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HISTORY OF THE RAA

Historical Armenia (Armenia Maior and Armenia Minor), covering an area of about 400,000 sq. kilometres, abounds in a wide variety of centuries-old monuments densely located throughout its territory. Due to certain historical and political circumstances, today most part of it falls outside the borders of the independent Republic of Armenia, which is confined only within around 30,000 sq. kilometres. In the aftermath of this, the major part of the Armenian sites and monuments have been stripped of their true owners’ care and protection and continually suffer premeditated destruction particularly in the lands annexed to Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Prompted by the moral obligation to study historical Armenian heritage before its total annihilation and save it at least in photographs, Armen Hakhnazarian, an architect-planner with two doctorates in architecture and technical sciences, embarked on documentation of Armenian monuments in Western Armenia (present-day Eastern Turkey) in 1970. In 1982 he founded Research on Armenian Architecture (RAA) NGO in Aachen, Germany. In 1996 it opened a branch in Los Angeles, CA, USA (until 2010 it was headed by Shahen Harutiunian of blessed memory; President since 2010: Jora Manoucherian), and in 1998 it was registered in the Republic of Armenia through the efforts of Samvel Karapetian, who had been collaborating with the organisation since 1989. In 2010 the RAA NGO changed into a foundation (Acting President: Samvel Karapetian).

      Until 2020, Samvel Karapetian was the director of the RAA-Armenia. Jora Manucharian is currently the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation, and RAA-Armenia is governed by a Board of Directors: Emma Abrahamian (Samvel’s wife), Managing Director; Raffi Kortoshian, Co-Director Administrative and Publications; Ashot Hakobyan, Co-Director Architectural Activities; Armen Gevorgyan, Co-Director Computers and Technology.


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