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Monday, August 3, 2009

AGBU Aleppo Organizes a Seminar on the International Economic Crisis &
Its Implications on Armenian Youth

The Student Committee of the AGBU-AYA Chapter in Aleppo, Syria organized
a full-day conference on May 1, 2009, entitled "The International
Economic Crisis and Its Implications on Armenian Youth." The event at
the AGBU Calouste Gulbenkian Center attracted 250 college students of
Armenian descent, particularly those who are majoring in the fields of
banking, business, economics and finance.

The seminar was divided into four parts. The first two sessions were
presented by Dr. Annie Tortian, Professor of Economics in Haigazian
University and Lebanese American University, who analyzed the economic
crisis as well as the causes and consequences of the present recession.

At the end of the second session, the Republic of Armenia's Minister of
Economy, Nerses Yeritsyan, participated via conference call, during
which time he explained to the audience that there are new projects
being implemented, which hope to encourage entrepreneurship,
particularly by young professionals, in the Armenian economy.

The third session was comprised of a panel discussion, which invited
Melhem Antoun, Director of Audi Bank in Northern Syria, Leon Zeki,
prominent Armenian businessman and member of the Aleppo Chamber of
Commerce, Garabed Boghossian, Director of the credit section of BEMO
Bank's Damascus branch, and Bassel Chaban, Director of the Aleppo branch
of an organization for young Syrian entrepreneurs, to share their
thoughts on the current state of the economy.

The discussion was dominated by questions delving into the local impact
of the global economic crisis. Nazareth Yacoubian, a member of the
Damascus Chamber of Commerce, who joined the event via conference call,
contributed his own analysis of the difficulties facing the region's
economies and encouraged students to gain as much experience as possible
and place an emphasis on their education.

Subsequent to the analysis of the international and regional components
of the crisis, the last session looked at the direct effects on Armenian
youth. The session was an open discussion forum moderated by Yervant
Zorian, member of the Central Board of the AGBU and the Chairman of the
AGBU Silicon Valley Chapter; it included a discussion not only of the
responsibility of Armenian youth in their personal development but also
the role that organizations and youth committees should play in that
regard. AGBU Central Board and Chairman of AYA in Damascus Vasken
Yacoubian joined the discussion via conference call and he emphasized
the importance of education for young Armenians in the region. Minister
of Diaspora for the Republic of Armenia, Hranush Hakobian, joined the
conversation via telephone and encouraged diasporan Armenian youth to
arm themselves with knowledge and the zeal to serve the homeland.

Established in 1906, AGBU ( is the world's largest
non-profit Armenian organization. Headquartered in New York City, AGBU
preserves and promotes the Armenian identity and heritage through
educational, cultural and humanitarian program, annually touching the
lives of some 400,000 Armenians around the world.