SOAR-Athens Chapter

SOAR-Athens joined the SOAR family in July 2014. The Armenian presence in Greece began centuries ago when Armenians settled in the wider area of Thessaly, Macedonia, and Thrace. Armenians in Greece, however, acquired the character of a community after the 1920s, when 70,000 to 80,000 survivors of the Armenian Genocide fled to Greece from Cilicia, Smyrna, Ionia, Constantinople and Asia Minor, scattering all over Greece.

Today, the number of Armenians in Greece is estimated at approximately 20,000-35,000, living mainly in Attica (Athens, Piraeus and the suburbs) and in smaller communities in Thessaloniki, Kavala, Komotini, Xanthi, Alexandroupolis, Didimoticho, Orestiada and Crete. The majority of Greco-Armenians are Armenian Apostolic. There are a number of Armenian institutions in Greece, among them being: two kindergartens and elementary schools and one high school, in Athens and Piraeus, which belong to the Armenian Blue Cross; the Armenian Community Cultural Center in Thessaloniki; and Armeniki, an amateur soccer club in Athens.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

Irene-Alexandra Katopodis
President

Irene is a tri-citizen polyglot who has lived and worked in four continents. She has a BA in International Relations and Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MA from the Center of International Studies & Diplomacy from SOAS, University of London. Having experience across the private, public, and non-profit sectors in various countries, Irene is passionate about connecting people from different backgrounds and enabling sustainable partnerships. She has fond memories of working with governmental and non-profit representatives from Armenia. Presently, she is working in a non-profit for the democratization of educational opportunities in Greece. As the newly appointed SOAR Athens Chapter President, she is greatly looking forward to continuing the positive impact of the organization.

Elen Hakobian

Elen was born and raised in Yerevan, Armenia, but moved to Athens, Greece in 2017 to pursue higher education. She is a senior college student majoring in Marketing Management. Elen speaks Armenian, English, Russian, and some Greek and is eager to connect with new people and broaden her mindset. Though she has become used to living abroad and Greece is an extremely welcoming country, she still finds herself needing to  adapt to being away from Armenia. Armenia gave Elen a lot and made her the person she is today, thus she feels it is important for her to stay close to her community. Elen is passionate about making her contributions as a young Armenian living abroad.