Arshak and Sophie Galstaun College leadership visits RA Ministry of Diaspora

RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan received President of the Guardianship of the Arshak and Sophie Galstaun Armenian College of Sydney Hrach Boghosian and Vice-President Harmik Hakobian.

Greeting the guests, the Minister highly appreciated the Australian-Armenians’ activities for preservation of the Armenian identity. She stated that the College is a hotbed for national preservation in Sydney and can compete with any Australian public school and, most importantly, one can feel the Armenian spirit there. As for the young president of the guardianship of the College Hrach Boghosian, whose three sons attend the Armenian college, can set an example for all young Armenian families.

Expressing gratitude for the cordial reception and support, Hrach Boghosian presented the College’s problems and achievements, attached importance to the training courses for teachers of Armenian schools in Australia organized by the Ministry of Diaspora and the cultural events that are held and stated that the College has made quite a lot of investments over the past two years in order to make learning at the College attractive and interesting and to make the College become more competitive. He attached importance to the fact that the number of students is growing, and new educational programs are being carried out. Interestingly, the best and outstanding student of the College is a Syrian-Armenian who has settled in Australia.

Hranush Hakobyan stated that the Arshak and Sophie Galstaun College was founded in 1986 in Sydney with a contribution from national benefactors Sophie and Arshak Galstaun (Galstyans) and under the sponsorship of Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society. Education is based on the state curriculum. The College offers Armenian language, history and religion courses. It has a preschool, kindergarten and middle school. In 2017, the College enrolled about 330 students. Most of the alumni continue their education at the local universities.

Issues related to the participation of students and teachers in the Ministry’s programs were discussed.

RA Ministry of Diaspora recaps 2017 “Diaspora” Summer School Program

On October 5, RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan chaired a consultation to recap the 2017 “Diaspora” Summer School Program at the RA Ministry of Diaspora. Among the participants were Deputy Ministers Serzh Srapionyan and Vahagn Melikyan, Mher Hovhannisyan (person responsible for carrying out the summer school program at Yerevan State University), Director of the “Homeland-Diaspora Center” SNCO Davit Shahbazyan and the heads of the Ministry’s departments and divisions.

The participants of the consultation considered issues related to conduct of the 2017 “Diaspora” Summer School Program and identified the problems that arose during the courses in all five areas. Head of the Department of All-Armenian Programs at the RA Ministry of Diaspora Gagik Gyanjumyan presented the statistics and geography.

Summing up the results of the consultation, Minister Hranush Hakobyan attached importance to the role of the summer school program in helping preserve and develop the national identity and linguistic thinking and in supporting the programs for national preservation within Armenian communities.

The Minister stated that it is necessary to pay special attention to the activities that are carried out with young Armenians. “It is necessary to adopt a new and interactive teaching method and organize a competition under the title “Best Youth Program”. We need to connect young Armenians to the homeland in particular,” the head of the government agency added. The Minister was pleased to emphasize the fact that the Ministry is receiving many applications for the Accelerated Armenian Language Course and the Training Course for Armenian Language Teachers and Organizers of Education.

Importance was also attached to advocating the “Diaspora” Summer School Program more effectively.

At the end, the Minister gave relevant assignments.

Diaspora Minister receives Canadian-Armenian figure Souren Hadjian

RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan received Canadian-Armenian figure, member of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Canada Regional Committee Souren Hadjian and architect Bedros Abadjian.

The Minister cordially greeted the guests, expressed gratitude to Souren Hadjian for participating in the 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference and his pro-national efforts and attached importance to the proper organizing of the events dedicated to the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide in Canada and the efforts being made for recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide and elimination of the consequences.

The issues raised during the pan-Armenian conference were discussed.

Afterwards, Souren Hadjian transmitted the painting that Armenian American painter Emma Grigoryan had donated to Hranush Hakobyan on the occasion of the pan-Armenian conference. The U.S.-based Armenian painter will open her personal exhibition on October 16 in the John Pashalian Hall of the St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Church in New York. The exhibition will be held under the auspices of Primate of the U.S. Eastern Diocese of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, Archbishop Oshagan Choloian.

The Krmzians’ gift to Istanbul

On October 7, the opening ceremony of the mausoleum of Petros Duryan will be held at the Armenian cemetery in the Skyutar District of Istanbul. The works were launched and funded by France-based brothers Hrach-Anoushavan and Hagop Krmzians. The goal is to pay tribute once again to the poet and transmit to the generations the idea of keeping the memory of people like Duryan alive.

The idea was conceived a year ago when the cemetery memorial of the famous Palyan family of architects of Istanbul was renovated and opened at the initiative of Hrach-Anoushavan and Hagop Krmzian on October 1, 2016. The cemetery memorial was built in the shape of the altar of the St. Mary’s Church built by the Palyans in Beshiktash.

“We carried out the plan to eternalize the memory of the Palyans and built the cemetery memorial with the help of the “HaiTchar” Society of Armenian Architects and Engineers of Istanbul and Ashot Grigoryan who, by coincidence, was preparing a book devoted to the Palyans. The book is entitled “The Treasures in the Garden of the Armenian Nation: The Palyans” and was released last month.

The Palyans have left a rich legacy, including palaces, military structures, churches, mosques and schools, and all this can be the pride of any nation. As is the case for such people, the opening of the cemetery memorial was held in a very interesting atmosphere and was attended by Mayor of Istanbul Kadir Topbas, Turkish Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Omer Arisoy, as well as several members of the local Armenian community and journalists. It was very nice to see that people remember the Palyans in the country where they carried out their activities for nearly two centuries and aren’t trying to make others forget their origin and the fact that they are sons of the Armenian nation. What was extremely important for us was the fact that Turkish mass media outlets provided good coverage of the event and weren’t able to find anything that was negative,” Hrach-Anoushavan Krmzian stated in an interview with Hayern Aysor.

The sole purpose was to make sure the new generation of Armenians recognizes great Armenians, people who can be the pride of any nation. “When we assumed this task, we were often asked if we were relatives of the Palyans, to which we would say that even though we are not, every Armenian is a descendant of the Palyans to a certain extent since they don’t belong to one community, but rather the Armenian nation.

I am a retired electric engineer, and my brother is a businessman and runs a factory in Romania. We would always think about doing something to help our nation. Unfortunately, we are a little too old, and it will be a little hard to start a business in Armenia. We tried to help our nation with this. Every Armenian needs to do his best to try to help the homeland because you can also convey the idea to the next generations with your example,” the author of the initiative stated.

Hrach-Anoushavan also added that these efforts provided them with the opportunity to become familiar with interesting people, without whom they wouldn’t be able to succeed. The brothers have also sponsored the publication of the book “Treasures of the Garden to the Armenian Nation: The Palyans”, which will also be published in Western Armenian, Turkish and English. “I am happy that I was able to meet members of “HaiTchar” Society, including Nazar Binatli, Kevork Oskaragyoz and Davit Aynal. I also admire Ashot Grigoryan’s work. He has carried out a major task and has published a valuable book. It is a great honor and joy for us to meet such people. When you are on the road, you don’t know who you will encounter on the way. God helped us meet very important people on the road and helped us make a contribution to our nation. I often repeat the following: a written paper is more valuable than a blank paper, even if the written paper is wrong. I prefer to write something on paper. If it is wrong, I will polish it. I might also be able to taint others with what I have “written”.

The same goes for our country, Armenia. True, the people face many hardships, but it is temporary. A couple of days ago, I visited the international school in Dilijan and TUMO Center for Creative Technologies. When I saw all this, I believed that the future of our nation will be bright. I hope the new generation lives in a better country.”


Director of Armenian Independent Broadcasting of Boston hosted at RA Ministry of Diaspora

On October 5, RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan received founder of the Armenian Independent Broadcasting of Boston Yevgine Gharibian, who is the wife of co-founder of the St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School (the only Armenian school in Boston) Jerair Gharibian.

Minister Hranush Hakobyan greeted the guest and mentioned the following: “For the past 37 years, your family-run radio station has been contributing to preservation of the Armenian identity far away from the Homeland. Unfortunately, the large Armenian community of Boston does not have enough media outlets, but your radio station manages to provide our compatriots with news from Armenia and make the Armenian language heard every week. I am sorry that your worthy husband, Jerair passed away prematurely, but you continue his inmost efforts.” The Minister urged the guest to talk a lot about repatriation and the return to the roots during the radio shows and present repatriate Armenians and their successes in the Mother Homeland as examples.

Minister Hranush Hakobyan awarded Yevgine Gharibian with the “Ambassador of the Mother Language” Medal of the RA Ministry of Diaspora for her significant contributions to maintenance of the purity of the Armenian language in the Diaspora and for contributing to the development of the Armenia-Diaspora partnership.

Expressing gratitude for the high award, Yevgine Gharibian talked about the problems of the Armenian community of Boston and the activities that the community carries out in order to preserve the Armenian identity. “There used to be a ‘constellation’ of Armenian American intellectuals who lived and worked in Boston. Unfortunately, that is in the past. Armenian schools are at risk, but we try to make sure the Armenians of Boston don’t assimilate,” Mrs. Gharibian stated and promised to work more closely with the Ministry of Diaspora by presenting the Ministry’s programs for national preservation and homeland recognition via the Armenian Independent Broadcasting of Boston.

Urartu Armenian Community disseminates ‘Armenianness’ in Kazakhstan

There are about 1,000 Armenians living in the Aktobe region of Kazakhstan, and they are mainly involved in the business and construction sectors. On December 2, 1997, they created the Urartu Armenian Community in central Aktobe, and the head of the community is businessman, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Armenia in Aktobe Haik Terteryan.

Presenting the community’s activities and completed works in an interview with Hayern Aysor, Haik Terteryan stated that the Urartu Armenian Cultural Center is one of the active Armenian centers in Kazakhstan that closely collaborates with Armenian cultural centers and the cultural centers of other nationalities in Kazakhstan and the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Kazakhstan.

Haik Terteryan considers the subsequent assembly of the Armenian communities of Kazakhstan (31 May-2 June 2013) in Aktobe a major event, which gathered representative of the Armenian communities and other national and cultural unions from almost all the regions of the country.

In 2015, Urartu Armenian Cultural Center established the Reception Center to specify and assess the needs of the Armenian community’s members, learn about their preferences and opportunities, study the statistics and provide assistance.

To solve the issues related to national preservation, we opened the Urartu Armenian Sunday School at the Friendship Home in Aktobe where pupils learn Armenian language, literature and history. The School has classrooms for junior high school students and high school students and a dance club. The director Is merited pedagogue Vardanush Bareghamyan,” Haik Terteryan said, adding that the Center’s goal is to preserve the Armenian identity through daily efforts.

Urartu Armenian Cultural Center has set up a youth organization that is spearheaded by Haik Gharibjanyan and collaborates with the Armenian Youth Foundation of Kazakhstan.

Talking about the community’s traditions, our interlocutor informed that the community celebrates state, church and national holidays and hosts chess and backgammon tournaments, which also gather representatives of other nations.

The members of the community are culturally active. The reopened Urartu Armenian Dance Group, which is seeing the rise in the number of members every day, makes a great contribution to the dissemination and popularization of Armenian culture abroad. The Aktyubinsk region recently hosted a competition for performances of piano works that was dedicated to the 95th birth anniversary of Arno Babajanyan, and Janis Shaukembayeva visited Armenia through the efforts of the Armenian community.

Let us also add that the community is in close collaboration with the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia. Most of the members participate in the Ministry’s programs on a regular basis. The Armenian school’s four teachers – Naira Mamikonyan, Angela Chopikyan, Roxanna Arshakyan and Varduhi Saribekyan – have been awarded with a certificate of the RA Ministry of Diaspora, the school’s director Vardanush Bareghamyan has been awarded with the “Ambassador of the Mother Language” Medal, and Haik Terteryan participated in the 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference held under the title “Mutual Trust, Unity and Responsibility” held on 18-20 September in Yerevan.

Gevorg Chichyan

Happy Teachers’ Day, dear teachers!

Today Armenians are celebrated Teachers’ Day with deep respect and veneration. It is another opportunity to appreciate and express kind words to the teachers who are loved by all of us due to their sacral and impeccable image. It is the teacher who educates and raises numerous generations by staying true to his ultimate mission. Indeed, it is hard to overestimate the work of a teacher, regardless of the subject he teachers, but for me, the teacher of the native language has been and always will be the torchbearer of Armenian education and upbringing. Today, with warmth, I would like to congratulate the teachers of Armenian Sunday schools in the Diaspora and all those who transmit to children and youth not only spiritual knowledge, but also the major biblical principles and the standards of a Christian. May God bless you and your wonderful work.

Joining others as they congratulate teachers, I say the following:

Happy Teachers’ Day, dear teachers!

With your wisdom, patience and love, you disclose the secrets of bravery, kindness, beauty and the truth for your students. I wish you endurance, health and beauty. May you continue your work.

Teacher of the Armenian Section of the

Kanat Darzhuman National Renaissance School of Kazakhstan

Susanna Arakelyan


Jerusalem’s Zharangavorats Seminary to host concerts

As reported the Zharangavorats Seminary of Jerusalem to Hayern Aysor, on October 7, the ceremonies hall of the Seminary will host the concert of the Armenian choir of Cyprus, and on October 8 – the concert of the Little Singers of Armenia Choir led by artistic director and principal conductor Tigran Hekekyan.


The program features performances of Armenian and international spiritual, mundane and jazz songs.

Inter-Agency Commission on Coordination of Syrian-Armenians’ Issues to hold subsequent session

On October 6 at 16:00, the Inter-Agency Commission on Coordination of Syrian-Armenians’ Issues will hold its subsequent session at the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia (Address: 3 V. Sargsyan Street, 9th floor). The session will be chaired by RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan.

The participants of the session will discuss issues related to the support shown to Syrian-Armenians and the upcoming programs, the process of integration of Syrian-Armenian children at schools in Yerevan, summer vacation and other issues.

Michael Avetisyan: “It was my father who provided guidance when I was choosing my profession”

In an interview with Hayern Aysor, U.S.-based Armenian conductor Michael Avetisyan touched upon his career, past activities and shared great memories of his beloved father, renowned composer, canon player, People’s Artist of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic and recipient of the State Award of the Republic of Armenia Khachatur Avetisyan.

As a beginning

1984 – graduated from the Piano Department and later Composing Department of Yerevan Tchaikovsky Intermediate Vocational Music School

1989 – graduated from the Opera and Symphonic Conducting Department of Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory (student of Professor Hakob Voskanyan)

1991 – obtained PhD under direction of Ohan Duryan at Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory

1985-90 – took conducting lessons from Professor Ilya Musin at St. Petersburg Conservatory

1996 – participated in the 35th Kiril Kondrashin Conducting Master Classes with Sir Eduard Dounes and Peter Eotvos in Holland

1991-97 – taught conducting at Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory and was conductor of the Orchestra of the National Radio and Television of the Republic of Armenia and the National Academic Theater of Opera and Theater

1994-97 – conducted Yerevan Symphony Orchestra

Michael Avetisyan has performed in the USA, France, Holland, Greece, Spain, Russia and Turkey.

He has conducted European orchestras and the symphony orchestra of the former USSR. In 1996, he released his RCD featuring his performances with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra.

Hayern Aysor: Maestro, you have been living in the United States for many years. Do you maintain your ties with Armenia?

Michael Avetisyan: I moved to the United States in 1999, and I have not cut off my ties with Armenia at all. There are always occasions to visit the homeland and meet with my friends. Armenia conveys energy and makes me work harder.

Hayern Aysor: Let’s talk about your activities in the United States.

Michael Avetisyan: I established the Glendale Symphony Orchestra. After it was disbanded, a group of young performers and I established the Glendale Philharmonic Orchestra, but it was also disbanded in spite of its prolific activities.

Two years ago, I established the Zangakatun Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra and I gave a wonderful concert for a packed audience and invited world famous German-Armenian violinist Sergey Khachaturyan.

Hayern Aysor: Are you an active member of the Armenian community?

Michael Avetisyan: In the first years after I settled in the United States, I received an invitation to be the choirmaster of the 50-year choir of the Iranian-Armenian Society of Los Angeles. Every year, we give a concert featuring performances of classical, pop and folk songs and songs in other genres. I try to organize theater concerts with this choir.

Alongside this, I have been the head of the Armenian Youth Association of California in Los Angeles for the past five years. In 2015, the choir participated in the “My Armenia” Pan-Armenian Festival organized by the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia and received the Gold Medal of the Ministry.

Most of the members of the orchestra are foreigners who perform Armenian music with great joy and pleasure.

Hayern Aysor: What was the purpose of your visit this time?

Michael Avetisyan: Director of Naregatsi Art Institute Nareg Hartounian sent me a letter stating that the Institute had decided to host a series of events devoted to Khachatur Avetisyan on the occasion of the 13th anniversary of the Institute. Besides the concert, the Institute also hosted an exhibition featuring Avetisyan’s personal items (canon, Bible, etc.). It was a pleasure for me to participate in all the events. I always express my admiration of the pro-national efforts of Naregatsi Art Institute, which gathers young talented Armenians.

Hayern Aysor: Was it your father’s image that led you to reach the peak you are at now?

Michael Avetisyan: First, I must say that my father was a demanding father. He provided guidance when it came time for me to choose my profession. When I was 6, he noticed my interest in the piano and in composing and affirmatively decided that I had to pursue a career in music.

Living in a building of composers throughout my childhood, I was lucky to interact with great Armenians such as Alexander Harutyunyan, Grigor Hakhinyan, Ghazaros Saryan, Vardan Atchemyan, Emin Aristakesyan, Avet Terteryan, Konstantin Orbelyan and others. Their names were a standard in the world of music.

I always remember their commotion and how they would talk about different topics at our house. I am thankful for that share of destiny.

Hayern Aysor: What has been the most precious advice your father has given you?

Michael Avetisyan: In general, all of his words of advice were very important and instructive. I recalled an episode at this moment. When I was conducting the “Gaiane” ballet at the Alexander Spendiaryan National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet, before the first act, my father approached me and said he was more than happy about the fact that people would now recognize him as the father of Michael Avetisyan and not the opposite. I will always remember those words.

Hayern Aysor: Which of your father’s works is your favorite?

Michael Avetisyan: When my father was asked what his favorite work was, he would say that he accepts all of his works as his children. I also give that answer, taking into consideration the love and devotion that Armenians have for and to Khachatur Avetisyan and his works to this day.

Interview by Gevorg Chichyan

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