Permanent Representative of Artsakh to the USA gave a lecture at the Florida International University

On April 13, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Artsakh to the USA Robert Avetisyan gave a lecture at the Florida International University, press service of Artsakh MFA stated.

Students and lecturers of the International Relations and Political Science Departments attended the event.

During the lecture, Robert Avetisyan briefed on the history of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict, the current situation in the settlement process as well as regional developments.

At the end of the meeting, the Artsakh Representative answered the numerous questions of the lecturers and students related to the peaceful settlement of the conflict, the international recognition of Artsakh and the state-building process.

Iranian businessmen intend to establish tomato paste factory in Armenia

On 18 April, Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Armenia Ignati Arakelyan received the leaders of several large Iranian companies dealing with the construction of greenhouses and the production of tomato paste, reported the Department of Information and Public Relations at the RA Ministry of Agriculture to Hayern Aysor.

Briefly presenting their activities, the guests stated that they were very interested in cooperating with the Armenian side in different areas of agriculture. In particular, the Iranian businessmen expressed the desire to establish a tomato reprocessing factory in Armenia in order to export their products to member states of the Eurasian Economic Union. The businessmen added that they expected the support of the RA Ministry of Agriculture in this regard and stated that they were planning on concluding agreements with Armenian farmers.

RA Minister of Agriculture Ignati Arakelyan expressed willingness to provide the Iranian side with assistance in organizing the processing of tomatoes and the production of tomato paste in Armenia. The Minister suggested that the guests closely collaborate with the Scientific Center of Vegetable and Industrial Crops SNCO and the other scientific centers under the subordination of the RA Ministry of Agriculture in order to receive more detailed information about the fertilizers of local tomatoes.

To lay the foundations for the partnership with the businessmen, Minister Ignati Arakelyan suggested submitting a business plan that would include all the actions and recommendations.

During the meeting, the sides also considered the possibility of producing and installing greenhouse constructions in Armenia and producing other agricultural products through combined efforts.

The forgotten history of the Armenians of Smyrna, new book devoted to Armenians of Turkey’s Izmir released

The Istanbul-based Aras Armenian Publishing House has released the book entitled “The Armenians of Izmir” and devoted to the Armenians of Smyrna.

The book is already available on Aras’s official website and can be ordered online.

Author of the book Zakaria Mildanoglu states that information about the Armenians of Smyrna had been forgotten for a long time and the topic had not been studied to this day, writes

According to the author, it is not so easy to talk about the history, culture and heritage of the Armenians in the Aegean region.

Before WWI, Armenians, Greeks and Jews made up 60 percent of the population of Izmir.

The fire in Smyrna, which is also historically known as the Smyrna Catastrophe, took place in September 1922. During the war, the troops of the Kemalist government of Turkey defeated the Greek troops that had penetrated into the depths of Asia Minor and liberated ancient Greek territories and invaded Smyrna on September 9, 1922.

To escape from the massacres, thousands of Armenians took shelter in the area near the Saint Stephen’s Church. The fire burned over 50,000 homes, 24 churches, 28 schools, banks, consulates and hospitals.

“Unity of Love” sculpture has been unveiled in Lovers Park

Yerevan Mayor Taron Margaryan was present at the ceremony of opening of “Unity of Love” sculpture the author of which is the RA People’s Artist, sculptor David Yerevantsi. The honour of unveiling the sculpture erected in Lovers Park was given to Yerevan Mayor Taron Margaryan and to the author of the sculpture David Yerevantsi. Expressing gratitude to the sculptor Mayor Taron Margaryan noted that it would certainly become one of the favourite sculptures of the residents.

“On behalf of the residents of Yerevan and my own behalf I want to thank the sculptor all those people who took part in the creation of the sculpture. Taking into account the place where the sculpture is installed we can say that it suits its place enriching the area and making it more beautiful”, said the Mayor.
Sculptor David Yerevantsi in his turn expressed gratitude for the support in the implementation of the initiative and outlined that he presented his works to Yerevan with great pleasure as it is one more expression of his endless love for the capital.
It should be noted that the draft decision on placing the sculpture in Lovers Park was approved by the members of the Council of Elders of Yerevan.

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We expect President Trump’s honest stance on Armenian Genocide – Aram Hamparian

Armenians in the United States are still waiting to see whether President Donald Trump will use the language of facts in his April 24 Genocide address or yield to Turkey’s pressure and avoid calling things by their names, says Aram Hamparian, the executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
In an interview with, Hamparian expressed hope that the new president will nonetheless opt for rely historical facts and moral values to demonstrate respect for the victims of the Armenian Genocide.

Meantime he admitted that the Turkey’s pressure on the United States has been always decisive.

Commenting on Trump’s policy line, Hamparian said they are now trying to make out how the administration works and whether the decision-making is in the hands of the president or the Department of State.

“We still need to figure out how the geopolitical, foreign policy and other decisions are being made,” he added.

Asked to evaluate the administration’s work with the Armenian lobby, Hamparian said that the ANCA normally maintains contact with Congress members and the elected president. “It is our obligation. In any decision-making process, we try to make out the ways of being helpful to Armenia. This is why we collaborate with all. Should the Congress or Senate members have a desire to offer their assistance to Armenia and to recognize the Armenian Genocide, we will collaborate with them,” he said.

Hamparian noted that in the past, the Turkish government maintained better relations with those who could have prevented the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

“But they do not have those relations now. Also, what is going on in the Middle East today is very much like the Armenian Genocide, and I believe that many Americans do really see it. It is also important to live up to the promise of keeping the Armenian Genocide issue under the United States’ spotlight. And the day will finally arrive when Turkey will no longer be able to influence the US politics,” he said.

The Committee is trying, in every possible way, to push ahead with Armenian issues in the US Congress, its only expectation from President Trump being the efforts to silence Turkey’s denial and to adopt an honest stance on the issue, Hamparian said, noting that four states in the country have already recognized the Armenian Genocide.

Barrack Obama, who was Trump’s predecessor in office, promised during his 2008 campaign to recognize the Armenian Genocide if elected a president. But over the course of his eight years in office, he never used “genocide” in his annual April 24 addresses. Instead, he opted for the Armenian wording, Medz Yeghern (great massacres) which didn’t give the right legal definition to the atrocities committed the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.

As opposed to Obama, Trump never addressed Armenian issues during his campaign and never gave any promise to acknowledge the Genocide.

Eighty members of Congress recently issued a call on the new US president, urging him to recognize the big tragedy. Their written address was undersigned also by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce and Ranking Member Frank Engel.


Professional Development Program for Teachers at Armenian Schools in Lebanon

The Armenian Communities Department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and Haigazian University in Beirut are happy to announce the launch of the Professional Development Program for Teachers at Armenian Schools in Lebanon. The objective of the Program is to provide professional development opportunities, in line with current pedagogic approaches, to teachers and administrators presently serving in Armenian schools in all sectors of the community.

The twenty-three Armenian schools in Lebanon which took part in the self-evaluation exercise undertaken by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in 2015 are eligible to take part. Four to six teachers and/or administrators from each school will be selected to participate during a period of one year, for a maximum number of 150 individuals.

 The Program will consist of seminars and workshops delivered during eight full day sessions. Pedagogic leadership, curriculum development and critical thinking will be covered, as well as specific issues such as the use of IT in the classroom, the role of extra-curricular activities in learning, best practices for teaching languages and mathematics. The courses will be taught by University professors and invited experts from abroad. Participants will have the opportunity to develop practical materials which will be evaluated by the workshop leaders. The Program is open to teachers of all subjects, as well as to school administrators, who wish to acquire new skills and increase their practical and theoretical knowledge through the exploration of contemporary approaches in education.   The Teacher Training Program is offered as a free service to the Armenian schools in Lebanon; its expenses are covered by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. The Program is coordinated and implemented by Haigazian University’s Department of Education and Center for Continuing Education.

This initiative is part of the new strategy developed by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to support Armenian schools and education. It follows the creation of the Armenian Education Task Force in Lebanon and its recommendation to enhance the professional development of teachers in Armenian schools. The current Program is specifically developed for the schools in Lebanon, and is in addition to the Foundation’s other school grants and language support initiatives.

Creation of free economic zone in Syunik Province set to start in October

On 19 April, the Ministry of Economic Development and Investments of the Republic of Armenia and Syunik Free Economic Zone Ltd. concluded an agreement on setting up a free economic zone in the Syunik Province of the Republic of Armenia. The agreement was signed by Minister Suren Karayan and Director of Syunik Free Economic Zone Ltd. Eduard Ghukasyan, reported the press service of the RA Ministry of Economic Development and Investments to Hayern Aysor.

The subject matter of the agreement are the legal relations associated with the organizing of the Foreign Economic Activity for manufacturing, industry and logistics; the creation and enhancement of FEA infrastructures; the provision by the organizer of services; the setting of tariffs for those services; investments; the engagement of exploiters in FEA and other legal relations associated with FEA in the territory enclosed within Agarak city and Kartchevan village of Syunik Province of the Republic of Armenia and Araks River.

Creation of the free economic zone will start in mid-October 2017. In the first stage, the organizer will make a nearly $10,000,000 investment, and during activities in the free economic zone, it is expected to engage nearly 120 operating companies that will make $350-40 million-dollar investments and create over 2,50 new jobs, and the average annual export will be nearly $80-100 million dollars.

Several streets of Yerevan to be closed on 23 and 24 April

On 23 and 24 April, traffic will be stopped on several streets of Yerevan due to the events commemorating the victims of the Armenian Genocide.

On 23 April at 20:00, Baghramyan Avenue, Kievyan Street and the area near Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex will be closed due to the torch-lit march scheduled to start from France Square.

On 24 April, from 06:30 to 23:00, traffic will be stopped starting from the Leningradyan-Atenk intersection (stretching from Atenk Street to the Atenk Street-Isakov Avenue intersection and from Hrazdan Gorge to Isakov Avenue), reports Road Police.

Primary School #147 of Yerevan to be named after hero of Artsakh Robert Abajyan

Primary School #147 in Yerevan, the school that hero of Artsakh Robert Abajyan attended, will be named after the hero, reported Director of the School Margarita Hovhannisyan to Armenpress.

Hovhannisyan stated that the School’s proposal will be confirmed during the upcoming session of the Council of Elders of Yerevan.

Earlier, member of the Council of Elders Anahit Bakhshyan had posted a comment on a social network, stating that a draft decision proposing to name School #147 of Yerevan after hero of Artsakh and the School’s alumnus Robert Abajyan was submitted to the Committee on Education, Culture, Sport and Tourism of the Council of Elders of Yerevan on 18 April.

“We members of the Committee approved the draft. I am pleased with this draft,” wrote Anahit Bakhshyan.

Teacher from Armenia acknowledged as Best English Language Teacher in the United States

Susannah Mcphelim, who is of Armenian descent, has received the Sondheim Teaching Award and been acknowledged as the Best English Language Teacher in the United States of America in 2017.

Mcphelim, who was nominated for the Sondheim Teaching Award by her students, was among the top ten English language teachers of the year upon the decision of the Kennedy Center, writes Sputnik- Արմենիա, citing Alexandria News.

Susannah Mcphelim immigrated to the United States from Armenia where she had taught at the Armenian Pedagogical University in Yerevan for many years. She was also the University’s official translator. Mcphelim has also taught at schools in Virginia and Utah. In 2013, she opened a private language school in Alexandria.

Dawn Anahid MacKeen presented her book “The Hundred-Year Walk: An Armenian Odyssey”

On 19 April, the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia hosted the presentation of Dawn Anahid MacKeen’s book “The Hundred-Year Walk: An Armenian Odyssey”. Among the participants were RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan, President of the American University of Armenia Armen Der-Kyureghian, intellectuals, students and guests.

In her welcoming speech, RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan attached importance to the publication of the English-language book of memoirs of an Armenian Genocide survivor by the survivor’s granddaughter and particularly stated the following: “Like many Armenians, the grandfather of our beloved Anahid also had a cruel fate since the Turks had decided to annihilate the Armenians and leave only one Armenian and in a museum at that. By fate, the main character of the book manages to escape and find shelter in Syria. We Armenians have to be grateful to the Arabs who helped our compatriots get back on their feet, travel to different countries and settle. The main goal of the Armenian nation and the dream of our ancestors to educate children was accomplished and turned into a reality. Evidence of this are the powerful communities in the Armenian Diaspora and the generation of literate and educated Armenians. One of the representatives of that generation is our guest today, and the blood of an Armenian flows through her veins. Hearing the stories of her grandfather and reading his diaries in Arabic, the author became interested in the past events, found the answers to the questions of concern, compared them with the events taking place in Syria and Iraq today, mastered the information and composed in the style of a journalist. The book is valuable since it was written by an author who doesn’t have an Armenian last name and who has returned to her roots. It is also valuable because it was written in English and is a historical memory. I would like to congratulate all of us on the release of this book.”

President of the American University of Armenia Armen Der-Kyureghian expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Diaspora and to the Minister for providing the wonderful opportunity to present the book. He stated that he had read the book recently, admired it and decided that he definitely had to invite the author to Armenia. “The American University of Armenia is currently hosting the guest, who is giving lectures for the students. As a journalist and writer, she has been granted awards by circles of Americans in Chicago. In fact, the author’s name-Dawn-means the dawning of the sun, and it is very symbolic,” he added.

“It is a great honor for me to present the book and share my impressions of my grandfather’s memories in Armenia for the first time. The latest events in Syria and Iraq seemed to be a link between the past and present. I relived those memories again.”

The Minister of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia awarded American journalist and writer Dawn Anahid MacKeen with the Medal of Gratitude of the Ministry of Diaspora.

Event devoted to Tigran Chukhajyan held at school in Parakar village

On 24 March, the fourth graders of the primary school in the Parakar village of Armavir Province held an event devoted to composer and songwriter Tigran Chukhajyan. The event was 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 homeroom teacher Z. Mkrtchyan and music teacher K. Ohanyan. The pupils presented music as a type of art based on sound and silence. They explained what musicians and composers feel and think about when they compose music that never dies. They also presented the life and career of Tigran Chukhajyan, viewed a part from his opera “Arshak II” and performed a part from the opera “Leblebiji”.

The school’s teachers and administration, under Makaryan’s direction, watched and appreciated the event, which was organized for the fourth and fifth graders and was highly appreciated.

Armenian cultural center in Kazakhstan celebrating its 20th anniversary

On 14 April, the Kentron Armenian Cultural Center in the Kazakh city of Petropavlovsk marked its 20th anniversary with a grand event.

As reported the Center to Hayern Aysor, the event was entitled “Our Power Lies in Our Unity” and was attended by First Secretary of the Embassy of Armenia in Kazakhstan Mher Badalyan, President of the Nayiri Association of Armenian Cultural Centers Artush Karapetyan, as well as the leaders of Armenian communities of Kazakh regions and other national communities of Petropavlovsk.

The Armenian diplomat and the activists of the community were received by Akim of the North Kazakhstan Region Kumar Aksakalov. Issues related to the development of various sectors of the economies of the regions, the establishment of trade and economic relations with Armenia and the issues of the local Armenian community were discussed during the meeting.

Afterwards, the guests visited the School of National Renaissance where the School’s Principal Lyazat Zhalmukanova and Armenian language teacher Silva Aslanyan talked about the School’s programs.

The visit to the newly built kindergarten was impressive. The modern and suitable kindergarten designed for 300 children is Armenian businessman Garik Bernetsyan’s gift to the children and parents of the city.

The guests went sightseeing in Petropavlovsk and visited the local central museum.

As reported First Secretary of the Embassy of Armenia in Kazakhstan Mher Badalyan, in the evening, a solemn ceremony dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Kentron Armenian Cultural Center and a festive concert were held at the Chamber of the Assembly of Nations in the North Kazakhstan Region.

First Secretary of the Embassy Mher Badalyan, A. Karapetyan, as well as the leaders of the Kurdish, Ukrainian, Polish, Korean and Jewish communities gave their speeches and conveyed their kind wishes and congratulatory remarks at the event. The members of the local Armenian dance group and students of the Armenian Sunday school captured the hearts of the audience with their performances of charming songs and patriotic dances. President of Kentron Armenian Community Gevorg Gevorgyan gave a speech in which he expressed his gratitude.

Easter event held at Armenian Sunday school in Russia’s Surgut

On 16 April, an event devoted to Easter was held at the Grigor Narekatsi Armenian Sunday School in the Russian city of Surgut.

As reported the School to Hayern Aysor, such events serve as the call of the soul for Diaspora Armenian children that helps connect them to their roots and learn about the traditions of the Armenian nation.