Fifty scholars and experts of the Armenian Society of Fellows convened in the monastery of St. Lazarus in Venice, along with the remote participation of another 59 scholars and experts late last month. The inaugural conference of the Fellows involved one full day of presentations and discussions, and another day of small-group meetings focused on planning for the next stages.
Rev. Fr. Hamazasp Keshishian, welcomed the participants on behalf of the Mekhitarist Congregation, saying the monastic order has always offered its unwavering support for all initiatives that contribute to the development of the Armenian nation. Ani Aprahamian, Chair of the Executive Board of ASOF, then presented the goals of the organization and the agenda of the meeting.
The June 27 session involved a series of presentations from task forces in the Sciences, Social Sciences, International Law, Philosophy, and Media and Communication. In the afternoon, a two-hour long round table discussion was held on past and future engagements between the Diaspora and Armenia, and on Armenia’s place in its geopolitical neighborhood.
On June 28, 36 members met in small-group meetings on topics such as the challenges and opportunities in education in Armenia, the next steps for the Sciences and Social Sciences task forces, and other planning sessions. The conference concluded in the evening of the 28th.
ASOF pursues a number of projects, including establishing a center of international law in Armenia as well as a scientific center.
A survey conducted among members prior to the conference showed that education and research in Armenia were the main priority they thought ASOF should work on, followed by the country’s security and, in the third place, its wealth and economy.
At the end of the conference, Rev. Fr. Serop Jamourlian thanked participants in the name of the Mekhitarist Congregation, wishing them success in their endeavors.