“Hope for change” – STARMUS founder praises Armenian youth
YEREVAN, AUGUST 16, ARMENPRESS. STARMUS Festival Founding Director astrophysicist Garik Israelian had a meeting with the volunteers involved in the festival which will be held September 5-10 in Armenia.
Israelian thanked the volunteers who signed up to participate in the 6th edition of STARMUS.
The astrophysicist told the young volunteers that they can expect a “a very interesting and productive week”
“We’ve always had volunteers during all festivals, but Armenia’s volunteers will be the most special ones, I have no doubt about this. Why? Because perhaps this is the first time that scientists of this level are coming to Armenia. It will be very interesting for you to see whom you are working with. It’s been very difficult for young people to focus on something in Armenia especially in the recent years due to the war, endless political problems and politicized media. If there’ve been young people who despite all these difficulties have expressed interest and willingness to participate and support in this festival, it is far more important for me than having had organized this festival in some other European country. Having this kind of youth in Armenian conditions gives me hope for change,” Israelian told ARMENPRESS.
He recalled how they were able to properly organize STARMUS II with only 30 volunteers, when only 3 or 4 volunteers were needed to accompany and assist Stephen Hawking.
Israelian says he hopes that STARMUS will promote interest for science among the youth in Armenia, and similar other festivals will again be organized in the country.
“Let STARMUS be the reason of changing attitude towards science in Armenia,” he said.
Diana Balasanyan, the coordinator of the volunteers of the festival, said they are starting the training from August 16 so that the volunteers are well prepared.
“We have over 180 volunteers from almost all universities of Armenia. Those who speak English well are participating because STARMUS is an international festival and we are working with an international team. Certainly, the volunteers must also have interest in science, arts, be proactive and be willing to learn. The volunteers will accompany the speakers, help the audience, especially foreigners. Anyone having trouble finding their way through the venue or having any questions will be assisted by the volunteers. The volunteers will also help on stage and in the STARMUS camp. Various encouragements will be given to the volunteers, but I think the biggest encouragement is that they have the chance to see the festival from the inside and gain the knowledge offered by STARMUS,” Balasanyan said.
One of the volunteers, Karine Hovhannisyan, told ARMENPRESS that she wanted to join because STARMUS is the biggest scientific festival in Armenia. “I think I will obtain many skills thanks to the festival. Besides, there will be such renowned people here that seeing, working and helping them will be a great honor for me,” she said.