In this time of great difficulty for refugees around the world, the Armenian Institute is proud to present the work of two men dedicated to helping people displaced and traumatised by war. Join us to hear short presentations by psychologist Prof Khachatur Gasparyan (Yerevan, Armenia) and artist Mike Haroutiun Ayvazian (Beirut, Lebanon). Khachatur Gasparyan and Mike Ayvazian are in London to speak at Engaging Refugee Narratives: Perspectives from Academia and the Arts, June 20 and 21. Their presence at the conference and this evening is made possible by the generous donations made to the Armenian Institute.
Dr Khachatur Gasparyan is Chair of Medical Psychology Department at M. Heratsi Yerevan State Medical University, Chief Psychologist at Intra Mental Health Centre and Advisor at the Armenian Ministry of Defense. Since 2000 he has been a director of the Mental Health Care Centre (funded by the British charity CAFOD for 5 years) focusing on developing a training model for culturally appropriate mental health work. He also conducts a situational analysis on the mental health care system, with a focus on persons affected by conflicts. Dr Gasparyan has extensive experience working with soldiers, their families and displaced refugees from the Nagorno–Karabakh conflict, with survivors of the 1988 earthquake in Armenia and currently with refugees from Syria.
Mike Ayvazian, actor, director and therapist, has studied theatre arts including clown, mime and commedia dell'arte. Having also studied expressive arts therapy, Mike has worked with people from underprivileged and minority backgrounds, including refugees, for 30 years. More recently he was part of the project “Better Together” aiming at integration and development of normal communication between Syrian and Lebanese youth. Teaching theatre arts in schools, training youths, teachers and social workers in the use of expressive arts therapy in Lebanon and Armenia, Mike also teaches acting and art direction in two Lebanese universities.