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[FAR Partnerships | ACYOA Dispatches]: The 2010 ACYOA Armenia Service Program Day 4 – Gyumri & FAR’s Octet Music School. standard

By Katrina Shakarian Gyumri is known throughout Armenia as a city of artists. Its old city, for example, boasts a unique style of architecture that you’ll see nowhere else in Armenia. While the rest of the country, particularly Yerevan, is an amalgam of Soviet apartment blocks and modern architecture, Gyumri’s old city is reminiscent of Armenian homes in Gharz and Erzurum, now cities in eastern Turkey. While much of Armenia is currently built with pink toof rocks, architects in 19th-century Gyumri built their homes with black toof. Levon from FAR’s Yerevan office took me on a tour of the old city, known by the locals as Slabotka. The buildings there are in different states of ruin because of the 1988 ...

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[FAR Partnerships | ACYOA Dispatches]: The 2010 ACYOA Armenia Service Program Day 3 – Gyumri. standard

By Katrina Shakarian Today we began the service portion of our trip. We’ve divided ourselves into four groups that will be rotating between FAR’s soup kitchen and the Ounjian school. At the soup kitchen, participants helped prepare a meal for the elderly residents of Gyumri. The kitchen provides food for 200 people each day. For most of its beneficiaries, that is the only meal they will be eating all day. Across town, other ASP-ers assisted in renovating the Ounjian school. They spent the day plastering walls. Eventually, they will sand and paint them. Liana and Mitch helping with renovations at the Ounjian school Credit: Katrina Shakarian Armenia is divided into different regions called marzes. Think of them as the equivalents ...

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[FAR Partnerships | ACYOA Dispatches]: The 2010 ACYOA Armenia Service Program Day 2 – Gyumri. standard

By Katrina Shakarian We hit the road Monday morning, and made the 2-hour trip to Gyumri, Armenia’s second largest city. It’s located in northwestern Armenia, sitauted close to the Turkish border. Gyumri is known for its artists, actors, poets, and sportsmen. It is Armenia’s cultural capital. It is also known as the site of a devastating earthquake. In 1988, a quake destroyed 80 percent of the city, and took 25,000 lives. Lisa, Paul, and Libby on Route to Gyumri Credit: Katrina Shakarian Our first stop was a local restaurant that farms fish. Lunch was fresh, and barbecued straight out of a pond. Some ASP-ers even got to ride horses. Next, we visited FAR’s Gyumri office. The Fund for Armenian Relief ...

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[FAR Partnerships | ACYOA Dispatches]: The 2010 ACYOA Armenia Service Program Day 1 – Arrival. standard

By Katrina Shakarian Three days ago I woke up on a flight from Paris to Armenia. As I peered out of my tiny window seat, Mt. Ararat came into view. Its snowy peaks, where I’ve learned to anchor my identity, the symbol of our nation, overwhelmed me. Finally, after a lifetime of waiting, we had arrived. Arrival in Yerevan Credit: Katrina Shakarian Since that first glimpse of our homeland, ASP-ers have climbed the walls of Amberd fortress. We’ve lit candles at Samosavank monastery. We’ve tasted fresh lavash, toasted on the walls of a tandyr.  We’ve descended into the tomb of Mesrop Mashtotz at Oshakan village, the founder of our alphabet in 405 A.D. We’ve laid flowers at the Tzitzernakabert Genocide memorial. We’ve visited Keghart monastery, carved ...

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[FAR Partnerships | ACYOA Dispatches]: The 2010 ACYOA Armenia Service Program. standard

A total of 17 young people are taking part in this year’s ACYOA Armenia Service Program, from June 30 to July 20. The three-week trip – which is being led by the Rev. Fr. Tateos Abdalian, with assistance from Katrina Shakarian of Holy Martyrs Armenian Church of Bayside, N.Y. – includes sight-seeing opportunities as well as a service component. In addition to seeing Armenia’s historic, spiritual, and cultural sites, group members will volunteer at the Fund for Armenian Relief’s Ounjian School and Soup Kitchen in Gyumri. This is the first time the ACYOA is partnering with FAR to volunteer in Armenia, as part of a long-term initiative to provide opportunities for young people to visit and serve their homeland. On ...

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[FAR Partnerships | USAID]: More Water Supply Improvements to Come to Nagorno-Karabagh. standard

Nagorno-Karabagh President Bako Sahakian recently announced improvements to the water supply as a priority for the Artsakh province. In fact, this year the All-Armenian Fund’s Board of Trustees will allocate $14 million for such programs. FAR completed another project last year when we collaborated with the Armenia Water Company to improve water supply for about 100,000 residents of Artashat and 27 surrounding communities. Through a multi-million dollar grant from USAID, FAR installed new pipelines and resorviars which brought portable running water to many for the first time. Marie L. Yovanovitch, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia, during the opening ceremony of FAR’s Artashat Project. Credit: FAR Staff

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[FAR Partnerships | USAID]: More Water Supply Improvements to Come to Nagorno-Karabagh. standard

Nagorno-Karabagh President Bako Sahakian recently announced improvements to the water supply as a priority for the Artsakh province. In fact, this year the All-Armenian Fund’s Board of Trustees will allocate $14 million for such programs. FAR completed another project last year when we collaborated with the Armenia Water Company to improve water supply for about 100,000 residents of Artashat and 27 surrounding communities. Through a multi-million dollar grant from USAID, FAR installed new pipelines and resorviars which brought portable running water to many for the first time. Marie L. Yovanovitch, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia, during the opening ceremony of FAR’s Artashat Project. Credit: FAR Staff

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