AGBU Cairo Concludes a Busy Calendar of Philanthropy and Events

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AGBU Cairo retired the year 2007 with some promising philanthropy,
aiding in the funding of two very important and meaningful programs that
will continue to prosper into 2008 and beyond.
December 13, 2007 marked the inauguration of the Armenian Studies Center
at Cairo University’s Faculty of the Arts. To show their appreciation
for the efforts of the faculty in the establishment and oversight of the
Armenian Studies Center, AGBU Cairo Chairman Viken Djizmedjian and board
member George Simonian paid a visit to the Dean of the Faculty of Arts,
Ahmed Abdallah Zayed. The Armenian Studies Center will offer Armenian
language courses, as well as courses on Armenian literature and history,
and will organize conferences and lectures on Armenian culture and
heritage.
The first lecture took place that very day: Professor Nicolai
Hovhanessian from the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia was
invited to give a lecture on Armenian-Arab relations, which was attended
by professors, students, and members of the Egyptian-Armenian community.
The Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to Egypt, Ruben Karapetian,
was among those in attendance, and has had a significant role in the
creation of the Center. AGBU Cairo contributed 30,000 LE (approx. $5,500
USD) to defray the center’s expenses.
Even the youngest members at AGBU Cairo gave of themselves, and for a
great cause. On December 14, 2007, AGBU Cairo’s Dziadzan children’s
choir performed for the children at the Cairo Children’s Cancer Hospital
in honor of “Armenian Day,” along with Housaper’s Dzaghgastan choir and
members of the Sardarabad and Zankezour Armenian dance troupes. The
children were delighted by the groups’ cheerful songs and dances.
“Armenian Day” was first initiated by the First Ladies of Armenia and
Egypt in April 2007 during the President of the Republic of Armenia’s
first official visit to Egypt. The Armenian Embassy in Egypt and the
Egyptian-Armenian community sponsored this cultural initiative in an
effort to provide moral and material support to the Egyptian
government’s work in building this state-of-the-art hospital for the
treatment of children with cancer. AGBU Cairo has donated 10,000 LE
(approx. 2,000 USD) to the Cairo Children’s Cancer Hospital.
And now, as 2008 progresses, AGBU Cairo has continued its efforts in
education and the promotion of Armenian culture, with a very exciting
lecture, another performance by the Dziadzan children’s choir and a
presentation about AGBU’s growing list of youth programs in Armenia.
AGBU Cairo invited Hamlet Petrosyan, Professor of Archaeology and Senior
Research Fellow of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the
National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, to present the findings of
ongoing archaeological excavations of the historical city of Tigranakert
in Karabakh, built during the reign of King Tigran the Great, who ruled
95-55 BC. Petrosyan gave two lectures: the first was held in Cairo on
February 22 at the Belekdanian Hall, and the second in Alexandria at the
Boghossian School on February 24.
Petrosyan’s riveting lectures were complete with comprehensive
photographs and a DVD video presentation, affording the audience a sense
of the magnitude of this long-term project. The massive excavations are
being conducted by a group of archaeologists and scientists, and have
thus far uncovered the ruins of the fortifying walls of the ancient
city, as well as a cemetery, a church from a later period, and several
housing compounds. Everyone in attendance was impressed and awed by the
dedication and rigor shown by Petrosyan and his fellow scientists in
their ongoing efforts to complete this project, despite practical and
financial difficulties that have arisen.
On March 13, the Dziadzan and Dzgaghgastan choirs joined voices at the
Belekdanian Hall in Cairo in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the
Karabakh liberation movement. Their performance was part of a cultural
event organized by the local Armenian political parties. The program
included a lecture on the history of the conflict by the director of the
Armenian Institute of History at the Armenian National Academy of
Sciences, Ashod Melkonian, a flute and piano recital by Maestro Zakar
Keshishian and Gamila Keshishian, a dance performance from the Zankezour
troupe, and a poetry recitation by Nora Koehnelian.
Later, on March 30, AGBU Armenian Youth Program coordinator, Hermine
Duzian, traveled to Cairo to speak about the menu of youth programs
offered by the organization in the homeland. In addition to the
established Yerevan Summer Intern Program and the annual Youth Trip to
Armenia and Karabakh, this year will witness the launch of the AGBU
Scout Camp and the AGBU Study Abroad program in coordination with the
American University of Armenia (AUA). For more information about these
summer programs, visit www.agbu.org/summer2008. The following day,
Duzian traveled to Alexandria to speak to parents and youth about the
Armenia programs.
Established in 1906, AGBU ( www.agbu.org) is the world’s largest
non-profit Armenian organization. Headquartered in New York City with an
annual budget of $34 million, AGBU preserves and promotes the Armenian
identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian
programs, annually serving some 400,000 Armenians on six continents.

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