The Armenian Prelacy of Egypt organized the launching of the two volumes on Armenians of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia in Cairo on March 24, 2023. Those present at this event were, Prelate Bishop Ashod Mnatsaganian, Dr. Hratchya Poladian, Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Armenia in Egypt, Haigazian University President, Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian, members of the Cairo District and Political Councils, representatives of Armenian organizations, the editor of the two volumes and Director of the Armenian Diaspora Research Center (ADRC), Dr. Antranik Dakessian, guests and friends.
In his opening words Dr. Suren Bayramian welcomed the audience and briefly expressed his impressions of the conference on the Armenians of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia which was held in April and May 2018 both in Cairo and Haigazian University. He underlined and expressed his satisfaction regarding the participation of the young generation in this unique conference. Dr. Bayramian noted the valiant endeavors in highlighting the Armenian Diaspora communities which were geographically close to the fatherland, and stressed the necessity of addressing their challenges with joint efforts.
Dr. Poladian expressed his gratitude and joy for the implementation of such a conference and the results it had, and thanked all those who had planned, participated in and supported the realization of the conference.
Dr. Dakessian briefed about the 40 papers and contributors included in the two volumes, highlighted the spirit of cooperation that existed between the Cairo Armenian authorities and Haigazian University, thanking them and the 16 panelists who came originally from Egypt and Ethiopia. He noted that these were the only volumes that were being launched in their native communities. Dr. Dakessian asked to take note of the facts that enabled the tiny community of Ethio-Armenians to survive for the last 100 years until the socioeconomic and political turmoil of the 1970s. He continued saying, “these factors plus the enormous contribution the Egyptian Armenian community had on the state, people, economy and culture of Egypt, as well as the wise support of the Republic of Armenia and the will of the members of the community, constitute the basic elements for the survival of an Armenian Diasporic community”.
Aspé Djizmedjian, Ayk Zakarian, and Dr. Maroush Yeremian who had participated in the conference, as well as Dr. Armen Mazloumian shared their experience and impression of the conference.
Rev. Dr. Haidostian expressed his satisfaction and gratitude to all those who supported the conference and noted that “one may consider Egypt as the starting point of several things. It had an important role in the beginnings of the life of Jesus … we see the input of the Egyptian Armenian community in the early steps of the Armenian communities of Syria, Lebanon and Iraq… the headquarters of the Arab League is in Egypt which is a very important starting point for the Republic of Armenia”. Dr. Haidostian added that these and the other volumes of the proceedings of the seven conferences organized by the ADRC are a serious call to further researches in the Armenian Diaspora. He considered these conferences to be a podium for academic dialogue and the establishment of relations and cooperation between different scholars. He concluded saying, “we ought to get hold of and bear responsibility of our past and present legacy”.
In his closing words Prelate Mnatsaganian reminisced the process of the conferences, the questions and concerns raised, and stressed that as long as there is a will to realize a project there is a big chance of its success. He considered such conferences to be reminders that call upon the reader to think where they are from, where they live, how the community was established, how visionary and dedicated its members were, “that have made us still survive and continue to make use of their input.” Father Mnatsaganian wished such conferences and acts of cooperation to be repeated and thanked all those who made these conferences and the book launching event a reality.
During the reception in a friendly and enriching atmosphere, the guests had an opportunity to share experiences in such conferences.