CLOSING CEREMONIES AT THE STEPANAKERT FREEDOM PLAZA ATTRACT 5000
STEPANAKERT–MKR–Over 5000 supporters joined the 300 participants of the Eighth ARF Youth and Student Association World Jamboree at a gala celebration marking the end of the 10-day youth program–reported the ARF Central Youth Office.
The outdoor festival–held at the historic Stepanakert Freedom Fighter Plaza–followed a full day of sightseeing and official meetings for the Jamboree attendees. After an early morning drive from Garmrakar–Armenia–participants visited the Soorp Ghazanchezotz Church and Ganachee Church in Shushi–and then viewed the barracks of one of the battalions that liberated Shushi from Azeri occupation in 1992.
The group then moved on to the MKR capital–Stepanakert–where Mountainous Karabagh Republic Cultural–Sport and Youth Minister Armen Sarkissian–MKR office of Repopulation Director Serjig Amirkhanian–ARF Mountainous Karabagh Central Committee Chairman Vahan Badasyan and ARF Bureau Member Albert Ajemian–greeted and addressed the group at the MKR Youth Affairs Building.
Sarkissian stressed that the youth come to MKR as proud "guardians of our homeland," and not as tourists. "You are the victorious generation," explained Sarkissian and urged youth to stand firm in their commitment to a reunified Armenia and Mountainous Karabagh–as negotiations for a final settlement continue. The meeting with MKR government officials was followed by a moving oath ceremony–where over 20 Jamboree participants joined the ran’s of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.
The closing ceremonies for the Jamboree began at 8:00PM–as Stepanakert residents began to gather for an evening of speeches–music and a special presentation by the Jamboree participants. The evening’s master of ceremonies–ARF Lebanon Youth Organization (AYF-LEM) member Levon Ohanian–welcomed attendees and spoke of the commitment of AYF and ARF Youth across the world to a democratic and prosperous Mountainous Karabagh Republic–and its pledge to assist in worldwide efforts to obtain a lasting and peaceful solution to the MKR conflict.
Keynote speakers Albert Ajemian and ARF Central Youth Office Director Sarkis Mgrditchian detailed ARF’s efforts in supporting MKR and youth development efforts around the world. Following musical presentations by local singers–over 30 Jamboree participants recited poetry and gave moving speeches that dealt with 20th century Armenian history. These moving performances were received with great fervor by the large audience. Participants from the US–Canada–Argentina–Lebanon–Syria–Kuwait–Israel–Greece– Russia–Iran–Armenia–MKR and Javakhk gathered in Garmrakar–Armenia–for the 10-day Jamboree to exchange ideas about youth activism–renew old friendships and meet the up-and-coming youth leaders from around the world.