28 May 2018
On May 23, in the early dawn, Mr. Arno Kuiumdjian, Chaiman of AGBU Sofia, Hrant Minasyan and the young participants of AGBU Sofia “Hayler” Sunday School travelled to Dragoman to meet the runner Ara Khachadurian and run together with him to Sofia, supporting his initiative “Run for Peace”.
After running for almost 5 hours, everyone successfully reached St. Alexander Nevski Square, in the center of Sofia, where the runners were welcomed by Mrs. Sonia Avakyan – Bedrossian, the honorary chairperson of AGBU Sofia, fashion designer Lilith Matevosian, Armenian athlete Armen Nazarian as well as reporters from the Bulgarian National Television, the ladies from Soroptimist and many other people who were happy to welcome Ara Khachadurian here in Bulgaria. By old Bulgarian custom, Ara was welcomed with traditional Bulgarian bread and salt.
After a short time for refreshment, Ara Khachadurian met with His Excellency, the Ambassador of Lebanon in Bulgaria, Mr. Toufic Jaber. The spirit and atmosphere during the meeting were extremely pleasant and friendly. Ara Khachadurian presented the mission of “Run for Peace” and shared some of his past experiences and initiatives, such as the climbing of mount Everest dedicated to the 100 years of the Armenian genocide. A Khachadurian also expressed his gratitude to the three countries that he considers to be his Motherlands – Armenia, Lebanon and France.
Later in the day, the alpinist was welcomed in AGBU’s office where he received many gifts and support for his initiative. He explained the mission of his marathon labeled “Run for Peace”. Having started the run in Marseille, his goal is to reach Yerevan after 106 days, covering a distance of 4350 km. His itinerary goes through France, Monaco, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Georgia and Armenia.
AGBU members in the office also had the chance to hear about Ara’s adventures and the many mountain peaks that he has climbed, including the world’s highest one – Mount Everest.
Ara’s visit in Sofia concluded with a wonderful dinner organized by the members of AGBU Sofia. On the following day, Arno Kuiumdjian, Mihran Maclaudian and Ventsislav Apostolov accompanied Ara on his next run, to Vakarel.
Cartoon by Sepan Sarkisyan