AAE calls on AGBU to reconsider decision to close Melkonian School

REF: PR /04/03/006
Assembly of Armenians of Europe
Rue de Treves 10, 1050 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 647 08 01
Fax: +32 2 647 02 00

THE AAE calls upon the AGBU to reconsider its decision of closing the
Melkonian School

Brussels, March 15th, 2004 – It is with deep regret that the Assembly
of Armenians of Europe learnt about the decision of the AGBU
Administrative Board to close gradually the Melkonian School of
Cyprus. The Boarding School of the Melkonian Educational Institution
will be the first to be shut down.

It is undeniable truth that the Armenian School is the stronghold
that preserves the Armenian Diaspora from being assimilated and keeps
alive the Armenian spirit. Indeed, since its foundation the Melkonian
Educational Institution has not been just a school, but the principle
basis for the preservation of our national identity outside of
Armenia. Many political and cultural figures have been educated here.

Taking into consideration that many young Armenians attend the
Melkonian School, the closing of the latter will have grave
consequences not only on the Armenian Community in Cyprus, but also
in the countries of Middle East, Europe and countries of ex-Soviet
Union Republic. The Melkonian School offers the best opportunity to
the young Armenians to get acquainted with the Armenian history,
culture and traditions and inspires them with the Armenian values.
The fact that the Melkonian Educational Institution is the only
Armenian secondary school in Europe (besides the school, recently
established in France) emphasizes its importance.

Such decision puts under question the very principles and objectives
of the AGBU Administrative Board which for many decades has been
administrating the Melkonian School and their commitment to the
preservation of Armenian values.

Therefore, the Assembly of Armenians of Europe calls upon the
Administrative Board of the AGBU to reconsider their decision for the
sake of the whole Armenian Diaspora. By applying such a decision, the
AGBU will definitely fail to fulfill its historical mission, which is
the preservation of the Armenian Identity and Armenian values.