Zakar Keshishian: “Let us Armenians always be awake, united, organized and know where our weapons are”

Throughout history, whenever we Armenians have been in trouble, we have always achieved victory through unity.

This is what founder of Varanda Armenian Children’s and Youth State Choir Zakar Keshishian said in an interview with Artsakhpress.

“Ever since the very first days of the Artsakh movement, all Armenians became united as one. We have something to learn from our brave martyrs and have no right to waste the blood that they shed. We need to be able to build our nation the way it deserves to be built so that the future generations have something to learn from us and be proud of us, the living,” Keshishian said and added the following: “I cordially congratulate all us Armenians on the three celebrations in May. Let us Armenians always be awake, united, organized and know where our weapons are.”

Artsakh and Armenian Presidents visited the Kashen mining complex

On 10 May Artsakh Republic President together with President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan visited the Kashen mining complex of the “Base Metals” CJSC, Central Information Department of the Office of the Artsakh Republic President stated.

Heads of the two Armenian states got acquainted with the factory’s activities and prospective programs.

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Armenian female chef’s book is one of the world’s top three cooking books

Gayane Breiova’s book “Kitchen Gayane-Jan” is one of the books included in the list of cooking books presented for the Gourmand 2017 competition.

The Gourmand competition has been held for the past 22 years and is considered to be the Oscars in the world of cooking, reported

The founder of the competition is the Kuantro family. The award ceremony is held every year.

“To be honest, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a shortlist, but the jury included my book in the series of the three top cooking books, and I will be traveling to China. It didn’t even cross my mind. Hooray!” Gayane said as she expressed her joy.

Gayane was born in Yerevan and has been living in Moscow since 1994.

She started pursuing her career as a waitress. She was compelled to stop working at a restaurant for a while, but in 1998, after working at a stock exchange for several years, she returned to business as a manager. Gayane says her greatest pride is the Gayane’s restaurant, which offers Armenian dishes.

French-Armenian film director to make film in Artsakh

On May 10, Artsakh State University hosted a meeting with French-Armenian film director Robert Keshishian.

The meeting began with an opening speech by Pro-Rector of Artsakh State University for Activities with Students Vitya Yaramishyan, who briefly presented the film director’s activities and stated that the members of the film director’s family were also survivors of the Armenian Genocide.

The participants of the meeting watched Robert Keshishian’s French-Armenian film “Aram”, which was produced in 2002 and is about the tragedy of an Armenian boy’s family.

In an interview with Artsakhpress, Keshishian said the film was presented at the Golden Apricot International Film Festival in Armenia in 2004 and has been shown in France, Germany, the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, Toronto and other parts of the world.

“I am on a cognitive visit to Artsakh. When I heard about the war that took place in Artsakh in April of last year, I wanted to visit Artsakh and become familiar with this country and its people. Last year, French-Armenians organized protests and demonstrations and tried to do something to help their compatriots. I feel great in Artsakh and am quite impressed. I have interacted with the people and have felt the warmth and kindness of the people of Artsakh. I am proud to see smart and literate young people in Artsakh. I plan on making a film in Artsakh,” Keshishian particularly said.

The University’s students and lecturers were attending the meeting.

The AGBU Central Board Emphasizes its Youth in a Series of Strategic Meetings in London

For the third year in a row, the Central Board gathered in London for a critical conference that brought together leadership and the local community for a weekend of events that emphasized the role of young leaders and provided an opportunity to cultivate a shared vision.

The weekend featured a series of meetings to expand the reach of the global Armenian nation. The meetings welcomed participants from the AGBU Central Board, Europe District Committee and 16 Young Professionals (YP) groups from around the world to build on the on-going dialogue that AGBU began at its 89th General Assembly and 110th Anniversary Weekend in New York last October. The lively discussions in London focused on four key pillars of the organization (humanitarian; culture and identity; education; and socio-economic development) to develop ways and means to move forward as a people and an organization.

The topics addressed the vision of AGBU and its goal of increasing the visibility of Armenians on the world stage. AGBU’s role in Armenia as an agent for change was a prominent focus of the meetings as well as discussions surrounding local strategy for attaining exponential reach by forging ties beyond the Armenian community. Partnerships have been a major means through which AGBU has sought to make its mark. In the past year, the organization has engaged in strategic partnerships with international organizations, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Smithsonian Institution; the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); the European Union and the Eurasia Partnership Foundation; and most recently the United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) and the Shoah Foundation. These partnerships provide AGBU with new opportunities to make a more profound impact in reaching out to the global community.

The participation of the Young Professionals (YP) in implementing ideas was also underscored as essential for the success of AGBU initiatives. “These meetings were designed to bring in the YP leadership from around the world, to connect them and provide an opportunity to share respective experiences. Gladly, we covered many topics and I am confident that the leaders will continue based on what we saw,” said AGBU board member Yervant Zorian.

The weekend closed with an intimate dinner on Saturday, hosted by AGBU Central Board member Dr. Armen Sarkissian and his wife Nouneh, at the Dorchester Hotel. The evening, emceed by Camilio Azzouz, featured a keynote address by Eric Esrailian, who was also honored with his wife Melina, for their tireless work on The Promise and its worldwide promotion. “When there has never been a major motion picture on the Armenian Genocide that has reached millions of people, you have to design a film that is accessible. The most important aspect of The Promise is that it is not just for Armenians. Silence and denial are destructive for generations because we all bear the scars of what our ancestors have gone through and not just Armenians—African-Americans, Native-Americans, people around the world who have dealt with atrocities feel these scars generations deep,” said Esrailian. As part of the weekend, the meeting participants were treated to a special screening of The Promise, the first big-budget, wide-release film to depict the Armenian Genocide, and encouraged to reflect on the universality of the its message.

Saturday evening saw The Promise’s impulse to give non-Armenians insight into Armenian experiences manifested in yet another way. Benjamin Devoy—a British student at Queens’ College in Cambridge, England—was invited to speak before the guests about his experience during the Yerevan Summer Internship Program (YSIP) last summer. Devoy was the first intern to participate in YSIP’s Dikran Knadjian Medical Internship, which enables one non-Armenian medical student to pursue a fully-funded internship in Armenia: “A continuing theme I experienced in Armenia was the collective effort of individuals who wanted to help. Armenia has gone through a lot and still faces some major problems. It is a testament to the people there and Armenians abroad that has propelled a huge movement to improve conditions. I’m very grateful to have had my internship experience and to learn firsthand about the country,” said Devoy.

While the weekend of events emphasized young AGBU leaders, it was also a chance to pay tribute to two members who have served as remarkable local leaders: Berge Azadian and Assadour Guzelian, two former chairmen of the AGBU London Trust and prominent figures in the community, who have offered AGBU decades of dedicated leadership and service. They served the organization with a life-long commitment and are examples from which the burgeoning generation of leaders can draw strength.

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

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Visit to the tomb of Armenian hero of USSR buried in Kazakhstan

On May 9, Armenians of Astana, Akmola region and the city of Kokchetav visited the cemetery in the city of Yesil of the Akmola region where hero of the Soviet Union Ishkhan Saribekyan is buried.

As reported the RA Embassy in Kazakhstan to Hayern Aysor, RA Ambassador to Kazakhstan Ara Sahakyan, the Embassy’s 1st Secretary Mher Badalyan, akim of the Yesil region Amanbek Kalzhanov, leader of the Armenian communities Norik Maglamyan (in Kokchetav), Sahak Salumyan (in Astana) and others laid flowers near the tombstone of the hero.

In his speech during the meeting held on this occasion, Ambassador Ara Sahakyan particularly emphasized the fact that the sons of the Armenian nation sacrificed themselves and participated in WWII and the Great Patriotic War at the military fronts and in the rear. He also called on everyone to keep the memory of the heroes alive and wished all the veterans health.

The Ambassador and his accompanying guests had meetings with the residents who informed that they always remember the Armenian Hero as a diligent, kind and modest individual.

The Armenians of Yesil have improved the look of the tomb of the Hero under the sponsorship of Maglamyan.

Ishkhan Saribekyan was born in 1912 in the Voskevan village of the Tavush Province of Armenia. He was ranked a hero for the exceptional courage that he showed while seizing the Sapungora structures considered impregnable in Sevastopol in April 1944. After the war, he lived and worked in different cities across Kazakhstan. He died in 1990 in Yesil, which is 400 km from Astana.

Blessing of newly built chapel at a military base of the Armenian Army (photos)

The celebration of the liberation of Shushi at the military unit in Ararat was marked by the blessing of the Holy Cross Chapel, which was built at one of the bases of the military unit through the combined efforts of all servicemen.

The chapel was blessed by pastor of the St. Hakob Church in Ararat, Fr. Priest Davit Sahakyan, along with Deacon Narek Petrosyan and student of the lyceum Robert Zeynalyan, reported the Facebook page of the St. Hakob Church in Ararat, according to Hayern Aysor.

After the blessing, His Holiness addressed the attendees and said the following: “Today is a day of victory for all of us, and we achieved that victory with the blessing of God. In your lives, this day will also be remembered as the day of blessing of the chapel that you built with your own hands.”

His Holiness called on the attendees to follow the traditions of the brave ancestors of the Armenians, that is, shape the image of a fearless Christian serviceman and become the worthy followers and inheritors of those servicemen. The servicemen defending the military position had also organized the sacrificing of lamb and a short reception.

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Armenia participated in 30th Tehran International Book Fair

May 2nd marked the launch of the 30th Tehran International Book Fair. Among the participating countries was Armenia, which presented books in different languages, reported the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Hayern Aysor.

On May 4, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the Islamic Republic of Iran Artashes Tumanyan visited the Armenian pavilion and had a meeting with the pavilion’s representative Karo Vartanian.

Ambassador Tumanyan also had a meeting with Director of the Shahr-e Aftab Exhibitions Center M. Seidi and discussed issues on further partnership between the Armenian embassy and the Center.

Avedis Armenian Children’s Dance Group performs at event dedicated to Armenians’ victories in May

On May 7, the Avedis Armenian Children’s Dance Group of Athens participated in the event dedicated to the 72nd anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. This was the second event organized by the cultural union of the Russian-Armenian community in Greece. The dance group performed the dances called “Lullaby” and “Kochari”. Among the other participants were representatives of national minorities, including Armenians, Georgians, Belarusians, Moldovans and others.

“The month of May is a month of victories for the Armenians, including the liberation of Shushi and the heroic Battle of Sardarapat. We Armenians participated in achieving these glorious victories so that young Armenians living abroad never forget their history and know that these victories were achieved through the sacrifices of numerous sons of the Armenian nation,” the dance group’s artistic director and dance instructor Shushanig Semerjian said in an interview with Hayern Aysor.

On May 28, Avedis Armenian Children’s Dance Group will be participating in an event dedicated to migrants who have escaped wars and settled in different corners of the globe and are trying to preserve their national identity, culture and traditions.

Children of Georgian-Armenian Diocese’s Saint Movses Khorenatsi Preschool moving on to school

This year, the Saint Movses Khorenatsi Armenian Preschool of the Georgian-Armenian Diocese will see off 18 children who will join the first graders at various public schools across Akhaltskha, writes It is a joy to see that eleven of the children finishing preschool will receive their education in Armenian at an Armenian school. Ten children will be attending Armenian School #104 in Tbilisi, while one will be attending the Georgian-Armenian Public School.

The Saint Movses Khorenatsi Preschool has a beautiful tradition according to which the children leaving the preschool are escorted to their respective future schools, introduced to the particular school’s administration and receive the package of school documents.

On May 4, 2017, under the leadership of Head of the Education Department of the Georgian-Armenian Diocese, Director of the Saint Movses Khorenatsi Armenian Preschool Yevgenya Markosyan and Head of the Culture Department of the Georgian-Armenian Diocese Levon Chidilyan and with the accompaniment of the future schoolchildren’s parents, ten children of the preschool visited School #104 where they solemnly started registering for the first grade.

The children were greeted by the school’s director Irina Zhamkochyan and homeroom teacher Almary Siradeghyan. During the conversation with the future schoolchildren, the children showed their knowledge of Armenian and initial knowledge of mathematics. They also showed the national flags of Georgia and the Republic of Armenia and performed the national anthems of both countries. The school’s administration expressed its satisfaction to the director of the preschool and the director of Hayartun Center for sending children meeting the requirements of the preschool and gave balloons to all the children.

Based on the precise and detailed documents prepared by the preschool’s administration and the applications of parents, in the 2017-18 School Year, 11 children of the Saint Movses Khorenatsi Preschool will start their studies at an Armenian school and will receive an Armenian education.

Union of Armenians of Romania has new website

The official website of the Union of Armenians of Romania (UAR) ( was presented by the website’s creator, PhD graduate of the University of Bucharest Arsen Arzumanyan during the Union’s annual assembly held last week.

As reported the Union to Hayern Aysor, for the time being, the website is only in Romanian and features various topics related to Armenia and the Armenians for Romanians and Romanian-Armenians, including the establishment and activities of the UAR, the history and prominent figures of the Armenian community of Romania, all the exceptional Armenian sites worth seeing in the four historic regions of Romania, Armenian history, the world famous Armenian figures, the sites worth seeing in Armenia and important information about Armenia for tourists, as well as the procedure for acquisition of citizenship of the Republic of Armenia and Armenia-Diaspora programs.

The website also features Armenian literature, the Romanian and Armenian versions of several literary works, world famous Armenian composers and their works, Armenian dances and nearly 50 old and contemporary Armenian love songs, patriotic songs and other songs with Armenian letters and adapted to Romanian. Most of the songs have been translated into Romanian. The website also includes the contact information of various Armenian institutions in Romania and more.

Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan participated in Second Forum of Armenians of Poland

On May 8, the large auditorium of the National Library of Agriculture in Warsaw hosted the Second Forum of Armenians of Poland (the first forum was held on 8 May 2016). Among the participants was RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan, who is on a working visit to Poland. The forum was organized by the RA Ministry of Diaspora and the RA Embassy in Poland. The partnering organizations were the Polish-Armenian Cultural Heritage Foundation, the Armenian Cultural Association of Krakow, the Polish-Armenian Foundation, the Armenian Foundation of Poland, the Union of Armenians of Poland in Vrotslav, the Center for the Development of Armenian-Polish Relations, the Armenian National Committee of Poland, the Armenian-Polish Public Committee, the Yuzef Teodorovich Armenian Community in Glivitse, the Polish-Armenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Armenian-Polish Cooperation Organization, the Little Squirrels of Julia Charitable Foundation and community organizations of several cities across Poland.

As reported the RA Embassy in Poland to Hayern Aysor, the forum began with the national anthems of the Republic of Poland and the Republic of Armenia, followed by the reading of the message of President (Marshalek) of the Seym of Poland Marek Kukhchinsky. Member of the Polish Senate Jan Maria Jakovsky, who was attending the forum, conveyed the greetings of President (Marshalek) of the Polish Senate Stanislav Karchevsky to the participants of the forum.

The official opening ceremony of the forum featured speeches by RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan, RA Ambassador to Poland Edgar Ghazaryan and representative of the Armenian minority within the Joint Commission on National and Ethnic Minorities of the Government of the Republic of Armenia Edvard Mier-Yendzheyovich.

The speeches were followed by panel discussions. Representative of the Armenian minority within the Joint Commission on National and Ethnic Minorities of the Government of the Republic of Armenia Edvard Mier-Yendzheyovich moderated the panel session devoted to the organization of the Armenian community of Poland and community life, and the speakers were President of the Polish-Armenian Cultural Heritage Foundation Jan Abgarovich, pastor of the Armenian Catholic Church in Warsaw and Central Poland Yuzef Naumovich, representative of the Yuzef Teodorovich Armenian Community of Glivitse Bogdan Kasprovich and President of the Polish-Armenian Foundation Arsen Hovsepyan.

The final panel session was devoted to the preservation of the Armenian identity and was moderated by RA Ambassador to Poland Edgar Ghazaryan. The keynote speakers were RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan, pastor of the Polish-Armenians of the Armenian Holy Apostolic Church, Archimandrite Tatchat Tsaturyan and Principal of the Armenian School in Krakow Gohar Khachatryan.

In her speech, Minister Hranush Hakobyan provided details on Armenia’s policy on the activities with the Armenian Diaspora, presented the structure of the Armenian Diaspora and touched upon the Armenian community in Poland. The Minister presented the problems of pan-Armenian significance, the programs and projects being carried out by the RA Ministry of Diaspora and upcoming initiatives and attached importance to the active participation of the Armenian community and community organizations of Poland.

During the breaks and the reception, Minister Hranush Hakobyan had several meetings with the active members of the Armenian community of Poland and representatives of Armenian organizations, was introduced to their activities and answered their questions of concern.

The vestibule of the National Library of Agriculture hosted Poland-based Armenian painter Grigor Aslanyan’s exhibition.

The forum also featured the presentation of the book of poems “Searching” by Spanish-Armenian figure Ararat Ghukasyan in Poland. Among the attendees of the presentation were RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan and RA Ambassador to Poland Edgar Ghazaryan.

RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan meets with President of Polish Senate

On May 8, RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan, who is on a working visit to Poland, had a meeting with President (Marshalek) of the Upper Chamber (Senate) of the Parliament of Poland Stanislav Karchevsky. RA Ambassador to Poland Edgar Ghazaryan and the relevant officials of the Senate of Poland also participated in the meeting.

As reported the RA Embassy in Poland to Hayern Aysor, greeting RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan, the President of the Senate of Poland stated that the Polish authorities attached extremely great importance to the policy regarding Poles (Poland) abroad and that the Polish Senate played a huge role in that. He presented the legislative regulations and political programs that the Polish authorities are carrying out in their relations with Poles abroad. The President of the Senate noted that they were very interested in Armenia’s approaches to the activities with the Diaspora, part of which may also be useful for Poland.

RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan expressed gratitude to the President of the Senate of Poland for the cordial reception and the opportunity for the meeting. The Minister emphasized that the Armenian Diaspora was of major significance for Armenia and that the Armenian community of Poland stands out with its unique and substantial history. The Minister reminded that the year 2017 marked the 650th anniversary of the special privilege granted by Kazimir the Great II to the Armenians, which goes to show not only the rich history of the Armenian community of Poland, but also the exceptional role that the Armenians have played in the lives of Poles. The Minister expressed gratitude to the Polish authorities for the generosity that they have always shown towards the Armenians and the friendly relations that are bilateral and are also expressed through the fraternal feelings and attitudes that the Armenians have always had towards the large Armenian community of Poland and the Poles in general.

Minister Hranush Hakobyan also talked about the peculiarities of the Armenian Diaspora and the main directions of the policy that the authorities of the Republic of Armenia and particularly the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia are leading.

«Zham» Magazine and «Artsakhpress» News Agency has Signed a Partnership Agreement

Encouraging development and consolidation of international dialog, for the purpose of spreading reliable and update information about the Republic of Artsakh, its public and cultural life, about the historical and cultural heritage of its people, about the interest of Armenians in Russia and the other communities of Diaspora to their homeland and the active work of diasporal organizations,

Editor in chief of «Zham» magazine Anna Givargizyan and director of «Artsakhpress» news agency Vahram Poghosyan has signed a Partnership Agreement on 9 of May 9, 2017.  As the independent medias they announce about their partnership and implementations of joint projects.

The Agreement particularly includes these items:

  • cooperative coverage of contemporary achievements of the people of Artsakh in the spheres of science, art, education, culture, etc.;
  • exchange and publication of articles, interviews, photo reports and other information materials from the issues, information sites, social networks and other media belonging to the parties to the Agreement;
  • organization of mutual cultural events in the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Artsakh, the Russian Federation and other countries – exhibitions, press conferences, creative meetings, concerts, film screenings, master classes, etc.
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