The 8th Annual Hamazkayin Educational and Cultural Organization youth forum began on July 13. The two week forum hosts over 70 university students from the United States–Canada–France–Lebanon–Syria–Greece and Iran in addition to youth from Armenia. The participants will discuss issues dealing with Armenian culture and history. The forum is taking place in Armenia for the first time since its inception.
The participants paid an official visit to the Armenian State University on July 16 and met with University Rector Ratik Mardirossian.
After the welcoming remarks of Hamazkayin of Armenia Chairperson Lilit Kalstian–Armenia’s Education Minister Levon Mgrdchian read President Robert Kocharian’s message to the forum participants.
"The fact that the Youth Forum–which has been held in other locations for years–is taking place in Armenia for the first time is a joyous and significant moment. The forum provides a wonderful opportunity for students from universities around the world to get in touch with and understand their culture," read Kocharian’s message.
"In the present moment–when the conditions to strengthen and improve Armenia-Diaspora relations exist–we place much importance upon facilitating events that enrich student and youth groupings by creating dialogue amongst them. The fruitful activities of the present will to a great extent shape our cultural and intellectual character of the future."
Mgrdchian then initiated a discussion under the heading of "Armenian Youth and Yesterday." Also attending the meeting were the representatives of several youth groups based in Armenia. The forum participants were given a tour of the campus after the discussion.