AZAD-HYE (20 Janaury 2005): The former pastor of the United Arab Emirates Armenians (now Vicar of the Diocese of New Julfa, Isfahan) V. Rev. Fr. Papken Charian had a 24 hours transit stop in Dubai on 19th January 2005, accompanied by the Primate of the Diocese of Tabriz V. Rev. Fr. Neshan Topouzian.
Immediately after his arrival he was welcomed by the pastor of the UAE Armenians Der Aram Deyiemenjian. During his stay Fr. Charian tried to reach various members of the Community, but due to his short stay he was unable to contact all.
With Der Aram and members of the Community both guests exchanged views on current issues and details concerning the Armenian communities in UAE and Iran.
We believe that such visits are very important and should not be left only for coincidence or be a result of airplane stopovers in Dubai. Relations between Armenian communities in the same region should be more stable and consistent. Just to give you an example, last year the Armenians of New Julfa marked the 400th anniversary of their exodus from Old Julfa in
Nakhitchevan (which was carried on by Safavid Shah Abbas I) and their settlement in Isfahan. Unfortunately, apart from local commemorations (and an academic seminar in the United States) this event did not attract the attention of the Armenians in the neighboring countries.
It is worth mentioning that V. Rev. Fr. Papken Charian was elected by the members of the Diocese of New Julfa, Isfahan as Vicar in 2004. He is born in Beirut 1965. From 1993-96 he has been the first pastor of the UAE Armenians, based in the city of Sharjah. From 1996-2002 he served as pastor in San Francisco's Armenian St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, holding also the position of the Chairman of the Religious Council. From 2002-2004 he served as Vicar in the remote Syrian city of Kamishli.