President Serzh Sargsyan receives Georgian FM

President Serzh Sargsyan received today the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Mikheil Janelidze.

Welcoming the guest, the President of Armenia expressed hope that Minister Janelidze’s official visit to Armenia will be productive and will become a new impetus for the strengthening of the interstate relations. The President of Armenia and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia noted with satisfaction that the Armenian-Georgian relations are developing dynamically: there exists a vibrant political dialogue, economic ties are expanding and cooperation in the humanitarian area is deepening.

Serzh Sargsyan underscored that for Armenia the relations with the friendly Georgia are precious, and our country is interested in further deepening and strengthening these relations.

The interlocutors recalled warmly their meeting which took place almost a year ago in Yerevan and efficient discussions. Minister Janelidze highly praised the works carried out in the last twenty-five years since the establishment of diplomatic relations and aimed at the strengthening of the interstate relations. He noted that particularly in recent years these relations at all levels and contacts in different areas have become more active. He noted especially interaction in the energy sector and stressed that it is necessary to do everything possible to fully utilize the huge potential existing in that area.

The parties spoke also about the opportunities of developing cooperation in the multilateral format, dialogue with the EU and programs of cooperation, regional problems and challenges, as well as the NK peace process. The President of Armenia and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia underscored the necessity of stability and peace from the viewpoint of regional development.

Minister Janelidze congratulated President Sargsyan on the conduct of the parliamentary elections in line with international standards and on the victory of the Republican Party of Armenia.

Congressional Leaders Call on President Trump to Properly Commemorate Armenian Genocide

The Chairmen and Ranking Members on both the House Foreign Affairs and Intelligence Committees joined today with the leadership of the Armenian Caucus and more than eighty of their U.S. House colleagues in calling upon President Trump to properly commemorate the Armenian Genocide in his April 24th White House statement, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
In a bipartisan letter calling upon the President to “appropriately mark April 24th as a day of American remembrance of the Armenian Genocide, signatories noted that, “by commemorating the Armenian Genocide, we renew our commitment to prevent future atrocities.”
“We join with Members of Congress in calling upon President Trump to reject Turkey’s gag rule and embrace an honest American remembrance of the Armenian Genocide,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.  “It’s long past time for America to stop outsourcing our national policy on the Armenian Genocide to Recep Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian and anti-American regime.”
Joining Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Dave Trott (R-MI) and David Valadao (R-CA) and Vice-Chairs Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) are Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee; Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee; Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), Chairman of the Democratic Caucus; Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus; Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations; Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations; Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa; Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific; Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere; Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee; Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN), Ranking Member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee; Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Ranking Member of the Natural Resources Committee; Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee; Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), Ranking Member of the Budget Committee; Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission; and Representatives Pete Aguilar (D-CA), Dave Brat (R-VA), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Michael Capuano (D-MA), Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Mike Coffman (R-CO), Luis Correa (D-CA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Jeff Denham (R-CA), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Joe Kennedy (D-MA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Jim Langevin (D-RI), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Sander Levin (D-MI), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Jared Polis (D-CO), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Tim Ryan (D-OH), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Tom Suozzi (D-NY), Mark Takano (D-CA), Dina Titus (D-NV), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Norma Torres (D-CA), and Niki Tsongas (D-MA).
In calling upon President Trump to properly mark April 24th, the signatories highlighted the U.S. record of past recognition, including “President Reagan, who recognized the Armenian Genocide in 1981, and the Eisenhower Administration, which did the same in a 1951 submission to the International Court of Justice.”  These actions, as well as resolutions by the House of Representatives in 1975 (H.J.R.148) and 1984 (H.J.R.247), while clearly constituting U.S. recognition, just as clearly did not translate into either consistent official annual Armenian Genocide commemorations or sustained U.S. pressure on Turkey to end its denials of this crime.
The letter specifically cites Christian populations targeted by the Ottoman Empire’s genocidal campaign, including “Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Greeks, Pontians, Syriacs, and other persecuted peoples.”  The full text of the letter is provided below.
On March 22nd, Rep. Trott was joined by Rep. Adam Schiff and the Congressional Armenian Caucus leadership in introducing a bipartisan anti-genocide resolution  (H.Res.220) calling on the United States to apply the lessons of the Armenian Genocide in seeking to prevent modern day atrocities across the Middle East.  That measure stresses that “proper commemoration and consistent condemnation of the Armenian Genocide will strengthen our international standing in preventing modern day genocides,” and, building upon the 2016 official U.S. designation of an ISIS genocide against Middle East minorities, specifically calls for the following: “[T]he United States, in seeking to prevent war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide against Christians, Yezidis, Muslims, Kurds, and other vulnerable religious and ethnic groups in the Middle East, should draw upon relevant lessons of the United States Government, civil society, and humanitarian response to the Armenian Genocide, Seyfo, and the broader genocidal campaign by the Ottoman Empire against Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Greeks, Pontians and other Christians upon their biblical era homelands.”

New issue of Inside United features Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the cover

The new issue of Inside United, Manchester United’s magazine, features mid-fielder of the Armenian national football team and Manchester United Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the cover.

Mkhitaryan has also given an exclusive interview to Inside United titled “How Our Armenian Ace Is Living The Dream At United?”

Clark University hosts international conference on Armenian Genocide

Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies of the Clark University (Massachusetts, US) organized an international conference entitled “New experience: Making responsibility responsible” from April 6 to 9.

The conference was attended by renowned researchers from the sphere of genocide studies, who were from US, Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Germany, Guatemala, Israeli, Armenia, South African Republic, Canada, Great Britain, etc.

The conference was attended by Constitutional Court advisor, coordinator of the Armenian Genocide Legal Issue Center by the Armenian Lawyers’ Association, Vladimir Vardanyan, who made a report entitled “Hundred years later: who is responsible for the Armenian Genocide and how.” Within this framework, issues related to legal means aimed at overcoming the consequences of the Armenian Genocide were discussed.

The report specifically referred to the issue of specifying the scope of public and private subjects responsible for the Armenian Genocide. Apart from this, information was provided regarding the current and completed judicial processes aimed at overcoming the aforementioned consequences.

Abkhazia’s Armenian schoolchildren address letters to Armenian soldiers under title “Letter to a Soldier”

Hayern Aysor presents the letters that pupils of the Armenian schools in the Bagazhyashta and Naha villages of the Gulripshi region of Abkhazia have addressed to soldiers of the Armenian Army under the title “Letter to a Soldier”.

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AGBU YP Northern California Raises $20,000 for the AGBU Humanitarian Emergency Relief Fund for Syrian Armenians

From February 17 to 19, the AGBU Young Professionals of Northern California (YPNC) held its 17th Annual AGBU San Francisco Winter Gala. The weekend—the theme of which centered on the idea of connection—offered an unforgettable experience for 250 young professionals from across the globe with three full days of events. YPNC directed the weekend’s proceeds—$20,000—to the AGBU Humanitarian Emergency Relief Fund for Syrian Armenians.

“The driving force behind organizing the Winter Gala has always been on raising funds and giving back to various AGBU projects and programs. We are grateful for the opportunity to support our brothers and sisters in Syria and those relocating, and provide them hope as they endure the conflict in the region,” said YPNC chairman David Ojakian.

Gala 2017 Weekend began on Friday, February 17 with a welcome reception at the host hotel, the Sir Francis Drake in Union Square, where attendees mixed, mingled, and began to make their connections to start off the weekend. Following the reception, guests headed to Slide Nightclub where DJ Mikey Tan played Top40 and mashups at this top nightlife venue in Downtown San Francisco’s historic Theater District.

Saturday, February 18 brought the return of another Gala Weekend favorite: the San Francisco walking tour. The tour included stops at many different landmarks around the city, including Fishermen’s Wharf and Ghiradelli Square. Saturday night was the weekend’s signature event: the Connect Gala dinner/dance in the Green Room at the San Francisco War Memorial Performing Arts Center. Complete with breathtaking views of city hall, the evening featured fine dining and dancing to Armenian, international, and popular music.

Sunday, February 19 started with a wine tour to Sonoma Valley, featuring an all-inclusive experience at Cline Cellars. The trip included tours, tastings, and a private lunch at the winery’s Barrel Room. Sunday night introduced a new event to the weekend: Karaoke and Game Night where attendees had a final chance to connect over appetizers.

‘This was my second year attending the Winter Gala. It is always a pleasure to meet new like-minded people and reunite with old friends—speaking our beautiful language, dancing to our Armenian music and sharing ideas about how we can strengthen our local Armenian communities in the diaspora. I believe in living life with a purpose and a big part of that is showing love and compassion to others. Donating through AGBU is one way that my YP peers and I can make a timely and much needed impact for good in the lives of Armenians caught in the midst of the Syrian crisis,” said Tamara Shamlian of Fresno, California.

The YP Network makes it a priority to invest in Armenia and Armenian communities around the world by fundraising for initiatives which need attention and assistance. The AGBU Humanitarian Emergency Relief Fund supports programs in Armenia, Canada, Lebanon and Syria for Syrian Armenians, including food and aid distribution; medical assistance; educational programs and children’s services. Since 2012, the AGBU Humanitarian Emergency Relief Fund has raised more than 4 million for Syrian Armenians in need.

“The gala presented an opportunity to connect Armenians from around the world while raising money for a cause that hit close to home for me. As the son of immigrants from Aleppo, I have seen the torment that has been caused to the Armenian community in Syria during recent years. I am so grateful to have had the chance to organize a three-day event that not only brought together young Armenian professionals, but also raised money for an incredible cause,” said Apik Zorian, YPNC marketing director and co-chair of the 2017 gala.

For more information about YP Northern California, please visit

To donate or learn more about AGBU’s relief efforts, please visit:

Established in 1906, AGBU ( 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. 

For more information about AGBU and its worldwide programs, please visit

AMA-Australia with the Collaboration of ANC-Australia Commemorates the 10th Anniversary of the Assassination of Hrant Dink

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the assassination of journalist and human rights activist Hrant Dink. To honor this national hero, the Armenian Missionary Association of Australia (AMA-Australia) invited his widow Rakel Dink to Australia to commemorate his life and work, and to highlight the work of the Hrant Dink Foundation which carries on his legacy.

On Sunday, March 12, Mrs. Dink attended the AMAA Sunday Service at the Armenian Evangelical Church of Sydney where she witnessed her faith in Christ, even during the very difficult times following her husband’s death. All were encouraged by her dependence on God, and her trust in His purpose even when she couldn’t understand why. Rev. Dr KrikorYoumshajekian, President/Executive Director of AMA-Australia, preached from God’s word. Following the AMAA Sunday Service, the Annual AMA-Australia Luncheon was held at Miramare Gardens. The guest of honor Mrs. Dink encouraged all in attendance with her heartfelt remarks.

On Sunday, March 19 in the evening, theHrant Dink Commemoration was held at the Chatswood Concourse Theatre. The event was organized jointly with the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-Australia). The memory of Hrant Dink was honored through music, poetry and dance. Mrs. Dink delivered the keynote address emphasising that we should continue to struggle for truth and freedom of speech while acknowledging that nothing is possible without dependence on the Lord who is our Shepherd and our Refuge. The Uniting Church in Australia Assembly General Secretary Colleen Geyer delivered the closing remarks and Rev. Dr Youmshajekian closed the evening with a prayer and invited the guests to join him in singing the Lord’s Prayer.

During her two week visit, Rev. Dr Youmshajekian accompanied Mrs. Dink to visit the Armenian community in Melbourne where the life and work of Hrant Dink was again commemorated at a gathering which was well attended and organized with the collaboration of Sahagian Club. She also detailed the continuing work of the Hrant Dink Foundation, which was established in 2007 to carry on Hrant’s dreams, his struggles, his language and his heart.

While in Sydney, Mrs. Dink also visited both Armenian schools – HamazkaineGalstaun College and AGBU Alexander School. She also visited the AGBU Alec Manougian and HamazkaineTarkmanchats Armenian Saturday schools to encourage and inspire Armenian youth.

AMA-Australia praises the Lord for His many blessings, and thanks Mrs. Dink for accepting their invitation to join them in commemorating the life of her late husband Hrant Dink. Special thanks also go to the ANC-Australia for their support and help in organizing the Hrant Dink Commemoration in Australia.


Billboard displays Fridtjof Nansen’s message of peace in Massachusetts in commemoration of the 102nd Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

During the months of March and April, Peace of Art Inc., continues its 2017 campaign in commemoration of the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, by posting seven digital billboards on busy highways in the state of Massachusetts, calling on the international community to recognize the first genocide of the 20th century, the Armenian Genocide.
Peace of Art Inc.’s president and founder, artist Daniel Varoujan Hejinian, stated that, in March 2017 Peace of Art, Inc. posted seven digital billboards in Massachusetts.  In April, Peace of Art Inc., posted the 8th digital billboard with a new theme with two rotating digital screens, in Wrentham, Massachusetts. The first screen honors the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and all genocides worldwide, with the image of the leaders of the Catholic and the Armenian Apostolic Churches sending a message of peace to Turkey to recognize the Armenian genocide. The second screen displays Fridtjof Nansen’s message of peace, “If nations could (…) settle their possible differences, they would easily be able to establish a lasting peace.”  Similar stationary and digital billboards are also on display in New Britain, Connecticut and Cleveland, Ohio.
Peace of Art, Inc. is a non-profit educational organization registered with the Massachusetts Secretary of State, and tax exempt under section 501(C)(3). Founded in 2003 by the artist Daniel Varoujan Hejinian, Peace of Art Inc., uses art as an educational tool to bring awareness to the universal human condition and promote peaceful solutions to conflict.  Peace of Art, Inc., is not associated with political or religious organizations, and it is focused on the global human condition.
Peace of Art Inc., is dedicated to the peace keepers and peace achievers around the world, and those who had the courage to place themselves on the line for the betterment of humanity.

Naregatsi Art Institute hosts screening of film “Four-Day War or Chime of Silence”

On 14 April at 14:00, Naregatsi Art Institute will host the screening of Arsen Hakobyan’s film “Four-Day War or Chime of Silence”. The screening is part of the “What are YOU doing for Artsakh?” pan-Armenian movement launched by the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia.

“The greatest motive for the creation of this film is the indifference of the civilized world to the resolution of the Artsakh conflict. Yes, the OSCE Minsk Group exists, but it seems as though it is called for making statements that are not addressable and are more like silence. As I mentioned in the film, the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict is not only on the battlefield, but also in the field of information in which I believe there is a lot of work to do. Azerbaijan’s anti-Armenian propaganda has reached its climax in the world since Azerbaijan is publishing books, making films, making statements and doing everything possible to spread anti-Armenian propaganda. I think this film is a response to Azerbaijan’s propaganda. The facts show the falsehood of Azerbaijan’s propaganda. The world doesn’t know much about this conflict, and I have tried to fill the gap with this film as much as possible. If I was asked to give a brief description of the significance of this film, I would say the film is aimed at showing how senseless Azerbaijan’s propaganda is and, most importantly, why Artsakh aspires to be independent,” the film’s director Arsen Hakobyan told Hayern Aysor.

The film presents the Four-Day Artsakh War (April 2016), the reasons behind the war, the history of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations and provides a historical background of Artsakh, Nakhichevan and Azerbaijan so that the world is more informed.

“I made the film without any financial support. My friends and acquaintances helped me make the film,” Arsen Hakobyan stated and added: “Today all Armenians are focused on Artsakh, and all Armenians have to do their best to support Artsakh as much as possible. This film is my team’s way of showing support to Artsakh, and with this film we are joining the “What are YOU doing for Artsakh?” pan-Armenian movement launched by the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia.”

Meeting of Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Georgia

On April 11, Edward Nalbandian, Foreign Minister of Armenia, had a meeting with Mikheil Janelidze, Foreign Minister of Georgia, who is paying an official visit to Armenia.

The meeting started in a tête-à-tête format, then continued with the participation of delegations.

Greeting the guest, Edward Nalbandian noted that the permanent intensive dialogue with his Georgian colleague provides an opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues of the bilateral agenda, and to further the efforts aimed at strengthening and deepening the cooperation.

Mikheil Janelidze thanked for the invitation and warm welcome, noted that Georgia considers important the development of multifaceted cooperation with Armenia, emphasised his country’s readiness to make additional efforts aimed at further deepening and strengthening of the collaboration. The Georgian Foreign Minister extended his congratulations on successful parliamentary elections held in Armenia.

During the meeting the sides touched upon the process of implementation of agreements reached by the leaders of the two countries. The sides emphasized that in recent years the Armenian-Georgian relations have been on a significant rise and are moving forward in a spirit of mutually beneficial cooperation.

Foreign Minister Nalbandian briefed the guest on the efforts exerted by Armenia and the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to create conducive conditions for the advancement of settlement process of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and in this context highly appreciated Georgia’s continuous support for the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.

The sides discussed numerous issues related to the expansion of cooperation in the fields of trade and economy, energy, development of transport infrastructure, tourism. They also touched upon the issue of improving the existing comprehensive legal basis between the two states, which today includes more than 80 documents.
During the talks, the interlocutors reflected upon the concerns of the Georgian-Armenians and the steps being undertaken towards addressing them.

A number of urgent regional and international issues were touched upon.

After the meeting the ministers issued statements for the press.

Requiem Service performed in memory of victims of Four-Day Artsakh War in New Julfa

On the evening of 8 April, the St. George Church in New Julfa performed a Requiem Service in memory of the Armenian soldiers killed during the Four-Day Artsakh War in April 2016 following the evening liturgy.

As reported Yeranoush Tahmazian to Hayern Aysor from Iran, the Requiem Service was performed by Catholicossal Vicar of the Armenian Diocese of Isfahan, Fr. Supreme Archimandrite Sipan Kechejian who was serviced by the priest and scribes and Komitas Choir of the Holy Savior Monastery. The Catholicossal Vicar of the Diocese gave a keynote speech, after which the attending representatives of the national authority and other national bodies, members of the Armenian National Committee of New Julfa and the large crowd respected the memory of the deceased Armenian soldiers of Artsakh with a unified prayer and by burning incense.

Let us add that the Requiem Service was performed at the joint initiative of the Armenian National Committee of New Julfa and the Religious Council of the Diocese.

Photos provided by Scarlet Hayrapetian

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Middle school in Small Mantash village hosts event dedicated to Vahan Tekeyan 139th birth anniversary

On 5 April, the middle school in Small Mantash village of Shirak Province hosted a commemorative event dedicated to the 139th birth anniversary of great Armenian writer Vahan Tekeyan. The event was held as part of the Our Greats Program of the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia.

As reported the school to Hayern Aysor, the event was organized by teacher of the Armenian language and literature of the middle school Salvi Gharbyan and featured performances by the 12th graders.

Concert devoted to Gregory of Narek held at main cathedral in Riga

On 6 April, a concert devoted to Gregory of Narek was held at the main cathedral in Riga as part of the Armenian Culture Days events organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Latvia (seat in Vilnius).

Among the attendees were First President of the Republic of Latvia Guntis Ulmanis, representatives of various government agencies, ambassadors accredited to Latvia, Deputy Minister of Culture of the Republic of Armenia Nerses Ter-Vardanyan, pastor of the Armenian Church in the Baltic states, Fr. Priest Khosrov Stepanyan, the archbishops of the Lutheran and Catholic Churches in Latvia, as well as Latvian and Armenian public figures.

The concert began with opening speeches by Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to Latvia Tigran Mkrtchyan and pastor of the Armenian Church in the Baltic states, Fr. Priest Khosrov Stepanyan.

In his speech, Ambassador Mkrtchyan talked about Gregory of Narek and his book “Book of Tragedies”, stating that in 2015, Pope Francis I granted the title of Universal Doctor to Saint Gregory.

“The presentation of the Latvian version of Gregory of Narek’s “Book of Tragedies” and a photo exhibition showcasing photos of Armenian medieval churches were held two days ago. The next day marked the launch of an international conference during which Gregory of Narek’s work is being presented as a bridge between the East and the West. Today we are attending this wonderful and, in many regards, unprecedented concert devoted to Gregory of Narek, and the concert marks the end of the Armenian Culture Days in Latvia. The goal of all these events was to present the contributions that Armenian culture has made to universal Christian civilization,” Ambassador Mkrtchyan stated in his speech.

The concert featured performances by Merited Artist of the Republic of Armenia Anna Mayilyan, the choir of Latvian Radio led by conductor Sigvard Klyava and others.

Reference: The end of the Armenian Culture Days events in Latvia was marked by a lecture devoted to the statement ‘Armenian Genocide’ in the legacy of Yeghishe Charents. The lecture was organized by the University of Latvia and featured a keynote speech by Head of the Chair of Armenian Studies at the University of Oxford Theo van Lint.

Ani Somonian: “I want to split my heart into two-one in Armenia and the other in France”

The RA Ministry of Diaspora launched the 2017 “Ari Tun” Program for homeland recognition, and the first participants are 66 students of the Saint Mesrop-Arabian Armenian School in Alfortville, the “Dprotsaser” Armenian School in Paris and the Hamazkayin School in Marseille. During their stay, they will have the chance to go sightseeing in Armenia and admire the colors of spring in the homeland. They are in Armenia with ten teachers. For 11 consecutive years, French-Armenian benefactor Sarkis Bedoian has been sponsoring the Armenian pupils’ trips to the Homeland. Most of those children have seen Armenia for the first time through the “Ari Tun” Program, and so it is safe to consider the patriotic mission of the French-Armenian benefactor a pro-Armenian effort. One had to see the look of excitement on the faces of the children during the solemn opening ceremony of the Program. I had a cordial and sincere interview with two of them for Hayern Aysor.

Rouben Danielian, Alfortville, France-I am in the 5th grade. This is my second visit to Armenia where I have a lot of relatives. I had missed my Homeland and my relatives. Armenia is smaller than France, but Armenia is also very beautiful. I feel proud because Armenians have created many things in the world and have made many discoveries. Armenian is our household language. I don’t forget and will never forget my native language. I love Lake Sevan. It is a pity that it is cold now. I really wanted to swim in Lake Sevan. My school organizes many games, but we don’t swim. I have decided to become a well-known expert in innovative technologies when I grow up so that I make Armenians proud.

Ani Somonian, Alfortville, France-I am Rouben’s classmate. This is my eighth visit to Armenia. We have a lot of relatives here. We also have relatives and acquaintances in France. I love Armenia. I would like to spend half of the year in France and the other half in Armenia. I want to split my heart into two-one in France and the other in Armenia.

…I see Armenia in the shape of a split pomegranate as I listen to how this small girl expresses her love and longing for Armenia. I see Armenia as pure and clean as the waves of the blue Lake Sevan, and this makes me want to believe and hope that our Diaspora Armenians children will also be the ones who will shape the future of the Homeland.

Karine Avagyan