Consul General Armen Baibourtian Welcomed by Scottsdale’s Armenian-American Community
Published - 14 February 2020

His Excellency Armen Bairbourtian, Consul General of the Republic of Armenia in Los Angeles travelled to the State of Arizona from February 6-10, 2020. While in Scottsdale, Consul General was welcomed by the Rev. Fr. Zacharia Saribekyan and the parish family of St. Apkar Armenian Church.

(With the Speaker of Arizona House of Representatives Hon. Russel "Rusty" Bowers, Parish Pastor of St. Apkar Armenian Church Rev. Fr. Zacharia Saribekyan, and Chairman of the Parish Council Rafi Hagopian at the State Capitol in Phoenix)

The Consul General held meetings with state and city officials, meeting with Arizona State’s Speaker of the House of Representatives the Hon. Russel "Rusty" Bowers and Scottsdale Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane.

(Consul General Armen Baibourtian with the Mayor of Scottsdale, Arizona Hon. W.J. "Jim" Lane as well as Rev. Fr. Zacharia Saribekyan and Dr. Stephen Ovanessoff)

At the State Capitol in Phoenix, His Excellency Consul General Baibourtian was accompanied by the Rev. Fr. Zacharia Saribekyan and Parish Council Chair Rafi Hagopian.  Fr. Zacharia and Dr. Stephen Ovanessoff accompanied Consul General Baibourtian in Scottsdale, where His Excellency met with Mayor Jim Lane.

The Consul General also visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial at the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza located in front of the State Capitol in downtown Phoenix.

Consul General also toured the Melikian Center for Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies at the University Club of Arizona State University in Tempe. His Excellency met with Emma Ordjanian Melikian and her daughter Ramona Lee Melikian, President of the Advisory Board of the Melikian Center. The Center received its name in 2007, in recognition of the generous support of Commander Gregory Melikian and his spouse Emma Ordjanian Melikian.

In a town hall meeting with the Armenian-American community of Scottsdale at the Melikian Hall of St. Apkar Armenian Church, Consul General Baibourtian answered questions raised by the parishioners. His Excellency also honored Fr. Zacharia Saribekyan with a Certificate of Recognition from the Armenian Ambassador to the United States His Excellency Varuzhan Nersesyan, commending Fr. Zacharia’s leadership and dedication to promoting the Armenian culture in the State of Arizona.   

Arizona is the 6th largest and the 14th most populous (7.2 million) of the 50 U.S. states. The state's major industries include healthcare, mining (copper, gold, and silver), tourism (40 million visitors annually), transportation, IT, and electronics.

More than 12,000 Armenians live in Arizona.

The City of Scottsdale has a quarter-million population. Every year Scottsdale hosts 9 million visitors. That's a bright example of utmost efficiency in local tourism governance. The New York Times described downtown Scottsdale as "a desert version of Miami's South Beach." St. Apkar Armenian Church, built in 2009, is located in Scottsdale.


St. Apkar Armenian Church presents a children’s puppet theater. The mastery of St. Apkar’s Puppet Team was on display as they presented another exciting children’s theater based on Hovhannes Tumanyan’s tale. Titled “Three Apples Falling From Heaven,” the children learned about the consequences of not being truthful.