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Eastern U.S. edition - Armenian Reporter

6 The Armenian Reporter | May 30, 2009Communityagbu Europe asks Euro-candidatesabout 7 key Armenian issuesSt. Nersess Seminary tohold Father’s Day picnicPARIS – The Armenian GeneralBenevolent Union’s Europeanboard (agbu Europe) has launcheda pre-electoral campaign askingcandidates in the European electionsfor their positions on sevenkey issues that impact Armenia,Karabakh, and Armenians in Europe.In June 2009, Europeans, includingof course those of Armenian descent,will have a chance to vote inthe European Union (EU) elections.Their vote could affect the futureof Armenia and the Armenian diaspora.The European Union makesimportant decisions for all Europeans,including Armenians living inEU member states.The campaign will ask candidatesin every EU country seven questionson relevant EU policies, whichwill be published for the generalpublic. This will provide Europeans,particularly European-Armenians,with factual information to helpthem choose between candidateson election day. Crucially, it willraise awareness among candidates,and remind them that voters careabout these issues.Relevant EU policies includethose that concern Armenia’s futureEuropean integration andthe newly launched Eastern Partnership,policies on culture, language,and freedom and justice;peacemaking in the South Caucasusand the future of Karabakh;and Turkey’s accession prospectsand the recognition of the ArmenianGenocide.With this campaign, the organizationhopes to encourage European-Armeniansto form anopinion on EU policies and to castan educated vote. The campaignalso intends to generate debateand raise awareness among futuremembers of the EuropeanParliament about these importantquestions. For more informationon Armenians and Europe, seewww.insideeurope.eu.Individuals and organizationsinterested in raising these issueswith their candidates to the Europeanelections are encouraged tocontact them and publicize theiranswers.All information about the campaign,including the seven questions,answers received, and thecontact information for the mainpolitical parties running in the Europeanelections in each country,can be found at: http://campagneelectorale.agbueurope.org/agbu Europe (agbueurope.org)was established by the agbu CentralBoard of Directors in January2008 to coordinate and developpan-European activities. agbu Europepromotes important initiativesin areas as diverse as academicresearch, conservation and promotionof heritage, culture, and education.NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – St.Nersess Armenian Seminary willbe the site for a Father’s Day Picniccelebration on Sunday, June 21.The day will begin with Divine Liturgycelebrated at 10 a.m. followedat noon by picnic festivities. TheAra Dinkjian Ensemble – includingHarold Hagopian, Dick Barsamian,and Chuck Yegian – will entertainthe crowd with their musical talentwhile picnic-goers enjoy deliciousArmenian cuisine. Traditional lulehand chicken kebob meals with theworks will be sold, as well homemadepaklava and more. Children’sactivities will also be on hand toamuse the little ones.But perhaps the highlight of theafternoon will be the St. NersessStore featuring logo-adorned shirts,sweatpants, sportspacks, mugsand more. Seminary publicationsand some homemade items will beavailable for purchase.“We are very excited about the opportunityto offer this event. Ourgrounds are beautiful and we wantto share this special day with thecommunity,” explained Fr. DanielFindikyan, Dean and Professor ofLiturgical Studies at St. Nersess.“We hope that people will join us tocelebrate fathers and at the sametime learn more about the missionof St. Nersess.”Visitors are encouraged to bringlawn chairs and tavloo boards to150 Stratton Road to participate inthe fun-filled events of the day atSt. Nersess. Admission and parkingare free and the picnic will be heldrain or shine.Sponsorship opportunities areavailable to help offset the cost ofthe picnic. All proceeds from theevent will directly benefit the St.Nersess Armenian Seminary. connect:stnersess.edu1-914-636-2003Oh yeah, we canhelp you sell itClassifieds with theArmenian Reporterclassifieds@reporter.am818-955-8407 You share the samecommunity. Discover whathappens when you sharethe same experience.For more information aboutRelay For Life or to join anevent near you, visitwww.cancer.org/RelayNYNJor call 1.800.ACS.2345.Paint the Town Purple incelebration of Relay For Life onMay 1, May Day For Relay.INVEST IN MANHATTAN REAL ESTATEARCH. RLTR. SEEKS $1-$4 MIL CAPITALFOR MORTGAGES/CONDOS & A $6 MIL BRIDGE15% INT. ON 50% LTV SEC’D W. $25 MIL. R. E.JT. VENTURE $500M 22 UNITS E. RIVER VIEWSUP TO $100% RTN OR PRESELL AS “ARMENIA HOUSE”212 7774476/ F. 8554 NYHAROUT@YAHOO.COM1.800.ACS.2345www.cancer.org/relayNYNJ


The Armenian Reporter | May 30, 2009 7CommunityHrag Hamalian to head new charter middle school in SanFernando ValleyTuition-freeValor Academynow acceptingapplications for nextyear’s fifth gradersLOS ANGELES –Following 18months of planning and preparation,educator Hrag Hamalian hasearned the approval of the LosAngeles Unified School District(LAUSD) to launch a charter middleschool in the San Fernando Valley.The new school, Valor Academy,will open its doors this fall with aclass of fifth graders. It will add agrade each year until it becomes afull-fledged, fifth- to eighth-grademiddle school. With plans to be locatedon Woodman Avenue, ValorAcademy is a tuition-free, publiccharter school, which will serveNorth Hollywood, Arleta, and PanoramaCity. Although any Californiaresident may apply, seats are limitedto 120 fifth-grade students in 2009.If more than 120 fifth-grade childrenare signed up, a lottery willbe held at the end of the sign-upperiod to determine admission.“Valor Academy is being establishedto address the longstandingeducational crisis in the Arleta-Panorama City-North Hollywoodarea, which is also home to a growingnumber of Armenian families,”said Mr. Hamalian, who will leadthe school as its principal. “We arelaunching the area’s first-ever chartermiddle school, and our goal is toput every one of our students on aclear path to college.”According to Mr. Hamalian, ValorAcademy will place equal emphasison educational excellence and characterbuilding. Toward this end, heexplained, the academy will featurea longer school day, a highly qualifiedcorps of teachers, free tutoring,a disciplined school culturethat aims to foster self-respect andinitiative, frequent communicationwith parents, and an overarchingfocus on literacy and math.A former member of the Teachfor America Corps, Mr. Hamalianwas associated with Locke HighSchool in Los Angeles, where heserved as a biology teacher, departmenthead, and co-founder ofthe School of Math and Science.He has spent the past two yearsworking in a school-leadershipresidency with Building ExcellentSchools, a nationally recognizedincubator for new schools.Studying and analyzing over 25 ofAmerica’s highest-performing urbancharter schools, Mr. Hamalianhas drawn from the country’s bestpractices to lay the foundationsof Valor Academy. Many of hisachievements as an educator arechronicled in the book RelentlessPursuit: A Year in the Trenches withTeach for America.In fulfilling his vision for ValorAcademy, Mr. Hamalian workedclosely with Valor Board chair WilliamRyan and community leaders,elected officials, and the lausd.“As a result of their incredibly generouswork, we have reached thismilestone and are poised to openour doors in a few short months.”Mr. Ryan noted that as a charterschool, Valor Academy is allowed“to operate with more freedomcompared with a conventional publicschool, in terms of innovativeteaching methods and curriculum.”Although Valor Academy has securedcore public funding to openthe school, a mix of additional andongoing assistance is needed toensure the envisioned quality andfull range of its services, Mr. Hamaliansaid. The school seeks donationsas well as volunteers to signup families for the school, attendfairs, pass out flyers, and spreadthe word. It also seeks “communitypartners,” to provide the schoolwith in-kind products and servicessuch as uniforms, printing, andafterschool programs, or to inviteValor Academy personnel to communityevents where there mightbe families interested in the school.The academy is also hiring employees,including teachers andvarious staff members. connect:1-818-528-5467valoracademy.orgMekhitarist monastery’s abbot, assistant visit Southern CaliforniaLA CRESCENTA, Calif. – Theassistant abbot of the MekhitarianMonastery in Venice, Rev. VahanOhanian, visited ArchbishopMoushegh Mardirossian, Prelate,at the Western Prelacy on May 26.Rev. Ohanian and the AbbotMost Rev. Fr. Yeghia Kilaghbianare currently in Los Angeles to attendthe 30th anniversary celebrationof the Mekhitarist Fathers’School over the weekend.During their meeting the Prelateand Rev. Ohanian exchanged informationregarding the endeavors oftheir respective institutions. ThePrelate wished Rev. Ohanian successin his upcoming endeavorsand presented him with a mementoprior to his departure. Edward D. Jamie, Jr. Funeral Chapel, LLC208-17 Northern Blvd. Bayside, NY 11361Tel. 718-224-2390Website: www.jamiejrfuneral.com.Rev. Vahan Ohanian, left, with Abp. Moushegh Mardirossian.Calendar of EventsServing the Armenian Community Since 1969Edward D. Jamie, Jr.-NY&NJ Licensed Funeral DirectorClassifiedsNEW YORKMAY 31 – AMAA ANNUALSPRING CONCERT, 2:00 PM atArmenian Evangelical Churchof NY to benefit children to attendsummer camps in Armenia& Karabagh. Ani Kalayjiancello,Sofya Melikyan-piano,Sami Merdnian-violin, SolangeMerdinian-mezzo soprano.Tickets: $20 ($10/students).Tickets & info call AMAA at201.265.2607, New York Churchat 212.685.3177, Ida Gueyikianat 732.946.2730, or ElizabethAynilian at 201.444.8122JUNE 13-14 - Theatrical Presentationon June 13 Saturday8PM and June 14 Sunday 3PM– Church Auditorium. ArousiagPapazian Theatrical Groupof the Armenian Church ofthe Holy Martyrs presents“The Last Mohigian” a two-actplay by Dr. Nishan Parlakian,directed by Lucy JamgochianDjirdjirian. For tickets call thechurch office 718-225-0235,Maro Jamgochian 516-352-2565 (eve) or Talene Nigdelian917-837-6006.JUNE 14- NEW YORK ARME-NIAN HOME’S ANNUAL PIC-NIC on the home grounds at137-31 45th Ave, Flushing, NY11355. Music by John Tarpinianand Ensemble. Delicious food.Parking available. 1:00PM-?For info call 718.461.1504.JUNE 21 - ARS NY EREBUNICHAPTER’S FATHERS DAYLUNCHEON. Maestro RaffiSevadjian will be honored asFather of the Year. St. SarkisChurch Hall 38-65 234 Douglaston,NY @ 1:00 pm. Admission:$40 adults & $20 children(12 & under). For reservationscontact: Nayda Voskeritchian@ (516) 603-2809 or YeranAtakhanian @ (718)-279-9658JULY 1-4-ARMENIAN MEDI-CAL WORLD CONGRESS(AMWCO9) Hilton, NewYork,in NYC. For more imformationvisit www.aahpo.org/amwc09NEW JERSEYSEPTEMBER 24 - - Sts. VartanantzChurch 7th AnnualGolf Outing. River Vale, NJCountry Club. Lunch, Dinner,Golf and More. Shotgunstart at 1:00pm. For reservationsor more info please call :Mark Alashaian 201-483-3200,Sarkis Shirinian 201-307-0825or the Church Office 201- 943-2950.NOVEMBER 15 - SAVE THISDATE: “ONE NATION, ONECULTURE” A Cultural FestivalUnder the Auspices of Dr. HranushHakobyan, Republic ofArmenia Minister of Diaspora,Organized by HamazkayinEastern USA Regional Executive,Featuring Alla Levonianfrom Armenia and Babin Boghosian& Ensemble from LosAngeles, With the participationof Antranig Dance Ensembleof AGBU, Akh’tamar DanceEnsemble of St. Thomas ArmenianChurch, Yeraz DanceEnsemble of St. Sarkis Church,NJ Hamazkayin Nayiri DanceGroup & Arekag Children’sChoir & Dhol Group. SUNDAY,NOVEMBER 15, 2009. 4pm. FelicianCollege, 262 S. Main St.,Lodi, NJ. Donation: $75, $50,$35, $25. For more informationor tickets please contact:Hamazkayin @ 201-945-8992 orParadon2009@gmail.comMASSACHUSETTSACAA ARMENIAN HERI-TAGE CRUISE XIII - 2010FT. LAUDERDALE, FL - JoinArmenians worldwide onthe ARMENIAN HERITAGECRUISE XIII 2010. Sailing onSaturday, January 16-23, 2010.To San Juan, PR, St. Thomasand Grand Caicos Islands onthe Costa Atlantica. Prices startat $679.00 per person. ContactTravelGroup International 1-866-447-0750,ext 102 or 108.Westcoast: Mary Papazian 818-407-140; Eastcoast: AntranikBoudakian 718-575-0142 Female Armenian-Americanavailable for part- time nannyservices, located in the nyc area.Subscription Couponthe armenianreporterannual ratesU.S.A.: First Class Mail, $125; Periodicals Mail, $75Canada: $125 (u.s.); Overseas: $250 (u.s.)namestreetcity/state/zipCan speak fluent Armenian,teach piano and tutor children.Call Monique at 415-297-6804.Check Enclosed OR Charge My:Mastercard Visa Amex DiscoverExp.mail coupon to: armenian reporterp.o. box 129, paramus, nj 07652orfax coupon to (201) 226-1660(credit card orders only)


8 The Armenian Reporter | May 30, 2009CommunityOne in a million on April 24 in Armeniaby Tom VartabedianHAVERHILL, Mass. – Whenpeople tell me I look like a million,I don’t know who’s fooling whom.I don’t know whether they meanI feel like I just inherited a millionbucks, or that I look like a millionyears.Either way, it turns into a numbersgame that is far beyond mycomprehension and yours. Peoplewith a $10 million lottery ticket areno better off than a $9 million winner.A million in this case doesn’tmake a big difference either way.While touring Armenia in April,I was “one in a million.” On April24th, the 94th anniversary of theArmenian Genocide, I joined acrowd estimated at 1 million makingits annual pilgrimage to the memorialon the outskirts of Yerevan.Had you been there, you wouldnot have seen a bigger crowd anywhere,no matter what the activity.I was incredulous three yearsago during my first trip to Armeniathat I was immersed in a crowd of100,000, which turned out to celebrateArmenian Independence Day.My Genocide Memorial Dayencounter topped that figure tenfold.The entire city shut down forthis commemoration so mournerscould gather with their families andplace flowers by the eternal flame.A 2-3 hour wait was typical, by thetime you made your way from thepark’s entrance to the monument,Tzitzernakaberd. Along the route,you spent time getting acquainted,chatting with others, listening toliturgical music over loudspeakers,and just recalling history.Many like myself thought aboutwhat it must felt like back in 1915when the Ottoman Turkish hordesinvaded one village after anotherand put to death 1.5 million innocentvictims while sending anothermillion from their homeland.It does a population good to recallsuch events annually and teachyounger generations so that historywill not repeat itself. Althoughit is a national day of mourning inArmenia, it is also a day of commemorationand gratitude in someA crowd estimated at 1 million pays its respects at the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, April 24, 2009. Photos: TomVartabedianways that a country torn with strifewas able to display its resilience andrise from the ashes.I purposely planned my trip to coincidewith the event, having been apart of such observances back homewhich were sometimes displays of agreat sense of apathy. In Armenia,history is laid before them. Here, itserves people well to bury the pastand look to the future.With 4,500 Armenians in theMerrimack Valley, three local commemorationsdrew less than 500people. The population in all ofYerevan is listed around 1 million.Perhaps 80 percent of the entiresettlement turned out, joinedby another 20 percent from theoutskirts, though many of thosetowns and villages conducted theirown observances.I was also impressed by the heavyrepresentation of youth at this memorial.The night before, membersof the younger generation marchedfive miles in the rain to the monument,singing patriotic songs.Many of those also repeated thegesture next day, hoisting signsof every country that recognizesthe genocide. Sad to say, my ownAmerica was not among them, eventhough 44 states have formally adoptedsuch a position.Those who know me recognizethe fact I’m not very good in crowdsituations and that I avoid them atall costs. I did attend a Celtics playoffgame, and that was bad enough,with 17,000 in attendance, only tosee my favorite Boston team lose.You would think that 1 millionfolks would resemble a mob scene,jostling its way to irritation. On thecontrary, security guards along theway kept the massive throng movingin coordinated stages.A face in the crowd. A pine needleon an evergreen. An acorn in a forest.For one moment in my life, Iwas a pebble at the seashore. Peoplewere everywhere - as far as thenaked eye could see.Whether it was a rose or a lilac,they came equipped with enoughflowers to build a 20-foot floralwall. Vendors did a brisk businesskeeping up with the trade. Men inmilitary uniforms stood next toJack Papazian remembered as Philly catalystA youngster places a flower by theeternal flame.A lone demonstrator pays homage toslain journalist Hrant Dink.youngsters sporting neckties.No fanfare or ritual. They arrivedto pay homage, place a flower,and off they went. It was easyto understand why businesses andschools were closed for the day. Ittook that long to work throughthe crowd.One or two were seen draped inred, blue, and orange - the colors ofthe Armenian flag - while one demonstrator,an older woman, held asign in memory of Hrant Dink, theslain Turkish-Armenian journalist.She held her ground from morningtill night.“He gave his life for his country andhis people,” she said. “Hrant Dinkwas a modern-day martyr whosememory will never be forgotten.” by Tom VartabedianEvery community needs a Jack Papazian– someone to shepherd theyouth, motivate the adults, collaboratewith legislators, keep the churchfront vital, and spread the goodname of Armenia at every interval.That was Jack Papazian, a manwho served as Philadelphia’s catalyst,role model, do-gooder, pillar, andman for all seasons rolled into one.His death on May 19 had farreachingeffects across the land andsent a jolt into this city of brotherlylove, for Jack was to Philly whatBen Franklin, Valley Forge, and IndependenceHall were for America.Larger than life.Whether it was the ArmenianYouth Federation or Camp Haiastan,the Armenian Prelacy or ArmenianYouth Foundation, his arfGomideh or St. Gregory Church,his immediate family or his extendedfamily, Jack was always ontop of his world, making it a betterplace to dwell.He played the oud and violin. Butmost of all, he played the good legionnaire,fighting his illness to the veryend until the Good Lord came calling.His 69 years were lived exceptionallywell. It’s not the quantity of lifeJack Papazian, 1940–2009.that delineates the man, but thequality. Suffice it to say that Jackleft behind a legacy that will longbe remembered. If nothing else, hegave Philly an honorable presence,whether it was in some committeehe served or chairing the NationalRepresentative Assembly for eightyears.For a mild-mannered, soft-spokenchap who often preferred thebackground, Jack carried a powerfulvoice. He was not an elocutionistor a braggart by any stretch,but a thinker. If you needed a jobdone, you would give it to Jack becausehe had more than enough todo and couldn’t stand the thoughtof turning you down. Or remainingidle.Whether it was the twinkle inhis eye, the catch in his voice, orthat look of sincerity, Jack had experiencegoing. He was an ambassadorwhose mission was to servehis heritage with dignity and firmness– not a man to be ignored ordealt with in condescension, but astatesman for a stateless people, adiplomat for a people which neededdiplomats.He had no delusions of grandeur,yet he was grand. He had few pretensionsof leadership virtues, andyet he was a leader. He worshippedthe heroism of others, little realizingthat his nation revered him asa model of devoted service.And as the legionnaire he was,Jack was always at salute wheneverthe legion was mustered.I remember him first as a delegateto ayf conventions andlater at arf conventions. He wasarticulate, intelligent, and effective.When Jack spoke, peoplelistened. I recall that year in 1982when he was honored before hishometown fans as an ayf OlympicKing and how he deferredthe tribute to others he felt weremore worthy.His best moments were on anayf Olympic track, not as an athlete– though he was a pretty decentbaseball player – but as a motivator,especially when his children Davidand Cindy were harvesting medals.He was always there for every ayf“Sebouh” Chapter athlete, whetherthey finished first or last.I still see him running around theinfield with his athletes, encouragingthem along with a stopwatchin hand, shouting words of inspiration.He ran every race with everyathlete, absorbed their joy andfrustration, trials and tribulations.He was not only an advisor, coachor mentor, but a surrogate fatherto many.It irked him more than anythingwhen some of his “kids” lost interestin the games for whatever reasonand weren’t representing hiscity properly. He lived to see Phillyretire the cup last summer for thefirst time and gloated with prideas son David – a chip off the sameblock – served on the ayf OlympicGoverning Body.An Olympic Ball was never thesame without Jack or his wife Armine.In latter years, he had takena back seat, but his spirit neverwaned. As the son-in-law to thelegendary Arthur Giragosian, aProvidence icon, he needed no furtherdivine intervention.Think of it as a Norman Rockwellpainting of an aging professorspeaking words of wisdom to hisstudent. Jack took that knowledgeand imparted it to generationsthat followed. Nothing would havepleased him more than to have seenhis four grandchildren participatein an Olympics – Eric and TalinePapazian and Kail and AlexandraMcHugh.I did not know he had a master’sdegree from Drexel Universityor was a lieutenant in the Armyonce stationed in Germany. Henever mentioned it. I did know heworked 35 years at a pharmaceuticalfirm and had retired as directorof administration.Jack was just as effective in theoutside community, especially withthe Montgomery County NorristownPublic Library where he servedas a director the past six years. Heremained the consummate American-Armenian.A man such as this never dies inthe eyes of a grateful community.May God rest his soul.


The Armenian Reporter | May 30, 2009 9PT ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTFOR NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONLooking for bright, mature, multi-lingual (Armenian/French/English)individualwho is well organized and pays attention to detail. Must be computer savvy and have strong planning and problemsolving skills. Potential for advancement to FT Administrative Assistant.Contact the Armenian American Health Professional Organization (AAHPO)at 201-546-6166 or info@aahpo.org.N. Lael Telfeyan, Ph.D., LCSWCounseling and Psychotherapywith Individuals, Families and CouplesAdults and Adolescents140 West 97th St.New York, NY 10025By appointment 917-975-310924 Windsor RoadGreat Neck, NY 11021e-mail: nlael@aol.com


Ian Anderson. Photo: Arthur Khachatryan.Jethro Tullperformed inYerevanVisit us at reporter.amGipsy Kings concertcoming nextYEREVAN – The legendaryBritish rock group Jethro Tullperformed on in the greathall of the Armenian Philharmonicon May 22. The concertwas sold out. Armenia’s truerock fans were there, as werethe staffs of foreign missionsand businesses. Two buses fullof rock fans came down fromTbilisi, TV Mol reports. Withthe prime minister, TigranSarkisian, a big fan, in attendance,there was no shortageof government officials onhand either.The hall thundered withrhythmic clapping and dancingof the fans. It was a wonder theroof did not come down.One of the fans, miraculouslycircumventing the watchfulguards, managed to climb onthe stage and grabbed hold ofIan Anderson’s leg. It wasn’ta hologram. Yes, it was reallyhim. The bodyguards and theother musicians were barelyable to detach the fan from hisidol and send him back to thehall. The incident did not ruinthe mood; on the contrary, itadded to the excitement in thehall, which lasted through thelast note and beyond.Coming next, on May 30: TheGipsy Kings. Anyone who hasbeen to Yerevan in recent yearshas heard their music blastingfrom the outdoor cafés. Nowpeople will get to hear the realthing.10 Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture | May 30, 2009


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SITUATIONALETHICSUnsupervised at anArmenian sports weekendJoin the discussion with a questionor an answer – or both.Armenian rather than an odar.Am I a hypocrite?I am very protective of my teenagedchildren. But I am consideringletting them go to an Armeniansports weekend on their ownand getting them their own roomat the hotel. I figure that for allmy vigilance, they’re going to beable to hook up behind my back;it might as well happen at an Armenianweekend, where there’sa chance the (potential) hookupwill lead to a relationship with anSigned,Father of Armenian TwinsDear fat,Yes, of course you’re being hypocritical.You’re very protective of yourchildren because they are children,and thus vulnerable, andthus need your protection andguidance.It’s good that you want yourchildren to form lasting relationshipswith fellow Armenians.And a sports weekend isan ideal place for teenagers tostart or continue friendshipsand loves. But that doesn’tchange your obligation to protectyour children. Even in anArmenian environment, noteveryone is an angel.By the way – ethics aside– consider how your brilliantplan could backfire. Your kidscould have bad experienceswith fellow Armenians and vownever to deal with an Armenianagain. You know you need tobe there to guide and protectthem.Sure, things you don’t wantcould happen behind your back– in an Armenian setting or anon-Armenian one. But don’tdespair. According to a newstudy, teens who take part inroutine family activities likeeating meals together or joiningin fun project are less likelyto engage in risky sexual activity,and teens who didn’t engagein risky sexual behavior weremore likely to participate infamily activities. (See Science-Daily, May 21, 2009.)So why not make the sportsweekend a family activity? Gofor the sports weekend withthem, keep an eye on them, andenjoy yourself too.Avak YeterianAgree? Disagree? Have somethingto add? Have a question ofyour own? Write ethics@reporter.amtoday.Next week’s questionI do not enjoy Armenian banquets.The speeches are long and self-congratulatory.My parents’ generationmay enjoy the entertainmentbecause of the nostalgia it evokes,but it makes me sick. Yet I havebeen taught that I have to “support”Armenian events as a wayof giving back to the community.Sending a donation isn’t goodenough, because people will judgethe event not only by the incomebut also by the turnout. Is it wrongfor me to simply stop going? 12 Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture | May 30, 2009


Shushi ensemble to dance at consecration of St.Vartan entry doorsNEW YORK – The Shushi ArmenianDance Ensemble of St.Vartan Armenian Cathedral willperform at the consecration ofthe cathedral’s new bronze entrydoors on Sunday, May 31.The cathedral’s new doors– a project more than 30 yearsin the making – will be consecratedby Archbishop KhajagBarsamian, Primate of the Dioceseof the Armenian Churchof America (Eastern).The day will begin with thecelebration of the Divine Liturgyat 10:30 a.m. Services willbe followed by a procession tothe cathedral plaza for the unveilingand consecration of thedoors.The Shushi Dance Ensemble,under the direction of SetaPaskalian-Kantardjian, willperform after the consecration.A reception and program willfollow in the Haik and Alice KavookjianHall, honoring benefactorswho made the doorspossible and recognizing dignitariesand organizations whohelped realize the DiocesanComplex.Also, a special photo and artexhibit will be on display in theadjacent Guild Hall, chroniclingthe fabrication of the doors.The reception and program areopen to the public.The bronze doors depict inthree-dimensional relief thebaptism of Armenia’s KingDrtad III by St. Gregory the Illuminator.That developmentmarked Armenia’s conversionto Christianity, making it thefirst nation in the world to beconverted.Fundraising for the doorsproject began decades ago withefforts led by the St. VartanCathedral Guild. Funds lay dormantfor a while, as the cathedral(and the community itself)turned its attention to othermatters. But recently, a sizablecontribution from the Dadourianfamily – descendants ofone of the original benefactorsof the cathedral – allowed theproject to move forward.The Shushi Armenian Dance Ensemble of St. Vartan Cathedral will take part in the consecration of the cathedral’s newbronze entry doors on Sunday, May 31, in New York.A committee comprised ofcathedral dean Fr. MardirosChevian, Fr. Garabed Kochakian,Yeretzgin Yefkin Megherian,and Michael Haratuniandesigned the doors, conceivedthe artwork, and guidedthe engineering. Fabricatingthe doors was a labor of lovefor Setrak Agonian and hisInternational Creative Metalfirm.connect:1-212-686-0710Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture | May 30, 2009 13


Mark Arax willchange the wayyou see CaliforniaMark Arax.LOS ANGELES – Award-winningauthor and journalist MarkArax, a former senior writer atthe Los Angeles Times, will behosted by the agbu Young Professionalsof Los Angeles for abook talk on June 3.Arax’s new book, West of theWest: Dreamers, Believers, Builders,and Killers in the GoldenState, gives California readers afresh perspective on their adoptedhome state. The world’sperception of the states - a placeof earthquakes, fires, celebrities,and good weather - takes aback seat to the reality of Arax’sdescriptions of the grape fieldsand the marijuana fields and allwho contributed to the evolutionof the nation’s richest andmost mystifying state.This rare opportunity to meetthe author and discover howArax wove these unique Californiantales together in West of theWest will be taking place on atVertical Wine Bistro, 70 N. Raymond,Pasadena, Calif. Copies ofthe book can be reserved, with a10% discount, by e-mailing agbu.ypla@gmail.com.Al Pacino to play JackKevorkian on hboAl Pacino will star in an hbomade-for-cable movie aboutright-to-die champion Dr. JackKevorkian, Variety reported onMay 26. The pic will be directedby Barry Levinson.The movie will revolve aroundDr. Kevorkian’s construction ofhis “Mercy Machine,” his firstassisted suicide in the early1990s, and the resulting mediafrenzy.Dr. Kevorkian was convictedof second-degree murder in1999 as a result of his involvementin an assisted suicidethat was videotaped and latershown on TV. He was releasedfrom prison in 2007.The movie is based on amanuscript for a book aboutDr. Kevorkian, “Between theDying and the Dead,” writtenby Harry Wylie and NealNicol, longtime friends andassociates of Dr. Kevorkian’s.According to Variety, it isnot yet known whether Dr.Kevorkian himself will be involvedin the production ofthe movie.Al Pacino.Mr. Jones also just completedwork on a feature-lengthdomentary on Dr. Kevorkian’sunsuccessful bid for the U.S.House of Representatives lastyear. He was running againstJoe Knollenberg, a passionateadvocate of Armenian-Americaninterests who at the timewas co-chair of the ArmenianCaucus in the House. 14 Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture | May 30, 2009


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Program Grid1 – 7 JuneEST PST09:30 pm 12:30 am10:00 pm 1:00 am10:30 pm 1:30 am11:00 pm 2:00 am11:30 pm 2:30 am12:00 am 3:00 am12:30 am 3:30 am1:00 am 4:00 am1:30 am 4:30 am2:00 am 5:00 am2:30 am 5:30 am3:00 am 6:00 am3:30 am 6:30 am4:00 am 7:00 am4:30 am 7:30 am5:00 am 8:00 am5:30 am 8:30 am6:00 am 9:00 am6:30 am 9:30 am7:00 am 10:00 am7:30 am 10:30 am8:00 am 11:00 am8:30 am 11:30 am9:00 am 12:00 am9:30 am 12:30 pm10:00 am 01:00 pm10:30 am 01:30 am11:00 am 02:00 pm11:30 am 02:30 pm12:00 pm 03:00 pm12:30 pm 03:30 pm01:00 pm 04:00 pm01:30 pm 04:30 pm02:00 pm 05:00 pm02:30 pm 05:30 pm03:00 pm 06:00 pm03:30 am 06:30 am04:00 pm 07:00 pm04:30 am 07:30 am05:00 pm 08:00 pm05:30 pm 08:30 pm06:00 pm 09:00 pm06:30 pm 09:30 pm07:00 pm 10:00 pm07:30 pm 10:30 pm08:00 pm 11:00 pm08:30 pm 11:30 pm09:00 pm 12:00 am1 June 2 June 3 June 4 June 5 June 6 JuneMONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAYThe ArmenianStepan PartamianBari Louys Hayer7 Mekhq5KhohanotzWhen Stars are DancingDiscoveryCenturyGevoBari Louys HayerCLONE Repeat5Sassounian CommentaryUnlucky HappinessRepeat5Bari Kisher HayerLiveThe ArmenianStepan PartamianSassounian Commentary7 Mekhq1P S ClubYO YOWhen Stars are DancingLive from AmericaNewsCLONE Original1Unlucky HappinessOriginal1NewsGyanki Keene – Original1Bari Kisher HayerThe ArmenianStepan PartamianBari Louys Hayer7 Mekhq1KhohanotzWhen Stars are DancingDiscoveryCenturyGevoBari Louys HayerCLONE Repeat1NewsUnlucky HappinessRepeat1Bari Kisher HayerLiveThe ArmenianStepan PartamianNews7 Mekhq2Mi Gatil MegherYO YOWhen Stars are DancingLive from AmericaNewsCLONE Original2Unlucky HappinessOriginal2NewsGyanki Keene – Original2Bari Kisher HayerThe ArmenianStepan PartamianBari Louys Hayer7 Mekhq2KhohanotzWhen Stars are DancingDiscoveryCenturyGevoBari Louys HayerCLONE Repeat2NewsUnlucky Happiness Repeat2Bari Kisher HayerLiveThe ArmenianStepan PartamianNews7 Mekhq3BlefYO YOWhen Stars are DancingLive from AmericaNewsCLONE Original3Unlucky HappinessOriginal3NewsGyanki Keene – Original3Bari Kisher HayerThe ArmenianStepan PartamianBari Louys Hayer7 Mekhq3KhohanotzArogchabahaganDiscoveryCenturyGevoBari Louys HayerCLONE Repeat3NewsUnlucky Happiness Repeat3Bari Kisher HayerLiveThe ArmenianStepan PartamianNews7 Mekhq4Yere 1YO YOArogchabahaganMi Gatil MegherNewsCLONE Original4Unlucky HappinessOriginal4NewsGyanki Keene -Original4Bari Kisher HayerThe ArmenianStepan PartamianBari Louys Hayer7 Mekhq4KhohanotzArogchabahaganDiscoveryCenturyGevoBari Louys HayerCLONE Repeat4NewsUnlucky Happiness Repeat4Bari Kisher HayerLiveThe ArmenianStepan PartamianNews7 Mekhq5Garkin HaghortumYO YOArogchabahaganMi Gatil MegherNewsCLONE Original5Unlucky HappinessOriginal5NewsGyanki Keene -Original5Bari Kisher HayerHot LineHamerkKhohanotzArogchabahaganDiscoveryCenturyGevoTesangouynMy Big, FatArmenianWeddingDeal or No DealNewsMer AibenaraneMer Lezoun Mer KhoskeYere 1 (ye:re:van)P S ClubWhen StarsAre Dancing (Hamerk)Hay FilmArmenianMovieNewsTesangouynMi Gatil MegherYere 1 (ye:re:van)Garkin HaghortoumSassounian CommentaryDiscoveryCenturyMer Lezoun Mer KhoskeArmenia DiasporaDeal or No DealSassounian CommentaryBlefGongret ShowPS NEWSFilm StoryHot Line7 JuneSUNDAYHot LineGongret ShowP S ClubBlefYere 1 (ye:re:van)Mer Lezoun - Mer KhoskeMer AybenaranCenturyDiscoveryFilm StoryHay FilmArmenianMovieDeal or No DealHot LineArmenian TeletimeFilm StoryHay FilmArmenianMovieHamerkLove E LeeTesangouynMi Gatil MegherYere 1 (ye:re:van)Garkin HaghortoumSassounian CommentaryDeal or No DealBlefMy Big, FatArmenianWeddingDirections WithRafi ManoukianWhen StarsAre DancingYere 1 (ye:re:van)Cool ProgramHot LineTaline and Friends, whose “bright and cheerful song and dance bring joy to Armenian children and warm their parents’ hearts.”Taline and Friends to perform in Northridge June 7LOS ANGELES The popular children’ssinger Taline will be joinedby the bunny rabbit Nabig, thekitty cat Peeso, and Dzaghradzouthe clown for a concert on Sunday,June 7, at 5 p.m. The “Let’s Sing &Dance” concert will take place atPlaza Del Sol Performance Hall,18111 Nordhoff Street, at CaliforniaState University Northridge.Taline’s “bright and cheerfulsong and dance bring joy toArmenian children and warmtheir parents’ hearts,” accordingto the cover story for theMay 5, 2007 Armenian ReporterArts & Culture section.The June 7 concert promises tobe full of singing, dancing, audienceparticipation, and fun. 16 Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture | May 30, 2009


Watch Armenia TV on Dish Network. To get a dish and subscribe, call 1-888-284-7116 toll free.Satellite Broadcast Program Grid1 – 7 June1 June 2 June 3 JuneMONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAYEST PST4:30 7:30 News inArmenian5:00 8:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial6:00 9:00 Los - Armeniûs6:30 9:30 Cost of life-Serial7:20 10:20 My Big, FatArmenian Wedding7:45 10:45 GoodNight,Armenians9:30 12:30 News inArmenian10:00 13:00 The ArmenianFilm11:00 14:00 News inArmenian11:30 14:30 Telekitchen12:00 15:00 Our Alphabet12:30 15:30 Los - Armeniûs13:00 16:00 News inArmenian13:30 16:30 Cool Program14:00 17:00 A Drop ofHoney15:00 18:00 News inArmenian15:30 18:30 Two Faces-Serial16:30 19:30 UnhappyHappiness-Serial17:00 20:00 My Big, FatArmenian Wedding17:30 20:30 Cost of life-Serial19:00 22:00 News inArmenian19:30 22:30 GoodMorning,Armenians21:00 0:00 News inArmenian21:30 0:30 Two Faces-Serial22:15 1:15 Telekitchen22:35 1:35 OurLanguage,Our Speech23:00 2:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial0:00 3:00 Cost of life-Serial1:00 4:00 Blef1:30 4:30 News inArmenian2:00 5:00 My Big, FatArmenian Wedding2:30 5:30 Los - Armeniûs3:00 6:00 Two Faces-SerialEST PST4:30 7:30 News inArmenian5:00 8:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial6:00 9:00 Yere16:30 9:30 Cost of life-Serial7:20 10:20 My Big, FatArmenian Wedding7:45 10:45 GoodNight,Armenians9:30 12:30 News inArmenian10:00 13:00 The ArmenianFilm11:00 14:00 News inArmenian11:30 14:30 Telekitchen12:00 15:00 OurLanguage,Our Speech12:30 15:30 Yere113:00 16:00 News inArmenian13:30 16:30 VOA(The Voiceof America)14:30 17:30 Los - Armeniûs15:00 18:00 News inArmenian15:30 18:30 Two Faces-Serial16:30 19:30 UnhappyHappiness-Serial17:00 20:00 My Big, FatArmenian Wedding17:30 20:30 Cost of life-Serial19:00 22:00 News inArmenian19:30 22:30 GoodMorning,Armenians21:00 0:00 News inArmenian21:30 0:30 Two Faces-Serial22:15 1:15 Telekitchen23:00 2:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial0:00 3:00 Cost of life-Serial1:00 4:00 News inArmenian2:00 5:00 My Big, FatArmenian Wedding2:30 5:30 Yere13:00 6:00 Two Faces-SerialEST PST4:30 7:30 News inArmenian5:00 8:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial6:00 9:00 Cool Program6:30 9:30 Cost of life-Serial7:20 10:20 My Big, FatArmenian Wedding7:45 10:45 GoodNight,Armenians9:30 12:30 News inArmenian10:00 13:00 The ArmenianFilm11:00 14:00 News inArmenian11:30 14:30 Telekitchen12:00 15:00 Yere112:30 15:30 A Drop ofHoney13:00 16:00 News inArmenian13:30 16:30 Concert15:00 18:00 News inArmenian15:30 18:30 Two Faces-Serial16:30 19:30 UnhappyHappiness-Serial17:00 20:00 My Big, FatArmenian Wedding17:30 20:30 Cost of life-Serial19:00 22:00 News inArmenian19:30 22:30 GoodMorning,Armenians21:00 0:00 News inArmenian21:30 0:30 Two Faces-Serial22:15 1:15 Telekitchen23:00 2:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial0:00 3:00 Cost of life-Serial1:00 4:00 News inArmenian2:00 5:00 My Big, FatArmenian Wedding2:30 5:30 Cool Program3:00 6:00 Two Faces-Serial4 June 5 June 6 June 7 JuneTHURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAYEST PST4:30 7:30 News inArmenian5:00 8:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial6:00 9:00 Blef6:30 9:30 Cost of life-Serial7:20 10:20 My Big, FatArmenian Wedding7:45 10:45 GoodNight,Armenians9:30 12:30 News inArmenian10:00 13:00 The ArmenianFilm11:00 14:00 News inArmenian11:30 14:30 Telekitchen12:00 15:00 Cool Program12:30 15:30 The ArmenianFilm15:00 18:00 News inArmenian15:30 18:30 Two Faces-Serial16:30 19:30 UnhappyHappiness-Serial17:00 20:00 My Big, FatArmenian Wedding17:30 20:30 Cost of life-Serial18:00 21:00 Super Duet18:30 21:30 Sit.Com.19:00 22:00 News inArmenian19:30 22:30 GoodMorning,Armenians21:00 0:00 News inArmenian21:30 0:30 Two Faces-Serial22:15 1:15 Telekitchen23:00 2:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial0:00 3:00 Cost of life-Serial1:00 4:00 Blef1:00 4:00 News inArmenian2:00 5:00 My Big, FatArmenian Wedding2:30 5:30 OurLanguage,Our Speech3:00 6:00 Two Faces-SerialEST PST4:30 7:30 News inArmenian5:00 8:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial6:00 9:00 Yere16:30 9:30 Cost of life-Serial7:20 10:20 My Big, FatArmenian Wedding7:45 10:45 GoodNight,Armenians9:30 12:30 News inArmenian10:00 13:00 The ArmenianFilm11:00 14:00 News inArmenian11:30 14:30 Telekitchen12:00 15:00 Yere113:00 16:00 The ArmenianFilm15:00 18:00 News inArmenian15:30 18:30 Two Faces-Serial16:30 19:30 UnhappyHappiness-Serial17:00 20:00 My Big, FatArmenian Wedding17:30 20:30 Cost of life-Serial18:00 21:00 Super Duet19:00 22:00 News inArmenian19:30 22:30 The ArmenianFilm21:00 0:00 News inArmenian21:30 0:30 Two Faces-Serial22:15 1:15 Telekitchen23:00 2:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial0:00 3:00 Cost of life-Serial1:30 4:30 News inArmenian2:00 5:00 My Big, FatArmenian Wedding2:30 5:30 Our Alphabet3:00 6:00 Two Faces-Serial4:00 7:00 Match ShowESTPST4:30 7:30 News inArmenian5:00 8:00 A Drop ofHoney5:30 8:30 Blef6:00 9:00 Cool Program6:30 9:30 Red or Black7:20 10:20 The ArmenianFilm10:30 13:30 A Drop ofHoney11:30 14:30 Los-Armenios12:00 15:00 Yere112:30 15:30 Blef13:00 16:00 News inArmenian13:30 16:30 My Big, FatArmenian Wedding15:00 18:00 News inArmenian15:30 18:30 Our Alphabet16:00 19:00 The ArmenianFilm18:30 21:30 voa(The Voiceof America)21:00 0:00 Our Alphabet21:30 0:30 A Drop ofHoney22:00 1:00 Cool Program22:20 1:20 Yere122:40 1:40 Los-Armenios23:10 2:10 Red or Black0:00 3:00 Cost of life-Serial3:00 6:00 Jo-Jo3:30 6:30 A Drop ofHoney4:00 7:00 Match ShowESTPST4:30 7:30 News inArmenian5:00 8:00 Fort Boyar6:00 9:00 Concert7:30 10:30 UnhappyHappiness-Serial13:00 16:00 voa(The Voiceof America)13:30 16:30 Jo-Jo14:00 17:00 Cost of life-Serial19:00 22:00 News inArmenian19:30 22:30 Good Morning,Armenians21:00 0:00 News inArmenian21:30 0:30 Two Faces-Serial22:15 1:15 Telekitchen22:40 1:40 Our Alphabet23:10 2:10 Fort Boyar1:30 4:30 News inArmenian2:10 5:10 A Drop ofHoney3:00 6:00 Two Faces-SerialPope receives Lebanese-Armenian artist’s workGLENDALE – A work by MichelineAbounassar, betterknown as Micha, was presentedto Pope Benedict XVI on May 12during his visit to Jerusalem.The executive director of theAssembly of Catholic Bishopsin the Holy Land, Wadie Abunassar,presented The Savior tothe Bishop of Rome. The presentationtook place during theLuncheon with the Ordinariesof the Holy Land, the Abbots,and the Papal Entourage in thePatriarchate of the Latins in Jerusalem.The pope blessed Micha’swork.The work is a printed oilpainting, number 2 of a limitededition of 500, signedand numbered by the artist.The work portrays Jesus as ablue-eyed man with a light olivecomplexion and dark beard.The background is pitch black– so much so that it reflects theambient light.Micha, who lives in Glendale,Calif., is from Nazareth. Hergrandmother, Haigo-He Tabarjian,is Armenian.The Savior, Jesus of Nazareth by Nazareth native Micha.IT’S KEF TIMEconnect:1-818-522-7123Michasgallery.comMicha Micheline E. Abounassar, the artist, with print 2 of 500 of The Savior, Jesusof Nazareth, before it was shipped from Glendale Calif., to Jerusalem, and onwardto the Vatican.Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture | May 30, 2009 17


18 The Armenian Reporter | May 30, 2009CommunityCollege student raises $10,000 for far through musicAni Nalbandian, College of the HolyCross senior, and concert organizer,singing onstage at the April 19, 2009concert, “Pour Toi, Armenie.”Standing Conference of the Oriental Orthodox Churches inAmerica holds spring meetingParticipants atthe StandingConference ofthe OrientalOrthodoxChurches inAmerica meeting,Paramus, N.J.,May 18, 2009.NEW YORK Archbishop KhajagBarsamian, Primate of theDiocese of the Armenian Churchof America (Eastern), attended ameeting of the Standing Conferenceof the Oriental OrthodoxChurches in America on Tuesday,May 18.The meeting, held at the Archdioceseof the Syriac OrthodoxChurch in Paramus, N.J., was ledby Standing Conference chairpersonArchbishop Barsamian andhosted by Metropolitan Mor CyrilAphrem Karim, the head of theSyriac Archdiocese of the EasternUnited States.It was also attended by otherclergy of the Eastern Diocese whoare members of the Standing Conference,including the Very. Rev. Fr.Daniel Findikyan, the Very Rev.Fr. Vahan Hovhanessian, and theRev. Fr. Tateos Abdalian.Participants discussed programsfor youth, the development of abrochure about Oriental OrthodoxChurches, and an effort tostrengthen the presence of Easternand Oriental Orthodox churches inWashington through the creationof a special joint commission.In addition, participants beganto make plans for this year’s OrthodoxPrayer Service, the annualgathering organized under the auspicesof the Standing Conference ofCanonical Orthodox Bishops in theAmericas and the Standing Conferenceof Oriental Orthodox Churches,to give Orthodox Christians anWORCESTER, Mass. – A magnificentconcert commemoratingthe Armenian Genocide and raisingmoney for the Fund for ArmenianRelief, took place at Seelos Theaterat the College of the Holy Cross onApril 19.The concert, featuring fatherdaughterduo Fr. Untzag and AniNalbandian, in addition to theJohn Berberian Ensemble, was soldout, with 370 people in attendance.The concert made for a truly historicoccasion, serving as the inauguralevent of the college’s ArmenianStudents’ Association, whichwas newly founded by Ms. Nalbandian,a senior. What is more, Ms.Nalbandian and the other studentsinvolved succeeded in raising upwardof $10,000 for Armenia. Fully$7,657.12 of this sum remains afterexpenses, and is being donated tofar. The money is to specificallybenefit young students and childrenin Gyumri, Armenia, the siteof the devastating earthquake inDecember 1988.Among the audience memberswas the president of the college,Fr. Michael McFarland, SJ, whooffered his remarks praising theconcert, the students of the asa,and concert organizer, Ms. Nalbandian.Also in attendance wasthe executive director of Fund forArmenian Relief, Garnik Nanagoulian,who offered his remarks,reflecting upon Ani’s welcomingstatement in which she spokeabout the importance of solidarityamong Armenians and non-Armeniansalike in helping the peopleof Armenia.Local members of the Worcesterand neighboring Armenian communitiesalso flocked to this event,including local clergy and membersof the Armenian communities inWorcester, Whitinsville, Framingham,Springfield, Watertown,and even as far as southwesternConnecticut and New Jersey. Formonths leading up to it, the concertwas highly publicized in Armenianand non-Armenian networks,with Ms. Nalbandian and JohnBerberian even being invited fora guest appearance on the HankStolz Show. The Worcester Telegram& Gazette also ran a feature storyon Ani, John, and the concert, asdid the College of the Holy CrossPublic Relations office, which postedan online video of an interviewwith Ani.For approximately 150 non-Armenianstudents, professors, andopportunity to come together forworship and to learn more abouteach other’s culture and heritage.Last year’s prayer service washeld at St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral.The gathering included worshipand a program focusing on thestaff of the College of the HolyCross, the concert was a beautifulintroduction to the richness of Armenianmusic and language. In lettersand emails to Ani, many peoplerelayed their feelings of joy duringthe concert, and how the music andatmosphere brought them to tears,and even had them stomping theirfeet with the music.The musical performances bythe Nalbandian duo were all songs,sung solo by either father ordaughter, or jointly. Both Fr. Untzagand Ani played the piano, andAni also surprised the audience byplaying the accordion, and recitingparts of Paruir Sevak’s poem,Anlreli Zangakatun, with the familiartune of Dle Yaman in the background.In addition, the Nalbandianduo was accompanied by severalhighly accomplished student musiciansat the College of the HolyCross, including: Michael Ferragutoon violin, Justin Rucci ondrums, David Sheerin on piano,and Michael Simms on clarinet.The concert also featured the acclaimedoudist, John Berberian,and members of his ensemble: MalBarsamian on clarinet and guitar,Harry Bedrosian on keyboard,and Bruce Gigarjian on dumbeg.Their selections included traditionalArmenian music, from themelancholy Yeraz to the upliftingHamest Kourikner (Tamzara).To conclude the concert, the lastperformance was Fr. Untzag andAni singing the song Pour Toi, Armenie,one of the many in the repertoireof Charles Aznavour, andwas composed in commemorationof the victims of the 1988 earthquakein Armenia. The song wasalso the inspiration for the title ofthis benefit concert.Reflecting upon the concert, AniNalbandian remarked, “I believethat we succeeded in achievingsomething unprecedented that day.We fostered an atmosphere of sincereinterest and compassion at ourcollege for the victims of the 1915Armenian Genocide, and for thosewho continue to lead difficult livesin Armenia. More importantly, wedid so by bringing together youngand old, non-Armenian studentsand non-Armenian professors, aswell as Armenians from the nearbyand not-so-nearby communities.Never before has such unity of spiritfor Armenia been experienced onthis campus.”It truly was something special. United Nations Millennium DevelopmentGoal to stamp out povertyand inequality.Also under discussion was theupcoming Roman Catholic Churchand Oriental Orthodox ChurchesDialogue, scheduled for September30, 2009, and the proceedingsfrom the last international RomanCatholic and Oriental OrthodoxDialogue held in Rome in January.Before adjourning, participantsprayed together and shared newsfrom their respective churches. Kay Armen Manoogian honored at Diocesan Center in New YorkNEW YORK – Kay Armen Manoogianwas awarded the St. Sahagand St. Mesrob Medal anda pontifical encyclical issued byKarekin II, the Catholicos of AllArmenians. Archbishop KhajagBarsamian, Primate of the Dioceseof the Armenian Church ofAmerica (Eastern), presented themedal at St. Vartan Cathedral onWednesday, May 20.Ms. Armen was honored forher dedication to the ArmenianChurch and her accomplishmentsin the performing arts. This awardwas given to her as part of thecelebration of St. Vartan Cathedral’s40th anniversary. Earlierrecipients include Lucine Amara,Anahid Ajemian, and Lili Chookasian,who were honored witha medal and encyclical from theMother See of Holy Etchmiadzinin October 2008.Forty people gathered at theDiocesan Center on Wednesdayto celebrate Ms. Armen’s achievementsand accomplishments. Sherecalled how her mother broughthome a shovel used at the groundbreakingof St. Vartan Cathedralover 40 years ago and how involvedher family was in the ArmenianChurch, and especially in the life ofthe cathedral.“I love the church,” said Ms. Armen.“Everywhere I’ve gone, Ihave found an Armenian Church.I’ve loved every Armenian ChurchI visited.”“Kay Armen Manoogian has beenclosely involved in the cathedralsince the very beginning,” ArchbishopBarsamian said. “As a community,we all felt a part of hergreat artistic achievement.”Ms. Armen is a singer, composer,and actress who has made manyrecords and performed in theatres,nightclubs, films, and on television.She joined the American Societyof Composers, Authors, andPublishers (ascap) in 1953. Herpopular song compositions include“Be Good to Yourself,” “MyLove and I,” and “It’s a Sin to CryOver You.”ArchbishopKhajagBarsamianpresents thepontificalencyclical toKay ArmenManoogian at St.Vartan Cathedral,New York, May20, 2009.


The Armenian Reporter | May 30, 2009 19ArmeniaAbove: Schoolchildren from Artik visit the Sardarapat Memorial Complex. Top right and above right: The memorial wall at Sardarapat. Photo: Tatul Hakobyan for the Armenian Reporter.At Sardarapat, Armenians celebrate indepedencen Continued from page were able to stop the Turks at Bash-Aparan and Sardarapat and then topush them back.Catholicos of All ArmeniansGevorg V addressed the people:“The Turk, the bloodthirsty enemyof our rational flock, is moving towardthe heart of our country, ourfaith, our life’s story, toward Etchmiadzin.Our generals are suggestingto the Catholicos of All Armeniansto leave in the enemy’s jawsthe Mother See at Etchmiadzin, ourholy places, the Armenian people,and to take refuge in Byurakan.“No and No, and a thousand times,No. I will not abandon the MotherSee entrusted to me by our forebears.I will not leave the hearth ofthe Armenian Apostolic faith. If theArmenian soldiers themselves, ifthe Armenian people are unable tostop the enemy’s progress, if theycannot save our sanctities, then letme be martyred right here.“I, who have the honor of occupyingthis throne through the justintercession of our holy predecessorsand the grace of God, [wouldrather fall] on the doorstep of theMother See.”“No and No, and athousand times, No.I will not abandonthe Mother Seeentrusted to me by ourforebears.”—Catholicos Gevorg VThe commander of the Yerevanforces, General Movses Silikian,called upon every Armenian manto make every last effort to strikeat the enemy to save his patrimonyand defend his wife’s and daughters’honor: “Armenian men! It isnot time to slow down. Every manup to the age of 50 is obliged totake arms and I demand that theyreport with their firearms and ammunitionfor the defense of thehomeland.“Armenian women! Remember the‘delicate ladies’ of the fifth centurywho encouraged their husbandsto undertake the Great Task in thedays of the wars of the ImmortalVartan. Follow their example.“For the physical existence of thetormented Armenian people. Fortrampled-upon truth. Rise. Towardwork. Toward holy war.”OutsideArmenia’sMuseum ofEthnography atthe SardarapatMemorialComplex, carvedstones are ondisplay.Another chanceThe Armenian territories had beenpart of the Czarist Empire. Withthe victory of the Bolsheviks inlate 1917, Lenin’s Russia had withdrawnfrom Transcaucasia, and theterritory was nominally administeredby the “Sejm,” or parliamentof the Federated Republic of Transcaucasia.On May 26, the Sejm held its lastsession, where it adopted the proposalof the Georgian Mensheviksto dissolve. On the same eveningthe Georgian National Council proclaimedthe independence of Georgia.On May 27, in Tiflis, the MuslimNational Council proclaimed theindependence of Azerbaijan. Alsoin Tiflis, the Armenian NationalCouncil, after long deliberations,on May 28 proclaimed Armenia independent.On May 30 it officiallyannounced its decision.An Armenian delegation in Batumisigned a peace agreementwith the Turks in early June. AleksandrKhatisian, the head of thedelegation, notes in his memoirs:“We stayed in Batumi for eight days,until June 5, and the whole timewe were engaged in preparing thepeace agreement. On the first session,Vehib Pasha personally drewArmenia’s borders on the historicmap that I had with me in Trabizonand later in Constantinople, Aleksandropol,and Europe.“When we looked at the map, wewere overwhelmed with two sharpfeelings. The first was pride: afterdreaming for centuries, we would finallyhave a little corner of our ownon the map of the world. The secondwas bitterness: this corner was barely9,000 sq km, absolutely inadequatefor accommodating our people.”The memorial complexFifty years after the heroic Battleof Sardarapat, on May 28, 1968,the Sardarapat Memorial Complexopened in the Araks village of Armavir.Its authors were architectRafael Israelian and sculptorsAra Harutiunian, Samvel Manasian,and Arsham Shahinian.At the entrance are two stone bulls,symbolizing the force and determinationof the Armenian people united.These bulls are also the guardiansof victory, scaring away any evildoerwho would seek entrance, and defendingthe homeland.“After dreaming forcenturies, we wouldfinally have a littlecorner of our own onthe map of the world.[But] this corner wasbarely 9,000 sq km,absolutely inadequatefor accommodatingour people.”—Aleksandr KhatisianThe bell-tower, 35 meters high, isthe memorial stone to the heroesmartyred in the battle. At the timeof the Battle of Sardarapat, churchbells had raised the alarm andcalled the people to arms.Going toward the memorial wall,eagles facing Biblical Ararat andthe Armenian mountains representstatehood and power. As alert watchers,they keep guard over the presentand future of the Armenian people.Carved on a 55-meter, fenceshapedmemorial wall are fierysteeds representing victory. Underthe hooves of the horses, serpentsare breathing their final breaths. Astanding child and a woman drapedin grapevines represent the rebirthof the Armenian people. The wall isdecorated with bas relief representationsof the Armenian people’speaceful creative work and militaryheroism. Episodes from the battleare etched on the wall. On one sideis Mother Armenia, who is callingon her children for help. Theleader of the clergy holds the bookof Yeghishe – invoking the spirit ofthe 5th-century Battle of Avarayr.Raising a glassThe Vartavar tavern is below thecomplex. The entrance holds thisinscription: “Bowing before thenames of our great forebears, andinspired by their industry, we, theirgrateful progeny, built this tavern.”Architect Rafael Israelian said itwas not possible to visit this heroicplace and not raise a glass to thememory of the heroes who sacrificedtheir lives for the homeland.Next to the tavern there is a littlerestaurant with a long hall lookingtoward the Armenian mountains.Part of the memorial complex isArmenia’s Museum of Ethnography.It was built later, in 1978. From outside,it looks like a medieval castle.The building has two corner windows,one of which looks towardMount Aragatz, the other towardMount Ararat. There are artifactshere ranging from the Urartu periodall the way through the beginningof the 20th century.Taguhi Lambarjian is the headof the tours and exhibits departmentof the museum. We walkedthrough the museum with her guidanceand became familiar with thedifferent parts of Armenia’s richestethnographic museum. One partis dedicated to the First Republicof Armenia, 1918–20. The calls toarms of Catholicos Gevorg V andGeneral Movses Silikian are heldhere, along with numerous photographsand other artifacts from thefirst republic.After independence was restoredin 1991, the symbolism of Sardarapatfound new meaning, and May 28was adopted as a state holiday. Everyyear on that day the people and theleaders of Armenia and Karabakhconverge on the monument. f


20 The Armenian Reporter | May 30, 2009ArmeniaPresident says amnesty depends on public sentimentby Hovannes ShoghikianYEREVAN (RFE/RL) – PresidentSerge Sargsian said on May 28that he would declare an amnestyfor dozens of people imprisonedin connection with unrest that followedthe February 2008 presidentialelections – but only if Armenia’sleading political groups showthat there is strong public supportfor such a move.The remarks came amid renewedspeculation about the possiblerelease of some 55 supportersof opposition figure LevonTer-Petrossian who remain injail. Parliament speaker HovikAbrahamian told RFE/RL on May21 that Mr. Sargsian would declareamnesty on May 28, independenceday. However, Mr. Abrahamianeffectively retracted his claim thenext day, saying through a spokespersonthat he simply “did not ruleout the possibility of a general amnesty.”Under the Armenian constitution,an amnesty can be initiatedonly by the president and needs tobe approved by the National Assembly.The latter is dominated byMr. Sargsian’s allies.“An amnesty was last declared inour republic in 2006,” Mr. Sargsiantold journalists while attending officialcelebrations at the SardarapatMemorial Complex 40 km west ofYerevan. “If the idea, the necessityof calling a new amnesty hasmatured in the society in the lastthree years, then I am really readyto make use of my constitutionalright,” he said.“I therefore call on all politicalforces, public figures, the [presidential]Public Council to submittheir proposals on the necessityand conditions of the amnesty toSerge Sargsian.Photo: MkhitarKhachatryan/Photolure.the presidential administration.And if it emerges as a result thatthere is such a desire in the society,then I will immediately make use ofmy constitutional right and appealto the National Assembly to pass alaw,” he said.A top representative of Mr. Ter-Petrossian’s Armenian NationalArmenian unrest probe in deadlockCongress (HAK) scoffed at theproposal. “It’s very bad that SergeSargsian doesn’t know his people’sfeelings and desires and is thus unableto assess the situation in thecountry,” said Aram Sarkisian, aformer prime minister.“We have no need to appeal foranything. We ourselves will freeour comrades,” Mr. Sarkisian toldRFE/RL as he visited Sardarapatwith Mr. Ter-Petrossian and otherHAK leaders later in the day.The HAK regards the jailed oppositionistsas political prisoners,while the Parliamentary Assemblyof the Council of Europe (PACE) believesthat at least some of themwere prosecuted on “seeminglyartificial or politically motivatedcharges.” PACE has repeatedlythreatened to impose sanctionsagainst Yerevan if those individualsare not set free. The Strasbourgbasedbody is expected to againdiscuss the issue at its next sessionin late June.President Sargsian has until nowbeen willing to pardon only thoseindividuals who admit their guiltand ask him for clemency. Theproposal under consideration is abroader amnesty rather than individualpardons.fby Karine KalantarianYEREVAN (RFE/RL) – A bipartisanbody conducting an independentinquiry into last year’s deadlypostelection violence in Yerevanhas been effectively paralyzed bymounting tensions between itsmembers chosen by Armenia’s governmentand opposition.Vahe Stepanian, chairperson ofthe Fact-Finding Group of Experts,not linked with either rival camp,said on May 25 that he had failedto reconcile his wrangling pro-governmentand pro-opposition colleaguesand would step down as aresult.The five-member group was setup by President Serge Sargsianlast October with the aim of collectinginformation that wouldshed more light on the causes ofthe March 1, 2008, clashes betweenopposition protesters and securityforces. In accordance with an executiveorder signed by Mr. Sargsian,the opposition Armenian NationalCongress (HAK) and Heritage partyeach named one member of thegroup. Two other members werenominated by Armenia’s governingcoalition loyal to the president.The state Human Rights Defender,Armen Harutiunian, pickedthe fifth member, Mr. Stepanian.The group elected the latter as itschairperson when it met for thefirst time in November. Mr. Stepanianand the group’s two pro-governmentmembers caused a stirearly this month they went on atwo-week vacation, forcing a temporarysuspension of the Westernbackedinquiry.The group resumed its work onMay 17 only to suspend it again twodays later because of Mr. Stepanian’sintention to resign. “The situationwas becoming increasinglytense,” Mr. Stepanian told RFE/RL.“I hoped that if we didn’t meet for awhile, tensions would ease. But theopposite happened.”Mr. Stepanian said he would notcontinue to coordinate the inquirydespite being asked by Mr. Harutiunianto reconsider his decision.“I just can’t balance the two sidesand ensure their cooperation anymore,”he said. “Maybe somebodyelse can.”That tensions inside the investigativebody are running high wasconfirmed by Robert Avagian,one of its two pro-governmentmembers. “Vahe Stepanian playedthe role of a balancer, but they puthim into this situation,” Mr. Avagiansaid, referring to his pro-oppositioncolleagues.One of them, Andranik Kocharian,said Mr. Stepanian shouldhave acted faster. “If he didn’t wantYerevan mayor confident about election winby Emil DanielyanYEREVAN (RFE/RL) – Yerevan MayorGagik Beglarian said he expectsthe ruling Republican Partyof Armenia (HHK) to win the May31 municipal elections and reinstallhim in his current position, as hecampaigned in the capital on May27.“I am intent on winning,” he toldjournalists. “There are opinion pollstestifying to [a Republican victory.]I believe in our people.”When asked whether he thoughtthe HHK will clear a 40 percent votethreshold and thereby automaticallygain control in the new citycouncil, Mr. Beglarian said, “We’llsee on May 31.”Mr. Beglarian, who tops the HHK’slist of candidates, has been doggedby opposition allegations of foulplay throughout the mayoral race.The opposition Armenian NationalCongress (HAK) has repeatedly accusedthe party led by PresidentSerge Sargsian of illegally usinghis extensive government leversand planning other vote falsificationson polling day. The HHK hasbrushed aside the allegations.Mr. Beglarian risked more controversyon May 27 as he combineda campaign rally in central Yerevanwith the inauguration of a children’splayground built with public fundsin one of the local courtyards. Theneighborhood is part of a largelyMayor – and mayoral candidate – Gagik Beglarian. Tigran Tadevosyan/Photolure.blue-collar section of the city’s centralKentron district that has longbeen considered his stronghold.Addressing several hundredpeople who gathered in the newlypaved courtyard, Mr. Beglarian acknowledged“many shortcomings”committed in his previous capacityas elected head of the Kentron administration.But he blamed themon a lack of powers vested in municipalcommunities. In particular,he stressed that he had no controlover recent years’ redevelopmentprojects in downtown Yerevanthat were accompanied by forcibleevictions of thousands of city residents.“After May 31 all powers will betransferred to the city of Yerevanby means of your votes,” saidMr. Beglarian. “Then, dear people,you’ll see how many things will bedone for all of you.”“After May 31 we will work so hard,so well that the people will love andaccept us more than anyone else,”he added.fto work, then he should have eitherresigned as the group’s chairpersonor ended his membership in thegroup,” he said.The group’s activities reacheddeadlock after it submitted its firstreport to a special commission ofthe Armenian parliament also investigatingthe deadly clashes. Theconfidential report, leaked to theopposition press late last month,focused on circumstances of thedeath of Captain Hamlet Tadevosian,one of the two police officerskilled in pitched battles with oppositionprotesters who barricadedthemselves in central Yerevan.Captain Tadevosian was apparentlythe first casualty of the fierceclashes, which also left eight civiliansdead. According to the Armenianlaw-enforcement authorities,he was killed by an explosivedevice thrown by one of the protesters.They have presented thatWatchdog sees improvedelection coverage inArmeniaby Tatevik Lazarianas proof of their claims that someof the opposition supporters hadfirearms and that the use of lethalforce against them was thereforejustified.In its leaked report, the Fact-Finding Group questioned theseclaims, saying that investigatorsfailed to properly examine the officer’sbody, clothes, and flak jacket.It suggested that the grenade thatkilled him exploded by his waist,rather than feet, as is claimed bythe investigators. Opposition representativeshave construed this asan implicit assertion that CaptainTadevosian held the grenade in hishand and set it off inadvertently.Mr. Avagian revealed on Mondaythat he and the group’s otherpro-government member, GevorgTovmasian, did not sign the reportand disagree with its conclusions,which are largely rejected bystate prosecutors.fYEREVAN (RFE/RL) – A leading Armenianmedia watchdog on May 22gave a largely positive assessmentof television coverage of the ongoingmayoral election campaign inYerevan.The independent Yerevan PressClub (YPC) said Armenia’s sevenleading TV stations are now moreneutral and objective than theywere in the run-up to the last nationalelections. The YPC began adaily monitoring of their politicalnews reporting on April 16, two beforethe official start of campaigningfor the May 31 elections of anew municipal council.“I am pleased to say that 97 percentof the TV coverage has beenneutral,” said Elina Poghosbekian,the monitoring coordinator.“In my opinion, that is a very goodindicator. Unlike the last presidentialand parliamentary elections,these elections are being covered ina relatively neutral way.”Both the YPC and Western observerswere highly critical of theArmenian broadcasters’ coverageof the national elections, notablythe February 2008 presidential ballot.They said it favored pro-governmentcandidates and was biasedagainst the opposition.Presenting its latest monitoringresults, the YPC said at the sametime that the main opposition ArmenianNational Congress (HAK)has so far received much less TVcoverage than virtually all otherelection contenders. The largestamount of airtime was found tohave been given to the small People’sParty, whose owner, TigranKarapetian, controls one of theseven TV channels in question.The People’s Party was followedby the pro-government ProsperousArmenia Party and the ArmenianRevolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutiun),which pulled out ofthe country’s governing coalitionlate last month. Dashnaktsutiuncontrols another channel monitoredby the YPC.Surprisingly, President SergeSargsian’s Republican Party of Armenia,the election favorite, has sofar been only the fifth most-coveredcontender, according to theYPC. The Republican Party is alsotrailing the Prosperous ArmeniaParty, its most important coalitionpartner, in terms of spending ontelevised campaign ads. f


The Armenian Reporter | May 30, 2009 21ArmeniaAzerbaijani, Turkish leaders see no progress in Karabakh talksby Emil DanielyanYEREVAN (RFE/RL) – Armenia andAzerbaijan have made no progressin resolving the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh,the Azerbaijani andTurkish foreign ministers said overthe weekend of May 23–24, sharplycontradicting optimistic statementsmade by international mediators.“Despite the development of anew situation in the region, Armeniahas unfortunately begunhaving a negative influence on thepeace process,” Azerbaijani ForeignMinister Elmar Mammadyarovtold the Trend news agency.“We achieved everything with theprevious Armenian administrationby Karine KalantarianYEREVAN (RFE/RL) – Armenia’sHuman Rights Defender, or ombudsperson,Armen Harutiunian,released on May 27 a special reportaimed at exposing the problemsthat exist in the army and oftenlead to human-rights violations.Answering an RFE/RL questionregarding the degree to which therights of soldiers and servicemenin the Armenian military are protected,Mr. Harutiunian said: “Aserviceman in the army is unprotectedto the extent that we wouldlike him to feel protected. That iswhy we have prepared this ad hocreport and decided not to wait toincorporate this information in thein the peace process, but with thecurrent Armenian administrationwe have achieved nothing,” he said.“As a person leading the negotiations,I cannot boast that we havemade even some progress in outstandingissues.”Mr. Mammadyarov’s Turkishcounterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu,had a similar take on the currentstate of the Armenian-Azerbaijaninegotiating process. “There hasbeen no progress,” he told the Anatolianews agency on Sunday. “It istime to revive this process. Turkeywill continue its efforts.”The two ministers spoke in Damascus,Syria, where they attendeda high-level meeting of the Organizationof the Islamic Conferenceannual report. If it is an ad hoc report,it already shows that the matteris urgent enough and one has torespond to this very quickly.”The ombudsperson will soon submitthe report to both the ministerof defense and the country’s government.The report draws particular attentionto the conduct of officersand commanders and the issue oftheir responsibility.“In a number of cases a commanderbehaves in a way that promotesthe turning of a disciplinary actioninto real suffering for the serviceman,”the report says.In one of the military units, forexample, a soldier was punishedand locked in a cell despite the circumstancethat he had been onlycountries. They were due to fly toBaku and hold talks there late onMonday.President Serge Sargsian hasheld four face-to-face meetings withAzerbaijan’s Ilham Aliyev since takingoffice in April 2008. Their mostrecent talks took place in Pragueon May 7. According to the U.S.,Russian, and French diplomats cochairingthe OSCE Minsk Group, thetwo leaders further narrowed theirdifferences over the basic principlesof a Karabakh settlement proposedby the mediating troika.The mediators’ upbeat statementsabout chances for the signingof an Armenian-Azerbaijaniframework peace accord have beenstrongly denounced by Mr. Aliyev’srecently discharged from a hospitalwhere he had been treated forpneumonia.A total of 171 cases of beatingsand hazing were reported over ninemonths in 2008; 38 of these casesconcerned officers beating conscripts.And 97 cases concerned soldiersbeating fellow army conscripts.In five reported cases soldiers beatofficers or warrant officers.“A commander must indeed bearpersonal responsibility for issuesconnected with the personnel,” saidMr. Harutiunian. “Many disciplinerelatedmatters here have a punitivemeaning, and that is right forthose cases. But provisions of theguarantees of the European Conventionon Human Rights shouldapply to them as well.” fchief foreign policy aide, NovruzMammadov. He has accused themof adopting “double standards” andfavoring the Armenian side out of“Christian solidarity.”Still, the Minsk Group’s U.S. cochair,Deputy Assistant Secretaryof State Matthew Bryza, insistedon May 15 that Mr. Aliyev andMr. Sargsian did make “significantprogress” in Prague. “Novruz Mammadovhas no way to judge whatthe outcome of the discussion wasbecause he wasn’t there,” Bryzatold RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani service.“We have a series, between 10 and20 basic principles in our Madriddocument, and we have a handfulof the 10–12 issues that still need tobe worked out conceptually,” he said.Turkish-Armenian talks not in deadlock, says U.S. envoyby Emil DanielyanYEREVAN (RFE/RL) – Armenia’srapprochement with Turkey hasnot reached an impasse despite Ankara’srenewed linkage between thenormalization of bilateral relationsand a Nagorno-Karabakh settlement,a senior U.S. official said onThursday.Deputy Assistant Secretary ofState Matthew Bryza also dismissedmounting domestic criticismof President Serge Sargsian’sconciliatory line on Turkey.In an interview with RFE/RL, Mr.Bryza insisted that recent statementsby Turkish Prime MinisterRecep Tayyip Erdogan do notpreclude the implementation of aU.S.-backed “roadmap” to improvingTurkish-Armenian relations,announced by the two governmentsin late April. “Stay tuned,keep watching for additional statementsby top officials in both Turkeyand Armenia, which hopefullywill show the implementation ismoving forward,” he told RFE/RL.But Mr. Bryza acknowledged thatthere is at least some connection betweenKarabakh peace and the successof the Turkish-Armenian dialogue.“As we make progress, let’s say,on Nagorno-Karabakh, it’s easier tomake progress on Turkey-Armenia,”he said. “As we make progress onTurkey-Armenia, it’s easier to makeprogress on Nagorno-Karabakh.“It’s not that there are preconditions.There are no preconditions.There are commitments by thecountries to do one or another setof issues,” Mr. Bryza said.The Armenian leadership maintainsthat it has been discussingwith Ankara only an unconditionalnormalization of relations and thatthe agreed roadmap makes no referencesto the unresolved Karabakhconflict. Mr. Erdogan has repeatedlystated, however, that Turkey willnot establish diplomatic relationsand open its border with Armeniaunless the latter makes peace withAzerbaijan.Neither side has publicized the“roadmap” yet. Mr. Bryza also declinedto divulge its details. “I hopethat it will be publicized soon,” hesaid.The Turkish-Armenian deal wasannounced on the eve of April 24.Many in Armenia and its worldwidediaspora believe the timing helpedU.S. President Barack Obamabacktrack on his pledges to recognizethe mass killings of 1915–17 asgenocide. Mr. Sargsian’s critics alsosay the yearlong rapprochementhas earned Armenia no tangiblebenefits.“Those people don’t understandwhat’s happening,” countered Mr.Bryza. “That is a mischaracterizationof reality.”[The critics include Vartan Oskanian,who served for 10 yearsas Armenia’s foreign minister at aArmenia’s ombudsperson deplores violence in the militaryArmen Harutiunian. Photo: Melik Baghdasaryan/Photolure.“And what I felt during those negotiations. . . was that the presidents didin fact work through the conceptsof that handful of basic principlesthat had not been agreed. What theydidn’t do was agree on the details.“And that’s the focus of our negotiationsright now. To have aconceptual agreement, but not toagree on the details, is significantprogress.”Mr. Bryza and his French andRussian colleagues are due to againvisit the conflict zone this week toprepare for yet another Armenian-Azerbaijani summit tentativelyscheduled for the beginning of nextmonth. They hope that it will yielda long-awaited breakthrough in theKarabakh peace process. ftime when secret talks were heldwith Turkey, and Armen Rustamian,who as head of the parliamentaryforeign relations committeecould expect to be fully briefedon the talks.]“Armenia has neither won norlost anything, Turkey has neitherwon nor lost anything, becausethe Turkey-Armenia agreementhas not been implementedyet,” he said. “The sides are inthe process of implementing theroadmap. Only then will there bebenefits.”“It’s time for the process to moveforward,” he added. “I stronglyagree with those critics who saythe agreement needs to be implemented.”fMediators prepare for another Armenian-Azerbaijani summitby Emil DanielyanYEREVAN (RFE/RL) – Internationalmediators on May 29 were to opena new round of regional shuttle diplomacyto prepare for next week’smeeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijanipresidents, which they hopewill mark a further step toward theresolution of the Nagorno-Karabakhconflict.The U.S., Russian, and Frenchdiplomats co-chairing the OSCEMinsk Group will start their jointregional tour with talks in Bakuwith Azerbaijan’s President IlhamAliyev. One of them, U.S. DeputyAssistant Secretary of State MatthewBryza, was in Yerevan onMay 28 to meet with Foreign MinisterEdward Nalbandian.Mr. Aliyev and his Armeniancounterpart, Serge Sargsian, areexpected to meet in the Russiancity of Saint Petersburg on June 4for the second time in less than amonth. According to the mediators,the two leaders further narrowedtheir disagreements over the basicprinciples of a Karabakh settlement,proposed by the troika, duringtheir last face-to-face talks heldin Prague.“They made significant progressin Prague and I expect the same inSaint-Petersburg,” Mr. Bryza toldRFE/RL in an interview. “I hope thatthe world will then see, within thenext couple of months, that theyhave achieved a breakthrough.”Mr. Bryza made clear that Mr.Aliyev and Mr. Sargsian are unlikelyto iron out all of their disagreementson “a handful of remainingprinciples” in Saint Petersburg andwill therefore need to hold moretalks “relatively quickly.” “Basedon their conversation in Prague, Ido believe that a breakthrough canhappen at Saint Petersburg and/orshortly thereafter,” he said.Some Azerbaijani officials takea dim view of the cautious optimismexpressed by the mediators.A top aide to Mr. Aliyev lastmonth denounced Mr. Bryza’supbeat statements, while ForeignMinister Elmar Mammadyarovclaimed over the weekendthat the conflicting parties havenot moved closer to a settlementsince Mr. Sargsian took office inApril last year.Mr. Bryza dismissed thesestatements as negotiating ploysthat are not indicative of the currentstate of the Karabakh peaceprocess. “That’s normal,” he said.“Each side has to follow its own tacticsto try influence the other side.That’s fair game.”The U.S. official was at the sametime reluctant to speculate aboutchances for the signing of an Armenian-Azerbaijaniframework peaceaccord this year. “The presidentscould have a peace deal tomorrow ifthey wanted to,” he said. “They areclose. But I have no way to predictwhether or not they will be sufficientlyconfident that they are gettingthe best possible agreement fortheir countries by any specific dayon the calendar.”The agreement proposed by themediators reportedly calls for agradual solution to the bitter disputethat would end in a referendumof self-determination in Karabakh.The disputed region’s predominantlyArmenian populationwould presumably be able to legitimizeits secession from Azerbaijanafter the liberation of Armenianoccupiedterritories surroundingKarabakh.Mr. Aliyev claimed on Wednesday,however, that “there is andthere can be no mechanism forNagorno-Karabakh’s secessionfrom Azerbaijan at the negotiatingtable.” “Nagorno-Karabakhwill not be an independent stateneither today, nor in 10 or 100years,” he said in a televised addressto the nation. “Despite allthe pressures, we will assert thisposition till the end.” f© 2009 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with thepermission of Radio Free Europe/RadioLiberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W.Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org


22 The Armenian Reporter | May 30, 2009CommentaryEditorialthe armenianreporterA renewed commitment to a strong, stable landMay 28 was the 91st anniversary of the first Republic of Armenia.When the independence of Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan came in 1918, it was a dreamcome true for many.At the same time, independence brought enormous challenges. As the South Caucasussplit into nation states, hundreds of thousands of people – Armenians living in Georgiaand Azerbaijan, Azerbaijanis living in Armenia and Georgia, and so on – became outsidersof sorts in their hometowns. In Tiflis (today’s Tbilisi), at that time the cultural and politicalcapital of the region, Armenians had constituted a thriving plurality. In the oil boom city ofBaku, too, Armenians had been an important part of the middle class. In Yerevan, then asmall town, Azerbaijanis held sway.But that was not all. It was a horrible time, more horrible than it is comfortable to recall.The whole world was at war. During the same war, only three years previously, the Turkishstate had undertaken to eliminate the Armenian people. Over a million Armenians wereeither killed outright or deported. The Caucasus was overrun with refugees.And now, the new Armenia had to face the Turkish army alone. That Armenians held theirown is nothing short of a miracle.Besides war, the new state had to face famine and disease. The United States sent wheat.The president, Woodrow Wilson, also made promises to protect Armenia, which he was notable to keep. At the conclusion of the world war, a defeated Turkey signed a peace treaty inwhich it ceded the Armenian provinces of the Ottoman Empire to the new Armenian republic.President Wilson was to arbitrate the borders.But before the ink was dry on that treaty, the Treaty of Sèvres, Turkey’s Mustafa Kemalmade a secret deal with Russia’s Lenin and started a new war with Armenia. Unable to resistboth powers, the Armenian government ceded power to the Bolsheviks, and over timeArmenia became a constituent republic of the Soviet Union. It was seventy years later, onSeptember 21, 1991, that Armenia once again became an independent republic.Notwithstanding all these challenges and difficulties, the Armenian people found that anArmenian state was a condition for their survival in the world of nations and nation statesthat was emerging in the wake of the First World War. What emerged out of the first republicwas a defined Armenia on the modern world map, an Armenian polity, and a commitmentto statehood.This commitment stayed alive in Armenia and in the diaspora until it became a reality in1991.The world has changed in many ways since 1918, and will continue to change. For somegroups of states, borders are no longer barriers to travel and trade. With informationbecoming a most important commodity, neither distance nor borders are barriers to cooperation.A stable state able to defend its borders – and its people – will remain a condition for thesurvival of the Armenian people. But, as we have argued before in this space, it will not beenough. Improved relations with other states, especially neighbors, will continue to be necessary.Add to that transnational networking and cooperation – in other words, Armeniansacross the globe working together and facing challenges together.May 28 is a time to rededicate ourselves to maintaining a strong and stable Armenia andKarabakh. It is also a time to commit to working for an ever expanding web of economic,financial, cultural, athletic, political, social, and family ties wherever in the world Armeniansmay live.fTurkish intellectuals and state denialThe enemies of my enemymay not be my friendsby Laurent LeylekianAlthen-le-Paluds, France – This authorizedEnglish version of Laurent Leylekian’skeynote address to the May 9, 2009, conference“Althen Meets Armenia,” Althen-le-Paluds, France,has been translated from the French by Lou AnnMatossian for the Armenian Reporter andis published with the author’s permission. Mr.Leylekian is executive director of the EuropeanArmenian Federation (Armenian National Committeeof Europe). A response, in Turkish, fromBaskin Oran, appears on the website of the dailyRadikal.Like the god Vishnu, my press will have ahundred arms, and these arms will stretchout their hands throughout the countrydelicately giving form to all manner of opinion.Everyone will belong to my party withoutknowing it. Those who believe they arespeaking the language of their party will beacting for mine. Those who think they aremarching under their own banner will bemarching under mine.—Maurice Joly, The Dialogue in Hell betweenMachiavelli and MontesquieuForgetting, I would even go so far as tosay historical error, is a crucial factor in thecreation of a nation, which is why progressin historical studies often constitutes a dangerfor [the principle of] nationality. . . . Butthe essence of a nation is that all individualshave many things in common, and also thatthey have forgotten many things.—Ernest Renan, What is a Nation?The fact that in the early 2000s, a significantnumber of Turks began to speakbroadly of Armenians, genocide, or the variousabuses of the Ottoman Empire or Turkeytoday was experienced as a gift fromheaven by most Armenians, the descendantsof Genocide survivors. Socially speaking,these Turkish people are mostly verywesternized and pro-European intellectuals,and their rhetoric fits in perfectly with thepolitical criticism of Kemalism, of ultranationalismand, in general, of the authoritariantendencies of Turkish society and theTurkish state.It is therefore quite natural that these peoplewere so enthusiastically received by theEuropean intelligentsia in general, and bywhat I will call the liberal-socialist consensus,i.e., by this important group of policymakersin the European Union that identifiesnationalism with ultranationalism and seesin the free-market system – possibly with socialsafeguards – the resolution of all political,cultural, and identity issues.It is thus also quite natural that Armenianshave lumped together these people, whosediscourse is generally progressive, with theolder, more radical, and therefore systemicallyless promoted dissidents, including thosewho genuinely and sincerely want a recognitionby Turkey of the Armenian Genocide,with all that that implies.Therefore, naïve imagery depicts the Turkishpolitical field as ultranationalist and denialistKemalists versus a progressive, pro-European civil society that advocates cosmopolitanismand favors the recognition ofthe Armenian Genocide. However, the actualsituation is infinitely more subtle because intruth, we cannot understand this new Turkishintelligentsia with such a blanket generalization.The common thread:critiquing KemalismThe thinking as well as the political intentionsof its various members covers a verywide spectrum, ranging from radical critiqueof the Turkish state, Turkish society, andeven the Turkish people, to a very limitedcritique of the management of certain issuesby Turkey. There are those who oppose theTurkish state system and those who simplywant to improve its image by giving its mostquestionable practices a more cosmetic appearance.To name names, the thinking of a RagipZarakolu is no doubt quite different fromthat of an Ayse Hur, whose thinking is itselfscarcely comparable to that of Erol Özköray,all of which are probably unrelated to thethinking of Ahmet Insel or Baskin Oran.What links most – but not all – of the newTurkish intellectuals is the more-or-less opencritique of Kemalism. Often the reasoningbehind this critique pays less attention to themoral failings of this state ideology than toits inability to adequately manage the factorsthat threaten to disrupt Turkish society.It is therefore quite natural that many ofthem – not necessarily proponents of politicalIslam – developed at the dawn of the2000s a certain sympathy for the AKP [Adaletve Kalkinma Partisi, or Justice and DevelopmentParty] because that political force was,sociologically speaking, the only one able tomove the Turkish state. These intellectuals,who supported the political priorities of theAKP government in the first half of the 2000s,were naturally promoted by the Turkish mediaand by the European political forces whobelieve in the European vocation of Turkey.What were these policy priorities?• Support for Turkey’s European Unioncandidacy• Support for appropriate institutional reforms(“democracy and rule of law”)• Respect for human rights and minoritiesFor example, one might mention the famousreport on minority rights in Turkey,for which Ibrahim Kaboglu and BaskinOran were persecuted by Turkish ultranationalistgroups. Indeed, this report and thereforms it proposed struck squarely at themonolithic conception of Turkey advocatedby Kemalists.Kemalists, Islamists, andTurkish nationalismHowever, as opposed as they may be on theform of the state they offer and on the societalchoices they promote, the Kemalists andthe Islamists agree on a number of pointsthat are in truth a national consensus, simplybecause these are prerequisites to the existenceand the affirmation of their nation,especially as this nation is newly created and,like all nations, artificial.Very prosaically, these issues that alreadyconstitute the essence of the National Pact ofAtatürk consist of affirming without ambiguitythe preeminence – the unshared legitimacy– of a people on a territory. This statementimplies, above all, a denial or appropriationof other legitimacies.In this case, the denial of the ArmenianGenocide as well as the appropriation ofelements of Armenian history and culture– think of Urartu – or the denial of the Kurdishreality as a political question constitute,in my view, political priorities of the Turkishnation well beyond the sole Turkish state.It is a process of vampirization that MarcNichanian, of late has perfectly described.In this process, the victims must be totallydeprived of the power of symbolization forthe benefit of the vampire people. It is notjust about land, nor even blood; it is, in thisinstance, about emptying the Armenians oftheir humanity, of their capacity of representation,so as to appropriate the latter.The enemies of our enemiesThe alignment of Turkish Islamists to thisnational priority was not clearly evidentfrom the outset. For about six months afterRecep Tayyip Erdogan became prime minister,one could have had some hope. Nevertheless,very quickly, with good or bad grace,the Islamists have had to pledge allegiance tothe national dogma, at least regarding• the denial of the Armenian Genocide• the denial of the Kurdish reality• the occupation of CyprusIn other words, the enemies of our Kemalistenemies are not necessarily our friends. Inthis regard, reading Kar (Snow), one of the re-Continued on page 23 mArmenian Reporter (ISSN 0004-2358), an independent newspaper,is published weekly by Armenian Reporter llc.Copyright © 2009 by ArmenianReporter llc. All Rights ReservedGerard L. Cafesjian, President and ceoPeriodicals postage paid at Paramus, N.J., andadditional mailing offices.POSTMASTER: Send address changes to PO Box129, Paramus, NJ 07652-0129.The views expressed, except in the editorial, arenot necessarily those of the publishers.Editor Vincent LimaAssociate editor Maria Titizian (on leave)Washington editor Emil SanamyanEastern U.S. editor Lou Ann MatossianAssistant to the Editor Seda StepanyanArt director Grigor HakobyanThe Armenian Reporter is your newspaper. We urge you to send us your news and yourviews.News. Please send your news to .Letters. Please send your letters to Letters should be no morethan 250 words long and may be edited for clarity. Please include your mailing addressand daytime telephone number.Commentary. Please send your essays to Essays and articlesnormally should be no longer than 900 words.Photos and artwork. We require high-resolution originals. 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The Armenian Reporter | May 30, 2009 23CommentaryLettersClick away with a clearconscienceSir:I disagree with the notion that the “Googlead program is designed for advertisers to payfor clicks made in good faith” (“SituationalEthics: Tainted Money,” May 23).I personally have used Google ads to advertisesome videos I made on YouTube [Googleowns YouTube]. YouTube would bring myvideos to the top of the search list when auser searched for a term possibly relevant tomy video in exchange for a few cents a click.However, this system is far from perfect andit attracted many people to my videos whowere looking for things completely differentand had no intention of watching my video.They would often leave after a couple secondsof seeing my video was not what they wanted.Google had no problem taking my money forthese accidental or incorrect clicks though,and frankly this is just part of the risk wetake in advertising through this system.Therefore if a Turkish organizationwants to put itself out there by using thispay-per-click system to spread its vile propagandato every Google user with an Armenian-relatede-mail, then they must deal withthe consequences of potential unwantedclicks, as I have.I eventually stopped using the service becauseit got too expensive, but I should alsoinclude the fact that you are able to cap theamount of money you spend each day. Thereforeif thousands of Armenians clicked thead in a single day, the cap would likely comeTurkish intellectuals and state denialn Continued from page 22cent novels by Orhan Pamuk, is somethingI cannot recommend highly enough. I do notknow if it is an unconscious confession, butin this novel the main character goes throughthe town of Kars encountering various groupslabeled Kemalists, Islamists, Kurds, and soon. In the end, the hero realizes that the characterswho presented themselves as close tothe PKK are also close to the police, that thesupposed Islamists participate in meetings ofthe [fascist] Gray Wolves, and that in fact allof them are nationalists, first and foremost.There emerges a picture of ideological confusionand duplicity that seems to be a localprojection of the reality of Turkey.Thus, most of these Turkish intellectuals– at least most of those promoted by the Turkishmedia and subsequently by the internationalmedia – have a critical discourse, certainly,but one that remains compatible withTurkey’s goal of joining the European Union,and with the national goal of getting rid ofunwelcome questions or at least their politicalsignificance. It is certainly no coincidence thatmost promoted Turkish intellectuals – AhmetInsel, Baskin Oran, Orhan Pamuk, and CengizAktar, to name a few – are also those whoserhetoric serves the objectives of Ankara.Their approach to the Armenian Genocideseeks to subvert its meaning – that of a politicalcrime in need of an international legalresponse – so as to deal with it solely withinthe Turkish nation and in a way that will bepainless for that nation. Let us now turn tothe methods employed for this purpose.The discourse of humiliationAny request addressed to Turkey is said toconstitute an insult to the nation. This appliesto the Armenian Genocide, Cyprus, andthe Kurds, as well as to the other criteriafor membership in the European Union. Thewords “humiliating,” “hurtful,” and “annoying”are regularly attached to the Turkishquestion, which has never been the case forother candidate countries.Turkish intellectuals enter fully into thisstrategy that plays upon the Europeans’guilty conscience toward the Muslim world.We should not humiliate Turkey. That wasthe title of an interview with Orhan Pamuk,“Do not humiliate Turkey,” in the Frenchmagazine Le Nouvel Observateur, and I wouldlike to read an excerpt from another Pamuktext [“In Kars and Frankfurt”]:“Let me begin by saying that Europe is avery delicate, very sensitive subject for aTurk. Here we are, knocking on your door,asking to come in, full of high hopes andgood intentions but also feeling rather anxiousand fearing rejection. I feel such thingsas keenly as do other Turks, and what we allfeel is very much akin to the ‘silent shame’I was describing earlier. As Turkey knockson Europe’s door, as we wait and wait andEurope makes promises and then forgets us,only to raise the bar . . . we’ve seen a lamentablehardening of anti-Turkish sentiment incertain parts of Europe.”Thus, a ruthless Europe is said to be raising thebar because of anti-Turkish sentiment and doesnot respect its promises, which is the exact oppositeof reality: in reality, Europe has graduallyremoved all its requirements with the exceptionof the quite painless signing of the AnkaraProtocol. In contrast, it is Turkey that madecommitments to Europe in order to join.Let us note for example that the recognitionof the Genocide was originally a conditionfor opening negotiations, then a conditionof their conclusion, before becominga non-condition. Of course, this rhetoric ofhumiliation is never used about the Armenians,who are generally depicted in dehumanizingterms: lobby, diaspora, etc.The strategy of containmentThe question must be addressed by historians,experts, by examining the archives, etc.This strategy is actually intended to removethe political and international dimension ofthe issue of the Armenian Genocide in orderto confine it to a panel discussion. In thewords of Georges Clemenceau, “when I wantto bury a case, I create a commission.” Intruth, the strategy of containment is littleused by the Turkish intellectuals who willinglyleave it to the state.The strategy of formalempathyThe discourse of “we all suffered.” This strategyis to recognize a part of the evil sufferedby Armenians but to relativize it by putting itin the context of the damage suffered equallyby the Turks, or better yet, the [emotional]violence allegedly felt by the Turks at thetime of the Armenian Genocide. This strategyis found for example in a recent article byCengiz Aktar in the French daily, Libération:“In this sense, the Armenian Genocide isa common tragedy of Anatolia, and eventoday what is uttered in the villages of Anatoliaas part of the old stories is the tally ofan unprecedented catastrophe. Yet, I am notconvinced that the ‘genocide’ word is sufficientto accurately read the consequences ofthis irrational decision that Anatolia wassubjected to. . . . Almost every year until2023 [the founding date of the Turkish republic],and even beyond, will provide us theopportunity to learn and remember the fateof Armenians, as well as the consequences ofthat common catastrophe for people ofAnatolia. Justice will rule as we learn aboutthe dimensions of the process which has beguna hundred years ago and about what ithas cost to all of us.”The direct result of this strategy is theconcept of initiatives such as Biz Miassin orYavash Gamats or the somewhat sentimentalformula that “we drank the same water” inwhich the key idea is that we all allegedlysuffered a violence of third-party origin, otherwiseunidentified.Taken to its extreme, this strategy has ledto the famous petition of apology, one of theinitiators of which we have here, and even toinitiatives of thanks among the Armenians.But this petition carefully avoids the termGenocide, the only bearer of political and legalmeaning, and deliberately decouples theTurkish state from liability while transforminga political issue of international relationsto one of individual, conscious choice.Baskin Oran revealed the objective of thisscheme by telling Milliyet:“Mr. Prime Minister ought to be thanking usfor this campaign. All over the world, parliamentswere adopting resolutions, automatically.Now, this will all stop. The diaspora is softening.The international media have begun toabandon the use of the term Genocide.”into play at some point and stop charging theTurks anyway [and thus prevent the ad frombeing seen by others that day, to boot.]This is a business, and business is all aboutrisk and reward. Since this is a program runby Google, there is technically nothing unethical– no matter how offputting – aboutTurks putting themselves out there in ourinboxes daily because they are paying for theright. As the ones being advertised to, it iscompletely our own right to charge them forthe regular inconvenience by clicking or toignore it.That’s part of the contract and I see noreason why the taint of the word “unethical”need be applied to this business choice.Very truly yours,Paul Sookiasianby emailThe strategy of rejecting theextremesThis strategy is to present Turkish and Armeniannationalists as similar extremists.Mr. Oran is also a great specialist in thistechnique and it applies just as much to thepresent situation as to that which prevailedin the era of the Young Turks: he regularlyrefers to the “hawks” of the diaspora, recallsat leisure the attacks of ASALA, and puts onone plane the actions of Armenian “komitajis”and a few hundred Turkish victims ofreprisals in 1917 with the incomparable stateviolence embodied in the Genocide and laterin its denial.If one follows this logic of moral equivalence,there is no ontological difference betweenthe Jewish [resisters] of the WarsawGhetto and the Nazis who tried to exterminatethem.Mr. Oran, I am sorry to quote you againto answer your questions, but you said: “Becausefor the Armenians ‘genocide’ meansone thing: 1915. But for Turks it also meansone thing: 1933-1945. This means that in theminds of Turks, Armenians are telling them:‘Your grandfather was a Nazi.’”Well, yes, your grandparents were Nazis, ortheir equivalents, and that is exactly whatyou have to admit. Nobody is saying it willbe easy, but truly the Turks have no escapeand the longer you wait, the more painfulit will be.The strategy of deprivationThis strategy is to create a debate where theArmenian voice is illegitimate. Thus the publicsphere in Turkey is now besieged by Turkon-Turkcontroversies: Who said what? Who iswilling to go how far? Who would disagree andwhy? And thus the world, and particularlyArmenians, is to be expected to wait, duringthese endless discussions from which weare excluded, for the emergence of an “authorized”view on how to tackle “the eventsof 1915,” the nature and name of which wealready know perfectly well.This strategy is beginning to have somesuccess outside of Turkey. I believe it is highlysignificant that Libération has recently invitedCengiz Aktar and Pierre Weill – whoseprimary competence in this matter is clearlythat of having easy access to the media – tospeak on the Armenian Genocide while Armenianshave been banned.Four years ago, we organized in the EuropeanParliament a debate on Turkey. On thisoccasion, I invited a Member to speak and herefused, saying, “It is not for you to discussTurkey.” This response is extraordinary: atthat time, the debate on Turkey was everywhereand everyone was entitled to speakabout it, but we, because we were Armenians,were to be banned from the debate.Following a recent discussion with VaroujanSarkissian, the former editor of France-Arménie, I realized how much these last threestrategies recalled in a striking manner someof the figures of speech presented by RolandBarthes in order to uncover mythic structures.Barthes spoke of the vaccine with whichone immunizes the [contents of the] collectiveimagination by a small inoculation ofacknowledged evil; the deprivation of history,which consists of depriving people, those ofwhom one is speaking, of any specific term in1776 vs 1787Sir:If, in the penultimate paragraph of herbook review, “New book extols ancientcivilizations of Mr. Ararat,” (May 16), MaeDerdarian was referring to the AmericanConstitution when she said, “those whobelieve 1776 was the year the first nationalconstitution was conceived,” then,perhaps someone should tell her that 1776was the year that the American Declarationof Independence was produced. TheAmerican Constitution was adopted in1787.Very truly yours,Andrew KevorkianPhiladelphiaorder to reduce them to the status of an objectwhose fate one decides; neither-nor-ism,where one balances two opposites in order toposition oneself as the supposedly impartialarbitrator and renders a biased judgment;and finally identification, by which one transformsoneself into the other.According to Barthes, all these rhetoricalprocesses aim to produce myth, i.e., to avoidthe unbearable confrontation with reality,and I think that in this respect, the denial ofTurkish intellectuals is a good subject for athesis in sociology.What to do with Turkishintellectuals?To summarize, this prominent fringe of Turkishintellectuals has the following objectives:• To deny us justice by describing us as extremistswith unreasonable demands. Letme stress this point: we, whose ancestorswere robbed, raped, killed, and then extirpatedfrom their own history, and who inthe end ask for no more than the recognitionof a factual truth and the assumptionof all its consequences, we are allegedlydangerous extremists. In denying us thisrecognition, these people participate in thedenial of justice.• To deprive us of logos by monopolizingthe discourse on “the events of 1915,” thesepeople are trying to delegitimize our wordsand eventually reproduce toward us the infantilizingbehavior, which was that of theruling nation – the hakim millet – over thesubjugated peoples, the rayas.The denial of justice and the denial oflogos are direct attacks on human dignity.When applied to the group as such, theyare the two most characteristic signs of acquiescenceto the genocidal project. Thesepeople are thus making themselves theconscious instruments of the completionof this project.In these circumstances, any uncontrolleddialogue with those intellectuals participatesin the symbolic transfer of legitimacy describedby Marc Nichanian as it reproducesthe structure of domination that led us finallyto the disaster. Thus it is associated withinherently harmful approaches.I argue for turning the tables. We must putpreconditions to dialogue with these people.In my opinion, there are two preconditions:• Recognition of the Genocide, not onlyas a historical fact but also as a politicalproblem today; of the Genocide and not ofdisaster, tragedy, the G-word, or any othereuphemism.• Acceptance of the political, legal, andmoral responsibility of the present Turkishstate as the continuator state of the onethat perpetrated the Genocide.This is not unrealistic. The examples of RagipZarakolu and Ayse Günaysu prove thatsuch people exist. Even someone like TanerAkçam has evolved from an ambiguous positionto one that is far more acceptable. Thesepeople are now little promoted by the mainstreammedia and this is no coincidence. Inote that even Taner Akçam is less promotedtoday than formerly, when his positions werebetter fitted to the global media system.There is much to say on the subject, perhapsat another conference. In the meantime,we are not obliged to choose the worst of ourinterlocutors.f


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The Armenian Reporter | May 30, 2009


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