The European branch of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) held its annual meeting in Bucharest

On the 28th and the 29th of January, a delegation of the Armenian General Benevolent Union Europe, came for the first time in Romania and held its annual meeting in Bucharest.

The delegation, composed of 20 people, was led by Alexis Govciyan, the president of AGBU-Europe. This branch was created in 2008 to coordinate and develop various Pan-Armenian activities in the European area. Delegates from Bulgaria, Austria, France, Greece, Italy, Belgium and also members of the managing board of AGBU-Europe based in France participated at this meeting. Among the members of the managing board we mention: Sona Attamian – Special Adviser (France) Michel Sabbagh – Special Adviser (France), Aris Atamian – member (France), Nicolas Tavitian – member (Belgium) Astrig Alexanian – member (Austria) Flora Hakopyan – member (France), Zaruhi Odabaşian – Project Officer (France) and Joan Deschamps – AGBU projects coordinator.

Friday, January 28th the AGBU-Europe leadership was welcomed at the headquarters of the Romanian Government, by the Secretary of State Marko Attila, the coordinator of the Department for Interethnic Relations of the Romanian Government and in the afternoon, by the Prime Minister of Romania, Mr. Emil Boc. At these meetings also took part His Excellency Mr. Hamlet Gasparian, Ambassador of Armenia in Bucharest and on the behalf of Union of Armenians of Romania, senator Varujan Vosganian  – the president of  UAR, deputy Varujan Pambuccian, the Armenian representative in the Romanian Parliament, Mr. Sirun Terzian – vice-president of UAR , Mihai Stepan Cazazian – Ararat magazine editor in chief and member of the board of the UAR.

The AGBU delegation visited, also on Friday, the Parliament of Romania and met with the deputy Varujan Pambuccian at the office of the National Minorities Group. Mr. Pambuccian presented the activity of the Union of Armenians of Romania and exposed some of the major topics that the community is considering in the near future. We are talking about the digitization of all books, manuscripts and properties that our communities have – mainly in Bucharest, Gherla Dumbrăveni, Botoşani, Iaşi, etc. – and also photographing churches and other buildings that belonged to Armenians.This project that will last several years can be achieved by obtaining co-financing from the EU funds. Mr. Pambuccian proposed to AGBU -Europe to support this project. Mr. Alexis Govciyan spoke about AGBU’s projects and activities that are similar to those proposed by Mr. Pambuccian and also about the ARMENIACA project that was selected by the European Union and that began in 2009. UE‘s Cultural programs began in 2007 and will last until 2013 and they offer about 400 million Euro.

ARMENIACA project’s goal is to inventory all the Armenian monuments in Turkey, Iran and Armenia. There are other organizations involved in this project, along UGAB:  Centro Studi e Documentazione della Cultura Armena (Italy), Inside Europe (Belgium) and from Armenia, Research Armenian Architecture (RAA).

Friday’s program also included a meeting with His Excellency Mr. Hamlet Gasparian at the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia.

Saturday morning the AGBU-Europe delegates held their annual meeting at the Dudian Library in Bucharest. Then, in the presence of the Very Rev. Fr. Datev Agopian, Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Romania, His Excellency Hamlet Gasparian, Ambassador of Armenia in Romania, the Executive Board of the UAR and other figures of the Armenian community, Mr. Alexis Govciyan, President of the AGBU-Europe presented the organization and their projects. Then the guests visited the Armenian Church in Bucharest, the Archdiocesan Museum and they talked to the members of the Armenian community in Bucharest.

In the evening, the Union of Armenians of Romania offered the guests a dinner at the Capşa restaurant.

The way in which the AGBU-Europe meeting was organized in Bucharest and the discussions with the Armenian community in Romania and its representatives was highly appreciated by the guests. They were particularly impressed with the cultural richness of this community and pledged to support the projects aimed at the conservation of these values by sending, as first step, experts to collaborate with the Armenian specialists in Romania.

Mihai Stepan Cazazian

Posted by on Feb 8 2011. Filed under Armenia / Diaspora, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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