GLENDALE — A delegation of representatives of the Tekeyan Cultural Association of the United States and Canada (TCA) visited the Consulate of the Republic of Armenia in Glendale on February 18 to meet with Consul-General Dr. Armen Baibourtian and Counselor Varazdat Pahlavuni. The Tekeyan representatives included TCA Executive Director Aram Arkun, TCA Los Angeles Chapter Chairman Parsegh Kartalian, TCA Pasadena-Glendale Chapter Vice-Chairman Kevork Keushkerian, who is also a member of the TCA Central Board of Trustees, and TCA Metro Los Angeles Chapter Chairman Carl Bardakian.
During the meeting, issues concerning both Armenia and the diaspora were discussed. Baibourtian remarked that this year was the 25th anniversary of the founding of the consulate, otherwise known as “Mer Doon,” so that several events were being planned in its celebration. He expressed his readiness to collaborate with TCA in the cultural realm and stressed in this respect the key goals of preservation of Armenian identity, the strengthening of bonds with Armenia and the familiarization of Americans with Armenian culture.
Baibourtian noted that he has visited California capital of Sacramento and invited the president of the Senate to visit Armenia in 2020. He added that on the same day, State Sen. Anthony Portantino, known as a staunch supporter of the Armenian community, proposed the reestablishment of the California-Armenia Trade Office which had ceased operations in 2008.
Baibourtian observed that he has begun a program in conjunction with local public schools. He has invited two students from Hoover High School to work in the consulate as interns. He also declared that he is striving to establish good ties with other ethnic groups living in the Los Angeles metropolitan region, including Mexicans, Thais and Lithuanians. For example, he organized a conference for the Mexican and Armenian communities which will take place May 21-23.
The Tekeyan delegation in turn spoke about TCA’s lectures, concerts and various cultural activities in the Los Angeles region. Arkun and the local TCA chapter leadership expressed the desire to support the activities of the consulate as well as to collaborate in a practical fashion wherever possible.