March for Justice to be held in Sydney on Armenian Genocide commemoration day

The Armenian religious, political, cultural and youth organizations of Australia have called on community members to join the April 23 march for justice to commemorate the memory of the 1,5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide in Sydney, the Armenian National Committee of Australia reported.

The participants of the march will reaffirm their promise for reaching justice for their ancestors.

Special buses will transport those willing to take part in the march both inside and outside the city.

RA Ambassador to Lebanon and Embassy personnel participated in Easter Holy Mass

On 17 April, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to Lebanon Samvel Mkrtchyan and the personnel of the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia participated in the Easter Holy Mass served by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos at the main monastery of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia.

As reported on the Embassy’s Facebook page, after the Holy Mass, Ambassador Mkrtchyan and the Embassy’s personnel visited the Prelacy of the Armenian Diocese of Lebanon, the Patriarchate of the Armenian Catholic Church of the House of Cilicia and the Armenian Evangelical Church to congratulate clergymen and the believers of the Armenian community on the occasion of Easter.

Barouyr Aghbashian: “Armenia is my whole world”

The books devoted to Armenian history and literature, as well as any field of culture and the arts are the wealth of the Armenian nation and are the sources that will be intransient values for the future generations. I had an interview with the author of one of those books entitled “Yerevan State University (95th Anniversary-Remarkable Professors, The Faces)”, alumnus of the Department of Armenian Philology at Yerevan State University, longstanding correspondent for several newspapers in Beirut, editor, publicist, literary critic, member of the International Society of Journalists and the Union of Journalists of Armenia, national and public figure, member of the press sentica in Lebanon, the Arab Association, the Karpis L. Nazaryan Publishing House and the Council for Armenian Terminology of Armenia and Professor of Haigazian University Barouyr Aghbashian, and the interview was devoted to his memories of his years at the University and his impressions which I gladly present to the readers of Hayern Aysor.

Karine Avagyan: Mr. Aghbashian, Yerevan State University recently hosted the presentation of your book, which I think was published in 2016. How was the idea conceived?

Barouyr Aghbashian: I had wanted to publish this book for many years. Why? The reason is very clear. The Department of Armenian Language and Literature of the Faculty of Armenian Philology at Yerevan State University was a major milestone in my life, and the people who gave meaning to my studies were my lecturers, starting from the most reputable and the most merited and ending with the highly merited and the merited. They instilled in me and enhanced the wealth and traditions of the world of philology. The book features the images based on my views and observations. Taking into consideration the fact that the year also marked the 95th anniversary of Yerevan State University and the Department of Armenian Language and Literature, I briefly presented their careers with several facts and let Diaspora Armenian students know about the opportunity of studying in Armenia.

Karine Avagyan: Mr. Aghbashian, you studied at Yerevan State University, which was the only university in Armenia at the time. You came from Beirut and received your education. What did you do after that?

Barouyr Aghbashian: After graduation, I returned to Beirut. There were no jobs because those with merit were still holding their jobs. A couple of months after returning to Beirut, I was hired to work at the central headquarters of the AGBU as an ordinary secretary. Later, I became the head of the divan and then the managing secretary of the educational committee. I inadvertently left philology behind, but the AGBU had the Yervand Hyusisyan Armenian Research Institution, the director of which was remarkable poet, pedagogue and literary critic Vahe Vahyan. I started teaching grabar (classic Armenian) and the history of pedagogy, meaning I was working by my profession. Later, I had an opportunity to teach these subjects at Haigazian University. In 1990, when there were signs telling me that Armenia was going to declare its independence and that the former USSR was going to collapse, the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party (Ramgavar) had its official Zartonk Daily, which Hakob Avetikyan would publish. He was compelled to come here since Lebanon was in a war. Avetikyan and I agreed that I would replace him. It so happened that he stayed here, and I stayed at Zartonk and was the editor of the newspaper until 2007. Until then, I had been the editor of Khosnag Monthly for 17 consecutive years and was part of the editorial staff of Shirak literary magazine…I have been a correspondent for many newspapers. In 2007, I stopped working as a correspondent and began to teach Armenian language, literature and history at the AGBU Darouhi Hovakimian School. I didn’t manage to defend my dissertation because being a journalist and working as a correspondent are time-consuming.

Karine Avagyan: Let’s talk about the books you have published and the topics.

Barouyr Aghbashian: Since 2007, I have published 12 books devoted to different topics, including “The Unbreakable Will of the Invaded Lebanon”, “The Linguistic Thinking and Stratifications of Vocabulary of Western Armenian Writers”, “Publicism That Has Been Experienced: Taking a Retrospective Glance” (3 volumes), “Pieces from the Greats”, “Variety of Articles”, “Publicism, Rhetoric and Critiques”, “Collection of Articles”, “The National Ideological Credo of the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party (Ramgavar)”, “The Features of the Language and Vocabulary of Hakob Paronyan” and my latest book…

Karine Avagyan: Mr. Aghbashian, I am certain that you will still be writing and publishing more books. What will your next book be about?

Barouyr Aghbashian: Yes, I must continue. I still have a lot of work to do. Besides, I have also published a book of articles and am currently gathering all the materials of my father, editor and writer Hovhannes Aghbashian. My father was a patriot and a good Arabologist. He had learned Arabic during his years in prison. My father was also a talented satirist, and his signature under his work was “Khikar”. In 1970, he published Otyan’s “Comrade Panjuni” in Arabic. Arab readers were amazed because they didn’t know that the Armenians had such a political satirist. My next book is devoted to Hrachya Setrakian, uncle of President of the AGBU Berge Setrakian and a great national figure. I have gathered materials from his archive, including speeches, letters, lectures and writings. Hrachya Setrakian was also a member of the Immigration Committee and a parliamentary candidate in Lebanon.

Karine Avagyan: Which of the Eastern Armenian and Western Armenian authors has enriched your inner world the most?

Barouyr Aghbashian: Out of the Eastern Armenian writers, Charents, Vahan Teryan, Paruyr Sevak, Hovhannes Shiraz have enriched my inner world the most. As for Western Armenian writers, I would say Duryan, Daniel Varoujan, Metsarents and Siamanto. Out of all Armenian writers composing in foreign languages, I am very impressed with the works of William Saroyan, especially his book “My Heart is in the Highlands”. Renowned actress Varduhi Varderesyan performed wonderfully in the play based on the book.

Karine Avagyan: You are a friend of the Ministry of Diaspora. So, I would like to ask you to describe the programs and activities of the Ministry from your perspective.

Barouyr Aghbashian: In the past, whenever I came to Armenia, I would visit the State Committee on Cultural Relations with the Diaspora, which played a major role in the Soviet era. It was like a bridge between Armenia and the Diaspora. Today, the Ministry of Diaspora is playing that role. Mrs. Hakobyan has great potential, accepts observations as a friend and is broad-minded.

Karine Avagyan: What does Armenia, the Homeland mean to you?

Barouyr Aghbashian: People very often tell me to go and live in Armenia since I am such a big patriot, but I tell them that Armenia is within me. Wherever Armenians may be, they create a small Armenia. The Armenians settled in Lebanon a long time ago. They have created great spiritual values, and the Armenian community of Lebanon is rich from that perspective. Armenia is my whole world.

Karine Avagyan: Thank you, compatriot! I wish you success in all your future endeavors!

Interview by Karine Avagyan

Moscow-Armenian businessman to create 1,500 jobs in Armenia’s Tavush Province

Tavush Textile will soon open the factory in Berd. After 25 years, citizens of the bordering city will hear the hustle-and-bustle of a factory. Production of gloves will be launched in May. The former factory in Berd is currently under renovation. The company will produce army gloves. Moscow-based businessman Suren Yeritsyan, who is originally from the Artsvaberd village, has been making investments in the bordering region for the past two-and-a-half years. First, he established the glove factory in Choratan and later the one in Artsvaberd.

The investments have helped create jobs for about 100 residents of Tavush Province, and the exploitation of the new factory will help create 1,500 jobs. According to the company’s director Mikayel Yezekyan, the first batches of machinery will be installed in late April, and the employees will undergo training.

More than 90 percent of the products are exported to the Russian Federation. According to the director, the factory has no problem with sales. The businessman has carried out investment programs in the bordering regions and on the frontline (Movses village). He will be opening a factory that will provide up to 50 people with jobs and will expand production in Artsvaberd as well.

Let us mention that serviceman Nver Babayan, who played a huge role in giving a punitive blow during Azerbaijan’s sabotage in the bordering village of Chinar in December 2016, is also engaged in the renovation of the factory. Nver states that he considers it his duty to strengthen the rear of the northeastern gate with this. White and orange gloves will be produced in Berd by the end of this year, writes

Argentina’s Ambassador to Armenia says Armenian-Argentine relations are growing dynamically

The trade and economic relations between Armenia and Argentina are at quite a high level. This is what Ambassador of Argentina to Armenia Gonzalo Urriolabeitia said in response to

According to the Ambassador, Argentina is considered one of Armenia’s large importers.

“We have many Argentine-Armenian businessmen who have businesses in Armenia and make their contributions to the development of the economic relations between the two countries,” Gonzalo Urriolabeitia stated.

According to him, the trade and economic relations are growing dynamically and in quite an interesting way, and there has been a high trend over the past couple of years. According to the Ambassador, Armenia and Argentina have great potential for cooperation, especially in agriculture, and efforts are being made with the State Tourism Committee of the RA Ministry of Economic Development and Investments to increase the number of reciprocal visits.

“Argentina praises the high level of historic and political relations with Armenia,” the Ambassador of Argentina stated.

Protest ahead of 102nd anniversary of Armenian Genocide in The Hague (live)

The Cooperating Armenian Organizations of the Netherlands have launched the first of their events dedicated to the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, which is taking place near the Parliament of the Netherlands at Het Plein Square in The Hague. As reported on the Facebook page of the Diary of the Netherlands, several Dutch Members of Parliament will also give speeches at the protest rally/demonstration.

A short while ago, some of the members of the delegation of Dutch-Armenian organizations entered the building of the Parliament to submit a petition urging the Parliament to clearly apply the provisions related to the Genocide. Afterwards, they joined the protest organized at Het Plein Square in The Hague.

Path to screen for Armenian epic includes evading a knockoff – The Washington Post’s article about “The Promise”

The Washington Post news agency has made another reference to the Armenian Genocide film “The Promise”. The article published by the news outlet notes that ‘“The Promise,” the grandest big-screen portrayal ever made about the mass killings of Armenians during World War I, has been rated by more than 111,300 people on IMDb, and has thus far been screened only a handful of times publicly.’

The passionate reaction is because “The Promise,” has provoked those who deny that 1.5 million Armenians were massacred between 1915 and 1923 by the Ottoman Empire or that the deaths of Armenians were the result of a policy of genocide.

The article notes that thousands, many of them in Turkey, have flocked to IMDb to rate the film poorly, adding that though many countries and most historians call the mass killings genocide, Turkey has aggressively refused that label.

The article goes on adding that in March, just a few weeks before “The Promise” was to open, a curiously similar-looking film called “The Ottoman Lieutenant” appeared. Another sweeping romance set during the same era and with a few stars of its own, including Ben Kingsley and Josh Hartnett, “The Ottoman Lieutenant” seemed designed to be confused with “The Promise.” It was the Turkish knockoff version of “The Promise,” minus the genocide.

Concert dedicated to the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

On 21 April (18:00), with the blessing of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, a concert dedicated to the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide will be held at St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in Yerevan.

The concert will feature performances of Wolfgang Mozart’s “Requiem” and Armenian spiritual songs by the State Academic Choir of Armenia led by Ohannes Chekidjian.

Armenian dance group wins competition in Germany

On 8 April, the Anoush Armenian Dance Group of the Armenian compatriotic union in Munich participated in a competition for Germany’s qualified dance groups and won the first prize after scoring 90.3 points.

During the folk dances part of the competition, one of the dancers, 15-year-old Meline Hubakh performed a solo dance to Sayat-Nova’s song “Nazani”.

As the dance group’s founding dance instructor and artistic director Anoush Chakhalyan told Hayern Aysor, the dance group won after a big competition since all of the dance groups were professional and stood out with their high level of readiness.

“This victory is a great achievement for us, and we are very happy. Of course, we thought we might win, but we weren’t expecting it,” Anoush Chakhalyan stated, adding that foreigners approached her and expressed their admiration of the Armenian dances after the competition.

According to the established tradition, in accordance with the dance group’s decision to dedicate its performances of the year 2017 to the “What are YOU doing for Artsakh?” pan-Armenian movement launched by the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia, Anoush Chakhalyan drew once again the attention of the foreigners to this movement by raising the signs reading the phrase “What are YOU doing for Artsakh?” and taking a photo with it in the vestibule of the hall.

Consultation held at the RA Ministry of Diaspora

On 18 April, Minister of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia Hranush Hakobyan held a consultation at the RA Ministry of Diaspora.

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

The Minister said it was important for the weeklong events commemorating the Armenian Genocide to be held in a timely and precise manner.

The Minister gave assignments and designated correspondents and coordinators.

“The Armenian language is the existence of our nation”-teacher of Armenian Sunday school in Mislata

Great Armenian writer Stepan Zoryan once said: “A person who has poor knowledge of his native language is half a person, a person who doesn’t know his native language-miserable, a leaf fallen from a tree that is swayed with the wind…”

The native language that Armenian poets have described is flexible, a great treasure and sweet-tasting…With that language, they praise the Homeland and urge Armenians to preserve the purity of the native language.

The Armenian language is the existence and essence of the Armenian nation and the magic key of the country that has a history spanning millennia. The native language is our soul, our heart, our inner world, the treasury of the Armenian nation, as well as the luxury and sweetness of the Armenians…The more centuries go by, the more we become spiritually enriched.

When Mesrop Mashtots created the Armenian alphabet in 405, the following was the first sentence written in Armenian: “To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding”. This led to the establishment of schools and further teaching of the Armenian language…

In Armenian songs, there is a ‘scent’ of the motherland, the breeze, the sound of a stream, the swaying of poplars, the squawk of willows and the joyful call of children…The songs express dedication to the Homeland, the Armenian family and the home of an Armenian. A soldier expresses his love for the homeland through the native language and shows his strength and courage through patriotic songs and marching songs…

The Armenian language is as pure as the cold waters flowing from the Armenian highlands and as clear as the blue sky. It reflects the thoughts and dreams of all Armenians around the world.

The lullabies sung in the native language are sung mildly and calmly…There is an interesting story behind the lullaby composed by songwriter Barsegh Kanachyan. It is a song, the magical impact of which became crucial for a 3-year-old lost child. After searching for the lost child for many years and not finding her, the parents accidentally find her with a family of foreigners that had provided the child with a roof and were taking care of her. After the child came home, she couldn’t adapt to the new environment until she suddenly heard the sounds of a beautiful song coming from the bedroom.

The child was busy playing with her toys, but listened carefully. After a while, she approached the bedroom and saw that her mother was standing near the bed and singing the lullaby that she had sung for her daughter years ago. The song gradually brought back memories. She approached her mother, looked into her eyes, hugged her and said the following:

“Mother, I remembered that you would sing this song for me.”

And thus, the lullaby sung by her mother awakened the child’s memory.

I end this with the following words of Silva Kaputikyan:

Open your lips and try to speak,
Gladly warble, my sweet darling.
Let be heard our priceless language,
Like a newborn in your fresh age.

And now, my son, through all your days,
Wherever you go under the skies,
Should you foresake your mother own,
Never forget your mother tongue!!

Svetlana Karapetyan

Teacher of the Armenian Sunday school in Mislata

Valencia, Spain

Human rights institute to be created at UCLA with proceeds from ‘The Promise’ movie

Over 20 million USD of proceeds from the Armenian Genocide themed movie ‘The Promise’ will be directed towards creating a new institute in the UCLA’s law school, Daily News reports.

“The Promise Institute for Human Rights will put our law school and this university at the forefront of human rights education and advocacy”, Jennifer L. Mnookin, dean of the law school, saying as quoted by Daily News. Jennifer L. Mnookin stated that the 20 million USD is the largest donation the law school has ever received for creating the institute.

“For many people, the Armenian Genocide is not well known. For 102 years, there’s been a systematic denial campaign. We hope that by moving out of the darkness that is the Armenian Genocide, we can move to the future and really lead through education, research, advocacy and scholarship in the realm of human rights”, Eric Esrailian, a co-producer of ‘The Promise’ and co-chief of the Division of Digestive Diseases at UCLA’s medical school, stated.

UCLA law professor Asli Bali will be the first faculty director for the new institute.

“Armenians are not just focused on their own history. We want people to learn lessons from our history so that others can benefit from that knowledge”, Eric Esrailian said.

The premier of ‘The Promise’ movie will be held on April 21. It will be screened in Armenian cinemas from April 27.

Tour Of Israeli Chorus Charlotte In Armenia

On April 25-30 at the invitation of YSU, Chorus Charlotte from Tel Aviv will visit Armenia and perform concerts in memory of the Armenian Genocide victims.

The choir’s performances will be in Tsitsernakaberd, Yerevan State University, Chamber Music Hall after Komitas, as well as House of Culture of Ijevan.

The concert program includes works by the world famous composers of classical and spiritual music.

Chorus Charlotte from Tel Aviv was created by Eli Gefen in 1990. It is like a symbol of the hopes and values of those who crave peace and friendship. Also known as the Tel Aviv Choir of Eli Gefen, the ensemble has gained a significant reputation due to its wide repertoire, consisting of secular and religious works. They perform in the most famous concert halls in Israel. Abroad, they have already performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London, in the presence of the princess (Britten: military requiem); Westminster Abbey (a ceremony of sacred songs in Hebrew); Festival in Covent Garden (Rossini: Moses from Egypt), as well as at the leading choral festivals in Europe – Malta, Madrid, Zaragoza, Borja, Prague, Rome and Lisbon. They have performed in the legendary palace of the Alcazar of Seville, also in San Juan de Dios of Granada (2007), as well as in Vienna.

They were heard by the US ambassador in Israel (2007). And in Jerusalem they have performed together with the Orchestra of Physicians from Hamburg (May 2008). The Cardinal of Vienna invited the Ensemble to Vienna in November 2008, where they dedicated the concerts “70 Years After Kristallnacht”, followed by the “sacred songs” ceremony in Bratislava at the University of Comenius, where the rector awarded the conductor Ali Gefen with the medal “Proclamation of a united Europe – the celebration of the Bells”. Special tours were given for the evangelical community of Hungary, as well as for Jewish communities in all three cities.

The choir performed in outstanding places throughout 2012/16; Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Tel Aviv University, an association of Israeli journalists – a celebration of Daniel Pearl; 150th anniversary of the Austrian Hospice in Jerusalem in the presence of Karl von Habsburg, prince of the emperor and archduke of Austria and members of his family; Association of Veterans with Disabilities, Centenary of the Armenian Genocide in the Church of St. Gregory in Jerusalem; Club of lions; Museum of the Diaspora in Tel Aviv University; Center of Music Blumenthal, Tel Aviv, etc.

Israeli choral conductor Eli Gefen was born in Bratislava. He studied violin at the accompanist of the Vienna State Opera and choral conducting under the direction of Gary Bettini and Simon Halsey. He was a soloist (baritone) in Israel’s leading choir and bassoonist of the Israeli chamber orchestra. As the chief conductor and music director of the youth orchestra of kibbutz and choirs, he received a first-class award at several competitions.

Mher Sahakyan Speaks on China’s Foreign Policy on Iranian Nuclear Issue at the University of Cambridge

On April 11-12, 2017, the Third Biennial Conference on Iranian Studies was held at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge. This prestigious academic symposium was organized by the Symposia Iranica and University of Cambridge.

Selected scholars from different countries were invited to introduce their research. Armenian researcher Mher Sahakyanwas among them. He presented his research on China’s Policy on Iranian Nuclear Issue in the UNSC. Mher gave a detailed analysis of China’s role and position on this important international security issue.

The presentation was followed by a discussion on both the topic of research and the methods used by the speaker.

The University of Cambridge is one of the top five universities in the world. Dr. Mher Sahakyan is the Director of “China‑Eurasia” Council for Political and Strategic Research” Foundation. He completed his PhD in the field of international relations at Nanjing University in China, where he was the first Armenian to earn a doctorate from its School of International Studies. He is also a member of the International Political Science Association. Mher Sahakyan’s academic contributions have been published in Russia, China and Armenia.