YEREVAN–On the eve of the 8th Pan-Armenian Jamboree of ARF youth and student organizations that began on August 5 in Armenia–the ARF Bureau’s youth affairs office held a press conference on August 4 in Yerevan.
Participating were ARF Youth Affairs office administrator Sarkis Mkrtchian–Chairman of the ARF Youth of Lebanon Babig Chakmakjian–Chairman of ARF Youth of Armenia Hovhannes Medz Kevorkian–member of ARF Youth of Greece–Sosse Deokmedjian–Chairman of Nigol Aghbalian ARF student organization Ishkhan Saghatelian–and member of ARF Youth of Syria Naiyiri Megerdichian.
Chairman of ARF Youth of Armenia Hovhannes Medz Kevorkian welcomed the ARF youth from throughout the world and said that with its 95 participants–Armenia is proud to be hosting the event. Addressing the crowd–Chakmakjian said that Lebanon takes the Jamboree very seriously. Hence–70 youth from the country are participating this year–despite of the country’s economic difficulties. The youth representatives at the press conference emphasized ARF’s great efforts to educate its youth and student organizations–and provide the participants with the history of the ARF Youth and Student Jamboree.
Organized in 1983–the first Jamboree took place in Greece; in 1984–it took place in France–in 1986 in Cyprus–and in 1992 in Bulgaria. When Armenia gained independence–keeping in mind the slogan "Tebi Yerkir" toward the homeland — Armenia became the center of ARF activities–and naturally–the Jamborees began to take place in the homeland.
The first ARF Youth Jamboree in Armenia was organized in 1997 in Sevan; in 1999 in Artsakh–in 2001 in Purakan–and this year’s Jamboree is taking place in Garmrakar.
One of the goals of the Jamboree is to unite ARF youth and students from throughout the world–and to create the opportunity for interaction–and exchange of ideas and experiences. Considering that ARF youth organizations exist in 17 countries–concerns of each and every chapter become the concern of not only their community–but also a national and an international matter–concerning all Armenia’s. Thus–one of the goals of the ARF Youth and Student Pan-Armenian Jamboree is to review pan-Armenian concerns and problems.
Until the independence of Armenia–Diaspora youth learned about Armenia from textbooks–and by listening to teachers and parents. Thus–with the independence of Armenia–the Jamboree took on an additional objective: to give the Diaspora youth in Armenia an opportunity to interact directly with the residents of Armenia in order to gain insight on current issues and problems and to return to their respective regions to formulate concrete solutions and programs.
Approximately 350 youth from 15 countries–including Canada–US–Argentina–Greece–Lebanon–Syria–Iran–Armenia–and Artsakh will be participating in the 8th ARF Youth and Student Jamboree–which is dedicated to the 15th anniversary of the liberation of Artsakh. The motto of the jamboree is Let’s Continue the Victorious Path. The program will include lectures–roundtable discussions–social get-togethers–picnics–and competitions.
The Jamboree differs from other youth gatherings–however–in that besides social activities–there is an educational program.