SOAR Dubai Chapter

Dubai joined the SOAR family in February 2015. Many Armenians originating from Lebanon, Syria and other Arab countries were drawn to UAE for the economic opportunities. The majority of Armenians in UAE are Orthodox Armenians belonging to the Armenian Apostolic Church and under the jurisdiction of the Holy See of Cilicia. The Catholicossate established the “Diocese of Kuwait and the Arabian Gulf Countries.” It is headquartered in Kuwait, but also serves the Armenians in UAE. The Armenian Catholicossate, with the support of the Sharjah Emirate, established St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in Al Yarmook, Sharjah – the first Armenian church established in UAE. Approximately 3,000 Armenians live in UAE, primarily in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

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Board of Directors:

Annie Eskandari

Annie is Iranahay and was born in Iran where before the revolution there were over 100,000 Iranians of Armenian descent living in Iran. Armenians have been a prospering, vibrant community with innumerable schools, community centers and cultural activities. They have been a part of the fabric of the country and trace their roots back 500 years to when the Abbasid Shah relocated thousands of Armenian families to the latest incarnation of the Persian empire. Iran quickly recognized the Armenians' dexterity in commerce. The community became active in the cultural and economic development of Iran. In 2001, Annie moved to Dubai, UAE to work for Emirates Airline where she currently does Aircraft Onboard Product Research and Development for A380, B777 and A330 aircrafts. She will complete her MBA at the university of Liverpool (UK) in the summer of 2015.

Lusine Avagyan

Lusine Avagyan is from Vanadzor, Armenia. She studied biology at Vanadzor State Pedagogical University. However, she was always interested in professional journalism and after taking two years off, she studied journalism at Yerevan State University earning a Master's Degree. Lusine worked for Asparez Daily, reporting news about Vanadzor. She received training in Public Relations and investigative journalism. After participating in seminars on children's rights, she made a decision to work with children at Vanadzor orphanage. She works with children aged 7-13.

Nairi Babayan

Nairi Babayan was born and raised in Armenia, Yeghegnadzor. He received his education in Armenia: Yerevan State University of Economy, University of Foreign Relations and also completed various courses at the American University of Armenia. He has also received a musical education and plays the Armenian symbolic musical instrument, the Duduk. He is a progressive scholar in the field of business and constantly travels overseas to give sessions at multidisciplinary conferences: Paris: IJAS, England: University of London, Italy: American University of Roma, to name a few. Nairi currently resides and works in the United Arab Emirates and works closely with the Sultanate of Oman. He is a successful businessman and a well respected Armenian in this multicultural country.

Anna Serobyan

Anna Serobyan is from Yerevan, Armenia, currently double majoring in Political Science and Economics at New York University Abu Dhabi. She is an alumna of Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program and European Youth Parliament Armenia, an active member of NYUAD Model United Nations and an advocate committed to social justice. Anna is residing in Abu Dhabi, where she is working on her capstone research project centered around landlocked countries with a case study of Armenia. She is fluent in Armenian, Russian, English and has a working proficiency in French and Spanish.

Alla Zakaryan

Alla was born in Yeghegnadzor, Armenia. She grew up and went to school in Hrazdan. After completing school, Alla moved to Yerevan to study languages at Yerevan State Linguistic University after Brusov. During her studies, she work at Zadik orphanage for 4 years to help the children improve their English. As she was living alone in Yerevan, Alla liked to bring some children to her home, (which was close by), for a night or for lunch. She felt it helprd her to be more connected to the children and make them feel at home for at least a few hours. Her students also became her friends. After graduating from the university, Alla started to work in the tourism field and currently she is a sales manager in an inbound tourism company based in Dubai, UAE.