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Pareshen Village

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AGBU Press Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, August 19, 2005

AGBU Builds Second Karabakh Village, Dozens Prepare to Move Into Border Region

Perhaps as early as this year, ten families will move into the newly established village of Pareshen in Karabakh's southeastern Hadrut region, thanks to the generosity of AGBU. By the close of 2005, the 900,000-hectare (2.2 million acre) site will be reconstructed, becoming the 40th village in the region and the second built by AGBU. The ten two-room houses will be built with funds raised by AGBU London from the British Armenian Community.

From June 11 - 15, 2005, AGBU London Chairperson Harout Aghajanian and Treasurer Bedros Aslanian visited the site to finalize details of their local committee's initiative. On June 13th, Pavel Nadjarian, head of Karabakh's Migration, Refugees and Repopulation Department, and Aghajanian signed the agreement on village construction, and the official cartographic survey was completed on June 22nd.

The name Pareshen, submitted by Professor K. Pilikian, was selected from a list of 20 entries in a village-naming competition organized by AGBU London. The project will be overseen by the London Chapter and managed on the ground by AGBU's Yerevan and Stepanakert offices, utilizing the services of an independent architect and construction firm chosen through a contract bidding and selection process.

NORASHEN CONTINUES TO GROW

Pareshen is the second village funded and built by AGBU. The first, Norashen, is also located in the Hadrut region, adjacent to Pareshen, and was built with financial support provided by AGBU France District.

Pareshen will share the kindergarten, primary school and all-purpose clinic facilities of neighboring Norashen. Both villages will also share a secondary school, currently being built with funds raised by AGBU Sydney and AGBU Southern California District.

Last October, over 100 AGBU members visited Norashen after the organization's General Assembly in Yerevan. During the excursion to the remote area, members witnessed first-hand the enormous impact AGBU funds have had on a region still recovering from the 1991-94 War of Independence. During the visit, Karabakh President Arkady Ghoukassian praised AGBU for its vision and contribution to the Republic's sustainability, particularly with the repopulation initiative.

The Karabakh Repopulation Project is a pan-AGBU venture first initiated by the organization's French District. To date, AGBU Chapters in France, London, Sydney, Toronto and Los Angeles have contributed to the Repopulation Project with others poised to join in the fundraising effort.

In addition to this project, AGBU supports other initiatives in Karabakh, including the renovation and renaming of Alex Manoogian Street in the capital city of Stepanakert, the reconstruction of a multi-story apartment complex for war veterans and war widows, the building of a modern secondary school in the capital and the funding of the Karabakh Chamber Orchestra.

If you would like to contribute to the Karabakh Repopulation Project please call 212-319.6383 or email agbuny@agbu.org. To contribute directly to the Pareshen village project, please make your check payable to "AGBU London Trust - Pareshen Project" and mail it to AGBU London, Pareshen Project, PO Box 3102, Barnet, UK, EN4 0ZL.

Established in 1906, AGBU (www.agbu.org) is the world's largest non-profit Armenian organization. Headquartered in New York City with an annual budget of $26 million, AGBU preserves and promotes the Armenian identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs, annually serving some 400,000 Armenians in 35 countries.

Phase One is now underway with a budget of £53,000 (roughly USD$96,000) from the generous donations of members of the UK Armenian Community and matching funds from AGBU London Trust. Each home is approximately 5.2 million drams (approximately £6,600 or USD$12,000), but more funds are required to complete a viable village with a minimum of 20 dwellings.

"We must develop Pareshen into a large and prosperous community that will attract more and more people interested in the sustainability of the village and contributing to the economic development of the region. AGBU is playing the lead role in these objectives," said Aghajanian.


Karabakh authorities have taken the responsibility for supplying water and electricity to Pareshen, and will also build a road that will connect it to other villages and regions. AGBU London will also meet the expense of connecting the homes to the water and electricity networks.




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