[Armenian Life]: Berlin-Gyumri Partnership Helps Gyumri’s Children.

November 30, 2010

By Marina Bazayeva

Germans were one of the first groups to help Gyumri after the earthquake when they built Gyumri Hospital and Berlin Art Hotel. Both of these institutions maintain a very European style and have pleasant, accommodating staff that provides excellent service.

Max the Bear at the Exhibit’s Opening


Credit: Marina Bazayeva

More than 20 years later, Germans continue to support Gyumri. With the help of Mr. Aleksan Ter-Minasyan, executive director of the Berlin Art Hotel in Gyumri, a recent event helped to bring some joy to many of the handicapped children at Gyumri Hospital. First, a show featuring “Max the Bear,” a children’s character that actually became an official symbol of Berlin at the end of the 19th century, helped to entertain and lift the their spirits. Germany’s ambassador to Armenia Hans-Jochen Schmidt was also present at the ceremony.

“Max the Bear” with
German Ambassador
Hans-Jochen Schmidt &
 Former Shirak Governor Lida Nanyan


Credit: Marina Bazayeva

An exhibition featuring portraits of the handicapped kids of Berlin and Gyumri by the outstanding artist and illustrator Vahan Topchyan was also held at the Berlin hospital. Vahan’s portraits made no differentiation between German and Armenian children with the purpose of demonstrating that all kids need love and care regardless of nationality. Indeed, love is what will help these children integrate and thrive in their societies. 

Vahan Topchyan’s Illustrations
‘Fairy Tales from Armenia’ 


Credit: Gyumri Gallery Blog

FAR and Berlin Art Hotel have a long history of collaboration. Their partnership will continue next summer when volunteers for the ACYOA’s Armenia Service Program stay at the hotel while they volunteer for FAR’s projects in Gyumri.

(left to right) Artist Vahan Topchyan,
FAR Gyumri Representative Marina Bazayeva &
Berlin Hotel Director  Aleksan Ter-Minasyan


Credit: Marina Bazayeva

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