Allen Yekikian with his wife Sosé Thomassian
|Name in Armenian||Ալէն Եքիքեան|
|Birth date||10 March 1985|
|Lived in||Glendale, Irvine, Yerevan|
|Resides in||Yerevan, Armenia|
|Profession||Media & Communication|
|Affiliations||ARF, Armenian Youth Federation, Asbarez, Armenian National Committee of America, AYF Youth Corps, Haytoug magazine, Civilitas Foundation, Armenia Fund, American University of Armenia|
|Dialects||Eastern Armenian, Western Armenian|
Allen Yekikian was born on March 10, 1985, to Asik and Henrik Yekikian in Glendale, California. He attended Chamlian Armenian School and joined Homenetmen Ararat scouts at a young age. After Chamlian, Allen attended Crescenta Valley High School, where his aptitude and passion for computers emerged. In 1999, Allen became a big brother with the birth of his only sister Natalie. He visited Armenia for the first time in 2005, and returned with a newfound sense of national pride. In the fall of that same year, he began studies at UCLA where he earned a degree in History and a minor in Armenian Studies.
At UCLA, Allen was an active member of the Armenian Students Association. During this time, he developed a strong interest in the political future of the Armenian nation, interning with the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) and joining the Crescenta Valley “Zartonk” chapter of the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF), where he held local leadership positions, and served on the AYF Western Region Central Executive for multiple years. Allen revolutionized the AYF’s public relations and online presence, and contributed greatly to Haytoug magazine. He was well-known for having an insatiable appetite for knowledge, devouring information on Armenian history and the Armenian revolutionary movement while still managing to graduate summa cum laude.
In 2007, Allen went to work for Asbarez, the oldest Armenian daily newspaper, bringing the publication into the 21st century by redesigning Asbarez.com, and creating the first Armenian news smartphone app. In May of 2009, Allen joined the ranks of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, and served as a dedicated member of the ARF “Shant” Student Association.
In his career he rose to become the Assistant Editor of Asbarez, the Chief Technology Officer of Operation Hope, the social media strategist for Armenia Fund, Webmaster at CivilNet, and Director of Communications at the American University of Armenia.
Allen met his future wife Sose Thomassian at AYF Camp during the 2007 Annual AYF Convention. By September 2010 the two were engaged and began their life together. They were married on August 11, 2012 at Kecharis Monastery in Tsaghkadzor surrounded by close friends and family. In the beginning of 2013 Sosé & Allen repatriated to Armenia, embarking on a new chapter of their lives.
Upon moving to Armenia, Allen and Sosé started a blog called HowtomakeitinArmenia.com. The purpose of the blog was to document their move and was "about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in Armenia." With this blog Allen and Sosé aimed at showing other Armenians "what it takes to not only move to Armenia, but to make it in Armenia."
Allen and Sosé, along with their driver Ara Avetisyan were tragically killed as a result of a car accident on May 10, 2013 en route to Tbilisi from Yerevan. The driver of the bus that crashed into them faces charges of criminal negligence under Article 276 of Georgia's Criminal Code.
Sosé & Allen's Legacy Foundation
Sosé & Allen's Legacy Foundation was set up in their memory to continue their vision by establishing programs and supporting existing programs aimed at bridging the gap between Armenia and its Diaspora, through an emphasis on education, repatriation, and volunteerism within the homeland.
On September 10, 2013, coinciding with what would have been Sose Thomassian's birthday, the Foundation announced the establishment of a memorial forest in Armenia in honor of Sosé and Allen. The memorial forest campaign was launched in collaboration with Armenia Tree Project. The campaign will conclude on March 10, 2014, coinciding with Allen Yekikian's birthday. The organizations set an initial goal of planting 50,000 trees.