PASADENA–The AGBU Young Professionals of Los Angeles met their counterparts in Moscow without leaving the AGBU Center’s conference room. Skype, a program with internet video-conferencing capabilities, permitted the two steering committees to meet in cyberspace; to get to know one another and to exchange ideas.
The conference, held July 19 in Los Angeles, Saturday night in Moscow, had a preset agenda vetted by the organizers, Isabella Gushchyan from Moscow and Narine Zardarian from Los Angeles. The two groups, totaling about twenty people combined, compared and contrasted the Russian-Armenian versus American-Armenian experience. For example, it was learned that the Armenian community in Russia is less organized because of their close proximity and ease of access to Armenia. In contrast, the Angelenos are very organized due to the same factors and the need to preserve their Armenian heritage and identity.
After getting acquainted, the two groups discussed, in a mix of English and Armenian, why it is important to preserve the Armenian identity, a purpose central to the AGBU’s mission. Both included members born in the respective country or in Armenia, however, it was unanimously agreed that these young professionals see themselves as predominantly Armenian. Regardless of why, the Armenian identity, is one that the two largest diasporas have safeguarded.
“Video-conferencing with the young professionals of Moscow made me realize that there is an emerging global Armenian identity, one that transcends geographic boundaries, dialects, and other affiliations, simply appealing to ones inner core as an Armenian,” said Narine Zardarian, AGBU Young Professionals of Los Angeles’ Publicity Chair.
Due to the success of this video-conference, the two groups agreed that there should be a series of such “meetings.” The next will be, a forum, held with the expansive young professional populations from each of the cities, Los Angeles and Moscow.
“Our next cyber-conference will feature a topic relevant to Armenia’s around the world. Together, we will work towards a globally unified identity and voice,” said Bella Gushchyan of the Moscow young professionals.
Building on this pilot video-conference, the AGBU Young Professionals of Los Angeles seek to connect with young professionals from other parts of the world, such as Allepo, Syria.
Video-conference participants from Los Angeles included: Annie Markarian, Vicken Sepilian, Tanniel Simonian, Nadine Wahida, Ani Gurunlian, Aleen Khanjian, Ciara Libaridian, Sevana Melikian and Narine Zardarian.