RA Ministry of Diaspora hosts lecture entitled “Armenian Warriors and Marshals”

On May 17, within the scope of the “Days of Homage to the Prominent Figures of the Battle of Sardarapat and the First Republic of Armenia” Program, historian and Deputy Colonel of the Armenian Army Tigran Petrosyants delivered a lecture devoted to Armenian warriors and marshals at the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia.

Diaspora Armenian students and intellectuals and employees of the Ministry participated in the lecture organized in the month of May, which is the month of victories for the Armenian nation.

Tigran Petrosyants talked about the role that Armenian generals and marshals played in the First World War and in the Second World War. “For years, my objective has been to find Armenian heroes who have stood out in the history of the Armenian people and present them to the public. Finally, in 2002, Hayk Khachatryan and I published our first book “Haikazunk”, which presents 406 generals of Armenian descent.”

Tigran Petrosyants also presented the history of the self-organization of the Armenians during the Battles of Sardarapat and Bash-Aparan and how Armenians with high military rankings helped achieve victories.

Afterwards, the speaker touched upon the high-ranking servicemen who made their contributions in the era of the Third Republic of Armenia and in the war for the liberation of Artsakh. “Mikael Harutyunyan, Norat Ter-Grigoryants, Murad Sargsyan, Komandos and others-they were among the first who helped us achieve our victories and form our army,” Tigran Petrosyants noted.

Deputy Minister of Diaspora Serzh Srapionyan expressed gratitude to Tigran Petrosyants for presenting interesting facts in his lecture and noted the following: “You presented the history of three generations of Armenian generals and marshals. Today’s generation must recognize our heroes, be brought up with their examples and know the military history of their nation and take pride in that.”

Sixth Wounded Soldier Receives a Renovated House from the Tufenkian Foundation

Today, Samvel Mejlumyan, a soldier wounded in the Artsakh Liberation War of 1992, celebrated housewarming in the Askeran town of Artsakh. The house was renovated by the Tufenkian Foundation, in the framework of the project Housing for Wounded Soldiers. The event was attended by Mr. Sergey Grigoryan, Head of the Administration of Askeran Region, Tufenkian Foundation Executive Director Mr. Raffi Doudaklian, as well as other representatives of the Tufenkian Foundation, the Askeran Regional Administration and local media.

Samvel Mejlumyan is the sixth soldier to receive a renovated house from the Tufenkian Foundation. However, he is the first soldier of the 1992 war to be supported in the frameworks of this project: the first five houses were purchased or renovated for the soldiers wounded in the April 2016 war. “We are committed to provide better housing for the soldiers of Artsakh, no matter when and during which war they were wounded in. They have risked their lives to protect our homeland, and it is our responsibility and honor to support them,” TF Executive Director Raffi Doudaklian stated during the housewarming ceremony.

Since 2003, the Tufenkian Foundation has implemented a number of projects and initiatives in support of Artsakh. In April 2016, in response to the Four Day War, the Tufenkian Foundation launched an urgent appeal to help the people affected by the war. With funds raised during this emergency appeals and through additional support from individual donors, TF renovated or purchased new homes for 5 wounded soldiers: 3 in Martakert region and 2 in Hadrut region.

Samvel Mejlumyan, 52, was a member of freedom fighter groups who fought for the defense and liberation of Artsakh in the early nineties. He fought and was wounded in his native Askeran region, after which he underwent a number of surgeries after he lost his two legs and ended up using a wheelchair in his everyday life.

Prior to the renovations, the house was in a poor condition and did not accommodate Samvel’s disability and his mobility needs.

“Providing good housing is one of the best ways to support a soldier like me. For me, the renovated house not only means a more comfortable place to live in, but it also ensures that I can move around freely in my own home and therefore be more independent,” said Samvel Mejlumyan.

In addition to general repairs, a new kitchen has been built from the ground up. To ensure that the house is wheelchair-accessible, the doorways have been widened and handrails have been installed in the bathroom.

“We are always happy to welcome and support organizations that work to support this region. Participating in this housewarming is an honor for us and we hope that all the soldiers of Artsakh will soon have a dignified place to live” said Mr. Sergey Grigoryan, Head of the Administration of Askeran Region. 

About the Tufenkian Foundation

The Tufenkian Foundation was launched in 1999 by entrepreneur James Tufenkian with the mission to empower the initiatives of local citizens, support the most vulnerable strata of the society, promote environmental protection and awareness, and advance social justice in Armenia. Since 2003, the Foundation has broadened its scope to embattled Nagorno-Karabagh, where it promotes resettlement and development projects in the vulnerable border zones of the region.

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Arpine Hovhannisyan dismissed from office

Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia Arpine Hovhannisyan has been dismissed from office. President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan signed today a decree on this.

Let us remind that Arpine Hovhannisyan has been elected a Deputy of the National Assembly. During the past session of the government, Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan expressed gratitude to Arpine Hovhannisyan for her work.

Armenian citizens to have opportunity to study in Georgia for free

The scientific and educational systems in Georgia and Armenia face the same challenges that need to be overcome through combined efforts and regional programs. This is the view that the Ministers of Education and Science of Georgia and Armenia shared during their meeting in Yerevan.

According to the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Armenia, the delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister of Georgia, Minister of Education and Science Alexandre Jejelava is on an official visit to Armenia.  During the meeting, the Ministers signed a memorandum. Armenia’s Minister of Education and Science Levon Mkrtchyan noted that the memorandum was not only a memorandum of intentions, but also a memorandum that is aimed at helping establish task forces through which actions will be taken in just a matter of months. As reported the Ministry of Education and Science, according to the memorandum, the Georgian party is committed to exempt citizens of Armenia from the tuition fees of Georgian state universities, if the tuition fee does not exceed 2,250 Georgian monetary units, and the Armenian party is committed to exempt citizens of Georgia from the tuition fees of Armenian state universities, if the tuition fee does not exceed AMD 1,000,000.

“After Alexandre Jejelava was appointed minister, drastic and serious changes have taken place in our bilateral relations, particularly in the spheres of general education, secondary and higher education and in the field of science in the sense that we will try to carry out practical programs in order to consider the educational issues facing our two countries and find relevant solutions. Our countries are in the same stage of educational reforms and face the same issues, and there is truly great potential for cooperation not only in the bilateral format, but also in the direction of Europe,” Minister of Education and Science Levon Mkrtchyan said, reported the Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Education and Science.

He noted that Armenia needed to view the two countries as a common educational territory with the same problems and the same value system.

“One of my first working visits was a visit to the Armenian teachers in Akhalkalak. This goes to show once again that the cooperation between our two countries has been at the top level over the past decade, and I think it is currently at the highest level,” the Georgian Minister said.

Alexandre Jejelava emphasized that the first area of cooperation would be improvement of the quality of Armenian schools and the plan for teaching Armenian.

“Training courses for young teachers is very important, and it will help prepare them to enter schools and make major changes. We plan on carrying out certain processes in the sphere of higher education and believe that we can do all this at the international level,” the Georgian Minister noted, emphasizing that the first results of the work of the to-be-established task forces would be seen by the end of the year.

Armenia and Ireland might establish direct air communication

On May 16, Deputy Head of the General Department of Civil Aviation adjunct to the Government of the Republic of Armenia Arsen Poghosyan received the delegation of Ireland, namely Head of the Irish Aviation Authority Eamonn Brennan, reported the press service of the General Department of Civil Aviation.

During the meeting, the sides discussed several issues related to cooperation between Armenia and Ireland in the air communication sector, including the opportunity for the establishment of direct air communication between the two countries that will have its positive impact on the development of cooperation between the two countries.

The sides also touched upon the activities being carried out within the scope of the Eurocontrol international organization and the upcoming elections.

At the end, the guests toured the ArmAeroNavigation CJSC and Zvartnots International Airport and were introduced to the infrastructures.

Bako Sahakyan hosts American-Armenian writer Hovsep Nalbandyan

resident of the Republic of Artsakh Bako Sahakyan on May 17 held a meeting with American-Armenian writer and publicist Hovsep Nalbandyan, press service of the Artsakh President’s Office told.

The meeting was also attended by Chairman of the Writers Union of Artsakh Vardan Hakobyan.

A number of issues related to the Artsakh-Diaspora mutual partnership in the literary field were discussed.

The Artsakh President attached importance to strengthening those ties, considering them as one of the important components of the Fatherland-Diaspora unity.

Attackers of peaceful protesters in Washington D.C. were Erdogan’s security detail

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail were the attackers of the peaceful protest which was organized by the US Armenian community against the Turkish president, The Guardian reported. According to witnesses, the brawl erupted when the Turkish president’s security detail attacked protesters carrying the flag of the Kurdish PYD party outside the residence.

CNN reported 9 people have been injured in the brawl outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington.

New York Post also reported that the attackers were the security detail of Erdogan. An online footage also shows how the security personnel also verbally abuse the peaceful protesters. According to New York Post, two of the injured are seriously hurt.

“This is exactly the type of violence you see in Ankara and they are exporting it here. It’s one thing for the Turkish government to do that to its own citizens—[which is] a terrible thing. It is another thing for us, as Americans, to see that exported to the United States,” Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian said, who captured a part of the incident on film.

The demonstration, which began at Lafayette Square at noon, was organized by a coalition of organizations, including the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) and the American Hellenic Council. Several different groups, which included representatives from the Armenian, Greek, Kurdish, and Assyrian communities, participated in the protest, while President Erdogan met with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House.

Sportlandia for 4th-7th graders of Armenia’s and Artsakh’s schools draws to an end

On May 16, the gym of the Armenian Sports Committee of the Deaf NGO hosted the final stage of the Sportlandia event held for 4th-7th graders of general education schools in the provinces of the Republic of Armenia, as well as Yerevan and the Artsakh Republic, reported the RA Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs to Hayern Aysor.

The teams representing all the provinces of the Republic of Armenia, as well as the city of Yerevan and the Artsakh Republic put their strengths to the test.

The winner of Sportlandia was the team representing Primary School #3 in the city of Yeghvard of Kotayk Province of the Republic of Armenia, followed by the team representing the middle school in the Vanashen village of Ararat Province of the Republic of Armenia and the team representing the primary school in the Gugark village of Lori Province of the Republic of Armenia.

The schools having participated in the event were granted sports equipment, and the members of all the teams received incentives.

The team in first place received the cup and an AMD 450,000 bonus, while the runner-up received AMD 350,000 and the team in third place won AMD 250,000.

Let us mention that the schools will only use the funds to obtain sports equipment.

Artsakh’s military take suppressive actions, Azerbaijani troops killed. video

In response to Azerbaijan’s heavy ceasefire violations overnight May 16 – May 17, Artsakh’s military took suppressive actions which resulted in Azerabaijani forces suffering manpower losses, according to credible data of the Defense Army. A part of the footage of the operation is available below. Viewer discretion is advised.

RA Deputy Minister of Diaspora receives Australian-New Zealand UN Representative in Australia Len Wicks

On May 17, RA Deputy Minister of Diaspora Serzh Srapionyan received Australian-New Zealand Representative of the United Nations in Australia Len Wicks and his wife, Armine Hakobyan.

Serzh Srapionyan greeted the guests and highly appreciated their pro-Armenian activities.

During the meeting, the guests presented their programs. Len Wicks particularly stated the following: “The goal of the Origin Program is to present the culture and history of Armenia, Bashkortostan, China and Nepal to the world. It is through this program that I wrote the novel “Origin: Revelation”, which has also been translated into Armenian. The Adopt a Village Program is aimed at helping establish direct relations between the Armenian Diaspora and villages in Armenia in an attempt to support the proportionate development of rural settlements. The Diaspora plays a huge role since it will become the link between Armenia’s villages, Diaspora Armenian individuals and Diaspora Armenian organizations who have the desire and the potential to help rural communities. The Armenian community of New Zealand has already started supporting the Areni village through the Adopt a Village Program.”

Diaspora Armenian students and Syrian-Armenian repatriate families meet with director and actors of film “Life and Struggle 2: 25 Years Later”

On May 16, with the support of the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia, Sharm Holding hosted the screening of the film “Life and Struggle 2: 25 Years Later” for Diaspora Armenian students and Syrian-Armenian repatriate families.

The attendees got emotional during the film, after which director Mher Mkrtchyan and the actors had a conversation with the audience.

Vice-President of the Diaspora Armenian Students’ Council Sargis Ghazaryan emphasized that the Armenian audience immediately loved and highly appreciated the film and added the following: “Alongside commercial films, it is simply necessary to create films that form the national ideology and a national system of values.”

Actress Narine Grigoryan noted that she and all the other actors had worked with Mher Mkrtchyan with pleasure and dedication and knew how important the key message of the film was for Armenians in Armenia and abroad.

“This film is for all layers of Armenians and all Armenians around the world. The Four-Day Artsakh War in April broke out during the shootings for the film “Life and Struggle”, and this became the driving force for us to create the sequel,” director Mher Mkrtchyan noted.

The people in the audience also touched upon the soundtrack to the film and noted that composer Armen Martirosyan’s music made the film complete and closer to the hearts of the viewers.

“It is not by chance that Armenians abroad received the first part of the film so well and loved it so much. I am certain that the film “Life and Struggle 2: 25 Years Later” will also be loved and received well,” Syrian-Armenian repatriate Ashkhen said.

At the end, the attendees expressed their gratitude to the crew for providing them with such an opportunity and voiced hope that more highly valuable films would be created for Armenians.

Hovsep Nalbandyan: “I live in Los Angeles, but my heart is in the Homeland, and the Homeland gives me energy; it is my backbone”

Los Angeles-based Armenian writer, publicist, editor, public, political and national figure, literary critic and bibliographer Hovsep Nalbandyan was recently hosted at the editorial office of Hayern Aysor. Although this was not my first interview with Hovsep Nalbandyan, I always admire his prolific and substantial activities. This time, I discovered the image of Hovsep Nalbandyan the Armenian from different angles. I learned that he had participated in and been wounded 11 times during the first Syrian war while serving in the Syrian army as a Syrian national back in 1980-82. I also learned that Hovsep Nalbandyan had worked for four days in the zone of the earthquake that shocked Armenia…

Karine Avagyan: Mr. Nalbandyan, as I look at you, it would never cross my mind that you have faced so many hardships, but work like a bee and publish books to this day. How is it that you are so diligent and goal-oriented?

Hovsep Nalbandyan: It is my nature and a gift from God…Over the past 18 years, I have published 38 books, 18 of which are my books (5,840 pages). I have published them in 28,200 copies and have donated 9,200 of those books to individuals, all the schools in Armenia and Artsakh, as well as Armenian schools, colleges and universities based in 9 countries.

Karine Avagyan: As far as I know, in addition to the tremendous work that you have done, you also teach.

Hovsep Nalbandyan: I was born in Aleppo where I served as the principal of the Mesropian Armenian School in 1992-93. I had many plans. My brother, who is based in the United States of America, asked if I would like to go to the United States. I said I would, and I legally immigrated to the United States where I worked for Massis Weekly for four years. Currently, I work at Mashtots College and teach Armenian at the Beverly Hills International Language Institute. The students of the Institute learn 20 languages, but unfortunately, there are few students who wish to study Armenian. The prices are affordable, but Armenian students aspire to learn foreign languages. For instance, there are more students in the Chinese language class than in the Armenian language class. Besides teaching, I am also entirely devoted to writing and publishing books. In a couple of months, three of my friends and I will release the Modern Pocket Dictionary featuring Armenian words in the classic orthography. It will contain about 15-16,000 words.

Karine Avagyan: Mr. Nalbandyan, let’s talk about your three-volume book and Avedis Razmig’s 362-page book “Carousel of Life”, which were recently presented during an event held at Avetik Isahakyan Library.

Hovsep Nalbandyan: The three books are entitled “Armenian Short Stories” and feature the works of Eastern Armenian, Western Armenian and Diaspora Armenian writers (60 authors, 70 short stories, 2 of which are mine). I had invited canon player Mariana Grigoryan, tar player Mikael Voskanyan and singer Arsen Hambaryan to the book presentation held at Avetik Isahakyan Library. The event began with a welcoming speech by President of the Union of Writers of Armenia Eduard Militonyan, followed by speeches by Deputy Minister of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia and literary critic Serzh Srapionyan; Professor of Philological Sciences, Head of the Center for Diaspora Studies at the Armenian State Pedagogical University Suren Danielyan; Head of the Chair of Literature of the Faculty of Philology at Yerevan State University, Professor Samvel Muradyan and literary critic, Turkologist Elina Mirzoyan. I would like to express my deep gratitude to everyone and to the Library’s director Hasmik Karapetyan. The second part of the presentation featured a speech by historian and editor Kevork Yazichian, after which national figure and publicist Avedis Razmig, who is an alumnus of the Faculty of History at Yerevan State University, expressed his words of gratitude. The books were also presented during an event held at the regional library in Armavir Province on May 10.

Karine Avagyan: Who sponsors the publication of your books?

Hovsep Nalbandyan: I have three sponsors-me, Hovsep and Nalbandyan (I take care of all the expenses and solve all the problems by myself).

Karine Avagyan: What always guides you to books and literature? You could have also been a successful businessman in a country like the United States of America.

Hovsep Nalbandyan: What always guides me is my love for the nation that drives me crazy, my worship for Armenian language, literature and books and my feelings of patriotism. I never wanted to leave philology behind. For 30 consecutive years, there has not been any other alumnus of the Faculty of Philology who has published this many books. Two years ago, Artsrun Aleksanyan published a book about me that was entitled “The Devotee of Armenian Culture” and dedicated to the 35th anniversary of my career. I am devoted to Armenian culture from head to toe.

Karine Avagyan: Mr. Nalbandyan, do you express yourself better as a prose writer, as a publicist or as a researcher?

Hovsep Nalbandyan: I express myself better as a prose writer, as a publicist and as a researcher. I must also say that I have written about 50-52 poems, but I lost my notebook.

Karine Avagyan: Dear compatriot, I congratulate you on the release of your books and express my admiration and amazement. You have been writing books for many years. Do you have time for family and friends?

Hovsep Nalbandyan: I love to interact with people. I am the Vice-President of the Armenian Writers Association of California and am an active member of the AGBU. I am also a member and secretary of various non-governmental and benevolent unions. I always interact with people, but most of all-with books.

Karine Avagyan: Mr. Nalbandyan, what does your hometown and the Homeland mean to you?

Hovsep Nalbandyan:  I left Aleppo 24 years ago and really miss my hometown. The words “hometown” says it all. I would like to return, but unfortunately, today, 70 percent of the 5,000-year-old Aleppo is currently destroyed…The Homeland! For me, the Homeland is my identity, a familiar land where I studied at and graduated from the Faculty of Philology at Yerevan State University. I am grateful to that temple of Light and the great scholars and lecturers. The Homeland is my backbone. I live in Los Angeles, but I visit the Homeland often because this is where my heart is, and it gives me energy.

Interview by Karine Avagyan

Meeting of Supreme Spiritual Council kicks off in Moscow

On May 16, the meeting of the Supreme Spiritual Council of the Armenian Church began under the chairmanship of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians at the Prelacy of the Armenian Diocese of Russia and New Nakhichevan in Moscow.

After the Lord’s Prayer, the participants of the meeting prayed for the soul of the late member of the Supreme Spiritual Council and academician Vladimir Barkhudaryan to rest in peace.

Afterwards, at the invitation of leader of the Armenian Diocese of Russia and New Nakhichevan, His Grace, Fr. Bishop Yezras Nersisyan, the Catholicos of All Armenians gave his patriarchal blessings to the clergy of the Supreme Spiritual Council convened in Moscow and to the foreign members of the Council. His Holiness expressed satisfaction with the fact that the subsequent meeting of the Supreme Spiritual Council was being convened in Moscow, taking into consideration the fact that this year marks the 300th anniversary of the establishment of the Armenian Diocese in Russia. His Holiness informed that the main events of the year would be held in September and, on behalf of the members of the Supreme Spiritual Council, the Supreme Patriarch congratulated the Diocese’s leader on the 300th anniversary of the Diocese of the Armenian Church in the blessed land of the Russians and wished that the Lord maintain the centuries-old friendship between the Russians and Armenians and the partnership between the two Churches and countries.

Wishing the Council success, the Catholicos of All Armenians also asked God to help all Armenians around the world, the Armenian Holy Apostolic Church and its devoted servants.

The sessions of the first day were chaired by Primate of the U.S. Eastern Diocese, His Grace, Fr. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian.

On the first day, President of the Davidian Foundation and benefactor Aso Davidian delivered a report on the implementation of programs aimed at improving the functions of the Armenian Church. Aso Davidian, who has expressed commitment to implement this major program, informed about the activities that had been carried out and the necessary consultations that had been held.

After a discussion on the information that was presented, the Supreme Spiritual Council expressed its appreciation to Aso Davidian and to the clergymen and foreign members of the advisory board for their commitment.

Statutory, thematic, national and social issues will be discussed during the three-day meeting.