Armenian Bloggers to Share Experience Through Open World Program

Press Release

Armenian Bloggers to Share Experience Through Open World Program

For Immediate Release

Contact:Maura SheldenOpen World Leadership CenterPh.

(Tega Cay, S.C.) – An Open World delegation from Armenia arrives in Tega Cay, South Carolina on Wednesday, February 29 for a week long program to promote mutual understanding between Armenia journalists and bloggers and their U.S. counterparts. Hosted by the Tega Cay based “Soonch” (Armenian for Breath), the delegates will explore the role of journalists, public relations, blogging, and social media in a democracy.

Tega Cay is Open World’s 2,000th hosting community since the program’s inception in 1999. More than 6,750 American host families and their communities in all 50 states have partnered with Congress and Open World to make this ambitious public diplomacy effort possible.

Managed by the independent Open World Leadership Center, Open World is designed to enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the United States and the countries of Eurasia by developing a network of leaders in the region who have gained significant, firsthand exposure to America’s democratic, accountable government and free-market system. Funded almost entirely by the U.S. Congress, Open World links Members of Congress to Eurasian leaders and is an instrument for Americans engaged in citizen diplomacy.

The Open World exchange is intended to expose Armenian bloggers to how the USG and NGOs use the blogosphere and social media to influence public opinion, the process of organizing bloggers to turn online dialogue into tangible social and political results, and the USG's continuing commitment to internet freedom of expression. The exchange is designed to equip Armenian bloggers with the tools and professional networks necessary to promote democratic and accountable government through their reporting and civic activism.

The delegation includes five representatives of media and electronic news sources in Armenia. The bloggers selected by the U.S. embassy to participate in the Open World exchange have shown an interest in democratic reform and government accountability issues.

Ms. Narine Paykar Aghabekyan, “Hye Dzmer Pap” charitable foundation

Mr. Edgar Gagikovich Barseghyan, Art Director, Barseghyan Media

Mr. Hambardzum Garikovich Hambardzumyan
Journalist, Media Critic, Internews Media Support (NGO)

Mr. Tigran Robertovich Kocharyan    Editor in Chief, information portal “”

The delegation is joined by an English speaking facilitator Ms. Evelina A. Arabyan, Press Assistant, US Embassy.

During the week-long exchange, Open World participants will meet with local elected officials, journalists, and private sector public relations professionals. They will discuss with their U.S. counterparts effective use of blogs and social media to influence public opinion. A highlight of the exchange will include a meeting with DNC officials preparing for the Democratic convention in Charlotte. Home stays allow the Open World delegates to experience American family life. Host family volunteers from the Tega Cay area have the opportunity to learn about life in Armenia today and share American family life.

The Open World Program is a non-partisan initiative of Congress designed to build mutual understanding between the United States and Armenia. Since its founding by Congress in 1999, the Open World program has enabled over 18,000 current and future Eurasian leaders to experience American democracy, civil society and community life; work with their American counterparts; stay in American homes; and gain new ideas and inspiration for implementing change back home.

Open World currently operates exchanges for political and civic leaders from Russia, Armenia, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Serbia.

For more information about the Open World delegation’s visits to South Carolina contact Harry Moorachian Ph: 704-248-0505 or World Services of La Crosse Ph: 608-781-4194.

For more information about Open World, please contact Maura Shelden, Open World Leadership Center: Ph: 202-707-6197