More than 50 ARS members participated in a webinar hosted by the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) of Eastern USA on Saturday, May 14. Regional chairperson Caroline Chamavonian welcomed dozens of chapter members to the seminar, thanked them for their participation and encouraged them to share their knowledge with fellow ARS members.
Chamavonian introduced the first presenter Simon Maghakyan, a Denver-based researcher and community organizer. Maghakyan discussed how he has been independently investigating Azerbaijan’s ongoing erasure of Armenian culture since 2005. His exploration of Azerbaijan’s erasure of Nakhichevan’s Armenian heritage in light of the Artsakh War engendered a conversation about the fate of Armenian cultural heritage sites that have come under Azeri control after the ceasefire agreement and what can be done to prevent further destruction.
Verginie Touloumian, former executive director of the ARS and current community outreach director of the ANCA-WR and marketing director of the ARS of Eastern USA, presented on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Touloumian offered a snapshot of ARS global and regional activities and programs and simultaneously reported on the organization’s overall progress towards the 17 goals. “By implementing these projects, the ARS is not just serving its noble mission, it’s literally changing the world,” said Touloumian.
Dr. Tro Kalayjian, an internal medicine and obesity physician, presented about low-carb and ketogenic diets and how they can conquer the cravings that challenge efforts to lose weight. He presented his own personal experience of losing 150 pounds and offered advice on lifestyle changes.
After a brief break, Dr. Yeraz Markarian, a licensed clinical psychologist and the founder and executive director of Healthy Mind New York, took the stage to discuss the psychological and emotional impact of the pandemic and the 2020 Artsakh War. Her presentation focused on how to use hope and other important mechanisms to achieve resilience-building.
ARS Cambridge “Shushi” Chapter member Artvine Torossian also presented. Torossian is the founder of Karaka, a wellbeing, lifestyle and management consulting company. She shared creative ways each person can work toward achieving individual and collective significance, peace and happiness, one “character” at a time. Her methods are designed to guide each person to seek authenticity, leadership and wellbeing.
Each presenter had the opportunity to answer questions from audience members.
The productive seminar stressed the importance of having a healthy mind and body in order to achieve a resilient community and continue serving the homeland and humanity.