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Candid Conversation: Two Inspiring Women in Beirut

 

An honest discussion with Aline Kamakian and Carole Babikian

about courage and healing in the aftermath of the city’s brutal explosion.

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Two Armenian women, an entrepreneur/restaurateur and a civic leader discuss with passion their desire to work against indifference of government sharing their personal experiences especially in the aftermath of the explosion in Beirut on Aug. 4 that spread carnage and devastation among its citizens.

These women will share their experiences as they weave their stories not as entrepreneurs or civic leaders but as devoted “Beirutis” who refuse to give up and who help rebuild lives around them despite the exponential unrest. They speak of the suffering and they speak of the dignity of citizens beneath the headlines. In so doing they create a testimonial to the resiliency of the Armenian woman and of the human spirit.

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Don’t miss this fascinating discussion about rebuilding a life, engaging the community and elevating others to become empowered by example. Q&A to follow presentation.

 

Panelists


Aline Kamakian
Entrepreneur/Restaurateur

A food passionate, Aline Kamakian began her career as an insurance broker at the age of 18 to put herself into college. Graduated from Université Saint Joseph with a double major in Masters in Finance and Marketing, Aline’s skills as an insurance broker allowed her to build one of Lebanon’s top 9 Brokerage Firms IIC – Insurance & Investment Consultant.

All through her successes, Aline never forgot her love for food but most importantly she never forgot her Armenian roots!

She opened in June 2003 “Mayrig,” an avant-garde traditional Armenian restaurant to introduce to all those who appreciate homely, healthy and tasty food, the forgotten flavors of Ancient Armenia.

Since then, Aline has ventured into new concepts, catering in 2004, Batchig in 2013, Made by Mayrig in 2014. She opened new branches of Mayrig in Dubai in 2013 and in Riyadh in 2016. Mayrig’s flagship reached the Maldives in 2017 and hit home to Yerevan, Armenia in 2018. More projects are to see light by the turn of the years…

Aline concentrated most of the years 2010 and 2011 to co-writing her first cook book “Armenian Cuisine” where her research for traditional recipes took her on a journey to Cilicia, present day Eastern Turkey, the ancient Armenia that her grandparents fled following the 1915 Armenian Genocide.

In 2020 and after the massive blast that hit Beirut and destroyed too many lives and businesses including Mayrig, Aline founded ‘Sawa’ a community kitchen based at Batchig’s premises to cook and feed more than 2,500 persons affected by the blast.

Aline was also voted Women Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 in the BLA – Brilliant Lebanese Awards organized by BLC bank. She is a board member of the Lebanese Franchise Association as well as a board member of the LLWB – Lebanese League of Woman in Business and a successful candidate of the 2014 Vital Voices Fellowship Program.


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Carole Nora Babikian Kokoni
Civic Leader

Born and raised in a politically and socially engaged family, Carole brings to her community a rich background in civic and social responsibility following in the footsteps of her late father Khatchig Babikian who was a leading political figure in Lebanon.

Carole is a graduate of the American University of Beirut with a degree in Political Science and Public Administration, which led her to engage in many community and civic organizations that fulfilled a desire to be of help to others.  In May 2018, she ran for office in the Lebanese Parliamentary Elections. She based her candidacy on the firm belief that Lebanon needed more women participation in political life and also needed more open minded, honest, peace seeking people to rebuild the country and avoid further social, economic and political collapse.

The recent event of Lebanon’s blast that tore through the capital has not deterred her from her engagements in the community.  As such, she is an active member in JEBID NGO to help children in need, an active member of ACHRAFIEH 2020 serving as President since 2014 aiming to bring a better quality of life in Achrafieh. She is also a Board member on the Committee for the promotion of the Aram Bezikian Museum for the orphans of the Armenian Genocide.

She also supports, along with her sisters, The Khatchig Babikian Fond at USJ University (to help students in need from Armenian origin) and the Margo Babikian Fond for musical talents.

She has been nominated Ambassador for Peace in the World Peace Federation having represented Lebanon in many international meetings in Jordan, Seoul, Cyprus, and others.

Carole loves the arts and has written lyrics in French, (Album 11 HEURES ET QUART) and produced Armenian Albums ( Eileen Khatchadourian’s Midan and Titernig ).

Her social and political concerns and especially her desire to engage other women to be empowered led her to attend the training sessions offered by WIF- WOMEN IN FRONT- the first Association for political empowerment of Women in Lebanon.

Despite the many challenges for women to rise above the status quo, Carole continues to do all that is possible to raise the bar and inspire others to do the same.



Zoom event
Registration required | Click here to register. 

Details

Date:
September 16
Time:
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Website:
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_RZgTsRpdQNy8jsZATUkeWw

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