Amsterdam joined the SOAR family in December 2013. While the exact number of Armenians in the country is unknown, unofficially estimates suggest that between 15,000 and 20,000 Armenians live in the Netherlands. Armenian and Dutch interactions go back to the 4th century when the first bishop of the Netherlands came from Armenia. In the 13th century, Armenians brought carpets, dyes, cotton, and spices from around the world and from Armenia itself. In 1713, Amsterdam permitted the Armenians to erect a church of their own. After serving its purpose for about a century and a half, this edifice was closed because of the dwindling of its congregation. The largest modern group of Armenians arrived from Turkey in the 1970s, finding employment in textile plants. Currently, most Armenians live in Almelo, Amsterdam, Arnhem, Assen Alkmaar, Dordrecht, Eindhoven, The Hague, Leiden, Maastricht, Nijmegen, and Rotterdam. Armenian Church services are currently held in Amsterdam and Almelo.

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Board of Directors:

Meline ArakelianMeline Arakelian

Pic and Bio coming soon

Arthur Aroesjanjan

Arthur Aroesjanjan earned his Bachelor's Degree at the Avans University of Applied Sciences in Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. He has also studied at the University of Economics in Cracow. Arthur has extensive international experience from his work in San Jose, Costa Rica and Nice, France. In addition to the experience, he also learned to speak six languages including Armenian and Russian. Currently Arthur lives in the Netherlands with his fiancée.

Manana Asoian

Manana is a student of Social Studies in the Dutch city of Ede. In 2013 she was voted as Chairwoman of the Armenian Student Association "Gladzor" for a period of one year. Manana currently has an internship at the Dutch Childcare office in the city of Arnhem.

Hayk Ayvazyan

Hayk was born in Yerevan, Armenia, however he spent many years in Moscow,Russia. He recently graduated from the University of Tilburg with specialization in European Law. Shortly after that Hayk started working on his LLM in International and European Law at the University of Amsterdam. During the past years he has had a chance to work in different countries, including Armenia. Currently Hayk lives and studies in Amsterdam. Even though his passion is in the Legal sphere, he tries to combine it with community commitment, such as developing his network among the Armenian communities around the world.

Mane Bajadjan

Mane was born in Sochi, Russia, but her family moved to the Netherlands in 1999. Currently, she is living in Amsterdam. Mane graduated from the University of Amsterdam with her Bachelor of Law Degree and Masters in International Tax Law. She is working on her second Masters in Law, Private and Commercial Law and has had several internships at different law firms in Amsterdam. Her goal is to become a lawyer next year. Mane's interests include traveling, reading, and discovering the beauty of law.

Karine Balyan, MD, MPH

Karine was born in Shamkir, Azerbaidjan. She moved to Armenia with her family at the age of 14, but had lived in the Netherlands since 1995. Karine holds a Master's Degree in International Health (cum laude) from Erasmus University. Her global international health experience has been in the management of complex humanitarian emergencies and supporting governments in fragile states to build their health care systems. Karine has worked in over 40 countries, serving various governmental and non-governmental organizations. Her hobbies include reading, playing piano, going to the gym and traveling.

Armen Derderian

Armen Derderian was born in Aleppo Syria. In 1975 he immigrated with his family to Montreal Canada, where he studied Electrical Engineering at Concordia University. During his university years, Armen served as the president of the Armenian Students Association as well as president of the Federation of Armenian Student Associations of Quebec. After graduation Armen worked for SPAR Aerospace for 10 years, designing and building hardware for Satellites. During this time he was a member of the Sourp Hagop Armenian school board of Montreal for two years. In 1993 he moved to the Netherlands to work for the European Space Agency and he has been living in the Netherlands since then. In the Netherlands he continued his studies at the University of Webster in Leiden and obtained a Master of Business Administration specializing in corporate governance and management strategy. Armen is an avid golfer and has been the chairman of the golf club for the past 4 years.

Kristina Galstyan

Kristina was born and raised in Moscow, Russia and moved to the Netherlands to pursue her dream of studying in Europe. At the moment she is completing her last year at Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, majoring in Marketing. She also had taken a half of her Media and Communication minor at Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea. Kristina has experience in working in PR and Event Management and is passionate about performing arts, traveling, and learning new languages.

Arthur Safar

Arthur Safar was born in Baku, Azerbaijan and raised in Armenia. He moved with his family to the Netherlands at an early age. Arthur holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Business and a Master’s degree in Finance from VU University Amsterdam. Currently, he resides in Amsterdam and is a pursuing a career at Shell as a Financial Analyst.

Arthur has strong interests in the financial markets and international relations. He enjoys playing soccer and chess.

Talin Shahbandarian

Talin was born in Teheran, but moved to the Netherlands when she was two years old. She currently lives in The Hague and works as a Sales and Business Development manager in the IT industry. Talin speaks fluent English, Dutch, Armenian and German. She studied Communication, Media and English Linguistics in Holland and finished her last year at the University of Roehampton in London. During her study, Talin has been active in lecturing English language and working with many children and teenagers in different age categories. Not only did she work with teenagers that had a stable upbringing, but she has also had experience with neglected teenagers living in an unstable environment. She hopes to use her experiences wherever it is needed the most. With her teaching and international background Talin is a unique addition to our team.

Aleksandra Wysocka

Aleksandra Wysocka was born in Poland. In 2011 she graduated with her Master’s degree in Psychology at the University of Gdansk. After graduation she decided to be an EVS volunteer in Yerevan. While volunteering she worked as a project manager and developer of charity events and fundraisers. In 2013 she moved to Amsterdam and continues working as a volunteer.