WCPAG Chairman Ishkhan Zakaryan’s Speech at the Opening Ceremony of the 7th Pan-Armenian Games
06 August, 2019, Stepanakert, AR
Honorary Mr. Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan,
Honorary Mr. President of the Artsakh Republic Bako Sahakyan,
The Pan-Armenian Games have launched precisely 20 years ago. Let’s be honest, no one could imagine, that the idea of holding the Pan-Armenian Games would be entrenched throughout the years and would cement the bases of the Armenia-Artsakh-Diaspora trinity. Probably, few people would have believed that this idea would become a reminder and a message to our people, in order to form a Pan-Armenian mindset and make it the axis of our activity. And around the very axis would be revitalized and comforted our homesick heart , while we lit the torch of the last two Pan-Armenian Games on Akhtamar Island in Lake Van and on the top of Musa Dagh in Cilician Armenia embodying the secular aspirations of our nation and lighting the lamp of Hope.
Yes, the idea of the Pan-Armenian Games is very profound, sizable and contagious.
Yes, the idea of the Pan-Armenian Games acquires interesting manifestations, and the “Unity through Sport” slogan becomes the repatriation motto of our compatriots worldwide.
Through the throwback to the past 20 years of the Pan-Armenian Games, I would like to pay tribute to Ashot Melik-Shahnazaryan, the first Chairman of the World Committee of the Pan-Armenian Games, Hrant Bardakchyan, one of the founding members of the Committee. I want to honor and applaud Albert Boyajian, Stephan Ter-Petrosyan, Hakob Krmzyan, Roland Sharoyan, Berge Haladjian, Vard Alexanyan, Alfred Havan, Hermine Duzyan, Paul Kishian, Sebouh Baghdoyan, Misak Najaryan, Vrezh Sharoyan, Avetis Tokatlyan, Harutyun Tamrazyan, Ephrem Bagh, Sam Najarian and other friends, our chairmen of city committees, organizers, Heads of delegations, people whose efforts have reinforced the idea of the Pan-Armenian Games for 20 years and it became the most established project of the Armenia-Artsakh-Diaspora trinity.
It would simply have not been possible to organize the 7th Pan-Armenian Games in Stepanakert and Yerevan without the entire comprehension of the issue and fully promotion. I would like to stress that the idea of holding the Games in Artsakh received the implicit support of RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, and with his instruction was established a Governmental Organizing Committee spearheaded by the Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan, with whom we have worked in an atmosphere of absolute mutual understanding. This idea received the unconditional support of the Artsakh authorities. By the decree of President Bako Sahakyan, was set up an organizational committee headed by the State Minister Grigori Martirosyan. I would like to specifically highlight the assistance of Arthur Vanetsyan, President of the Football Federation of Armenia, who promotes the organizing of the Games literally in 24-hour working regime.
Yes, the Pan-Armenian Games have become ours unbiasedly and without party orientation. In this regard, we pay a deep respect to Samvel Karapetyan, the general sponsor of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 7th Pan-Armenian Games, the President of Tashir Group , Vardan Sirmakes , the sponsor of magnificent Trinity Torchlight events in Musa Dagh, Khor Virap and Tigranakert, businessman Samvel Alexanyan, director of Apaven Company Gagik Aghajanyan and others, who do everything towards the ultimate and overall success. In the result of all this we attain very good statistics – 35 countries, 161 cities, 5244 participants of delegates, 3 new states in the history of the Pan-Armenian Games and about 4,000 fans arriving in the Homeland with participants.
In the contemporary world, sports and cultural events are powerful tools for raising and resolving numerous big issues. In the framework of the torchlighting of the 7th Pan-Armenian Games we made the first historic flight from Yerevan to Van. We had very interesting meetings with representatives of local authorities, a number of frank discussions that resulted in important and challenging insights. It is certainly a very interesting idea holding the 8th Pan-Armenian Summer Games in Van-Yerevan, Gyumri-Kars format, and we are working to this direction. And today I would like to specifically mention, that together with their Armenian counterparts, this opening ceremony at the Stepanakert Stadium is covered by the representatives of Tigranakert and Van TV companies by providing live streaming for their multi-million audience.
Summing up, I would like to express special thanks to all of them, whose efforts made feasible the organization of the 7th Pan-Armenian Games in Stepanakert.
Artsakh is our Avarayr, our Sardarapat, Artsakh is the ferment of all Armenians.
Thank you everyone who arrived in Artsakh.
Please, accept my apologies for some difficulties.
The homeland is not good or bad. The homeland is the only one. One should not love homeland through declarations and fairy tales but with practical love.
Hence, be welcome to one of the most remarkable corners of our great Homeland, Artsakh!
And may God bless all of us!