Failure to solve the Kurdish issue might become a catastrophe for Turkey: Ajemoglu

in an interview with Anadolu News Agency, world famous economist of Armenian descent, MIT Professor Daron Ajemoglu said failure to solve the Kurdish issue may become a political and economic catastrophe for Turkey, reports Marmara.

Ajemoglu said the regulation of the Kurdish issue must continue at any price and mentioned that ISIS poses a new danger for Turkey.

Azerbaijanis tried to start a fire in fields of Khachik village, but fell into their own trap

According to Yerkir.am, Azerbaijan fired shots yesterday at the fields of Khachik village in the zone bordering Nakhichevan in a possible attempt to start a fire. According to our sources, the villagers managed to put the fire out, and the fire spread towards the Azerbaijanis’ fields and burned nearly 200 ha.

In an interview with Yerkir.am, head of Khachik village Vardan Nersisyan said 30-35 villagers immediately put the fire out. “We didn’t let the fire spread to the border. They also tried to put it out, but couldn’t, and the fire spread towards their side. They were standing at the border, looking at us,” the village head said, adding that if the fire spread towards the village, it would harm the fields and vineyards.

So, the Azerbaijanis fell into their own trap.

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Ophelia Satoorian: “For me the best trip is the trip to Armenia”

Hayern Aysor’s correspondent sat down for an interview with Director of Davidian & Mariamian Educational Foundation of Glendale (USA) Ophelia Satoorian.

Mrs. Satoorian says only in Armenia can she fully relax and forget about her worries. This year’s trip was a trip that the Satoorians will remember for a long time…

Hayern Aysor: Mrs. Satoorian, I have noticed that you always visit Armenia in the summer.

Ophelia Satoorian: Yes, you are right. My family and I organize our summer vacations in Armenia. I have had many opportunities to travel to beautiful countries, but I have rejected and have decided to spend my vacation in the Homeland.

For me the best trip is the trip to Armenia. I don’t feel as much joy and pleasure when I travel to another country as much as I do in Armenia. I don’t only come for traveling. I feel at home in Armenia, surrounded by my relatives. The land gives me strength, and every stone, bush, the nature and even the sweet fruits and vegetables and the smiles on my people’s faces give me energy.

When I return to the USA, I immediately start missing my Homeland and feel nostalgic.

This year’s trip was even more productive. My younger son, Christopher participated in the “Ari Tun” Program organized by the RA Ministry of Diaspora. I took great pride in seeing my son finally participate in this program. It was a great achievement for our family, and we were all excited.

I must say that Christopher was very content with the program. As a parent, I have seen him change for the better.

Hayern Aysor: What do you think young Diaspora Armenians get out of the “Ari Tun” Program?

O. S.: First, I must say that my husband, Vahik Satoorian and I take advantage of every opportunity to let the Armenians of Glendale about the “Ari Tun” Program through the Davidian & Mariamian Educational Foundation and urge the students’ parents to send their children to Armenia to participate in this important program.

I am very content with the “Ari Tun” Program. The RA Ministry of Diaspora is truly doing a tremendous job by helping link Armenia to the Diaspora. My dear Hranush Hakobyan’s endless efforts and unconditional dedication to the Diaspora are unforgettable. She deserves appraisal. For me, Mrs. Hakobyan is truly a highly respected person, and I highly appreciate her efforts and human qualities.

Getting back to your question, I must say that the “Ari Tun” Program provides young Diaspora Armenians with an unprecedented opportunity to see the homeland and become more familiar with Armenia.

Words can’t describe how much I admired the camping event at the “Ari Tun” Camp in Tsaghkadzor where I attended the “Farewell Bonfire” event. I was constantly getting emotional as I saw how the children were engaged in cordial conversations and were sincerely communicating with each other. I was so excited that I danced with them. It was as if I had become young again with them.

I must say that the “Ari Tun” Program is the major patriotic program aimed at preserving the Armenian identity and solving the issues of national concern.

Hayern Aysor: Mrs. Satoorian, you participated in the Course for Leaders of Armenian Communities of the Diaspora, which was part of the “Diaspora” Summer School Program. What are your impressions?

O. S.: The lessons were effective. We were introduced to the programs carried out by the RA Ministry of Diaspora, as well as the ministry’s strategy on and approaches to cooperation with the Armenian Diaspora in detail.

The employees of the RA Ministry of Diaspora organized a broad discussion on issues related to communities for the community leaders, and indeed, this was an urgent issue.

We were also provided with the opportunity to present the problems facing our respective community structures and organizations and the steps being taken to preserve the Armenian identity. We also discussed future programs for cooperation.

I was so happy to meet colleagues from different countries. As we talked about various issues related to preservation of the Armenian identity, we all realized that there is one thing that is difficult for all of us and is a pain that we all share, and that is to be of help to Armenia. On behalf of us Diaspora Armenians, I can surely say that we do our best to extend a helping hand to the Homeland.

I just remembered the words of General Andranik (Zoravar Andranik), who said the following: “When you lay your head on the pillow at night, for a moment, think about what you have done for your nation.”

These priceless words need to serve as a guideline for all Armenians.

Hayern Aysor: Your family’s visit to Armenia was also important due to the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the RA Ministry of Diaspora and the Davidian & Mariamian Educational Foundation. Could you please provide details about that?

O. S.: First, I must say that the Davidian & Mariamian Educational Foundation has established friendly relations with the Ministry of Diaspora and has been closely collaborating with the ministry since the first years of its establishment. We have always felt the generosity and heartfelt attitude of the RA Ministry of Diaspora.

Nevertheless, I am pleased with the fact that the signing of this memorandum will further strengthen the relations between the RA Ministry of Diaspora and the Davidian & Mariamian Educational Foundation and will help indicate new paths for cooperation. Unquestionably, we will continue to be consistent with the development of the Armenia-Diaspora partnership, the implementation of cultural, educational, disciplinary programs and advocacy campaigns and will continue to carry out pro-national activities aimed at preserving the Armenian language in the Diaspora and solving the issues related to preservation of the Armenian identity.

Interview by Gevorg Chichyan

 

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Today marks the 40th anniversary of ASALA (photos)

On August 7, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) and the 33rd anniversary of the “Karin” Operation, former ASALA freedom fighters, youth and several citizens paid tribute to the martyrs of ASALA at Yerablur Military Pantheon.

They laid flowers near the monument built in memory of the martyrs, reports News.am.

“As long as Western Armenia remains under seizure, the 40th, 50th, 60th anniversaries don’t change anything. The struggle continues. Just like I performed the “Van” Operation and believed in that struggle 30 years ago, I think the same way today,” commander of ASALA’s “Van” Operation Vazgen Sislyan told journalists.

Vazgen Sislyan voiced confidence that the youth of today will get their homeland back someday.

On January 20, 1975, the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia carried out its first attack on the office of the Council of World Churches in Beirut, but nobody suffered from that operation.

Generally speaking, prior to 1997, ASALA had organized over 200 attacks in different countries, killing 42 Turkish diplomats. The purpose of the attacks was to force the Turkish government to publicly acknowledge the fact that it is responsible for the killing of 1.5 million Armenians, make reparations and concede the territories of Historic Armenia.

Throughout the years, ASALA has suffered over 30 casualties, and several dozens of other members have been detained and sentenced.

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American Film Director Visits Armenia for Premiere of American-armenian Film “Aram, Aram” at the Golden Apricot Film Festival

he 2015 Golden Apricot Film Festival  in Yerevan, Armenia, saw a new kind of film

play to a packed movie house: “Aram, Aram” is the name of the film, and it is the

first film centered around the Armenian community in Los Angeles to be written and directed by an American of 100% non-Armenian descent.

“Aram, Aram” features powerful emotional performances from a mix of famous Armenian actors and newcomers.   For the lead role, Chambers selected 12 year-old Armenia-American, John Sevag Roohinian who had never starred in a feature-length film before.  He played against two heavyweights with hundreds of film and television credits between the two of them: celebrated stage, television and film star, Levon Sharafyan, and a fan favorite, Alla Tumanian.  The cast is rounded out by a nuanced performance from another newcomer, 27 year-old Sevak Hakoyan, originally from Yerevan.

Christopher Chambers, the writer-director, who came to Armenia to promote “Aram, Aram”

said, “Visiting Armenia has been an eye-opening experience – Yerevan is a charming, world-class city.” The Los Angeles-born director continued, “The Golden Apricot Film Festival brought in a truly  international selection of filmmakers.  Above all, I was overwhelmed by the incredible warmth and hospitality of the Armenian people who gave my film such a fantastic reception.” 

 

“Aram, Aram” first premiered to a sold out audience at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June and will next appear at the Montreal Film Festival and the St. Louis International Film Festival.  When asked about his future plans, Chambers said, “We are planning our theatrical release right now, targeting cities with strong Armenian Communities, but I honestly cannot wait to return to Armenia.”

Kamp Armen was built with the hands of over 1,500 children between the ages of 8 and 12

The statements that some Turkish parliamentary candidates were making about returning Kamp Armen orphanage to the Armenian community before the parliamentary elections were simply being made to mislead people. That’s what Vice-President of New Awakening Organization Anush Kazan Asatryan announced during an August 7 press conference in Yerevan, reports News.am.

According to Asatryan, the territory of Kamp Armen orphanage was purchased by the Gedikpasha Foundation of the Armenian Protestant Church on November 15, 1962. “The building of the orphanage was built in the course of three months with the hands of children between the ages of 8 and 12. As Hrant Dink would say, the poor and orphaned children built a home for themselves first and then for an entire civilization. The demolition of the orphanage, which began on May 6, was stopped through the efforts of democratic residents of Tuzla, as well as members of several political parties and non-governmental organizations,” Anush Kazan Asatryan mentioned and added: “Currently, the orphanage that was built through the efforts of more than 1,500 children stands face-to-face with bulldozers.”

Marriage proposal on top of Mount Ararat

A marriage proposal was made on the top of Mount Ararat on August 6.
The lucky woman, Berdjuhi Kazhoian posted information about the proposal on social networks. She had climbed to the top of the mountain with her future husband, Aaron Cummings.
Berdjuhi commented that she had said “yes” to a life full of love and adventures with her future husband.

Greek-Armenian community members and Greek education official discuss issue related to Armenian schools

Members of the Greek-Armenian community and Greece’s Deputy Minister for Education and Religious Affairs Tasus Guragis discussed issues on granting salaries from the state budget to teachers at Armenian schools and other issues facing schools.

In an interview with “Armenpress”, the members of the community said Guragis had emphasized that the ministry was willing to take care of the Armenian schools’ needs, but the economic crisis has led to the reduction of the number of teachers and the ministry is now in a difficult situation. The deputy minister stressed that thousands of teachers haven’t been paid yet due to the ongoing Greece-EU negotiations, and the issue is hanging from thin air.

The sides decided to contact each other so that they would solve the issue before the start of the new academic year. On July 4, “Armenpress” had presented the Greek-Armenian community’s concern that Greece’s economic issues might lead to reduction of funding to be allocated to Armenian schools as well. For decades, Armenian language teachers had received their salaries from the Greek government, thanks to which Armenian schools of Greece had kept their doors open and had helped teach Greek-Armenian children Armenian. Currently, due to the reductions in the country, the community fears that the government might also cut funding for Armenian teachers.

Rocket Program Launches Haigazian University into the History Books

As Haigazian University celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2015, it also commemorates 52 years since the height of its rocketry program founded by an innovative first-year math and physics instructor, Manoug Manougian, and a group of bright and determined undergrad students. Enthusiastically, they launched a series of rockets as part of their science, technology, engineering and mathematics program.

Manougian, a native of Jerusalem, joined the faculty at Haigazian College, now Haigazian University in Beirut, Lebanon. During the 1960’s when the Americans and Soviets were spending billions to send rockets into space the Haigazian student science club on a shoestring budget, under the tutelage of Manougian, began finding success with their fledgling rocket program.

Manougian had been interested in science and rocketry since his youth. His intentions were never political or military, strictly scientific. His students concentrated on physics and math and used the open spaces of Lebanon for their first test sites. When authorities, including the president, learned of the rocket program they offered better launch sites and funding. The Manougian-inspired team spent approximately $300,000 during its six active years. A dozen rockets were launched, each increasingly larger and more powerful than the previous. The most successful, the Cedar 4 three-stage rocket, launched in 1963, and was pictured on several Lebanese national postage stamps. A replica of that rocket is now on display in a courtyard at Haigazian University.

A half century has passed, but the walls of Mathematics Professor Manougian’s office at the University of South Florida where he teaches today, proclaim the success of the Haigazian rocket program with framed photos, articles, and artifacts. Three years ago a long overdue 95-minute award-winning documentary titled “The Lebanese Rocket Society,” directed by filmmakers Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and told the story of Manougian and Haigazian’s student rockets.

Corresponding with the rockets of the 60’s, which were launched high into the atmosphere, this year Haigazian is launching a $6 million scholarship endowment expansion fund. A Gala Opera Celebration is being held  October 3rd,  at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. Plácido Domingo will sing the title role of Woody Allen’s production of Gianni Schicci , then take the podium to conduct the magnificent Pagliacci!  Domingo will welcome Haigazian supporters at the Black Tie Gala Supper following the performance. Ticket information is available by calling the toll free number 1-844-809-4860 or by logging onto www.haigazian.org.

By Phyllis Hamo

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Tchaikovsky gold winner honors memory of Genocide victims

On July 9, 2015 Narek Hakhnazaryan who was awarded a Gold Medal at the 2011 XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition, the most prestigious Prize given to a cellist, played Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations, Tchaikovsky’s complex cello composition, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra with Lionel Bringuier, Conductor, at the Hollywood Bowl, Massi Post reports.

Hakhnazaryan announced that this year marks the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, and Los Angeles has a large Armenian community.

 

To commemorate the event, he played Lamentations; a suite composed by Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson based on a Black Folk song for solo cello, expressing a people’s crying out. He played and sang simultaneously, something we have never seen a cellist do before, expressing his intense agony for about ten minutes.

“Hakhnazaryan projected intensity from the moment he took the stage. To the very end his intense focus and expressive artistry never flagged,” The New York Times wrote according to Massis Post.

“A phenomenal cellist. He produces a powerful and colorful sound in all registers, nails every big shift and flashes all the virtuosos tricks with insolent ease. He should have a stellar career,” The Washington Post wrote.

Inheritor of Armenian Genocide victim says the events dedicated to the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide were an awakening for all Armenians

Shavarsh Chrisian is a U.S.-based doctor and the nephew of Shavarsh Chrisian, who was a famous athlete in the Ottoman Empire and the editor of “Gymnast” newspaper. Shavarsh Chrisian Senior was one of the first Armenian intellectuals whom the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide deported and later brutally killed.

Being the inheritor of a family of victims of the Armenian Genocide, Shavarsh Chrisian Junior says Turkey will acknowledge its crime sooner or later. “Nobody can deny that we Armenians have a great claim. A crime was committed against us, and there have to be moral and financial reparations. Why do we need moral reparations? It’s because as long as Turkey hasn’t recognized the Armenian Genocide, Armenia is at risk,” Shavarsh Chrisian said. According to him, the first objective is to have Turkey acknowledge its crime-something that’s not hard to do.

“The Turks are probably afraid of reparations. They can blame it on their forefathers, say they made a mistake, apologize a thousand times and say it will never happen again. This is the greatest claim of the Armenians and the expectation of all mankind. It’s when you lay your head down to sleep, knowing that there is no enemy posing a danger on the other side of the border,” Chrisian added in his interview to “Armenpress”.

Touching upon the events dedicated to the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide and the Armenians’ future actions, Shavarsh Chrisian mentioned that he was very content as he saw how Armenians marked April 24th in Armenia and different countries around the world. “One thing was clear-all Armenians had stood up, including English-speaking, French-speaking, Armenian-speaking, as well as Catholic and Apostolic Armenians and made their voices heard. In Los Angeles, 130,000 Armenians organized a march and walked 810 kilometers. We were surprised to see so many Armenians. There were people of all ages. It’s not that the elders were the only ones there and that they’re the only ones who remember. The youth were also there and were screaming that we Armenians have claims. It was unquestionably an awakening,” Shavarsh Chrisian said as he shared his impressions. He also attached importance to the Pope’s Holy Mass and two major statements that he made in his sermon. “There are two things. The first thing that 1 billion people followed was that the Pope used the term ‘genocide’. The other is that, even though, as you know, the Catholic Church has always stated that it is the number one church and that there is no other church like the Catholic Church, the Pope said that the first Christian Church is Armenian. This was a great victory for us Armenians and it was to our benefit,” he said. According to Shavarsh Chrisian, many European countries have already started talking about recognition of the Armenian Genocide, which will lead us to the point where Turkey will be left alone.

“I can almost imagine how Turkey must recognize the Armenian Genocide. The country’s oppositional party has to have more votes and raise our issue to win votes. This will change the people’s mindset. They’ll start thinking about the history, turn to us and say that they have been lied to. After all this, Turkey will officially recognize the Armenian Genocide,” Chrisian noted.

As far as Armenia’s future is concerned, according to Shavarsh Chrisian, Armenia and the Armenians must be able to present themselves to the world as bearers of rich culture and civilization. To do that, they need to be accessible to the masses. “We Armenians have great heritage that is equivalent to the heritage of Egypt and Greece. True, we don’t have pyramids, but we have boilers and antique items. With that we can show the world that we have rights. The United States of America has a history spanning 200 years and is a wealthy country, but the Americans can’t say that they were the first civilized people like the Armenians. We Armenians have marvelous poets and artists, but only a few know about them. How should we present what we have to the public at large? We need to have an international football team, Olympic athletes and tennis players. Do you know why? It’s because 2 billion people watch the Olympic Games, and 2 billion people will see the Armenian flag and the word “Armenia” written on the athletes’ shirts. People will start showing interest in who the Armenians are, and one day, they’ll come to Armenia and understand what great heritage we have,” Shavarsh Chrisian emphasized.

Football match in Gyumri interrupted by the Armenian dances of Sasun (photos)

The football teams of Gyumri, Sasun, Tehran, Moscow, Cologne, Kiev, Togonrog, Sydney, La Plata and Antelias are competing in the 6th Pan-Armenian Games, writes armradio.am.

Armenia’s second capital city isn’t sparing any efforts to make sure the Games are held properly. The footzal and football tournaments caused a lot of commotion in the city starting from August 3, and the young Armenians of Sasun, hearing the sounds of the Armenian dhol and zurna instruments, stopped training and rushed to form a round dance before the Sasun-Tehran match on August 6.

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Young Armenians’ surprise marriage proposals at Akhtamar Island of Van (video)

The graduating students of the Faculty of History of Yerevan State University witnessed a beautiful surprise before receiving their diplomas at Akhtamar Island of Van, reports News.am.

The Dean of the Faculty of History of Yerevan State University and Narekavank Tour, which organizes tours to Western Armenia and Cilicia, had organized a ceremony to grant the graduating students their diplomas at Akhtamar Island of Van.

Before the diplomas are handed, when everyone is gathered at the Holy Cross Church of Akhtamar, graduating student of the YSU Faculty of History, Gevorg, proposes to his girlfriend, Ruzanna, asking for her hand in marriage. In an interview with NEWS.am, Gevorg mentioned that he came up with the idea of this proposal just a day before the trip to Western Armenia. He emphasized that Ruzanna was very surprised and in shock because she didn’t know that he was going to propose to her.

Afterwards, another graduating student, 22-year-old Narek also proposed beautifully to his girlfriend, Ani, who also hadn’t known about the proposal until that moment. Narek also mentioned that he had thought about an interesting way to propose, and the trip to Western Armenia for the diploma handing ceremony served as a good opportunity.

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