On May 28, 1928, in Cairo, Egypt, a group of nine community leaders founded the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society, a non-profit organization. The objective of Hamazkayin was to provide a sound education to the new generation and to strive toward the preservation of the ethnic identity and cultural heritage of the Armenian people forced to live outside their homeland after the 1915 genocide and the fall, in 1920, of the First Republic of Armenia.
Subsequently, Hamazkayin Chapters were established throughout the Middle East, Europe, the United States, Canada, South America and Armenia.
Secondary and higher educational institutions, publishing houses and printing press, literary periodicals and accomplishments in various expressions of fine arts, all testify to Hamazkayin's worldwide contribution to the advancement of culture.
Hamazkayin in California, under the sponsorship of the Western USA Executive Chapter, with its eight Chapters and Special Committees throughout the state, has been a source of pride for the Armenian community.
The activities of the Chapters are diverse. Lectures, seminars, after-school workshops, commemorative events, exhibitions, concerts, recitals, traditional dance ensembles, dramatic arts troupes and choirs describe the activities of Hamazkayin Chapters in California.
The Western USA Executive Board's seven Special Committees, namely Music Committee, Arvest (Art) Committee, Artee (Contemporary) Committee, Ani Dance Company, Saroyan Theater Company, Heritage Committee and Armenian Folk Instrument Orchestra Committee have one common objective: the preservation of the Armenian intellectual legacy and the promotion of cultural values.
The activities of these Special Committees include preservation of classical, folk and popular music, performances of traditional and ethnic dances in authentic costumes, promotion of theatrical arts, presentation of social conventions and traditions throughout the centuries as well as encouragement and support to talented young artists.