AGBU Press Office: AGBU Karabakh Repopulation Project Opens School i

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

AGBU Karabakh Repopulation Project Opens School in Norashen and Begins Construction of Jrakn Village

On September 11, 2006, the opening ceremony of the new Norashen School
took place in Karabakh’s Hadrut region. With 32 pupils enrolled, the
elementary school, designed to accommodate 80 students, has eight
classrooms, one event hall, a teacher’s lounge and a principal’s
office. The official ribbon cutting was followed by the groundbreaking
ceremony of the nearby village of Jrakn, which was destroyed during
the war and is situated 200 meters away from Norashen. Both initiatives
are part of AGBU’s Karabakh Repopulation Project, which was initiated
in 2002 and has been helping to rebuild the war-torn villages that
remain abandoned following the 1988 to 1994 conflict with Azerbaijan.

Among the honored guests were AGBU representatives and Karabakh
authorities, including: Karabakh President, Arkady Ghoukassian; Deputy
Prime Minister, Ararat Danielian; Minister of Education, Culture
and Sport, Kamo Atayan; Minister of Territorial Administration and
Development of Industrial Infrastructures, Armo Tsaturian; Migration,
Refugees and Repopulation Department Head, Pavel Nadjarian; Head of
Hadrut Administration, Valery Gevorkian; AGBU Central Board Member,
Levon Kebabdjian; and AGBU Armenia Representation Director, Ashot
Ghazarian.

President Ghoukassian underscored the importance of such projects,
expressing his gratitude to all AGBU donors and supporters who are
committed to the reconstruction of Karabakh. "For many years now, AGBU
has been carrying out programs in Karabakh. Always standing by our
side, the Union, together with us, is facilitating the repopulation
of Karabakh. This must serve as an example to other organizations,"
he said.

Students welcomed the guests and thanked the donors that made it all
possible with a speech of gratitude. Sitting on the school bench of
the newly refurbished classroom, 13-year-old Khachik Hoveyan exuded
happiness and satisfaction. "I could have never imagined that I would
attend such a beautiful school. I have decided to study a lot, become
a doctor and come to work in the medical center of Norashen to help
my fellow villagers," Khachik said.

The event was widely covered by local and Armenian mass media. At
the end of the ceremony, AGBU representatives presented the school
children with bags filled with school supplies, ensuring that students
have the proper tools to pursue their education.

The construction of the Norashen School is part of AGBU’s Karabakh
Repopulation Project, and AGBU’s Southern Californian District
Committee and Sydney Chapter, which contributed nearly $90,000 to
the project, financed the facility. AGBU Toronto also donated to the
project and AGBU Young Professional Groups raised the funds to help
furnish the institution. Additional financial support came directly
from private AGBU donors.

"The village was reborn before our eyes with a kindergarten, a
medical center and now a school. Thanks to AGBU, our village lives
and flourishes. I am very grateful both as a teacher and as a local
resident," said Nuara Gevorkian, the only school teacher from Norashen.

The reconstruction of Norashen, located about 45 miles southeast
of Stepanakert, began in 2001. The village has 22 houses, and the
infrastructure of Norashen will also serve the neighboring Jrakn
village, which was initiated by AGBU Central Board member Michael
Ansour. Planned in two stages, the construction of the first 10 houses
will be finished by the first quarter of 2007. Another 10 houses will
be built by summer 2008.

Established in 1906, AGBU () is the world’s largest
non-profit Armenian organization. Headquartered in New York City
with an annual budget of $34 million, AGBU preserves and promotes
the Armenian identity and heritage through educational, cultural and
humanitarian programs, annually serving some 400,000 Armenians in
35 countries.

www.agbu.org
www.agbu.org

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