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#1 Yervant1

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 11:04 AM

Gulf News, UAE
May 7 2016


Nahyan opens Armenian community centre

Armenian leaders praise UAE leadership

by Razmig Bedirian, Staff Reporter

Abu Dhabi: Hundreds of Armenian expatriates attended the opening of a
new cultural centre in Musaffah on Friday, situated by the first
Armenian Church in the capital.

The centre, which will serve as a cultural hub for Armenian expats in
Abu Dhabi, was inaugurated by Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan,
Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, and His Holiness Aram
I, patriarch of the Armenian diaspora.

Addressing the congregation, Shaikh Nahyan hoped the place of worship
would serve as an important centre for enriching life, interaction and
communication and help in taking care of the affairs of the Armenian
community in Abu Dhabi and the UAE at large.

“This building underscores that the UAE, under the leadership of
President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has always
been and continues to be a country whose people embrace Islam, the
religion that preaches tolerance and respect for other faiths, values
which constitute the basic pillars of our country and created the
fertile ground where all people live in co-existence, peace and
security,” Shaikh Nahyan said.

“The church is a spiritual symbol for the power of belonging and
loyalty of the members of the Armenian community and for deepening
social and religious interaction,” he added.

Catholicos Aram I of the Holy See of Cilicia, which is based in
Antelias, Lebanon, appreciated the efforts being made by Shaikh
Khalifa for promoting tolerance between different religions and
nationalities living in the UAE.

According to Hair Mesrob Sarkissian, Head of the Armenian Church in
the UAE and Qatar, the Armenian community in the UAE is 10,000 strong,
with more than 2,000 populating the capital. “The community centre
stands next to the first Armenian church in the capital, which was
officially inaugurated in December, 2014. The centre will serve as a
hub for the Armenian community in Abu Dhabi.”

Hair Mesrob said the inauguration of the church and community centre
would not have happened if not for the liberality of the country’s
leaders. “We are grateful to the UAE government, who has been
continuously promoting religious tolerance and inter-cultural
communication.

—With inputs from WAM

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