BEIRUT, Lebanon—After months of careful planning and development, h-pem, an online cultural platform established by the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society, was launched and made available to the public on May 13, 2019.
“There is something about the h-pem team itself that embodies the mission of bringing Armenians together by drawing inspiration from the rich tapestry of the Armenian world,” said h-pem project manager Loucig Guloyan-Srabian in an interview with the Armenian Weekly. “Oceans apart, we have had an amazing journey coming to where we are today, sharing nuances of Armenian reality and the belief that smart and lively stories can change the way we perceive our cultural identity.”
In 2014, Hamazkayin’s seventh General Assembly outlined the imperative creation of an innovative online platform to more effectively implement the organization’s mission and to reach Armenians in the diaspora—specifically the Diasporan Armenian youth.
H-pem will reach Armenian communities around the world and help Armenians—particularly Armenian youth—(re)connect with their homeland and culture in new, creative and cooperative ways. The platform will also provide a space for Armenian artists and writers to showcase their talents and will become a portal where users from Armenia and the Diaspora can collectively explore new ways to discover, interact with and help reinvigorate various aspects of Armenian culture.
“We love to curate, to promote creativity and are open to anyone who is keen to experiment with art and culture. Collaborations are successful when everyone gains by giving. H-pem has the potential to become a burgeoning cultural haven for all Armenians, and this can bring about real transformation, especially for generations of Armenians who are eager to step into a virtual world enriched by a diversity of perspectives, a world where most things Armenian sound cool,” explained Guloyan-Srabian.
H-pem will carry out its mission by creating a space that is driven by quality, professionalism and innovation, all while placing Armenian culture in the wider context of universal/global culture.
By using English as its primary language, h-pem will look to foster communication and interaction between the dispersed masses of Armenians and inspire a new generation of English-speaking Armenians to embrace their cultural heritage. The use of Armenian as a fun and enjoyable language is also a part of h-pem’s greater mission.
H-pem strives to:
- Introduce different facets of the Armenian culture—from both the homeland and the worldwide diaspora—to the public;
- Present Armenian cultural values, works of art and cultural initiatives to the public in innovative ways;
- Provide a virtual space for users to meet, debate and present their ideas and their work;
- Organize cultural collaborations and host live streams of Armenian cultural events around the world.
H-pem is a pan-Armenian initiative. The Hamazkayin Armenian Cultural and Educational Society has undertaken the difficult, yet necessary duty of creating and establishing this space ahead of an ever-growing wave of assimilation in the Armenian Diaspora. The team hopes to build and foster a multi-layered, rich and comprehensible platform, which can be the beginning of a cultural (re)awakening, especially in the Diaspora, where the need for regeneration and revival is more palpable now than ever before.