His Holiness Catholicos Aram I presided over the third online meeting with Diaspora Armenian intellectuals on Friday, Sept. 23, during which participants assessed the work done so far following the patriarchal proclamation of 2022 as Year of the Diaspora.  

Attendees included Khachig Tölölyan, Yervant Zorian, and Haig Oshagan, from the United States; Rupen Janbazian, from Armenia; Hovel Chenorhokian, from France; Hratch Kouyoumjian and Hratch Tchilingirian, from the United Kingdom; Teny Pirri-Simonian, from Switzerland; Khatchig Der Ghougassian, from Argentina; and Seta Khedeshian, Shahan Kandaharian, and Khatchig Dedeyan, from Lebanon.   

During the meeting, His Holiness said the proclamation had resonated with the media and the wider community. Nevertheless, he called for further introspection and analysis as the community works further.   

Participants discussed identity loss and new approaches to self-knowledge. They also examined the threats posed by outdated community structures, the decline of Western Armenian, and desertion of community life by youth, among other topics. Particular attention was paid to the absence of a Diaspora-wide vision as well as a projection for Diaspora-Armenia relations.   

As the meeting was coming to an end, His Holiness said that he would follow up this year’s proclamation in 2023, which will be “Year of the Diaspora II: Planning Self-Examination and Reorganization.”  The guidelines that are being developed currently will be applied towards the second year devoted to rebuilding the Diaspora.