National, International, Armenia, and Community News and Opinion

reporter.am

National, International, Armenia, and Community News and Opinion

Gregory Lima

on early Russian

avant-garde art in

Yerevan

See story on page C4 m

Vodka Lemon to

launch Zohrab

Center film

series March 5

See story on page 8 m

Tatul Hakobyan

visits Karabakh’s

Hadrut region

See story on page 19 m

Eastern U.S. Edition

Number 103

February 28, 2009

the armenian

reporter

Vice President Joe Biden President Barack Obama Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

CIA Director Leon Panetta Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis Secretary of the Interior Kenneth

L. Salazar

Secretary of Homeland Security

Janet A. Napolitano

Secretary of Transportation

Raymond L. LaHood

Key members of the Obama

administration are firm supporters

of U.S. acknowledgement of the

Armenian Genocide

Visit us at the new reporter.am

See story on page 3 m


The Armenian Reporter | February 28, 2009


Number 103

February 28, 2009

Armenia

Yerevan to elect a city council for the first time

Armenia’s capital city will hold its

first election for City Council on

May 31, Armen Hakobyan reports.

The City Council, in turn, will elect

a mayor. Until now, the city’s 12

constituent communities elected

their leaders, whereas the city as

a whole had a mayor appointed by

the president.

International

The road that led to Hayakaghak

Armenians have been living in

Transylvania for over 300 years.

They migrated there mostly from

the historical region of Moldavia,

where they had been living for at

least 700 years, and built a city that

they aptly named Hayakaghak (Armenian

City).

Community

Armenia

Community

Under the new law, Yerevan

will have a parliamentary-style

government. A 65-member City

Council will be elected by citywide

party lists. The mayor will be

elected from among council members.

See story on page 15 m

How did Armenians end up in

Transylvania? How were they at

one point numerous, organized,

and powerful enough to build an

exclusively Armenian city there?

Nyree Abrahamian reports.

See story on page 14 m

AGBU offers summer internsh5ips in Paris and Yerevan.

See story on page 5 m

A visit to Karchevan, the only remaining village

from Armenian Goghtn

Of all the villages in Armenia,

Karchevan is the second-farthest

from the capital city, more than

400 kilometers. It is on the border

with Iran and with Nakhichevan.

It is known not only for its sweet,

sun-ripened fruit, but also for being

the only village of the historic

Armenian province of Goghtn – today

called Ordubad – still remaining

within Armenia. Tatul Hakobyan

reports.

See story on page 17 m

Four teenage virtuosos from Russia, Georgia and

Armenia to debut at Carnegie Hall

the armenian

reporter

Saint Vartan Cathedral fetes

Armenia’s warrior saint

Saint Vartan’s

message: Let no

power separate

Armenians from

their faith

NEW YORK – At a Vartanantz or

St. Vartan Day observance in New

York, speakers channeling the spirit

of Armenia’s warrior saint urged

listeners to let “no power separate”

Armenians from their faith.

The commemoration at St. Vartan

Armenian Cathedral on Thursday

evening, February 19, went forward

under the auspices of the Diocese

of the Armenian Church of America

(Eastern), with the participation

of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the

Knights and Daughters of Vartan.

Diocesan Primate Archbishop

Khajag Barsamian presided over

the occasion.

Parishes throughout the Eastern

Diocese also observed the distinctly

Armenian feast day.

In New York, the evening began

with the celebration of the Divine

Liturgy by Very Rev. Fr. Mamigon

Kiledjian. The St. Vartan Cathedral

Choir sang under the direction

of Khoren Mekanejian, with

Florence Avakian accompanying

on the organ.

A program and dinner in the

Diocesan Center’s Haik and Alice

Kavookjian Auditorium followed

services.

In the first of two keynote

speeches, Diocesan vicar Very Rev.

Azerbaijan

continues anti-

Armenian campaign

at United Nations

Fr. Haigazoun Najarian placed

the occasion in its historical context.

He surveyed the history between

Armenians and Persians that

led to the Battle of Avarair, fought

under the leadership of St. Vartan

Mamigonian.

“Let Vartan’s memory stay in

your hearts and continue from

Very Rev. Fr.

Mamigon

Kiledjian

celebrated the

Divine Liturgy

at St. Vartan

Cathedral on

Vartanantz Day.

generation to generation,” said Fr.

Najarian.

Dr. Arthur Kubikian, a prominent

community figure and organizer

of past Knights of Vartan

programs, was the second keynote

speaker of the evening.

Mediators fault Azerbaijan for

threatening war over Karabakh

Continued on page 4

Four young virtuosos from Russia,

Georgia, and Armenia, selected

from competition winners at approximately

50 conservatories,

will make their New York recital

debuts on May 7 and 8, 2009, at

Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

These young musicians are all winners

of the 2008 Guzik Foundation

Community

Awards. Pianist Daniil Trifonov,

Russia, and clarinetist Narek Arutyunian,

Armenia make their New

York debuts. Pianist Luka Okrostsvaridze,

Georgia, and violinist

Yuri Revich, Russia make their U.S.

debuts.

See story on page 12 m

In an Ann Arbor lecture, Jasmine Dum-Tragut

depicts the changing face of Armenia

The current situation of minorities

in Armenia, and the religious, cultural,

educational, and linguistic

environment in the country, were

the subjects of a February 10 lecture

by visiting scholar Jasmine Dum-

Tragut at the University of Michigan,

Ann Arbor. Speaking to a full

audience as a guest of the Armenian

Studies Program, Dr. Dum-Tragut

stated that there is no reliable census

of religious minorities in Armenia,

but in general the problem of

religious tolerance is acute. While

there is a strong link between Armenian

ethnicity and the church, she

does not think that the church is as

strongly connected to national selfawareness

as it was before 1991.

See story on page 5m

See editorial on page 18m

by Tatul Hakobyan

YEREVAN – In a rare instance

of criticizing one party to the

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the cochairs

of the OSCE Minsk Group

issued a joint statement asserting

that “despite two reports circulated

at the request of the Permanent

Representative of Azerbaijan to

the United Nations on December

24 and 29, 2008, there is no military

solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh

conflict.” Ambassadors Bernard

Fassier of France, Yuri Merzlyakov

of Russia, and Matthew

Bryza of the United States, who issued

the statement on February 19,

underscored “the non-use of force

as a core element of any just and

lasting settlement of the conflict.”

At a February 20 press conference

in Yerevan with his Georgian

counterpart, Edward Nalbandian,

Armenia’s foreign minister, reflected

on the announcement of the cochairs:

“It does not often happen

Yuri Merzlyakov (l.), Matthew Bryza, and Bernard Fassier. File photo: Photolure.

that the co-chairs clearly state that

the activities of one of the sides in

the conflict are generating difficulties

and obstacles and hindering the

peace process. Both in the Moscow

Declaration (November 2, 2008)

and in the two announcements

of the OSCE foreign ministers in

Helsinki (December 5, 2008) it has

been said that there is no alternative

to a peaceful settlement. When

56 OSCE member countries say one

thing and Azerbaijan says another,

Azerbaijan must explain to those

countries why it has adopted such

an unconstructive stance.”

In what amounts to a rejection of

Azerbaijan’s efforts to involve the

United Nations in the resolution of

the Karabakh conflict, the mediators

wrote: “Presidents Ilham Aliyev

and Serge Sargsian described

their most recent meeting in Zürich

on January 28, 2009 as useful and

constructive, despite two Azerbaijani

reports circulated in the United

Nations General Assembly one

month earlier. At the conclusion

of their Zürich meeting, the presidents

reiterated their commitment

Continued on page m


The Armenian Reporter | February 28, 2009

National

Washington briefing

by Emil Sanamyan

Obama proposes 2010

budget, as Congress

funds 2009

President Barack Obama made

his first budget proposal since taking

office, calling for an overall increase

in funding for the State Department

and other international

programs to $51.7 billion, or $4.5

billion more than the Fiscal Year

2009 spending estimate, the White

House announced on February 26.

Country-by-country breakdowns,

including that for Armenia, were

not available at press time. But the

overall increase may help reverse

the trend of recent years with U.S.

aid programs for post-Soviet states

declining from $452 million in 2007

to an estimated $346 million in

2009.

Meanwhile, on February 25, Congress

passed the Omnibus spending

bill for Fiscal Year 2009. According

to the Democratic Party

managers’ report accompanying

the legislation and made available

to the Armenian Reporter, the legislation

set aside $48 million in aid to

Armenia and $8 million to Nagorno-

Karabakh. There was also $3 million

in foreign military financing for Armenia

and Azerbaijan, each.

Overall, Armenia aid program remains

one of the largest in Europe

with only Kosovo ($120.9 million),

Ukraine ($71.5 million), Russia ($60

million), and Georgia ($52 million)

receiving more funding. Aid to

Azerbaijan was set at $18.5 million.

The legislation mirrored closely

the spending levels proposed by

the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee

last summer. (See this

page in the Armenian Reporter for

July 17, 2008.)

There is also substantial cut in

Millennium Challenge Corporation

programs, set at $875 million, down

from $1.35 billion requested by the

Bush administration.

HRW study cover.

Reports review

Armenia’s post-election

crisis

Allegations of misconduct by

Armenia’s law-enforcement agencies

during post-electoral collisions

last year should be thoroughly

investigated, the New

York-based Human Rights Watch

(HRW) urged as part of a detailed

study released on February 25.

The watchdog also called on the

United States and the European

Union to make their engagement

with Armenia contingent on such

an investigation.

The 64-page HRW report, “Democracy

on Rocky Ground: Armenia’s

Disputed 2008 Presidential

Election, Post-Election Violence,

and the One-Sided Pursuit of Accountability,”

is perhaps the most

comprehensive available account

of Armenia’s latest post-election

crisis.

The study is based on interviews

with 80 witnesses, participants,

and victims of the March 1–2 clashes

in Yerevan, conducted in March

and April last year.

Also released on February 25 was

the State Department’s annual

study of human rights practices

worldwide. Its Armenia chapter, in

addition to compiling human rights

issues throughout 2008, retained a

controversial reference to the Armenian

republic of Nagorno-Karabakh

as a “region of Azerbaijan.”

There were community and

congressional complaints when

the reference was first introduced

into the report in 2006. State Department

officials claimed at the

time the reference did not signal a

change in U.S. policy. There was no

public reaction when the reference

was repeated last year.

Thomas de Waal. Armenian Reporter.

Expert recommends

change of rhetoric on

Karabakh

“Both internationally and locally,

the language used about the [Karabakh]

dispute needs to change for

progress to be made” in the peace

process, the leading Western expert

on the conflict Thomas de Waal

argued in a paper for the Conciliation

Resources, a British charity.

The 20-page paper titled, “The

Karabakh Trap: Dangers and dilemmas

of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict,”

released online on February

24, provides a review of the status

quo in the Armenian-Azerbaijani

standoff and outlines potential future

scenarios.

As immediate steps, Mr. de Waal

recommends “less use by international

officials of formulas about

‘territorial integrity’ and “self-determination’

which obscure more

than they reveal” about the conflict;

he also urges “an end to the

talk of war” by Azerbaijan and a

distinction between the rights of

Karabakh Armenians and Armenian-controlled

former Azerbaijanipopulated

areas.

“On both sides, [there is a need

for] mention of regret for the

shared tragedy of war, of the deep

common culture and of the necessity

and value of living together as

neighbours and partners in the future,”

the expert concludes.

Mr. de Waal is author of Black

Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan

through Peace and War, the only

thorough study of the conflict

available in English, released as a

book in 2003.

Polls note Muslim

suspicion of U.S.,

worldwide religiosity

Most Muslims oppose terrorist attacks

against civilians but are also

suspicious of the United States and

endorse the al Qaida objective of

removing American military bases

from the Middle East, according to

surveys conducted last year and released

on February 25.

The World Public Opinion poll

found that a significant number

of respondents in eight Muslim

countries studied support attacks

on U.S. military forces deployed in

the Middle East. While majorities

hold a negative view of Osama bin

Mediators fault Azerbaijan for threatening war

Laden and al Qaida, they also believe

that Islamist groups should be

allowed to participate in the political

process.

In Turkey, 87 percent of respondents

believed the United States intends

to “weaken and divide” Muslims

and 77 percent thought the

U.S. naval presence in the Persian

Gulf was a “bad idea.” Turks were

split on attacks against U.S. forces

in Iraq, with 40 percent disapproving

and 39 percent approving of

such attacks.

In Azerbaijan, 67 percent of respondents

believed the U.S. goal

was to undermine Muslims and 66

percent called U.S. military presence

a “bad idea.” Nevertheless,

fully 76 percent of Azerbaijanis also

opposed attacks on U.S.-led forces

in Iraq. (Azerbaijan was the only

country included in the survey to

have had a contingent in Iraq until

last year.)

In a separate Gallup poll of

worldwide religiosity released on

February 9, Azerbaijan was determined

to be the least religious majority-Muslim

country in the world.

Only 21 percent of Azerbaijanis

surveyed responded affirmatively

when asked if religion was an important

part of their life.

By contrast, 75 percent of Georgians

and 70 percent of Armenians

said they were religious. In the

United States two-thirds of respondents

described themselves

as religious. Egypt, Bangladesh,

and Sri Lanka, topped the ranks of

the most religious countries worldwide.

f

President Obama and cabinet members discuss the administration’s budget

proposal on Jan. 24 at the White House. White House photo: Pete Souza.

n Continued from page

to the Minsk Group peace process,

and asked the co-chairs to intensify

their efforts to help the parties

bridge their remaining differences

with regard to the Basic Principles.

“In subsequent public statements,

both presidents underscored their

enduring commitment to the Minsk

Group’s mediation effort. Therefore,

the Minsk Group’s co-chairs will

visit the region before the end of

February to help the parties to accelerate

their efforts to finalize the

Basic Principles. The Minsk Group

co-chairs will not allow the peace

process to be subverted by legalistic

or historical discussions, though

they will remain sensitive to historical

concerns expressed by the parties

to the conflict, all of which must

be addressed in due course. The

co-chairs further believe the abovementioned

reports should have no

bearing on negotiations within the

Minsk Group in pursuit of a peaceful

and political settlement of the

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, to

which both presidents committed

themselves in their Moscow Declaration,”

the statement read.

On February 20 the Foreign Ministry

of Azerbaijan disseminated

the contents of two documents

that Agshin Mehdiyev, Azerbaijan’s

representative to the United

Nations had been sent to the United

Nations Secretary General. The

first document presents Azerbaijan’s

version of the Karabakh war. It

clearly states in the document that

Azerbaijan can “liberate by military

means” the territories under the

control of Armenian forces.

According to the Russian-language

daily Zerkalo published in

Baku, the second report says that

respecting the territorial integrity

of states is a founding norm of international

law and the principle

of self-determination cannot be

viewed as a right for separation.

And so, according to Azerbaijan,

Nagorno-Karabakh can exercise

self-determination only within the

bounds of Azerbaijan’s territorial

integrity.

United Nations

resolutions

Since 2004, Azerbaijan has continually

tried to place the settlement of

the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict or

any component of the conflict on

the agenda of the United Nations

General Assembly and thereby win

political points – as General Assembly

resolutions are not compulsory.

On March 14, 2008 – while Armenia

was in a state of emergency

– Azerbaijan succeeded in its efforts

and the United Nations General

Assembly adopted a resolution “reaffirming

the territorial integrity of

Azerbaijan, demanding withdrawal

of all Armenian forces from all occupied

territories there.”

By a recorded vote of 39 in favor

to 7 against (Angola, Armenia,

France, India, Russian Federation,

United States, Vanuatu), with 100

abstentions (among them all other

EU states), “the Assembly also reaffirmed

the inalienable right of the

Azerbaijani population to return to

their homes, and reaffirmed that

no State should recognize as lawful

the situation resulting from the occupation

of Azerbaijan’s territories,

or render assistance in maintaining

that situation.”

Defining that resolution as “bogus,”

Vartan Oskanian, Armenia’s

foreign minister at the time, said,

“I hope that Azerbaijan understood

the message of the international

community. Following the example

of the co-chairs, the majority of the

member-states refused the unilateral

approach.”

Azerbaijan is trying to discredit

Armenia in international bodies

with such resolutions. By taking the

Karabakh issue or any component

of that issue to the United Nations,

the authorities in Baku believe that

they can receive the ready support

of at least the Islamic countries

within that organization.

Earlier, on September 8, 2006,

Azerbaijan scored a point when

the UN General Assembly adopted

a resolution on ecological damage

from fires in the Karabakh conflict

zone. The wording of such resolutions

is more important for Azerbaijan

than their substance, because

as a rule Azerbaijan’s territorial

integrity and the issue of the territories

being occupied by Armenian

forces are restated in those resolutions.

And so, the resolution about

the fires was titled, “The situation in

the occupied territories of Azerbaijan,”

a formulation that satisfies the

claims of Azerbaijan.

Earlier still, in autumn 2004,

Azerbaijan accused Armenia at the

United Nations of illegal resettlement

in Nagorno-Karabakh and

its adjacent territories and for conducting

a policy of appropriation.

The effect was that in January–February

2005, the OSCE sent a factfinding

group to the territories.

That group stressed in its report

that Armenia was not conducting

a policy of settlement and appropriation.

In recent years Azerbaijan has

frequently recalled the four resolutions

that were adopted by the

United Nations Security Council on

the Karabakh issue in 1993. During

the Karabakh war, Azerbaijan

was the one that ignored the calls

of the intermediating states and

organizations and did not wish

to stop military activities, expecting

that by regrouping its military

forces it would reach its goal: seize

Karabakh and deport all of the Armenians

from there. Azerbaijan

ignored the demands of those four

resolutions, expecting to force a

political full stop to Armenia and

Nagorno-Karabakh through success

in the military field. f


The Armenian Reporter | February 28, 2009

International


An Armenian imprisoned in Iranian crackdown

Silva Harotonian’s

family blames “tragic

misunderstanding”

by Emil Sanamyan

Silva Harotonian.

WASHINGTON – An Iranian-Armenian

employee of the U.S. government–funded

International Research

& Exchanges Board (IREX)

has been detained in Iran for more

than seven months and was recently

sentenced to a three-year prison

term, her employer and family said

in statements last week.

Silva Harotonian, 34, an Iranian

citizen, was arrested on June 26,

2008, while on a business trip to

Tehran for IREX’s Maternal and

Child Health Education and Exchange

Program (MCHEEP). Ms.

Harotonian was an administrative

officer for the program, launched

in 2007, and the only IREX staff

member on the ground in Iran at

the time.

According to a statement by IREX

president Robert Pearson, her

“role as a program administrator

involved explaining logistics for

the two-week exchange program,

translating documents between Armenian

and English into Farsi, and

answering telephone inquiries.”

On January 19, Ms. Harotonian

was sentenced to three years

in prison on what IREX described

as “erroneous” charges of plotting

against the Iranian government;

she is currently appealing the ruling.

Keith Mellnick, a spokesperson

for IREX in Washington, told the

Armenian Reporter that his organization

was “working with the family

to open channels to the Iranian

government to free Silva Harotonian”

and were seeking public support

for the same.

Forced confession

The Iranian-Armenian’s arrest was

first revealed on January 21 by the

International Campaign for Human

Rights in Iran (ICHRI); she was then

identified as Sylvia Hartounian.

Citing its sources inside Tehran’s

Evin prison, the group reported

that following ten days of solitary

confinement, Ms. Harotonian was

forced under duress to claim she

was part of a “plot” against the

Islamic Republic. That report was

picked up by the Los Angeles Times.

In a report on January 19, Press

TV, Iran’s English-language television

station, cited an unnamed

Iranian intelligence official as

saying that four individuals were

sentenced on charges of “organizing

anti-government public rallies

and creating ethnic division in the

country.”

The channel further cited Tehran’s

Islamic Revolution Court as

concluding in its verdict that the

four Iranian citizens “confessed

to trying to distance the people of

Iran from the government and introduce

the United States as their

sole savior.”

Hadi Ghaemi, a New York–based

spokesperson for ICHRI, said Ms.

Harotonian was likely to be one of

the four individuals being referred

to by Press TV. The other two are

brothers Arash and Kamiar Alaei,

both Iranian medical doctors who

focus on HIV/AIDS; the fourth is so

far unnamed, but is believed to be

an Iranian documentary filmmaker,

although it is unclear whether their

cases are connected.

It is normal practice in Iran for

the government and judiciary not

to reveal to the public the names

of those detained, Mr. Ghaemi told

the Armenian Reporter. The families

in turn tend not to publicize the

names of the detained, hoping to

quietly win government leniency.

IREX and Ms. Harotonian’s family

went public about the arrest

only after initial reports by human

rights activists.

Family appeal

FreeSilva.org, a website launched

on behalf of Ms. Harotonian’s

family in Los Angeles on February

20, seeks to gather public support

“in respectfully urging the leaders

of the Islamic Republic of Iran to

grant the release of our loved one.”

“Our family has always appreciated

the Iranian government’s efforts

to ensure the safety, religious freedom

and prosperity of its Armenian

community,” the family said in

a statement. “We believe releasing

Silva would further demonstrate

Iran’s solidarity with its Armenian

population and generosity toward

our loyal Christian minority.”

After studying Armenian literature

at the Azad University in

Tehran, Ms. Harotonian taught at

an Armenian school and held several

administrative jobs, including

at the Armenian Prelacy in Tehran.

Her family described her as a

“patriot” of Iran and a loyal citizen,

pointing to the formal recognition

she received for her role in celebrations

marking the Islamic Revolution

anniversary in 2004.

Lead sponsors of Armenian Genocide resolution urge

colleagues to join as original co-sponsors

Ms. Harotonian recently moved

to Yerevan, where she began working

for the IREX program that supports

health practitioners in Iran.

On the website, the family described

Ms. Harotonian’s arrest

and imprisonment as a “tragic

misunderstanding.” They argued

instead that “granting her a release

after serving time in prison

would recognize both the need

for law-abiding behavior and the

value of forgiveness of innocent

mistakes.”

Caught in a stand-off

Although United States entities

are not legally allowed to operate

in Iran, U.S. government-funded

organizations like IREX and others

have worked with Iran’s nongovernmental

groups.

At the same time, the Bush administration

publicly sought to

undermine Iran’s government, and

there were credible reports of U.S.-

funded covert operations underway.

As a result, all U.S.–funded

projects in Iran – even those dealing

with science, education, and

healthcare – have come under official

suspicion, with a number of

individuals – mostly Iranian citizens

–held and imprisoned by the

government.

Mr. Ghaemi estimated about 400

individuals are currently being held

in Iran on politically motivated

charges. In a recent case, a scholar

of Iranian descent and U.S. citizen,

Haleh Esfandiari, was released

after months of detention in 2007.

While President Barack Obama

has called for an open dialogue

with Iran and for its leaders to

“unclench their fists,” no progress

toward normalization of relations

has occurred so far.

f

Rep. Adam

Schiff during

the introduction

of the House

resolution on

the Armenian

Genocide in Jan.

2007 with Rep.

Frank Pallone

behind him.

Photo: Armenian

Reporter.

Seeks to mitigate

impact of global

economic crisis

by Armen Hakobyan

YEREVAN – The World Bank on

February 24 approved a package

of four operations, for a total

amount of $85 million, to help Armenia

mitigate the impact of the

global economic crisis. This package

is the first installment on a

four-year $525 million World Bank

commitment made in January.

Aristomene Varoudakis, the

World Bank’s country manager for

Armenia, discussed the details at

a press conference on February 25.

The International Bank for Reconstruction

and Development, which

is part of the World Bank, will

make its first-ever loan to Armenia.

It will finance a $50 million “Access

to Finance for Small and Medium

Enterprises Project” to support local

businesses.

The loan will provide financing

to domestic banks for on-lending

to the small and medium enterprise

sector, in order to support investment,

create jobs, and improve

the resiliency of Armenia’s private

and financial sectors in the face of

the global economic crisis.

The credit line will support small

and medium enterprise development

through a difficult period,

WASHINGTON – Reps. Adam

Schiff (D.-Calif.), George Radanovich

(R.-Calif.), Frank Pallone

(D.-N.J.) and Mark Kirk (R.-Ill.)

are urging fellow members of

Congress “to re-affirm the U.S.

record on the Armenian Genocide

by cosponsoring a bipartisan

resolution” on the subject, as reported

earlier.

Mr. Schiff, Mr. Radanovich, Mr.

Pallone, and Mr. Kirk are seeking

co-sponsors for the resolution

prior to its formal introduction. In

January 2007, when a similar resolution

was introduced, it had 160

original co-sponsors.

The administration of President

Barack Obama has not yet taken

a formal position on the issue.

While they were members of the

Senate and throughout the presidential

campaign, Mr. Obama,

Vice-President Joe Biden, and

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham

Clinton strongly supported

affirmation.

The president’s chief of staff and

defense secretary have in the past

opposed affirmation. Defense Secretary

Robert Gates has argued

that Turkey might undermine the

safety of U.S. troops in Iraq. But

Mr. Obama has rejected “as false

World Bank approves $85 million loan to Armenia

when these businesses are facing

increasing challenges in raising finance

through the banking system

or through remittances. Under

the terms of the loan, the Central

Bank of Armenia will enter into

subsidiary loan agreements with

eligible banks for on-lending to

enterprises at market rates. The

initial ceiling on individual subloans

is set at $150,000.

The IBRD loan is provided with a

maturity of 26.5 years, including a

five-year grace period.

Mr. Varoudakis said the IBRD loan

is made possible by the change in

Armenia’s status from a low-income

country to a lower-middle-income

country after several years of rapid

economic growth; it is also made

possible by “Armenia’s strong foundation

of implementation capacity

and policy reform momentum.”

the choice between our safety and

our ideals.” He has also made genocide

prevention a priority for his

administration.

Several other members of the

president’s cabinet also have a

strong track record of supporting

acknowledgement of the U.S.

record on the Armenian Genocide.

The Armenian National Committee

of America, through its

website www.anca.org, makes it

easy for members of the community

to contact their representatives

in Congress and urge them to cosponsor

the resolution. f

Other programs

A second project is the “Lifeline

Roads Improvement Project,”

which will receive $25 million. This

project supports the rehabilitation

of some 100 km of rural roads,

connecting local communities to

the main arteries. The construction

project is expected to generate

about 800 jobs (or 200,000 jobdays)

for Armenian workers. That

is in addition to the benefits of

the roads, once rehabilitated.

The third project is $8 million

in financing for the Social Investment

Fund, which will support

small-scale investments in 55 of

the poorest communities of Armenia.

It is also expected to create

short-term employment.

The fourth and final project is

the Rural Enterprise and Small

Scale Commercial Agriculture Development

Project, which will receive

$2 million in financing. The

project will complete 35 community-focused

economic development

projects and extend support to

five to seven new communities.

The last three projects are provided

through the International

Development Association, with a

maturity of 20 years, including a

grace period of 10 years.

Mr. Varoudakis took the opportunity

to predict that the economic

slowdown may not cause a recession

in Armenia, but further growth of

the economy in 2009 is unlikely. f


4 The Armenian Reporter | February 28, 2009

Community

St. Vartan Cathedral celebrates Armenia’s warrior saint, Vartan

Continued from page 1

He noted the unique character of

the Battle of Avarair – one of the

first battles in history where Christians

fought to defend their faith.

He compared the cause of Vartan

and his knights with the modern

mission of sustaining the free and

independent Republic of Armenia

– which he called “an obligation for

us, the so-called soldiers of Vartan.”

For Armenians living in North

America, Dr. Kubikian urged an

added responsibility to participate

in the American political process on

behalf of Armenia and Karabakh.

“Our goal today, in the spirit of St.

Vartan, should be to create a new

generation of leaders, and make

sure a free and independent Armenia

becomes a beacon of light in the

Caucasus, and on our planet,” concluded

Dr. Kubikian.

The Shnorhali Chorale from the

Holy Martyrs of Bayside, N.Y., gave

a fine performance of five patriotic

songs, including “With My Fatherland,”

and “A Mother from Moush.”

The 50-member vocal group – established

in 2007 to honor the Bayside

parish’s 50th anniversary – sang

under the guidance and direction of

Bayside’s pastor, Very Rev. Fr. Vahan

Hovhanessian.

Event organizers included Leo

Manuelian, Tanya Bukucuyan,

Edward Boladian, Arman Merinian,

Ohannes Tercanian,

Varoujan Tcholakian, John

Shahdanian, Emma Artun, Seta

Izmirliyan, and Rose Torigian.

Ms. Izmirliyan served as emcee.

Mr. Boladian gave welcoming remarks.

Mr. Manuelian delivered

remarks on behalf of Haig K. Deranian.

In a benediction and message,

Archbishop Barsamian thanked the

Knights and Daughters of Vartan

for organizing the commemoration,

for their community service to Armenian

causes, and for keeping the

“spirit of St. Vartan” alive.

He noted that the Christian faith

has remained strong among Armenians,

despite numerous challenges.

Quoting the Armenian populace of

St. Vartan’s day, he said: “No power

in the world can separate us from

Christ, our bible, and our church.”

Let us know what’s on your mind.

Write to us at

letters@reporter.am

Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate, blesses the faithful

at the end of the Divine Liturgy at St. Vartan Cathedral on

Thursday, Feb. 19.

N. Lael Telfeyan, Ph.D., LCSW

Counseling and Psychotherapy

with Individuals, Families and Couples

Adults and Adolescents

140 West 97th St.

New York, NY 10025

By appointment 917-975-3109

24 Windsor Road

Great Neck, NY 11021

e-mail: nlael@aol.com

Centuries later, that same spirit

would be honored by Armenian

immigrants to America, when they

named their first cathedral after the

Right: Dr. Arthur Kubikian speaks

at the Vartanantz Day program at St.

Vartan’s Cathedral.

Very Rev. Fr. Haigazoun Najarian, Diocesan Vicar, speaks

about the history between Armenians and Persians that led

to the Battle of Avarair.

Hai Guin awards four scholarships

BELMONT, Mass. – The recipients

of the 2008–2009 Hai

Guin Scholarships are Massachusetts

residents Melissa Diranian

of Arlington (a finance/

marketing/business major at

Babson College), Michael Morel

of Methuen (a communication

studies/political science major at

Merrimack College), Garen Chiloyan

of Watertown (a chemistry

major at Northeastern University)

and Christina Buchter of

Winchester (a veterinary student

at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary

Medicine).

Since 1947 the Hai Guin Scholarship

Association has awarded

over $130,000 in scholarship

Left: The

“Shnorhali

Chorale” from

the Holy Martyrs

Church of

Bayside, NY,

performs under

the direction

of Very Rev.

Fr. Vahan

Hovhanessian.

hero of Armenian religious liberty.

“Forty years ago we built this cathedral

in New York City, in the blessed

land of the United States, and it symbolizes

that no power in the world

can separate us from our faith,” the

Primate said. “This is the message we

receive on Vartanantz Day.”

aid to deserving students of Armenian

heritage. In addition to

the scholarship program which

awards each recipient with $2,000,

the organization gives awards of

excellence in Armenian studies to

Boston-area public schools, supports

students at the St. Tarkmanchatz

School in Jerusalem, and

donates to the Armenian Sisters

Academy in Lexington and the St.

Stephen’s Armenian Day School in

Watertown.

To fund its endeavors, the organization

hosts its annual luncheon

and event. This year’s show will be

held at the Marriott Hotel in Burlington

on Saturday, May 9, at 11:30

a.m., when “Hai Guin Goes Broadway,”

featuring actress, singer, pianist

Meryl Galaid. Tickets for this

event can be purchased by contacting

Yerchanig Callan at 1-508-520-

1424 or Pamela Gechijian at 1-978-

369-4004.

Applicants for the Hai Guin Scholarship

must be permanent Massachusetts

residents attending college

in Massachusetts and should

have completed their first year. Applications

for the 2009–2010 Hai

Guin Scholarship can be obtained

by writing to the organization at:

Attn: Scholarship Chair, Hai Guin

Scholarship Association, PO Box

509, Belmont, MA 02478-0004. The

deadline for all completed applications

is October 25, 2009.

A. G. Minassian school to hold masquerade ball March 7

SANTA ANA, Calif. – “A Kingdom

of Inspiring Minds” is the

name of a masquerade ball that will

be held on March 7 to support the

Ari G. Minassian School of Orange

County. The singer Paul Baghdadlian

will provide the featured

entertainment for the evening.

Cocktails will begin at 7:00 p.m.,

with a dinner-dance at 8:00.

The event, which is the school’s annual

banquet, will take place at the

Hovnanian Complex – Gugasian Hall,

5315 W. Mcfadden Avenue, Santa Ana,

under the auspices of Archbishop

Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate,

The A. G. Minassian school has for

23 years been at the heart of the Armenian

community of Orange County.

Fully accredited by the Western

Association of Schools and Colleges,

the school provides an academic education

parallel to a gifted-education

program. At the same time, it offers

an education in Armenian language,

culture, and history

For the past several years, the

commitment of the faculty, administration,

staff, and the Armenian

community at large has made possible

many steps forward. These include

a new electronic entry system,

new flooring and paint, newly renovated

bathrooms, and a new playground

for early childhood classes.

In addition, various new education,

computer, science, and social-studies

programs have been incorporated

into the school program.

connect:

1-714-839-7831


The Armenian Reporter | February 28, 2009 5

Community

The changing face of Armenia depicted in Ann Arbor lecture

Scholar addresses

language, culture,

religion and

minorities since

independence

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The

current situation of minorities

in Armenia, and the religious,

cultural, educational, and linguistic

environment in the country,

were the subjects of a February

10 lecture by visiting scholar

Jasmine Dum-Tragut at the

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Speaking to a full audience as

a guest of the Armenian Studies

Program, Dr. Dum-Tragut stated

that there is no reliable census

of religious minorities in Armenia,

but in general the problem of

religious tolerance is acute. Time

changes, but the church maintains

its conservative ideology,

which adds to the atmosphere of

religious intolerance, she said. Yet

while there is a strong link between

Armenian ethnicity and

the church, she does not think

that the church is as strongly connected

to national self-awareness

as it was before 1991.

Dr. Dum-Tragut, who was a Manoogian

Simone Foundation Visiting

Scholar with the Department of

Near Eastern Studies at the University

of Michigan, sponsored by the

Armenian Studies Program, argued

that more than armed conflict and

economic crisis have shaped Armenia

since the end of the Soviet

Union.

Notably, language policy has

played an important role in

forming a new national identity

in independent Armenia, she

explained. The strengthening

of Armenian language use in

schools at the expense of Russian-language

instruction was

directed against Russian-speaking

Armenians, but had significant

demographic consequences

for minorities and many left in

the 1990s. Despite all these nationalistic,

pro-ethnic Armenian

moves, however, she argued

that one should bear in mind

that Armenia is perhaps more

heterogeneous in its ethnic, religious,

and cultural values than

ever before.

In response to a question

about the cultural importance of

the church since 1991, Dr. Dum-

Tragut argued that it is still important,

but many Armenians

are not practicing their religion,

even if baptized, so the role of

the Church is complicated. After

another question about what defines

Armenians, she responded

that the main features were origin,

religion, language, culture,

and territory, being born in Armenia,

and knowing the Armenian

language.

Jasmine Dum-Tragut teaches

at the Department of Linguistics,

University of Salzburg, and is

head of the Department for Armenian

Studies, Mayr-Melnhof-

Institute for the Christian East,

Salzburg.

She was awarded a Ph.D. in

general linguistics and Russian

philology in 1994 from the University

of Graz (Austria), after

having studied from 1988 to 1990

in Armenia and having obtained

Award-winning film Gyumri coming to Washington

there several diplomas in Armenian

and sociolinguistic studies.

Dr. Dum-Tragut has received a

number of grants for research in

Armenian linguistics and medieval

literature at a number of European

institutions.

Starting from 2003 she has

been acting as scientific advisor

and project manager at the archaeological

excavations of the

University of Innsbruck (Austria)

in Aramus/Armenia; she is also

guest scholar at the Max Planck

Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

in Leipzig (Germany)

and at the Chair for Armenian

Studies at Leiden University (the

Netherlands).

She has published more than 40

papers and 11 monographs referring

to Armenian studies and general

linguistics and lectured extensively

worldwide.


Generation born

since the 1988

earthquake is

subject of Czech

documentary

WASHINGTON – For nearly

20 years, survivors of the December

7, 1988, earthquake in northern

Armenia have been linked in

their attempt to come to terms

with the loss of their loved ones.

Most of the generation born in

the wake of the disaster bear

the names of deceased siblings

whom they have never seen. For

some parents, the younger children

have become a sort of substitute

for those who perished,

while the children continue to

believe that the souls of their

brothers and sisters live on with

them.

The Czech film Gyumri, which

won the cult Award for Best

Documentary Film at the Rome

International Film Festival

last year, documents the heartbreak

and hope of the surviving

families in Armenia’s second-largest

city. Directed by

Jana Sevcíková, Gyumri will be

screened March 25, 8 p.m., at the

Avalon Theatre, 5612 Connecticut

Ave. N.W. Czech, Armenian,

and Russian, with English subtitles,

97 min.


connect:

http://www.docuinter.net/en/net_archive.php?id=508

A still from the

documentary

film Gyumri.

agbu offers exciting summer internships in Paris and Yerevan

Some of the AGBU 2008 Yerevan Summer Intern Program interns tour the Noravank monastic complex in Armenia.

Application deadline

is March 15

NEW YORK – agbu is currently

accepting applications for

its 2009 summer internship programs

in Paris and Yerevan (psip

and ysip). The deadline for applications

for both programs is

March 15. College-age students

interested in gaining professional

work experience and cultural

exploration in an exciting

metropolis, side-by-side with Armenian

peers, are highly encouraged

to apply now.

Each summer, students are exposed

to the dynamic culture of

their host cities while working in

some of the leading companies,

organizations, and governmental

offices.

Students are also given informational

lectures on a variety of

worthwhile topics, like résumé

writing, interviewing, job networking,

and Armenian culture

and heritage from several prestigious

speakers. Interns also learn

to give back to the community

through planned volunteer service

opportunities.

The internship programs strive

to give participants not only a solid

professional foundation, but also

a sense of personal growth. Many

internship alumni continue to give

back to the programs and their local

Armenian communities in various

ways.

In addition to gaining professional

experience and making network

connections in their fields

of interest, interns also have the

chance to explore the unique cultures

of their host city.

Outings planned by agbu include

visits to the cities’ museums,

restaurants, performing

arts centers, parks and major

monuments.

Apply today as the deadline for

psip and ysip is fast approaching.

All forms are now available online

at the agbu flagship website,

agbu.org , under the “Downloadable

Forms” pull-down menu.

Sponsored by agbu France District,

the agbu Paris Summer Intern

Program (students.agbueurope.org/psip

) was established in

2003, placing young aspiring Armenians

in seven-week internships

working for leading organizations

in Paris.

Sponsored by the agbu Central

Board of Directors, the agbu Yerevan

Summer Intern Program

(agbu.org/ysip) was established

in 2007, placing young aspiring

Armenians in five-week internships

in the corporate, political,

communications, and medical

fields of Armenia. In addition,

there is an all-inclusive agenda of

Armenian dance, language, culture

and history, plus weekend

trips to various regions around

the country.


connect:

stages@agbueurope.org

ysip@agbu.org


6 The Armenian Reporter | February 28, 2009

Community

Ojen Fantazian: survivor

and an inspiration

by Tom Vartabedian

ARLINGTON, Mass. – Ojen

Fantazian is not your ordinary Armenian

Genocide survivor.

She continues to live a brisk independent

life inside her modest

home just outside this Boston community.

She does her own cooking and

housekeeping, tends to visitors,

and makes it a point to continue

attending commemorations and

other assorted functions.

To say she’s an amazing 95-yearold

is putting it mildly.

Ojen is among the few who

turn out each Armenian Martyrs’

Day to pay tribute to others of

her kind. The number of survivors

has dwindled to 10 in Merrimack

Valley. Two or three show

up, health willing. She makes her

presence felt.

At the ripe age of 91, she took

it upon herself to address an auditorium

filled with students at

a neighboring high school. The

venerable spokeswoman captured

headlines for recounting her escape

during a “day of remembrance.”

The banner that day read: “Armenian

tells of flight from Turkish

forces.”

During the 30-minute program,

Fantazian traced her ordeal back

to the genocidal years of 1915–1923

when she fled in a horse and wagon

at the age of 5 from her village of

Chimichgaidzag.

With her grandmother, mother,

uncle, aunt, and two cousins

in tow, she traveled across the

Black Sea to escape the Ottoman

Turk.

Killed during the onslaught was

her father. Etched in her mind

was the gruesome sight of mothers

throwing their babies into the

river.

“The women did this so their children

would not be raised by Turks,”

she told the gathering of 200. “It

was an ugly thing. My mother had

given it a thought but changed her

mind.”

Fantazian told the students

how her family joined a group of

Armenian soldiers. She remembered

freight trains and running,

along with the year she had

spent in an orphanage. She and

her family landed on Ellis Island

in 1920 after being on a ship for

two weeks.

“It was all about survival and

hardship,” she added. “I knew zero

English when I came to America

but like the others, I learned very

quickly and taught myself to be resourceful.”

The students were mesmerized

by her dialogue. Fantazian said

how her hair was cut off for fear

of having lice. She wound up living

with an uncle and eventually

settled in Arlington, raising two

active ayf children (Nancy and

James) with her husband Harry,

who died in 1975.

“She certainly gets her point

across, even now,” said her son.

“Give her an opportunity to talk

about her history and campaign

for justice among the Armenians,

my mother remains a true crusader.

You have to admire her for

that.”

Widowed nearly 35 years, Ojen

maintains a vibrant lifestyle. She

attends St. Stephen’s Church in

Watertown when the opportunity

presents itself, enjoys the picnics

and the bazaars, and serves as an

inspiration to the younger generation.

At one time, she was an active

member of the Ladies Guild. She

taught her children Armenian and

got them involved in church and

community affairs.

In her prime, Ojen was a local

Parent Teacher Organization

president and served as a school

volunteer for 10 years, helping

teach English to young foreign

students.

Her two children continue to

be a source of pride. Nancy has

made several goodwill trips to

Armenia with the Armenian Relief

Society to assist with muchneeded

services. James, an optometrist,

has made two trips

in recent years in an effort to

improve the vision of impoverished

Armenians living on the

outskirts of Yerevan.

“I don’t want to see my heritage

ignored,” said Fantazian. “It’s very

important to keep the younger

generation informed. My age has

nothing to do with it. Long as I feel

healthy and willing, I want to serve

my heritage.”

Among the other missions Fantazian

has fostered was donating

what little money she could afford

to charities. For years, she sent the

Prelacy checks for orphans, always

with an encouraging note.

Her giving was so genuine and

straight from the heart. It still is.

An alternative to Facebook: Faceto-face

social networking at the

Philadelphia agbu Cotillion

by Melissa Selverian

PHILADELPHIA – If you think

Facebook can get you friends, wait

till you try the 2009 Philadelphia

agbu Cotillion!

It’s not your mother’s cotillion

anymore! Social networking has

gone live for adults ages 18 to 27

in the Delaware Valley, as the 40-

year-old tradition meets the 21st

Century.

F-2-F action is giving Facebook

parties a run for their money!

Venturing everywhere from coffeehouses

to sports clubs to international

theme rooms, people are

leaving their virtual worlds for a

taste of something “real!” And the

message is spreading faster than a

byte on a 3.5G mobile phone.

The Cotillion’s Wall of social

events is growing bigger every day,

with party after party before and

after a formal on June 20th at the

Sheraton-University City!

Add your profile to the live Cotillion

network, and gain access to the

full Wall of events!

Facebook moguls beware! User

space is filling up fast! Visit the

2009 Philly Armenian Cotillion

group online, but then take that

big step into reality! Contact Melissa

and Rich Selverian at melissaselverian@comcast.net

or

Yvonne and Paul Fereshetian at

fereshetian7@aol.com to sign on

to the Cotillion community today!


connect:

1-215-542-0214

Clergy representing the three North American Prelacies assemble in front of St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic

Church in Philadelphia.

Joint Ghevontiants clergy

conference concludes in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA – On Monday,

February 16, the biennial joint

Ghevontiants clergy conference of

the three North American Prelacies

convened at St. Gregory the Illuminator

Church. The conference

was hosted by the Eastern Prelacy

and presided over by Archbishop

Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of

the Eastern United States, Archbishop

Moushegh Mardirossian,

Solo exhibition,

lecture series, and

film screenings

planned

GREEN BAY, Wisc. - The University

of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s

Lawton Gallery will host “Immigration

Stories and the Staff of Life,”

an installation by artist and filmmaker

Apo Torosyan. An opening

reception will take place from 4:30

to 6:30 p.m., March 5, with a gallery

talk by Mr. Torosyan at 5:00.

The exhibition runs through April

2. (The Gallery will be closed March

16–23 for spring break). The Lawton

Gallery is located in Theatre Hall on

the University of Wisconsin-Green

Bay campus, 2420 Nicolet Drive,

Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The exhibit is connected to the

artist’s Armenian heritage and the

genocide of his ancestors at the beginning

of the 20th century in Turkey.

In conjunction with University

of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s 2008–09

campuswide Common Theme,

“Waging War, Waging Peace,” the

exhibit also addresses issues fundamental

to life within the global

community, as well as encouraging

viewers to reflect upon their own

Prelate, and Archbishop Khajag

Hagopian, Prelate of Canada.

Given that Catholicos Aram I

has proclaimed 2009 the Year of

the Youth, the theme of the conference

was, “The Informed Youth

– The Livelihood of our Church and

Nation.”

The three-day conference included

discussion and analysis of issues

of mutual concern to the three

Prelacies, spiritual meditation and

reflection, and lecture presentations.

In addition, the Feast of St.

Ghevontiants was commemorated

with Divine Liturgy on Tuesday,

February 17, at St. Gregory the Illuminator

Church. Clergy members

also paid a visit to the gravesite of

one of the founders of Homenetmen,

Archpriest Fr. Dickran

Khoyan.


Apo Torosyan in residence at University

of Wisconsin week of March 2

Apo Torosyan lecturing in California January 25.

stories and experiences of movement

and resettlement.

Apo Torosyan was born and

raised in Istanbul, and after receiving

a master of fine arts degree in

1968, he immigrated to the United

States. He has his artwork in several

museums including the Holocaust

Museum in Florida. His

documentaries have been shown in

several countries around the world.

As part of the exhibition, there

will be several screenings of Mr.

Torosyan’s recent documentaries,

including The Morgenthau Story.

In that film, he interviews three

grandchildren of Henry Morgenthau,

Sr., who served as U.S. ambassador

to the Ottoman Empire

during the Armenian Genocide.

The University of Wisconsin-

Green Bay campuswide Common

Theme, “Waging War, Waging

Peace,” is designed to encourage

students, faculty, staff and community

members to focus on a general

theme from multiple perspectives

and have a shared experience with

open discussion and critical thinking.


connect:

1-920-465-2916

perkinss@uwgb.edu


The Armenian Reporter | February 28, 2009 7

Community

Zoryan’s iighrs announces 8th year of human

rights and genocide course in Toronto

TORONTO – The International

Institute for Genocide and Human

Rights Studies has announced its

8th year of offering the Genocide

and Human Rights University Program

(ghrup). This marks the second

year the program is offered in

collaboration with the University

of Toronto’s History Department,

which provides graduate-level credits

for registered students.

Roger W. Smith, the director

of the ghrup, believes that the

program “thrives on a unique combination

of student diversity, commitment,

and faculty expertise. Using

an interdisciplinary approach,

we deal with the phenomenon of

genocide, why it occurs, how it

takes place, who is responsible, and

how it can be prevented. The seminar

has been one of the most satisfying

events in my teaching career,

now approaching 40 years.”

The program is often described

by students as a life-changing experience.

One recent student stated,

“The mixture of perspectives and

cultures that make up the student

body of this course allow the

classroom to be filled with discussion,

and free time to be spent in

thought-provoking conversation. I

have learned a great deal from this

course, but most importantly, participating

in this course has solidified

in my mind the importance of

committing my future to the intervention

in, and the eventual prevention

of genocides globally.”

The ghrup is a comprehensive,

graduate-level seminar taught by

eight leading experts in their fields.

Participants in the 2008 Genocide and Human Rights University Program in Toronto, Canada.

Incorporating genocide theory, history,

sociology, political science,

and international law, and through

a comparative analysis of several

case studies (such as the Armenian

Genocide, the Holocaust, Cambodia,

Rwanda, Darfur) and a number

of special themes.

Prof. Herbert Hirsch of Virginia

Commonwealth University is

one of the editors of Genocide Studies

and Prevention: An International

Journal and teaches about prevention

at the ghrup. He remarked

that “This course is perhaps the

most exciting educational experience

available to any person interested

in preventing genocide and

protecting human rights. Participants

are given the opportunity to

interact with and learn from some

of the major experts in the field.

Even more importantly, they meet,

form friendships, and learn from

each other.”

Applicants must be current or recent

university students with a minimum

of three years of undergraduate

experience. The ghrup will be

held in Toronto, August 3 to 14.

Students currently registered

at the University of Toronto and

graduate students from any university

in Ontario may receive credit

with no additional cost in tuition.

Undergraduate students registered

at other institutions across

the province may make special arrangements

for the same privilege.

Students in other jurisdictions who

wish to take the course for credit

must make special arrangements

with their local institution.

The International Institute for

Genocide and Human Rights Studies

(A Division of the Zoryan Institute)

is dedicated to the study

and dissemination of knowledge

regarding the phenomenon of

genocide in all of its aspects. This

is achieved through the ghrup and

publication of Genocide Studies and

Prevention: An International Journal,

in partnership with the International

Association of Genocide

Scholars and University of Toronto

Press.


connect:

www.genocidestudies.org

Garen Yegparian

headed for

Burbank runoff

in April

BURBANK, Calif. – None of

the 13 candidates for three seats

on Burbank City Council won more

than 50 percent of the vote in the

February 24 primary election, so

voters will choose among the top

six vote getters on April 14. The six

candidates who will appear on the

April 14 ballot include Garen Yegparian.

Mr. Yegparian, who has the endorsement

of the Armenian National

Committee PAC as well as

the Sierra Club and National Organization

for Women, came in sixth

place with 1,989 of 10,889 votes

cast.

“We won a hard-fought berth in

Burbank’s General Election,” Mr.

Yegparian told the Armenian Reporter.

“Over the next six weeks

our close to 200 volunteers and

500 contributors will roll up their

sleeves and work toward an April

14 victory.”

Mr. Yegparian told supporters

that his “message of improving

quality of life and improving accountability

to City Hall resonated

with voters.”


connect:

1-818-563-3918

www.GarenforCouncil.org

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8 The Armenian Reporter | February 28, 2009

Community

Vodka Lemon to launch Zohrab Center

film series March 5

NEW YORK – The Krikor and

Clara Zohrab Information Center’s

new Film Series event will feature

a screening of an Armenian or Armenian-related

film one Thursday

a month at the Zohrab Center in

New York.

The award-winning Vodka Lemon

will be the first film viewed in the

Film Series on Thursday, March 5,

at 7:00 p.m.

Vodka Lemon is set in a Kurdish

village in Armenia, which is

suffering economically after the

collapse of the Soviet Union. The

story focuses on the growing relationship

between Hamo, a Kurdish

widower, and Nina, a widow

who works in a local bar named

Vodka Lemon, which is about to

shut down. The movie, which

debuted in 2003, is in Kurdish,

Armenian, Russian, and French,

with English subtitles.

A still from Vodka Lemon, set in a Kurdish village in Armenia.

In accordance with the film’s title,

lemon vodka cocktails will be

served, along with light appetizers.

Suggested donation is $5.

The Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information

Center is located at 630

Let us know what’s on your mind.

Write to us at

letters@reporter.am

Second Avenue (at 34th street) New

York, New York.


connect:

ZCFilmSeries@gmail.com

1-212-686-0710

ars 2009 Summer Youth Connect

Program in Boston invites applications

WATERTOWN, Mass. – The

Armenian Relief Society of Eastern

USA is currently accepting applications

for its 2009 Summer Youth

Connect Program to be held in the

Greater Boston area from May 31

until June 7. The program is available

to college students at any level

of study as well as high school seniors

who will enter college next

fall.

Now in its second year, the ARS

Youth Connect Program immerses

young Armenians in a week of

lectures, social activities, visits to

Armenian-American institutions,

news of internship opportunities

both in the United States and

in Armenia, and meetings with

youth organizations in the Boston

area.

Participants attend lectures

and discussions on topics such

as youth and social movements

in Armenia, rural development in

Armenia, and challenges facing

Armenians and Armenia. There

will also be time for sightseeing

in Boston and visits to area universities

where there are Armenian

programs.

Program director Asbed Kotchikian

of Bentley University,

Waltham, has developed and directed

youth programs in the United

States, Armenia, and Middle East.

Lodging, provided by the ARS, will

be at the university.

There is a $100 application fee

but no participation fees as the

program covers lodging, food, and

local transportation. Applications

should be received by Thursday,

May 1.


connect:

1-617-926-3801

arseastus@aol.com

www.arseastusa.org/programs/youtheducational-program.html

www.facebook.com/group.

php?gid%131868610576

Scholars to assess

Genocide Prevention

Task Force report

Edward D. Jamie, Jr. Funeral Chapel, LLC

208-17 Northern Blvd. Bayside, NY 11361

Tel. 718-224-2390

Website: www.jamiejrfuneral.com.

Serving the Armenian Community Since 1969

Edward D. Jamie, Jr.-NY&NJ Licensed Funeral Director

WASHINGTON – A symposium

to assess the official report of the

Genocide Prevention Task Force

will be held on March 13, 2009, at

the Woodrow Wilson International

Center for Scholars. This is the initiative

of the editors of Genocide

Studies and Prevention, published

in partnership by the International

Association of Genocide Scholars

(“IAGS”), the International Institute

for Genocide and Human

Rights Studies (“IIGHRS”) and the

University of Toronto Press.

“This much anticipated report

was released in December 2008,”

said Prof. Herb Hirsch, one of

the journal’s editors. “We wanted

to organize as quickly as possible a

symposium of experts from North

America and Europe in political science,

international law, sociology,

history, and philosophy to provide

an independent, in-depth, scholarly

review and assessment of its

findings.”

The Genocide Prevention Task

Force was officially launched in

November 2007 by a consortium

of nongovernmental agencies – the

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum,

the American Academy of Diplomacy,

and the U.S. Institute of

Peace – co-chaired by Madeline

Albright and William Cohen. Ms.

Albright served as U.S. envoy to the

United Nations and then secretary

of state in the Clinton administration.

Mr. Cohen was secretary of

defense during Bill Clinton’s second

term. Participants in the task

force and its research included over

50 people with international, diplomatic,

political, government, military,

academic, humanitarian, and

other relevant experience.

The task force’s mandate is explained

in the title of its official

report, Preventing Genocide: A

Blueprint for U.S. Policymakers. The

co-chairs explain in their foreword,

“This report provides a blueprint

that can enable the United States to

take preventive action, along with

international partners, to forestall

the specter of future cases of

genocide and mass atrocities. The

world agrees that genocide is unacceptable

and yet genocide and mass

killings continue. Our challenge is

to match words to deeds and stop

allowing the unacceptable.”

Prof. Gregory Stanton, president

of the IAGS, noted, “Scholars

understand that to commit genocide

is a political act. But when it

comes to such things as preventing

genocide, the kind of politics found

in Washington and other capitals

of power can sometimes get in the

way of real understanding, and

therefore of effective intervention.”

Prof. Roger W. Smith, chair

of the IIGHRS, commented, “One

cannot study genocide without

feeling the urgent need to do everything

one can to prevent it. We

need to persuade governments

that preventing genocide is in their

national interest, for both moral

and pragmatic reasons. That is why

this symposium should critically

analyze this vital report and its potential

effectiveness.”

Entry to the symposium is free,

but preregistration is required. The

papers presented and discussed at

the symposium will be published in

the Spring 2009 issue of Genocide

Studies and Prevention.

Genocide Studies and Prevention:

An International Journal was

co-founded by the International

Association of Genocide Scholars

and the International Institute

for Genocide and Human Rights

Studies (A Division of the Zoryan

Institute). The journal’s mission is

to understand the phenomenon of

genocide, create an awareness of

it as an ongoing scourge, and promote

the necessity of preventing it,

for both pragmatic and moral reasons.

It is the official journal of the

International Association of Genocide

Scholars and is published three

times a year by the University of

Toronto Press.


connect:

1-416-250-9807

admin@genocidestudies.org

Let us know what’s on your mind.

Write to us at

letters@reporter.am


The Armenian Reporter | February 28, 2009 9

Community

Holiday Gala slideshow featured on alma’s newly designed website

Above left: Gala chairperson Michele M. Kolligian welcomes guests to alma’s third Holiday Gala. Above right: alma trustee Robert Khederian (third from top right)

and his table of guests.

WATERTOWN, Mass. – The

Armenian Library and Museum of

America recently launched its redesigned

website almainc.org into

a state-of-the-art, multimedia site.

In order to expand alma’s online

presence and improve its outreach

efforts, the new site lets visitors

make a donation, become a member,

and learn about corporate

sponsorship opportunities. Website

visitors can also take virtual

tours of alma’s galleries, search

the Library catalogue, and purchase

items from alma’s gift shop,

including souvenirs, artwork, and

event tickets.

The most recent addition to alma’s

website is a slideshow displaying

more than 100 event photos

from alma’s third Holiday Gala,

which took place this past November

at the Seaport Hotel in Boston.

The slideshow includes candid shots

of 300 guests from the Greater Boston

area and as far away as California

enjoying the exciting evening in

support of alma.

alma trustee and gala chairperson

Michele Kolligian and her

committee planned the festive

occasion in true Armenian style.

During the cocktail reception, jazz

performed by Vardan Ovsepian

and vocalist Maggie Grebowicz

blanketed the colorful conversations

among friends, family, and

supporters of alma, who caught

up with one another over cocktails

and hors d’oeuvres. Many guests

browsed alma’s compelling traveling

exhibit, “Légion Arménienne:

The Armenian Legion and Its Heroism

in the Middle East,” which was

on display in the reception area.

Other attendees crowded the silent

auction table to view the 46-inch

flat-screen television with Blu-ray

disc package, assortment of Boston

sporting event tickets, a diamondencrusted

pendant, and other luxury

items and packages that awaited

the highest bidder.

With anticipation mounting,

doors opened to the hotel’s Plaza

Ballroom, where a slide presentation

displaying alma’s treasures

played in the background. Once

guests were seated, Ms. Kolligian

welcomed all in attendance on

behalf of alma and its Board of

Trustees. Guests then feasted on

a sumptuous multicourse dinner

with wine and a decadent dessert.

After eating, guests fluctuated between

placing their final bids on

prized silent auction items and

dancing to the inviting homeland

sounds played by Harry Bedrosian,

Bruce Gigarjian, David

Hoplamazian, Kenny Kalajian,

and Joe Kouyoumjian.

A number of songs later, Ms. Kolligian

announced the close of the

silent auction and invited alma

Trustees Robert Khederian and

Daniel K. Dorian IV to the stage

as the live auction’s stand-in “celebrity”

auctioneers. For the duration

of the auction, the comedic duo

roused the crowd to bid big with a

range of good-humored banter. In

the end, a Bruins Box for 18 guests,

four private suite tickets to a New

England Patriots game, four EMC

club tickets to a Red Sox game, and

a private box for 12 guests to see

Disney on Ice were auctioned off,

along with the incredible perks that

each auction package offered.

Before the event ended, young

professionals joined the festivities

during the first ever late Gala ‘Kef’

Dance, sponsored by alma. The

merriment and dancing continued

well into the night as guests danced

to the deejay’s American music selections

and enjoyed late evening fare.

The Gala raised much-needed

funds, part of which will be used

to further enhance alma’s website

by building a membership interface.

The members-only pages

will have interactive features that

give members exclusive access

to streaming audio and visual

content of alma events and programs

and much more.

While alma’s Gala has come

to an end, the season of giving

and celebration continues. Come

spring, alma will hold its annual

Sports Raffle campaign and celebrate

the fundraiser’s fifth anniversary

with a promotional offer

of five tickets for $300 (individual

tickets are $100 each). While the

You share the same

community. Discover what

happens when you share

the same experience.

raffle tickets will be mailed out in

the early spring, alma supporters

can preorder them through

the website starting March 15,

2009.

For more information about

Relay For Life and Paint the Town

Purple, or to find an event near you,

visit www.cancer.org/relayNYNJ

or call 1.800.ACS.2345.

1.800.ACS.2345

www.cancer.org/relayNYNJ


10 The Armenian Reporter | February 28, 2009


The Armenian Reporter | February 28, 2009 11

Community

The junior members of Bayside’s Aradzani dance group surround the “hars” and

“pesa” (Margaret Sakar and Armen Demirjian) during a performance, May 4, 2008.

Armenian, Greek dance groups

to partner in memory of the

indigenous Christians of Asia Minor

BAYSIDE, N.Y. – The Aradzani

Dance Group of the Armenian

Church of the Holy Martyrs will

present on Saturday April 25, at

7:00 p.m., a program of pre-1915

dances of the indigenous Armenian,

Assyrian, and Greek Christians of

Asia Minor.

When the ancestors of today’s

Turks arrived in Asia Minor from

Central Asia starting in the 11th

century, the area was mostly made

up of Christians. Prior to 1915

there were approximately six million

Christians in Asia Minor. The

Christian population today in

Turkey is about 100,000. This program

is a tribute to their culture

and is in memory of the Armenians,

Assyrians, and Greeks who

lived there.

The Aradzani Dance Group will

present dances from the Vaspouragan

(Van), Garin (Erzurum), Dikranagerd

(Diarbakir), and Kharpert

(Mamouret El Aziz) regions

of pre-1915 Eastern Asia Minor

(Historic Armenia). Aradzani will

also present a pre-1915 Assyrian

dance called the Sheikhani from

the southern part of Van province.

The dance ensemble will dance to

the live music of the Tarpinian

Ensemble with vocalist Lisa Tarpinian.

The Aradzani Dance Group is an

ethnographic dance group with a

repertoire of more than 120 unchoreographed

Armenian pre-1915

dances of Historic Armenia. Many

of the dances Aradzani performs

are almost extinct.

The Greek American Folklore

Society will present Greek dances

from the pre-1915 Anatolian regions

of Cappadocia, Pontus, and

Smyrna (Izmir). The Greek American

Folklore Society is dedicated

to the study, preservation and instruction

of the history and traditions

of Hellenic folk culture.

The Hye Bar Dance Group of

The Armenian Church of the Holy

Martyrs will present dances from

pre-1915 regions of Musa Ler and

a medley of a dance called “Lorke

Lorke,” danced throughout Eastern

Anatolia. Hye Bar is a youth

dance group under the direction of

Mary Demirjian. One of its performances

was at Lincoln Center in

Manhattan. The dances of Hye Bar

are choreographed by Gagik Karapetyan,

an international authority

on Armenian dance.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for

students with ID; it is free for children

under 10. Refreshments will

be served. The program will take

place in Kalustyan Hall, Armenian

Church of the Holy Martyrs, 209-15

Horace Harding Expressway.

In addition to the April 25 program,

Aradzani will hold a dance

class with Tom Bozigian of California,

an authority on ethnographic

Armenian dance, on Sunday,

May 3, from 1 to 4 p.m. and

Monday, May 4, from 6:30 to 9:30

p.m.


Conference to focus on Armenia and

Armenians in international treaties

Proceedings to be

webcast live

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – International

treaties represent critical moments

in the history of Armenia and

the Armenian people. They have had

serious implications for Armenians’

status and future as well as that of

neighboring peoples and countries.

International treaties also constitute

the linchpin of diplomatic history.

To determine patterns and

processes that illuminate the

challenges that Armenia and Armenians

have faced in their long

history, the Armenian Studies

Program at The University of

Michigan and program director

Gerard Libaridian have announced

an upcoming international

conference on “Armenia

and Armenians in International

Treaties.” The 24 conference participants

represent 10 countries,

including Armenia, Iran, Turkey,

Kazakhstan, France, Austria,

Chile, and Argentina.

Conference sessions, all open

to the public, will be held in the

Michigan Union at The University

of Michigan from March 19 to 21,

and will also be webcast live at

http://umtv-live.rs.itd.umich.edu/

asp/asp032009.asx.

In addition, viewers will be

able to participate by emailing

their questions for panelists to

armenianstudies@umich.edu. An

Armenian Studies Program staff

member will ensure that questions

submitted online are addressed to

panelists if they are received before

the end of the Q&A period. A

draft program for the conference

is currently available online: www.

ii.umich.edu/asp.


12 The Armenian Reporter | February 28, 2009

Community

Four award-winning teenage virtuosos from Russia, Georgia,

and Armenia to debut at Carnegie Hall

Clarinetist Narek

Arutyunian’s

first New York

performance

NEW YORK – Four young virtuosos

from Russia, Georgia, and

Armenia, selected from competition

winners at approximately 50

conservatories, will make their

New York recital debuts on May 7

and 8, 2009, at Weill Recital Hall at

Carnegie Hall. These young musicians

are all winners of the 2008

Guzik Foundation Awards.

Pianist Daniil Trifonov, born

in 1992 in Novgorod, Russia, and

clarinetist Narek Arutyunian,

born in 1991 in Gyumri, Armenia,

make their New York debuts. Pianist

Luka Okrostsvaridze, born

in 1991 in Tbilisi, Georgia, and

violinist Yuri Revich, born in

1991 in Moscow, make their U.S.

debuts.

Daniil Trifonov and Yuri Revich

will share a program on Thursday,

May 7, at 8:00 P.M., Daniil performing

a solo first half and accompanying

Yuri after intermission.

Similarly, on Friday, May 8,

at 8:00 P.M., Luka Okrostsvaridze

will perform first and join Narek

Arutyunian for the second half of

the program. Tickets go on sale at

the Carnegie Hall Box Office on

March 9.

Just this past September Daniil

Trifonov won top honors at Italy’s

prestigious San Marino International

Piano Competition. He

won both the Gold Medal and the

Special Prize for his interpretation

of a composition of Chick Corea.

Narek Arutyunian performed on

a tribute to Mstislav Rostropovich

program at the Kennedy

Center in October 2008 featuring

young musicians presented by the

Rostropovich Foundation’s Fund

to Support Young Talented Musicians.

Among other honors, Luka

Okrostsvaridze has received numerous

grants and scholarships

from the Vladimir Spivakov International

Charity Foundation,

and has performed in Spivakov’s

festival in Colmar, France; Yuri

Revich has also performed at the

Colmar festival, and is a recipient

of a Rostropovich Grant.

Presenting the two concerts

are the Guzik Foundation, founded

by Bay Area philanthropist

Nahum Guzik, and the Cultural

Exchange Foundation, headed by

distinguished pianist/conductor

Constantine Orbelian. For the

past eight years, Guzik, a hightech

industrialist and Russian

émigré, together with Orbelian,

the music director of the Moscow

Chamber Orchestra and the

first American to hold that title

with a Russian ensemble, have

been nurturing young musicians

throughout Russia and Armenia.

Outstanding music students

ranging in age from 15 to 20 compete

for the Guzik Scholarships.

Usually, the young people come

from families of modest means

who still consider achievement in

music an enduring tradition. The

best of the competitors receive

the annually conferred Guzik

Foundation Awards, perhaps the

first Russian classical music career

grant to offer, in addition to

scholarship funds, international

performance and recording opportunities.

Often the award winners already

have shelves full of competition

awards won in Russia. But

through the support of the Guzik

Foundation and the international

expertise of the Cultural Exchange

Narek Arutunyan.

Foundation, they are presented in

professional performances not

only throughout Russia, but in the

United States, including such centers

as New York, Chicago, Boston,

Washington, San Francisco, Los

Angeles, Miami, and Houston.

Past winners have participated in

festivals and concert series in Italy,

Scotland, and France as part of the

award, and in Russia they perform

at such prestigious venues as the

Moscow Conservatory, Armory of

the Kremlin and several palaces in

St. Petersburg.

Narek Arutyunian,

clarinet

Narek Arutyunian was born in

Gyumri, Armenia, in 1992. He

began to play the clarinet at the

age of ten, and was admitted to

the Central Musical School of the

Moscow State Conservatory for an

accelerated course of study. After

Hovnanian School celebrates Vartanantz

one year of studying at the school,

Narek began participating in international

competitions. He won

first prize at the Rotary Club Moscow

International Music Children

Competition, the “Nutcracker” International

TV competition; and

the “Concertino Prague” International

Radio Competition in the

Czech Republic. He was awarded

with the opportunity to perform

with Yuri Bashmet and his Russian

Symphony Orchestra “New

Russia” and to record a CD as soloist.

Narek has performed as a soloist

with the Moscow State Symphony

Orchestra, the Kremlin

Chamber Orchestra, Musica Viva

Chamber Orchestra, the Tchaikovsky

Symphony Orchestra of

Moscow Radio, and the Prague

Radio Symphony Orchestra; with

conductors Vladimir Spivakov,

Alexander Rudin, Alexander

Apolin, Vladimir Fedoseev, Misha

Rakhlevsky, Yuri Bashmet,

and Saulous Sondeckis; and in

Poland, Greece, Italy, Switzerland,

France, Canada, Czech Republic,

and at The Kennedy Center in

Washington D.C. in a tribute to

Mstislav Rostropovich in October

2008. In January 2010 he will

present a solo performance at the

Louvre in Paris.

The Guzik Foundation

Nahum Guzik is president and

CEO of Guzik Technical Enterprises.

Based in Palo Alto, California,

the Guzik Foundation, established

by Nahum Guzik in 1993,

provides grants to individuals

and organizations for study and

research in the fields of medicine

and the arts. Its support of the

arts is primarily through awards

and grants of financial support

in the early stages of individuals’

career-building. The foundation

also awards scholarships, assisting

students in the pursuit of a

post-secondary or advanced degree

in arts and science.

Cultural Exchange

Foundation

The Cultural Exchange Foundation

(cef) engages in a variety of

charitable efforts aimed at educating

young people about great

music and creating good will

between cultures. Its activities

include its sponsorship with the

Guzik Foundation of the scholarship

program serving students in

Russia and Armenia that culminates

in the annual Guzik Foundation

Awards; free concerts and

open rehearsals for children and

workshops and master classes for

college students both in Russia

and the U.S., both by the Moscow

Chamber Orchestra and Guzik

Foundation Award winners; and

free or low-cost public concerts

in Russia.

The CEF also sponsors special

goodwill concerts. Among the

highlights was an historic event

at the Kremlin Palace, attended by

53 heads of state from around the

world, commemorating the 60th

anniversary of the end of World

War II on May 9, 2005. The gala

concert featured baritone Dmitri

Hvorostovsky, the Moscow

Chamber Orchestra conducted by

Constantine Orbelian, and a young

people’s choir, performing songs

from the war years. The Foundation

also helped to sponsor a U.S.

tour of the “Songs of the War

Years” program to venues including

Washington’s Kennedy Center and

Lincoln Center in New York.

connect:

1-212-247-7800

www.carnegiehall.org

NEW MILFORD, N.J. – Hovnanian

School students from the 4th

to 8th grade actively participated in

Vartanantz festivities on Thursday,

February 19, at the Sts. Vartanantz

Armenian Church in Ridgefield, N.J.

They attended the Divine Liturgy

celebrated by Archbishop Oshagan

Choloyan, Prelate of the Eastern

Prelacy of the Armenian Church,

who also delivered a powerful message

about the symbolism of Vartanantz

and its relevance today.

Vartanantz is a celebration of the

battle of Avarair in 451 C.E. Armenian

nobles, led by Vartan Mamikonian,

rebelled against the Persian

crown, which sought to impose Zoroastrianism

on Armenia.

Following a lunch in the church

hall with 150 people attending,

the students presented a program.

After opening remarks by

Rev. Fr. Hovnan Bozoian, pastor

of the church, and Richard Sarajian,

chairperson of the Board

of Trustees, Silva Mesrobian,

lower grades headmaster, introduced

the school. Eighth graders

Thais Derjangocyan and Ararat

Gocmen gave a presentation

in Armenian about the meaning

of the celebration. Afterward, the

students presented four songs

dedicated to the heroes of the

Vartanantz War.

The feast being close to the beginning

of the Great Lent, the

students also presented two traditional

song-dances dedicated to

these festivities: “Djat Manana”

(6th grade) and “Medz Bas” (5th

and 8th grade).

The presentation ended with a

group recitation of the 8th grade,

who offered a rendition of a poem

by Taniel Varoujan, “Tzon” (Dedication).

In his closing remarks,

Archbishop Choloyan stressed the

importance of Vartanantz and the

need to make its lessons part of our

life as Armenians.


Hovnanian School students celebrating Vartanantz, February 19, at the Sts. Vartanantz Armenian

Church in Ridgefield, N.J

POSITION SOUGHT

A vibrant 50-year old Armenian

woman looking for work

as either a babysitter or

caregiver for elderly.

Excellent Armenian cook.

Speaks Armenian & Russian.

Live in or live out in New York

or New Jersey.

Please call Elsa,

(347) 782-4811.


The Armenian Reporter | February 28, 2009 13

Calendar of Events

New York

MARCH 5 - The Krikor and

Clara Zohrab Information Center

announces its new Film Series

event, which will feature a

screening of an Armenian or Armenian-related

film one Thursday

a month at the Zohrab Center

in New York. The award-winning

“Vodka Lemon” will be the

first film viewed in the Film Series

on Thursday, at 7:00 pm. For

more information please email

ZCFilmSeries@gmail.com or call

212.686.0710. The Krikor and

Clara Zohrab Information Center

is located at 630 Second Avenue

(at 34th street) New York,

New York.

MARCH 8 - MUSICAL ARME-

NIA, Sunday, at Weill Recital

Hall at Carnegie Hall in New

York City, featuring cellist David

Bakamjian and violinist Cecee

Pantikian. . Sponsored by the

Eastern Prelacy and Prelacy Ladies

Guild.

MARCH 15 - “MORTGAGE

BURNING” CELEBRATION

BANQUET at Saint Sarkis

Church, Douglaston, Queens.

Sunday, at 1:30 pm. The Pastor

and Board of Trustees invite

parishioners and friends to join

the Saint Sarkis family in an afternoon

Banquet Celebration

of this momentous and joyful

event in the Church history. For

information, kindly contact the

Church office at 718-224-2275

MARCH 28 - ARS CENTEN-

NIAL GALA BANQUET at the

prestigious Yale Club of NYC.

MC - Dr. Herand Markarian; Key

Note Speaker, Rep. Anna G. Eshoo,

14th Dist. of Ca. Cocktails

7:00 PM Dinner 8:30 PM. Donation:

$250. For Details Call: Mrs.

MaryAnne Bonjuklian (201)934-

8930 or email: mabprof45@aol.

com

APRIL 16 - QUARTERLY FO-

RUM SERIES - Remembering

the Forgotten: The Untold Story

of Clergymen Lost to the Genocide.

The second forum features

Yeretzgeen Joanna Baghsarian’s

remarkable story of how

a group of her students took a

proactive role in remembering

these forgotten martyrs. There

is no charge for the evening, but

RSVP is requested by email to

events@armenianprelacy.org or

by telephone at 212-689-7810.

MAY 16- HMADS GALA DIN-

NER DANCE hosted by the

“Friends” at Russo’s on the Bay,

featuring Addis Harmandian

and his Band. Cocktails 7:30

pm. Dinner 9:00 pm. Donation:

$ 150. For Reservations please

call, school office: (718) 225 4826,

Negdar Arukian: (718) 423 4813.

MAY 16 - SAVE THE DATE!

60TH ANNIVERSARY DINNER

DANCE OF THE NEW YORK

ARMENIAN HOME, Flushing,

NY. Celebration to be held at

Harbor Links Golf Course, Port

Washington, NY. Featuring Varoujan

Vartanian and Antranig

Armenian Dance Ensemble.

Details to follow or call NYAH,

(718) 461-1504

New Jersey

NOVEMBER 15 - “ONE NA-

TION, ONE CULTURE” A Cultural

Festival organized by

Hamazkayin Eastern USA Regional

Executive, Featuring Alla

Levonian from Armenia and

Babin Boghosian & Ensemble

from Los Angeles, With the participation

of Antranig Dance

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14 The Armenian Reporter | February 28, 2009

International

The road that led to Hayakaghak

How Armenians

ended up in

Transylvania

by Nyree Abrahamian

No, you didn’t misread that and it’s

not a typo. Believe it or not, Armenians

have been living in Transylvania

for over 300 years. They migrated

there mostly from the historical

region of Moldavia, where

they had been living for at least

700 years prior, and built a city that

they aptly named Hayakaghak (“Armenian

City”).

Outside of Romania and Hungary,

few people know much about

Transylvania except that it’s the

setting of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

But aside from an orientalist fascination

generated by Stoker and

other Victorian authors, who associated

the region with all that is

mysterious and exotic because of

its Muslim Turkish influence and

late industrialization, Transylvania

is known for the scenic beauty of

its Carpathian landscape and its

rich history. Located in presentday

central Romania, the ancient

land of Transylvania was once the

nucleus of the powerful Kingdom

of Dacia, and has passed through

the hands of the Romans, the

Huns, the Visigoths, the Kingdom

of Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire,

to name a few.

How Armenians ended up in

Transylvania, and how they were

at one point numerous, organized

and powerful enough to build an

exclusively Armenian city there, is,

like any other story of Armenian

migration, a long and winding one,

swiftly changing its course each

time conditions became unfavorable

or tragedy struck.

The origins of the Armenian community

in Romania and its neighboring

regions are connected with

a devastating series of events that

affected Armenia over the centuries.

The fall of the Bagratuni kingdom

in 1045, the conquest of Ani

by Seljuk Turks in 1064, the Tatar

invasions of the 13th century, the

earthquake and famine of 1319 and

the Mongol invasion in 1342, all led

to waves of Armenian migration

into Poland, Crimea (currently an

autonomous republic in Ukraine),

and the Principality of Moldavia

(a territory now divided between

Moldova, Ukraine and Romania).

In Moldavia, Armenians flourished

for centuries. They settled

there before the actual foundation

of the principality in 1352. They

came mostly from Crimea, Galicia

and Podolia, regions that already

had significant Armenian populations

and trade centers, moving

along established trade routes. Armenians

upheld their reputation as

skilled craftsmen and merchants.

In fact, for centuries, Moldavian

trade was dominated by Armenians.

They used their knowledge

of a wide range of Oriental and

European languages to develop

their trade networks. The great Romanian

historian, Nicolae Iorga

wrote, “Since the principality of

Moldavia was actually created by

way of trade, those who followed

this way became participants in the

creation of the nation state of Moldavia.

Therefore Armenians are in a

way the parents of Moldavia.”

By the 15th century, the Armenians

had built churches and developed

towns across the principality.

In 1401, before a Romanian

Orthodox hierarchy had even been

established, Bishop Ohannes was

appointed the first bishop of Armenians

in Moldavia.

The Armenian Catholic Cathedral. Photos: left, Cristina Popa; right,

http://balazsbecsiattila.ro.

Hayakaghak, late 19th century. Photo: http://balazsbecsiattila.ro.

Gherla today, a residential street. Photo: Cristina Popa.

Armenians were highly regarded

by Moldavian princes and rulers

because they brought a great deal

of wealth through trade. They were

given special privileges, following

the model that was in place in

Armenian communities in Poland,

such as tax exemptions and special

property rights. They even had their

own legal system. Conflicts among

Armenians were tried by Armenian

judges following the code of Mkhitar

Gosh (the father of Armenian

law), and conflicts between Armenians

and non-Armenians could

only be tried by the prince and his

council.

Armenians went on to hold positions

of power and privilege in

Moldavia, forming an important

part of the administrative structure

of towns and of the upper nobility.

They became military commanders

and even princes. They

were well-regarded, upper-class

members of society who enjoyed

a prosperous and relatively peaceful

existence well into the 17th

century.

In 1672, the Ottoman Empire

staged a massive invasion in Moldavia,

and in the coming years, the

principality suffered devastating

losses when it became a battleground

for the wars between Poland

and the Ottoman Empire. In

1683, the Armenian monastery

of Zamca was seized and used as

a fortress by the army of the Polish

king Jan Sobieski. With their

communities in ruins, many of the

Armenians of Moldavia fled across

the Carpathians to take refuge in

Transylvania.

Though there was a continual

presence of Armenians in Transylvania

from as far back as the 11th

century, it wasn’t until the mass

exodus from Moldavia in the 17th

century that a strong and stable

community was established there.

In 1672, 3000 Armenians from

Moldavia, led by their bishop,

Minas Zilihtar, fled to Transylvania.

At first, the migration was

thought to be temporary, but eventually

as the politics of the region

became more unstable, they realized

they had to settle there. Prince

Michael Apafi allowed the Armenians

to settle in several Transylvanian

towns and issued a charter

allowing them a certain degree of

autonomy, the right to trade freely,

and to elect their own judges.

An important Armenian community

settled initially in Bistrita,

where they built a church, but

conflicts with the local Saxons (a

confederation of Old Germanic

tribes, the ascendants of modern

Germans), who did not like the

prospect of new competition in the

marketplace, forced Armenians to

leave the town.

Around the same time, some

of the members of the old Armenian

community in Poland fled

to Transylvania to escape forced

conversion to Catholicism, but it

soon became apparent that, despite

Michael Apafi’s protection,

they would have to convert even in

Transylvania, which became part of

Cristina Popa in traditional Armenian costume with local children at a Christmas

celebration.

Solomon Church, built in 1723, is Hayakaghak’s oldest church. Photos: left,

Cristina Popa; right, http://balazsbecsiattila.ro.

the Habsburg Monarchy (the predecessor

of the Austrian Empire) in

1699.This created a divide between

those who agreed to convert and

those who resisted. But eventually,

after a two-year campaign by the

Armenian Catholic bishop Oxendius

Varzarescu/Varzarian, the

majority of the population converted

to Catholicism.

With an ever-sprawling population

and ebbing unity, it became

apparent to Bishop Varzarescu and

the leaders of the Armenian community

that they would need to

settle in a centralized hub, where

they could continue to propagate

Armenian culture and traditions.

In 1700, the Austrian emperor Leopold

sold Transylvanian Armenians

a large plot of land on the Somes

River, where they were allowed to

build their own town.

The first inhabitants were 70 Armenian

families who came from

Bistrita, and eventually, thousands

settled in the almost exclusively

Armenian town. They named the

town Hayakaghak, “Armenian city”,

which was Latinized as Armenopolis.

The Hungarians later renamed

the town Szamosújvár, and once it

joined Romania, it was given the

name Gherla, which is its current

official name.

While several other Transylvanian

towns had significant Armenian

populations and of course,

churches, Armenopolis became the

main administrative and cultural

center of Transylvanian Armenians.

Designed by the architect Alexanian,

who was trained in Rome,

the town had four perpendicular

main streets and was the first town

in the Austrian Empire to be built

according to an official plan. The architecture,

positioning and prices

of the houses were highly regulated.

By imperial decree, strangers

were forbidden entry to Armenopolis

without a written pass issued

by the mayor or the city council.

Armenians played a major role

in the development of the local

economy. Using their traditional

networks and skills, they acted as

intermediaries between the East

and Western Europe. In their main

towns, Armenians had their own

guilds. They were locksmiths, furriers,

silversmiths and goldsmiths,

carpet makers, brewers, lace makers.

Armenians also organized

some of the first factories in Transylvania

– one producing leather, in

Armenopolis (a tradition that remained

well into the 20th century),

and another producing candles, in

Elisabethopolis, a town that was

not exclusively Armenian, but considered

Transylvanian Armenians’

“second city”.

But despite their positive impact

on the local economy, as the Austrian

Empire gained more clout,

the Armenian community lost its

rights and privileges. In 1801, use

of the Armenian language was forbidden

in all legal matters. In 1811,

Armenian was replaced with Hungarian

and Latin in the local public

Continued on page 15 m


The Armenian Reporter | February 28, 2009 15

Armenia

Yerevan to elect a city council for the first time

Voting is by citywide

party list

Council will choose

mayor

by Armen Hakobyan

YEREVAN – Armenia’s capital city

will hold its first election for city

council on May 31. The city council,

in turn, will elect a mayor. Until

now, the city’s 12 constituent

communities elected their leaders,

whereas the city as a whole had a

mayor appointed by the president.

Under the new law, the city will

have a parliamentary-style government.

A 65-member city council

will be elected by citywide party

lists. The mayor will be elected from

among council members.

The law allowed the government

to call elections anytime between

April 1 and December 6 of this year.

The government chose the May 31

date. Tatev Ohanian, the press secretary

of the Central Electoral Commission,

told the Armenian Reporter

that the commission has confirmed

the schedule and all other organizational

details for conducting the

election. They will take party lists

between April 26 and May 1. Campaigning

will be authorized from

May 2 through midnight May 24.

Political forces have not

yet chosen sides

About a third of Armenia’s population

resides in Yerevan, making

the election a significant test for

political forces in the country.

The governing Republican Party

of Armenia, led by President Serge

Sargsian, is the only force openly

discussing candidates for mayor’s

post. The party’s press secretary,

Edward Sharmazanov, said the

Yerevan city council elections are

still being discussed within the party,

and they will inform the public

of their decision once it has been

taken. His colleague Galust Sahakian,

head of the party’s faction

in parliament, however, said the

party had already agreed upon two

possible candidates for the post of

mayor: incumbent Mayor Yervand

Zakharian and Gagik Beglarian,

who is currently head of the city’s

Center community.

Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous

Armenia Party, the Armenian Revolutionary

Federation, and Artur

Baghdasarian’s Country of Laws

party, both members of the national

governing coalition, have not announced

their plans yet. They may

join their coalition partners to field

a joint party list or they may run

separately. Under the law, a party

must win at least 7 percent of the

vote to win any seats in the council.

“The Armenian Revolutionary

Federation has decided to participate

in these elections,” said

Artyusha Shahbazian, secretary

of the ARF’s political faction

in the National Assembly. “Issues

connected with the format of our

participation are currently being

discussed. We will decide if we are

going into these elections independently

or not. It is possible that we

will go independently and we are

considering our party’s list. However,

I repeat, as of today we have

not reached a final decision.”

The political council of the Heritage

Party, the only opposition

party in parliament, decided to “authorize

the party administration to

decide the suitability of the party’s

participation in the upcoming Yerevan

city elections.”

The Armenian National Congress,

led by former president Levon Ter-

Petrossian, has not yet decided

whether it will participate. Press

secretary Arman Musinian told

the Armenian Reporter that the congress

will turn to the matter of the

Yerevan election only after March

1. Currently there is only one issue

on the congress’s agenda and that

is the rally planned for March 1, he

said.

Parliamentary Yerevan

Constitutional amendments adopted

in 2005 led to the new form of

city administration. Until now, Yerevan

has had the status of a province.

Like provincial governors, the

mayor has been appointed by the

president. The cities 12 constituent

districts had the status of communities.

Like communities, they have

been administered by an elected

community head and council.

Hrayr Tovmasian is co-author

of the new law, enacted in parliament

in 2008 to implement the

constitutional amendment on local

self-government in Yerevan. “The

law is based on the parliamentary

government model, which has

been adapted to the local government

system,” he told the Reporter.

The party with the majority of

seats in the city council will select

their choice of mayor, he explained.

“Similar models are used in many

The road that led to Hayakaghak

Mayor Yervand Zakharian. Photo: Photolure.

Ajapniak

Malatia-Sebastia

Yerevan and its 12 districts.

Shengavit

countries around the world also for

electing the mayor.”

The council and the mayor will be

elected to four-year terms. Under

the electoral code, any individual

– citizen of Armenia or not – who

is 21 years of age and has been a

registered resident of Yerevan for

the past three years has the right

to vote and the right to be elected.

The mayor must be over 30 years

old, a citizen of Armenia, a member

of the council, and not also a

citizen of another country.

Davitashen

YEREVAN

Arabkir

Kentron

Kanaker-

Zeitun

Nork-

Marash

Erebuni

Hrayr Tovmasyan. Photo: Armen

Hakobyan for the Armenian Reporter.

Avan

Nor Nork

Nubarashen

Under the law, the existing

12 districts of Yerevan will no

longer have an elected district

council. Nor will they elect representatives

to the city council

– as elections are by citywide list

only. “There was the danger that

we would take the present communities

with their specific issues

and throw them all into one pot,”

Mr. Tovmasian acknowledged. In

place of those districts, 12 administrative

districts will be created.

“They are not self-governing communities.

They will not have councils,

budgets, and the authority to

implement local self-government.

The heads of the administrative

regions will be appointed and

dismissed by the mayor and are,

in essence, the representatives of

the mayor in those districts. They

act on behalf of the mayor, who

is responsible for their activities.

The purpose of this approach was

to ensure that authorities are not

‘distanced’ from the people,” Mr.

Tovmasian said.

f

n Continued from page 14

school of Elisabethopolis. Only the

Mkhitarian school preserved Armenian

as an instructional language.

In 1867, Transylvania was reincorporated

into the Kingdom of

Hungary, and a series of laws aimed

at the assimilation of not only the

Armenians, but of the Romanians,

Saxons, and all other non-Hungarian

ethnic groups in Transylvania

followed. In Armenopolis, an Armenian

elementary school was shut

down and reopened several times,

finally closing for good in 1940.

The economic situation also

changed in Transylvania, which

had oddly not been industrialized

well into the 20th century. Bucharest,

the capital of Romania (a

country officially established in

1878, which Transylvania joined

1918) was quickly becoming the

commercial center of the region,

so many young Transylvanian Armenians

moved there in search

of work. Non-Armenians were allowed

to settle in the previously

‘closed’ town of Armenopolis and

both within Transylvania and

throughout Romania, Armenians

began to assimilate. The fact that

they had already converted to Catholicism

made assimilation into

Romanian society and intermarriage

that much easier.

Today, the town of Gherla (Armenopolis)

is home to only about

130 Armenians, (149 according

to a 1998 census) and only a few

of them speak any Armenian. 21

year-old Cristina Popa is one

of them. “There are some elderly

people who might remember

some of the words from their

childhood and some prayers,” she

tells me. “The people who go to

church might know prayers as

well. Besides that, to the best

of my knowledge, there are two

people left who know a bit more

than a few phrases and prayers,

and one of them is me.”

There are two Armenian Catholic

churches left in Gherla. One of

them, Solomon Church, was built

just after the foundation of the city,

in the early 18th century. The other

much larger church, which is simply

referred to as the Armenian Cathedral,

was built in the mid-18th

century to accommodate to the

rapidly growing population. Mass

is conducted in Hungarian, except

for some prayers and hymns, like

Hayr Mer and Der Voghormya. Cristina

Popa is part of a church choir,

and they sing some sharakans (medieval

Armenian church hymns).

Cristina, whose mother is of Armenian

descent, took it upon herself

to learn the language, and has

immersed herself in the culture

and history of Armenia. “I know a

father and son who learned Western

Armenian with the Mkhitarians

in Venice,” she says. “I went to

them to learn the alphabet and the

language.” A student of international

relations, she is writing her

thesis on the Armenian Genocide.

One of her aspirations is to get a

dance group together to perform

at the Gherla’s Minority Festival, in

an effort to keep Armenian cultural

traditions alive. She also volunteered

last fall in Yerevan, through

Birthright Armenia, working at the

International Center for Human

Development. The experience left a

deep impression on her, creating a

whole new connection between her

and her homeland and leaving her

all the more determined to revive

Armenian traditions in the youth

of Gherla.

It’s sad that such on old diaspora

community with such a rich history

is nearing extinction, but after

centuries of living in foreign lands,

often under oppressive rulers who

forced assimilation, it’s remarkable

that Gherla still has any trace at all

of its Armenian heritage. It’s also

unsettling to think what the Armenian

communities in the United

States and throughout the world

might look like in a few centuries.

With the passing of time, is assimilation

inevitable?

While it’s a gloomy thought to

ponder, there’s something to be

said for the fact that Cristina Popa

– who lives in a place where “Armenian”

has become a vague concept

linked to the past – thrives on

educating herself and others about

her culture as something that is

present and vibrant. And in each

diaspora, if each generation has at

least one such advocate, then perhaps

the future does not look so

grim.

f

connect:

Armenians in Romania at the Central European

University site

http://www.personal.ceu.hu/

students/02/Leon_Stacescu/rh.htm


16 The Armenian Reporter | February 28, 2009

Armenia

From Armenia, in brief

Parliament passes first

reading of amendments

to criminal code

On February 26, Armenia’s parliament

passed the first reading for

amendments made to Articles 225

(mass disorders) and 300 (usurping

state power) of the criminal

code.

Davit Harutiunian. Photolure.

Davit Harutiunian, chair of

the Standing Committee on State

and Legal Issues and one of the authors

of the bill, said that after the

events of March 1, 2008, many international

institutions, including

the report by the Human Rights

Commissioner of the Council of

Europe Thomas Hammarberg,

recommended revising certain

vague articles within Armenia’s

criminal code.

The bill calls for voiding section

3 of Article 225, which stipulates

6–12 years of imprisonment

for mass disorders resulting in

killings. It proposes the addition

of a section 5, which would stipulate

200,000–600,000 AMD in

fines or imprisonment for up

to 3 months for participants in

disorders who commit no other

crimes. The bill also amends section

1, on the organization and

conduct of illegal public events,

which stipulates responsibility

for ignoring police calls to stop

the event.

The bill amends Article 300 and

provides for 10–15 year imprisonment

for attempting to usurp

power through violence or threat

of violence, as well as for seizure

of the powers of the president, the

speaker, the government, or the

Constitutional Court.

The bill will have to go through a

second reading after which it will

be presented to the president to

sign it into law.

March 1 Parliamentary

Commission deadline

prolonged

Armenia’s parliament has agreed

to prolong the activities of the

special parliamentary commission

that was set up to investigate the

events of March 1, 2008. The new

deadline is September 15, 2009.

The reason for the extension was

to allow for the final report of the

fact-finding group charged with

presenting its conclusions to the

commission.

According to Arminfo, Samvel

Nikoyan, head of the special parliamentary

commission, said that

even if the commission had all the

answers, it would be right to wait

for the conclusions of the fact-finding

group. He admitted that both

bodies still have much work to do.

OSCE Minsk Group cochairs

visit the region

OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs Bernard

Fassier (France), Matthew

Bryza (United States), and Yuri

Merzlyakov (Russia) were in Baku

on February 26; they met with

Foreign Minister Elmar Mammedyarov

and President Ilham Aliyev.

They arrived in Yerevan the

following day. The co-chairs will

conduct meetings in Stepanakert

on March 2 and will return again

to Yerevan to meet with the leadership

of the country, Armenpress

reports.

The visit of the co-chairs was

agreed upon in Zurich during the

January 28 meeting of the Armenian

and Azerbaijani presidents.

During that meeting the two presidents

instructed their foreign ministers

to continue with the negotiations.

Armenia’s foreign

minister on a tour of

the Middle East

At the invitation of Egyptian foreign

minister Ahmad Abu Al

Gheydi, Armenian foreign minister

Edward Nalbandian paid an

official visit to Egypt February 23.

On the same day Mr. Nalbandian

was received by Egyptian prime

minister Ahmad Nazif. Greeting

his guest, the Egyptian prime

minister said that the Egyptian

people and he personally have the

warmest feelings toward Armenia

and the Armenian people. During

his visit Mr. Nalbandian gave an

extended interview to one of the

higly regarded Al Ahram newspaper,

published in Cairo. On February

24, Mr. Nalbandian left for Jordan,

where he met with newly appointed

Foreign Minister Nasser

Judeh. From Jordan, Mr. Nalbandian

traveled to Lebanon, where he

met with President Michel Suleiman

and Prime Minister Fouad

Siniora.

Tender for construction

of new nuclear unit in

Armenia announced

According to Armenpress, an open

tender for the construction of a

new nuclear unit in the Republic

of Armenia has been announced.

The tender was announced by the

State Procurement Agency and

will be held in one round. The bidder

that wins will sign a contract

of state purchase of “Management

services for implementation of the

program of construction of new

nuclear energy blocks in Armenia.”

Anyone may present applications

for participation in the tender. Applications

must be presented to the

State Procurement Agency within

60 days of the announcement.

Clashes which

took place in

Yerevan on

March 1, 2008.

Photo: Photolure.

Karine Kazinian

appointed deputy

foreign minister

The former ambassador of Armenia

to Germany Karine Kazinian has

been appointed as a deputy foreign

minister of Armenia. Ms. Kazinian

worked in the USSR Embassy in Mozambique

and Portugal. From 1997

to 1999, she was chargé d’affaires of

the Republic of Armenia in Romania;

from 1999 to 2001 she served

as ambassador to Romania; from

2001 to 2009, she was ambassador

to the Federal Republic of Germany.

Ms. Kazinian has been awarded the

Armenian Medal of Mkhitar Gosh

and the Romanian Order for Merit

Grand Cross. She is fluent in English,

Russian, German, Portuguese,

and Romanian.

Protest in front of

Georgian Embassy in

Yerevan

The Javakhk Patriotic Union and

other nongovernmental organization

staged a protest in front of the

Georgian Embassy in Yerevan on

February 25.

Shirak Torosyan, member of

parliament in Armenia and president

of the Javakhk Patriotic Union,

told reporters that the objective of

the protest was to convey to Georgian

authorities the demands of

Javakhk-Armenians.

Mr. Torosyan said they were demanding

the release of two Armenians

currently incarcerated in Georgia;

the granting of legal status to

the Armenian Apostolic Church and

the Armenian language in Samtskhe-

Javakhketi-Tsalka; and the improvement

of border control at the Armenian-Georgian

border crossing.

The Georgian ambassador to

Armenia, Prof. Revaz Gachechiladze,

met with the protesters and

accepted their letter of protest.

Armenian government

to support educational

and cultural

institutions in Javakhk

YEREVAN – Habitat for Humanity

Armenia (HFHA) and Armenia’s

Ministry of Urban Development

have signed an agreement of cooperation,

which will provide a

framework for collaborative efforts

on programs and activities

aimed at improving the housing

condition in the Armenia.

“Over the past year, the Ministry

of Urban Development has

built a cooperative relationship

with Habitat for Humanity Armenia.

This Agreement is one

of the first steps to initiate the

implementation of joint projects,”

said Karlen Gevorgyan, deputy

minister of urban development.

“There are many young families

who are currently living in poor

housing conditions, but are capable

and willing to improve their

situation with their own means;

all they need is a hand up. The

input of Habitat for Humanity

Armenia in improving the housing

conditions in our country

is already visible. We hope that

HFHA activities will expand in our

country and are willing to support

them.”

Protest in front of Georgian Embassy in Yerevan. Photo: Photolure.

Stepan Petrosyan, deputy diaspora

minister, said that the

ministry has released almost 200

million AMD from the state budget

for the renovation and reconstruction

of Armenian schools in

Javakhk. The deputy minister said

that they also plan to implement

educational events in the heavily

Armenian-populated region of

Georgia. According to Armenpress,

the ministry will support music

groups, involve Armenian children

in cultural programs, and send representatives

of Armenian culture

to Javakhk. Cultural programs will

also be prepared and broadcast via

Armenian TV channels in Javakhk.

Amendments to law

on religion referred to

Venice Commission

The National Assembly, which was

considering amendments to the law

on religion and the criminal code,

decided to hold off on action, pending

consultations with the European

Commission for Democracy through

Law (the Venice Commission.

The controversial amendments

would penalize proselytizing and

make it more difficult for religious

organizations to receive legal status

in Armenia.

Restoration of Kars-

Gyumri railroad

studied

The South Caucasian Railway Company

is continuing to study the feasibility

of restoring the Kars-Gyumri

railroad. At a press conference on

February 25, Shevket Shaydulin,

the director of the South Caucasian

The collaboration between HFHA

and the ministry will focus on provision

of affordable housing opportunities,

development of policies

and programs aiming at the

introduction of housing institute,

and housing intervention aiming

at disaster response and disaster

risk reduction.

HFHA and the ministry forwarded

a request to all the regional governments

in Armenia to receive information

on the need for simple,

decent, and affordable housing in

their regions and communities.

Railway, spoke about this and other

initiatives of the company. He said

that almost 90 million rubles (about

$3 million) will be invested in the

restoration and development of the

necessary infrastructure.

Mr. Shaydulin said that the company

will attempt to restore all of

Armenia’s railroads. The construction

of the Iran-Armenia railroad

is considered a priority. “It is important

for the Armenian and

Russian economies. Construction

of the Iran-Armenia railroad is being

discussed at the governmental

level. The program was positively

assessed by Armenian and Russian

governments. There is a problem

with low labor discipline and low

training level of the staff for construction

of the railroad. I think

the issue will be settled in the nearest

future,” said Mr. Shaydulin.

Yerevan Zoo to be

renovated

Kamo Movsisian, head of the Department

of Culture, Youth and Sport

Affairs at Yerevan told reporters that

the Yerevan Zoo will be renovated

this year. The city official foresees

the cost to be about 175 million AMD

(approximately $600,000). Tenders

for construction have already been

announced. The summer and winter

cages for the big cats will be renovated,

a sewage system put into place,

and also a security system. Last year

close to 58 million AMD was spent on

renovations at the zoo. f

Habitat for Humanity Armenia signs agreement with

Urban Development Ministry

“All of the 10 regions submitted

the information on housing needs

in their regions. This only highlights

the high level of the need

for simple, decent, and affordable

homes throughout our country,”

said Irina Vanyan, the executive

director for HFHA. “It is based

upon the received information

that we intend to discuss the priorities

of further joint projects to

eliminate poverty housing in the

regions of Armenia.” f

connect: www.habitat.am

Irina Vanyan,

the executive director

of HFHA,

Ron Terwilliger,

chair of the

International

Board of Directors

of HFH, and

Vardan Vardanyan,

Minister of

Urban Development,

October

2008. Photo:

Ezra Millstein.


The Armenian Reporter | February 28, 2009 17

Armenia

The only remaining village from Armenian Goghtn

It is worth visiting

Karchevan at least

once to see the River

Araks and eat sunripened

fruits

by Tatul Hakobyan

KARCHEVAN, Syunik Province,

Armenia – Of all the villages in

Armenia, Karchevan is the secondfarthest

from the capital city, more

than 400 kilometers. The name

Karchevan is very familiar to all

those who have crossed the Araks

River by land, traveling to Iran or

entering Christian Armenia from

the Islamic Republic. The name

Karchevan is stamped in their passports.

The village bearing the same

name, which was called Kirchavan

in the past, which means a town in

the gorge, is situated five kilometers

north of the Araks river.

Karchevan is on the border of

Armenia with Iran and also with

Nakhichevan, which was handed

to Azerbaijan in 1921 as an autonomous

republic. It is known not only

for its sweet, sun-ripened fruit,

but also for being the only village

of the historic Armenian province

of Goghtn – today called Ordubad

– still remaining within Armenia.

Nakhichevan today has almost

no autonomy. The totalitarian clan

of Vasif Talibov reigns there, with

the the support of the local Aliyev

dynasty, which rules in Baku. It

comprises three historical Armenian

regions: Goghtn, Nakhichevan,

and Sharur. In 1921, when only

10 percent of the population was

Armenian, Nakhichevan was given

to Azerbaijan; only Armenian-populated

Karchevan remained in Armenia.

By 1988, the Armenian residents

of the remaining Armenian

villages in Goghtn, Nakhichevan,

and Sharur had moved out or had

been forced to leave the autonomous

republic.

Sun-ripened fruit

typical to the region of

Meghri – pomegranate,

fig, persimmon, as

well as peach and

grapes – grow in

Karchevan.

Armen Avetisian has been the

head of the Karchevan village since

1994. “The village has a history of

more than 2,000 years,” he said.

“Today it has almost 100 homes

and 400 residents. The residents of

Karchevan are indigenous. In the

Meghri region they are famous for

being hard workers and for their

peculiar dialect, which is a little incomprehensible

at first.”

One of the few residents of

Karchevan who is not from the

village is Svetlana Papyan. She

moved here from the city of Kajaran.

She met her husband here. She is

an English-language teacher by profession;

this year she was appointed

director of the village school.

The Karchevan school, which

goes from the first through the

ninth grades, has a 132-year history

and 47 students. The school is in the

churchyard. Or perhaps the church

is in the schoolyard. The streets are

very steep and narrow. The village

hall, the kindergarten, the house

of culture, the library, and people’s

homes are very close to one another.

This situation has also had an

effect on the character of the local

Armen Avetisian.

residents; it seems as if they all live

together in a big house.

The village does not have room

to expand. If it were to expand, it

would be at the cost of the orchards.

Everything is very compact in the

village. It is surrounded by three

gorges and is very small. That is

part of what gives Karchevan its

special character.

“Forty-seven students study at

the school,” Ms. Papyan said. “We

do not have a problem with specialists;

all of our teachers have graduated

from higher education establishments

and are highly qualified

specialists. Religious instruction

is usually conducted in the church.

Our village is very developed and

the children study very hard. Our

students graduate from the secondary

school in the city of Agarak.”

The school is named after the

famous linguist Edward Aghaian,

who hailed from the village. Other

famous Armenians from Karchevan

include chess player Rafael Vahanian

and academician Artashes

Matevosian.

But the pride of the residents of

Karchevan is, of course, Garegin

Nzhdeh (Karekin Nejdeh); even

though he was born in the village

of Kznut in Nakhichevan, he

frequently visited and stayed in

Karchevan when he headed Mountainous

Armenia’s struggle against

Soviet occupiers. Whereas Armenia

became Soviet in December 1920,

Zangezur became Soviet half a year

later in July 1921.

The village head showed me a

house that belonged to Gurgen

Aghayan, member of parliament

of the first Republic of Armenia.

Nzhdeh stayed in that house when

he visited Karchevan. The most

beautiful spot in Karchevan, a

small waterfall, is located a small

distance from that house.

Karchevan is one of the few Armenian

villages, from which there

has been almost no emigration.

Just as in the Soviet years, now

too most of the villagers work at

the copper-molybdenum factory in

the city of Agarak. Agarak, which

has about 5,000 residents, was

constructed half a century ago as a

workers’ town. The city of Agarak is

also located within the territory of

Karchevan; only two years ago the

government stated that the territory

belongs to the city.

In the second half of March, the

copper-molybdenum factory in

Agarak will stop working because

of the international financial crisis.

The factory, which provided 1,450

jobs, will work only partially and

about 1,100 workers will be laid off.

“There has been almost no immigration

from Karchevan, since there

is employment. Even if they leave,

they go to Agarak, which is four kilometers

away, in order to get an

A factory in Agarak . Photos: Tatul Hakobyan for the Armenian Reporter.

The road from Agarak to Meghri. The border is on the right.

apartment. Most of the youngsters

of the village worked in the factory.

Agriculture had moved to the background.

Now that the factory is not

working, people will start working

in agriculture,” said Mr. Avetisian.

To work in agriculture, however,

land is required. There are mostly

cliffs on the banks of Araks. The

hard-working residents of Karchevan

have found the solution: they

bring soil from other places, lay it

on the rocks, and plant trees. The

same is being done in other rocky

villages in the Meghri region. Sunripened

fruit typical to the region

of Meghri – pomegranate, fig,

persimmon, as well as peach and

grapes – grow in Karchevan. The





The village of Karchevan.

fruits ripened in the Araks gorge

are the most delicious in Armenia,

as no other region receives as much

sun and warmth.

During the Soviet years the

Meghri region was linked with Yerevan

by road and railway, passing

through the territory of Nakhichevan.

Today it takes about 7–8 hours

to reach Yerevan, whereas before it

took only three because the roads

running along the bank of the

Araks to the capital city of Yerevan

and the Ararat valley were open.

“Taking our fruits to Yerevan is

very hard now. After the Karabakh

war, the distance to Yerevan has

doubled,” said Mr. Avetisian.

To say Karchevan or the Meghri


region are completely cut off from

the world would be wrong. The main

and only road going to Iran passes

through here. There are comfortable

and affordable hotels and food outlets

here. Dozens of Iranian tractor

trailers and Yerevan-Tehran buses

pass by here every day.

During the years of the Karabakh

war, when Armenia was blockaded

by three of its neighboring countries

(by doing so Turkey and

Azerbaijan were trying to strangle

newly independent Armenia, and

Georgia had been pulled into the

chaos), this road had become the

only route through which Armenia

kept its links with the outside

world.

f


18 The Armenian Reporter | February 28, 2009

Editorial

Commentary

the armenian

reporter

Armenian studies reaches out to the community

In the course of covering news from our communities, we see dozens of organizations and

hundreds of people working hard to make a difference. We may sometimes smile at the hyperbole:

is every event as “extremely successful” and every award and venue as “prestigious”

as promoters would have readers believe? Perhaps not, but when we think of the work – almost

always volunteer hours – and generosity that goes into these events, we purse our lips

and say, “Thank you.”

Stepping back from particular initiatives, we can sometimes observe larger trends. Today

we’d like to remark on one positive phenomenon: the vigorous community outreach of Armenian

studies programs.

The Armenian Studies Program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, now under

the direction of Gerard Libaridian, has been particularly active. In January, the prominent

French-Armenian author Gérard Chaliand delivered the Berj Haidostian Lecture, “U.S. Policy

at the Periphery of Russia: The Geopolitics of the World Today.” We did not have to travel to

Ann Arbor to hear what he had to say; the lecture was webcast live.

From March 18 to 21, the program will host a major conference on “Armenia and Armenians

in International Treaties.” Again, anyone can watch the conference through the World

Wide Web, and even ask questions by email.

The program only recently hosted a lecture by Professor Seta B. Dadoyan, “Islam and Armenians.”

This lecture was not a recap of what we may have already known; rather, it argued

for a new way of looking at relations between Armenians and Muslims. Likewise, a lecture

on February 10 by Jasmine Dum-Tragut, a Manoogian Simone Foundation Visiting Scholar,

offered a fresh perspective on the role of the church in Armenian identity today. Manoogian

Simone Foundation post-doctoral fellows Sebouh Aslanian and Fuat Dundar have also given

public lectures, enhancing the community-outreach aspect of the program. Indeed, another

talk by Mr. Aslanian is scheduled for March 3 – with the intriguing title, “Trust in Gossip but

Bastinado when Needed.”

In the Greater Boston area, the Armenian Library and Museum of America has been

active in educating the public in a participatory way, with dance workshops, a lace workshop,

and concert series in addition to its exhibits. The National Association for Armenian

Studies and Research is reaching out with a March 5 talk by Prof. John Greppin on

Urartian influence on Armenia, and a March 22 showing of J. Michael Hagopian’s The

River Ran Red.

The Zoryan Institute is sponsoring a March 13 symposium in Washington to assess the

official report of the Genocide Prevention Task Force. It is also collecting artwork for an exhibit

on genocide, and sponsoring, for the 8th year, a human rights and genocide course; the

course will be held this summer at the University of Toronto.

These are but a few of the signs of lively community outreach by Armenian studies institutions.

Join us in thanking the administrators and sponsors as well as the scholars who are

engaging in the outreach. And we urge you not to miss out on the learning opportunities

they are offering.

f

Letters

A signature perspective

on Hakob Hakobyan

Sir:

Maria Titzian’s illumination of the artist

Hakob Hakobyan was distinguished journalism

only Maria with her signature perspective

could have done, and she did it beautifully

(“Hakob Hakobyan: repatriate, patriot,

painter,” Feb. 21, p. C5).

Modern Armenia has engendered many

distinguished artists, but of the greatest

only Hakob Hakobyan is still alive to talk for

himself.

Happily, Maria concentrated not on the

work but on the man. Speaking for himself,

he offered a view of his world, of Armenia,

and of his art that was profound, individual,

and inspiring.

As a reader, I am grateful for this interview

in the Armenian Reporter. The result is that

we may now have a far deeper insight into

this major artist’s large body of work.

Very truly yours,

Gregory Lima

Patterson, N.Y.

Kashatagh needs help

Sir:

I was on board the Costa Fortuna for the

Twelfth Armenian Heritage Cruise, where

I learned about the outstanding work

the Tufenkian Foundation is doing in

Kashatagh – the reclaimed lands in Karabakh.

Hakob

Hakobyan

in his studio.

Photo:

Armenian

Reporter

Presented by Dr. John Antranig Kasparian,

Nagorno-Karabakh program director of

the Tufenkian Foundation, Inc., the lecture

with slides, a geography lesson, an informative

DVD, and printed literature inspired the

audience to want to help with the house renovation

program.

No Armenian should live in a bombedout

stone house with no roof, no windows

(except cellophane), and earthen floor, no

running water, a damaged or nonexistent

front or back door, and no electricity. There

are approximately 8,000 inhabitants in the

Artsakh plain, and this area is rich in agriculture

(wheat, grapes, and pomegranates),

with many waterfalls and hot springs. Azerbaijan

desires these strategic lands back in

order to cut off Armenia from Karabakh

and presently Mountainous Karabakh is

hard to retake.

Thirteen hundred homes need renovation

in 2009. In this vulnerable region, where

few charities have ventured, private money

is needed. One cannot populate a homeless,

jobless no man’s land. Armenian blood retrieved

these ancient Armenian lands, but

the postwar patriots, pogrom victims of

Baku, and earthquake survivors cannot secure

or fortify the Lachin Corridor and its

borders alone; it needs more people.

Resettlement is top priority. Work, livelihood,

infrastructure (such as electricity and

running water, medical care, and schools) are

all needed.

The Armenians of France have helped

Mountainous Karabakh. The Irish have sent

a cob expert, Paul Dillon, to teach the locals

how to build earthen houses on their land

with clay, straw, and mud. The U.S. and the

entire diaspora must help. Economic times

worldwide are severe and the U.S dollar has

depreciated in Armenia. The population presently

in Nagorno-Karabakh is approximately

160 thousand; 500 thousand could live there,

but not without housing.

“Karabakh exists as long as Kashatagh exists.”

This is a direct quote from NKR president

Bako Sahakian. Kashatagh needs livable

housing. Please help to insure that Armenians

remain on these lands.

For more information, visit the website at

www.TF.org. Make tax deductible contributions

by check made payable to: Tufenkian

Foundation, Inc., 20 Capitol Drive, Moonachie,

New Jersey 07074. Questions 201-221-

1055, extension 327.

Very truly yours,

Mary Jo Agbabian

Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Dr. John Antranig Kasparian,

Nagorno-Karabakh program

director of the Tufenkian

Foundation, giving a lecture

aboard the Twelfth Armenian

Heritage Cruise.

Tell us what you think.

Write to letters@reporter.am

or call 1-201-226-1995 (N.J.), 1-818-955-9933 (Calif.), 374-10-367-195 (Armenia)

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is published weekly by Armenian Reporter llc.

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Publisher Sylva A. Boghossian

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Hochants

Karkar

Aragaju

1461

+

Yelkulular

28 April

Kzlja

Bar um Bar um

Azizbekov

+

Getishen

GERANBOY

Ghuytul

ospasovka

Chovdar 1524

Piruzabad

Yarghshlagh

Balakurd

Tzaghkotsavank Mon.

Yeni Alibayramli

T I G R A N A K E R T

Chaylu

+

Komintern

Jraberd Ragimli

Kzilhajili

Leghanuvank Mon.

Targmanchats Mon.

SHAKASHEN (HELENENDORF,

Shurakend

KHANLAR)

Hreshtakapetats Mon.

Banants (Bayan)

Topalhasan

Panakh

Khachakap (Kushchu)

Karamamed

+

avank Mon.

+

Zaglik

The Armenian + + Reporter | February 28, 26 2009 Comissars

+

1156

19

Safikurd

Kirants (S har ukkar)

Kushchunski Most

Ashikli

Shahumian

Mirzik

Kyoshk

Dozular

A Alunit

NAVTALAN

Hajishen

Amrvar +

+

Khangarvand

tzin Mon.

+

KARHAT (DASHKESAN)

CommentaryVoskanapat

(Zurnabad)

Mor ut

hmetli

Aygestan

Odzabun (Gyurzalar)

Mikhaylovka

+

(Hoktember)

Karkujak

Hajali

Maralyan Sarov

+

Mollahasan

M. Karhat

A zat

1263

Gyuneykend

+

+

+

+

Verin K arhat ( V,Dashkesan)

Armavir

2043

Dashaltikarakoyunlu

K amo

+

Todan

Safibeyli

Bekum Sarov

S hahumian

+ +

+

Ahmedli

Getashen

Erkej

+

Tchragidzor

+ + Zagal

Mar tunashen

+

Shafak

+

Zey va

Borsunlu

Khachaghbyur

M. Tchrag

Moshavan

Norashen

Tapkarakoyunlu

Hay Paris

Tazakend

+

+

K arachinar

2098

Yeghnasar Mon. +

+

Dastapor

Tokan

Manashid

Kangark

Tulal

Sarisu

M. Yeghnasar

Gaghtut

2396

Rus Paris

Jamili

Chanakhchi Zinzagal

Kharkhaput

Ghragh

+

+

Tagher

+

1802

Buzlukh

Getamej

Lake Kanach (Gyoygyol)

SHAHUMIAN

Lake Blbltatzov

+

Verinshen

Tarinj (Talish)

Hajikarvand

Glkhadir

Lake Erkentzov

Karabakh’s regional

GYOYGYOL RES.

Challi

Tzvlan

Ojakh

+

Seydimli

3361

M. Kashkar

Lake Maral

Horekavank Mon.

M. Tchaghat Sar

1998 Gyulistan

centers are falling

M. Kyapaz

+

Dyutakan

Maralyan Sarov

The REPUBLIC of ARM

2773

2189

+

3101 M. Bughasar

3068

Mataghis

MARGUSHEVAN

Yeghishe Arakyal

2877

Gyulistan Fort.

Getarat

(Jrvshtik) Mon.

+

TARTAR

behind Stepanakert in

Maragha

The REPUBLIC of ARMENIA is a state in Forwarding Asia (Southern

+

M. Kotur

3200

Amenaprkich Mon.

Haykajur

on-ly 1/11 part of the Historical Armenia. In 1918 hear was restorat

Tonashen

Voskepar

Ismayil

3048

M. Hankasar

2836

+

Levonarkh

of the 1-st Republic of Armenia. In 1920-91 in a part of this area exi

development

Kotratz Church +

3308

M. Metz Hinal

3462

M. Mrovsar

Karaghaj

in a frame of USSR. At September 21, 1991 was declared the 3-rd Re

3365

became a mem-ber to UN, at March 2, 1992 - to SIC, at February 18

3367

Omar Pass

3348

Getin Gomer

3125

M. Gyamish

Parav Bridge

2003 - to the WTO.

Gharadagh

M. Teksar

Varnkatagh

K armiravan

The territory of the Republic of Armenia limited by the 38*50' and 4

3724

by Tatul Hakobyan

Kaynag 46*37' of Eastern longitute. Armenia now bordered to Georgia in th

3318 Berdkunk Fort.

Maghavuz K aghankatuyk

È»õ

M. Ssuz

M. Jraberd

Anapat Mon.

Jraberd

Artsakh-Karabakh in the East and South-East, Iran in the South, Na

M. Berdkunk

Lev

Yerits Mankants Mon.

Ar tzvashen

3049

2303

M. Kangark

2845

2668

Lake Kari

3358

2190

+

+ Turkey in the West. Admini-strative division of RA is 10 provinces (

Kmkadzor

Shotlanli

province.

M. Vozmunk

Levonaberd Fort.

Hanshak

Sarakhach Mon.

Khanagah

Lake Kanach

Hatsavan There are appr. 33 000 Historical Monuments in RA - a 1/4 part of H

HADRUT, Nagorno-Karabakh – Hadrut

Jraberd Fort.

2501

+

MARTAKERT

Armenia and Artsakh are divided into 3 groups. The first group unify

Chapni

Itzakar Mon.

êà¸ø

2503 Shukavank Mon.

is surrounded by mountains Nor Karachinar on three sides,

+

SODK

Verin Mon.

+

+

rock-carvings of 8-7 mln B.C., ancient observatories like famous Sto

Sodk Pass.

Ilkhichilar

Igadzor

Masis Mon.

Aknaberd

Metzshen

Aghabekalanj

Karashamb - Stone Bunch, Stone Swamp, 4-3 mln B.C.), the pictures

odk

Yeghegnut

Mokhratagh

with a valley 2756 to the south. The valley Shikakar opens to

A stghablur

Ini Mas +

Ptolemayos or Copernicos, letters of Ar-menian alfabet dated by 5 m

+

Kusapat

Gyuluja

2415

Hakarakaberd Fort.

Akanaberd Fort.

+ Nerkin Horatagh

M. Shikasar

Armenian Christian and Secular Monuments, dated by 301-1880 - A

the Araks River valley, where the winters "Dzorapahak" are Rock

M. Katar

Nor Getashen

Zaglik

Haterk

+

which accepted Christianity as a state religion. More than 5 500 Arm

Hakarakaberd

Tzaghkashen Nor Karmiravan

mild, almost without

Yeghtsi

any snow.

Dadivank (Khutavank) Mon.

Suma

3008

located in Artsakh - including those northern part of Gandzak, same

Kut

at

Nor Brajur

+ + Vardadzor

Msheni

During the Karabakh + war, the armed forces

of Azerbaijan were able to Zovk move

+

Dadivank

Sarsang Res.

+

Pre-Settlement in Armenian (the area was a first inhabited land of N

Karvand

Karmrakar Mon.

Drmbon

Khach

+

Chapar Zardakhach

+

+

was created in 20 C.

Mehmana

Handaberd

toward

Fort. M. Khutasar

Charektar

Nor Haykajur

2900

The capital of the Republic of Armenia is Yerevan City (created at 78

ak

Ayrum

Nor Verinshen

Kotchoghot

2201

Tchumen

Getavan

Poghosagomer

Tchankatagh

the chief of state is President (since 1998 - Robert Kocharian), supre

Hadrut from the south, and with the help

Verin Horatagh

Akhperkan

+

(the Parliament). Currency of RA is dram - AMD, 1 $ = 550 AMD, GD

Nor Maragha

Nor Manashid

+

Havkakhaghats

of Soviet-armed KARVATCHAR

+

units, occupy and deport

Khnkavan

Ghazarahogh

500 annual.

3036

Yeghtsategh

Charektar Mon.

Harutyunagomer

898

horzha

the residents of the 14 villages of the region. Havsatagh

Vaghuhas

Chldran +

M. Vankasar

Amenaprkich Mon.

Manik

2526

Nor Aygestan T I G R A N A K E R T

Once the Russian tanks + stopped supporting

the Azerbaijanis, however, the Khozenek people of

Tzmakahogh

Tarnagyut

Khatravank Mon.

M. Yeghtsuglukh

Karmir Mon.

Anapat Mon.

Meghrakert (Ghazanchi)

Zuar

Kashtak

Vatchar

Srkhavand

3051

+

Mahrizli

Vankasar Mon.

M. Vaykunyats

Gandzasar Mon.

Kichan

Boyat

Karabakh liberated all of the seized villages,

+

Gindarkh

R anchpar

Yeghjerunik

Vank +

+

Khachen Res.

2770

Hovtashen

Apahen

+ Arajadzor

Karmir Mon.

which had been looted and destroyed during

M. Yerkatasar

Nareshtar

Karadaghli

Êá÷»ñ

Asrik

Nor Seysulan

Armenakavan

Mukhan

the years of occupation.

Khoper

2646

Garnakar

K araglukh

Hovvashen

Tblghu

U lupap

Ani

M. Dashtaglukh

+

The majority of the residents of those villages

did not return to their homes. The re-

Metzaranits +

Sardarashen

Araz

Hadrut landscape. Photos: Tatul Hakobyan Havaptuk Mon. for the Armenian Reporter.

Shikakar Fort.

2285

Ptki St.Gevorg Mon. Parukh

3426

M. Hankasar

+

Kurdlar

Zarkuni

M. Tarkhanasar 1906

M. Tzarasar

Tzar

Kolatak

Khramort

Akn

++

2463

Tutkhun

Dashtaglukh

St. Hakob Mon.

Khachen Rev

Minakhorlu

settlement

Tzara Getamej

T Z A R issue

Mon.

is one of the biggest problems

facing the region. In order to defend a

2528

Khndzristan +

+

M. Ughtasar

Khokhanaberd Fort.

+ + + Norag yugh

+

Vank

Kiamadin

3005

Zaralyur

M. Hovvasar

Koshik Anapat Mon.

Tzaghkashat

Voskevaz

Tzavalk

Nor Banants

M. Khachenamut

Ishkhanik

+

+

Tchrag

2218

587

2358

1932

Ukhtasar

country, first of all people are required. Today

the Hadrut region (inducing the liber-

Ishkhanats Fort.

Khantsk

Noragyugh +

3085

ASKERAN

M. Karaglukh

1706

Kachaghakaberd Fort.

+

Sunzhinka

BERDAYGI

Hilis

Koreknek

2182

Jermajur

Astghashen

ated territories that are administratively 3091

part

+

M. Nardvan

Otzkan, St.Amenaprkich and +

hach

Tzera Nahatak Monasteries + +

Tandzatap Mayraberd

2451

2623

2477

M. Kolagir

Ptretsik

Ivanian

Fort.

of the region) occupies about 1,800 square

+

M. Metz Beveratap

Kyatuk

Nakhijevanik

2679

Vaykunik Fort.

Okhti Yeghtsi Mon.

Lusadzor

+

+

225

Kyatuk

Varazabun

e Kari kilometers and has 3616 only 12 thousand residents.

3411

2436

M. Karmirkar

Gahanist

Dahrav

Hovsepavan

+

Vazgenashen

Vardadzor

M. Sarentagh

+

+

Sarnaghbyur

Haytagh Karabak

M. Chormank

M. Mataghakhut

737

Raffi Spring

Berkadzor

Karaglukh

3254

M. Aghahetchk

1353

Valeri Gevorgyan, head of Hadrut region’s

administration, confirms that dur-

Zoratsik

Arakelots

Chormank

Aghjkaberd Fort.

Shamk

2823

Aygestan

+ + +

M. Berd

Avshar

M. Odzun

Dahraz

Aghbradzor

+

Norshen

Varder

198

gh

Himnashen

Avdur

Lernavan

Berdashen

Volcano Rock

+

K akavadzor

Zorakhach

Myurishen

Hatsi +

+

ing the past several years the population

2697

+ +

+

Ashan

Yemishjan

Shoghavank

Budaghadzor

"We and our Mountains"

Hunashen

has not decreased, 3153 but it has only barely

Arakelots Mon.

Bri Yeghtsi Mon.

Harav

Spitakshen

3335

Hatamashen Movsesashen

M. Martiros STEPANAKERT

+

+

arakhach

Karaglukh

Kaghartzi

increased.

+

Verishen

2574

Maz Br.

Bovurkhanavank Mon. +

Kajavan

Varanda

Sis

Khachintap Martiros

2218

KRKJAN +

+

MARTUNI

Paravatumb

631

“It has increased, but very little,” he said.

Meghrashen

+ +

Nngi

3171

HAYKAVAN

ach

Karasni +

Haghorti

+

Vazgenashen Vakunis

Karashen

“The thing is that during our struggle, during

Shoghavank

Artashat

Mushkapat Gishi

Gaylatun (Ghaybali)

3

Mon.

1583

Vaghatzin

M. Bovurkhan

Spitakjur

Arjadzor

Getamej

+

+

Shosh

Nahatak Fort.

472

+ +

Lake Kari

the war, our youth, who would have been

Ani

Hakhnazar

Karmirgyugh

Hnushinak

+

+

Antaramej

+

+

Kavahan Kolkhozashen

nk

Odzun

SHUSHI

Shrvakan

Khachmaj

Northern Tchartar

married now and would have had children,

Drakhtik

+

Lake Spitak +

Artashen

Mkhitarishen

Shoshkavank Mon.

Gevorgavan

Katos

Ghazanchetsots Mon.

ì. +

Msmna + Kert + Tchartar

Yeznagomer

+ +

Ghazarapat

+

fell victim. We had 330 casualties in the region.

M. karkarot In other words, 330 families. Secondly,

Byululvank

Sghnakh

+

Tzovategh Yeghishe Mon.

V.Sznek

+

Karintak

+

Kherkhan

Karahunj

+

Lake Peri Lake Tzghuk

Arvakan Bagaran

+

+

N.Sznek

Sarushen

Russian Church

3288

+

Kaler

2328

Goghtanik

Jraghatsner

M. Sev +

M. Hak

+ +

Ukhtadzor

Sos

we had 14 Lake villages Ijevan from which the population Valeri Gevorgyan.

Memorial to the victims of the Karabakh Herher

M. Lusavorich

war.

3406

+

2295

+

+

Nerkin Veysal

Hak

Msheni

Tzaris

Aknaghbyur +

+

+

+

was deported during the ‘Ring’ military operation.

Those villages were liberated, but the already have 200

+

Avetaranots

Matchkalashen

+

Sonasar Gandza

+

Skhtorashen

Berdik Moshatagh

+

Tzaghkadzor

Madatashen +

Sargsashen

Varazgom

hectares

Margis

of vineyards, a portion

of which

Kusanats Anapat Mon.

+

2025 Ages Platan Tree

Amaras Mon.

M. Tziranakar

Herik

Moshkhmahat

Karmir Shuka

Yeghtzahegh

Lisogorsk

M. Pokr Kirs

Taghavard

A M A R A S

2472majority of their inhabitants did not return,”

Mirikhas already born fruit. We must

+

Hochants

Tas Verst

Zardanashen

Karegah

2436

3584

+ + + RUSSIA

+

+

P A Y T A K A R A N P L A T

M. Karatzov

Kashatagh

Gihut

Kherkhan

Mr. Gevorgyan said. M. Tzghuk

M. Tzitzernakar

Lake Baze

increase that number to 1,000 hectares,” Mr.

+

Shekher

Jivani

3307

3182

Berdadzor Mon.

M. Metz Kirs

Tchokht Prvatzar Mon. +

uk Construction worker Gagik Avanesian, Gevorgyan said.

Tzitzernavank

BERDZOR

Karvand

(Metzshen)

2724

Tzitzernavank Mon.

GEORGIA

Urmia

Kirsavan

Markhatun Mon.

M. Pokr Ishkhanasar

one of the residents of Hadrut, thinks the aftereffects

of the war are not the only reasons Diaspora support

Hinshen

"Karkar" or "Karatzov" -

Melikashen

+

Metz Tagher (Kazh) Azokh + Drakhtik

Sarnakunk

Sus

Zarker

Accumulation of Rock debries

Karahasnbeyli

2799 Lake Janli

+

+ + +

Aghanus

Herik

Gorozaberd Fort.

Spandarian

+

Tzitzakhach cave

Vorvan cave

3253

VARANDA

behind today’s demography.

Lake Sev

(Horadis)

echut

²½³ï

Azat

Lack of resettlement detrimental to Hadrut

Karadaghli

̳ñ

Tzar

The job market

îñïáõ

Trtu

Angeghakot

Sapatadzor (Kzljukh)

3548

M. Metz Ishkhanasar

“Young people do not get married because

Shaki

"Zorats Karer" or "Karahunj" (Stonehanj) -

they do not have a Ancient house,” observatory he (VII mln said. B.C.) “People

Balak

should feel that there is a state. If they construct

houses, young people will live and get

Syuniats Mon.

Aghitu

Noravan

married there. SISIAN Today only 1 percent of the

Uytz

Vaghatin

region’s population can

+

afford + to construct

Brnakot Tolors Res.

Vorotan

their own houses. And Vorotnavank those Mon. who have the

Ashotavan

Tolors

money prefer to construct or purchase Shamb a

Salvard Hatsavan

Shamb Res.

house in Yerevan, Stepanakert, or any other

city rather Tasik than in Hadrut.

Darbas

+

For that +

Akhlatian +

reason

Ltzen

Tanahat

the state must Bnunis show an interest in Getatagh improving

+

Spitak Khach

the demographic Torunik situation,” Mr. LorAvanesian

said.

M. Koshakar

St.Gevorg Mon.

Just 2921 as Armenia’s regions have fallen behind

Yerevan Ayriget (Soflu) in their development, so too

DASTAKERT

Shenatagh

Svarants

have the Tsghuni regions of Nagorno-Karabakh

St.Stepanos Mon.

fallen

2931

M. Karazhayr

behind Stepanakert. One-third of Armenia’s

population is concentrated in Yerevan and its

M. Yernjak

M. Geghakar

surrounding areas; the 3343 same applies to Artsakh

Armenians who live in Stepanakert and

3368

M. Sapat

3392

3234

M. Aramazd

Kirs

its surrounding towns. And so, both Armenia

and Nagorno-Karabakh Karut resemble a sick

Ajabaj

child with M. a Nahapet big head and thin legs.

3375

Geghavank

The boom in construction of recent years

Payahan

Getishen Geghavank

has also had a negative side effect. Thousands

M. Artzatahan

of workers from

3341

Armenia’s and Nagorno-

Geghi

HursKarabakh’s villages Lake Gazana have moved to Yerevan

or Stepanakert in search of temporary jobs

and are trying M. not Gazanaler

É.

3856

Lusavorich Mon. to M. return Kajaran to their homes,

3620

KAJARAN SHLORUT

where the future is not as promising as it

Mesropavan

3906

seems in the capital M. Kaputjugh cities.

Bist

KAJARAN

“Finding + an available laborer in the city of

Tevi

M. Siskatar

Hadrut for 3,000 drams a day is not easy,” the

3826

2483

Kakaran Pass.

head of Hadrut region’s Lake Parakan

+

administration said.

Paraka

Tashtun Pass.

The residents of the Lake Gogi region of Hadrut were

2369

3707 Lake Tzakkar

+ mainly engaged in growing grapes, but cultivating

ut the vineyards during war years

R amis

+

Tashtun

öËñáõï

è³ÙÇë

Lake Kapuyt

Pkhr

3753

Litchk

was impossible. St.Sargis Mon. A portion M. of Kapuythe vineyards

simply St.Khach perished. Bazmari

Mon. After the war those territories

+ were privatized and instead of Kgrapes,

akavaberd

Khustup

Zvaravank Mon.

+

Hunus

people started growing grain on those same

K aghakik

Baghakar Mon.

lands. +

Tr unis

+

Tanaker t

Aygedzor

“Now people are once again thinking about

Astvatzatzin Mon.

vine-growing and are Nunis planting vineyards. We

"Tzoveri Dzor" - Ancient

Cave-settlement

ard

ahat Mon.

oyahmed

chats Mon.

ch Mon.

Voghohi

v

A R

T S

haberd

2449

1

ard

on.

glugh

09

Karakhach

A

Vorotan

Shaghat Res.

Üáñ³Ï»ñï

Noraker t

+

R

Ðáõñë

ghna (C hananab)

Dulun

Shaghat

Mutsk

²ñ»õÇë

Arevis

+

Dzknarat

A N G

K

E

H

Jermajur

Shamkor

Spandarian Channel

Shaki Waterfall

Sisian

Z A N

Mon.

V A N

G E Z

U R

H

R A N

Geghi

Karkarot

St.Tovma Mon.

Vaghaver

+

+

Gandzak

Vanand

Verin A gulis

Anapat

+ + + +

Handamej

Nerkin A gulis

G E

+

Dastapor

M R

Spitakjur

I G

Ajriget

Vorduar

Gandzak

O V

Tutkhun

Lev

Karkarot

γñ¹

Kaputjugh

H

Kard

Kajaran

Hajatin

Tatev

Tatev Mon.

M. Terkatar

Khordzor

Kard Kavtchut

Hayi Chingil Pass.

R

L

Aghavnoget

B A R G U S H A T R A N G E

A

Arevik

Lor

N G E

Kashkar

Tutkhun

Kachaghakadzor

A N D

Baghajur

Vorotan

Halidzor (Baghaberd)

Fortress

Lernadzor

St.Hambardzum Mon.

During the past

Khoznavar

several years, the support

Vaghatur +

+

Liberation of Artsakh

of the diaspora has

Khnatzakhbeen invaluable. Dziasar

Lake Jinli

With

+

the money pledged to the Armenia Fund

3232

Aravus

and the Revival of Artsakh project, + works

worth several million dollars have

++

Kornidzor

Kotuts Ch. Tegh

been carried

out in the Hadrut region: schools, wa-

Karashen

+

Verishen

+

Nerkin Khndzoresk

GORIS

ter pipes, Brun and roads have been constructed,

Khndzoresk

and other structures vital + for the population

have been

Znganadzor

Cave Goris

"Portakar" Rock

+

Aghjkaberd Fort.

renovated. This type of aid

ZANGEZUR

Cave Khndzoresk

is very important Lake Kuris for +

DZORASHEN

the population to see

Hartashen

+

and believe Lake Khot that good works can and are

2123

Karahunj

M. Yerablur

AYGEDZOR

being carried out. Only in this way Azatashen will it

Lake Shinuhayr Khot

+

be possible to + bind the Armenian and the

Shinuhayr +

Davtashen

future of his or + her children Dzhokhadzor with the homeland,

so that they will not emigrate to Ar-

Halidzor +

Vorotan

1371

+

menia or +

M. Salli

Bardzravan

overseas.

Mr. + Gevorgyan Bgheno Noravank admitted that for the past

Mon.

two Harants to three Anapat Ch. years there Shurnukhhas been no resettlement.

“We have internal resettlement, when

Tandztap

Aghvani

Shamsuz

Tchapkut

Arajadzor

Tandzver

Paytavan

people Kashuni move from one village to the other.

Atchanan

Years ago it felt like there was resettlement,

Davit-Bek

+ Verin Khotanan

+

people used to come, but they did not come

Antarashat

Yegheg

Karmrakar

+

+

Dovrus

to settle here but to see how everything is.

Okhtar Shrvenants

Only in Norashen Karatgha

Erkenants

and + Haykavan villages Kaghnut did

+ N.Khotanan

+

people settle. Dzorastan Today these Sevakar are normal villages

with their schools:

Yeritsavank Mon.

Norashenik Chapni Artzvanik

Arajadzor

each with 40 students,”

Verin Giratagh

V.Getak

he said.

SHGHARJIK

KAVART

ACHAGHU

Halaj

Khdrants

Nerkin According Giratagh + to +

+

+

NKR National Statistic N.Getak Services

data, as

SHAHUMIAN

JRAKHOR

of January KAPAN 1, 2009, the population

Syunik

PARAVATUMB

+

Ditsmayri

+

in the

DAVIT-BEK

Hadrut region BEKH has increased by only

Sznak

12 people compared Vahanavank Mon. to the data of January

VERIN + Gomaran

Baghk

VACHAGAN

1, 2008. 2975

+

M. Tchaghatsar

Harzhis

"Devil Bridge" Rock

3277

Geghi

2666

Gandzak

Vararak

Tatev

M E G H R I

Meghri

M. Khustup

The north-south highway

Tchakaten

3201

+

Pkhrut

brought Hadrut closer to

M. Shishkert M. Tutamarg

Stepanakert2735

2163

Katnarat

Voghji

( A R E V I K

The north-south 3246 highway, which stretches Srashen

M. Baghats'sar Shishkert

more than 160 kilometers + from Hadrut to

+

Tzav

Martakert K aler and was constructed with the

Vank

+

pledges + 3024

of all Armenians, is the most important

piece of infrastructure in all of

M. Tchgnavor

Nerkin Hand

Verin Vardanidzor

S H I K A H O G H R E S E R V A T I O N

Karabakh. + In the past Karabakh’s regional

M. Mtnadzor

Nerkin Vardanadzor

centers communicated with 2367 Stepanakert

Mtnadzor

+

over roads that passed through Azerbaijan.

And so, in order to get from Hadrut

2006

Vardanidzor

2269

Kajkert Sevada Mon.

to Stepanakert, it was necessary to travel

Maralzami

Karmir Mon.

Vahravar

Gudemnis

Lehvaz

+ Kuris +

Hankavan MEGHRI

Meg

Trtu

Hochants

Khotanan

Baghk

) R A N G E

A

R

T

S

A

M. Gmbet

Malev

K

H

Giran

Shalua

Alvank

+

Pchants

Goris

Geghanush

Shvanodzor

R A N G

Shishkert

Mazra

Tandzik

Shvanidzor

E

Aghavno

Dzorashen

Geghanush

Shikahogh

Tzav

Masrik

Nrnadzor

ºÕݳçáõñ

Khndzoresk

Last

Yeghna

Trghi

Tegh

Shikahogh

+

Shahmasur

Vorotan

Dashtahogh

îñïáõ

Trtu

Tchambarkhach

Aparan Hunanav

Gtchavank Mon.

Hatam Br.

Kakavavank Mon.

Togh

KARYAGINO

Jrakus Hogher

Aghavno

M. Charchiberd 2338

+ + + Kyuratagh

Meghvadzor

Tumi +

+

+ +

Arevasar

Suaras

Okht Drni Mon. +

Mariamadzor

Taghot

Vnes Fort.

Melikahogh

Karing

M. Sahnasar

Mokhrenes

Tzakuri

+ Aknaghbyur

1462

Ukhtadzor

+

2388

+

M. Arevasar

Petrosashen

Hakari

Hakaku

Tzaghkavank

Spitakashen

+

Karmrakutch

Pletants

Parajants

+

Khtzaberd

Katarovank Mon.

+ +

+ +

Khuzen

Vardashat

Harar

Khachgetik +

M. Surb Khach

M. Dizapayt

+

Melikashen

HADRUT

2478

+ +

Sranotsadzor

2011

Sarinshen

Berdavan

Vaghaver

St.Hovhannes +

+

+

Vank

Tzamdzor

Tayk

Mkrtich Ch. + IRAN

Hin Tagher

R affi

+

+

Tsor

Norashen

Aghavnatun

+

Dashtazat Amutegh Mon.

1468

Khandzadzor

Tzaghkaberd

1721

Tsoraberd Fort.

+

+

Spitak Khach Mon.

M. Trukar

Zori cave

Jraberd +

Dzoragyugh +

Amutegh

Banadzor

Maratuk

Arevshat

Nerkin Shinategh

1041

Dzorap

+

1470 Saralanj

M. Berdasar

+ Mariam Astvatzatzin Church

M. Tezhasar

+

Haykavan

Arakyal

Jrakan

Shinategh

Vurgavan

Tovmasaberd Fort.

+

Martunashen

Karmrakar

+

Uzhanis

Keren

Sanasar

Getap

Saratak

Morajur

Urekan

Verin Kashunik

Tigranavan

Aygehovit

Aygestan

Tovmasar

Sahar

Hadrut occupies Kashunik about 1,800 Getamej

Janfida

Dzor square kilometers and has 12

Haykazyan

Hale

Ishkhanadzor

Reporter +

1279 map © 2009 Armenian

Mamark

Karashen

Þݳù³ñ Shnakar

Yeghvard

Vardabats

Khoy

more than 100 kilometers and pass through

Kumayri

the Azerbaijani cities of Fizuli Artzvashen and Aghdam.

+

Today’s well-constructed

Itsan Pakahan road is only 50 kilometers

long and Shirak

Aghadzor

Yervandakert

passes entirely though the

Verin Gaylatagh

Vardanants

territory of Karabakh. Yeritsvank

Nerkin Gaylatagh

Vordnav

However, the north-south highway and the

Vanatun

Amirian

previously constructed Goris-Stepanakert

Krmen

Hakob Hakobian

highway are not all that has been constructed

with the millions of dollars pledged by

Dzoravank Mon.

MGHARTASHEN

Karatak

diaspora Armenians.

Berkri

Works KOVSAKAN worth millions Mush of dollars have Toval

(Zangelan)

been

Ditsmayri carried out Artsakhamayr in the Hadrut region alone. The

+

Van

Western U.S. affiliate of the Armenia Fund

Khachadzor

Vorduak Alashkert

allocated $1 million to renovating Chalandar the Hadrut

+

city hospital.

MIJNAVAN

About six months ago construction

was concluded and today the hospital is

Vinek

Tzobadzor

in good condition, furnished with state-ofthe-art

medical Dalk equipment.

Ashaghlu

Sotan

Bardutagh

Ozak

Recently the renovated building of Togh

School and the 22-kilometer-long Alyur Togh-

+ + +

Agarak

+

Voghji

1378

Khachenaget

Hakari

M. Partez

Krvaberd Fort.

M. Vjnal

Inja

Kolatak

Hunanav

Berdadzor

Tzob

Vararakn

Khachajur

Ptretsik

Meghraget

Giran

TURKEY

Gaylget

Znganakap

Henzerud

Karkar

Hakari

A R

Alajuje

T S

A K

H R

Pokr Hakari

thousand residents. Armenian

Reporter LLC.

Mash'had

Balahovit

A N

G E

Vankasar

1580

M. Tovmasar

ShushantsHakari

Vayan

Tartar Left Bank Channel

Levonarkh

Channel

Haykajur Channel

Ishkhanaget

AZERBAIJAN

Tovmasi Selav

Sotan

Keleybar

Khachenaget

Ttujur

Mavruz

+

Trtu

Salakatin

Taghaser

JRAKAN

(Jebrail)

Aygestan

Shakar

Ijevanatun

Larijan

Iskenderbeyli

Hadrut gas pipeline have also been put into

operation. A water pipeline has been constructed

in Hadrut and the

Bestak

Safarluproblem of drinking

water has been partially solved. Renova-

Mehbalar

Khudaperin

tion and construction works are also being

Bridges

carried out with funds provided from the

Larijan

Kulikushtagh

Khudaperin

NKR state budget.

Zonbalak

“We are grateful to diaspora Armenians;

Khanagah

they have done a lot for our region. A considerable

amount of work has been carried out

with funds provided by diaspora Armenians:

schools and medical centers have been renovated

and roads have been constructed. We

do not expect any more financial aid from

the diaspora Armenians. It is enough; they

have helped a lot. Now I would like to invite

them to come to Hadrut when they visit

Armenia and Karabakh. Let them come, see,

and relax,” the head of Hadrut region’s administration

said.

f

Janali

Sring

H A B A N D H I G H L A N D

Inja

+

Varanda

Harar

N A K O R Z A N

Khonashen

Nerkin Sring

Ishkhanaget

Balan

Karkar

Ghlenkhutijur

Amaras

Mandagh

Aygevet

Hasratan

Kotur

Lekan

Horadis

Araks

Mar jan

Kangarmas

Hasan Kyatali

Seidahmedli

Verin Korgh

Shamli

Dilbilmagh

Abdrahm

HO


20 The Armenian Reporter | February 28, 2009


The Armenian Reporter | February 28, 2009


The Armenian Reporter | February 28, 2009

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