National, International, Armenia, and Community News and Opinion

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National, International, Armenia, and Community News and Opinion

Yerevanvistas andthe reasonsfor stayingA visitwith GarigPoghosyanArmenia FundTelethon logo isunveiledSee story on page 19mSee story on page C8mSee story on page 5mWestern U.S. EditionNumber 85October 25, 2008the armenianreporterIn a ceremony presided over by Abp. Hovnan Derderian, Grigor Avagyan and Arsen Hayrapetyan are ordained as priests. Their new names are Fr. Diran and Fr. Nerses. Photo: Hilma Shahinian.Two priests are ordained inPasadena as the ArmenianChurch “renews itself”Reporter.amSee story on page 1 m


The Armenian Reporter | October 25, 2008


Number 85October 25, 2008the armenianreporterNationalThree generations participate in Fuller Center buildCynthia Erickson and three generationsof her family who came toArmenia to participate in buildingprojects with the Fuller Center forHousing. Their three-week trip toArmenia was not just a visit to thehomeland, but a mission to participatedirectly in its development.They acknowledge it was hard work,but well worth the effort. The ArmenianReporter’s Nyree Abrahamiantraveled to the village of Voskevazto talk to them.Families like Ms. Erickson’s aretaking a fresh approach by activelyparticipating in the shaping oftoday’s Armenia; they are affirmingthat their ancestry is not justa thing of the past, but living andthriving roots.See story on page 3 mArmeniaA bold leap into the unknown, kids and allRaffi Niziblian and Lara Aharonianare the quintessential modernArmenian couple. Married, withthree beautiful children, they havedemanding careers and a fulfillingfamily life. And they’re doing all ofthis in Yerevan.Raffi and Lara are part of a growingrepatriation movement amongdiaspora Armenians. They havebeen living in Armenia since 2003with their three children: Amassia,Armenia Fund-U.S. Western Regionannounced the launch ofits 11th International Telethoncampaign. The live fundraisingprogram will air in all major Armeniancommunities in the UnitedStates and across the globeon November 27, from 8:00 A.M.until 8:00 P.M. PST as well as onthe Internet, at armeniafund.org.On October 10, Armenia Fund’sArmenia8, Varanta, 6, and Vayk, 3, who wasborn in Armenia.Both Raffi and Lara developed anearly love for Armenia and repatriationfor them is not a passing phase.“Nothing is permanent,” says Raffi,“But we’re here indefinitely.”Nyree Abrahamian talks to themabout work, healthcare, education,and more.See story on page 16mLovers’ Park opened in Yerevan this past week thanks to the funding andinitiative of the Boghossian Foundation in cooperation with the Armenia Fund.The fully refurbished 1.6-hectare park, with Eastern influences, is a calm oasis inthe heart of Armenia’s capital city.See story on page 15 mCommunityArmenia Fund launches 11th InternationalTelethon CampaignCommunitylongtime supporters and donorsgathered at the residence of ArmenKhachatourian and MariaMehranian to unveil the 2008Telethon logo, “My Home, Armenia.”The unveiling has becomea tradition over the past severalyears and marks the launch dateof the campaign.A night of art in the city that never sleepsSee story on page 5 mOn October 16, New York-basedpainter, photographer, musician,and filmmaker Haik Kocharianheld a multimedia event at theDrum Lounge in New York City.The showcase program comprisedan exhibition of Kocharian’s photographs,which were displayedthroughout the venue; a screeningof his film Charlie; and a musicalperformance, featuring Kocharian’svocals and guitar and accompaniedby a band. “I think my musicis universal and can connectwith every age group because mysubjects are universal,” Kochariansaid. “I feel alive when I amon the stage. Any reaction I canevoke, whether laughter, seriousness,amazement, or even disgustin many cases, whatever emotionI can evoke, is a gift.”See story on page 7mRussia’s president, in Yerevan,sees quick action on KarabakhSargsian endorsesMadrid principles asbasis for more talksby Tatul HakobyanYEREVAN – President DmitryMedvedev of Russia is lookingforward to a meeting of the presidentsof Armenia and Azerbaijanin Moscow, he announced duringan official visit to Armenia on October20–21.“I am hopeful that we are inthe stage where progress is beingmade,” he said in a joint pressconference with President SergeSargsian. “In any case, the twosides are prepared to look for solutions.I will not comment onthe details of the negotiationsbecause they are details of negotiationsand that is their value.I hope that in the near futurea meeting of three presidentstakes place in the capital of Russia,”he added.A large part of the discussions betweenMr. Sargsian and Mr. Medvedevwas dedicated to the resolutionof the Karabakh conflict.“Armenia is prepared to continuethe negotiations on the basis of theMadrid principles,” Mr. Sargsiansaid, referring to a proposal presentedto Armenia and Azerbaijanby high officials from the UnitedStates, Russia, and France. “Theseare foundations, which make itpossible to recognize Karabakh’sright to self-determination andsome other issues that are mattersof principle for us,” Mr. Sargsianadded.Two priests are ordained in Pasadenaas the church “renews itself”by Lory TatoulianPASADENA, Calif. - With clouds ofincense, baritone chants, holy oil,and prayers, two young deaconsfrom the Western Diocese wereushered into the priesthood onOctober 16, partaking in a seriesof rituals that marked their sacredpassage.The ordination of Grigor Avagyanand Arsen Hayrapetyan tookplace at St. Gregory the IlluminatorArmenian Church in Pasadena.Archbishop Hovnan Derderian,primate of the Western Diocese,led the elaborate series of servicesthat included calling to the priesthood,ordination, and consecrationrites.In keeping with custom, the ordainedpriests assumed new namesduring the service, signifying theirnew role as spiritual leaders in theArmenian Church. The deacons didnot know what their names wouldbe up until the moment the bishopanointed their foreheads withholy oil (muron) and uttered theirnames for the first time on the altar.Mr. Avagyan’s new name is FatherDiran and Mr. Hayrapetyan’snew name is Father Nerses.President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia plants a tree at the Armenian GenocideMemorial complex in Yerevan on Oct. 22 during his official visit. Photo: Photolure.A phalanx of deacons, priests,and bishops from across the stateassisted in the opulent ceremony;they including former Primate ofthe Western Diocese ArchbishopVatche Hovsepian, parish priestof St. Gregory the Illuminatorchurch Fr. Baret Yeretzian, VeryRev. Fr. Baret Dz. V. Yardemian,and Archpriest Fr. Nareg Matarian.Moscow-Baku talksAfter leaving Armenia, Russia’spresident spoke on October 22 tothe president of Azerbaijan. Mr.Medvedev and President IlhamAliyev discussed preparations fora meeting of the three presidents,Interfax reported.Mr. Medvedev had visited Bakuon July 3. During that visit, he andMr. Aliyev signed a Declaration onFriendship and Strategic Partnership.In the declaration, Moscowand Baku emphasized “the importanceof speedily resolving theNagorno-Karabakh conflict on thebasis of widely accepted norms andprinciples of international law, andfirst of all, maintaining and guaranteeingthose of the sovereigntyof states, their territorial integrity,and the unchangeability of theirborders.” The two presidents alsopledged to promote military cooperation(Russia last year soldtanks to Azerbaijan for the firsttime since the mid-1990s) and towork against groups underminingthe sovereignty of each of the twocountries (with both sides steppingup attacks on Islamist groups inthe border areas).But when Mr. Aliyev returned Mr.Medvedev’s visit in September – afterthe war in Georgia – Mr. Medvedevdid not repeat the verbiageabout territorial integrity.Madrid PrinciplesAt a meeting in Madrid in November2007, U.S. undersecretary ofstate Nicholas Burns, Russianforeign minister Sergei Lavrov,and French foreign minister BernardKouchner presented to theforeign ministers of Armenia andContinued on page mThe ArmenianChurch “iscontinuallyrenewing itself,”said Abp. HovnanDerderian saidof the ordinationof two priests,Fr. Diran andFr. Nerses, inPasadena onOctober 16.Photo: HilmaShahinian.A crowd of 400 parishionersjoined in hymns performed by theKhachadourian Choir and stood infascination while witnessing theordination of the two priests.“This is a testament that ourchurch is continually renewing itself.A spiritual renaissance is takingplace and these two priests haveContinued on page 4


The Armenian Reporter | October 25, 2008NationalWashington briefingby Emil Sanamyan andLusine SarkisyanActive U.S. diplomacycontinues in EurasiaAssistant Secretary of State DanFried was in Armenia (Oct. 17),Georgia (Oct.18–20), and Turkey(Oct. 21) to discuss regional conflictsand bilateral relations, localnews media reported. UnitedStates regional diplomacy has beenstepped up significantly since Russian-Georgianfighting in August.In meetings with Armenian leaders,Mr. Fried reportedly focusedon the Karabakh peace process (seethis week’s top story) and Armenia’srecent talks with Turkey. Mr.Fried said that a “strong, sovereign,democratic Armenia is importantnot just to the U.S., but to the regionas well.”(In a similarly worded message,Russian President Dmitry Medvedevwho was in Yerevan on October21, said Russia wants “theArmenian people to live in a strong,flourishing and stable state.”)Mr. Fried arrived in Georgia simultaneouslywith the U.S. Navy’sguided missile destroyer U.S.S. Barry,which made a “routine, friendlyvisit” to Georgia’s Black Sea port ofPoti from October 18 to 20.(Officials in Abkhazia, meanwhile,confirmed plans for a newRussian naval base at Ochamchir,just forty miles up the Black Seacoast from Poti.)On his visit to Ankara, Mr. Friedwas received with Ertuğrul Apakan,the Turkish Foreign Ministry’snumber-two, and at a subsequentmeeting with media, the U.S. diplomatencouraged continued dialoguebetween Turkish and Armenianleaders.According to the Turkish DailyNews, Mr. Fried called ArmenianPresident Serge Sargsian “courageous”for extending an invitationto his Turkish counterpart,and Turkish President AbdullahGül “wise” for accepting the offer.“Sometimes taking risks is the highestrealism,” he said.Mr. Fried also pledged continuedU.S. intelligence help for Turkey’sfight against Kurdish rebels, whileurging more Turkish cooperationwith Iraqi Kurdish leaders. Turkishforces have suffered numerous casualtiesin recent Kurdish attacks(see this page in the October 11 ArmenianReporter.)Meanwhile, the top U.S. militaryofficer, Chairman of the JointChiefs of Staff Admiral MichaelMullen, assured the three Balticrepublics, Estonia, Latvia, andLithuania – which have been NATOmembers since 2004 – that theycould count on U.S. military helpshould they ever come under a militaryattack.Days earlier, Admiral Mullen metwith Russia’s General Staff ChairmanGeneral Nikolay Makarov inFinland, for what was described as“fence-mending talks.”Abkhazia, SouthOssetia status talksstall; more aid pledgedto GeorgiaEuropean, Georgian, Russian, andU.S. officials met in Geneva onOctober 15 to start discussions, inthe words of the French PresidentNicolas Sarkozy, on the “futurestatus” of Abkhazia and South Ossetia,and quickly adjourned untilNovember, Civil.ge and others reported.The parties reportedly disagreedon the format of talks, with breakawayrepublics insisting theyshould participate in the talks ontheir future, and Georgia objecting.The cease-fire agreement negotiatedbetween Russia and Georgiacontinued to largely hold, althoughseveral Russian and Georgian personnelwere reported killed in variousincidents.Georgia also demanded a Russianwithdrawal from parts of SouthOssetia and Abkhazia that Georgiaheld prior to the August war. Thatposition was supported by DanFried of the U.S. State Department,although he conceded thatthat situation could not be resolved“very easily” or “very soon.” Russianofficials said areas in questionare parts of breakaway republicsand would not be turned over.At a “donors’ conference” inUN Security Council.Brussels on October 22, the UnitedStates confirmed it would be allocating$1 billion in aid to Georgia.Last month, the U.S. Congress appropriatedabout one-third of thatamount for Fiscal Year 2009.In all, pledges of $4.55 billion ingrants and loans over three yearswere made, with bulk of the fundscoming from the InternationalMonetary Fund and the WorldBank, as well as the EuropeanUnion (about $1 billion in grantsand loans) and Japan ($200 million).Transparency International (TI),a Berlin-based anticorruption organization,called for publication ofthe World Bank’s needs assessmentreport on Georgia prepared in advanceof the conference.“Despite the centrality of theJoint Needs Assessment to thefuture of Georgia, its contents remainsecret at the request of theGeorgian government,” TI Georgiasaid in a statement, adding that itwas unclear how the money was intendedto be spent.151 countries voteTurkey into the UNSecurity CouncilTurkey successfully concluded itsfive-year $50 million campaign fora two-year nonrenewable termon the United Nations SecurityCouncil, as it was voted in by 151countries on October 17, Turkishand international news agenciesreported.There are a total of 192 countrieswith United Nations membership.Countries voted in secret, andbecause Turkey was competingagainst Austria (which also won aseat, with 132 votes) and Iceland(which did not, with 87 votes), fewcountries have made their votespublic. But Turkey lobbied heavilyaround the world from LatinAmerica to Africa to Pacific Islandnations.U.S.S. Barry.President Abdullah Gül describedthe vote as “a significantsuccess that should be a source ofjoy to every citizen. The supportgiven to Turkey is a reflection ofthe feelings of love and friendshipthat are felt for our nation and thetrust the international communityhas in our state,” the JamestownFoundation Eurasia Daily Monitor(EDM) reported citing Turkish mediaon October 18.Turkey’s Permanent Representativeto the United Nations AmbassadorBaki Ilkin reportedly brokedown in tears of joy during a televisioninterview following the vote.Professor Ahmet Davutoglu,the Turkish government’s leadingforeign policy advisor, said theoutcome as “neither chance, norbribery,” even though Turkey spent$20 million paying off the debts ofsmaller nations to the United Nations.Media watchdog:peace is good for pressfreedom“It is not economic prosperity butpeace that guarantees press freedom,”Paris-based Reporters withoutBorders argues in its annualreport released on October 22.The report notes post-electionsetbacks in media freedom in Armenia(now ranked 102nd in theworld, on par with Turkey), war-relatedmedia censorship in Georgia(now ranked 120th), as well as generalmalaise in Russia (141), Azerbaijan(150), and Iran (166).Iceland, Norway, and Luxembourgare ranked as having the mostliberal media environments. Forthe full report: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=29031 fRussia’s president, in Yerevan, sees quick action on Karabakhn Continued from page Azerbaijan a document with theirproposals for the resolution of theKarabakh conflict. The three officialsrepresent the three states thatco-chair the OSCE Minsk Group,which mediates the resolution ofthe Karabakh conflict.“It is the same document that hasbeen on the table for about twoyears,” Vartan Oskanian, Armenia’sforeign minister at the timesaid after the Madrid meeting. “Inthose matters where there was noagreement, the co-chairs have addedtheir own proposals to the sides,for consideration. That is the onlydetail of that document. For thatreason it is important to be carefulin one’s assessment, becausethe level was high, and the expectationscould also be high.”The substance of the earlier documentreferred to by Mr. Oskanian,known as the Prague document,was made public in June 2006.It was U.S. deputy assistant secretaryof state Matthew Bryza,the U.S. co-chair of the MinskGroup, who disclosed the mainprinciples of a framework peaceaccord. Under the principles, hesaid, Armenian forces would leavethose territories of Azerbaijan inwhich they are now stationed;Armenia and Azerbaijan wouldnormalize their economic anddiplomatic ties; peace-keeperswould be stationed; there wouldbe international economic aid forKarabakh; and more. In the end,he said, there would be a voteon the future status of Nagorno-Karabakh.Mr. Bryza said the proposedvote would take place “at somepoint” in the future, after theliberation of Armenian-occupiedlands in Azerbaijan, the deploymentof an international peacekeepingforce in the conflict zone,and the restoration of politicaland economic ties between Armeniaand Azerbaijan.Official Yerevan respondedquickly to the June 2006 disclosures,saying they were partial.The matter of a referendum andthat of handing the Lachin corridorand Kelbajar to Azerbaijanwere the most contentious issues.As the negotiations continued, theco-chairs offered their own proposals– the Madrid Principles – for theresolution of the issues on whichYerevan and Baku could not agree.Since Yerevan had accepted theearlier document as a basis for negotiationsand Baku had rejected it,the assumption was that the Madridprinciples were more favorableto Azerbaijan.On October 7, speaking to theRussian daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta,Mr. Lavrov, the foreign minister,said, “There remain two or threeunresolved issues which need tobe agreed upon at the next meetingsof the presidents of Armeniaand Azerbaijan,” Mr. Lavrov toldthe Russian newspaper. “The firstamong them is the Lachin corridor,”he added.Working toward asettlementMr. Bryza lately told the BBC, “Theresolution of the Karabakh conflictmust start with the principleof Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.Other complementary principlescan then be incorporated.”He added, “We must say thatyes, from a legal perspective, bylaw, Nagorno-Karabakh is partof Azerbaijan. But, after all, sothat the negotiations result inan agreement, Armenia too mustagree to it. We know that Armeniahas a different position, and wemust use very creative, constructiveapproaches so that Armeniaand Azerbaijan find a commonlanguage.”Assistant Secretary of State DanielFried, in Yerevan on October 18,in response to a question from theArmenian Reporter’s Armen Hakobyan,clarified current U.S. policy:“Territorial integrity is a recognizedprinciple of international law.There are other principles, suchas self-determination. Now we allknow what we’re talking about here.Bringing these principles together,reconciling these principles is extremelydifficult and complicated.”He added that the Minsk Groupcontinues to work “to actually finda settlement.”Mr. Fried gave no indication,however, that a settlement is imminent.f


4 The Armenian Reporter | October 25, 2008CommunityTwo priests are ordained as the church “renews itself” Continued from page 1become the newest members of ourclergy to inspire us all, especiallythe youth,” Archbishop Derderiansaid.This year, the Western Diocesehas ordained four priests and tenmore candidates are waiting to beelevated to the rank of priest. TheWestern Diocese is focusing its effortson providing young deaconswith intense theological training inpreparation to meet the challengesof being an Armenian priest in thismodern age.In addition to the theologicaltraining received either at St. NersessSeminary in New York or St.James Monastery in Jerusalem orthe Gevorgian Seminary in Etchmiadzin,deacons who are studyingfor the priesthood are now requiredto obtain a masters in divinity tocomplete their education.“We are supporting them in everyway possible to make sure that ouryoung priests receive the best education,and are spiritually preparedto serve the Lord and respond tothe needs of our community,” ArchbishopDerderian said.In a time when few Armenianmen are choosing to becomepriests in the United States, Mr.Avagyan and Mr. Hayrapetyan aredefying convention and have decidedto express the profound lovethey have for the church and communityby devoting their lives tothe oldest Christian institution inthe world.Fr. Kapriel Mouradjian, whois now the parish priest at HolyResurrection Armenian Church inNew Britain, Connecticut, becamea priest four years ago after havingworked as a mortgage banker for20 years.“I decided to become a priest sinceI was kid but I just kept putting itoff. God kept knocking on my doorand finally I said, ‘OK God you win.’It was a long decision I had to makewith my family, but of course it wasthe right decision,” Fr. Mouradjiansaid.At the time Fr. Mouradjian decidedto become a priest, he and hiswife had two children who were injunior high. Fr. Mourajian attendedSt. James Seminary in Jerusalemand that is where he met DeaconGrigor.“When I found out that DeaconGrigor was going to be ordained,there was no way I could miss this.A new bookby Rev. ArshenAivazian featuresinspirationalwritings by victimsand survivors of theGenocideby Alik HovsepianFor the past two decades, Rev. ArshenAivazian has been studyingand translating a great many spiritualwritings, including poems andhomilies, penned by victims andsurvivors of the Armenian Genocide.Many of those pieces are nowcollected in his newly-publishedbook, titled Echoes of Faith.“Those writings were very inspiringto me and I thought it would bea pity not to share them with ourWe have all built a strong brotherhoodat St. James,” he said.Fr. Diran Avagyan takes his newpost very seriously and does notview his ordination as a mere vocation.“Ordination is a holy sacramentand it is a mystery,” the youngpriest said. “The Armenian Churchis my mother Church, and I havealways had an innate love for it; myfaith runs in my blood. It’s fromthis love that I decided to become apriest to better serve my communityand my holy church,” he said.The 25-year-old priest was bornin Yerevan and in his teens servedas the chairman of the acyo NorkBranch. In 1999 he was admittedto the Armenian Seminary in Jerusalem,where he became a fourthdegreeacolyte of the ArmenianChurch and received permission tobecome a stole bearer. In September2003, he was ordained Diaconate byArchbishop Torkom Manoogian,the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem.He continued his advancedtheological studies at the TheologicalFaculty of the Patriarchate and uponhis graduation served as secretaryto the Chancellor of the Ecumenicaland Foreign Affairs Departmentof the Patriarchate in Jerusalem. Fr.Avagyan is enrolled at the ClaremontSchool of Theology and is expectedto graduate in three years. He will beserving the parish in La Vern. He ismarried and has one son.Fr. Nerses Hayrapetyan also demonstratedhis conviction of faith: “Ipeople,” said Rev. Aivazian, pastorof St. Paul Armenian Churchin Fresno. “What was striking tome was that all these authors wereeither victims or survivors of theGenocide. So they lived throughterrible times, [as the Genocidewas] probably one of the greatesttragedies in our history. And theirfaith, which was reflected in thosewritings, was extremely inspiring.”Rev. Aivazian said that an overarchinggoal in writing his bookwas to help provide spiritual fortitudeto Armenians around theworld, thousands of whom haveexperienced extreme hardship inthe past few decades because of politicaland social upheaval, racialhatred, and dislocation.“I started translating [some of thewritings] for my parish newsletter,and the reaction was so positivethat even at that time, many yearsago, I thought someday it would benice to collect all these in one volume,”Rev. Aivazian recalled. Sincecompleting the collection two yearsago, he has focused on editing theam so thankful to our archbishopwho gave us the opportunity to becomepriests to encourage the faithof our people and spread Christ’slove.”Fr. Nerses will be the priest forthe newly formed parish in SantaClarita. He is married to Araksyaand together they are expectingtheir second child. Fr. Nerses wasborn in Ararat, Armenia. In 1998 heattended the Vazkenian TheologicalSeminary in Sevan. After graduation,he pursued his advancedtheological studies at the KevorkianTheological Seminary where hesubmitted his thesis “The New AgeMovement and the Root Causes.”When he graduated from the seminary,he was assigned to serve atthe Department of Finance andEconomy at the Mother See of HolyEtchmiatzin.Fr. Nerses is also enrolled in theTheological Studies program at theClaremont School of Theology andis expected to graduate in threeyears.The ordination was followed by areception in the Agajanian Hall ofthe church. Very Rev. Fr. Dajad Dz.V. Yardemian offered the invocationand opening remarks whereinhe spoke about the rejuvenation ofthe Church in context of the Latinsaying: Ecclesia Semper Reformanda.The consul of Armenia, ArmenLiloyan, congratulated the newlyordained priests and expressedhis delight in learning about theProviding spiritual comfort in trying timespieces, writing introductions toeach entry, and giving them addedcontext by including his own commentsand thoughts.Echoes of Faith is dedicated oArchbishop Tiran Nersoyan. “Hewas like a mentor to many, includingmyself,” Rev. Aivazian said. “Hewas a founder of the ArmenianChurch Youth Organization ofAmerica. [Echoes of Faith features]a very inspiring article that he hadwritten when he was a young priest,in 1935.”The book consists of 28 writings,arranged according to the liturgicalcalendar, starting with Christmas.Some of the authors, such asArchbishop Yeghishe Tourian, arewell-known. The younger brotherof famed poet Bedros Tourian,Yeghishe Tourian was the Patriarchof Constantinople and Jerusalem.Another author whose work appearsin the book is Bishop PapkenGuleserian. In a piece aboutEaster, Bishop Guleserian “saysthere is a blessing at momentsof death, a blessing at a momentunique nuances of Armenian traditionsin the diaspora. “It was sowonderful to witness the membersof the Armenian Church partakein a spiritually uplifting andtraditional service that has beenthe spiritual fabric of our faith forcenturies,” the Armenian consulsaid. “It gives me great pleasure tobe a part of this ordination todayand see these two young men rededicatetheir lives to the churchand become the leaders who willhelp guide the community instrengthening their tie to theirholy faith.”Chair of the Stewardship Committee,Dr. Vahram Biricik, whoworked months prior to organizethe two-day event, wished thenewly ordained priests a “fruitfulservice in their new capacity as wellas success in their studies.”of birth, a great blessing in thepresence of God when two peoplemake a commitment to spendtheir lives together in marriage,”Rev. Aivazian explained. “So withall of this you really come acrossnot only individuals who are eloquentspeakers and prolific writers,but, above and beyond, peopleof faith. And I’m very much intouch with the fact that our nationneeds that type of messageright now. That’s why I thought,instead of sharing my own homilies,I would share theirs, becausethey inspired mine.”Rev. Aivazian believes that themost important thing to note aboutthe writings in the book is thattheir authors, despite experiencinghorrific tribulations, never gave up.“At times, in our own lives, whenwe encounter difficulty, we give uphope and are ready to throw in thetowel. These people never did,” hesaid. “I always struggle with thequestions, ‘What made these peoplego on? How did they keep theirstrength, their inspiration, theirLeft Very Rev.Frs. Dajad Dz.V. Yardemianand Baret Dz.V. Yeretsian,and Frs. DiranAvagyanand NersesHayrapetyanfacing Abp.HovnanDerderian.Below: the bewpriests have beencrowned. Photos:Hilma Shahinian.Toward the end of the evening,Archbishop Derderian presentedthe godfathers of the priests, Mr.and Mrs. Heros Kajberouni andMr. and Mrs. Nishan Drderian(who could not attend the ceremony),with framed letters of commendation.The two priests thenreceived pectoral crosses from theprimate.Archbishop Hovsepian, whoserved as primate for the WesternDiocese for 32 years, commentedon the profundity of aperson responding to the callof priesthood: “It is importantto realize that it is not an individualwho solely makes a decisionto become a priest. We mustunderstand that the Lord gracesus with wisdom and we are respondingto the call of His service.”hope?’ But when you read the book,it’s obvious: it was their faith [thatkept them going]. That’s what theysay in almost every aspect of [theirwritings].”Echoes of Faith, published by St.Nerses Seminary, will be officiallyreleased in Fresno on October26, during the St. Paul ArmenianChurch parish banquet; in Los Angeleson October 28, at the WesternDiocese; and in New York on November17.Rev. Aivazian is already workingon his next project, which willshowcase the writings of his favoriteauthor from Echoes of Faith,Bishop Guleserian. “That manwas way ahead of his time – in histhinking, his understanding ofchurch, faith, and gospel, and hispersonal experience with Jesushimself,” Rev. Aivazian said. “Hehas a series of articles commentingon the [teachings] of Jesus.They were written over 70 yearsago but they are so relevant today.Life is life, no matter when youlook at it.”


The Armenian Reporter | October 25, 2008 5CommunityArmenia Fund launches 11th International Telethon CampaignTelethon 2008’s “MyHome, Armenia”logo unveiledLOS ANGELES – Armenia Fund-U.S. Western Region announcedthe launch of its 11th InternationalTelethon campaign. The live fundraisingprogram will air in all majorArmenian communities in the U.S.and across the globe on November27, 2008, from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00p.m. PST as well as on the Internet,at armeniafund.org.On October 10, Armenia Fund’slongtime supporters and donorsgathered at the residence of ArmenKhachatourian and MariaMehranian to unveil the 2008Telethon logo. The unveiling hasbecome a tradition over the pastyears and marks the launch date ofthe campaign. Present at the dinnerreception was the former presidentof Nagorno Karabakh Republic,Arkady Ghoukassian. Thepresident currently serves on theInternational Board of Trustees ofArmenia Fund.Also present at the event wererepresentatives of all ArmeniaFund Board member organizations:the Armenian Assembly ofAmerica, the Armenian CatholicExarchate of America, the ArmenianDemocratic Liberal (Ramgavar)Party, the Armenian EvangelicalUnion of North America, theArmenian General BenevolentUnion, the Armenian Relief Society,the Armenian RevolutionaryFederation, the Social DemocraticHunchakian Party, the WesternDiocese of the Armenian Church,and the Western Prelacy of the ArmenianChurch.Attendees were provided withupdates on the progress of variousArmenia Fund projects, includingthe Hadrut Regional Hospital, ToghSchool, and the Amaras highway– all major projects of the U.S. WesternRegion affiliate of the Fund.Mrs. Mehranian, chairperson ofArmenia Fund, Inc., welcomed theguests and thanked them for theircontinuous financial and moralsupport. Abp. Moushegh Mardirossian,Prelate of the WesternPrelacy, offered the opening prayerand his blessings. Arch. Mardirossiancommended the projects ofArmenia Fund and its “dedicationto enhancing the lives of the Armenianpeople.”Sarkis Kotanjian, executive directorand public relations managerof the Fund’s Western U.S. affiliate,provided an extensive updateon the progress of major projects.Kotanjian also reminded the gueststhat Armenia Fund not only focuseson infrastructure and rural development,but continues to providemonetary assistance to familiesand children affected by war.Edik Balaian, the artist whodesigned the 2008 Telethon logo,briefly commented on the conceptof the logo, mentioning that its arefrom the palette of legendary artistMinas Avetisyan.Armenia Fund Honorary Memberand philanthropist VaheKarapetian, who has supportedArmenia Fund since its inception,introduced the former president ofKarabakh. In his remarks, Karapetiancommended Armenia Fund’srecent projects and praised its interimmanagement in Yerevan.President Ghoukassian and ArmenianConsul General ArmenLiloyan, along with the leadershipof Armenia Fund, unveiledthe logo. It features an Armenianvillage house with a tricolor smokerising from its chimney. The sloganof the Telethon campaign is “MyHome, Armenia.”“Armenia Fund maintains continuityof its programs,” said Ms.Mehranian. “This year’s Telethonwill include both infrastructure andeconomic development projects inthe villages of Armenia and NagornoKarabakh. We are also excitedto see unprecedented participationfrom Armenia. Despite the difficultglobal financial environment, webelieve we are going to have greatresults for this year’s Telethon.”Ms. Mehranian invited Very Rev.Fr. Baret Yeretsian, who wasrepresenting Archbishop HovnanDerderian, Primate of the WesternDiocese, to offer his blessingsand closing remarks. Fr. Yeretsiancommended the Fund’s “continuouscommitment to the developmentof Armenia and Karabakh.”The event also secured the participationof 400 community membersin the Armenia Fund Annual Gala,which will be held on Sunday, November23, 2008, at the Hyatt RegencyCentury Plaza Hotel in CenturyCity, California. The event willbe attended by Bako Sahakyan,president of Nagorno-KarabakhRepublic. The evening’s keynotespeaker will be the newly-appointedminister of Diaspora Affairs of Armenia,Hranush Hakobyan. connect:(818) 243-6222ArmeniaFund.orgFrom left, Executive Director Sarkis Kotanjian, Vice-chairperson Ara Aghishian,former Karabakh President Arkady Ghoukassian, Chairperson Maria Mehranian,and Development Director Greg Boyrazian.Governor Schwarzenegger appoints Maria Mehranian toLos Angeles Regional Water Quality Control BoardMaria MehranianSACRAMENTO, Calif. – On October16, California Governor ArnoldSchwarzenegger appointedLa Canada community activist, urbanplanner, and businesswomanMaria Mehranian to the Los AngelesRegional Water Quality ControlBoard (larwqcb).As a managing partner of theCordoba Corporation, a civil-engineeringand construction managementfirm, Ms. Mehranian has ledprojects ranging from the MasterPlan of the largest produce-distributionnetwork in China to planningsubway stations in Southernand Northern California.At Cordoba, she has served asmanaging partner since 1992 andpreviously served as vice-presidentof urban and transportation planning,from 1986 to 1992.Ms. Mehranian (see profile,Community Section, September22, 2007) is also the chairpersonof the Armenia Fund-U.S. WesternRegion, a member of the AmericanPlanning Association, and serveson the California Hospital MedicalCenter Foundation Board of Directors.Her appointment to the larwqcbrequires confirmation by theCalifornia Senate.“Water supply and quality continueto remain a major challengein the Los Angeles regionand Southern California,” saidMs. Mehranian to the ArmenianReporter. “Our need for water hasalmost always exceeded our supplyand we have had to depend oninnovative measures to providethe necessary resources for ourcontinued growth.”The community activist, who hasserved as a planning commissionerfor the City of La Canada-Flintridge,where she lives, said thatCalifornia’s population is expectedto reach 50 million by 2030, and thehealth of the state’s citizens andthe state’s economy hinge on theavailability of clean water.“In this light, water becomesmore than an environmental concern,”she said, “it becomes an issuethat needs to be dealt with on alllevels, including the efficient andinnovative use of water to sustainand develop our urban fabric.”As an urban planner working inthe field for more than 25 years, Ms.Mehranian said she has come to understandland use and public-policyissues that affect the developmentof Los Angeles. She said she intendsto offer her expertise to thelarwqcb in an effort to make thisimportant shift in paradigm.“I accept this appointment withgreat humility,” she said to the Reporter.“I assure you that during myterm as a board member, I will adhereto the mission set forth by thelarwqcb, to preserve and enhancewater quality in the Los Angeles regionfor the benefit of the presentand future generations.”Ms. Mehranian said she will dowhat she can to assist the larwqcbin addressing regionwide and specificwater quality-control concerns,monitor and enforce waste-dischargerequirements, implementand enforce local storm water-controlefforts, enforce water qualitylaws, and inform the public on allwater-quality issues.Las Vegas poker tournament to benefitArmenian Monument projectLAS VEGAS – The ArmenianAmerican Cultural Society of LasVegas (aacs) will hold its SecondAnnual Armenian Poker Tournamenton Saturday, November 15, atthe Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas.The event will begin at 1:00 pm.at the Hard Rock Casino’s newlyopenedpoker lounge, consideredone of the best of its kind in LasVegas.The $10,000 prize pool isbased on 100 entrants, and thebuy-in is $250. Proceeds fromthe tournament will benefit theLas Vegas Armenian Memorialproject. The aacs was foundedin 1978 and incorporated in 1981as a 501(c) (3) Nevada nonprofitcorporation.Those who wish to register forthe tournament can call the HardRock Casino at (800) HRD-ROCKor (702) 639-5000 and ask for “theCage.” Participants can also registerin person at the Hard Rock Casinoon the day of the tournament, beginningat noon.connect:(702) 400-2052AACSNews@cox.netCollege studentneeding cashfor books?Part-time salespositions available.Emailjobs@reporter.com


6 The Armenian Reporter | October 25, 2008CommunityTHIS ARMENIAN LIFEAdventures From History– Der ZorPart I ofIIby TamarKevonianWe arrive in Der Zor, deep in theheart of the Syrian desert, at oneo’clock in the morning. I’m travelingwith my father, Nazareth, ourdriver, Toros and his son, Appo.We’ve been on a journey throughthe ancient Armenian kingdom ofCilicia, now the southeastern endof Turkey. The day started early inKessab, an Armenian village on thefar northwestern edge just acrossthe Turkish border. Toros’ minibushas no air-conditioning. We’ve beendrinking copious amounts of waterto combat the heat and dehydrationbut it quickly made its way tothe surface of our skin. We’ve beendriving five hours without havingto stop. We approach the sparklingcity on the horizon as it rises outof the dark, flat expanse. It’s alivewith people shopping and strollingdown the main boulevard as it isRamadan, the Muslim holy monthof fasting. Toros stops to ask fordirections to our hotel and soon wepull up to a modern hotel blazingin electric lights. Across the streetwe notice an edifice decorated witha familiar Armenian motif. I approachto read the writing over thedoor and discover that it’s the outerwall of the Holy Martyr’s ArmenianChurch, the memorial built for theone and a half million victims ofthe Armenians Genocide who diedhere in 1915. Traveling through thelands of my long ago ancestors, itwas necessary to make a pilgrimageto Deir es Zor where their ancientstory ended and the new onebegan.In the morning our little entouragemakes its way across the streetto the new stone church built in1990 by the Holy See of Antilias inBeirut, Lebanon, to replace the oldwooden one that had stood in itsplace for decades. The outside wallis imposing and made of blocks ofstone with Armenian motif-ed columnsflanking the arched doorway.We knock on the heavy woodendoor and a few minutes later thecaretaker opens the doors to letsus in. Atop the dozen steps leadingfrom the door is a large stonepavedand spotlessly clean courtyard.The perimeter is decoratedwith symbolic remembrances likethe ever flowing water spouts, theeternal flame, khatchkars (stoneslabs carved and decorated withArmenian style crosses) and carvedreplicas of various Armenian genocidemonuments from around theworld.In the center of the courtyardis the two-storied circular stonechurch. I enter its cool confinesfrom its only door and suddenlyeverything is bathed in a soft yellowlight. Across the door is a smallaltar decorated with the usual paraphernalia:red velvet altar cover, anArmenian cross, an incense holderand a couple of candles. The mostunusual feature is the opening inthe center of the floor, like themouth of a well, where a columndecorated in bas relief covered ingold leaf rises from the center.To the left of the altar is a circularstairway leading down to the entranceof the subterranean chamberwhere the walls are decoratedwith inscribed Armenian versesfrom the bible. In the center is thebase of the column with a shelfabout three feet from the floor.It’s lined with bulbous apothecaryjars labeled with the names of thehistoric Armenian cities and filledwith the soil from each place. Theyare different shades of dirt, somemore rocky or sandy than others.On the floor spanning the circumferenceof the stone columns arewedge shaped Plexiglas toppedcases. They are shallow and flushwith the floor, filled with sand andtoped with bones. There are carefullylaid skulls, shin bones, pelvicbones, jaw bones and teeth. I don’tfind them as difficult to look at as Iexpected.Through the doorway on the oppositeend is another room withdisplay cases holding quotationsfrom various personalities of thetime like Enver Pasha, one of themasterminds of the Genocide, U.S.Ambassador Morgenthau, journalistsand others who witnessed theperpetration of the mass deportation,killings and atrocities. Thewalls are lined with photographs ofimages from the march. I’m familiarwith these images, having beenraised on a steady diet of them everyApril during high school whenstudent assemblies were held inmemoriam of our ancestors. Overthe years I have become hardenedto the images of pain and deathbut in this collection are a few photosthat are new to me. The firstis of three Turkish generals posingwith two decapitated heads placedon a small table laid with a whitecloth. They have taken care to setup the tableau in the photo. There’sa backdrop and a beautiful rug onthe floor. The white cloth, in sharpcontrast to the dark surrounding,has a lace trim. The decapitatedheads are placed carefully facing thecamera. The generals stand proudlybehind their prize. The second isof a skeletal body of a woman lyingdead in the road. She is flankedby her two children, also dead byher side with mouths agape. Thethird is of a dismembered bodyof a woman lying on the groundwith her legs tossed wide towardsthe camera. She’s been clearly torturedand her genitals have beenstretched so wide that it is now agaping hole. Her head has been decapitatedand tossed on the groundnear her hip where it looks into thecamera. There’s the photo of themen lying side by side in a massgrave. They’re clothed but many aremissing their shoes. Standing onthe side of the grave overseeing thefruits of their labor are the soldierswho shot them.The men were the lucky ones sincethey were rounded up first andshot, just outside their villages, beforethe women and children werecollected for the long march to thedesert. The men were killed beforethe Ottomans devised slower andmore barbaric methods of killing.Boredom was a common complaintof the soldiers during the months ittook to transfer hundreds of thousandsof people to the outer edgesof their empire. They needed entertainmentto sustain them and thehelpless women and children undertheir supervision became ready targets.The last photo is of a womanwho no longer looks line one. Herhair is cut short and sticking outunevenly from her scalp. She isso emaciated that nothing existsbut the skin covering her skeletonand her large eyes gazing into thecamera. She’s alive and gnawingon a piece of bread while holdingit with both hands. I wonder if sheconsidered herself lucky to be aliveor did she wish she had died withthe other members of her family?Did she even have any thoughts beyondeating the precious piece ofbread in her hands?Arpa International Film Festival highlightsLOS ANGELES – From October24 to 26, the 11th AnnualArpa International Film Festivalwill screen 50 films from 21 nations,including Armenia, Australia,Canada, China, Congo, CzechRepublic, Ecuador, France, Iran,Ireland, Italy, Romania, Sri Lanka,Switzerland, Tobago, Trinidad,Turkey, UK, and Venezuela.Festival highlights will include worldpremieres of several films, a panel discussion,and an awards ceremony. Thefestival will be held at Hollywood’sEgyptian Theatre (6712 HollywoodBlvd., Hollywood, CA 90028).The Arpa International Film Festivalis produced by Arpa Foundationfor Film, Music, and Art (affma),a nonprofit organization dedicatedto artists exploring issues ofidentity, multiculturalism, war, exile,genocide, and global empathy.Festival at a glanceFriday, October 24,Theatre 1/Theatre 26:00 p.m. - Shorts Program 1;My Big Fat Armenian Family8:00 p.m. – Opening-night film:The River Ran Red; plus The Flyboys1:00 p.m. – Strength and Honour;Familiar VoicesSaturday, October 25,Theatre 1/Theatre 212:00 p.m. - Shorts Program 2;Yai Wanonanable – Enemy of God1:45 p.m. - We Drank the SameWater; filmmaker panel discussion3:15 p.m. - Mary Apick’s Checkpointand Iranian Film; Music VideoProgram6:00 p.m. - Float; Shorts Program38:00 p.m. - Rita Hayworthtribute, featuring Blood and Sand;Shorts Program 410:15 p.m. - Sela Maniyo; Childrenof the CongoSunday, October 26:Theatre 111:00 am - The Kolaborator; TheMorganthau Story; Armenia: AnOpen Wound1:00 p.m. - A Road Less Traveled:The Handjian Story; S.F. Hye3:00 p.m. - Darfur Now and Q&Awith Ted Braun6:00 p.m. - Arpa awards ceremony- red carpet/cocktail hour7:00 p.m. - Arpa awards ceremony,emceed by ReelzChannel’s JillSimonian9:00 p.m. - ReceptionPremieres and a tributeArpa’s highlight events includethe world premiere of J. MichaelHagopian’s The RiverRan Red on the festival’s openingnight, on Friday, October 24,at 8:00 p.m. The screening willbe followed by a reception copresentedby the Armenian FilmFoundation.Other Friday highlights includeMark Mahon’s Strength andHonour, starring Michael Madsenand Richard Chamberlain(10:00 p.m.); Familiar Voices,with Mia Farrow; and The Flyboys,starring Jesse James andSteven Baldwin.Serge Avedikian’s We Drankthe Same Water will screen onSaturday, October 25, at 1:45 p.m.,and Tadeh Daschi’s The Witchof Portobello, based on PauloCoelho’s novel, will screen on at6:00 p.m.Later that night, Arpa will presenta new 35mm print of 20thCentury Fox’s Blood and Sand.On the heels of the Vanity FairNovember cover story featuringactress Amy Adams as filmicon Rita Hayworth, Arpa willsalute Hayworth’s breakout film,by director Rouben Mamoulian.Blood and Sand will screen at8:00 p.m.LA CRESCENTA, Calif. – Onthe evening of October 14, the ExecutiveBoard of the Committeefor Armenian Students in PublicSchools (casps) visited the Prelacy,where it met with ArchbishopMoushegh Mardirossian andExecutive Council Chairman Dr.Garo Agopian. Former ExecutiveCouncil member and Prelacy representativeto casps Dr. HagopDer Megerdichian also participatedin the meeting.The discussion centered on issuesrelated to Armenian studentsattending public schools in Glendaleand North Hollywood and thesupport that casps receives fromparents, as well as an update on upcomingcasps projects.Filmmaker paneldiscussionFilmmakers Tadeh Daschi, HragYedalian, Mark Mahon, Eric Nazarian,and Roger Kupelian willdiscuss their current and upcomingfilms during a special program dedicatedto contemporary projects.The panel event, which will beheld on Saturday, October 25, at1:45 p.m., is open to all filmmakers,film students, and festival guests.The panel will be moderated by producerZoe Kevork.Awards ceremonyThe festival will honor award-winningactress and international activistMary Apick with the Arpa FoundationAward on Sunday, October 26.The awards ceremony will start at 6:00p.m. with a red carpet/cocktail hour.The Arpa Foundation Award willbe presented to Apick by Emmywinningproducer and past ArpaFoundation Award recipient RobertPapazian (The Day After, Rome,Nash Bridges, Coffy). Additionally,there will be a screening of Apick’s1987 film, Checkpoint, on Saturday,October 25, at 3:15 p.m.Award recipients will also includeTheodore Braun, who will receivethe Armin T. Wegner Award for hisfilm Darfur Now; and Marco Khan,who will be named BreakthroughArtist of the Year for his performancesin 10,000 B.C., Iron Man,and Don’t Mess with Zohan.Honorees and award-winnerswill be recognized at a ceremonyattended by such celebrities asPatricia Kara (Deal or No Deal),Frankie Jay Allison (Miami Vice,Ocean’s 11), Ken Davitian (Borat),and the Hollyscoop Girls.The event will be hosted by ReelzChannel’sJill Simonian. connect:AFFMA.org(323) 663-1882The Executive Board of the Committee for Armenian Students in Public Schools (CASPS) with Archbishop MousheghMardirossian.Prelate and Executive Council meet withcasps Executive BoardThe Prelate and Dr. Agopiancommended casps for its commitmentto the Armenian youthand reaffirmed the support of thePrelacy.Later in the evening, the caspsBoard members attended themeeting of the Executive Counciland reported on their work andmission.


The Armenian Reporter | October 25, 2008 7CommunityA night of art in the city that never sleepsHaik Kocharianshowcases his musicand pictures at NewYork’s Drum Loungeby Antranig DereyanOn October 16, New York-basedpainter, photographer, musician,and filmmaker Haik Kocharianheld a multimedia event at theDrum Lounge in New York City.The showcase program comprisedan exhibition of Kocharian’s photographs,which were displayedthroughout the venue; a screeningof his film Charlie; and a musicalperformance, featuring Kocharian’svocals and guitar and accompaniedby a band.The event was kicked off with aviewing of the artist’s photos, whichincluded a wide range of subjects.Joyce Artinian, an audience memberwho was seeing Kocharian’s picturesfor the first time, commented: “I amfond of the photo with the little girlsitting on the stoop in front of themenswear shop as well as the onewith all the pigeons flying around infront of the lady.”Charlie, a black and white film,tells the story of the titular protagonist,who narrates episodes inhis struggle to extract meaning andpurpose out of the challenges facinghis life. The film was shown onpbs in July.“It is the psychological world ofone person, Charlie, who worriesabout his financial wellbeing, [somuch so] that he misses out on opportunitiesin his life that he shouldenjoy,” Kocharian explained. “In apsychological sense, he kills himselfdoing that. He is a murderer of hisown identity because he is constantlyworried about the concept of liferather than just living through it.”Charlie resonated with the audience.“I thought the narration inthe first half was amusing and honest.Many people can relate to it,”Artinian said.Following the movie’s screening,Kocharian took the stage to performa set of his songs.“I have realized that as I get older,I experience more and more backpain, so I am going to start with asong about back pain, titled ‘BackPain,’” he told the audience.Teeming with sarcastic lyrics,including biting commentary onrelationships, break-ups, and sex,Kocharian’s music drew mixed reactionsfrom the audience, thoughsympathetic amusement remaineda constant. Among the songs heperformed were “Naked Man andFresno Harvest Festival set for October 31Haik Kocharianshowcases his artin photographsand on stage.Naked Woman,” a number he haswritten when he was a teenager,and “In and Out.”Many had high praise for Kocharian’sstyle and said he cameacross as an engaging storyteller.“He sings like he is reciting poetry,”one woman noted. “He is not reallysinging but rather telling stories.”“I think my music is universal andcan connect with every age groupbecause my subjects are universal,”Kocharian said. “I feel alive when Iam on the stage. Any reaction I canevoke, whether laughter, seriousness,amazement, or even disgustin many cases, whatever emotion Ican evoke, is a gift.”Audience member Laurie Harrisensaid of Kocharian: “He is verysincere in his music and his art ingeneral. Everyone was entertainedby the humor of the music, but heis also getting across a serious messagethat is common to a lot of us.[It’s about] loneliness, heartbreak,and feelings of being stuck in one’slife. He is a very open person andhe stays true to himself and thecrowd with his music. His set waslike a reel of his life.”You share the samecommunity. Discover whathappens when you sharethe same experience.FRESNO, Calif. – The FirstArmenian Presbyterian Churchannounced that it will celebrate111 seasons of Thanksgiving byhosting its Seventh Annual HarvestFestival on Friday, October 31,from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. The eventwill take place in the Church FellowshipHall, 430 South FirstStreet at Huntington Boulevard(midway between HuntingtonBoulevard and the Kings Canyon/Ventura Promenade).The organizers said the festivalis designed for children ages preschoolthrough sixth grade, theirfamilies, and “for the young atheart.” Admission is free and opento the public.Festival activities and attractionswill include “a gourmet hotdog dinner, bounce house, carnivalgames with candy prizes, the amazingCalifornia Clown, Ringo Bingo,the ultimate Dance Dance Revolutionexperience, Sierra snow cones,cotton candy, and nonstop popcorn.”Guests of all ages are invitedto wear friendly costumes to the“open house” seasonal gathering.Chartered by pioneering agriculturalistson July 25, 1897, the FirstArmenian Presbyterian Churchis a member congregation of thePresbyterian Church (USA) andthe Armenian Evangelical Unionof North America. Rev. MgrdichMelkonian is senior pastor, Rev.Aren Balabanian is associate pastor,and Shant Barsoumian is interimyouth director.connect:(559) 237-6638associate@fapc.netVisit us at reporter.amVery Rev.Fr. BarthevGulumian duringhis lecture.Year of Christian Educationlecture series continuesGLENDALE, Calif. – On theevening of October 14, a lecturein the Year of Christian of Educationseries took place at St. Mary’sChurch in Glendale, under the auspicesof and with the participationof Arch. Moushegh Mardirossian,Prelate.The keynote speaker was ChristianEducation Department Codirector,Very Rev. Fr. BarthevGulumian, who was invited byMaster of Ceremonies Mr. HagopTchaghatsbanian to present hislecture on “How to Foster ChristianArmenian Education in ourSchools and Homes.”The evening also included an artisticprogram, in which members ofthe newly-established youth choirparticipated with hymns and spiritualsongs, accompanied by choirorganizer Armine Derderian.The event concluded with thePrelate’s closing remarks and benediction.For more information aboutRelay For Life or to join anevent near you, visitwww.cancer.org/RelayNYNJor call 1.800.ACS.2345.Let us know what’s on your mind.Write to us atletters@reporter.amPaint the Town Purple incelebration of Relay For Life onMay 1, May Day For Relay.1.800.ACS.2345www.cancer.org/relayNYNJ


8 The Armenian Reporter | October 25, 2008CommunityPrelate continues to visit schoolsTavlian Pre-School.LOS ANGELES – ArchbishopMoushegh Mardirossian, Prelate,continued his visits to Prelacyschools in the Los Angeles area toconvey his blessings for the 2008-2009 school year.On the morning of October 15,the Prelate visited Levon and HasmigTavlian Pre-School in Pasadena,where he was greeted by directorHelen Manoucherian and schooladministrators. The Prelate wasaccompanied by St. Sarkis ChurchPastor Rev. Fr. Khoren Babochian,Board of Trustees and Ladies’Auxiliary members, and Board ofRegents member Maggie Sarkouni.The students had prepareda program for the Prelate, whichthey performed during his visits tothe classrooms. The Prelate spoketo the students about the parableof the Good Shepherd and presentedthem with religious and educationalmementos.In the afternoon, the Prelate visitedArmenian Mesrobian School,accompanied by the pastors ofHoly Cross Cathedral, Rev. FathersNareg Pehlivanian and AshodKambourian, Board of Trusteesmembers, and Mrs. Sarkouni.They were welcomed by PrincipalHilda Saliba and administrators.The Prelate visited classrooms andconveyed his blessings and goodwishes to the students.On October 17, the Prelate visitedthe North Hills and Encinocampuses of Ferrahian School.The day began with a visit to arsAshkhen Pilavjian Pre-School inNorth Hills.The Prelate was accompaniedby Holy Martyrs Church PastorRev. Fr. Razmig Khatchadourian,Executive Council memberKhatchig Yeretzian, Boardof Trustees Chairman VartanMinassian, and Board of Regentsmember Dr. Al Tomassian. Theywere welcomed by Principal JohnKossakian, Director Vehik Gabrielian,and administrators.There took place an artistic program,in which renowned singerAlla Levonian participated. Afterwardsthe Prelate conveyed hismessage to the students.At Ferrahian’s Encino campus,the Prelate attended a celebrationof Armenian Culture Monthpresented by the students atAvedissian Hall. The event alsoincluded a lecture by ChristianEducation Co-director Very Rev.Fr. Barthev Gulumian. Theevent concluded with the Prelate’sremarks, blessings, andgood wishes.Los Angeles City and California State employees celebratediversity and learn about all things ArmenianLOS ANGELES – On October15, as Disability and Diversity Day2008 was celebrated by employeesof the California Department ofTransportation (Caltrans) and theCity of Los Angeles Departmentof Transportation (ladot), Armenianculture was prominentlyshowcased at the event. The celebrationstook place across thestreet from the Los Angeles-Yerevansister city sign in downtownLos Angeles.The Armenian presence at theevent was made possible by asmall group of Armenian employeesof Caltrans, who set upa booth to tell their colleaguesabout all things Armenian. Visitorscould view maps of Armeniaand displays of Armenian costumesand art, as well as listen toArmenian music.Organizer Shahe Terjimanian,who has worked as a transportationengineer at Caltrans since1991, told the Armenian Reporterthat there are about 30 Armenianscurrently working in Caltrans’ new,state-of-the-art building.“After several years of witnessingDiversity Day without Armenia beingrepresented, I volunteered torepresent Armenia this year,” Terjimaniansaid. “I designed our bannerandhad our graphics departmentprint it out. I knew that everyoneknew about Mount Ararat, but noteveryone knew that it was a nationalsymbol of Armenia and allArmenians. I also added the [Armenian]flag and alphabet to completethe banner. I got many Armeniansin Caltrans and city employees involved.”Helping Terjimanian were GarabedKevorkian from Caltransand Vahan Pezeshkian fromladot, who worked on the Armenianfliers that were handed out tothose visiting the booth.Also on hand was Steven Dadaianfrom Caltrans, who spoketo those gathered about Armenianmusical instruments. Dadaiansubsequently introduced JivanGasparyan, Jr. and fellowband members oudist AntranigKzirian and bassist VickenMomjian, who performed a selectionof their music. Terjimanianestimates that some onethousand state and city employeesturned out to listen to theperformance.Karine Partamian from Caltranspitched in by providingmost of the displays at the Armenianbooth, and Arthur Vardanyanfrom Caltrans prepared aPowerPoint presentation aboutArmenia.“Our aim was to offer non-Armeniansa chance to envision Armeniathrough their experienceat the booth, taste Armeniandelicacies,” Terjimanian said. Thedelicacies didn’t have to comefrom far; they were freshly preparedby Harry Begian, whosecoffee shop is located insideAbove: From left,Alec Mardirossian,Karine Partamian,Arthur Vardanyan,Barkef Karapetian,HaykazAghajanian,OhannesAnserlian,GarabedKevorkian,and ShaheTerjimanian. Left:Playing Armenianmusic.the Caltrans Building on MainStreet.Terjimanian said that when Armenianmusic was being played, ahandful of Armenians started ashurch bar (circle dance). Organizershope to book a professionalArmenian dance group for nextyear’s Disability and DiversityDay.“One of the most interestedvisitors, who was a fellow employeeat Caltrans, told me thathe never knew our history was‘that old,’” Terjimanian said. “Heasked if it was as ancient as thePersians’, and I answered that itwas just as old.”


The Armenian Reporter | October 25, 2008 9CommunityIn pursuit of inner truthsNancy Agabian’s newmemoir chroniclesher ongoing questfor self-discoveryby Karine ChakarianNancy Agabian’s new memoir, Meas her again: True Stories of an ArmenianDaughter, comes with awarning. “Nonfiction advisory– Armenian gossips and busybodiesbeware,” the author writes. “If youhappen to know my family membersand believe they are describedin this memoir, you will come downon the wrong side of fiction versusnonfiction. They are lovely peopleand don’t deserve to be judged asthey appear in this text.”Published by Aunt Lute Books,Me as her again is Agabian’s thirdbook. It begins with the time whenshe had just moved to Los Angeles,at 22, and reminiscences of writingpoetry and growing up in anArmenian family – which led herto a pursuit of self-discovery. Agabianis careful to note that becausethe book is based on memory andmemory is fiction, two people canremember an event in completelydifferent ways. “I feel very protectiveof my family and don’t wantpeople to misunderstand them,”she says. “I also think that a bookis a book and separate from thepeople it’s about.”NEW MILFORD, N.J. – Thefirst bell sounded for the HovnanianSchool of New Jersey onSeptember 8, marking the beginningof a new academic year forkindergarteners to 8th graders.The Early Learning Center (ELC),nursery, and pre-kindergartenreturned one day later, on September9. After a few days, allthe students were acclimated totheir new “homes” and the noveltyin their daily lives. However,each year is different, as excitingthings happen every day at theschool.Tuesday, September 23, wasBack to School night. The multipurposeroom was teeming withparents who had come to meetwith the new teachers as well asthe inveterate faculty. After theopening remarks and introductionof the faculty by Principal AnahidGarmiryan, school nurse CaroleApkarian shared health issueswith the parents. Lydia Baldassarre,librarian, spoke about theactivities in the library to bringabout a new generation of readers.Karen Nargizian, co-chair of thePTO, reviewed the past and presentactivities of the organization.Conceiving a medley of fictionand nonfiction is not new to Agabian,who has spent years creatingperformance art based on life experience.All about identityBorn in Massachusetts, Agabianbegan writing poetry after receivinga B.A. in art and moving toLos Angeles. Literary expressionbecame a tool she learned to usefor personal development. “I waswriting to explore truth,” she says.Her musings led to poetry readings,which eventually developed intoone-woman performances encompassinguniversal motifs of sexualand racial identity. The era was the1990s. “It was a close-knit art communityand everyone was workingaround the same themes at thetime,” she says. She would concealthese autobiographical showsfrom her relatives for years as shegrappled with the same topics shewrote about.In Los Angeles she would go onto collaborate with Anne Perich toform the folk-punk duo Guitar Boy.Together they would produce a collectionof unconventional songsabout the art world and popularculture. Their CD, Freaks like me,released in 2000, is an eclectic collectionof songs with titles like “ICould have Saved Kurt Cobain” and“Don’t Fall off the Getty Center.”It was also during this time thatAgabian published her first book,Princess Freak, a collection of poemsand performance-art text, andtaught workshops at literary andThe assembly over, parents metwith teachers in the classroomsand learned about the academicprogram of this year.On Thursday, September 25, 6th-8th graders went to the St. VartanCathedral in New York City andparticipated in the welcome ceremonyfor the president of Armenia,Serge Sargsian. It was a longtrip, but as 7th-grader MelissaKinoian remarked, “It is not everyday that you can meet a president,”after presenting the presidentwith flowers and a specialmemento prepared by the class.The school had several specialvisitors too. On Monday, September22, Ara Papian, former ambassadorof Armenia to Canada,visited the school in commemorationof Armenia’s IndependenceDay. In a roundtable discussionwith 7th and 8th graders, he offereda history of the Treaties ofSèvres and Lausanne to the students’rapt attention and interest.On Wednesday, September 24,Archbishop Norvan Zakarian,primate of the Armenian Dioceseof France, paid a special visit to theschool during a trip to New York. “Iwas looking forward to seeing theNancy Agabian.art centers like Beyond Baroque,where she encouraged others to telltheir life stories.After spending nine years in LosAngeles, the life of a struggling artistand the material she had createdabout her experiences forcedAgabian to reevaluate her direction.She shifted gears, received a threeyearfellowship to attend ColumbiaUniversity, and moved to New York.It was there, at the Columbia UniversitySchool of the Arts’ WritingDivision, that she would furtherdevelop her prose. Me as her againwould become the fruit of this labor.The power of rootsAgabian’s journey in the book beginswith her memories of growingup Armenian in America. “Weweren’t really meshed in an Armeniancommunity,” Agabian statesabout her family. “I went to Armenianchurch and Friday-afternoonArmenian school, but as a kid it feltreally foreign to me.”The pressure of assimilation andher identity as an Armenian-Americanled her, at the age of 30, toTurkey with her artist aunt to findher grandmother. Back home in theUnited States, she would have hergrandmother’s audio tapes translatedto English in order to learnmore about her family’s history.While Agabian knew that hergrandmother was a Genocide survivor,the magnitude of what thatmeant didn’t resonate with her untilshe began writing and imaginedwhat it was that her grandmotherhad experienced. “It forced me tomourn something I didn’t know Ihad to mourn,” she says.Fulbright Scholar inArmeniaIn 2005, Agabian was invited byan organization called Utopianato perform in Armenia. The developingrepublic’s struggle to defineitself in its new geopolitical roletouched a familiar nerve in Agabian.“There were so many strugglesfor people to survive and so manydifferent ideas,” she says.She was awarded a FulbrightScholarship, which allowed her toreturn to Armenia the followingyear. She recalls: “My idea was towrite about the artists as a way towrite about the social issues: theway woman’s roles were changing,school I have heard so much about,”he said.Finally, on Wednesday, October1, Dr. Lilit Galstyan, a member ofthe Armenian parliament and executivedirector of the Hamazkayincultural and educational organizationin Armenia, paid a visit to theschool and saw several classes inaction.the way that gay people weren’treally coming out but there werethe first expressions of people whowere gay and meeting each other.”In the year she spent in Armenia,Agabian taught at YerevanUniversity, kept a blog to recordher observations, and was awardeda second grant through CEC ArtsLink, which enabled her to conductwriting workshops at the Women’sResource Center.It was also in Armenia that shewould co-write her second book,In the Unspace, a collection of writingson the theme of Armenianwomen’s identity. Agabian’s contributionis written in English andin journal style. The other two authors,Shushan Avagyan and LaraAharonian, wrote in Armenian andFrench, respectively. Avagyan combinedpersonal experience withher literary critique of MichelineAharonian Marcom’s book The DaydreamingBoy, and Lara Aharoniandrew from her experiences at theWoman’s Resource Center to exploreher life’s journey.Appearances at Beyond Baroqueand Abril Bookstore in Glendalewere only short forays duringAgabian’s recent West Coast booksigningtour to promote Me as heragain. Before the second leg of hertour, she returned to New York tocontinue teaching creative-writingclasses at Queens College and beginwork on a new book, which willdepict her experiences in Armenia.For more information on NancyAgabian’s books, visit her websiteat nancyagabian.com. The Hovnanian School starts new school year with a slew of activitiesOrthodox Prayer Service to be hosted at St. VartanHovnanianSchool studentsand principalAnahidGarmiryan (c.)with PresidentSerge Sargsianof Armenia andAbp. KhajagBarsamian.Between thepresident andthe principalis Amb. TatoulMarkarian.On October 11, the HovnanianAlumni School started its third yearof Saturday activities, with graduatesof the classes of 2006–2008 attending.Open to UNcommunity, generalpublicNEW YORK – Members of theUnited Nations community andOrthodox Christians in the NewYork metro area will gather forthe annual Orthodox Prayer Serviceand reception at St. VartanArmenian Cathedral in New Yorkon Thursday, October 30 at 6:30p.m.Archbishop Khajag Barsamian,Primate of the Diocese of the ArmenianChurch of America (Eastern),will preside over the serviceand deliver the homily. AmbassadorNegash Kebret Botora,permanent representative of theFederal Democratic Republic ofEthiopia to the United Nations,will speak after the service. RaffiV. Balian, a foreign service officerat the U.S. Department of Stateand a member of the DiocesanLegate’s Committee, will serve asmaster of ceremonies. The themefor this year’s event will reflectthe UN Millennium DevelopmentGoal to stamp out poverty and inequality.Organized under the auspices ofthe Standing Conference of CanonicalOrthodox Bishops in the Americasand the Standing Conference ofOriental Orthodox Churches, theOrthodox Prayer Service is a traditionbegun in 2001 to give OrthodoxChristians an opportunity tocome together for worship and tolearn more about each other’s cultureand heritage by engaging withrepresentatives from the UnitedNations.For Armenian-Americans, theevent has been particularly importantas it builds upon the community’srelationship with the UnitedNations at a time when increasedattention is drawn to the geopoliticalsituation in the Middle Eastand Armenia.The prayer service was last held atSt. Vartan Cathedral in 2006. Thisyear, as the Cathedral marks its40 anniversary, it will once againwelcome clergy, ambassadors andmembers of the general public foran evening of worship and conversation.For more information, pleasecall Maral Serce at the DiocesanCenter.connect:1-212-686-0710


10 The Armenian Reporter | October 25, 2008EditorialSupport our friends running forAlabamaArtur Davis (D.), a co-sponsor ofthe H.Res. 106.American SamoaEni F. H. Faleomavaega (D.), amember of the House Foreign AffairsCommittee, voted in favor ofthe H.Res. 106.ArizonaEd Pastor (D.), a co-sponsor ofthe H.Res. 106.Gabrielle Giffords (D.), a memberof the House Foreign Affairs Committee,voted in favor of the H.Res.106.Raul Grijalva (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.CaliforniaSee last week’s Reporter.ColoradoDiana DeGette (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Ed Perlmutter (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.John Salazar (D.), a co-sponsor ofthe H.Res. 106.Marilyn Musgrave (R.), a memberof the Armenian Caucus and cosponsorof the H.Res. 106.ConnecticutChris Murphy (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Chris Shays (R.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Joe Courtney (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.John Larson (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Rosa DeLauro (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.District of ColumbiaEleonor Holmes Norton (D.), amember of the Armenian Caucusand co-sponsor of the H.Res. 106.FloridaGus Bilirakis (R.), a member ofthe House Foreign Affairs Committee,voted in favor of the H.Res.106. A member of the ArmenianCaucus, he spoke at the September2008 Capitol Hill Karabakh eventKendrick Meek (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R.), a memberof the Armenian Caucus and cosponsorof the H.Res. 106.Mario Diaz-Balart (R.), a cosponsorof the H.Res. 106.Ron Klein (D.), a member of theHouse Foreign Affairs Committee,voted in favor of the H.Res. 106.GeorgiaJack Kingston (R.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Jim Marshall (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.John Barrow (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.John Lewis (D.), a co-sponsor ofthe H.Res. 106.GuamMadeleine Bordallo (D.), a cosponsorof the H.Res. 106.HawaiiMazie Hirono (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Neil Abercrombie (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.IllinoisBobby Rush (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Dan Lipinski (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Danny Davis (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Donald Manzullo (R.), a memberof the House Foreign Affairs Committee,voted in favor of the H.Res.106.Janice Schakowsky (D.), a memberof the House Caucus on ArmenianIssues and co-sponsor of theH.Res. 106.Jerry Costello (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Jesse Jackson (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Luis Gutierrez (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Mark Kirk (R.), a member of theArmenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106. He supportedRep. Knollenberg’s July 2008amendment to eliminate a $3.9 millionallocation of military aid toAzerbaijan.)Melissa Bean (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Peter Roskam (R.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Phil Hare (D.), a co-sponsor ofthe H.Res. 106.IndianaJulia Carson (D.), a co-sponsor ofthe H.Res. 106.Mark Souder (R.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Peter Visclosky (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.IowaBruce Braley (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.KentuckyJohn Yarmuth (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.LouisianaCharlie Melancon (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.MaineMichael Michaud (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.MarylandJohn Sarbanes (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106. Steny HoyerThe House majority leader, Mr.Hoyer stood firmly for the ArmenianGenocide resolutionin the face of vitriolic attacksjointly orchestrated last Octoberby the Bush administration andthe Turkish lobby. Chris Van HollenMr. Van Hollen is one of themembers of the House Democraticleadership who stood onprinciple and rejected pressureto forsake the Armenian Genocideresolution last October.MassachusettsEd Markey (D.), a member of theArmenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106. Mr. Markey cosigneda letter asking for extra aidto Armenia in the wake of the warin Georgia.James McGovern (D.), a memberof the Armenian Caucus andco-sponsor of the H.Res. 106. Mr.McGovern attended the 2008 Congressionalcommemoration of theGenocide and co-signed a letterasking for extra aid to Armenia inthe wake of the war in Georgia.John Olver (D.), a member of theArmenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.John Tierney (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106. Barney FrankA member of the House Democraticleadership, Mr. Frankspoke at the September 2008Capitol Hill Karabakh event andco-signed a letter asking for extraaid to Armenia in the wake ofthe war in Georgia.The Armenian Reporter and the U.S.-Armenia Public Affairs Committee (USAPAC) jointly urgeArmenian-Americans to support our friends running for the House of Representatives. Lastweek, we focused on the California delegation. This week we consider the rest of the nation.In our endorsements, as always we have given special consideration to members of theCongressional Caucus on Armenian Issues. We have considered candidates’ interest in andsupport of Armenian-American issues, including co-sponsorship and support of H. Res. 106,which affirms the U.S. record on the Armenian Genocide. We have also noted where membershave taken additional steps to support the Armenian-American agenda in Congress.In several cases, we urge Armenian-Americans to oppose members who have opposed orwithdrawn their support of House Resolution 106. The House Foreign Affairs Committeeadopted the resolution in October 2007 over the very strong opposition of the Bush administrationand the Turkish lobby. That led to an even more intense effort to kill the resolutionas it headed for the floor of the full House. The administration and the Turkish lobby mobilizedtheir resources across the country, making the fight for the resolution a top story formost news organizations for a few days.This was a seminal matter. Members of Congress were being asked by the administration anda foreign state to suppress a proud chapter of American history – the efforts of the State Department,Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, and U.S. consuls in the Ottoman provinces in 1915–17 tosave the Armenians, and the broad response of the American people to appeals for help. Why?Because an American ally, Turkey, was blackmailing the United States: If the resolution wasadopted, the Turkish prime minister wrote ominously in the Wall Street Journal for October 19,2007, Turkey, would take action that would “not be in the interests of either the U.S. or Turkey.”We could not and cannot accept that the appropriate U.S. response to such a threat wouldbe to coddle the Turkish government.On Election Day, November 4, let the Armenian-American voice be heard loud and clear atthe polls.fMichael Capuano (D.), a memberof the Armenian Caucus and cosponsorof the H.Res. 106.Niki Tsongas (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Richard Neal (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Steve Lynch (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106. Mr. Lynchco-signed a letter asking for extraaid to Armenia in the wake of thewar in Georgia.William Delahunt (D.), a memberof the House Foreign Affairs Committee,voted in favor of the H.Res.106. He is a member of the ArmenianCaucus.MichiganCandice Miller (R.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106. Joe KnollenbergA co-chair of the House Caucuson Armenian Issues – in a competitiverace – Mr. Knollenberg,a Republican, has tirelessly ledefforts to move the Armenian-American agenda forward inCongress. This summer he foughtto eliminate a $3.9 million allocationof military aid to Azerbaijan.(He had heralded his intentionsin an article for the Armenian Reporter,“Enough is enough, Azerbaijan,”June 21, p. 22.) Thaddeus McCotterThe chair of the GOP PolicyCommittee, Mr. McCotter cosigneda letter asking for extraaid to Armenia in the wake ofthe war in Georgia.Dale Kildee (D.), a member of theArmenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Dave Camp (R.), a member of theArmenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.John Conyers (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Mike Rogers (R.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Sander Levin (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Tim Walberg (R.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.MinnesotaBetty McCollum (D.), a memberof the Armenian Caucus andco-sponsor of the H.Res. 106. Ms.McCollum attended the 2008 Congressionalcommemoration of theGenocide.Collin Peterson (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106. Mr. Peterson Ashwin MadiaMr. Madia, a Democrat, is runningfor an open seat. In meetingswith Armenian-Americans, hehas spoken clearly of his supportfor Armenian-American issues. Tim WalzA leader among first-term membersof Congress, Mr. Walz, aDemocrat, has been an outspokensupporter of the Armenian-American agenda. He spoke atthe September 2008 Capitol HillKarabakh event.co-signed a letter asking for extraaid to Armenia in the wake of thewar in Georgia.Keith Ellison (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Michele Bachmann (R.), a memberof the Armenian Caucus and cosponsorof the H.Res. 106.MissouriEmanuel Cleaver (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Wm. Lacy Clay (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.MississippiBennie Tompson (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.North CarolinaG.K. Butterfield (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Melvin Watt (D.), a co-sponsor ofthe H.Res. 106.


The Armenian Reporter | October 25, 2008 11the armenianreporterthe House of RepresentativesNevadaJon Porter (R.), a member of theArmenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106. Shelley BerkleyMs. Berkley, a supporter of theArmenian Genocide resolution,spoke at the September 2008Capitol Hill Karabakh event. Sheis a Democrat.New HampshirePaul Hodes (D.), a co-sponsor ofthe H.Res. 106. Joseph BradleyMr. Bradley, a Republican and asupporter of Armenian-Americanissues, seeks to reclaim a seat helost in 2006 to Carol Shea-Porter– who co-signed a letter in oppositionto the Armenian Genocide.New JerseyAlbio Sires (D.), a member of theHouse Foreign Affairs Committee,voted in favor of the H.Res. 106. Frank Pallone, Jr.A co-chair of the House Caucuson Armenian Issues, Mr. Pallone,a Democrat, has tirelesslyled efforts to move the Armenian-Americanagenda forwardin Congress. He has campaignedfor increased U.S. engagementwith Karabakh outside the mediationprocess.Christopher Smith (R.), a memberof the House Foreign AffairsCommittee, voted in favor of theH.Res. 106. He is a veteran memberof the Armenian Caucus.Donald Payne (D.), a member ofthe House Foreign Affairs Committee,voted in favor of the H.Res. 106.A member of the Armenian Caucus,he co-signed a letter asking for extraaid to Armenia in the wake ofthe war in Georgia.Frank LoBiondo (R.), a memberof the Armenian Caucus and cosponsorof the H.Res. 106.Robert Andrews (D.), a memberof the Armenian Caucus and cosponsorof the H.Res. 106.Rodney Flelinghuysen (R.), a cosponsorof the H.Res. 106.Rush Holt (D.), a member of theArmenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Scott Garrett (R.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106. Mr. Garrettco-signed a letter asking for extraaid to Armenia in the wake of thewar in Georgia.Steve Rothman (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106. Mr. Rothmanspoke at the September 2008 CapitolHill Karabakh event.New YorkAnthony Weiner (D.), a memberof the Armenian Caucus and cosponsorof the H.Res. 106.Carolyn Maloney (D.), a memberof the Armenian Caucus andco-sponsor of the H.Res. 106. Ms.Maloney attended the 2008 Congressionalcommemoration of theGenocide and co-signed a letterasking for extra aid to Armenia inthe wake of the war in Georgia.Carolyn McCarthy (D.), a memberof the Armenian Caucus and cosponsorof the H.Res. 106.Charles Rangel (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Edolphus Towns (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Eliot Engel (D.), a member of theHouse Foreign Affairs Committee,voted in favor of the H.Res. 106.He is a member of the ArmenianCaucus.Gary Ackerman (D.), a memberof the House Foreign Affairs Committee,voted in favor of the H.Res.106. He is a member of the ArmenianCaucus.Jerrold Nadler (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.John Hall (D.), a co-sponsor ofthe H.Res. 106.John McHugh (R.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Jose Serrano (D.), a co-sponsor ofthe H.Res. 106.Joseph Crowley (D.), a memberof the House Foreign Affairs Committee,voted in favor of the H.Res.106. He is a member of the ArmenianCaucus.Kirsten Gillibrand (D.), a cosponsorof the H.Res. 106.Maurice Hinchey (D.), a memberof the Armenian Caucus and cosponsorof the H.Res. 106.Michael Arcuri (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Nita Lowey (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106. (However, aschair of the Foreign Aid Subcommittee,she opposed Rep. Knollenberg’samendment to eliminate a$3.9 million allocation of militaryaid to Azerbaijan.)Nydia Velazquez (D.), a memberof the Armenian Caucus and cosponsorof the H.Res. 106.Steve Israel (D.), a member of theArmenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Tim Bishop (D.), a co-sponsor ofthe H.Res. 106.Yvette Clarke (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.OhioBetty Sutton (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Dennis Kucinich (D.), a memberof the Armenian Caucus and cosponsorof the H.Res. 106.Steve Chabot (R.), a member ofthe House Foreign Affairs Committee,voted in favor of the H.Res. 106.Steven LaTourette (R.), a memberof the Armenian Caucus and cosponsorof the H.Res. 106.Tim Ryan (D.), a co-sponsor ofthe H.Res. 106. David KrikorianMr. Krikorian is an Armenian-American activist running as anindependent in what local mediacharacterize as a “wide open” race.Zach Space (D.), a member of theArmenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.OregonDavid Wu (D.), a member of theHouse Foreign Affairs Committee,voted in favor of the H.Res. 106.Earl Blumenauer (D.) a memberof the Armenian Caucus and cosponsorof the H.Res. 106.Peter DeFazio (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.PennsylvaniaAllyson Schwartz (D.), a memberof the Armenian Caucus and cosponsorof the H.Res. 106.Chaka Fattah (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106. Mr. Fattahco-signed a letter asking for extraaid to Armenia in the wake of thewar in Georgia.Charles Dent (R.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Jim Gerlach (R.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Joseph Pitts (R.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Mike Doyle (D.), a member of theArmenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Robert Brady (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.We opposeArizonaJeff Flake (R.), a member of theForeign Affairs Committee, he votedagainst the H.Res. 106 and was publiclydismissive of Armenian-Americanconcerns during the debate.FloridaIlleana Ros-Lehtinen (R.), RankingMember of the Foreign AffairsCommittee – and of the ArmenianCaucus – she voted against theH.Res. 106.Robert Wexler (D.), co-chair of theTurkish Caucus and an outspokenopponent of Armenian-Americanconcerns. A member of the ForeignAffairs Committee, he voted againstthe H.Res. 106.IllinoisRahm Emanuel (D.) workedagainst the H.Res. 106.IndianaDan Burton (R.), an outspokenopponent of Armenian-Americanconcerns. A member of the ForeignAffairs Committee, he voted againstthe H.Res. 106.KentuckyEd Whitfield (R.) worked againstthe H.Res. 106 in October 2007. Heis a co-chair of the Turkish Caucus.Rhode IslandJames Langevin (D.), a memberof the Armenian Caucus and cosponsorof the H.Res. 106. Mr. Langevinco-signed a letter asking forextra aid to Armenia in the wake ofthe war in Georgia.Patrick Kennedy (D.), a memberof the Armenian Caucus andco-sponsor of the H.Res. 106. Mr.Kennedy spoke at the September2008 Capitol Hill Karabakh eventand co-signed a letter asking forextra aid to Armenia in the wake ofthe war in Georgia.South DakotaStephanie Herseth Sandli (D.), amember of the Armenian Caucusand co-sponsor of the H.Res. 106.TennesseeZach Wamp (R.), a co-sponsor ofthe H.Res. 106.TexasAl Green (D.), a co-sponsor of theH.Res. 106.Charles Gonsalez (D.), a memberof the Armenian Caucus and cosponsorof the H.Res. 106.Ciro Rodriguez (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Gene Green (D.), a member of theHouse Foreign Affairs Committee,voted in favor of the H.Res. 106.Kenny Marchant (R.), a memberof the Armenian Caucus and cosponsorof the H.Res. 106.Lloyd Doggett (D.), a member ofthe Armenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Michael McCaul (R.), a memberof the House Foreign Affairs Committee,received a call from PresidentBush in opposition to theH.Res. 106. Mr. McCaul voted infavor of the Genocide resolution.Sheila Jackson Lee (D.), a memberof the House Foreign Affairs Committee,voted in favor of the H.Res. 106.UtahJim Matheson (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.MissouriRuss Carnahan (D.), a member ofthe Foreign Affairs Committee, hevoted against the H.Res. 106. Hewas a co-sponsor of the resolutionbut withdrew his co-sponsorship.North CarolinaVirginia Foxx (R.) worked againstthe H.Res. 106. She is active in theAzerbaijani and Turkish caucuses.New YorkGregory Meeks (D.), a memberof the Foreign Affairs Committee– and of the Armenian Caucus, hevoted against the H.Res. 106.Puerto RicoLuis Fortuno (R.), a memberof the Foreign Affairs Committee– and of the Armenian Caucus– he voted against the H.Res. 106– after a call from President Bush.He was a co-sponsor of the resolutionbut withdrew his co-sponsorship.PennsylvaniaBill Shuster (R.) worked againstthe H.Res. 106. He is co-chair of theAzerbaijani Caucus.John Murtha (D.), a member ofthe Democratic leadership, brokewith Speaker Pelosi and MajorityVirgin IslandsDonna Christensen (D.), a cosponsorof the H.Res. 106.VirginiaFrank Wolf (R.), a co-sponsor of theH.Res. 106, attended the 2008 CongressionalGenocide commemoration. Eric CantorA member of the House Republicanleadership, Mr. Cantor hasbeen supportive of Armenian-American issues.Jim Moran (D.), a member of theArmenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Robert Scott (D.), a co-sponsor ofthe H.Res. 106.WashingtonBrian Baird (D.), a co-sponsor ofthe H.Res. 106.Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R.), aco-sponsor of the H.Res. 106.David Reichert (R.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Jim McDermott (D.), a memberof the Armenian Caucus and cosponsorof the H.Res. 106.WisconsinJames Sensenbrenner (R.), a cosponsorof the H.Res. 106.Paul Ryan (R.), a member of theArmenian Caucus and co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.Ron Kind (D.), a co-sponsor ofthe H.Res. 106.Steve Kagen (D.), a co-sponsor ofthe H.Res. 106.Tammy Baldwin (D.), a co-sponsorof the H.Res. 106.A word of thanks – see page 19mLeader Hoyer on the issue of theH.Res. 106; he co-organized a pressconference against the resolution.(He is running unopposed, however.)TennesseeSteve Cohen (D.) worked againstthe H.Res. 106. He co-organized apress conference against the resolution.TexasKay Granger (R.) worked againstthe H.Res. 106. She is a co-chair ofthe Turkish Caucus.Ruben Hinojosa (D.) a memberof the Foreign Affairs Committee– and a co-sponsor of the H.Res.106 -- he voted against the resolution.Solomon Ortiz (D.) workedagainst the H.Res. 106. He is a cochairof the Azerbaijani Caucus.Ted Poe (R.), a member of theForeign Affairs Committee, he votedagainst the H.Res. 106. He is anoutspoken opponent of Armenian-American concerns.WashingtonAdam Smith (D.), a member ofthe Foreign Affairs Committee– and of the Armenian Caucus -- hevoted against the H.Res. 106.


12 The Armenian Reporter | October 25, 2008CommunityArmenian, Greek supporters of Obama in New York to hostjoint fundraiserNEW YORK – With a little morethan two weeks to go in the 2008presidential election, Armenian-American and Greek-Americansupporters of the Obama-Bidenticket in Manhattan will show theirsupport by hosting a fundraiser.The event, which will take placeon October 28 at Lafayette Bar andGrill in downtown Manhattan, willfeature community figures fromthe Armenian and Greek communities,as well as actor Tate Donovan,an Obama supporter.“This is a great opportunity forArmenians and Greeks to cometogether and rally for the Obama-Biden ticket,” commented NicoleVartanian, Armenians for ObamaNew York activist. “Both senatorshave proven to have solid supporton Armenian and Greek Americanissues, and come November 4th, itwill be a true victory for all Americanswhen Obama wins the presidency.”In January of 2008 SenatorObama released a statement to theArmenian-American communityexpressing his support on key issueson US-Armenian relations,recognition of the Armenian Genocide,a peaceful settlement of theNagorno-Karabagh conflict in-linewith the principles of self-determinationand democracy, and workingto end the Turkish and Azerbaijaniblockades of Armenia.Mr. Obama has also called for anend of the Turkish occupation ofCyprus.connect:http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/gs5gr81-917-751-4916.Above: Armenians for Obama NY activist Karine Birazianand actor Tate Donovan at Obama fundraiser in nyc. Left:Armenians for Obama NY activist Nicole Vartanian withactress Sarah Jessica Parker at Runway for Change eventin nyc.Gary Ishkhanian, a headache authority, was appointed medicaldirector of Mount Vernon HospitalCalendar of EventsGary Ishkhanian.MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – GaryIskhanian, MD, was appointedmedical director of the Mount VernonHospital, a 196-bed community-basedteaching hospital.Dr. Ishkanian is a graduate ofFordham University; he received hismedical degree from St. George’sUniversity School of Medicine inGrenada. He completed his residencyat Mount Vernon Hospital,where he served as chief medicalresident and was awarded the FrancisT. Rogliaro Award for outstandingmedical resident.A diplomate of the AmericanBoard of Internal Medicine, a diplomatethe American Board of QualityAssurance and Utilization ReviewPhysicians Organization, anda fellow of the American College ofPhysicians, Dr. Ishkhanian is alsoa member of the American HeadacheSociety, the National HeadacheFoundation, and the InternationalHeadache Society.Dr. Ishkanian is an assistantclinical professor of medicineand the director of primary carefor the Department of Medicineof St. George’s University Schoolof Medicine as well as an adjunctassistant clinical professorof medicine at New York MedicalCollege. He is also a facultymember of the Internal MedicineResidency Training Programat Mount Vernon Hospital; thisprogram accepts only 24 highlyqualified medical school graduatesyearly from an applicationpool of thousands.Since 1991, Dr. Ishkhanian hasbeen a member of the medical staffat Mount Vernon Hospital, and hejoined the medical staff at SoundShore Medical Center in 1998. Dr.Ishkanian has also been on staff ata number of area long-term carefacilities – including most recently,the Wartburg Adult Care Community.Dr. Ishkanian is also in privatepractice in Mount Vernon.His expertise in his specialty hasresulted in Dr. Ishkanian’s involvementas principal investigator innumerous clinical research trialson headache and in the publicationof many peer-reviewed papers onthe subject.connect:www.mtvernonhospital.orgArizonaNOVEMBER 8 - ARMENIAF-EST. Location: Armenian ChurchCultural Center, Melikian Hall,8849 E Cholla St, Scottsdale, AZ.11 am to 6 pm Admission: $1,FREE Parking. For more informationcontact Armenian ApostolicChurch of Arizona, 480-451-8171; donna@zabellegroup.com.Northern CaliforniaOCTOBER 25 - ST. JOHNFOOD FESTIVAL. Location:St. John Armenian Church, 275Olympia Way, San Francisco,CA. 12:00noon-12:00midnightAdmission: N/A. For more informationcontact St.John Armenian Church, 415-661-1142; nsarkiss@sbcglobal.net.OCTOBER 25 - DANCE CLASS-ES FOR KEF NIGHT. Location:Dance Classes, 825 BrotherhoodWay, San Francisco, CA.10:00AM till 1:00PM Admission:$40 for 3 months. For moreinformation contact Kef Night,650-340-9449; st.gregory1@sbcglobal.net.OCTOBER 29 - ORIENTALCARPETS IN EARLY RENAIS-SANCE PAINTINGS: A NEWINTERPRETATION. Location:Rugs and Carpets, Inc., 931 No.Amphlett Blvd., San Mateo, CA.7:30 p.m. Admission: free. Formore information contact WestCoast Chapter of the ArmenianRugs Society and by The S, (650)343-8585; zzlorr@yahoo.com.NOVEMBER 1 - KZV ARME-NIAN SCHOOL BANQUETWITH VARTAN GREGORIAN.Location: Saroyan Hall, 825Brotherhood Way, San Francisco,CA. 6:30 PM Admission: tbd.For more information contactAni Ayanian; anizenop@yahoo.com.NOVEMBER 8 - ARMENIANFOOD FESTIVAL AND BOU-TIQUE NOEL. Location: CalvaryArmenian CongregationalChurch, 725 Brotherhood Way,San Francisco, CA. 12:00 -9:00pm Admission: Free. For moreinformation contact Calvary ArmenianCongregational Church,415- 586-2000; Cacc@cacc-sf.org.NOVEMBER 9 - FASHIONSHOW. Location: HYATT RE-GENCY SANTA CLARA ,CA,5101 Great America Pkwy,Santa Clara, CA. 12:30 PMAdmission: TBD. For more informationcontact St. AndrewCultural Committee, (650)344-4707; sylvia.baghdasarian@Lmco.com.NOVEMBER 9 - FASHIONSHOW. Location: HYATT RE-GECLANCY, 5101 Great AmericaPkwy, Santa Clara, CA. 11:30AMAdmission: $60. For more informationcontact St. Andrew CulturalCommittee, (650)344-4707;sylvia.baghdasarian@Lmco.com.NOVEMBER 15 - SPIRITUALRETREAT. Location: “God iswith us”, 51 CommonwealthAve., San Francisco, CA. 9AM to3PM Admission: FREE. For moreinformation contact St. GregoryArmenian Church, 415-751-9140;st.gregory1@sbcglobal.net.NOVEMBER 21 - FROM CON-STANTINOPLE TO TBILISI: ANARMENIAN LEGACY. Location:St. Vartan Armenian ApostolicChurch, 650 Spruce Street, Oakland,CA. 7:30pm Admission:$35 / $28 / $15. For more informationcontact Bay Area ClassicalHarmonies, (510) 868-0695;Info@BayAreaBACH.org.NOVEMBER 22 - FROM CON-STANTINOPLE TO TBILISI: ANARMENIAN LEGACY. Location:St. John Armenian ApostolicChurch, 275 Olympia Blvd, SanFrancisco, CA. 7:30pm Admission:$35 / $28 / $15. For moreinformation contact Bay AreaClassical Harmonies, (510) 868-0695; Info@BayAreaBACH.org.NOVEMBER 22 - A TOUCH OFYEREVAN IN SILICON VALLEY.Location: Private Residence inMountain View, We will providethe full address once wereceive the payments, San Jose,CA. 7:00pm-Midnight Admission:$25. For more informationcontact Layla Sabourian,415.438.0111; laylasabourian@gmail.com.NOVEMBER 23 - FROM CON-STANTINOPLE TO TBILISI: ANARMENIAN LEGACY. Location:St. Andrew Armenian ApostolicChurch, 11370 S. Stelling Road,Cupertino, CA. 5:00pm Admission:$35 / $28 / $15. For moreinformation contact Bay AreaClassical Harmonies, (510) 868-0695; Info@BayAreaBACH.org.DECEMBER 31 - SF NEWYEAR’S EVE. Location: NewYear’s Eve, 825 BrotherhoodWay, San Francisco, CA. Detailsto Follow Admission: Details toFollow. For more informationcontact Kef Night Commitee,415-751-9140; st.gregory1@sbcglobal.net.JANUARY 18 - CAL PERFOR-MANCES: SERGEY KHACHA-TRYAN VIOLIN WITH LUSINEKHACHATRYAN, PIANO. Location:Hertz Hall, University ofCalifornia, Berkeley, CA. 3p.m.Admission: $46. For more informationcontact Cal Performances,510.642.9988; tickets@calperfs.berkeley.edu.MARCH 7 - HYE TAD EVE-NING. Location: Saroyan Hall,825 Brotherhood Way, San Francisco,CA. 6:30 PM Admission:TBD. For more informationcontact ANC SF, (415) 387-3433;mail@ancsf.org.MARCH 15 - CRD BENEFITCONCERT. Location: CaliforniaPalace of the Legion of Honor,100 34th Ave, San Francisco, CA.2:00 pm Admission: TBD. Formore information contact SupportCommittee for Armenia’sCosmic Ray Division, (650) 926-4444; anahid1@sonic.net.Central CaliforniaNOVEMBER 22 - ANNUALTURKEY BINGO. Location:A.A.C.L. Hall, California ArmenianHome, 6720 E. Kings CanyonRd., Fresno, CA. 6:15 pmAdmission: $20. For more informationcontact Selma ChapterTriple X Charitable Trust, 559-226-5796; cjtrex@selmatrex.org.Southern CaliforniaOCTOBER 25 - MAXIM & SA-HAG DINNER DANCE. Location:Notte Luna Restaurant,113 N. Maryland Ave., Glendale,CA. 9:00 PM Admission: $40.For more information contactNotte Luna Restaurant, (818)919-0386;.OCTOBER 25 - ANC-PN AN-NUAL HAROUT BARAHANTES.Location: Homenetmen AraratBanquet Hall, 3347 N San FernandoRd, Glendale, CA. 8:00pm Admission: TBD. For moreinformation contact ANC ProfessionalNetwork, ; info@ancpn.com. Tickets on www.itsmyseat.com.OCTOBER 25 – ARMENIANPROFESSIONAL SOCIETY50TH ANNIVERSARY GALA.Location; The Sheraton UniversalHotel. Special guest, Vartan


The Armenian Reporter | October 25, 2008 13CommunityCalendar of EventsOskanian, former Minister ofForeign Affairs, RA. Dark EyesBand. For sponsorship and ticketsinformation contact APSat apsla@apsla.org or 818-685-9946OCTOBER 25 - ST. JAMES AR-MENIAN CHUCH LADIES SO-CIETY PRESENT “FIESTA OLE,”ANNUAL LUNCHEON ANDCOUNTRY STORE: Location:St. James Armenian Church,Gogian Hall, 4950 W. SlausonAvenue,Los Angeles. 11:00a.m. Country Store Bake Sale;12 Noon Luncheon. Donation:$35.00. Reservations: ShirleyMoore (310) 670-7177; Alice Simonian(323) 465-6742.OCTOBER 26 - HOY LARI -CHILDREN’S MUSIC CONCERT.Location: Barnsdall Gallery Theatre,4800 Hollywood Blvd, LosAngeles, CA. 3:300 pm Admission:$20.00. For more informationcontact Horizon / Hoy Lari,(310) 600-0207; hoylari@yahoo.com. Tickets on www.itsmyseat.com.OCTOBER 26 - HAMAZKA-YIN’S 80TH ANNIVERSARYCELEBRATION BANQUET. Location:Baghramian Hall, 900W. Lincoln Ave., Montebello,CA. 5:00 p.m. Admission: $60.For more information contactHamazkayin ArmenianEducational & Cultural Society,818.935.3555; info@hamazkayin.net.OCTOBER 27 - DR. HAKOBY-AN AND INSIGHT LIVE. Location:Glendale Public Library,222 E Harvard St, Glendale, CA.7:30 p.m. Admission: $36. Formore information contact LNHInsight, Inc., 818-230-2789; joeseifert@att.net.Tickets onwww.itsmyseat.com.OCTOBER 30 - DIONICESS II- COFFEE & CHOCOLATE PAIR-ING. Location: Peet’s Coffee &Tea Studio City, 12215 VenturaBlvd. # 101, Studio City, CA.8:30 PM Admission: $27.00. Formore information contact GevKazanchyan, 8182491428; dionicessgigs@gmail.com.Tickets onwww.itsmyseat.com.OCTOBER 30 - FEBRU-ARY 12 - GLOBAL TRAV-ELER TOM BOZIGIANINTRODUCES HIS NEWFALL/WINTER ARME-NIAN/ GREEK DANCE SE-RIES: Location: GlendaleCivi Auditorium, 1401 N.Verdugo Road at MountainAve., Glendale. Theclass is held weeklyuntil the party Feb. 12,2009. Late registrationthrough Nov. 6. Adultsare $120 and Students to23 years $105. Call 562-941-0845. Visit www.bozigian.com. Bozigian also presentshis Middle EasternTrio for your dancingpleasure.OCTOBER 31 - GREATESTHITS BAND - HALLOWEENBASH @ SIDE-BAR. Location:Sidebar, 1114 N. Pacific Ave.,Glendale, CA. 9 PM Admission:$10. For more information contactGreatest Hits Band, (323)365-4796; info@greatesthitsband.com.OCTOBER 31 - AGBU HAL-LOWEEN BASH. Location:Citizen Smith, 1600 N CahuengaBlvd, Hollywood, CA.9PM - 2 AM Admission: $25presale $30 door. For more informationcontact AGBU YP, ;Ani_AGBUYPLA@yahoo.com.Tickets on www.itsmyseat.com.OCTOBER 31 - UACC ANNUALHARVEST FESTIVAL. Location:UACC Annual Harvest Festival,3480 Cahuenga Blvd West, LosAngeles, CA. 5:30 - 9:30 pm Admission:Small Fee. For moreinformation contact United ArmenianCongregational Church,323-851-5265; uaccfamily@uaccchurch.org.NOVEMBER 1 - CHOCOLATECOVERED COMPANY GRANDOPENING. Location: WestfieldTopanga Shopping Centre- Chocolate Covered Company,6600 Topanga CanyonBoulevard, Canoga Park, CA.9:00 AM - 9:00 PM Admission:FREE!. For more informationcontact Ara Demirjian, 818-357-0957; ara@chocolatecoveredcompany.com.NOVEMBER 1 - LOS ANGELES40TH ANNIVERSARY CELE-BRATION DINNER DANCE. Location:Glendale Ararat Center,3347 N San Fernando Rd, LosAngeles, CA. 7:00 pm Admission:$100. For more informationcontact LA Homenetmen,(818) 4930936; datevd@hotmail.com.NOVEMBER 1 - MELINEHKURDIAN IN CONCERT WITHFRIENDS Location: Hotel Cafe,1623 1/2 N. Cahuenga Blvd., LosAngeles, CA. 9:00pm Admission:$10. For more informationcontact Melineh Kurdian, ; info@melinehkurdian.com.NOVEMBER 1 - YEPRAD AR-MENIAN SCHOLARSHIP FUNDYEARLY DINNER-DANCE. Location:ARARAT HOME “GEORGEDEUKMEJIAN” BALLROOM,15105 Mission Hills Rd, MissionHills, CA. 7:30 PM Admission:$70. For more informationcontact YEPRAD ARMENIANSCHOLARSHIP, 818 636-5039;.NOVEMBER 1 - FRIENDS OFMASSIS 5K RUN/WALK. Location:Woodley Park, 6335 WoodleyAve, Van Nuys, CA. 8:30 AMAdmission: $25. For more informationcontact HMEM Massis,(818) 554-4397; massis5k@gmail.com. Tickets on www.itsmyseat.com.NOVEMBER 2 - AKH’TAMARDANCE ENSEMBLE OF NJST. THOMAS ARMENIANCHURCH IN GLENDALE. Location:Glendale High School Auditorium,2000 W. BROADWAY,Glendale, CA. 6pm Admission:$50 - $35 - $20-$12. For more informationcontact Tekeyan andOIA, 818-243-4112.NOVEMBER 2 - 9th ANNUALTELETHON – Christmas Fundfor Armenian Orphans andDisabled Children, andthe Restoration of Children’sHome. Presented by Kach NazarMagazine & Kach NazarTV Broadcasting A.M.G.A. TV(10 hours). For info. Call (818)246-0125; fo ro u r k i d s @gmail.com.NOVEMBER 2 - DISCUSSION:HAYEREN LEZOU KHOSILGAM VOCH. Location: PasadenaArmenian Center, 740 E.Washington Blvd, Pasadena,CA. 4:00 pm Admission: Free.For more information contactHamazkayin Pasadena“Shahan Shahnour” Chapter, ;hamazkayinpasadena@yahoo.com.NOVEMBER 3 - DR. HAKO-BYAN AND INSIGHT LIVE. Location:Glendale Public Library,222 E Harvard St, Glendale, CA.7:00 p.m. Admission: $40.00.For more information contactLNH Insight, Inc., 818-230-2789;joeseifert@att.net. Tickets onwww.itsmyseat.com.NOVEMBER 6 - AWAOC LIT-ERARY EVENING. Location:Glendale Public Library, 222 EastHarvard St, Glendale, CA. 7-10PM Admission: Free. For moreinformation contact ArmenianWriters Association of California,818-500-1532; awaoc@yahoo.com.NOVEMBER 7 - AESA 25THANNIVERSARY BANQUET. Location:Renaissance BanquetHall, 1236 S Central Ave, Glendale,CA. 8:00 pm Admission:TBD. For more information contactAESA, (818) 547-3372; contact@aesa.org.NOVEMBER 7 - ART EXHIBI-TION AT ARMENIAN PRELA-CY HALL. Location: WesternPrelacy of the Armenian ApostolicChurch, 6252 HonoluluAve, La Crescenta, CA. 8:00 pmAdmission: Free. For more informationcontact HamazkayinPasadena “Shahan Shahnour”Chapter, hamazkayinpasadena@yahoo.com.NOVEMBER 7 - SAYAT NOVANIGHT. Location: Barsdall GalleryTheatre, 4804 HollywoodBlvd., Los Angeles, CA. 7p.m.Admission: $20. For more informationcontact Armenian MesrobianSchool, (562) 699-2057;armenianmesrobianschool@yahoo.com.NOVEMBER 8 – “SAVE THEDATE” ST. PETER ARMENIANAPOSTOLIC CHURCH 50THANNIVERSARY DINNER &CELEBRATION: Location: NazarianCenter of the AGBU ManoogianDemirjian School, CanogaPark – 6:00pm.NOVEMBER 8 - ST PETER AR-MENIAN CHURCH OF VANNUYS 50TH ANNIVERSARYDINNER. Location: AGBU-AYANazarian Center, 6844 OakdaleAve., Canoga Park, CA. 6:00 p.m.Admission: $150.00/person. Formore information contact StPeter Armenian Church of VanNuys, 818-886-8950; eilesq@aol.comNOVEMBER 8 - ART EXHIBI-TION AT ARMENIAN PRELACYHALL. Location: Western Prelacyof the Armenian ApostolicChurch, 6252 Honolulu Ave, LaCrescenta, CA. 11:00 am – 5:00pm Admission: Free. For moreinformation contact HamazkayinPasadena “Shahan Shahnour”Chapter, ; hamazkayinpasadena@yahoo.com.NOVEMBER 9 -THE ARME-NIAN EYECARE PROJECTWILL HOST ITS SEVENTHANNUAL NEWPORT GALA.Location: The Balboa Bay Club,Newport Beach. The eventwill honor Nishan and RubyAnn Derderian with a LifetimeHumanitarian Awardsand celebrate “Bringing Sightto Armenian Eyes” for sixteenyears. Dinner is at 6:00pm,$500 per person and proceedswill benefit the Project’s programsto eliminate preventableblindness in Armenia.For advance reservations andadditional information, contactthe AECP office toll freeat 866-448-2327.NOVEMBER 9 - LEYLASARIBEKYAN EV ARSENGRIGORIAN(MRRO). Location:Alex Theater, 216 North BrandBoulevard, Glendale, CA. 20:00Admission: Soon. For more informationcontact Apricot Entertainment,818 397 8479.NOVEMBER 13 - LAWRENCEZARIAN @ MACY’S BAGS &BUBBLES. Location: Macy’sSherman Oaks At the WestfieldFashion Square, 14006 RiversideDr., Sherman Oaks, CA. 6:30p.m. Admission: Free. For moreinformation contact Macy’s,818-240-7987; krik@krikorianmarketing.com.NOVEMBER 15 - ANOUSHA-VAN ABRAHAMIAN EDUCA-TIONAL FUND. Location: Palladio,1018 E Colorado St, Glendale,CA. 7:00 pm Admission: $100.00per person. For more informationcontact Ofik & Roza, (818)363-7865; ofikabrahamian@hotmail.com.NOVEMBER 15 - 50TH ANNI-VERSARY AYF MONTEBELLO& ALUMNI REUNION. Location:Bagramian Hall, 900 WLincoln Ave, Montebello, CA.8:00PM Admission: $40. Formore information contact AYFMontebello Vahan CardashianChapter, 562-760-9578; ayf@ayfmontebello.org.NOVEMBER 16 - ARVESTNIGHT. Location: AGBU PasadenaCenter, 2495 E MountainSt, Pasadena, CA. 6 PM Admission:$20 & $35. For more informationcontact AGBU PASADE-NA CHAPTER, (626) 794-7942;divoleon@aol.com.NOVEMBER 18 - ART KNOWSNO BORDERS. Location: SafariSam’s, 5214 W Sunset Blvd,Los Angeles, CA. 7 PM Admission:$20 suggested/varies.For more information contactCrystal Allene Cook, (310) 7391159; info@artknowsnoborders.com.NOVEMBER 22 - ABRINK:FESTIVAL OF ARMENIAN LIT-ERATURE AND CULTURE. Location:Glendale Central LibraryAuditorium, 222 E. Harvard St.,Glendale, CA. All Weekend Admission:free. For more informationcontact Abril Bookstore,(818) 243-4112; arno@abrilbooks.com.NOVEMBER 23 - MAGGIE:CHILDREN’S CONCERT. Location:Lanterman Auditorium,4491 Cornishon Ave, La Canada,CA. 5:00 P.M. Admission: $25,$20, $15, $10. For more informationcontact Maggie Tune Production,(818) 426 4956; maggietune@yahoo.com.Tickets onwww.itsmyseat.com.NOVEMBER 23 - ARMENIAFUND ANNUAL GALA. Location:Hyatt Regency CenturyPlaza Hotel, 2025 Avenue of theStars, Los Angeles, CA, 90067,7:00pm . For more information,please call 818-243-6222.Subscription Couponthe armenianreporterannual ratesU.S.A.: First Class Mail, $125; Periodicals Mail, $75Canada: $125 (u.s.); Overseas: $250 (u.s.)namestreetcity/state/zipNOVEMBER 24 - DR. HAKO-BYAN AND INSIGHT LIVE INGLENDALE. Location: GlendalePublic Library, 222 E HarvardSt, Glendale, CA. 7:00 p.m.Admission: $40. For more informationcontact LNH Insight,Inc., (818) 230-2789; joeseifert@att.net. Tickets on www.itsmyseat.com.NOVEMBER 28 - THANKS-GIVING DINNER DANCEWITH PAUL. Location: PasadenaArmenian Center, 740 EWashington Blvd, Pasadena, CA.08:30PM Admission: $51.00. Formore information contact AGBUHigh School Pasadena, (818) 247-1717; Paul@Verginieproductions.Com.NOVEMBER 27 - A.R.S.THANKSGIVING DINNERDANCE. Location: Pasadena ArmenianCenter, 740 E. WashingtonBlvd., Pasadena, CA. 6pmAdmission: $20, age 10+ $35.For more information contactA.R.S., 626-398-2052 Hasmig);ARSthanksgivingdinner@yahoo.com.NOVEMBER 29 - ARA PROJ-ECT ART SHOW AND SILENTAUCTION. Location: Vill del Sold’Oro, 200 N. Michillinda Ave.,Pasadena, CA. 12 pm-6 pm Admission:Free Admission. Formore information contact ARAProject, 626 792-4479; ckaloo@sbcglobal.net.DECEMBER 24 - CHRISTMASEVE PARTY WITH ROBERTCHILINGIRIAN & JOSEPHKRIKORIAN. Location: AraratHome’s Deukmejian BanquetHall, Mission Hills, CA, MissionHills, CA. 8:00 p.m. Admission:$65.00. For more informationcontact Gorun Kazanjian, 818437 4008; girian1@aol.com.FEBRUARY 28 - ANAHIDFUND ANNUAL BANQUET. Location:Taglyan Cultural Center,1201 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA.6:30 P.M. Admission: $75.00. Formore information contact AnahidFund, 818-409-0655; Anahid_Fund@Yahool.Com.APRIL 19 - MIKHAIL SI-MONYAN, VIOLIN. Location:Raitt Recital Hall: PepperdineUniversity, 24255 Pacific CoastHWY, Malibu, CA. 2:00 PM Admission:$25. For more informationcontact Center For TheArts, (212) 994-3540; tdorn@imgartists.com.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)


14 The Armenian Reporter | October 25, 2008ArmeniaFrom Armenia, in briefAsian bank to fundfeasibility study forArmenia-Iran railwayAt a press briefing in Yerevan, Armenia’sPrime Minister TigranSarkisian said that the Asian DevelopmentBank will fund a feasibilitystudy for the construction ofan Armenia-Iran railway. The studywill cost $1.5 million.According to Armenpress theprime minister said that the studywill then be presented by the bankto the private sector, “which mayalso participate in the project. Wewill invite our strategic partners toparticipate in the project.” He wenton to say that he believes that bythe following year there will be seriousprogress in the actual implementationof this project.Transport and CommunicationMinister Gurgen Sarkisian toldjournalists that the project is expectedto cost approximately $1.5–2billion and be implemented in fiveyears time.According to RFE/RL the projecthas been under discussion for yearsby the Armenian and Iranian governments.Armenian authoritieshave recently signaled their desireto finally get it off the drawingboard, with President Serge Sargsiandeclaring its implementationone of his administration’s top economicpriorities.WiMax broadbandwireless Internetservice launched inArmeniaComstar – United TeleSystems (acomponent of AFK Sistema) Armenianproject – a national telecomnetwork, Comstar-OTS waslaunched in Yerevan with the participationof Russian PresidentDimitry Medvedev and PresidentSerge Sargsian on October 21. Accordingto company officials thenetwork will offer WiMax broadbandwireless Internet servicein Yerevan and another 18 citiesthroughout Armenia. This telecommunicationsystem is beneficial tocountries like Armenia which hasdifficulty with access to services becauseof its geographic location.A feasibility studyis underwaytoward a rail linkbetween Iran andArmenia. Photos:Photolure.DimitryMedvedev andSerge Sargsian atWiMax. Photo:president.amAccording to Mediamax, presidentof Comstar-OTS, SergeyPridantsev at a news conferencesaid that this network isnot only unique in Armenia but“one of the first telecommunicationnetworks of its kind in theworld.” The company has alreadyinvested $4.6 million in Armeniafor this service.According to the company, 24multisectoral base stations havebeen installed to assure the communication.Airspan NetworksCompany (U.S.) is the supplier ofthe network equipment. The networkis intended to provide a fullspectrum of telecommunicationsservices to both companies and privateresidences, including servicesin data transfer, digital telecommunication,high-line Internet access,organization of corporate networks(IP VPN), etc.The company currently has 600clients and is expected to welcomeanother 400 by the end of the year.Comstar is the biggest communicationoperator in Moscow basedon financial indicators and subscriberbase.Prime Minister Sarkisian at the Global Innovation Forum.Global InnovationForum for Educationand Development kicksoff in YerevanThe Global Innovation Forum forEducation and Development organizedby the UN Global Alliance forICT and Development (UN GAID),UN e-Leaders Committee, AthgoInternational and the Ministry ofEconomy of Armenia took place inYerevan October 21-24.The forum was attended by studentsand young entrepreneursfrom several countries, wherethey discussed telecommunicationin the context of educationand innovations. According toOpposition decides to suspend rallies temporarilyby Armen HakobyanYEREVAN – Levon Ter-Petrossian,the first president of Armenia andnow a leader of the opposition, hasannounced a temporary halt in allmass protests. He made his announcementat a mass rally on October17.The decision to suspend ralliesfor two months was not unanimouslyaccepted by the various organizationswithin the ArmenianNational Congress headed by Mr.Ter-Petrossian.Jirayr Sefelian, who is amember of the Armenian NationalCongress, announcedthat he does not agree with thedecision to stop the rallies, but,nevertheless, will not disobey it.Levon Zourabian, the coordinatorof the congress’ central officeannounced that all their supporterswho were disappointedby this decision will understandthe significance behind this stepand rid themselves of their emotionalstate.During the rally, Mr. Ter-Petrossian as usual gave a longspeech. He accused the currentpresident of making a “sharp turntoward the West” at the cost of relationswith Russia. (This announcementcame on the eve of the officialvisit of the Russian president toArmenia.) Mr. Ter-Petrossian alsoalleged that in order to solve hisissues of legitimacy with Westerncountries, Mr. Sargsian is preparedto sacrifice Armenia’s state interestsand is submitting to strong internationalpressure in the settlementprocess of the Nagorno-Karabakhissue and is on the way to makingseverely damaging compromises.The former president – who wasforced from office for urging “severelydamaging compromises” inKarabakh – suggested that undersuch circumstances the opposition’spublic struggle could be usedas a tool in the hands of the internationalcommunity and so that isMediamax Prime Minister TigranSarkisian at the opening of theforum said that the government ofArmenia is striving to determinethe country’s real potential in thesphere of information technologies.He stressed the importanceof developing this sector because“as opposed to our neighbors, wehave no resources other than theintellectual one.”The Minister of Economy NersesYeritsyan said that Armenia isstriving to become a global playerin the IT sphere and thatthe government is stimulatingdevelopment in thisdirection.According to the organizers ofthe forum, the objective is to concentrateon the basic tools that facilitatethe creation of innovativesolutions, particularly, systematicand quality educational opportunities.Currently, proper education isnot widely available in developingregions, thus slowing innovationand hampering the implementationof existing ICT. Consequently,the forum will focus on ways toimprove educational opportunitiesand quality through ICT, specificallyfocusing on building ICTskills among young people. To thisend the impact of access, connectivityand relevant local content inmeeting educational and analyticalneeds will be examined and methodsto overcome the obstacles discussedand presented.UN Under-SecretaryGeneral Cheick SidiDiarra in ArmeniaThe UN Under-Secretary General,Cheick Sidi Diarra arrived inAn antigovernment rally in Yerevan on October 17. Photo: Photolure.why he took the decision to stop allpolitical actions and to concentrateon the defense of opposition memberswho were imprisoned after theclashes on March 1, resolving theorganizational issues of the oppositioncongress, and establishing itsstructure.Attendance at Mr. Ter-Petrossian’s rallies has been dwindling.Edward Sharmazanov,member of parliament and a memberof the Republican Party of Armenia,said he believes that the oppositionhas exhausted its resourcesfor struggle through rallies. fCheick Sidi Diarra.Yerevan to take part in the GlobalInnovation Forum for Educationand Development on October 22.While in the country he met withthe president, prime minister andminister of economy of Armenia.According to Arminfo GeneralCheick Sidi Diarra said that IT inArmenia must be developed inparallel with infrastructure development.He added that underdevelopedrural regions needed justas much attention. “Society mustbe ready to apply the achievementsin IT-sphere as well as actively integratethe technologies into theeconomy and daily life,” the UN officialsaid.General Sheick Sidi Diarrais also the High Representativeof Landlocked Developingcountries. During a press briefingon October 21 he said thatthere are 31 such states in theworld. According to the general,the UN Almaty Program ofAction became the first globaldocument, directed to securingthe special needs of developinglandlocked countries. The programcontains special measuresand recommendations concerningthe policy in the sphere oftransit transportations, developmentof transport infrastructureand assistance to tradedevelopment. Almaty Programof Action provides for financialand technical help to this groupof countries.Armenia ranks 102ndin Press Freedom Indexprepared by Reporterswithout BordersEvery year Reporters without Bordersissues its Press Freedom Index.The organization prepares aquestionnaire with 49 criteria thatassess the state of press freedomin each country. The questionnaireincludes every kind of violationdirectly affecting journalists (suchas murders, imprisonment, physicalattacks, and threats) and newsmedia (censorship, confiscation ofnewspaper issues, searches and harassment).It also includes the degreeof impunity enjoyed by thoseresponsible for press freedom violations.This year Armenia ranked 102,with Azerbaijan coming in last inthe South Caucasus. Georgia wasranked 120, Russia 141, Belarus 154,and Uzbekistan 162. The bottomthree were Turkmenistan, NorthKorea, and Eritrea. Most of theEuropean Union member statesranked in the top 40 with the exceptionof Italy which came in 44thposition. The United States ranksthe 36th.f—M.T.


The Armenian Reporter | October 25, 2008 15ArmeniaA calm oasis in the heart of YerevanLovers’ Park opensthanks to theBoghossian familyby Maria TitizianYEREVAN – “We envisage a parkthat is beautiful and unconventionalin its manifestation and worthyin its content; a gift from myfamily to the city of Yerevan,” AlbertBoghossian said. His familyis responsible for the complete revitalizationof Lovers’ Park in theheart of Yerevan. “This park, withits special landscape is meant to bea place for people who can escapethe pressures of daily life can takea pause, relax and find serenity. Aplace where lovers can share theiremotions in a powerful and unusualenvironment, a place where an artistor a poet can find inspiration tocomplete their creation. A place forYerevantsis and visitors of Yerevanto simply spend some good time.”With the cooperation of the HayastanAll-Armenian Fund and theBoghossian Foundation, the officialopening of Lover’s Park took placeon October 17, a particularly sunnyautumn day. The 1.6-hectare parkwas designed by Pierre Rambachof Switzerland who has designedmany gardens with eastern influences.“I tried to give the magnitudeof the natural movement of terrain,Republican Partyloses in Syunik andEtchmiadzinby Armen Hakobyanto create tenderness and sensualityby the outlined curves of passages.I also sought to express a sense offreedom, releasing the trees fromthe old rectilinear structure by aneye-catching appearance of the hills,”explained Mr. Rambach. “To create aplace for the meeting of cultures orsolitary meditations, to create a placewhere the urban turmoil fades intooblivion and leaves yourself to belulled by the whisper of water. Also aplace, where generations meet withthe help of a play-ground for kids,not far from the one reserved forgames for elderly people.” Accordingto the Boghossian Foundation, eventhough the park was conceived inthe tradition of Japanese landscaping,in composition and spirit it is areflection of modern Armenia.Local project management wasLocal elections continue inArmenia’s regionsYEREVAN – The ruling RepublicanParty of Armenia has lost in a numberof recent local elections.Local elections took place in Etchmiadzinon October 19, where KarenGrigorian, son of General ManvelGrigorian (who is president of theYerkrapah Volunteers Union) ranagainst Hakob Hakobyan, who isa member of the Republican PartyCouncil and a former member ofparliament. Mr. Grigorian was beingsupported by another general,Seyran Saroyan, who was said tobe a supporter of opposition politicianLevon Ter-Petrossian.More than 20,000 registeredvoters turned out on election dayin Etchmiadzin. Mr. Grigorian received12,208 votes while Mr. Hakobyanreceived only 6,994. Mr.Hakobyan has decided to appealthe results of the election.Local elections in Lori provincedid not take place without controversy.In one of the largest villages,Odzun, the incumbent wasa Republican Party member, MelikAyvazian, who declared thathe had won the vote for villagehead by 7 votes. After a recountit became clear that Mr. Ayvazianhad won 1,078 votes and his rivalArsen Titanian had received1,123 votes. Since there were 69scrapped ballots, it was decidedto hold new elections in Odzun inthree weeks.In Syunik, a traditional Republicanstronghold, the party securedseats only in Kajaran and Agarak.In both villages the Republicancandidate was running unopposed.In Kapan, in the center ofthe province, the ARF’s ArthurAtayan achieved a clear victory(10,859 votes), while the incumbentmayor, Republican ArmenKarapetian received only 7,741votes. In Meghri the incumbentmayor, again a Republican, lost toa non-partisan candidate. In Sisian,Aghasi Hakobjanian of theProsperous Armenia Party won,beating out the ARF and the RPA.The next big test will be on October26, when mayoral elections areslated to take place in Armenia’ssecond largest city, Gyumri. fReach over 100,000 Armenianswith your messageAdvertise in the Armenian Reporter, on the newUSArmenia Television, and on Armenia TV onthe Dish Network. For more information, from theWestern U.S. call 818.800.3311 or from the EasternU.S. call 201.226.1995.From left: Sarhad Petrossian, Pierre Rambach, and Albert Boghossian.handled by architect SarhadPetrossian, working with architectNaneh Toumanian.Ara Vardanyan, the acting executivedirector of the ArmeniaFund said, “Together with theBoghossian Foundation we havespared no efforts in order to restorethe park, as well as havedone our best to provide a freshtouch and new quality. I hopethat the park will continue to bea favourite place for relaxation.”The revitalization of the parkcost $1.3 million; it boasts an artificiallake with islets, severalwaterfalls, over 20 stone compositions,and beautifully manicuredlawns and flower beds. The park iswheelchair accessible and even hasjogging paths. Decorative lightsare presented throughout and theIf you want peace you must train wellNATO militarytraining concludessuccessfully inArmeniaby Armen HakobyanYEREVAN – Driving along dirtroads, the column of military trucks,which had transported humanitarianaid to the village, returned to thepeacekeeping forces base. Suddenlyan all-terrain vehicle emerged andraising a plume of dirt squeezed inbetween the column and the advanceguards, which was about halfa kilometer ahead. The sound of anexplosive was heard, smoke startedto rise and automatic rifle shotsbegan. Two snipers who were lyingin ambush on nearby hills startedto fire on the column of vehicles.The soldiers, who came out of theadvance guard vehicles, quicklyoriented themselves to the situation,took their positions and withcovering shots started approachingtheir endangered comrades. Whileresisting the ambushing terrorists,they called for help from the rapidresponseteam, which quickly arrivedwith three armed vehiclesand the terrorists were finally surroundedand rendered harmless.It can be said that the operationended successfully, especiallyif we take into consideration thatsoldiers from 14 countries were includedin the peacekeeping forces.They spoke to one another andexchanged data and commands inmulti-accented English.This “military” action took placeon October 19, at the ArmenianDefense Ministry’s military trainingcenter close to Balahovit village,within the framework of NATO’sCooperative Longbow/Lancer militarytrainings. The “explosion” was,of course, fake and the shots wereA view of the new Lovers’ Park in Yerevan.blank cartridges. Armenian DefenseMinister Seyran Ohanian,Commander Allied Land ComponentCommand HeadquartersHeidelberg, Lieutenant GeneralRoland Kather (Germany), DeputyCommander Land ComponentCommand Heidelberg LieutenantGeneral John D. Gardner (USA)and Armenian and foreign highrankingmilitary personnel and officersattentively followed the “war”from a nearby hill.During a briefing with journalists,Lieutenant General RolandKather noted that during a meetingthat very morning he had thankedMr. Ohanian, “as his efforts helpedthe Cooperative Longbow/Lancermilitary trainings to take place.This morning my Deputy, GeneralGardner confirmed that the Armeniangovernment and the DefenseMinistry have exerted every effortin order to ensure the success ofthe military trainings. These trainingsproved that Armenia is readyto become a member of NATO’sPartnership for Peace family and Ican clearly announce: welcome tothis family.” General Kather hadheaded NATO’s forces in Kosovo in2006–2007 and had gotten to knowthe Armenian soldiers. Accordingto the general, the professionalismand preparedness of Armenia’speacekeeping battalion had left anexcellent impression.As far as the Cooperative Longbow-08 commander headquartersand Cooperative Lancer- 08 militarytrainings, during which hundredsof participants from 17 countrieswere welcomed in Armenia forabout a month and a half are concerned,General Kather noted thatthe results were excellent. He onceagain noted that the political aimof these military trainings was thereinforcement of regional stabilityand peace and the development oflevel of cooperation between multinationalforces.“Summarizing the results, todaywe can record with satisfaction thatBoghossian Foundation has committedto maintaining and beingresponsible for the upkeep the parkfor the next 21 years.Taking part in the ribbon cuttingand opening ceremonies of Lovers’Park was President Serge Sargsian,Mayor of Yerevan YervandZakharian, Mr. Boghossian representingBoghossian Foundation,Pierre Rambach, members of parliament,ministers and other highranking officials.During his speech at the openingceremonies, Mr. Boghossian said: “Ienvision for this park to go beyondits original purpose of a promenadeand to become a living placethroughout the year where artistsof different horizons, musicians,sculptors, painters will perform atthe open air auditorium or exposetheir art through the landscape.Even in winter, when everythingis frozen and little outdoor activityhappens, I envision a festivalof lights and forms emerging fromthe depth of the park bringing lifein the midst of winter and snow.”The Boghossian Foundation wascreated in 1992 by Robert Boghossianand his two sons Jeanand Albert, jewelers based in Antwerpand Geneva.fthe military trainings served theirpurpose by guaranteeing the highstandard of the mutually agreedcooperation between more than700 representatives from a dozencountries. One of the importantachievements of the military trainingwas also the experience gainedby the participants of mutual cooperationin similar situation,” Mr.Ohanian said the next day duringhis speech at the official closingceremony of the Cooperative Longbow/Lancermilitary trainings VazgenSarkissian military institute.He added, “These military trainingsonce again proved that differencesin language and nationality anddiffering norms and approachescannot hinder reaching universalgoals. This is more than important,when the issue concerns suchmodern and universal issues, suchas peacekeeping and guaranteeinginternational safety.” The ministerthanked the partner countries participatingin the military trainingsand all representatives of Armenia’sdifferent state departmentsfor their successful participation.Robert Simons, the SpecialRepresentative of NATO’s GeneralSecretary in the Caucasus and CentralAsia had also come to participatein the closing ceremony of themilitary training. The President ofArmenia, Serge Sargsian, hadmet him that day. According tothe official statement, during themeeting the President had saidthat a European orientation continuesto be one of the prioritiesof Armenia’s foreign policies andcooperation with NATO is one ofits important elements. Accordingto Armenia’s president, the partnershipwith the Euro-Atlantic alliancewill continue and Armeniaviews this as a component in thesecurity of the country. Robert Simonshas evaluated the NATO-Armeniacooperation process as verysuccessful and has noted that goodpreconditions exist for further developmentof relations. f


16 The Armenian Reporter | October 25, 2008ArmeniaA bold leap into the unknown, kids and allOne family’srepatriation storyby Nyree AbrahamianYEREVAN – Raffi Niziblian andLara Aharonian are the quintessentialmodern Armenian couple.Married, with three beautiful children,they have demanding careersand a fulfilling family life . . . inYerevan. Raffi and Lara are part ofa growing repatriation movementamong diaspora Armenians. Theyhave been living in Armenia since2003 with their three children:Amassia, 8, Varanta, 6, and Vayk, 3,who was born in Armenia.The couple met and married inMontreal, where they had both immigratedwith their families at ayoung age. Raffi was born in Jordan,spent his early years in Kuwait, andmoved to Montreal at the age of 9.Lara was born in Lebanon, fled toCyprus during the war in 1990, andmoved from there to Montreal. Thetwo had a lot of common interestsand seemed to click from very earlyon. “We’ve done a lot together,” reflectsLara, “Scouting, school.... Webasically grew up together.”Both Raffi and Lara developed anearly love for Armenia and had visitedthe country during the Sovietera; Raffi in 1990, with the Hamazkaindance group (he was the leaddancer), and Lara in 1985, as part ofa program in Lebanon that sent thebest students to a summer camp inArmenia.In 1999, to celebrate their firstanniversary, the couple came toArmenia through the Land andCulture Organization (LCO) to helpwith the renovations of a church.They returned with LCO in 2001(this time to Shushi) with their firstdaughter Amassia, who was hardlya year old. They would take turnswith the baby and sometimes bringher along to the worksite. “I usedto put her in her stroller and sheRaffi Niziblian.Deem CommuinicationsDeem is a full-service marketingand communications agencythat covers advertising, PR andevents planning. Raffi Niziblian,who has a background in communicationsstudies from ConcordiaUniversity, had an idea early onof starting a radio station thatwould link Armenia to the West.“I think I created that with Deem,”he says, “It brings a Western perspectiveto marketing and communicationsin Armenia. There isa growing need for local and internationalcompanies investingin Armenia now.”The young company has quicklygained success and recognition,working with such high profile clientsas Armenia Marriott Hotel,Zvartnots International Airport,Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs,Guy Manoukian and NuneYesayan, to name a few.In two years, Deem has expandedfrom a two-person operationto a staff of eleven, plus designerswho they outsource workto. The ‘Deem Team’ is a colorful,energetic and diverse group.“The most interesting part is ourstaff,” says Raffi, “We’re a mix ofdiaspora Armenians from Canada,the United States, and Lebanon,and local Armenian experts.” Currently,Deem also has two interns,from Argentina and Canada.Asked about the challenges ofstarting a business in Armenia,Raffi responds, “There were actuallymuch fewer obstacles thanI’d imagined. Starting a businessanywhere in the world has itschallenges, but because I had experienceliving and working in Armenia,I had some insight on howthings function here. It was lesssurprising for me to see a moreMiddle Eastern/post-Soviet approachto business.”“A lot of diasporans, whenthey start a business in Armenia,think they’re still in theWest,” he goes on to explain,“They’re shocked by somethingas simple as having to wait a fewdays to get a document signedby the proper authorities. Withtime, you learn to deal with allof this. You don’t have to acceptthe ways things work, but youlearn to deal with it. In order toget a job done, you know thereare certain things you need todo. You need to know how tosay things, how to put things…there are certain subtleties andinnuendos that make all the difference.”Another challenge that Raffifaces as a repatriate doing businessin Armenia is networking. “Ihave a strong networking base,”he explains, “But not as strongas the Hayastantsi who has hisclassmates, neighborhood, community…Especially in this type ofpeople-oriented business, that’simportant.”But operating in the Armenianbusiness world as a diaspora-Armenianhas its perks, too. “BecauseI’m from the West,” saysRaffi, “There’s a different kindof business relationship, an extraalertness. People don’t knowhow a diasporan will react to theirmethods, so they’re cautious.”So naturally, being an “outsider”works both for and against thesavvy Diasporan businesspersontrying to establish a successfulenterprise in Armenia.As for Raffi, the venturesomeentrepreneur embraces thebumps along the road, seeingthem as learning experiences andopportunities for growth. “Everyday presents new challenges,” hesays, “Every challenge presentsnew opportunities.”fconnect:www.deemcommunications.comwould watch us work, eat, sleep,”says Lara, “There were plenty of volunteersaround and they all lovedto play and have fun with her.”Of course, when it came tobringing their infant along toShushi, a neglected war zonethat received next to no foreignaid, the new parents had theirconcerns. “The food and water issueswere what worried me,” saysLara, “Luckily, I was still breastfeedingat the time, but water wasscarce. I would boil pots of waterat night, and put it aside in bottles.”But in the end, it was worthit. One of the main reasons theybrought baby Amassia along wasto baptize her at Saghmosavank,a church that they had helpedrenovate the previous year.In 2002, Raffi was offered a positionas director of LCO and in2003, when their second daughter,Varanta, was just 8 months old, thecouple made the bold move to Armenia.“Lara had long, African braids. Ihad crazy, long hair and a beard. Inthe winter, the kids were deckedout in funky Canadian gear…. Wewere sort of the colorful family inYerevan,” laughs Raffi, “People stareanyway, but we asked for it.”While Raffi was settling intohis new position at LCO, Lara wasbusy with exciting plans of herown. “When I was volunteering,my major problem was the situationof women and how they’retreated here,” she says, “I decided:If I’m going to move here, I haveThe Women’s Resource Center, thebrainchild of Lara Aharonian, isthe premier facility of its kind inArmenia. “I decided that if I’m goingto move here, I have to changesomething,” says Lara, “So first ofall, it was for me.”With a master’s degree in Frenchcomparative literature focusing onFrench and Armenian feminist literature,Lara was very involved inwomen’s issues when she lived inMontreal and volunteered muchof her time at a women’s resourcecenter affiliated with ConcordiaUniversity. So when the idea ofthe WRC was in its early stages, shedecided it would be most logical tobe affiliated with a university.She got in touch with Shushan,a friend she had met years agowhile volunteering in Karintak(near Shushi) and together, whileLara was still in Montreal, theybegan to brainstorm. “People suggestedto go through the AmericanUniversity of Armenia, or theFrench University,” she says, “Butthe whole point was I wantedto be accessible to has many localwomen as possible.” So fromMontreal, she wrote several lettersto different departments ofYSU (Yerevan State University) tofind someone who was willing tocooperate. She finally connectedwith Gohar Shahnazaryan, aprofessor in the sociology departmentwho was the first woman inArmenia to do a Ph.D. on genderissues, and together, in 2003, theyfounded the WRC.“It started very small, very grassroots,”says Lara, “We fought toget a small room from the university.We’d have occasional roundtables, human rights training, andstudents would come from all differentdepartments.”Eventually, the number of volunteersgrew and the center becamemore active. They began totalk about issues like sexual healthRaffi Niziblian, Lara Aharonian, with Amassia, Varanta, and Vayk.to change something.” Her initialfrustration and lots of persistenthard work led to the establishmentof Armenia’s Women’sResource Center, which is goingstrong as the country’s leadingadvocate of women’s rights,creating an open dialogue aboutgender relations, sexual health,and human rights.Women’s Resource CenterLara Aharonian at the Women’s Resource Center.After a few years of living in Armenia,Raffi was recruited by VivaCell,the top telecommunicationscompany in Armenia, to establishtheir commercial department. Theposition opened up a lot of doorsand helped him better understandthe business environment in Ar-Continued on page 17 mand reproductive rights. Lara begana workshop called “My Body,My Right”, a ten-session discussionseries that is still extremelypopular.The university, traditionallyconservative in its values, was notthrilled with the excitement andbuzz stirred up by the Women’sResource Center, and one day,while at a conference in Istanbul,Lara was informed that they werekicked out of their cubby hole of aroom because “they stayed openpast university hours.”“When I got the call that theyhad closed down the Women’sCentre, I was ready for it,” saysLara, “I felt like it was time tomove on. Working within theuniversity’s time constraints andconservative framework was restrictive.”They moved everythinginto their homes, quickly founda small apartment, and in 2007,moved into their current location,a comfortable space on ZarubyanStreet in Yerevan’s center.Today, the Women’s ResourceCenter is one of Armenia’s mostreputable NGOs, with widereachingprojects in all regionsof Armenia and Karabagh. LastFebruary, they opened a branch inShushi whose focus is mainly onwomen and peace building, andon creating economic sustainabilityfor women. They have a gynecologicalroom with free consulting,a service they hope to makeavailable once a week.The Center in Yerevan now hasfive paid staff and 21 active members(who actually participate increating forums, classes and activities),as well as hundreds of othermembers who drop by from timeto time to participate in workshopsand use the resources. Their activitiesinclude: women’s rights trainings,round-tables on gender issues,career seminars, “My Sexuality”closed group discussions, prenatalcourses conducted with the help ofa midwife – Martha Boudakian,“Mother and Child” mornings, filmand book clubs, and a new SexualAssault Drop-In Center and Hotline.They publish booklets andpamphlets on issues ranging frombreast cancer to human trafficking.Members also travel regularly todifferent regions of Armenia, conductingcourses with youth on topicssuch as reproductive rights andgender relations.The impressive list of the organization’sendeavors goes on. Andall members are encouraged tobring whatever they can offer tothe table. “It’s in the name,” saysLara, “It’s a resource center. Youbring your resources, and you receiveresources from others.” f


The Armenian Reporter | October 25, 2008 17Armenia“With the people, for the people”Opening ceremoniesof the ArmenianRelief Society’s 69thGeneral Assemblytakes place inYerevanby Sosseh TachdjianYEREVAN – Over 200 women fromall over the world converged in Armeniato take part in the ArmenianRelief Society’s (ARS) 69th GeneralAssembly. They had come fromGreece, Lebanon, Australia, France,Syria, Canada, the United States– 26 countries in all – bringing withthem an almost 100-year historyof dedication and commitment totheir people. Their motto is a reflectionof their purpose, “With thepeople, for the people.” The womenof the ARS are truly inspirationaland the proof is in the pudding.Established almost a hundredyears ago in New York City in 1910,the ARS is the oldest Armenianwomen’s organization, providingeducational and humanitarian assistanceto Armenians throughoutthe globe. The ARS has affiliates in26 countries who realize programssuch as building, operating andsubsidizing Armenian languageschools, community centers andnursery schools; sponsoring orphansand orphan meal programsin Armenia and Artsakh; grantingscholarships to deserving and outstandingstudents; building a longneededcommunity infrastructurein Javakhk, Georgia and providingLeft: HasmigDerderianwith ArmenTopouzian. Right:Hagop DerKhachadurian ofthe ARF Bureau.critical maternal care and generalhealth services through the Motherand Child Medical Clinic and BirthingCenter in Akhourian, Armenia.Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian,various ministers, includingthe Minister of Education SpartakSeyranian, Minister of SocialAffairs Arsen Stepanian, andMinister of the Diaspora HranushHakobyan, representatives fromUSAID, AGBU, Hamazkayin Culturaland Educational Association,the Lebanese Ambassador to Armenia,Armenia’s former first ladyBella Kocharian, high-rankingofficials of the Armenian RevolutionaryFederation (ARF) Bureauand Supreme Council of the partywere on hand to participate in theofficial opening of the General Assemblyof the ARS in Yerevan onOctober 18.The evening’s host was AlvardPetrosian, member of the ARS’sboard in Armenia and a memberof parliament elected on theARF ticket. Ms. Petrosian read themessage from Aram I, Catholicosof the Great House of Cilicia,afterward noting that KarekinII, Catholicos of All Armenians,had not sent a message, nor hadhe sent a representative of theChurch to partake in the ceremonies.Armenia’s prime ministerand minister of the diasporawelcomed the participants andwished them success in all theirfuture endeavors.Hasmig Derderian, presidentof the world body of the ARS, theCentral Executive Board, presenteda comprehensive report on theactivities of the organization overthe past several years and alsospoke about their preparations forthe ARS’s centennial celebrationfor 2010. Ms. Derderian said thatalong with the special activitiesbeing organized globally to commemorate100 years of work, theyA bold leap into the unknown, kids and allhave also established a CentennialFund which, to date, has alreadyraised over $1,000,000. This pastyear, the ARS opened its archivesand during the opening ceremoniespresented the first collectionof their archives to the ArmenianNational Archives’ Executive DirectorAmatuni Virapian. Duringher presentation, Ms. Derderianalso presented Armenian-Americanbenefactor Armen Topouzianwith a special plaque from theARS thanking him for his diligentand selfless contribution to themany nursery schools that the ARSoperates in Karabakh.The ARS is a participating nongovernmentalorganization (NGO)at the United Nations. Since 1977the ARS has been a member of theUnited National NGO Departmentof Public Information and in 1998was accepted for roster status bythe UN’s Economic and SocialCouncil (ECOSOC). The ARS is alsoan active member of UNICEF andits Working Group on Girls; theNGO Committee on the Status ofWomen (CSW); the planning committeeof the NGO DPI Conference;the CONGO NGO committees onMental Health, HIV/AIDS and Children’sright.One of the most moving momentsof the evening was a speechby Galya Arustamyan, chairpersonof the Mothers of KarabakhFreedom Fighters Union who hadcome to Yerevan from Stepanakertto take part in the meeting. Ms.Arustamyan lost a son during thearmed conflict with Azerbaijan inthe early 1990s. But she had cometo Yerevan with an important messageabout the activities of the ArmenianRelief Society. She said thatthe work carried out by the ARSover the last two decades has hada lasting impact on the people andespecially the children of Karabakh.She thanked the ARS for its monumentalefforts to help the people ofKarabakh and wished the organizationcontinued success.Closing the evening’s ceremonieswas a speech by Hagop DerKhachadurian, member of theARF Bureau, who said that whilethe ARS is one of the most experiencedand well-organized globalArmenian organizations, and whiletheir mandate is providing educationaland humanitarian assistance,the organization should work moreclosely with women’s and children’srights issues in the future.The General Assembly of the ARFwrapped up on October 24 in Yerevan.Undoubtedly the women ofthis organization will return to theirrespective countries armed withmore energy and vigor to continueserving their fellow Armenian. fn Continued from page 16menia, but soon, he decided it wastime to move on. “With time, I realizedthat I needed to have my ownthing,” he says, “At 36, I decided tostart my own company.” And so in2006, Raffi Niziblian and ArsinehKhachikian fulfilled their mutualvision with Deem Communications,a full-service marketing andcommunications agency.With their professional endeavorsgoing strong and three schoolage children, Raffi and Lara havetheir hands full. Leaving a comfortablelife in Canada behind andmoving to Armenia is one thing.Doing it with a young family is another.People often ask them whyand how they did it, but Raffi andLara cannot be more pleased withtheir decision.“It started out as somethingvery emotional,” says Raffi, oftheir decision to move to Armenia,“But we approached it from arational perspective. We weighedthe pros and cons of raising ourchildren in Armenia versus Montreal,and Armenia won. There aremore cultural opportunities here.Safety and security are anotherbig issue. Here, they play with allthe other kids in the yard behindour building, and we don’t haveto worry.”At first, the couple had theirdoubts about whether they weretaking something away fromtheir children by raising them inArmenia, but those doubts soondiminished. Lara was sure thatthey had made the right decisionon their last trip back to Canada.Their children were singing, dancing,playing piano, and happilyentertaining themselves whilethe other kids around them werepreoccupied with the latest videogame or Barbie doll. “They havea more cultural upbringing here,”she says, “And they’re happy withsmall things. Now I’m sure thatthis is the place. They’re receivinga strong base here. In Canada,most of my energy would gotowards raising them Armenian.Here, I can focus more on raisingthem as people, as good humanbeings. The Armenian partis natural.“Healthcare is a major challengein Armenia,” she admits, “But youhave to know your resources…. Iwas confident. I had read a lot.I always keep myself informed,and resources are available here.”Lara decided to have her thirdchild, Vayk, in Armenia. “It wasan amazing experience,” she says.“I have a good doctor that I trust,who I can call whenever I want ifone of my kids is sick: somethingthat is not available in Canada.”So everywhere has its advantagesand its drawbacks. Technologically,the Armenian healthcaresystem may not be the bestequipped, but there is a personaltouch here that you cannot findanywhere else.And as for education? Again,it’s not as big a challenge as onemight think. The children are enrolledat Aregnaz, an alternativeWaldorf school, where they learnArmenian, English, Russian, andGerman. Plus, Lara teaches themFrench at home. In North America,it’s hard enough to raise bilingualchildren. The Niziblian childrenare simultaneously learning fivelanguages, and still find plenty oftime to play with the neighborhoodkids in the yard.On to the tricky question. I askRaffi and Lara how their familiesfeel about their move to Armeniaand surprisingly, it’s notthat big an issue. “They’re happywe’re happy,” says Raffi, “Justnot happy that they don’t get tosee their grandchildren, niecesand nephew regularly.” Laracontinues, “They don’t like theidea, but just a couple of yearsago, they started understandingwhy we’re here. They figured, wemoved to Canada to escape thewar, for a better life, so why areyou going backwards? But sincethey started coming every summer,they see that it’s a good decision.I have three kids and avery active life – something thatwould have been next to impossiblein Canada.”Looking to the future, Raffi andLara understand that many factorscan come into play like health,world events, and family needsback home, but their repatriationis not a passing phase. “Nothing ispermanent,” says Raffi, “But we’rehere indefinitely.”f


18 The Armenian Reporter | October 25, 2008ArmeniaWedding in the mountainsBesides green andblack, Nagorno-Karabakh also hasanother color - white,just like the snowby Tatul HakobyanGANDZASAR, Nagorno Karabakh– Recently my voluminous bookon the history, war, and negotiationprocess of Nagorno-Karabakhwas published. I had worked on thebook for six years and during thattime had visited Nagorno-Karabakhnumerous times and walkedthrough the liberated territories. Inamed the book Green and Black,after hearing the impressions ofthe conflict by one of the chroniclersof the Karabakh war, directorand filmmaker Tigran Xzmalian.While we spoke about the brutalityof the war, Tigran recountedmany events, but told me that hismost intense emotions were notconnected to the brutalities ofthe war itself. He said that duringthe war two colors were increasinglyvisible in Karabakh: black andgreen-khaki. The men wore khaki,green camouflage, while the numberof their women in black continuedto increase.“The increase of black was themost depressing, the most acuteimpression from the Artsakh war,”recounted Tigran. During the war,the usage of these two colors constantlyincreased in Karabakh:more and more mothers wore blackand more sons wore the militaryuniform.However, if I had known that anothercolor also existed in Artsakh,white, just like the snow, I wouldprobably have named my bookGreen, Black and White.On October 16, Bishop YezrasNercessian, Primate of the Dioceseof New Nakhichevan and Russia, prayed on the grounds of the13th-century church of Gandzasar,a jewel of medieval Armenian architecture,Saint Hovhannes Mkrtich.He prayed for the Lord to bless 200newlywed couples and keep themunited in their deep love until oldage.“May God protect you from alltemptations and danger. It is God’scommand that you all remain faithfulto one another and support andprotect each other until death. Webelieve that this wedding in thischerished place is a victorious celebrationfor all of us; a holiday oflove and faith,” Bishop Yezras toldthe 200 couples.Standing amidst the colorfulautumn forest, 200 young bridesbrought a new color to the scenery.Their wedding gowns as whiteas snow brought new meaning – anScenes from the big wedding day. Photos: Tatul Hakobyan for the Armenian Reporter.end to the war, a farewell to arms;victorious Artsakh henceforthneeds only peace and love.I rushed from Gandzasar to Shushi,where the wedding of another 500couples took place on the groundsof Sourp Amenaprkich GhazanchetsotsCathedral, with the blessing ofArchbishop Barkev Mardirossian,primate of the Diocese of Artsakh.It was a unique scene.That evening all 700 coupleswalked down from RenaissanceSquare in Stepanakert, toward thestadium, where the biggest Armenianwedding celebration wasto take place. More than 20,000people had gathered at the stadiumand on the surrounding hills; afantastic number for Stepanakert,with a population of only 40,000.Bishop Barkev wished the newlywedseternal happiness, love, andchildren in order to strengthen theArtsakh fortress.“Today, in this newly renovatedstadium, with God’s blessing, thesupport of our benefactors, and thecaring attention of our authorities,we congratulate 700 newlywed couples,700 new Armenian families.Your parents liberated the countryfor this very day,” the bishop said.The idea for this unprecedentedwedding belonged to Russian-Armenianbenefactor and businessmanLevon Hairapetian, whosedevotion to his birthplace, the villageof Vank in Martakert, is obvious.He was the principal sponsorand best man of the wedding.Rouben Vardanian, GevorkMehrabian, Gagik Zakarian,Danil Khachatourov, SergerySarkisov, Ararat Tavadian, anddozens of other Armenian benefactorswere also stood as best men.Addressing the newlyweds andthe thousands of citizens gatheredat the stadium, Bako Sahakian,the president of Nagorno-Karabakh,said that the event had turned intoa pan-national event, because thatwas the wish of its organizers.“This wedding ceremony is unprecedentedin its nature, substanceand significance. We areconfirming our stance towardhuman values and principles andthat we value the role and meaningof family in our lives. The bigArtsakh wedding is the best wayto immortalize the memory of allthose who died during the war andit is the best gift to those who arecurrently defending the bordersof the fatherland and defendingits safety. This is also the continuationof the respect and traditionstoward family, which we have inheritedfrom our ancestors,” saidMr. Sahakian.The president thanked the sponsorsand organizers of the eventand all those who had helped makethis important initiative become areality.“Dear newlyweds, I congratulateall of you from the bottom of myheart. I am sure that the squealsand laughter of children are goingto proclaim the well-being of ourcountry and nation and its eternalpath will continue through ourstrong families,” Mr. Sahakian said.The large wedding in Artsakhlasted until midnight and endedwith fireworks. The toastmaster ofthe wedding was much-loved actorAshot Ghazarian. Armenian popsingers, as well as high-ranking officials,political figures, and intellectualshad come to Stepanakertespecially for the event.This unprecedented event, whichwill be remembered by the 700couples and the Armenians of Artsakhfor a long time, has a veryimportant significance for the reinforcement,strengthening, and empowermentof Nagorno-Karabakh.Carrying arms is not the only wayto keep and protect the fatherland.It also requires using scythes andspades and simply living on liberatedlands and forming families andhaving children for that liberatedfatherland.fArmenian Reporter (ISSN 0004-2358), an independent newspaper,is published weekly by Armenian Reporter llc.Gerard L. Cafesjian, President and ceoPublisher Sylva A. BoghossianOffice manager Lisa KopooshianCopyright © 2008 by ArmenianReporter llc. All Rights ReservedPeriodicals 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 LimaWestern U.S. Bureau Chief andArts & Culture editor Paul ChaderjianWashington editor Emil SanamyanAssociate editor Maria TitizianAssistant to the Editor Seda StepanyanCopy editor Ishkhan JinbashianArt director Grigor HakobyanLayout assistant Nareh BalianThe 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 | October 25, 2008 19CommentarySwan Lake. Photos: Photolure.The statue of Arno Babajanian.Living inArmeniaYerevan vistas and the reasons for stayingby Maria TitizianSwan Lake, nestled among weeping willowson the corner of Toumanian and Teryan ishome to Arno Babajanian, sitting in frontof his piano, one hand extended in the airimmortalized in the form of a basalt statue.The monument to the great Armeniancomposer was the cause of much culturaldebate several years ago when it was unveiled,because it did not fit into the mold ofthe classical statues strewn throughout thecity. Those statues are so similar in style andcomposition, that you could switch headsand be no less the wiser of who it actually is– Sundukian or Toumanian himself. The oneexception is the statue of Mother Armeniaperched upon a hill, with a sword in herhand standing guard ready to protect thehomeland. A closer look at Mother Armeniaand you can’t help but notice that she looksmore like a man; nothing feminine abouther at all. But a statue to replace one of Stalinin the 1950s would have to contain thecharacteristics of all things imperious.I have been guilty of being overly sentimental,some might even argue borderlinedelusional about my connection to this land.And while I continue to live and learn aboutArmenia, my friends and acquaintances continueto wonder what it is that makes mewant to stay. Colleagues will often questionwhy I question things, “Ba, Maria jan, are youjust realizing what kind of country you areliving in,” or “You left a country like Canadato come here; are you crazy?”Most times I am at a loss to try to put towords the reasons for coming and the reasonsfor continuing to cherish the lives we havebeen able to create. I sometimes wish peoplewould just accept the fact that moving to Armeniaand staying here isn’t an anomaly.This past week afforded me the opportunityto remember why I love being beinghere. Swan Lake for starters. When the manmadelake was transformed into a skatingrink in the winter months in 2005, it withouta doubt added to the quality of life. Familieshad somewhere to go in the winter tospend time with their children. The skatingrink, with it’s $1 million dollar price tag, wasdonated to the people of Yerevan by the cityof Moscow.Last year the government of France refurbishedthe fountains in Republic Square. Everyevening starting from 9 P.M til midnight,Yerevantsis are able to enjoy a spectacularwater and light show set to music by Aznavourand Khachaturian. Without exception,there are hundreds of people there everynight. It too, like Swan Lake became a placefor families to take their children, meet upwith friends, and enjoy the Square, lit up andglowing like soft candlelight. When we wentfor the first time to watch the show, it wasmesmerizing.This past week, thanks to the BoghossianFoundation, Lovers’ Park opened itsdoors to the residents of our capital city. Iwas there on the day of the opening, havingarrived much earlier than the appointedhour for the official ceremonies. I walkedaround and then sat on one of the manybenches by a man-made lake and enjoyedthe beautiful autumn weather. A camera operator,a former colleague, walked up to meand asked why I wasn’t working – in otherwords why wasn’t I interviewing the architector the officials from the Armenia FundTrustee contributions to the AGMMFinancial contributions by former and current members of the Board of Trustees of Armenian Genocide Museumand Memorial (AGMM) for the benefit of the AGMM as of September 2006.who were milling around the park. What hedidn’t realize was that, in my own way, I wasworking. I was simply enjoying being in amiraculously tranquil corner of a bustling,noisy city, thanking the Boghossian familyfor having the foresight to bequeath to thecity something so beautiful and worthwhile.Something was added to the quality of mylife and I’m sure for the rest of the city’sresidents as well. The next day I took mychildren so that they could share in my borderline,delusional happiness. When we arrivedand saw that hundreds and hundredsof people were streaming into the park, curiousto see the new gift they had received,strolling around the grounds just as happyas I was, I felt vindicated.While we continue to reap the benefitsof all the qualitative changes taking placein our city and country, we have our diasporacompatriots to thank, we have foreigngovernments to thank, and we also haveexpats to thank. Russian-Armenian LevonHaorapetian, formerly of the village of Vankin Nagorno Karabakh, was singlehandedlyresponsible for the betrothal of 700 youngcouples in one day this past week (see oppositepage). When we started receivingthe photos that our reporter in Karabakhhad taken of rows of young brides in whitegowns standing with their grooms framedby lush mountains, there was a collectivesigh of joy in the office. It was a day of nationalcelebration. 700 new families on then Continued from page 19A word of thanksWe also take this opportunity to thank thefollowing members of Congress for theirservice:Martin Meehan (D.-Mass.), who retiredin 2007, was an active member of theHouse Caucus for Armenian Issues.Mike Ferguson (D.-N,J.), who is retiring,was a co-sponsor of the ArmenianGenocide resolution.Michael McNulty (D.-N.Y.), who is retiring,spoke on the record in February2008 in support of the independence ofKarabakh and co-signed a letter askingfor extra aid to Armenia in the wake ofthe war in Georgia.Tom Allen (D.-Maine), a member of theHouse Caucus for Armenian Issues, isrunning for the Senate.road to a new life, ripe with promise andhope, a gift of $2,000 and a cow. What elsecould you ask for?My son, for reasons I have decided not toexplore, has felt the shortcomings of thiscountry more acutely than the rest of us. Hehates inequality. He is always giving moneyto beggars. He is incensed at what he seesaround him. He can’t understand the dynamicsof relationships here, nor can he understandwhy people drive the way they do. Myfear has lately been that at some point hewould not see his future here.I have tried not to pass judgement, butto let him formulate his own opinions. Thenudging fear of not being able to justify allthat which is truly unjust to my young sonwas momentarily lifted a few nights ago.Talking about all these changes, about somenew directions that the government seemsto be implementing he said, “Wow, I didn’tstop to think of all the good things happening.”It’s true, we are all quick to passjudgement, we are all impatient to finallysee the promised land as we individually envisionedit.There are things on my own wish list. Icould ask for a quick and easy resolutionto the Karabakh conflict, access to the sea,cleaner air, regular garbage pick up, moreparking spaces, more jobs, more civil liberties,more quality of life.But this week proved to me that over all,we’re not doing too poorly.fEditorial: Support our friends running forthe House of RepresentativesAl Wynn (D.-Md.), who lost the primary,co-sponsored the Armenian Genocideresolution.Ray LaHood (Ill.), who is retiring, co-sponsoredthe Armenian Genocide resolution.Jerry Weller (R.-Ill.), who is retiring, is amember of the House Caucus on ArmenianIssues and co-sponsored the ArmenianGenocide resolution.Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D.-Ohio), whodied on August 20, was a member of theHouse Caucus on Armenian Issues andco-sponsored the Armenian Genocideresolution.Mark Udall (D.-Colo.), is running for theSenate and received our endorsementon October 11.Tom Udall (D,-N.M.), co-sponsored the ArmenianGenocide resolution and is runningfor the Senate.Rick Renzi (R.-Ariz.), who is retiring, cosponsoredthe Armenian Genocideresolution.


20 The Armenian Reporter | October 25, 2008


The Armenian Reporter | October 25, 2008


The Armenian Reporter | October 25, 2008

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