Shoushi’s Yeznik Mozyan Arts and Crafts School Foundation receives medal

The France-based CCCA has granted a medal to the Yeznik Mozyan Arts and Crafts School Foundation in Shoushi.

In an interview with Artsakhpress, Director of the Yeznik Mozyan Arts and Crafts School Vaspurak Karapetyan said the CCCA coordinated the sphere of arts and crafts education in France.

“The medal is symbolic because it has helped our institution join the network of arts and crafts schools in France. We have also received the login to use the online resource of the above-mentioned network,” Karapetyan said.

Atom Egoyan, Arsinée Khanjian and Eric Nazarian visit frontline

On 5 April, filmmakers Eric Nazarian and Atom Egoyan and actress and producer Arsinée Khanjian, who are in Artsakh at the initiative of the Tufenkian Foundation, visited the military positions of the Defense Army of Artsakh in the northern direction with the accompaniment of Commander, Major-General Vardan Balayan, reported the press service of the Ministry of Defense of the Artsakh Republic to Hayern Aysor.

During the visit to the frontline, the world famous Diaspora Armenian cultural figures asked about the frequency of the ceasefire violations and were introduced to the social and living conditions of the servicemen and the peculiarities of on-duty military service.

Armenian Genocide library opens in Washington DC (video)

From now on, historians and researchers conducting research on the Armenian Genocide will have the opportunity to use nearly 5,000 books of the Armenian Genocide library in Washington DC.

According to Voice of America, yesterday marked the opening of the Armenian Genocide library of the Armenian National Institute in Washington DC. The English- and Armenian-language books don’t present the history and image of the Armenian nation, but they do provide extensive information about the Genocide, which is the most painful episode in the history of the Armenian nation.

Director of the Armenian National Institute Ruben Adalyan stated that the library had over 5,000 books and that the Institute hoped the number would grow.

“The Armenian Genocide library is only a part of the efforts to create a complex research center. We are establishing a system through which researchers will be able to use the valuable collection of books that the Armenian Assembly of America and the Armenian National Institute have obtained over the past 40 years,” he said.

Director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute Hayk Demoyan was attending the opening of the library.

“The opening of the library in Washington DC is a major event. First, the library is opening its doors in the capital of the United States of America, and this is already a major achievement. Second, this library will become a venue for meetings and discussions and a center for organizing activities in a coordinated manner. In this sense, it is more than a library and an information center,” he said.

Serj Tankian performs “Ter Voghormea” (Lord Have Mercy) at St. Ghazanchetsots Armenian Church in Shoushi (video)

Serj Tankian, who is on a visit to Artsakh, performed the Armenian song “Ter, Voghormea” (Lord Have Mercy) at the Saint Ghazanchetsots Armenian Church in Shoushi.

Tankian also announced that he would be giving a concert in Artsakh soon.

“I would really like to come and perform in Artsakh, and if I can, I will bring other artists with me. Now the most important thing is to talk about Artsakh and present it to different people and in different places. Everyone has to know that Artsakh is a very beautiful country and that the people of Artsakh wait for everyone with smiles and a big heart. I hope I give a concert in Artsakh soon,” Tankian said, reported civilnet.am.

Event dedicated to the 139th birth anniversary of Vahan Tekeyan

On 4 April, the secondary school in the Yegheg village of Syunik Province hosted an event dedicated to the 139th birth anniversary of exceptional Diaspora Armenian poet, ‘architect’ of Armenian thought Vahan Tekeyan. The event was part of the 2017 Our Greats Program of the RA Ministry of Diaspora.

As reported the school to Hayern Aysor, the event featured the showing of a video devoted to the major episodes of the life and career of Tekeyan, his political views and his views as a member of a political party and his creations. The pupils presented him as an intricate artist who was also in-depth and simple and as the most perfect master of Armenian poetry whose poetry is like a secret garden where there are many invisible layers. Afterwards, they recited Tekeyan’s remarkable poems, including “I Loved”, “Your Name”, “It is Raining, My Son…”, “Lines about the Armenian Language” and “I Remember You Tonight”.

What was very important was the fact that the pupils also reflected on the similarities between the styles of Vahan Tekeyan and Vahan Teryan as a part of symbolism.

At the end, the organizing teachers expressed their views on Tekeyan and made references, attaching importance to his invaluable role in and contribution to the realities of the Armenians and Diaspora Armenians and set aside the following thoughts of the poet: “I would like to continue and say that the best love is the love that is in silence…” and “The reed is probably sweeter than the sound of a trumpet…”

25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Armenia and China

Ministers of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian and Wang Yi exchanged letters on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Armenia and the People’s Republic of China.

Edward Nalbandian in his letter notes that the Armenian-Chinese relations are as ancient as the history of our peoples and have always been based on mutual trust and respect. Our interstate cooperation is also built on this traditionally rich foundation that has been steadily expanding during quarter of a century and recording numerous remarkable achievements in different areas.

Minister Nalbandian emphasises that Armenia highly appreciates the regular political dialogue between our countries, close interaction in international organisations and mutual understanding on various regional and international issues.

Edward Nalbandian notes the important role of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries in ensuring the implementation of the agreements reached at the highest level.

The Armenian Foreign Minister notes that economic cooperation is one of the key components of the Armenian-Chinese relations, which we are committed to expand through including new perspective projects of mutual interest.

Wang Yi in his letter notes that during quarter of a century since the establishment of diplomatic relations the Chinese-Armenian relations have steadily developed.

The Chinese Foreign Minister underlines that mutual trust in political sphere between the two countries is being constantly strengthened, considerable achievements have been registered in trade, economy, security, humanitarian ties and cooperation in other areas.

Minister Yi emphasises that the Chinese side attaches great importance to the development of the Chinese-Armenian relations and considers Armenia as an important cooperation partner.

The Foreign Minister of China underlines his readiness to undertake together with the Foreign Minister of Armenia joint efforts aimed at strengthening cooperation between Foreign Ministries of the two countries, thus advancing the bilateral relations to a new level of development.

Dance campaign dedicated to the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary

On the occasion of the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary, Karin NGO, several of its dance groups and Zurnachi Band are organizing a dance campaign that will kick off on 7 April (18:00) in the area near Margaryan Hospital. The participants of the event will perform the “Ari Eem Sokhak” Armenian lullaby for women expecting children and women who have already experienced the joy of motherhood, after which they will head towards Freedom Square with performances of songs and dances.

A similar event was held last year on 8 March and was dedicated to Motherhood and Beauty Day.

Armenian music concerts held in Boston and Providence

The Yegavian Cultural Center in Providence hosted an Armenian music concert organized by the Union of Composers of Armenia and the Cultural Committee of Providence. As reported the Union of Composers of Armenia to Hayern Aysor, the concert featured performances of chamber, vocal and instrumental music composed by Komitas, Khachaturian, Harutyunyan, Vardazaryan, Yerznkyan, Babajanyan, Kotoyan, Petrosyan, Hekimyan and Avetisyan. The works of the Armenian composers were performed by the musicians of the State of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

The works of Armenian composers for the cello and the violin were performed during a concert featuring performances of French and Armenian music in Boston. The concert was organized by the Union of Composers of Armenia and the Armenian Museum of America (Boston) and featured performances of the works of Hovunts, Kokjayev, Petrosyan, Pulenk, Debus, Frank and Chauson by Professor of the New England Conservatory of Boston, cellist Kate Kayaian and recipient of international awards, pianist Steven Porter. In his speech, the director of the Museum Berge Chekidjian praised such events and attached importance to the cooperation with the Union of Composers of Armenia.

Let us only add that the artistic director for the two U.S. concerts was Co-Chair of the International Committee of the Union of Composers of Armenia, composer Konstantin Petrosyan.

Women waiting to feel the joy of motherhood to be blessed on the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary

On 7 April, the Armenian Holy Apostolic Church celebrates the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary.

Years ago, under the high direction of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary was proclaimed as a day of blessing of women waiting to feel the joy of motherhood.

On this occasion, a special blessing ceremony will be conducted after Holy Masses to be served at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and all Armenian churches.

Basque filmmaker’s Armenian Genocide film to be shown in Spain

After winning fourth place at the San Sebastian Film Festival, Basque filmmaker Juanmi Gutiérrez’s documentary film “Fabrics in the Branches” (Telas en las ramas) will be shown for the first time today in front of 40,000 students, lecturers and professors of the University of Alicante.

According to Hayern Aysor, citizen of Alicante Hasmik Kocharyan, who stars in the film, told Sputnik Արմենիա that Juami came up with the idea of making a film devoted to Armenia and the Armenians after visiting Armenia. Charmed by the history and activities of the Armenians and the nature in Armenia, he decided that he definitely had to tell people about what he had seen.

The 89-minute documentary presents Armenians living in Armenia and abroad. They talk about their relatives who were saved from the Armenian massacres perpetrated in the Ottoman Empire by a miracle.

It is safe to say that the film is mainly about not only Armenians scattered across the globe, but also the history of the Armenian people in its entirety. The film also stars famous Lebanese-Armenian violinist Ara Malikian.

The filmmaker also talks about the Armenian version of the Bible that he found in one of the cathedrals in the Land of the Basques.

“Juanmi Gutiérrez has always been interested in the history of Armenia. In fact, the Parliament of the Basques was the first in Spain to recognize the Armenian Genocide in 2007. The first Armenian cross-stone in Alicante was placed in 2008,” Hasmik Kocharyan said.

The title of the film wasn’t selected by chance. The fabrics symbolize the Armenians scattered across the globe, and the branches (“the tragic story”) unite them all.

The film was produced in Spain (Madrid, Barcelona and Alicante) and Armenia (Garni, Geghard, Oshakan and Yerevan) between 2015 and 2016.

Mariam Simonyan

4th year student of the Faculty of International Relations at Yerevan State University

Nara Noyan: “I want to help my Homeland with my art”

On 6 April, RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan received Belgian-Armenian singer Nara Noyan, who is in Armenia to give a concert at Cafesijan Center for the Arts on 7 April.

As reported Hayern Aysor, the Minister attached importance to the Belgian-Armenian singer’s active and pro-national efforts abroad and invited her to participate in the “We Sing Komitas” Pan-Armenian Festival to be held in September 2017.

Nara Noyan expressed gratitude for the cordial reception, talked about her meeting with Charles Aznavour and their duet, donated her latest album to the Minister and expressed willingness to participate in the cultural programs organized by the Ministry of Diaspora. “I want to help my Homeland with my art. My concerts in Artsakh will be ongoing. I do everything on my own. My freedom is my wealth,” she added.

From 1998 to 2000, the singer founded and directed the “World of Discoveries” Center for the Arts in Brussels. In 2003, she established a music band. In 2005, she released her first album entitled “Promises”. The singer has already released six albums.

In 2012, she participated in the “My Armenia” Pan-Armenian Festival organized by the RA Ministry of Diaspora. In 2016, the singer dedicated her concert in Paris to Artsakh and sent all proceeds to the families of deceased soldiers in Artsakh through the Blue Cross of France.

This time, the singer is planning on giving charity concerts in Armenia. On 12 April, she will be giving a concert to help the special school in Artik.

Armenian cross-stone to be placed in Spanish city of San Sebastian on 24 April

Established in different corners of the globe, our compatriots create a ‘small Armenia’ wherever they go, establishing Armenian schools, cultural centers, choirs and dance groups, media outlets and churches. There are not many Armenians in the coastal, beautiful and extravagant cultural city of San Sebastian. They are mainly new immigrants, who are consolidated within a small community. During my interview for Hayern Aysor, the best friend of the Armenian community of San Sebastian, Armenia-based artist, painter and President of Akos Armenian Cultural Non-Governmental Organization Mkrtich Tonoyan talked about the community and its activities.

Karine Avagyan: Mr. Tonoyan, I have been told that you will be taking an Armenian cross-stone to San Sebastian. What is the purpose? Whose initiative is it?

Mkrtich Tonoyan: Let me start from the beginning. One of my close friends, Minas Minasov, who established the small “Haiasa-1915” non-governmental organization two years ago and gathered the members of the Armenian community, decided to address the Municipality of San Sebastian with the request for an area to gather and commemorate the innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide on the occasion of the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide. The mayor of San Sebastian accepted the request and cordially agreed to allocate the area. He not only allocated an area, but also personally participated in the meeting. Seeing that the small local Armenian community was already established and registered, the mayor discussed with the members the issue of allocating an area for the local Armenians-it could be a grove that would go on to be named after an Armenian and where the community could place a plaque, statue or even a cross-stone. Preference was given to a cross-stone. What’s interesting is that the municipality suggested placing a cross-stone. A year before that, I had visited the members of the community. My friend contacted me and asked me what I thought about participating in the efforts and the project, and I gladly agreed. Our initial idea was not a cross-stone, but any sculpture that would symbolize the friendship between the Armenians and the Basques, but the Basques themselves would ask us what would symbolize Armenian culture more. San Sebastian is a cultural capital. Last year, it was considered the capital for culture in Europe and the place where there are many cultural events. I visited San Sebastian, taking with me relevant pictures, projects and the plan/description of the cross-stone. During the meeting, I presented the monuments, but they gave their preference to the cross-stone, which is one of the symbols of the Armenian identity. The final decision was made in May 2016. The Basques preferred this, taking into consideration the fact that cross-stones was enshrined as a symbol of Armenia and Armenians by the UNESCO in 2010.

Karine Avagyan: Mkrtich, it is obvious that the decision on placement of the cross-stone would be followed by the creation of the cross-stone. Who sponsored and supported the creation of the cross-stone?

Mkrtich Tonoyan: Alongside the decision on placement of the cross-stone, we also discussed those issues. The representatives of the municipality had told us that it could help place the cross-stone. The community raised funds, and the Minasovs provided most of the funding. During the meeting, we also discussed the issue on the establishment of sister relations between San Sebastian and Gyumri. There were already letters devoted to the issue. Gyumri was selected because in Armenia, Gyumri is considered a city for culture, the arts and crafts. After the establishment of sister relations, there will be reciprocal visits, events, festivals, seminars and conferences. The foundation for all this was laid when the decision was taken to create and place the cross-stone. The funds donated for the cross-stone are mainly given to carvers and then used to transfer the cross-stone from Yerevan to San Sebastian.

Karine Avagyan: Who is the creator of the cross-stone?

Mkrtich Tonoyan: The creator is Vruyr Tizyan from Tchambarak. I suggested that he create the cross-stone, and I will be his assistant and consultant. We both studied at Terlemezyan Art School. Vruyr is also a member of Akos. We have also participated in several international events together. Tizyan and I designed the cross-stone together. It was my and Tizyan’s contribution, and we did it for free and with great pleasure. We tried to address others with the request for financial assistance, but nothing worked out. The finishing touches are being made, and we will finish by 14 April. We plan on placing the cross-stone on 18 April and holding the solemn opening ceremony on 24 April. Among the attendees will be the mayor of San Sebastian, high-ranking officials of the municipality and members of the local political parties. We have a little problem with the sculptor’s entry visa, but I think we will solve that problem soon. We would like to see a representative of the Ministry of Diaspora or a journalist to provide full coverage of the ceremony.

Karine Avagyan: What made you become so dedicated? What guided you? Was it the loyalty of a friend, patriotism, or perhaps another opportunity to know the world?

Mkrtich Tonoyan: I am a painter, and it is my desire to present my country around the world, even in a small corner of the world. Of course, the precious feeling of being a friend and the loyalty to that friend also plays a great role. It is nice that I am presenting a part of Armenian culture in that cultural city of Spain. I feel great that the Armenian community is also becoming politically significant in San Sebastian to a certain extent. I consider it an honor to make my small contribution to this act. Our compatriots and our Basque friends in San Sebastian are waiting for the cross-stone dedicated to the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide and to the friendship between the Basques and the Armenians.

Karine Avagyan: We talked about the cross-stone and the small Armenian community established in the Land of the Basques, but we didn’t talk about your big word, that is, painting.

Mkrtich Tonoyan: Painting is truly my big and irreplaceable world. I graduated from Terlmezyan Art School and the Art Academy. I have participated in many local and international exhibitions. My paintings have also been showcased in San Sebastian. Besides painting and graphic arts, I also make documentary films. My latest film is devoted to the life of Armenians in bordering villages and the violation of human rights by Azerbaijani troops and has been shown in Canada. I have participated in the first Artsakh war as one of the members of the National Legeon detachment. In April 1994, I was wounded during the liberation of Mataghis. In fact, founding president of the Armenian community of San Sebastian Minas Minasov is one of my friends-in-combat, and in 1992, we participated in the battles that took place in the southern region of the Lachin Corridor.

Ending my interview with the painter, creator of documentary films, cultural manager, participant of the first Artsakh war and freedom fighter Mkrtich Tonoyan, I think about the many devoted Armenians whom most of the members of Armenian society don’t know. Let’s hope all the values will be discovered over time.

Karine Avagyan

Garo Paylan interested in fate of Armenian Genocide documents in archives of Turkish MFA

Turkish-Armenian MP Garo Paylan, member of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish oppositional Democratic Party of Nations (HDP), is concerned about what will happen to the archives of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to the information on the website of Agos Armenian Weekly, in an inquiry addressed to Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu, Paylan particularly asked about the digitization of the archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and if some of those archives had been damaged or eliminated.

The Turkish-Armenian MP also tried to find out whether there were documents covering the era of the Armenian Genocide (prior to 1919) in those archives or not.

Paylan recalled that, according to the statement that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made in the past, about 25,000,000 documents were supposed to have been digitized before 2015. However, digitization is still in progress.

“Even if we set aside the fact that the archives weren’t opened within the established time limit, there is also information that some of the employees in charge of those archives have been fired under the charge of supporting Gulen. During that process, some of the archival documents have been eliminated. In addition, there was news that the works had been terminated for a long time and that the building in which the documents are located, has been filled with water, causing serious damage to the archives.”

As reported ermenihaber.am, Paylan particularly raised the following questions in his inquiry:

-Is the digitization of the archives in progress? In which stage is the project now? What part of the digitization is complete?

-Why weren’t the archives opened within the envisaged time limits?

-When will the evaluation of the documents that are considered confidential end and when will they be available for researchers?

-Is it true that the employees have eliminated a part of the archives? If yes, how much has been eliminated? Is it clear exactly which documents were eliminated?

-Is it true that the building of the archives was filled with water and that the documents have been damaged? If yes, which of the documents was damaged and became useless?

Why does the chronology of the archival documents begin from 1919?

-Although it is stated that the date of the archives starts from 1919, some officials report that the archives also include documents that are dated before 1919. Are there documents pertaining to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Ottoman era (Osmanlı Hariciye Nezareti) that haven’t been included in the Ottoman archives of the government?

ARS to hold tree planting ceremony dedicated to the brave soldiers of the Armenian Army

On 8 April at 11:00, ARS Armenia Regional Chapter will hold another tree planting ceremony under the title “Fertile April” in the premises of Yerablour Pantheon. The ceremony is dedicated to all the brave soldiers of the Armenian Army, to the memory of the deceased soldiers, to the wounded soldiers and, of course, to the steadfast soldiers who are currently defending the border and set the best example for the future generations and the intrepid soldiers of the future with their patriotic spirit and self-dedication.

ARS Armenia invites representatives of educational institutions that have helped make the ceremony a success through the ARS’s Letter to a Soldier Program, organizations, freedom fighters, servicemen who participated in the Four-Day Artsakh War, donators and representatives of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia.