AGBU President Berge Setrakian’s Global Message for April 24th and 115th Anniversary of the Organization
April 15, 2021
For 115 years, AGBU has consistently responded to the needs of Armenians across the globe, while serving the Armenian homeland through both painful and promising times. We mark this significant milestone as it coincides this month with Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day, reminding the world of one of the darkest hours in the history of humankind.
Both occasions have a more profound meaning this year as we emerge from a period of great devastation for the Armenian people—one in which we witnessed similar human tragedies and sorrows from over a century ago.
As we take this moment to acknowledge our troubled yet rich history, we shift our focus to the future. Even as we confront our new common reality, we must remain steadfast in unifying our nation, in healing our wounds, supporting one another, and spurring a fresh start. That means building and supporting our young democracy through fair and competitive elections. This is vital to moving forward united in purpose. We also must stand in solidarity with the people of Armenia and Artsakh who lost family members in battle or still wait to reunite with their loved ones in the aftermath of the 44-Day Artsakh War.
AGBU has always been committed to the main pillars of its mission: humanitarian relief in times of need; nation building in Armenia; and, of course, the broad areas of education and cultural enrichment. We have stood by our Armenian Church, the bastion of faith and community for millennia and the future. And, as tomorrow unfolds, AGBU will again step in at pivotal moments to serve the greater good, just as we have in recent years in Syria, Lebanon and Artsakh to meet the dire humanitarian needs resulting from war, disaster and health and financial crises.
We appeal to our leadership, volunteers, supporters and friends across the globe to join us in meeting the enormous challenges ahead by seizing opportunities to build a better future for Armenians everywhere. We especially commend our younger generation of civic-minded leaders who inspire us with their passion for serving our global community and we encourage more young people to join this growing movement. AGBU will proudly lead by example as we welcome those from all walks of life who share our values and mission into our global Armenian family.
With a mind to initiating and expanding sustainable programs combined with the right focus and foresight, we will end this difficult chapter in Armenian history with Armenia emerging stronger, more confident, and better positioned to take its rightful place on the world stage.
In unity is strength.
The Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) is the world’s largest non-profit organization devoted to upholding the Armenian heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs. Each year, AGBU is committed to making a difference in the lives of 500,000 people across Armenia, Artsakh and the Armenian diaspora. Since 1906, AGBU has remained true to one overarching goal: to create a foundation for the prosperity of all Armenians. To learn more visit www.agbu.org.
Hrant Dink’s spirit lives on
On April 23rd 2016 the “Friends of Hrant Dink” club was founded. The idea originated from Stepan Daduryan and this is not his first Hrant Dink project. Last year with his initiative and the help of AGBU Burgas chapter a plaque of Dink was placed on the walls of Armenian Saint Cross’ church in the city.
For the club opening members of different Armenian organizations from the city were present, as well as friends of the Armenian community. Special guests were Father Bohos Mikaelyan from Burgas and Mr. Rupen Chavushyan Chairman of AGBU Plovidv, who is the only person who has the exclusive rights to publish materials of Hrant Dink in Bulgaria, as well as Hripsime Erniasyan main editor of AGBU Voice newspaper.
Stepan Daduryan opened the meeting with words about the personality of Hrant Dink, focusing on his life and fight for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide in Turkey. Rupen Chavuhsyan spoke about the reasons for Dink’s murder. Agop Movsesyan Chairman of AGBU Burgas embraced the idea of the club and said that he and the chapter will work closely with it. Father Bohos Mikaelyan gave his blessing and encouragement of the initiative. In the board of the club were chosen: Hripsime Erniasyan, Thomas Ahcian and Rostislav Tonchev (both AGBU Scholars) who together with Mr.Daduryan will first take care of the legal and official registration of the Club in Bulgaria.
The attendees were presented with a video of the last interview by Stepan Partamyan with Hrant Dink in November 2006, during his visit in the US.
President Berge Setrakian’s Message on the 110th Anniversary of the Armenian General Benevolent Union
April 14, 2016
For immediate release
Today, as we pay tribute to the 110th anniversary of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), we remain strongly committed to its mission, ever mindful of the heavy responsibility we bear in addressing the numerous and extraordinary challenges facing our people.
This year, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the independent republics of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh). We also commemorate the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide which heralds the beginning of a new era for our flourishing nation’s struggle for justice and retribution.
With bright prospects for the future, our nation is enjoying many notable individual achievements, affluence and international recognition. Yet, at the same time, we are confronted with many serious imperatives in our homeland and the diaspora which mandate the need for consolidating our resources and strengthening our resolve.
At this juncture, we realistically assess our nation’s efforts, particularly over the past 25 years, with its achievements, successes as well as its short-comings. In view of the many opportunities offered by the new realities in the diasporas, we expand our mission, adopt corresponding organizational structures and cultivate new partnerships.
At this time, we consider our main challenges to be:
- The ramifications of regional instability in the Middle East, the latest manifestation of which is the ongoing brutal armed struggle in Syria which continues to dismantle our traditional diasporan communities in close proximity to our homeland. Faced with this reality, we continue our sustained efforts to organize humanitarian assistance and to support our fellow Armenians in need.
- The escalation of hostilities – in both intensity and frequency – on the part of Azerbaijan against Nagorno-Karabakh endangers the safety of our people in Armenia and Artsakh. We cannot afford to be complacent and must remain vigilant in the face of this grave threat. We must provide support and assistance to strengthen the defenses of our homeland, rally to raise awareness and make our voices heard within the international diplomatic circles in support of peace and security for our homeland. We cannot afford the loss of our territory or independence. We remain committed to join forces with all people and organizations of good will to build a prosperous country in our homeland.
- Our diasporan communities around the world are faced with the imperative of joining forces and preserving their identity. Traditional organizations have become less effective due to the proliferation of our Eastern and Western diasporas and generational change. The new professional and entrepreneurial youth, defines its identity through its local and competitive professional environment and is gradually drifting away from its Armenian identity. While continuing our current initiatives for preserving our cultural heritage, our new programs are directed toward our younger generation, to rekindle their innate sense of national identity by engaging them in national and community initiatives as well as various social and economic development projects in Armenia. To this end, we will be highlighting and promoting success stories that inspire national pride.
- We strongly believe that the Armenian Apostolic Church should be strengthened, particularly in providing spiritual support and guidance to our youth. Throughout our history and today, the Armenian Church, ever present and active, has been the one prominent institution with an active presence both within and outside of our homeland, which can play a guiding role in all our communities. We shall continue our close and historic efforts to assist the Church in its spiritual and national mission.
The underlying principal of “One Nation One People” is a core maxim of our organization, because it unites our diasporas, Armenia, Artsakh and the Church, defines our priorities and responsibilities, and reveals our potential.
We are proud of the illustrious achievements of AGBU’s history and impact. We are committed to the ideals of the “General Union” as envisioned by our founders and are pursuing the path they set forth. We continue to promote professionalism in our operations and have forged partnerships with enterprising leaders who have initiated numerous projects that aim to develop Armenia and Artsakh and energize the potential of our diasporas.
On this momentous occasion, we call on our youth, all factions of our nation, our benefactors and membership to join us in our course, to help us honor this landmark occasion in a spirit of unity and pursue our mission with honor and added resolve.
Berge Setrakian, President
Established in 1906, AGBU (www.agbu.org) is the world’s largest non-profit Armenian organization. Headquartered in New York City, AGBU preserves and promotes the Armenian identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs, annually touching the lives of some 500,000 Armenians around the world.
For more information about AGBU and its worldwide programs, please visit www.agbu.org.
2015: Three Honorary members of AGBU Plovdiv Chapter
Last year (2015) two active and longstanding members of AGBU were awarded the title “Honorary member of AGBU Plovdiv Chapter – Araks Magardichyan on the occasion of her 70th anniversary and Garo Ahchiyan – on the occasion of his 75th anniversary. The third honorary membership was awarded to Agop Ormandzhiyan on the occasion of his 80th birthday.
Araks Magardichyan is among the 12 founders of the restored in 1991 a chapter of AGBU in Plovdiv. For many years, she has been in the leadership of AGBU Plovdiv Chapter. Creator of Student night those 20 years is held under the auspices of AGBU Plovdiv Chapter. Creator of the Ladies club in which 12 years women members and supporters of AGBU Plovdiv Chapter work in support of the charitable causes of AGBU Plovdiv Chapter and Youth Club which was founded in 2016, January.
Garo Ahchiyan is a founding member of AGBU Bourgas Chapter and its longtime deputy Chairman. Over the past 12 years, he was a member of the church board of the Armenian Church in Burgas. For his great contribution to the cultural and social life of the city of Burgas is rewarded with the biggest prize of the city “Key Tower” served him personally by the Mayor in 2015.
Agop Ormandzhiyan is an established Armenian translator and journalist. Member of the editorial board of newspaper AGBU Voice from its creation until today. He is a respected teacher in Armenian in Sofia University, Department of Armenian and Kavkazology. Bulgarian publishers and AGBU Plovdiv Chapter issue more than 12 his translations of Armenian books in Bulgarian.
TWELVE poets, writers and journalists
TOOK PART IN LITERARY READING
OF ARMENIAN LITERATURE
On April 21, 2015, at 18:00 in the Ethnographic Museum in Plovdiv was held a Reading of Armenian writers and poets. The event was part of an initiative of the International Literature Festival in Berlin, which organized the reading of Armenian literature in more than 26 countries on five continents and was associated with the celebration of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide in 2015.
Twelve poets, writers and journalists attended the event, which in Plovdiv was organized by the Armenian General Benevolent Union Plovdiv Chapter and journalistic company in Plovdiv “Europres” including members of the Literary Club “Mladost” and company “Europres”.
In the hall of the Ethnographic Museum sounded excerpts from the works of Hrant Dink – “Two close people two distant neighbors”, Zabel Esayan – “Among the ruins”, Varujan Vosganian – “Whispered book”, Suren Vetsigyan – “Guided by God in the service of their people, Agop Daydzhanyan – “Silent summer “ode “Crucifixion “.
Elena Divarova, Lyubka Slavova, Nikolyay Slavov, Maria Chulova, Sarah Toteva, Eugenia Tagareva, Svetla Panayotova and Emilia Zabova read excerpts from Armenian literature. Own poems written on occasion 100 years of Armenian Genocide brought poets Nikolay Gyulev, Mincho Palavrov, Lyudmil Popov, Emilia Zabova.
Attention of those present Bulgarian friends of Armenians from Plovdiv was riveted by the terrible suffering of the Armenian population described in the documentary book by Zabel Esayan, great sorrow and suffering of the inhabitants of Shabin Karahisar described in the autobiography of Suren Vetsigyan, facts undoubtedly talk about abuses and atrocities in the killing of 1.5 million Armenians of April 24, 1915.
At the end of the event, the organizers gave all participants badge “forget-me-not”, the symbol of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide.
Commemorative photo of all was taken at this first forum of Plovdiv of writers, poets and journalists, on behalf of whom the Plovdiv journalistic company “Europres” issued a statement on Armenian Genocide March 30, 2015.
Managing editor of newspaper AGBU VOICE (Parekordzagani Tzain)
member of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists
FOR THE FIRST TIME “AGBU”PUBLISHING HOUSE, CHAPTER PLOVDIV PUBLISHES THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY BOOK OF SOUREN VETSIGIAN “HIS GUIDING HAND, TO SERVE MY PEOPLE” ONLINE!
Dedicated to the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
The book is available for reading at the following address: http://issuu.com/agbuplovdiv/
10 years “AGBU Voice” newspaper
In connection with the jubilee the editorial team was awarded a special prize by the Board of Union of Bulgarian Journalists and College “East European Educational Center” college
The official presentation was scheduled for December 4th year from 15.30. in Old Town.
You can read more in AGBU Voice Newspaper Section
HayLer Camp – 2014
Blessing of the banner
N.V.B. Father Spitting Muradyan, vicar of AASCB and pastor of Plovdiv Armenian Church “Surp Kevork” consecrated the banner of camp “HayLer 2014” at Friday, August 22, in the presence of campers, camp leader Virginia Garabedian, guests from Haskovo – Chairman of ACN in church “Surp Stepannos” Mihran Karekinyan from Plovdiv – Chairman of “AGBU” Rupen Chavushyan and members of the office of the newspaper “AGBU Voice”. The banner was made by award-winning charitable donor of AGBU in Plovdiv – MARY Harutyunyan who embroidered the banner and symbols of CAMP HayLer.
More details and lots of photos you can see in the category – Saturday School.
AGBU Programs in Armenia are a priority for AGBU Plovdiv chapter
Four young people from Bulgaria were sent to Armenia to participate in various AGBU events
July 21, 2014 – This year, AGBU Plovdiv Chapter finances the participation of four young people (three from Plovdiv and one from Ruse) in various programs of AGBU in Armenia.
Lilith Shahinyan was nominated to participate in the Summer Internship Program in Yerevan from June 22 to August 1. She is an excellent student and very active in the Young Professionals (YP Plovdiv).
Sarah Saryan 15, and Armine Badvaganyan 17, will take part in the Scout camp “Antranig” in Armenia from 10 to 24 July 2014. The two girls are very prominent because they are in the AGBU Plovdiv Chapter Armenian Saturday School since childhood and have participated in the theater group and the events of the Saturday school.
Sarko Sarkisian from Ruse, who serves as a deacon in the Armenian Church “Surp Astvadzadzin” was the participant who was nominated by the Armenian Diocese in Bulgaria to take part in the Gathering of the representatives of the Armenian Church Youth Union in Echmiadzin. AGBU Plovdiv Chapter financed the trip of the young man who, along with Lilith Shahinyan, which is also in Yerevan, presented the Bulgarian youth.
As a continuation of our participation in the AGBU programs forthcoming is the participation of two young men in the GORIZ program that will be held this year in October in Tbilisi, Georgia – Martin Kokonyan from Dobrich and Thomas Ahchiyan from Burgas.
For the first “Andersen’s fairy tales”
were heard in Armenian
On June 15 this year at the Armenian Cultural Centre in Plovdiv a glamorous celebration of the closing of the school year for Armenian Saturday school of “AGBU” Plovdiv took place.
The program was result of weeks of hard training, which gave the most beautiful gift for parents and our community – “Andersen’s fairy tales” in Armenian language so bold and with artistic skills that touched the audience.
Leading Sarah Saryan and Armine Badvaganyan presented the participants and the announced in Armenian and Bulgarian – poems for mother tongue, songs, the latest dance children dance group “Asthigner” – colorful and fun they entertained us.
More than 25 children went through the stage as established artists and dancers. For each of them, Chairwoman of the educational committee of the Benevolent Union Virginia Garabedian said kind, but critical words.
Participation of each child in the child amateur groups “AGBU” branch Plovdiv involves parents. They give a lot of attention and care to their roles. Preparing them and help them for the roles.
Applause and flowers for teachers and parents, whose invaluable help dealing with all events Sabbath school were delivered by “AGBU” – directed by DTT “Malvina Manukyan” Evelina Nikolova, choreographers of child dance group Ramela Marukyan and Takuhi Veziryan, on interpreters and assistants in the Armenian version of “Andersen’s fairy tales” – Silva Dolmayan, Araksi Magardichiyan and Vardui Garabedian, teacher of Armenian language Alvard Badvaganyan.
Read more details in the next issue 136 of the newspaper “AGBU Voice” and Armenian and information site “Gantheh Araradyan” (www.agbubulgaria.org/ГАНТЕХ АРАРАТЯН)
Plovdiv. Armenian Cultural Centre: 14 06.2014
Presentation of the new album of the VIS “Erebuni”
of AGBU “Parekordzgan” branch Plovdiv
“Song of the Phoenix”
Memorable and exciting for the audience that filled the Armenian cultural center in the rainy Saturday, was the presentation of “The Song of the Phoenix” – the new album, sponsored by the President of “AGBU” branch Plovdiv Rupen Chavushyan and with personal funds
Emcee and lead singer of the band Elise Gagosyan shared great joy of the composition, the fact that the new album is ready. Besides the enormous work of instrumentalists and singers to see the light of day this disc needed a man with a big heart to give us a hand to encourage and help us. This man is the President of “AGBU” branch Plovdiv Rupen Chavushyan. The initiative of Mr. Chavushyan to fund discs with personal funds, to promote the Armenian songs began with the release of the album “Love” by Mary Movsesyan-Kaludova of Burgas. From sales of this CD were made possible issues of new CD with songs from Vocal Instrumental Ensemble “Erebuni.” From the sale of this CD will depend the next issue, which will be proposed. Group “Erebuni” warmly thanked Mr. Chavushyan!
“The Greeks believed that the phoenix lived in Arabia, near a cool spring. Every morning at the crack of dawn she bathes in the fountain and sang so beautifully that Apollo, captivated by her voice, stops his chariot to enjoy her song. We called our new album “Song of the Phoenix.” Linking our association with the mythical fire bird and symbol of immortality, life after death, triumph over disasters of fire and life, new beginning, the Divine and Love “-headline story, Elise Gagosyan.
The band played songs that are included in the new CD. Also presenting new Soloists: Daniela Derderyan-Stefopulos and Elise Gagosyan.
In the repertoire of the group one song always has accompanied our concert performances and is present in every CD. It is emotionally connected to Tommy Tumayan who is no longer among us. Sung as duets are very popular and iconic songs. In our new disk are selected 14 new songs, but “Erebuni Yerevan” and “Hai achker” will always be between them.
Soloists: Taki Melkonian, Simon Pachadzhyan Daniela Derderyan-Stefopolus, Elise and Harry Gagosyan Shishmanyan
Band members: Arda Erniasyan – lead guitar and bouzouki, head of VIS “Erebuni”, Plamen Manafski – lead guitar, Annie Gelgelyan – keyboards Rupen Topchiyan – bass guitar, Mihran Bazduikyan – drums and Agop Karaohluyan – percussion
More info in issue 136 of the newspaper “AGBU Voice” in Armenian information site “Gantheh Araradyan”.
Ռումինիայի և Բուլղարիայի հայ համայնքների համատեղ հայտարարությունը Քեսաբի իրադարձությունների վերաբերյալ
Ռումինիայի և Բուլղարիայի հայ համայնքների ներկայացուցիչները մարտի 29-ին Ռուսե քաղաքում կայացած միջհամայնքային հանդիպման ժամանակ խորը անհանգստություն են հայտնել մարտի 21-ին Սիրիայի հայաբնակ Քեսաբ քաղաքի և շրջակա բնակավայրերի վրա իսլամական ծայրահեղական խմբավորումների հարձակումների կապակցությամբ, որոնց հետևանքով տեղի հայ բնակչությունը մեկ դարի ընթացքում արդեն որերորդ անգամ ենթարկվում է հալածանքների, բռնությունների և տեղահանության։ Հավաքի մասնակիցներին սա հիշեցրել է 1915թ. Հայոց Ցեղասպանությունը, հատկապես, որ գրոհայինները Սիրիա են թափանցել Թուրքիայից՝ անարգել հատելով թուրքական հսկողության սահմանային անցակետերը։
Քեսաբի իրադարձությունների վերաբերյալ Ռումինիայի և Բուլղարիայի հայ համայնքների ներկայացուցիչները հանդես են եկել հետևյալ հայտարարությամբ.
<<Խորը մտահոգություն հայտնելով Քեսաբի շուրջ տեղի ունեցող իրադարձությունների կապակցությամբ, Ռումինիայի և Բուլղարիայի հայ համայնքների անունից խստորեն դատապարտում ենք Սիրիայի հայաբնակ Քեսաբ ավանի և շրջակա գյուղերի վրա թուրքական սահմանից ծայրահեղական իսլամիստ գրոհայինների հարձակումները և այդ բնակավայրերի բռնազավթումը, որի արդյունքում 700-ից ավելի հայ ընտանիքներ հարկադրված կերպով տարհանվել են, ավերվել, հրկիզվել և թալանվել են հայ փոքրամասնությանը պատկանվող անշարժ գույքն ու ունեցվածքը, պղծվել են սրբավայրեր։
Ցանկանում ենք միջազգային հանրությանը հիշեցնել, որ Քեսաբի հայությունը վերջին հարյուրամյակի ընթացքում երրորդ անգամ ենթարկվում է կոտորածի և բռնի տեղահանության։ 1909թ. ապրիլին թուրքական զինված ջոկատների՝ Քեսաբ ներխուժումից և քաղաքի հրկիզումից հայերն ապաստան գտան Լաթաքիայում։ 1915թ. Հայոց Ցեղասպանության օրերին քեսաբահայության մեծամասնությանը մահվան քայլերթով քշեցին դեպի Դեր Զորի անապատները։ Այսօր` Հայոց Ցեղասպանության 100-ամյակի նախաշեմին, թվով երրորդ տեղահանությունից քեսաբցիները ունեզրկված և անհայտ ճակատագրով կրկին ապաստանել են Լաթաքիայում։
Կոչ ենք անում միջազգային հանրությանը, Միավորված Ազգերի Կազմակերպությանը, մարդու իրավունքների և ազգային փոքրամասնությունների հարցերով մասնագիտացված կառույցներին, Եվրոպայի Խորհրդին, Եվրոպական Միությանը, քաղաքակիրթ մյուս պետություններին, այդ թվում՝ Ռումինիայի և Բուլղարիայի կառավարություններին, խստագույնս դատապարտել Սիրիայի հայ փոքրամասնության նկատմամբ ծայրահեղական խմբավորումների բռնությունները, հետաքննել այդ գործողություններին երրորդ երկրների մասնակցության փաստերը, պաշտպանել Քեսաբի հայկական բնակչությանը և գործուն միջոցներ ձեռնարկել Քեսաբի հայության անվտանգության երաշխավորման և նրանց բնակության մշտական վայրեր ապահով վերադարձի համար>>։
Ռուսե, Բուլղարիա 29 մարտ, 2014
“Whispered Book” and Varujan Vosganyan in Bulgaria
How AGBU Plovdiv Chapter Helps to our Syrian compatriots
AGBU Plovdiv chapter will organize an OPEN concert for charity, from which all the proceeds will be donated to the Syrian cause (end of November 2013). All people who want to help to achieve our target are welcome to participate in the concert.
Newspaper „AGBU VOICE” will donate 50 subscriptions for the Syrian cause (800 Lv.)
All proceeds from the traditional Student night in 2013 will also be donated for the Syrian cause.
We’ll activate all AGBU Plovdiv Chapter’s units, incl. the Council of Chairmans , Saturday schools, theatre group and their leaders, parents and Bulgarian friends.
Municipal Foundation and AGBU Plovdiv chapter work on the project “TOGETHER”
In July this year AGBU Plovdiv chapter concluded a partnership agreement for joint action and cooperation municipal foundation “Plovdiv 2019”.
On August 9, 2013 in Plovdiv launched a new and interesting project in Bulgaria.
In the Armenian Cultural House in Plovdiv President AGBU Plovdiv chapter Rupen Chavushyan, director of CTT “Malvina Manukyan” Varta Marukyan, chairman of education committee of the Benevolent Union Virginia Garabedian and managing editor of the newspaper “AGBU Voice” with children and parents met Valerie Kyorlinski with conductor and composer Viktor Iliev and the director of the show Evgeni Kornyak of Ukraine. The show will be held on September 14 this year the Antique Theater in Plovdiv.
More perfect structure of AGBU in Bulgaria
On 16 August 2013, in the town of Bourgas was held a Conference of AGBU . It consisted of Plovdiv and Burgas chapters and its associated chapters of the cities of Haskovo , Sliven , Dobrich, Ruse, Silistra and Yambol .
The meeting was attended by Rupen Chavushyan – Plovdiv, Agop Movsesyan – Bourgas , Edward Kokonyan from Dobrich , Dr. Bohos Garzharyan from Ruse , Verka Tomasyan – Haskovo , Sonia Arshavir from Yambol , Garo Ahchiyan , Vice President of Bourgas chapter Hripsime Erniasyan member of the leadership of the Plovdiv chapter. For respectful reasons, Arshavir Huliyan , president of the Sliven chapter and Magardich Kalustyan president of Silistra chapter were absent.
The creation of the Council was held in the library of the Armenian House with the following agenda items :
1. Establishment of the Conference on Armenian General Benevolent Union AGBU in Bulgaria
2 . Adopting rules ( Regulation)
3 . Suggestions for events related to the 100th anniversary of Armenian Genocide
4 . Various
With introductory words about the place of each chapter and its contribution to community life , started the President of AGBU Plovdiv chapter Rupen Chavushyan . He pointed out that the newly formed Conference of AGBU in Bulgaria gives more freedom and voice of chairs in different cities when making important decisions in the Benevolent Union and continued that the Regulation Council works under the technical guidance of the Armenian General Benevolent Union AGBU based in New York City , USA.
To optimize their work, the Council of Presidents of AGBU in Bulgaria elects its Chairman and Vice-Chairman / s. Mr. Chavushyan was elected as Chairman and Surpuhi Derandonian was elected Vice-Chairman for mandate of two years.
After that the meeting focused on the events for the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
Armenian spiritual values and national memory , stored in the relics
On August 17 , the third day of the IV -th festival “Days of Armenian culture and traditions ” – Burgas’13 with organizer – the Association ” United Armenians ” and president Levon Manukyan was dedicated to a wonderful exhibition titled “Armenian spiritual values and national memory , stored in the relics . ” Initiative of AGBU – Plovdiv to create such an exhibition in cooperation with the Armenians from Bulgaria (from Burgas Mrs. Azniv Sarkisian and Azniv Pyuzantyan , Haskovo AGBU and CB at ” Surp Stepannos ” of Dobrich ABGU and CB at” Surp Hovhannes ” of Plovdiv AGBU CB at” Surp Kevork ” from the personal archive of a few families from Plovdiv ) is a really great initiative. Exposure has collected priceless objects from the late 19th and early 20th century, preserved not only everyday life, but the spirit, the love and the faith of the Armenians . They are woven into the handmade lace, in artifacts made of metal, in embroidered fabrics in everyday objects and religious cults. Beauty, which is imperishable and to be transmitted through the ages – that’s the point of this exhibition. A great start already set and the idea of the organizers of the charity Union in Plovdiv in time that exposure will be multiplied and enriched to inspire generations behind.
Different ethnicities in Bread House
On August 28 this year Armenian community participated in an event organized by the Red Cross in Plovdiv named Baking Houses. Armenian proverbs about bread were read by Elena Tamamdzhieva, a member of the editorial board of the newspaper “AGBU Voice.” To make yummy Armenian bread came Sirui Altunyan, Alvard Badvaganyan and Hripsime Erniasyan. The surprise which the Armenian ethnicity brought was Lavash, whick was served with freshly baked in a nearby Armenian restaurant shashlik.
All activities of Bread houses are organized by people who believe in its mission, which creates space in the comfort of the fire and the smell of warm bread. Different people, friends and strangers, young and old converge, support and enrich each other.
Innovative and competitive bread was made by members of Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Jewish and Turkish ethnicity. All learned about certain traditions of the three ethnic groups, how do you say bread in Turkish, Jewish and Armenian language, what is “prosfor” in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and how to use it on the bread. One could have heard Bulgarian, Armenian, Jewish and Turkish speech. The wonderful conditions for the event were provided by Red Cross Plovdiv and miss Panova.
Children camp “HayLer”
Dear friends, everything you wish to know about camp “HayLer” you can learn at the camp’s blog:
The AGBU program Musical Armenia 2013 took place in Armenia for second year
On 14 July this year from Plovdiv to Armenia went three young people who participated in the program AGBU Musical Armenia 2013 . Anahid Tateosyan – harp – viola Agop Tateosyan and Elise Gagosyan opera singing, presented for the first time AGBU Plovdiv.
About their impressions tells Annie Tateosyan and begins her story with a smile and the first thing she said was: “Do not travel with Alitalia”.
We were in touch with the problems that the company created to these young people who first journeyed to Armenia and threatened their participation in the program. Despite their assurances that the return will not be a problem, they again faced with trials that were not marred their great experiences in Armenia.
What is Yerevan like? – Pink, I loved it. The buildings are beautiful and give a look of its own capital. The very feeling that is there is warm. Not only because of the heat, the people are warm. And there is uniquely delicious food.
Training: “Was it useful for you?” – Personally for me it was very useful. My teacher is Professor and played in the orchestra of filharmoniyata . Every day we practiced and she showed me the highlights in Armenian music . I studied Armenian dance harp. Not only my professor Joan Hovanesyan , but everyone else was very good.
The program has a future and we still want to go . The organizers did very well and took care of us. Parekordzagan We are grateful for this opportunity to be in Armenia to participate in the music program.
“Love” – The first album of Mary Movsesyan –Kaludova was presented in Burgas
On Aug. 15 in Burgas began the traditional festival “Days of Armenian culture and traditions”, organized by the Association “United Armenians ” . The opening took place in the sea casino , Hall “Petia Dubareva ” with the presentation of the first disc of Mary Movsesyan -Kaludova ” LOVE .”
Known and loved singer , conductor and soloist of the choir at church ” Surp Hach “, Burgas was represented by Levon Manukyan , a popular musician , conductor and organizer of the festival. Prompted by questions of Mr. Manukyan , Mary spoke about her professional and creative path . She share her experience that this year in May she arrived for the first time in the city of seven hills to sing in front of Armenians.
Here, with his charismatic voice and musical talent to turn messages into a unique art, she finds sponsor her first album, the President AGBU Plovdiv – Rupen Chavushyan . Surprised, she accepts his proposal for recording, but hardly expected that this will happen so soon.
Almost three months later, the disc is ready and presented for the first time in her home town of Burgas.
Hall of Sea Casino is filled with colleagues, friends and relatives of Mary . One can feel the impatience of the audience to hear the voice of Mary again, to learn more about this event and to share the joy of the singer.
Mary presented several performances from the disc and the live audience became silent. She sang with an open heart, like how she always felt music – deep and heartfelt , penetrated into every note and phrase.
Among the excited fans was Mary’s mother , who received well-deserved applause, from those present.
The sponsor of the disc says he will support the future promotion of Armenian talent in Bulgaria and will help launch the disc “Love” in other cities.
New colorful and fun textbooks for the saturday schools
Vacation is for children the estimated time when they will stop thinking about lessons and enjoy child games, sea, school camps and lots of fun.
In autumn, having put on their nice clothes and a bouquet of flowers for their favorite teacher children will go back home to a number of schools.
Until then, their new textbooks should be provided. Each year, the leadership of AGBU Plovdiv chapter faces indispensable task for providing textbooks for Armenian language. Given the diverse ages of the children who attend Sabbath School Union of Charity, this task is not easy.
After an intense correspondence with the Ministry of Diaspora in Armenia and the Armenian Embassy in Bulgaria, we will remember with gratitude that this year with the support of HE Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Mr. Shoyan we received 30 brand new sets of colorful books and notebook A 1, A 2 , B 1 and B 2 from Armenia.
They were assigned to Saturday Schoosl in Plovdiv and Haskovo.
SEE THE LAST NEWS:
1. AGBU Plovdiv Soccer team wins the Sport Club Ararat Haskovo/ activities or YP– Young Professionals
2. There was a unique concert with beautiful songs and dances of ethnic groups/ activities or Erebuni
3. AGBU Plovdiv Band Erebouni 40 + years of Concert Tour ON THE SAME STAGE WITH A GROUP OF ARAKS Ruse/ EREBUNI band
June 2, 2013
Two busses with children departure from Plovdiv to the Ravnishta, where will be the children Christian CAMP ZADIK
THE FIRST TIME OF THE CENTURY –
Church People’s Assembly of the Armenian diocese in Bulgaria take place in Plovdiv from June 29 to 30, 2013
The First of the Century Public Assembly of the Armenian diocese in Bulgaria took place in Plovdiv from 29 to 30 June 2013
The main task of the delegates was to accept the new Articles of Association of the Armenian Church, approved by Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians, in place of the previously accepted one 60 years ago when Armenia was under the communist regime. The two-day meeting was attended by Rev. Father Abgar Ovakimyan, vicar of the Armenian Diocese of Bulgaria, a representative of Holy Seed was Archbishop Tatev Akopyan, bishop of the Armenians in Romania, all clergy serving in the Armenian churches in Plovdiv, Sofia, Varna and Ruse, 44 Delegates from the selected 51.
Under this significant event signatures placed 44 representatives from Bulgaria. In absolute terms, they showed a strong desire to work for the Armenian Church in its centuries old traditions and customs.
We are proud that among highly rated by Archimandrite Abgar Ovakimyan people who worked for months on the Constitution and its adaptation to the Bulgarian legislation was also Mr. Rupen Chavushyan, member of Diocesan Council of Armenian churches in Bulgaria and Chairman of AGBU Plovdiv Chapter. The constructive and objective proposals made by him were all accepted.
We are happy to share with you that on that day Mr. Rupen Chavushyan is selected for the first ever delegate meeting to be one of the two representatives of the next General Assembly of the Armenian Diocese in Echmiadzin, Armenia.
Mr. Viktor Yanukovych
The President of Ukraine
Administration of the President of Ukraine
Str. Bankovaja, 11
The reason to turn to you is a draft resolution of the Parliament of Ukraine, declaring April 24 as a day of commemoration for the victims of the Armenian genocide of 1915. As far as I am aware, this resolution is currently being discussed in the Parliament of your country and I ask you to support it.
Today, when the citizens of Turkey, which denies this cruel and immersed in blood past, are calling the country to recognize the Armenian genocide, we find that your gesture is strong and moral support for the Armenian people. It is an example of how humanity should refer to the suffering of people and stop such bloody and inhuman assault from ever happening again.
With this important step, Ukraine confirms its position as a country that is unforgiving to crimes committed against humanity.
Honoring the memory of a million and a half innocent Armenians once a year will help the new generation to understand the weight of history and the dangers of racism and extremist ideologies.
In commemorating the Armenian genocide, furthermore, your country will be joining the many other countries in Europe and abroad, who have done so and sided with justice.
I am confident that this can only enhance your prestige as a country that stands up for its principles, even in the face of pressure from abroad.
Therefore, we look forward to the adoption of this excellent text in the Parliament of Ukraine, and thank you in advance for the support given to our embattled Armenian nation.
Chairman of AGBU Plovdiv
AGBU Plovdiv Chapter
SALES OF ARMENIAN BOOK
Organizers: Young Professionals – YP
May 19, 2013 (Friday) from 10:00 to 16:00
The program will involve:
Children’s theater group “Malvina Manukyan” at AGBU Plovdiv Chapter, director Varta Marukyan
Garo Ahchiyan-writer of Bourgas
Mary Movsesyan Kaludova – dramatic soprano, soloist of the Armenian church choir at church “Surp Hach” – Burgas
Literary marathon with the Society of Plovdiv writers
Kalin Kalinov poet and satirist
Will screen films Armenian and Armenian music video clips
We hope see you there!
August 31, 2012
Leaders of the traditional Armenian political parties, pan-Armenian structures, youth and women’s organizations, humanitarian, athletic, cultural and educational institutions, editors of Armenian presses,
AGBU Plovdiv chapter COMING SOON SALES OF ARMENIAN BOOK Organizers: Young Professionals – YP May 19, 2013 (Friday) from 10:00 to 16:00 The program will involve: Children’s theater group “Malvina Manukyan” at AGBU Plovdiv, director Lime Marukyan Garo Ahchiyan-writer of Bourgas Mary Movsesyan Kaludova – dramatic soprano, soloist of the Armenian church choir at church “Surp Hach” – Burgas Literary marathon with the Society of Plovdiv writers Kalin Kalinov poet and satirist Will screen films Armenian and Armenian music video clips See you there!
The time has come for the nation to unite as one. It is an extraordinary occasion because once again, the Armenian state and nation have been intrigued, especially in the 21st century, and the Azerbaijani who brutally hacked Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan in Hungary has been released.
We emphasize with pain and disappointment that Hungary, which is a member country of the European family and considers itself developed and democratic, formed a part of that intrigue by making a deal with Azerbaijan and violating European values and laws.
With this Hungary inspired cannibal-monsters, encouraged criminals, paved the way for assassinations on the ethnic and religious grounds and proved that today’s Hungarian authorities do not deserve to be part of Europe and be considered a member of the European family, and all this is taking place in the heart of Europe and in front of the eyes of all mankind.
As for the President of Azerbaijan, he took Europe’s side with his psychology of feudalism and, staying true to his essence of being a totalitarian sultan, committed another illegal act and released the criminal by signing an “edict”.
We are certain that Armenian communities around the world will raise their voice, will take advantage of their contacts and will do everything possible to 1. organize massive protests in front of Hungary’s diplomatic representations in the given countries,
2. demand that the government and the parliamentarians of their respective countries of residence
a) influence Azerbaijan to annul such a humiliating decree on pardon and return the criminal back to the prison cell in which he belongs,
2. b) condemn the Hungarian government’s actions and demand that European organizations apply sanctions against Hungary,
c) turn the issue of Azerbaijan’s future European integration into a topic of discussion through parliamentarians within the Council of Europe since the illegal act committed by the leader of that country does not fall in line with European laws, the system of values and the spirit of humanitarianism,
3. condemn the illegal deal and actions of the Hungarian government and the President of Azerbaijan through the mass media,
4. appeal to worthy citizens of Hungary to express their disagreement with the Hungarian government’s decision and condemn it through demonstrations, speeches, letters and other actions.
It is offensive that, when handing the criminal over to Azerbaijan, the Hungarian government did not even recall the thousands of Armenians who had sacrificed their lives and become heroes in the fight for Hungary’s independence and freedom along with the people of Hungary, or hasn’t the Armenian community made its worthy contribution to Hungary’s development in the past and isn’t it making that contribution today?
The time has come for us to unite. The 10 million Armenians around the world will express their protest and anger against this flagrant injustice. Whoever shuts an eye to illegitimacy and monstrous brutalities will find himself as the victim someday as well.
We believe in our communities. We trust you and know that you will not keep silent and will fight as one since our fight is just, and as the President of the Republic of Armenia has mentioned:
“I CANNOT TOLERATE THAT.
THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA CANNOT TOLERATE THAT.
THE ARMENIAN NATION WILL NOT FORGIVE THAT.”
RA Ministry of Diaspora
TO: AGBU Offices, Districts, Chapters & YP Groups
FROM: Central Board of Directors
RE: Hungary’s Release of Ramil Safarov/Immediate Pardon by Azerbaijan
DATE: August 31, 2012
As many of you have already heard, the government of Hungary released prisoner Ramil Safarov to Azerbaijan whose president, Ilham Aliyev, pardoned him immediately upon his return to the country.
Safarov murdered Armenian officer Lt. Gurgen Margaryan in cold blood in 2004 and was sentenced to life in prison in 2006.
In response to these reprehensible acts, community-wide protests in front of Hungarian Embassies are being organized in as many cities as possible. Please gather your membership and contact your local Armenian Embassy/Consulate to coordinate the protest with all local organizations.
Below is an excerpt from an Associated Press report on the story issued just a few hours ago:
Azerbaijani military officer serving life for murder in Hungary is freed when sent home
By Associated Press, Updated: Friday, August 31, 11:21 AM
BUDAPEST, Hungary — An Azerbaijani military officer sentenced to life in prison in Hungary for hacking to death an Armenian officer was sent back to his homeland on Friday and, despite assurances, immediately pardoned and freed by his country’s president.
Lt. Ramil Safarov was given a life sentence in 2006 by the Budapest City Court after he confessed to killing Lt. Gurgen Markarian of Armenia while both were in Hungary for a 2004 NATO language course. Azerbaijan and Armenia are ex-Soviet neighbors who have been locked in a long-standing conflict over the mountainous territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Hungary returned the 35-year-old Safarov to Azerbaijan only after receiving assurances from the Azerbaijani Justice Ministry that Safarov’s sentence, which included the possibility of parole after 25 years, would be enforced.
“The Ministry of Justice of Azerbaijan has further informed the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice of Hungary that Ramil Sahib Safarov’s sentence will not be modified but will immediately continue to be enforced, based on the Hungarian judgment,” the Hungarian ministry said in a statement issued before the news of Safarov’s release was known.
The ministry said it based its decision on the 1983 Strasbourg Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons.
In a brief statement posted in English on his website, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev decreed Friday that Safarov “should be freed from the term of his punishment.”
Hungary’s Justice Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Safarov’s release.
Nagorno-Karabakh lies within Azerbaijan, but has remained under the control of Armenian troops and ethnic Armenian forces since the end of a six-year separatist war in 1994. Diplomatic efforts to settle the conflict have brought no result, and shootings on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border have been common.
During his trial in Budapest, Safarov claimed that the conflict was at the root of his actions and that he used an ax to kill Markarian while the victim was sleeping in a dormitory room after the Armenian repeatedly provoked and ridiculed him.
“My conscience was clouded as a result of the insults and humiliating and provoking behavior, and I lost all control,” Safarov told the court in April 2006.
International Camp “HayLer” 2012
Our Beloved Mrs. Malvina Manukian Passed Away
A longtime teacher of Armenian language at the Armenian school “Victoria and Krikor Tyutyundzhiyan” of Plovdiv. Mrs. Manukian developed a few generations of Armenian kids to love our motherland, mother language and the Armenian culture in large. Author of exercise books in Armenian language.
Additionally, she has been one of the 12 founders of the A.G.B.U Plovdiv chapter in 1991, when the chapter was recovered, once the communist regime fell. Member of the first management body of A.G.B.U –Plovdiv, after its restoration.
In the past 12 years she taught at the AG.B.U.ArmenianSaturdaySchool-Plovdiv. It was her idea to create children’s theater troupe to theUnion. During 2006, rehearsals began with 12 children, but shortly after that the number grew tremendously. The kids were simply attracted by the teaching magics of Mrs. Manukian.
Mrs. Malvina Manukyan created and formulated everything. She directed and adapted the scenes, which were widely attended in each city where the group went on tour. As a result, the theater group received constant invitations to participate.
Mrs. Malvina Manukyan’s method of direct contact with the children in Armenian through mainly learning their theater lines made it easier for the kids to learn and to use our mother language. Not long after that, the young artists freely expressed and dealt in Armenian. Constant student activity was her strength and motivation to seek attractive methods to fight against globalization and the increasing Internet penetration in the lives of her student – artists.
This was one of the many reasons for which she received the special prize of the jury of Children Theater inArmenia, called “Nran hadik,” in October 2011.
Only days before her departure from this world, Ms. Manukyan prepared a new staging, production with which to re-open the theatrical season, in October – 2012.
The theater group is about to participate on August 25, 2012 at the festival of Armenian culture in the city ofBurgas, where should present Mrs. Manukyan’s new production.
The fragile hearts of our artist – children are hurt by the loss of their favorite and beloved teacher, but she will be always with them, even from above. She will be with them because she left her soul in order to be reborn in the talent of the children of the A.G.B.U -Plovdivtheater group.
Tribute to her memory!
A.G.B.U –Plovdivpresents its deep condolences to Mrs. Malvina Manukyan’s family and relatives.
We will always remember and miss you – Sireli Digin Manukian.