‘Depi Yerkir’ Information Fair To Promote Repatriation

‘DEPI YERKIR’ INFORMATION FAIR TO PROMOTE REPATRIATION

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Armenians today live in a truly historic period. For the first time
in over 600 years, with the exception of the short-lived republic of
1918-1920, we have an independent Armenian state of our own. Unlike
many of our parents and those who came before us, our generation has a
tremendous opportunity–indeed, a responsibility–to reassemble within
our homeland and be a stake holder in its much needed development.

In recent years, we have seen a small but significant number of
Armenians from around the world rise up to this challenge and make
their way to the homeland. Some have gone as volunteers for extended
periods of time, while others have ventured one step further and
permanently repatriated there. These pioneering groups and individuals
are setting the foundation for a new, burgeoning tide of Diaspora
Armenians who realize the importance of looking to the homeland for
their future.

Simultaneously, the government in Armenia has recently taken steps to
begin embracing this process of repatriation and encouraging Diasporan
Armenians to take ownership in their homeland. This is perhaps best
illustrated by the government’s adoption of the Law on Dual Citizenship
in 2007 and its recent creation of the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs.

As members of the ARF Shant Student Association, we feel there has
never been a better time then now to bolster and expand this growing
movement. For this reason, we have initiated an ongoing campaign
aimed at encouraging Diasporan Armenians to travel, support, connect,
and, ultimately, resettle in the homeland. We plan to carry out
this campaign through a series of events, activities and initiatives
which call on students and youth, especially, to take part in this
"Depi Yerkir" movement.

Our first event along these lines will be an information fair on
May 14 at the Glendale Hilton Hotel, from 7 to 10 pm. Attendees will
have the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge about opportunities
available in Armenia and explore many of the ways repatriation can
become a reality. There will also be an informative presentation
by Dr. Stephan Astourian, Chair of Armenian Studies at UC Berkeley,
regarding the importance of looking to the homeland for the future
of the Armenian nation.

We are fully aware of the difficulties of repatriation and the
sacrifice it entails. However, we are also aware of the repercussions
of staying trapped in foreign lands and fighting daily to maintain
our culture and identity

Although challenging, the fact is that repatriation is not only
possible, it is a viable option and great opportunity. By working
collectively, we can help foster this reality, creating a stronger
nation and a better future for ourselves and for the Republic of
Armenia.

We call on all Armenians to join the "Depi Yerkir" movement and look
toward Armenia for the future. Let us all unite, utilizing our talents
and resources for the betterment of our homeland; ensuring a brighter,
stronger and more prosperous Armenia.

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