RA Ministry of Diaspora holds teleconference with Armenian community of Portugal

On March 20, the RA Ministry of Diaspora held a teleconference with the Armenian and Portuguese representatives of the Armenian community of Portugal.

The items on the agenda were the presentation of the programs of the RA Ministry of Diaspora for this year and the participation of the Consonansia Armenian Orchestra of Portugal in the “We Sing Komitas” Pan-Armenian Festival (24-29 September).

RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan greeted the representatives of the community and particularly stated the following: “I am glad that the few Armenians of Portugal came together last year and established the Portugal-Armenia Friendship Union, which is trying to consolidate the local Armenians. The Armenian Communities Department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is also based in Lisbon. The name Calouste Gulbenkian already makes us Armenians recognizable around the world. We need to take measures to help assimilated Armenians return to their roots. The first way of doing that is to disseminate Armenian culture and organize visits to the homeland.”

The Minister suggested that the Portugal-Armenia Friendship Union collaborate with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Armenian communities of other countries across Europe in order to carry out joint programs devoted to preservation of the Armenian identity.

Minister Hranush Hakobyan also touched upon the possible paths for Armenian and Portuguese businessmen to make investments in Armenia.

Both parties said it was important to make Armenia recognizable for Portuguese businessmen.

Head of the Department of All-Armenian Programs at the RA Ministry of Diaspora Gagik Gyanjumyan presented the programs of the RA Ministry of Diaspora for this year.

Head of the Portugal-Armenia Friendship Union Vahe Mkhitaryan talked about the Consonansia Orchestra and attached importance to the issue of making it recognizable in Armenia.

Deputy Head of the Portugal-Armenia Friendship Union Narine Dellalyan stated that the Union and the Delalyan Trio (established in 1995) popularize Armenian music in Portugal.

“Our Union has established the Consonansia Orchestra, which includes 12 Armenian and Portuguese musicians. It is our pleasure to state that the Orchestra will participate in the 2017 “We Sing Komitas” Pan-Armenian Festival organized by the Ministry of Diaspora,” Narine Dellalyan said.

AGBU Young Professionals of Greater New York Raises $50,000 for the AGBU Humanitarian Emergency Relief Fund for Syrian Armenians

On February 4, the AGBU Young Professionals of Greater New York (YPGNY) held its 16th annual Silent Auction & Cocktail Party at The Redbury in New York. The event raised $50,000 for the AGBU Humanitarian Emergency Relief Fund for Syrian Armenians and drew 200 young professionals from throughout the tristate area as well as members of the AGBU Central Board.  The event was sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Manhattan Beer Distributors and Liquor Land.

Throughout the evening, guests listened to music by Greg “DJ GLO” Stepanian and enjoyed bidding on a wide array of gifts, luxury items, and services donated by leading businesses and generous individuals in the fields of fine art, fashion, sports, dining, and entertainment. These included items from Valentino, Hermès, Christian Louboutin, Vartan Geudelekian, Gregg Emery, and many others.

“The support of the non-Armenian community is what truly allowed us to make this year’s event so successful. Being able to connect with them on a human level and bringing them on board to further such an important cause made all the difference. 2017 marked the fourth consecutive year that YPGNY has donated the auction proceeds to the AGBU Humanitarian Emergency Relief Fund for Syrian Armenians. The need today is greater than it has ever been and continues to grow more and more each day. This year’s event raised $15,000 more than last year, and as the need continues to grow, we strive to increase the amount raised each year,” said YPGNY chairman William Nazarian.

Together with the 2017 proceeds, YPGNY has raised over $125,000 for Syrian Armenians in need over the last four years. In past years, the YPGNY Silent Auction & Cocktail Party has raised funds for the AGBU Children’s Centers in Armenia and the AGBU Humanitarian Emergency Relief Fund for Iraqi Armenians.

To learn more about YPGNY, visit www.ypgny.agbuyp.org

Established in 1906, AGBU (www.agbu.org) is the world’s largest non-profit Armenian organization. Headquartered in New York City, AGBU preserves and promotes the Armenian identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs, annually touching the lives of some 500,000 Armenians around the world.

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Argisht Armenian Community represented Armenia at Friendship without Borders Festival

On March 16, the Russian State University for Tourism and Service splendidly hosted the Friendship without Borders Festival with various kinds of events, an award ceremony and a festive concert.

As reported Azniv Paronyan to Hayern Aysor, the festival, which has been held for ten years, gathered not only students of the Russian State University for Tourism and Service, but also representatives of other universities and national and cultural organizations and Armenian youth organizations in CIS countries.

The University’s Student Council had organized an exhibit called “National Cuisine and Traditional Dishes”. The festival continued with a concert for the guests, as well as the students and professors of the University.

The participants performed the musical compositions of their respective nations, as well as performed their respective national songs and dances and recited poems.

For the past three years, the folk instruments ensemble (teacher Avetis Manukyan) and the Argisht Armenian Dance Group of the Argisht Armenian Community have been representing Armenia at the festival, and the Armenian students of the University have stood out with their brilliant performances.

“It is very exciting to represent the country and the homeland at such festivals. It makes you feel proud. We stood out from the participants of other nationalities as one of the world’s oldest nations. In 15 minutes, we presented the past and present of our nation’s culture,” the members of Argishti Armenian Dance Group said and added the following: “Those who don’t know their homeland can’t love it the right way.”

Armenian fashion designers have taken over Paris

Armenia’s textile factories are modernizing their works and expanding consumer markets. The second stage of the program for raising the level of competitiveness in light industry has been launched in the country.

As noted, the outfits are sewn at a textile factory upon the order of Valentin Yudashkin. Everyone at his Fashion House is impressed with the outfits designed by Armenian fashion designers. The collection has also been shown in France.

“Out of 150 other works, our outfits were selected in Paris. The quality of our seam had an impact on the selection. We sew outfits that meet the standards of each country. For instance, we sew tuxedos for tall men in Russia,” Lida Sargsyan, head of a textile factory, noted. The Russian market is one of the most attractive markets for Armenian producers.

Over the past few years, Armenian textile factories have made progress in terms of technology. Some of their works have been automated. For instance, lecal used to be drawn by hand, but now computers do the work. The factories have also stopped using old labels. Currently, the sizes of outfits are printed on the fabric. “Modern technologies help us save time. We always follow the trends in technology. It helps us keep the quality at a high level and keep up with the times,” manager of a textile factory Ani Avetisyan said in a report by MIR TV channel, reported armeniasputnik.am. Over the past years, five light industries have been created in the country. Armenia will open two more factories (spinning and sewing) before the end of the year. Producers promise to increase production by at least twice and also plan on exporting their products to Europe.

Reopening of Tomb of Jesus to be held

On March 22 at 10:00, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem will host the reopening of the Tomb of Jesus in the presence of the leaders of the three right holding denominations, as well as state and national figures.

As reported the Saint Hripsime Congregation of Jerusalem to Hayern Aysor, the Tomb of Jesus has been renovated and restored and archaeological works have been conducted over the past eleven months under the direct supervision of the three right holding denominations of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. As planned, all works had to be completed before the start of the Easter celebrations in 2017.

RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan visits Artists’ Union of Armenia

RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan visited the Artists’ Union of Armenia, which is showcasing the paintings by Merited Painter of the Republic of Armenia, Head of the Fine Arts Department of Kristapor Kushnaryan Art School Anna Harutyunyan. Harutyunyan is nominated for the Presidential Award of the Republic of Armenia “For notable contribution to the field of arts”. The exhibition is organized as part of the Presidential Award of the Republic of Armenia.

The exhibition showcased the painter’s “Witnesses of the Past” series, which stood out with the Armenia-centered philosophy of the universe, the combination of the elements of antique, Christian and contemporary fine arts and unique techniques.

The Minister praised the painter’s efforts aimed at presenting Armenian culture properly and in an interesting way in the United States, Germany, Spain and other countries and stated that even though she continued her studies in Germany and joined the Union of Artists of Germany at the age of 20, Armenia-the crossroads of ancient civilizations-is the driving force and source of inspiration for her work. The Minister of Diaspora expressed gratitude for the close collaboration and attached importance to the showing of the painting of the oldest, 5,500-year-old Armenian shoe (excavated in Areni village) at the Shoe Museum in the Italian city of Elda and to the donation of the painting to the Museum on behalf of the RA Ministry of Diaspora.

Anna Harutyunyan expressed gratitude for the high appreciation of her art and assured that she would be undertaking new and interesting initiatives soon.

Israeli citizen posts photo of Artsakh visa in his passport

Citizen of Israel, expert Anton Mercurov, who is participating in the International Forum of Bloggers in Artsakh, has posted on his Facebook page a photo of the visa in his passport allowing him to visit Artsakh.

“I have placed the visa to visit Artsakh in my Israeli passport,” wrote Anton Mercurov as a caption for his photo. Famous Russian blogger Anton Nosik, who is also known as “King of Runet”, is also participating in the forum.

“If they tell you Artsakh is not like the other neighboring regions, believe it. I honestly didn’t believe it until I came,” wrote the blogger, as reported Ankakh.com.

Archbishop Levon Zekiyan awards famous Istanbul-Armenian photographer Ara Güler with order

On March 19, spiritual leader of the Catholic Armenians of Turkey, Archbishop Levon Zekiyan awarded world famous Istanbul-Armenian photographer Ara Güler with the Meguerditch Beshiktashlian Order during a solemn ceremony held at the Holy Savior Armenian Catholic Church, reported Istanbul’s Zhamanak Armenian Daily.

Among the attendees were diplomats, representatives of local self-government bodies, public figures, intellectuals, clergymen, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Armenia to the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization Arsen Avagyan, representative of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople, Friar Maghakia Beskiziyan and others.

During the event, actor Boghos Chalkjoglu presented the life of Ara Güler. Photographer Joskun Aral and historian Ilber Ortay talked about the artist’s life and career.

The event also featured musical performances.

At the end, the attendees watched a documentary film devoted to Güler’s life.

President Serzh Sargsyan Sent A Congratulatory Letter To The President Of Iran And Supreme Leader Of The Islamic Revolution On The Occasion Of Novruz

President Serzh Sargsyan sent a congratulatory letter to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani and the Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Khamenei on the wonderful holiday of spring awakening Novruz.

The President of Armenia wished that for Iran the new according to the solar calendar year 1396 becomes a year of further development, new success, and achievements.

President Sargsyan noted that in the past twenty-five years, the Armenian-Iranian friendly relations have been on the rise, encompassing a large pallet ranging from the high-level political dialogue to a close trade and economic cooperation, from human contacts to the scientific, educational, and cultural ties. President Sargsyan expressed confidence that based on that solid foundation, the strong Armenian-Iranian interstate relations will expand and deepen for the benefit of a peaceful and prosperous future.

Serzh Sargsyan wished the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution great health, bliss, and activities full of success. He also wished the friendly people of Iran long-lasting peace and prosperity.

Consultation held at the RA Ministry of Diaspora

On March 20, RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan held a consultation with Deputy Ministers Serzh Srapionyan and Vahagn Melikyan, Chief of Staff of the RA Ministry of Diaspora Firdus Zakaryan, the directors of the “Homeland-Diaspora Center” SNCO and the Center for Coordination of Syrian-Armenians’ Issues NGO, as well as the heads of departments and divisions.

The heads of departments and divisions delivered their weekly reports, pinpointed the upcoming programs and events and made new recommendations.

The Minister attached importance to the proper organizing and implementation of the “Ari Tun” Program and the “Diaspora” Summer School Program.

The conduct of teleconferences was selected as the key topic of the week, the teleconferences to be held with the Armenian communities of Portugal, Argentina, Georgia and Buryatia (Russian Federation) were touched upon, importance was attached to the conduct of a teleconference to be organized with Armenian medical societies and associations of the U.S. Eastern Region, Ontario, Argentina, Great Britain, Germany and Moscow for the purpose of establishing the Pan-Armenian Association of Doctors.

Other issues were also discussed during the consultation. The Minister gave assignments and designated correspondents and coordinators.

Illustrated rock discovered in historic Kharberd Province is over 4,000 years old

The piece of rock discovered in the Elazig Province (Kharberd Province of Western Armenia) of modern-day Turkey is 4,000 years old and features ancient illustrated inscriptions, reported arkeolojihaber.net, according to tert.am.

Back in May 2016, archaeologists discovered the piece of rock and transferred it to the Institute-Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography of Elazig where the rock was examined in detail.

The experts at the Institute-Museum clarified that the 2m 72cm high and 2m 25cm wide polished rock was more than 4,000 years old.

The local archaeologists claim that there are polished stones with such illustrations in only the territories of Asia Minor and Mesopotamia.

Catholicos of All Armenians meets with Finnish-Armenian community

On March 19, during the inter-ecclesiastical visit to Finland, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians had a meeting with members of the Armenian community of Finland in the hall of the Helsinki Cathedral (Evangelical Lutheran), as reported to Hayern Aysor the information system of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.

Among the attendees were members of the delegation accompanying His Holiness, including Supervisor for Higher Theological Education Institutions of the Mother See, His Grace, Fr. Bishop Gevorg Saroyan; representative of the Inter-Ecclesiastical Relations Department of the Mother See, Rev. Fr. Supreme Archimandrite Shaheh Ananyan; Patriarchal Delegate of Central Europe and the Scandinavian countries, Rev. Fr. Archimandrite Tiran Petrosyan; Superintendent of the Gevorgyan Spiritual Lyceum, Rev. Fr. Archimandrite Garegin Hambardzumyan and crosier of His Holiness, Rev. Fr. Friar Aghan Yernjakyan, as well as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Armenia to Finland Artak Apitonyan.

On behalf of the Armenian community of Finland, the Patriarchal Delegate of Central Europe and the Scandinavian countries expressed his gratitude and his welcoming remarks to the Supreme Patriarch, emphasizing the progress that had been made and the developments that had taken place in the lives of the Armenians of Finland over the past couple of years.

Afterwards, the Catholicos of All Armenians expressed his joy for the meeting with the Armenian community and attached special importance to the spirit of organizing and consolidation of the community. In his speech, the Supreme Patriarch particularly said the following: “It is a satisfaction for me to see that you are standing with not only clergymen and your pastors, but also the representatives of the Armenian government, represented by the Distinguished Ambassador Artak Apitonyan. We wish that you can unite again and become organized to preserve your Armenian Christian identity and transmit your zeal towards the national values and mother language to your children.”

At the end, His Holiness gave his blessings to the representatives of the Armenian community, listened to their recommendations and answered the attendees’ questions.

Parts of Aram Khachaturian’s personal furniture items being brought from Latvia to Armenia

Aram Khachaturian had donated some pieces of his furniture to Ninai Mereshkinova, who studied with Aram Khachaturian at Arghutyan Seminary in Tbilisi. Later, Mereshkinova donated two of those pieces to the House-Museum of Aram Khachaturian, and the other three (2 chairs and 1 cabinet)-to the doctor who had provided Khachaturian with medical treatment. Later, those items were part of the collection of a large collectioner in Latvia. The main keeper of the fund at the House-Museum, who has been to Mereshnikova’s apartment, has confirmed that they are the same items.

As reported the Department of Public Relations of the House-Museum of Aram Khachaturian, at the initiative of Honorary Consul of the Republic of Latvia in the Republic of Armenia Armen Ghasaboghlyan, those items are being returned to the House-Museum of Aram Khachaturian.

Born and raised in Tbilisi, Nina Mereshnikova worked at one of the ophthalmological clinics in Yerevan. She studied with Aram Khachaturian at the Arghutyan Seminary in Tbilisi and was a big fan of Khachaturian’s music and a family friend. After the establishment of the House-Museum, she also became a friend of the latter.