Camilio Azzouz was born in Montreal, raised in Aleppo then moved to Paris all by the tender age of 8. After AGBU internships in Moscow and New York, he now calls London home where he works as an investment analyst for Amber Capital. Throughout his many travels, Azzouz has dedicated countless hours to AGBU as a student, intern and volunteer.
I always say that my generation is the lucky generation…We should grow the heritage we have received and under no circumstances let it fade away.
How did you become involved with AGBU? AGBU has always been present in my life. As a matter of fact, throughout all the different regions I have lived in, it was the only constant in my life. It started when I attended Saturday school in the Middle East, learning Armenian. As a teenager in France, I was involved in the sports program. When I attended university, I launched AGBU Academics—an international network of Armenian students. After graduation, I participated in a series of AGBU internship programs—first in Moscow then in New York. Today, I am very proud to be involved in several AGBU initiatives including the London Summer Internship Program, the TUMO x AGBU center in Stepanakert, the AGBU UK Trust that grants scholarships to bright Armenian students to study in the UK and lastly, as a member of the AGBU Europe board.
What was your favorite AGBU memory? The current project I am working on now to build the TUMO x AGBU center in Stepanakert. I find it absolutely fascinating to be able to help connect the youth of Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia and the world by building this center for creative technologies in Stepanakert. The people of Nagorno-Karabakh have demonstrated such invaluable devotion to protect our land that I feel very honored to be able to follow diaspora leaders who are ready to give back in order to have an impact on the lives and the future generations in the region.
How has your Armenian heritage influenced your life? I see my Armenian heritage as a set of values that I am honored to carry with me as a young professional. They are essentially defined by the concepts of family, loyalty, generosity, hard work and integrity. This sense of a global Armenian village has had a tremendous impact on my life as I always felt at home wherever I lived just by being surrounded by Armenian peers. Through its visionary leaders, AGBU is the organization that allowed this network to take shape and I am eternally grateful for that. Our global footprint makes me very optimistic about the future of our community as the seeds that have been planted by our ancestors have now grown into global leaders.
What would you say to the younger AGBU generation about the importance of giving back? I always say that my generation is the lucky generation. We opened our eyes on an independent Armenia, a free Nagorno-Karabakh and a strong and established diaspora. Being the heirs to those three pillars of our modern history naturally brings responsibility. By giving back, we are able to thank the generations that built this heritage for us and position ourselves to start working on the future of our nation. It is such an exciting time for us to get involved. I openly invite my peers and the upcoming generations to bring forth their ideas so that we can build the Armenia 2.0 together, grow the heritage we have received and under no circumstances allow it to fade away.
Banner Illustration by Luis Tinoco