LOS ANGELES–The Armenian Youth Federation of the Western United States was pleased to welcome 2008 Armenian Presidential Candidate Vahan Hovannesian to Ferrahian High School on Sunday to meet with Armenian-American youth and answer questions they had regarding current issues affecting Armenia as well as the Diaspora.
Hovannesian, who is currently the Vice Speaker of the Armenia’s National Assembly, as well as an ARF Bureau Member, addressed a crowd of over 150 Armenian-American youth in an unprecedented discussion session.
In his opening remarks he emphasized that meeting with the youth was the most valuable meeting he had during his weeklong visit to the United States. The youth, he said, are the future of our nation. The presidential candidate was the keynote speaker during Saturday’s ARF 117th Anniversary celebration.
"For the first time, we have an Armenian presidential candidate who has recognized the importance of the Diaspora, especially the youth," noted attendee Talar Boyajian. "This man is running for president of Armenia and he has taken the time to come out here talk to us and answer our questions."
During the 2-hour gathering AYF Central Executive member Tro Krikorian posed questions to Hovannesian that had been submitted by AYF members in advance. Audience members were also given an opportunity to submit additional questions on the spot. The topics addressed were on a broad range of issues, from the new laws pertaining to dual citizenship, to corruption in Armenian government, to the Karabakh peace process.
"Continually engaging our youth and our student community to learn more, ask more and demand more from our leadership in Armenia is one way we can secure a brighter future for our homeland," asserted AYF Central Executive Chairman Caspar Jivalagian. "We appreciate the foresight shown by Mr. Hovannesian in addressing concerns of the youth. Even though we will not be able to directly participate in the upcoming presidential elections, we will certainly continue to concern ourselves with the issues that affect Armenia’s and the platforms of all potential leadership candidates" continued Jivalagian.