YEREVAN, MAY 11, ARTSAKHPRESS. At the initiative of the Armenian community of Serbia, a conference will be held in autumn this year, gathering Armenian and Serbian figures from sport, culture, science and tourism sectors.
President of the Armenian National Community of Serbia Biljana Obradović-Shakhrimanyan, who was in Armenia recently, told Armenpress that the Armenian community is seeking to hold a number of events, by gathering specialists of Armenia and Serbia.
“For many years no works have been done to intensify the Armenia-Serbia relations at a public level. Moreover, there was no community as such. But now, thanks to my and my friends’ efforts actions have been taken to form that community and hold events. This conference is one of the programs of the community, which aims at creating a cooperation platform”, she said.
Biljana Obradović-Shakhrimanyan said that the initiative has been discussed in Serbia’s respective agencies and was approved. One of the goals of the visit to Armenia together with the Serbian partners was this, to introduce the initiative to the Armenian agencies and officials. It was approved here as well, both in the Office of the High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs and the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport.
“We want the conference to be attended not only by cultural, scientific, sport figures, but also officials of the two countries. It’s very important for us to make the opening of the conference in Armenia. When officials visit from Armenia, it also strengthens the positions of our Armenian community. Such visits give another emphasis to these events and open a new opportunity”, Biljana Obradović-Shakhrimanyan said, expressing confidence that Armenian and Serbian figures will cooperate, carry out exchange of experience, implement joint programs, etc.
She is convinced that the Armenian community could play a big role in forming, intensifying and strengthening cooperation between Armenia and Serbia.
“The Armenian community as such has not operated for 20 years. In 2019 I decided to carry out a coordinated work, collect data, create a platform for communication and joint work, and give a chance to recognize each other. For 10 years I have been engaged in collecting information about Armenians in Serbia. It’s a very difficult process, requires a daily work, but I never gave up and continued my work. According to my latest data, nearly 5000 Armenians live in Serbia. They are both the generations of the Genocide survivors and those who came from Armenia recently. I can state that Armenians are engaged in almost all sectors – education, science, politics, culture, business community”, she said, adding that she does everything to raise awareness on Armenia in Serbia.
Borba cultural journal will contribute to this process. Its editor-in-chief Elena Stojanovic was also in Armenia these days. She is going to share her impressions, materials on Armenia in the journal.
“When I was visiting Armenia, I didn’t want to read much on the internet, I wanted to get acquainted on the spot. I am impressed with Armenia, with the architecture of churches, culture. I specifically want to highlight the warmth shown by the local people. I can surely state that we feel ourselves home here. We don’t feel that we are in a foreign country. We are going to dedicate 4-6 page of the next volume of our magazine to Armenia with pleasure”, she said.
Darko Obradovic, Program Manager of the Center for Strategic Analysis of Serbia, also shared his impressions from Armenia. He said they are interested in cooperating with Armenian specialists in science field.
“We have a great cooperation experience with international partners. The purpose of the visit to Armenia is to find partners who are interested in cooperation in science sector. We could respond to current challenges through joint work. The upcoming conference is a very important initiative in terms of finding partners, which is going to gather representatives from different areas. When scientists, cultural figures, different specialists start talking, I am sure that officials will also follow them”, Darko Obradovic said.
He is convinced that the peoples of Armenia and Serbia have many commonalities and a rich experience, and there are big opportunities for joint work.
Interview by Anna Gziryan