Diasporan Armenian Organizations
Posted 10 February 2001 - 10:25 PM
The Armenian Assembly of America is a nationwide nonprofit organization established in 1972 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Assembly promotes public awareness of Armenian issues, encourages greater Armenian-American participation in the American democratic process, and assists in humanitarian and development programs in Armenia.
Origins and Evolution
In 1971, John Hanessian, Jr. and Dr. Haikaz Grigorian were members of the faculty at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. From time to time they met for lunch to discuss their common concerns for the Armenian-American community.
During these meetings they considered the possibility of forming a new Armenian organization in which leaders from various Armenian groups would participate for the benefit of the community as a whole. Their idea was new and exciting: an organization for all Armenian-Americans, headquartered in the nation's capital, to represent and promote Armenian interests.
Community leaders first met in 1972 to discuss forming an "assembly" of Armenian-American organizations, at Airlie House in Virginia. Pictured are: (back row) Vartkes Kassouni, Hirair Hovnanian, Ralph Baker, Garo Garabedian, Armen Topouzian, Avedis Sanjian, Harry Sachaklian and (front row) Lionel Galstaun, Robert A. Kaloosdian, Haig Der Manuelian, Stephen Mugar, Hagop Nersoyan, Dennis Papazian and John Hanessian.
The two men traveled to Boston to share their idea with two prominent attorneys, Robert A. Kaloosdian and Haig Der Manuelian, having agreed beforehand that if the meeting did not go well they would drop the idea. These four discussed the merits and practicality of creating yet another diasporan Armenian organization--and decided it would be more effective to create an "assembly" of existing organizations.
Ultimately, the four decided that the benefits of such an assembly would far outweigh the risks. Buoyed with optimism, they sought to enlist others. Among the first to join them were Dr. Richard Hovannisian and Dr. Lionel Galstaun, well known and highly respected community leaders, who endorsed the concept enthusiastically.
Of immediate concern to the fledgling organization was funding. Two benefactors came forward who were to have a lasting impact on the new assembly: Stephen P. Mugar and Hirair Hovnanian. Mugar, the original owner of the Boston chain of Star Markets, was the first to offer financial support. The assembly concept appealed to his own sense of the need for intra-community cooperation and for Armenian community participation in the democratic process of the United States.
Mugar was to become known affectionately as the Assembly's "godfather." Hovnanian, head of a New Jersey development and construction firm, also gave support. He felt strongly that the new organization would unify the Armenian-American community, guarantee the participation of community members in government, and, most importantly, encourage Armenian youth to retain their identity and serve the Armenian people.
Hovnanian's contributions helped make possible the first gathering of Armenian-American leaders in 1972 at Airlie House in Warrenton, Virginia. This conclave--and subsequent meetings in 1973 and 1974--endorsed the Armenian Assembly and gave it specific objectives and a community mandate.
The future of the Assembly was assured in 1984 when Hovnanian and the Mugar estate launched an endowment fund with contributions of $1 million each. Additional contributions to the endowment fund followed from Mrs. Deran Hintlian, Edward Mardigian, Richard and Gail O'Reilly, Leon Peters and David Shakarian. As more and more Armenian-Americans lend their support, the Assembly's projects and its role as a professional institution continue to expand.
The tragic earthquake in Armenia in late 1988 ushered in a new area of activity for the Assembly--helping to rebuild Armenia. In 1989, the Armenian government gave the Assembly permission to open an office in the capital city of Yerevan, thus making it the first Western nonprofit organization to do so. Armenia's independence, as well as its commitment to democracy and market reform, have afforded the Assembly the opportunity and privilege to advocate for a special and strong relationship with the United States.
Armenian Assembly of America
122 C Street, NW, Suite 350
Washington, DC 20001
tel: (202) 393-3434 fax: (202) 638-4904 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Western Regional Office:
50 North La Cienega Boulevard, Suite 202, Beverly Hills, California 90211
tel: (310) 360-0091 • fax: (310) 360-0094 • e-mail: email@example.com
2 Republic Square, Suite 105, 375010 Yerevan, Republic of Armenia
tel: 374 (1) 15-10-60, 374 (1) 52-95-13 • fax: 374 (1) 15-10-59
Copyright © 1999 Armenian Assembly of America http://www.aaainc.org/
[This message has been edited by MJ (edited February 10, 2001).]
Posted 10 February 2001 - 10:31 PM
The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.
The main goals of the ANCA are:
To foster public awareness in support of a free, united and independent Armenia;
To influence and guide U.S. policy on matters of interest to the Armenian American community;
To represent the collective Armenian American viewpoint on matters of public policy, while serving as liaison between the community and their elected officials.
The Armenian National Committee of America is active in a number of areas and engages in a wide variety of political and educational activities, including:
Initiating legislation on issues of concern to the Armenian American community, such as strengthening Armenia as a secure, prosperous and democratic state; supporting Nagorno Karabagh's right to self-determination and independence within secure borders; increasing U.S. aid levels to Armenia to promote economic and democratic development; securing direct U.S. aid to Nagorno Karabagh; ensuring the appropriate commemoration of the Armenian Genocide; and encouraging Turkey and Azerbaijan to lift their blockades and adhere to international standards for human rights and humanitarian practices.
Participating in the American electoral process at the federal, state, and local levels by educating elected officials about Armenian American issues and providing Armenian American voters with up-to-date information about the positions of candidates on Armenian American concerns. The ANCA regularly endorses candidates, organizes voter registration drives, and distributes Candidate Questionnaires, Congressional Report Cards and Election Guides to Armenian American voters.
Publishing the TransCaucasus: A Chronology, congressional testimony, position papers, press releases, fact sheets, and regional newsletters.
Posted 13 February 2001 - 03:58 PM
888 17th Street, NW, Suite 904
Washington, DC, 20006
Tel. (202) 775-1918
Fax (202) 775-5648
For Immediate Release
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
February 13, 2001
Tel: (202) 775-1918
ONE MILLION DOLLARS RAISED AT GENEVA BANQUET
FOR ANC OF EUROPE CENTRAL OFFICE
-- ANCA Executive Director Briefs Supporters on Armenian
American Advocacy; Expresses Armenian American Community's
Support for Expansion of European Activism
WASHINGTON, DC -- Representatives of the Armenian National
Committee of America (ANCA) joined with Armenians from throughout
Europe, the Middle East, and Armenia this weekend in a major
fundraising event in Geneva, Switzerland for the newly established
Armenian National Committee of Europe Central Office.
The February 10th dinner, held at the Hotel Le Richemond under the
high patronage of Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia,
far surpassed its fundraising goal of five hundred thousand
dollars, with a million dollars being raised during the course of
the evening for the expansion of the ANC's European operations.
"We were extremely gratified by the tremendous response to this
historic evening, marking the expansion of the Armenian National
Committee's European advocacy," said ANCA Executive Director Aram
Hamparian. "Building upon all that the Armenian National Committee
has already accomplished in Europe, this Central Office will play a
vital role in ensuring that Europe's vibrant and increasingly
influential Armenian community is fully represented in all the
various public policy debates impacting Armenia, Karabagh, and the
In remarks to those in attendance, representatives of ANC of Europe
noted that the establishment of an ANC European Central Office
reflects the recognition that Europe will play an increasingly
central role in Armenia's security and prosperity, and in the
resolution of the Armenian Cause. As an institution dedicated to
ensuring that the voices of Europe's Armenians and the interests of
the entire Armenian nation are heard in European institutions, the
ANC Europe Central Office will actively advocate on issues ranging
from Armenia's integration into Europe, the ongoing Artsakh
negotiations, increased aid, trade and investment in Armenia, and
the Turkish government's campaign to deny the Armenian Genocide.
Among those at the event were Armenia's Ambassador to Geneva, Garen
Nazaryan, Lebanese parliamentarian and Minister of Sports and Youth
Affairs, Sebouh Hovnanian, and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
of Armenia, Levon Mkrtchyan. Members of the National Assembly of
Armenia in attendance were Manvel Badeyan, Vahakn Grigoryan, Martin
Hovhanisyan, Haroutiun Pamboukyan, Taron Sahagyan, Levon Sargisyan
and Vahan Hovhannesyan. Members of the clergy joining with
Catholicos Aram I at the program were the Prelates of Aleppo and
Tehran, Archbishop Souren Kataroyan and Archbishop Sebouh
Sarkissian respectively. Also present was the Chairman of the
National Executive Council of the Great House of Cilicia, Andre
Tabourian. Among the community leaders gathered for the banquet
were members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Bureau
and Armenian Relief Society Central Executive Chairperson Maro
The evening's program featured powerful remarks from Catholicos
Aram I, who stressed that Hai Tad (the Armenian Cause) is a central
part of the Armenian identity and the cause of every Armenian and
every Armenian institution. He underscored that the Great House of
Cilicia has always been at the forefront of the Armenian Cause,
sharing with those in attendance his recent consultations with the
President of Germany and other European leaders regarding the
recognition of the Armenian Genocide. His Holiness' inspirational
words and announcement that the Great House of Cilicia was donating
$100,000 toward the ANC Europe Central Office were met with a
Speaking on behalf of the ARF, Bureau Chairman Hrand Margaryan
noted that, in the years since the 1988 earthquake, the
organization's attention had largely been focused on meeting the
immediate security and humanitarian needs of Armenia and Karabagh.
The establishment of the ANC of Europe Central Office reflects the
realization that strengthening our Diasporan institutions will
strengthen the homeland, just as the strengthening of our homeland
will, in turn, strengthen the Diaspora.
On behalf of the ANC of the European Community, Hilda Tchoboyan
noted that the ANC had been active with European institutions since
1984. The ANC of EC, she reported, operates active branches in
nine of the fifteen European Community nations and works through a
network of friends and activists in the remaining six countries.
Among the ANC of EC's most visible successes have been the 1987 and
2000 European Parliament resolutions calling on Turkey to recognize
the Armenian Genocide.
ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian briefed those in attendance
about Hai Tad efforts in the United States and underscored the
importance of coordinated action on issues impacting the security
of Armenia, the defense of Nagorno Karabagh, and the advancement of
the Armenian Cause.
Master of ceremonies Alecco Bezikyan of Italy coordinated the
evening's program, introducing the dignitaries in attendance and
announcing all the donations. Bezikian, as the chairman of the ANC
of Italy, had played a central role in the adoption of an Armenian
Genocide resolution by that nation's parliament.
Posted 09 May 2001 - 12:52 PM
After many months of preparation, the 22nd General Assembly of the Armenian
Democratic Liberal Party (ADL) convened in Athens April 6 to 8. It was hosted
by the local chair and witnessed the participation of delegates from all
branches of the ADL.
Certain developments in the past decade created a national and political
reordering in the Armenian diasporan structures; first and foremost, it was
the traditional political parties which were jolted. Unfortunately, the ADL
didn't escape those shocks, which ruptured its internal unity and temporarily
retarded the progress of its mission.
After lengthy negotiations, the party's various circles of leadership
decided, no matter how difficult, to reestablish the internal unity of the
organization and put it back on the historical track of its mission. This
decision was motivated by the urgent political priorities of the day, as well
as moving appeals for unity made by the party's rank and file.
In the first place, the General Assembly provided the opportunity to engage
in healthy discussion of the points of dissension affecting the organization,
as well as the priorities of its activities. At the conclusion of its
sessions, the General Assembly took the definitive step of making the
much-desired unity a reality.
The Assembly elected a Central Committee which succeeded in establishing a
common denominator among all the strata and factions of the party. The
Central Committee was given the authorization to reestablish chapters in
light of new reforms introduced to the basic by-laws.
After completing its agenda, the Assembly discussed certain fundamental
issues affecting the Armenian people as a whole, and adopted resolutions
corresponding to those issues. The principal resolutions are the following:
1. Armenia and Artsakh
The ADL continues to offer its support to the government of the newly
established Republic of Armenia and for the maintenance of its territorial
integrity. Likewise, the ADL offers its moral and financial capabilities for
the well being of the native Armenian population.
The ADL accepts the ADL of Armenia as the legal heir to the Armenagan Party,
which came into being in 1885, as well as the entity continuing the ADLâ€™s
ideological creed which, was adopted in 1921.
The Assembly was gratified to welcome the presence of a delegation of the
Central Committee of the ADL of Armenia.
The Assembly expressed its solidarity with the just struggle of the
freedom-loving people of Artsakh, and formulated its wishes in connection
with a fair political resolution of the Artsakh conflict.
2. Armenian Cause
The Armenian Democratic Liberal Party, as torchbearer of the defense of the
Armenian Cause, decided to continue its struggle through the mass media press
and in political circles, in order to obtain recognition of the Armenian
Genocide and to achieve the integration of the territory of historical
Armenia and its return to its rightful owner through unrelenting struggle.
3. The Armenian Church
The ADL affirms its traditional policy of recognizing the Catholicos of All
Armenians, of the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin, as the sole head of the
Armenian Apostolic Church. At the same time, it notes with regret the
continuing disunity within the Armenian Church, whose principal role player
is the Catholicate of the See of Cilicia, with its historically illegitimate
pretensions and politically one-sided orientations. It is time for the
Catholicate of the See of Cilicia to become free from its political
constrictions and return to its spiritual calling.
The ADL Party hereby also calls upon the faithful flock of the Armenian
Apostolic Church to continue its struggle to reestablish the unity of the
church. In this sacred struggle, it considers as foremost the role to be
played by the clergy under the jurisdiction of the Mother See, in assuming
leadership and educating the faithful.
On the eve of the 1,700th anniversary of the proclamation of Christianity as
the state religion of Armenia, the reestablishment of the unity of the
Armenian Church becomes a top priority, which will lead the Armenian people
to spiritual unification and progress.
At the end, the Assembly enthusiastically received the announcement marking
the party's 80th anniversary, which invited the organizationâ€™s membership,
scattered throughout the world, to mobilize, hail this significant milestone
in the party's history with a unified spirit, and to proceed towardthe
triumphant centennial and bright future.
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