Khanasor Chapter Attends AYF Pan-European Congress in Holland

On the weekend of 17th-19th May, the AYF Garegin Njdeh chapter in The Netherlands hosted the AYF Pan-European Congress, entitled “Armenia 2025″. Attending were 42 members from AYF chapters across 8 European countries, 3 delegates of which were representing London’sKhanasor chapter – engers Heros, Varag and Ruben.

Knowing that since our reformation in 2008 we had not had much contact with our sister chapters in the rest of Europe, we were all the more enthusiastic to embrace this opportunity to not only present the chapter and our work to our colleagues, but also to learn about how chapters in other countries work and what we can learn from them.

On the first evening we listened to a number of speakers representing the ARF in various countries – including Armenia and The Netherlands – open the congress with their views on the current state of affairs regarding the party, the Genocide and Armenian communities worldwide. They encouraged us to think innovatively about the topics in hand and come up with realistic ideas that could be implemented by both the ARF and AYF chapters in Europe. Everyone also took the opportunity to introduce themselves as well as the history and work of their chapters to the other participants.

Saturday’s activities took the form of various group discussions, as well as a trip into town and lunch at a local restaurant. The evening brought about a panel discussion, which was an opportunity for both AYF members and those representing other Armenian youth organisations to express opinions on a variety of topics: each country picked one representative, along with an ambassador from each guest organisation, and each was given a topic to discuss. It is safe to say that there were a very wide range of viewpoints, ranging from hubristic to revolutionary, and many non-traditional ones. However, the spirit of openness and inclusiveness allowed the discussion to thrive nevertheless.

To close the day, everyone was invited to have dinner and drinks at the venue, followed by akhrakhjank (party) at which all the traditional patriotic songs were sung with many a glass raised in toast.

The final day was mainly a third brainstorming session about Armenian youth in 2025. The format was the same as the other sessions followed by an enlightening discussion about how everyone thought the Armenian youth of 2025 would look.

To summarise, this congress was a great opportunity to meet fellow AYF members, to talk openly about our respective organisations, ideas and challenges, and to learn from each other in order to create stronger youth organisations across Europe.

— Ruben Arakelyan

The Central Office of the AYF, located in Yerevan, has summarised the outcome of the weekend’s discussions.

You can read their summary in both Armenian and English.

You can also view all the photos on our Website.

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