded the AGBU President Berg Setrakian with a Golden medal of the RA Diaspora Ministry. His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians brought his Patriarchal blessings to the General Assembly. Bishop Bagrat Galstanyan read the greetings of His Holiness Karekin II and at the end of his speech granted Anita Anserian, the Director of AGBU Central Board Programs the “Surb Nerses” high order of honor and the on behalf of His Holiness. As part of the General Assembly the AGBU “Garbis Papazian” Award Ceremony also took place. It is presented to non-Armenian scholars and intellectuals for their pro-Armenian activities as a sign of gratitude and appreciation. This year the award was presented to Alexander Bozhko, Armenologist and former Ambassador of Ukraine to Armenia. A number of devoted members of AGBU were also awarded with medals, such as Garbis Papazian, Haig Messerlian, Nerses Nersoyan, Knar Basmajian, Toros Boghossian and Srbouhi Sarkissian. Director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute Hayk Demoyan was also awarded. At the end of the meeting the resolutions of the 88th General Assembly were presented.

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As part of the events marking the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, a three-day exhibition, entitled Aleppo: Troublesome Daysof AGBU Aleppo’s Martiros Saryan Academy’s students’ paintings opened at the museum of children’s creations of the National Center of Aesthetics in Yerevan on February 18th. The exhibition was dedicated to the 60thanniversary of the foundation of the Academy. The exhibition was organized with the support of the RA Ministry of Diaspora, the AGBU and the Syrian-Armenian Relief Coordination Center NGO.

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On January 30th, Berge Setrakian, President of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) and Member of the American University of Armenia’s (AUA) Board of Trustees met with AUA’s students, faculty and staff to discuss priorities, opportunities and challenges for Armenians. The lecture was held at the AUA Manoogian Hall and attended by AUA President Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian, AUA Vice President Ashot Ghazaryan, AGBU Central Board Member Vasken Yacoubian, AGBU Armenia Interim Director Hovik Eordekian and other guests.To read the whole article, click here.

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