The conference on “Armenians of Cyprus and Greece”, organized by the Armenian Diaspora Research Center (ADRC), was held at Haigazian University on May 30 & 31.
The official opening took place on Thursday, May 30, in the presence of Rev. Hrayr Cholakian, and Archbishop Varujan Hergelian, Armenian intellectuals, historians, and academicians. The conference began with the opening words of Dr. Antranik Dakessian, Director of the ADRC. Haigazian University President Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian’s words were followed by the reading of the message of the Cypriot Armenian Community Representative, Mr. Vartkes Mahdessian. Dr. Susan Pattie, the guest speaker of this two day conference was then invited to the podium to address the audience.
The conference, with its six sessions (two on Greece and four on Cyprus), extended over two days and covered thirty-four topics, presented by thirty-two scholars coming from countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Greece, Cyprus, Armenia, Syria, and Lebanon.
Panelists were Akis Dangazian, “History, Revival and Future Challenges: The Armenian Community of Komotini since the 17th Century”, Dr. Jon Armajani, “The Constitutions of Greece and Minorities”, Dr. Shushan Khachadrian, “The Orphans of the Near East in Greece: Photos, Documents and Testimonies”, Christine Nadjarian, “Alma Johansson’s Humanitarian Dedication to the Greek Armenian Refugee Children”, Dr. Hervé Georgelin, “Angèle Kourtian: An Armenian Witness and a Greek Language Writer”, Gariné Raphayelian, “A Portrait of the Greek Armenian News Media of the 1930s–1940s”, Dr. Eliz Gevorkian, “Repatriation and the Immigration of Greek-Armenians to Soviet Armenia”, Dr. Tigran Ghanalanian, “The Outflow of Armenians from Greece between 1946 and the 1970s”, Hovig Kasabian, “The Armenian Community of Thessaloniki 1990–2015”, Dr. Artsvi Bakhchinian, “The Contribution of Greek Armenians to Greek and International Arts”, Sona Nersisian, “The Role of Armenian Organizations in Greece in Organizing the Local Armenian Community”, Prof. Claude Mutafian, “Matrimonial Diplomacy between Cyprus and Cilician Armenia”, Avedis Aposhian, “The Armenians of Cyprus During Ottoman Rule”, Dr. Hagop Cholakian, “Cyprus in the History and Folklore of Antioch Armenians”, Prof. Vahram Shemmassian, “Cyprus as a Main Anchor for the Entry of Armenian Revolutionaries into Mainland Ottoman Empire during the 1890s and 1900s”, Dr. Armen Urneshlian, “The Prehistory of the Founding of the Melkonian Educational Institute”, Dr. Edita Gjoyan, “The League of Nations and the Formation of Armenian Communities in Greece and Cyprus”, Dr. Armajani, “The Constitutions of Cyprus and Minorities”, Dr. Ghanalanian, “The Outflow of Armenians from Cyprus During 1955 and the 1970s”, Hasmig Haroutounian, “The Relations of Soviet Armenia and the Armenian Community of Cyprus between 1945 and 1991”, Dr. Ashod Krikorian, “The Armenian Architects of Greece and Cyprus”, Dr. Antranik Ashjian, “The State Representatives of the Cypriot Armenian Community”, Nayiri Mouradian, “The Cyprus Armenian Radio Program”, Vartan Tashjian, “The Nareg Cypriot-Armenian School Network”, Alexander Michael Hadjilyra, “The Events of 1963–64 and 1974, and Their Impact on the Armenian-Cypriot Community”, His Beatitude Archbishop Varujan Hergelian, “The Armenian Church in Cyprus”, Masis Der Partogh, “Armenians in Cyprus: Refugees and Pioneers, from Necessity to Excellence”, Hadjilyra, “A Panorama of Armenian-Cypriot Organizations”, Ruth Keshishian, “Printing in Armenian Movable Type Fonts and the Culture of Reading on the Island of Cyprus”, Dr. Hrayr Djebedjian, “The Armenian Evangelical Church of Cyprus: History, Search for Identity and Current Challenges”, Simon Aynedjian, “A Historical Overview of the Cypriot Armenian Communications Media”, Dr. Sossie Kasbarian,  “Between Nationalist Absorption and Subsumption – the Armenian Cypriot Experience”, Lusine Danadjian, “The Socio-cultural Characteristics of the Cypriot Armenian Life”. The summary of the paper on “Armenian Immigrants in Cyprus: A Profile” was not read as it was already published in the booklet of the conference.
Moderators were Drs. Arda Ekmekji, Armen Urneshlian, Antranik Dakessian, and Shaghig Khudaverdian, Yeghia Tashjian, and Armen Bakkalian.
An evening talk was held on Thursday, in the presence of the Prelate, Archb. Nareg Alemezian. Hovig Kasabian (from Greece) and Dr. Antranik Ashjian (from Cyprus) discussed “The Current Challenges of the Armenian Communities of Greece and Cyprus”. An exhibition of some sixty books authored by graduates from the Melkonian Educational Institute were exhibited at the university’s Matossian Arts Center Hall.
A bilingual booklet, which included the program of the conference, the summaries of the papers to be presented and the biographies of the panelists, was published on the occasion.
The Haigazian University Armenian Diaspora Research Center has scheduled its next conference on “Armenians of The Gulf States” for May 2020.
The Center has published two volumes of the proceedings of the conferences on Lebanon and Syria. The third and fourth volumes of the proceedings of the conferences on Armenians of Jordan and Iraq will be out soon.