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Intern Mariam Nahapetyan from Armenia Meets Armenian International Women's Association (AIWA) Member

By Siroon P.Shahinian

July 21, 2007


A visit to the office of the Global Action on Aging (GAA), a United Nations accredited NGO (non-governmental organization) located at the Church Center for the United Nations, unexpectedly yielded an introduction of Siroon P. Shahinian, Ph.D., psychologist and co-chair of the Armenian International Women's Association (AIWA) of New York, to a young lady from Yerevan. Mariam Nahapetyan had just started to work at GAA for the summer as an intern. Mrs. Susanne Paul, the director, obviously thought it would help the intern's acclimation to New York City if she could also be linked to a New Yorker whom she already knew was a member of AIWA, another NGO which is also accredited with the United Nations.

Several other interns work at GAA throughout the year from other countries as well as the United States, together with a staff program coordinator. What they do is pursue full-time research, compose abstracts of articles on aging, and post them to the GAA website. This NGO also holds training seminars for retiree groups, both trade unionist and religious organizations, examining critical emerging issues facing older persons. It also partners with other organizations to present programs at the United Nations and its international events.

Ms. Nahapetyan is particularly interested in pensions, a subject so important to survival in later years. She has an armamentarium of undergraduate study with a major in Business Management at the French University of Armenia in Yerevan, and she has also earned a Master's in Business Administration there. Moreover, she has just completed another year of graduate study at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio in Economics. As it happens, Dr.Shahinian is a personnel/industrial/organizational psychologist.

During lunch, Dr. Shahinian was able to give Ms. Nahapetyan a quick overview of the Armenian community in New York from as long ago as she can still remember (well nigh 75 years), its Armenian resources for daily living, and its social life. Their acquaintance is not likely to be left to chance in the future.

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