Over 50 youth ages seven to 14 from the Bulgarian towns of Haskovo, Plovdiv, Russe, Sofia and Yambol journeyed to the scenic mountains atop the Byalo Kamane resort just a few days ago to enjoy a week of summer fun during the very first session of AGBU Camp Hay Ler. Not wasting a moment of sunshine, the children have already gone swimming and horseback riding, made arts and crafts projects, and began learning Armenian dances. Check out their blog for all the latest updates: http://haylercamp.wordpress.com/.

Congratulations to our AGBU chapters in Bulgaria on this joint initiative! Armenian youth from all over Europe are also welcome to inquire about registering for next summer. Email youth@agbu.org for more information.

Another great achievement for higher education in Armenia was unveiled by the American University of Armenia (AUA), which receives substantial financial support from AGBU: the institution is launching an undergraduate degree program, set to begin during the fall 2013 semester. Interested students from Armenia and the diaspora are urged to visit the AUA site for information on application requirements (www.aua.am/undergraduate) and to learn more about the university. Or email AUA directly at ugrad@aua.am.

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On Saturday August 11, 2012, the AGBU Nubarian School in Montevideo, Uruguay, saw over 100 nursery- and kindergarten-age children playing games and having fun during a festival tailor-made just for them. Organized by the parents of the classes for 4- and 5-year old students, the event, dubbed “Children’s Day,” included music by the AGBU Erevan 50 Band, meals prepared by the parents, and special treats for all at the day’s conclusion.

Perhaps most people don’t know that the visual effects artist and Indie filmmaker Roger Kupelian, best known as one of the creative forces behind the Academy Award-winning trilogy “The Lord of the Rings,” is a proud Armenian. His cultural heritage has inspired his latest endeavor, the recently released graphic novel “War Gods,” which is the first in a two-part volume of the “East of Byzantium” series that has gripped readers, and has them anxiously awaiting the sequel.

It is a Byzantine-era saga of unparalleled bravery, a fresh new look at the world before the Dark Ages and after the fall of the classical Rome of the Caesars. It is the story of exceptional men and women who must pull together a world torn apart by war, religious strife, and the lust for world domination…from the murder that destroyed family to the battles that regained a kingdom, to the religious conflicts that created the first Christian nation in history and the curse carried down through centuries that culminates in a bloody battlefield – at the edge of Rome and the gates of Persia.

Don’t miss this opportunity to purchase the publication through our bookstore and check out the special offer for an autographed copy.

To buy your copy today, email: books@agbu.org or call 212.319.6383, ext. 104

From a hike up Mount Aragats to serving a meal at the AGBU Nork Senior Dining Center and from a ride on the aerial tramway in Datev to a tour of the American University of Armenia, the participants of our Discover Armenia program are doing it all in their homeland and loving every minute. This is their last week in Yerevan, so the 31 teenagers from eight countries are now busy sealing their bonds of friendship with each other and preparing for their farewell dinner tomorrow night. Check out their latest photos here on their blog and take in the beauty of our homeland with them.