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The Foundations of AGBU

Raymond Kévorkian

Dr. Kévorkian describes the origins of AGBU and the circumstances that motivated its founders.


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October 2016

The Foundations of AGBU

Historian Raymond Kévorkian explains the beginnings of AGBU and the circumstances that motivated the impressive cadre of founding members who established the organization more than one hundred years ago. Today the largest non-profit Armenian organization in the world, AGBU was founded in 1906 on the heels of the Hamidian massacres in Ottoman Turkey. The organization’s visionaries sought to improve living conditions for rural Armenian communities who found themselves in severe socio-economic conditions and under threat of forced migration. A decade later, with the complete destruction of Ottoman Armenian communities during the Genocide, AGBU shifted its focus to adapt to the overwhelming humanitarian needs of refugees and survivors in newly forming Armenian diasporan communities all over the world.

Dr. Raymond Kévorkian is a French Armenian historian and author of The Armenian Genocide: A Complete History. His writings and research focus on the events of the Armenian Genocide, its impact on the surviving Armenian communities across the diaspora and in the formation of the Turkish state. For many years, Dr. Kévorkian served as the director of the AGBU Nubar Library in Paris. In 2010, Dr. Kévorkian received the Armenian Presidential Award in recognition of his enormous contributions to Armenian studies. He is a member of Société de Géographie, a board member of International Association for Armenian Studies, and a foreign member the Armenian National Academy of Sciences.

Topics: Biography/Memoir