Bedros Gyourounlian: “I am very certain that Armenia will definitely flourish!”

Armenians settled in Greece, one of the cradles of ancient civilization and located near the coasts of Aegean, Ionian and Mediterranean Seas, back in the 5th-6th centuries, established cities, churches, schools, cultural centers, newspapers, factories, remarkable companies and created various industries. During my interview with Athens-based Armenian businessman Bedros Gyourounlian at the editorial office of Hayern Aysor, I had another opportunity to admire the exceptional, God-given talent, diligence and leap of thought of an Armenian.

Karine Avagyan: Welcome to Armenia, Mr. Gyourounlian. I have been told that you are a businessman and manufacturer. Please tell us what you manufacture.

Bedros Gyourounlian: I am following in the footsteps of my ancestors. My two sons and I run a meat factory that my grandfather had opened in 1922. We have named it after my father, Miran.

Karine Avagyan: Where are you originally from?

Bedros Gyourounlian: My mother’s roots trace back to Adana, and my father’s-to Kapdovkia (Kesaria). My parents were born in Greece, and so were we. Armenians have always had a great presence in Greece and have stood out in all spheres with their talents.

Karine Avagyan: When did you first visit Armenia? What changes have you noticed?

Bedros Gyourounlian: I was in Armenia in 1992-93 when there was no water or electricity. I see a tremendous change. It seems as though I am in a different world. Yerevan is as big and famous as other cities like Athens and London and has advantages that other cities don’t. For instance, it is safe, and the people are cordial and hospitable. All Armenians in Armenia and abroad should love and work for the Homeland. I am very certain that Armenia will definitely flourish!

Karine Avagyan: Mr. Gyourounlian, do you only manufacture Armenian products (basturma, sujukh, kyufta and other semi-fabricated products)?

Bedros Gyourounlian: We produce a variety of Armenian and European traditional foods and deliver them to the stores pertaining to our company based in Greece.

Karine Avagyan: Don’t you deliver your products outside of Greece?

Bedros Gyourounlian: We do! We also send our products to France, Sweden and Austria.

Karine Avagyan: Do you plan on cooperating with Armenian businessmen?

Bedros Gyourounlian: We are considering it, but there are some hardships. However, we can overcome them. We have already established contacts.

Karine Avagyan: How long have you been a friend of the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia?

Bedros Gyourounlian: I have known the Minister for a long time. We met in Armenia and then in Athens. My visit to the Ministry on 12 April coincided with the Minister’s birthday, and I had a nice opportunity to congratulate her and wish that she always undertakes wonderful initiatives and continues the major task for the benefit of Armenia and the Diaspora.

Karine Avagyan: Mr. Gyourounlian, months ago, the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia launched the “What are YOU doing for Artsakh?” pan-Armenian movement. Have you heard about it? Have you joined that movement?

Bedros Gyourounlian: We have helped Artsakh for many years and many times. We have donated various types of medical equipment to the hospital in Stepanakert. I have visited Artsakh often, starting from the years of the first Artsakh war. I love the magnificent nature in Artsakh. My family and I have also made our contribution. Fourteen years ago, I gave my home to the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Greece for free, and it is currently based there.

Karine Avagyan: Thank you, dear compatriot! We hope your meat products take over the Armenian market in the near future.

Interview by Karine Avagyan

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