Hamazkayin Forum 2009 in Armenia: Calling all Armenian University Students

For the past 14 years, the Hamazkayin Student Cultural Forum has been bringing young Armenian university students from all over the world together to discover and share their Armenian heritage directly from the source. Students from North and South America, Australia, Europe, Armenia, and Artsakh (Karabagh) converge in Yerevan for an intense two-week journey through the immensely rich cultural landscape of Armenia.

Participants in the Hamazkayin Forum at Dzidzernagapert
Hamazkayin Forum Participants at Dzidzernagapert

This summer program, specifically tailored for university students of Armenian descent, entails complete cultural immersion and exposes the participants to the crème de la crème of Armenian art and culture, both classic and contemporary. Guided visits include trips to various Armenian monasteries dating from medieval times, museums such as the National Gallery of Armenia, National History Museum, Genocide Museum, Aram Khachaturian Museum, Parajanov Museum, and Martiros Saryan House-Museum. The Hamazkayin Forum even offers special access to performances by the National Opera or by such ensembles as the Sayat Nova folkoric music ensemble. Such unique events are followed with a question and discussion period, allowing participants to more closely learn about traditional Armenian culture.

Official visits to both the American University of Armenia and Yerevan State University are also included in the program, allowing the students to discover the college scene in the homeland. Daily lectures by prominent Armenian scholars from the diaspora and Armenia come to create opportunities to analyze and engage with questions such as Armenian identity, language, religion, and history. A visit to Armenia’s army battalions grants participants a rare glimpse into the country’s military. Other excursions include the Tzaghgatzor Summer Camp for children and the Armenian village of Aramous, where Hamazkayin actively participates in the development of the village and its school. After catching a play or concert, the participants are bound to have a good time at one of Yerevan’s many restaurants, where live Armenian music and dancing make the night complete.

Forum participants from various parts of the diaspora, as well as from Armenia and Artsakh, bring their individual perspectives and backgrounds to various issues, while new friendships and bonds are created—all in an unforgettable and dynamic social atmosphere. The sheer amount of local cultural and artistic talent found in Armenia is at once mind-boggling as it is inspiring. And the Hamazkayin Forum succeeds in exposing these treasures to the Armenian youth, who undoubtedly leave with a renewed sense of their cultural identity, ready to broaden their own interest and commitment towards Armenian culture throughout the world.

This summer, come join the Hamazkayin family, along with fellow Armenian university students from all over the Armenian Diaspora, in Yerevan from July 3 to 16.

For more information or to register, visit www.hamazkayin.com.

Lalai Manjikian

Lalai Manjikian

Dr. Lalai Manjikian is a humanities professor at Vanier College in Montreal. Her teaching and research interests are in the areas of immigration and refugee studies, media representations of migration, migrant narratives and diaspora studies. She is the author of Collective Memory and Home in the Diaspora: The Armenian Community in Montreal (2008). Lalai’s articles have been published in a number of newspapers and journals including The Armenian Weekly, Horizon Weekly, 100 Lives (The Aurora Prize), the Montreal Gazette, and Refuge. A former Birthright Armenia participant (2005), over the years, Lalai has been active in volunteering both within the Armenian community in Montreal and the local community at large, namely engaged in immigrant and refugee integration. She previously served as a qualitative researcher on the Armenian Diaspora Survey in Montreal. Lalai also serves as a board member for the Foundation for Genocide Education. She holds a PhD in Communication Studies from McGill University (2013).

1 Comment

  1. I will be leading my fifth home building team to Armenia from July 13th to 25th. Since the “Forum” participants will be in Yerevan at the same time, I would like to invite your members to join my team for a day or two. Last year Manishag Markarian from the U.S. Western Executive Board joined us for two days. Please talk to her about the experience. This invitation is at no cost to you. The Fuller Center for Housing Armenia transports us, guides us through the work day, provides lunch, etc. Love to have you.

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