Legislative Council's meeting in Sharjah

Legislative Council's meeting in Sharjah

Temagan meeting in February 2002 (Archive Photo) 

Kuwait and Arabian Gulf Countries' 14th Legislative Council meeting was held from 25-26 April 2007 in Pierre Keusseyan Community Hall in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, presided by the Catholicosal Representative Archbishop Goriun Babian.


During the meeting the complete reports of all three Executive Councils (Kuwait, Sharjah-Dubai and Abu Dhabi) were read and evaluated. The volunteer work of all members was highly praised, without making reference to aspects of community life that showed weakness in the past period.


The official press briefing did not reveal much. It assured that the meeting dealt with all kind of community affairs (national, religious, educational, cultural, etc.) and took the necessary decisions after in-depth examination and discussion. No more details were given. It is not clear on what basis the activities of the Executive Councils were evaluated? What were the shortcomings? What were the areas in which the community did well and what were the neglected areas? The reports of the Executive Councils were not circulated (not even in summarized form).


Nothing was mentioned about the Executive Council of Qatar. Three years ago the formation of the Executive Council of Qatar was announced. Did that Council survive?


The meeting unanimously elected the Executive Councils of the three Gulf Armenian communities as follows:


Sharjah-Dubai (9 members): Sonia Ayvazian, Nirva Nergizian, Boghos Parseghian, Eric Zohrab, Hagop Joukjoukian, Jivan Hovhannisian, Moushegh Bedirian, Bedros Bedrjikian and Harout Bedrossian.


Abu Dhabi (7 members): Silva Asad, Suzy Tahan, Hagop Arslanian, Matig Manougian, Armen Bious and Raffi Simonian, etc.  


Kuwait (9 members): Names not available (We did not receive any circular with the names). 


Some community members argue that it is not important how the Legislative or Executive members are elected or appointed, the important thing is what they offer to their communities.



On 22 May 2007 the Council of the Armenian Community in the Northern Emirates circulated the following emotional message signed by Ara Pierre Keusseyan, the ex-Chairman of the Armenian community in the Northern Emirates: 


Subject: No mere passengers, just great sailors!


Dear fellow Armenians,


On 26th April 2007 at 11:30 p.m., the 13th general Temagan Joghov has concluded. In line with what has become a tradition, the Northern Emirates Council's work was highly praised, in spite of a couple of storms that could not deter the course of the proverbial mighty ship that is our Community.


In the three years I was at her helm; whatever was accomplished has been due to your contribution. During this voyage I was never alone; every enterprise had someone to give advice, to lend support, to bend the budget, to approve the exceptions and to applaud the results. You were never mere passengers but always great sailors; and a captain is nothing without them.


Being together is the team spirit that makes success sweet. This is the stuff only commitment and resolve to strengthen our community and its constituting components, beyond what was entrusted to us by our predecessors, make happen.


The Temagan Joghov has elected a new Council of 9 members, most of whom have already worked with my predecessors or myself to serve our community. They all enjoy my utmost confidence and specially Mr. Moushegh Bedirian who has worked alongside me for many years.


I'm confident that Moushegh will excel in the areas I did and will certainly outperform me in tasks I haven?t even attempted. There are a number of ongoing projects well under way and I will be eager to see his team?s achievements there and in new projects that will gestate in time.


Moushegh?s duty will be to steward the mighty ship that is our Community on her new voyage. He will have all my support and I am sure you will lend him yours the same way you have lent it to me.


As to me, even though I will be missing our regular Monday evening meetings, our passionate discussions, our never-ending rushes to meet deadlines; I will now be able to dedicate more of my time to my Temagan duties, to my family, to my professional life, to my other interests and perhaps to my favourite hobby; Sailing on the mighty ship.


Serving you, or shall I say: sailing with you, has been a privilege. I thank you all for everything, and wish you the best of health and success.


Please join me in wishing our Community and our new Council a brilliant path forward.


Yours truly,


Ara Pierre Keusseyan


Archive photo: Legislative Council?s (Temagan) meeting in February 2002.

  1. Socrat Arakelyan June 6, 2007, 12:20 am

    First, I wish to thank the Council, the Archbishop for their efforts and the voluntary work in relation to the Legislative Council. We all know how difficult it is to combine the pressures of every day work, family life with other interests/pursuits. I am sure that during its time the Council and its members achieved many positive things for the community, but:


    Surely the members of this community should have the right to know what is being discussed and decided on behalf of the community during these meetings. Such meetings should be transparent (perhaps independently monitored) and the outcome of the meetings should be made available to the public. Not informing and keeping its members up to date is counter productive not only for the Council (which might achieve positive things and community wouldn?t know anything about it) but also the community as it?s not going to generate any interest or participation from members of the community.


    Knowing that some meeting took place between representatives of certain regions/institutions adds little comfort to resolving the community issues.


    As we all know, the communities in Dubai and Sharjah and maybe in Abu Dhabi have a number of deeply rooted problems which should be resolved and the Community wants to know what is being done to resolve those issues. After all, it is this secrecy, lack of communication, lack of transparency that causes a lot of people to shy away from the community life.


    You point that ? ?Some community members argue that it is not important how the Legislative or Executive members are elected or appointed, the important thing is what they offer to their communities?. Actually, quite the opposite, both are paramount in choosing the members of the Council. This is the key to getting things right/resolved and delivered. No political party, no business, no profession and no community elects its board of directors or leaders without a prior record of successful and efficient delivery of result. Promises of delivery have to be backed up by previous achievements and programmes for the future. Individual?s experience, personal and interpersonal skills combined with the drive and ambition to achieve a certain goal and exceed the expectations of the community is the basis of what the members of the Council should be elected on. 


    My questions to the Council are:

    1. What is Council?s program/action plan and policy objectives?
    2. Does Council have any deadlines in achieving the targets set in the program?
    3. Could the Council kindly inform its community what exactly was raised and achieved during the meeting, unless this is TOP SECRET and in the interest of ?community security???..
    4. What are the issues that the Armenian community of this region is facing today, is the work of the Council relevant to those issues?
    5. What is stopping the Council from issuing minutes from the meeting?
    6. Does Council need any voluntary help in taking minutes, issuing circulars etc.

    Unanimous election of Council members is another subject which deserves a separate comment, but given that the Council has just been elected, please ensure that the community is well informed and aware of the ongoing projects and decisions which are being made on its behalf.


    Best Regards,


    Socrat Arakelyan

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