Engage Armenia 2024: A Tour in Review

#EngageArmenia2024
A Tour in Review

Hub Artsakh Blog

For over a week, Hub Artsakh embarked on a journey through 8 different European cities as an invited organization to the #EngageArmenia2024 tour, an initiative organized by Repat Armenia.

 

This edition of the annual #EngageArmenia event went big. While it wasn’t the first time this event was held, it was the first year that the delegation reached out to the Armenian diaspora in so many different cities in a single trip.

 

From London (UK) to Marseille (France), passing through Amsterdam (Netherlands), Brussels (Belgium), Paris (France), Alfortville (France), Geneva (Switzerland), and Lyon (France), over 700 participants answered the call of the #EngageArmenia2024 tour.

 

Hub Artsakh, alongside 10 other Armenian organizations and companies, showcased various ways to engage with the country and build new bridges between the Armenian Diaspora and Armenia.

 

For Shoushan Keshishian, Co-Founder and CEO of Hub Artsakh, this event was an opportunity to present our initiatives developed to support the displaced population of Artsakh and the responses provided through our most recent programs. Shoushan also invited the audience to join our community of changemakers, either by volunteering for the organization’s activities or by financially supporting our programs.

You too, can contribute to our mission by donating your time or supporting us financially

Throwback to these 8 days of meetings and exchanges with the Armenian community from Europe.

LONDON, March 6

The delegation’s first stop was in the British capital, where they were hosted by the University College London, with Tatiana Der Avedissian, head of business development for Economist Impact’s World Ocean Initiative and fundraising specialist, as well as co-president of the Harvard Kennedy School Women’s Network, in attendance.

 

150 individuals attended this kickoff evening. The initial contacts were fruitful and demonstrated the interest shown by the audience, motivating the delegation for the week ahead.

Amsterdam, March 7

In the land of bicycles, participants were warmly welcomed by the Surp Hoki Armenian Apostolic Church of Amsterdam, with 70 attendees filling the room to capacity. Heiko Jessayan, a journalist since 1985, moderated the discussion.

 

The interaction with the audience was lively, with numerous questions about investment opportunities in Armenia. 

 

We greatly appreciated the contribution of one attendee, who emphasized to the other members of the audience that “not only do you love Armenia, but Armenia loves you too”, encouraging them to take the leap to build stronger ties with the country.

Brussels, March 8

The gathering in the European capital took place at the Hay Doun center, founded by André Gumuchdjian, a Belgian-Armenian philanthropist and entrepreneur who established the center when he was elected Vice-President of the Armenian Committee of Belgium. 65 participants attended the event and joined us during the meet & greet.

 

As the founder of My Forest Armenia as well, André shared his vision of connection with Armenia: “Armenianness is like a seed. It grows more and more as you get older.”

Paris, March 9

The first of the 4 French cities visited during the tour was none other than the capital. The delegation headed to the offices of UGAB Paris in the heart of the 17th arrondissement to meet with 70 individuals who responded to the call.

 

Tigrane Yégavian, author of numerous works dedicated to Middle Eastern geopolitics, Eastern minorities, and Armenia, facilitated the discussion this evening.

 

The Parisian audience shone with dynamism and engagement in the debate, notably raising, for the first time during the tour, the question of the country’s security situation.

 

Sevan Kabakian, Director of Birthright Armenia, acknowledged that the current threats facing the country must be taken into consideration when developing a project in Armenia. However, he emphasized that “what guarantees Armenia’s security is the mentality of its people, inviting the diaspora to engage constructively and positively with the opportunities presented by Armenia to contribute to the visibility of the challenges faced by the country and thus strengthen its security.

Alfortville, March 10

Next, we visited the city known as “The Little Armenia of France”, due to its Armenian-origin population making up nearly 25% of the total population. Over 50 participants gathered on this Sunday.

 

Philippe Car, Deputy Mayor, opened the session by addressing members of the diaspora: “We are here to help you help Armenia, Armenians, and the entire Armenian community worldwide.”

 

Vartan Kaprielian moderated the evening’s panel. He is notably the founder of the new, fully Armenian social media platform, MIASIN.

Geneva, March 11

It was impossible not to visit the international capital of humanitarian action during this tour. The Armenian Union of Switzerland, along with the local branch of UGBA, invited us to the premises of the Warwick Hotel to host nearly 100 participants.


Vicken Bayramian served as our moderator in Geneva, an international business lawyer and serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience advising international trading concerns, banks, multinationals, and shipping companies.

Lyon, March 12

The final two stops of the tour concluded with the cities in France hosting the largest Armenian diasporas in the country.

 

In Lyon, speakers presented their projects to 120 participants in the hall adjacent to the Saint-Jacques Armenian Church of Lyon. Pascale Gostanian, Deputy Secretary of the parish council and Special Envoy to Armenia for Radio Armenia, introduced the session.

 

The discussion was moderated by Vaner Harutyunyan. He served as Deputy Consul at the Consulate General of Armenia in Lyon between 2013 and 2015 and was a diplomat at the Embassy of Armenia in Paris and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia (2000-2017). He is the co-founder of Passenger.am and currently serves as the director of the French-Armenian Council (CFA).

Marseille, March 13

We were fortunate to conclude this tour in the sunniest of French cities, at the Théâtre l’Acte 12, with the participation of over 75 individuals.

 

Charig Osipian served as the discussion moderator. She has contributed to the international development of Armath labs abroad, aiming to foster the Armenian technological ecosystem outside of Armenia. She is also an active member of the Armenian Relief Society and co-founded the Kevor Karabian Franco-Armenian school in France, where she serves on the board of directors.

We express our heartfelt gratitude to Repat Armenia for inviting us to join this tour, which has allowed us to convey our vision and mission to members of the Armenian diaspora around the world.

In each city, we met, exchanged, and discussed with our community to invite them to reinvigorate their ties with Armenia alongside us. We found supporters and sponsors who were moved by the experiences of those whose stories matter most: the remarkable innovators and changemakers of Artsakh. They shared with us their energy and confidence so that Hub Artsakh can continue its mission with motivation and dedication: empowering the people of Artsakh to recover and rebuild sustainably.


Thank you for joining us, thank you for responding to our call and making us heard beyond the frontiers. We are hoping this will be the new beginning of a great history

of community fostering and solidarity.

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