out the flags for Panarmenia
Beginning Monday and continuing through next
week, some 550 youth from Armenia and Diaspora
will gather in Dilijan for the second Panarmenian
Over the next eight days, the youth, ages 18
to 30 will be divided into three teams (wearing
team shirts in red, blue, orange) to compete in
athletic and intellectual competitions.
The Panarmenian Youth Foundation (PYF) organized
the conference. Over the past five years PYF has
been financing programs aimed at creating connections
among students from different universities.
"First of all this meeting promotes patriotic
education among young people and unites them around
the country," says PYF executive director
Artur Poghosyan. "And after all we could
say this is a rest and good way of spending time."
Fifteen students from every state University
of Armenia and of several private Universities
were invited to participate at this year's camping
of "hawks". Participants are chosen
by special commissions at each university, who
select the candidate most likely to excel in the
name of their university.
Last year's meeting of "hawks" was
deemed a success as it formed bonds among the
youth that have held over the year.
Poghosyan says the meeting has no political orientation
(though participants from last year's event were
actively campaigning for Robert Kocharyan in last
spring's presidential elections).
Eight days of games, networking, socializing,
will cost about $114,000, with about $74,000 (42
million drams) of that coming from the State budget.
Teams that competed in last year's games must
change their membership by at least 70 percent
for this year's camp. And each squad of 15 must
include at least five girls.
year's conference in Dilijan attracted young
students from all over Armenia.
Diaspora is presented by groups from France,
Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Russia as well as one joint
group of USA and Canada. According to the executive
director of PYF, young people from Diaspora must
only pay for their travel expenses.
State Engineering University student Edgar Paityan
is among participants who'll be returning from
"The days in camp are full of activity,"
Edgar says. "We used to play football, then
take a bath and go play chess."
This year's games will have a particular emphasis
on intellectual games with Armenian themes.
Students will also have an opportunity to meet
political and cultural figures of Armenia. It
is expected that President Kocharyan, Minister
of Defense Serzh Sarsgsyan and Prime Minister
Andranik Margaryan will again attend, as they
did the inaugural camp.
"After last year's meeting young people
were actively keeping in touch with each other,"
says Poghosyan. "Some of them created non-governmental
organizations and now they prepare mutual programs
and present them to us. Being a grant structure,
the foundation tries to assist them as much as
it is possible."
And it is not only games, culture, patriotism
that flourish during the conference. Over the
year, three marriages have taken place, growing
from sparks of last year's camp.