Armenia edition - Armenian Reporter

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Armenia edition - Armenian Reporter

First ladiesvisit theCafesjianCenterSumbatcaptured villagelife in New Julfaand beyondArmeniahints atrescindingprotocolsSee story on page 8 m See story on page 12 m See stories on page 1 m800 AMDArmenia EditionNumber 143December 19, 2009the armenianreporterThe Christmas tree on Republic Square in Yerevan. Photo: Photolure.Seasons GreetingsFrom the Armenian Reporter andthe whole CS Media family to your familyVisit us at reporter.amSee Christmas messages on page 19 m


The Armenian Reporter | December 19, 2009


Number 143December 19, 2009the armenianreporterTurkey’s Constitutional Courtclosed the pro-Kurdish DemocraticSociety Party (DTP) and banned 37of its members from participatingin a political party for five years.“The state’s evaluation of allidentities and cultures other than‘Turkishness’ as ‘the other,’ ‘enemy,’and ‘separatist’ has caused manyCommunityA hectic evening in New York with DistrictAttorney Robert MorgenthauOn the evening of December 2, theNew York District Attorney neededto be in three places at the sametime. One of them was an exhibithonoring his grandfather, AmbassadorHenry Morgethau, whosewitness to the Armenian Genocidegalvanized the DA’s commitmentInternationalArmeniato public service. There he was hewas to act as master of ceremoniesfor a lecture by Peter Balakian.With his was his longest-servingArmenian-American Assistant DistrictAttorney, Peter Kougasian.See story on page 5mIn Turkey, Constitutional Court bans pro-Kurdishparty and ousts members of parliamenttragedies and created much pain,”the party’s Washington office announced.Lou Ann Matossian has detailsin her new column, “Dateline: Democracy:News and views fromTurkey.”See story on page 3mOn December 16, Yerevan’s City Hall opened the skating rink at Swan Lake inthe heart of the city. Figure skaters of all ages put on a show for the hundreds ofresidents who had come to watch the opening ceremonies. Armenia’s NationalHockey Team also took part in the day’s events, complete with fireworks.Arts & CultureArmenia hints at rescindingprotocols as Turkey stallsYerevan retains hopethat Ankara willmove to ratificationby Armenian Reporter StaffYEREVAN – Two months after theArmenia-Turkey protocols weresigned, they remain unimplemented,as Turkey firmly links ratificationto progress in the Karabakhtalks. Speaking on December 10,Armenia’s President Serge Sargsyansaid the linkage was unacceptable,and that he would nottolerate indefinite delays.“Our country is ready to ratifyand implement the protocolssigned in Zurich in accordancewith our international obligationsin a sensible timeframe,without setting a precondition toTurkey regarding the recognitionof the Armenian Genocide,” Mr.Sargsyan said in remarks followinga meeting with the visitingpresident of Latvia, according tohis press office.“We hope that the Turkish sidewill use this historic opportunityand will not put in doubt the longand difficult process that has beengoing on for the last year and half,”the president added.“Wolf in sheep’sclothing,” warnsArmenian groupby Shant ShahrigianPresident Serge Sargsyan at a press conference on Dec. 10. Photo: Hayk Badalyan/Photolure.When asked by Armenia TVabout the Karabakh-related demandsrepeated earlier in the weekin Washington by Turkish primeminister Recep Tayyip Erdogan,Mr. Sargsyan said they were “unequivocallydoomed to failure.”Continued on page mTurkish lobby offers scholarships toArmenian-AmericansThousands attend Armenian Music AwardsThe 10th annual Armenian MusicAwards and the M/Club Music VideoAwards took place at the NokiaTheater in Los Angeles on December13. Charles Aznavour, who wasin attendance, received a LifetimeNationalAchievement Award. Mike Connors(Krikor Ohanian), better known toAmerican viewers as Mannix, wasgiven the Many Hats Award.See story on page 8mU.S. ambassador to Armenia selected for StateDepartment Diplomacy for Human Rights AwardMarie L. Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassadorin Yerevan will receivethe 2009 “Diplomacy for HumanRights Award” from Secretary ofState Hillary Clinton, the embassyannounced this week.The award will recognize theefforts of the ambassador andthe embassy team “to improveThe Armenian Reporter will be takinga two-week break for the holidays.A note from the EditorA break for the Holidaysthe electoral process in Armenia,while maintaining a positive relationshipwith the Armenian government.”Ms. Yovanovitch said, “Thisaward really honors human rightsreformers in Armenia, whetherthey are in government, civil society,or the media.”fAfter this week’s issue, the next issuewill appear on January 9.Washington – The Turkish Coalitionof America (TCA), a Turkish-Americanlobbying group, isoffering 100 annual scholarshipsfor Armenian-American studentsto study in Turkey.While TCA has only received oneapplication since the scholarshipprogram began three months ago,the offer represents an unprecedentedeffort by a Turkish lobby toreach out to Armenian-Americans.Asked what he would say to an Armenian-Americanwary of such anoffer, TCA President G. Lincoln Mc-Curdy wrote in an e-mail: “We wouldcertainly understand that skepticismand we would respond that anystudent interested in exploring thisshould talk to other Armenians whohave traveled to Turkey.”He added: “We are confident thatthey will hear of positive impressionsand a welcoming atmosphere.”TCA, which is actively lobbyingagainst U.S. recognition of ArmenianGenocide, is offering up to$2,000 to Armenian-Americanswho have already been acceptedto an academic institution inTurkey, for a period of up to onesemester.Since TCA was organized in 2007,it established similar grants forTurkish-Americans and Americanminorities, with 36 and 26 respectiveawardees to date.“By encouraging exchanges anddialogue, TCA hopes to supportthe efforts of conflict resolutionand the emerging relations betweenTurkey and Armenia,” Mc-Gurdy said. The new program waslaunched as Ankara and Yerevansigned protocols on normalizationof relations - that are yet to be ratifiedand implemented.A track record of denialAram Hamparian, executive directorof the Armenian NationalCommittee of America (ANCA) wasskeptical of TCA’s motivation forthe scholarships.“Sadly, their track record hasbeen one of Armenian Genocidedenial,” he said. “Now I thinkthey’re trying to couch their denialin more benevolent wrapping.Turkish Coalitionof America'sLincoln McCurdy(left) in 2008with Ali Babacan,who was Turkey’sforeign ministerat the time.Photo: TCA.You could say it’s a wolf in sheep’sclothing.”“Funding comes from an organizationthat denies the incontestablefact of the Armenian Genocide.Clearly scholarships from this organizationare an attempt to furtherdenial,” agreed Ross Vartianof the U.S.-Armenia Public AffairsCommittee (USAPAC).TCA is publicizing its scholarshipswith AdWords, the prominentadvertising format offeredby Google.In June, prior to the scholarshipcampaign, Google cancelled TCA’sAdWords campaign advocating denialof the Armenian Genocide afterArmenian-Americans protested.Since then, TCA has welcomedthe Armenia-Turkey protocols,Continued on page m


The Armenian Reporter | December 19, 2009NationalWashington briefingby Emil SanamyanClinton rings upArmenia with freshassurances on TurkeyprocessIn a telephone call made on December10, Secretary of State HillaryClinton informed Armenia’s PresidentSerge Sargsyan of the detailsof the December 7 meeting betweenPresident Barack Obama and theTurkish prime minister, the Armenianpresident’s office reported.Turkish lobby offersscholarships to Armenian-Americanswhile ANCA is currently campaigningagainst them.The Armenian Assembly ofAmerica, an advocacy group thatsupports the protocols, could notbe reached for comment about theTCA program.The number of Armenian-Americansstudying in Turkey is believedto be small.Source of fundingcolors experienceThe Armenian-American scholarRachel Goshgarian had severallengthy stays in Turkey while workingon her doctoral thesis in historyat Harvard University. She was thereon a Fulbright-Hays scholarship,one of the more prestigious amongthe many forms of support availablefor study in Turkey and elsewhere.Secretary ofState HillaryClinton, whocalled Armeniathis week.Rep. Howard Berman with Armenian MP Armen Rustamian, Dec. 2009. ARF.n Continued from page Ms. Goshgarian said life in Turkeyfor a diasporan Armenian “ishard, although it can be profoundlyfun and interesting and eye-opening”as well.Ms. Goshgarian, who directs theZohrab Center at the Diocese of theArmenian Church in New York City,said: “My only advice for any Armenianis that he or she should go [toTurkey] with a really clear goal inmind, and he or she should be carefulabout where their money comesfrom. Because in the end it does matter,it does color your experience.”Mr. McCurdy also said the scholarshipsallow students “to makefriends while expanding their worldview.This opportunity is furtheraugmented in the university setting,where preconceptions and biasesare challenged and investigated.” fShant Shahrigian is interning with theArmenian Reporter’s Washington office.The two also discussed the Karabakhpeace process, which is mediatedby the United States, togetherwith France and Russia.Mrs. Clinton once again reiteratedthe U.S. position that normalizationof Armenia-Turkeyrelations should occur in a speedyfashion, without a linkage to otherissues, and that Washington wouldremain steadfast in supporting thenormalization process, the officesaid.The secretary of state was instrumentalin the lead-up to the signingof Armenia-Turkey protocols inZurich on October 10. The protocolsenvision a lifting of the Turkishland blockade against Armeniabut require parliamentary ratificationto be implemented.The protocols have caused controversyin Armenia and the diaspora,as political parties and organizationshave declared for and againstthe terms negotiated.On his visit to the United States,Turkish prime minister RecepTayyip Erdogan ruled out ratificationof the protocols without whatTurkey would deem to be progressin the Karabakh peace process.Mr. Sargsyan retorted that Ankara’sconditions run counter tothe agreement reached and indicatedthat Yerevan was consideringrescinding its signature from theprotocols.In the call Mr. Sargsyan expressed“gratitude to PresidentObama for the untiring assistanceof the U.S. in facilitating the Armenia-Turkeynormalization process.”Mr. Sargsyan said he was ready to“move forward in the process ofnormalization and expressed hopethe Turkish side would also manifestreadiness and responsibilityregarding the matter.”Last week’s conversation wasMrs. Clinton’s fourth known telephonecall to Armenia. She previouslyrang up in May, August, andSeptember. President Obama calledPresident Sargsyan while he touredArmenian-American communitiesin October.U.S. Senators“increasingly concerned”with Turkey’s IsraelpolicyTen members of the U.S. Senate addresseda letter to Turkey’s ambassadorin Washington on December7, the day of Turkish prime ministerRecep Tayyip Erdogan’s summitwith President Barack Obama atthe White House, it emerged thisweek.In the letter, published by theWeekly Standard magazine, the senatorssaid that they “have grownincreasingly concerned with thedownward trend of relations betweenTurkey and Israel this pastyear.”They argued that “strategic cooperation”between Turkey and Israelwas of “vital importance” to theUnited States and expressed hopethat ties could be repaired soon.Mr. Erdogan’s comments inWashington did not augur well forsuch an outcome, as he continuedto vocally criticize Israel’s conduct.Meanwhile, in the House of Representatives,the outgoing chair ofthe Europe Subcommittee and cochairof the congressional TurkeyCaucus, Rep. Robert Wexler (D.-Fla.), did not appear to agree withthe senators’ concerns.During a congressional hearingon U.S.-European Union relationson December 16, the chair arguedthat “it’s very clear that Turkey isassuming a regional policy” thatincludes a “great rapprochementprocess with Armenia” and “democratizationprocess” with TurkishKurds, Today’s Zaman reportedthe following day.“The benefits of Turkey conductingequal relations with its neighborsfor the U.S. and the Westoutweigh its harms,” Mr. Wexlerconcluded.Armenia hints at rescindingprotocols as Turkey stallsn Continued from page “If Turkey procrastinates [on]ratification, Armenia will undoubtedlyexercise the rights stipulatedby international law,” the presidentwarned, announcing that hehad “instructed the correspondingstate bodies to draft amendmentsto our national legislation pertainingto the signing, ratification, andabrogation of international agreements.”“Everyone should understandthat the longer the process of ratificationlingers, the more obstacleswill stand in its way. Political developmentsmay become obstacles,”he said.Mr. Sargsyan noted that on January12, Armenia’s ConstitutionalCourt would rule on the questionof whether the protocols are consistentwith Armenia’s Constitution.He said this fact was proofthat Armenia was moving aheadwith the ratification process. Underthe country’s basic law, treatiesare subject to constitutional reviewprior to ratification.“Given simple comparison ofprotocols and the Constitution,there are no contradictions; so,most likely, the ConstitutionalCourt of Armenia will give itspositive conclusion,” constitutionallaw expert Hrayr Tovmasyan saidon December 15, according to theMediamax news agency.But, Mr. Tovmasyan added, thecourt’s approval would not preventArmenia from recalling itssignature on the protocols, if itso chooses. Such a step would be“more aggressive” than simple nonratificationCommenting on the developmentslast week, the oppositionArmenian Revolutionary Federation(ARF), which has campaignedagainst the protocols, argued thatthe Armenian government shouldexit the process and draw attentionto Turkey’s explicit refusal to proceedwith ratification on the termsagreed to.Congress seeksadditional sanctionsagainst IranMore than 340 out of 435 membersof the House of Representativeshave cosponsored legislationthat would penalize companiesinvolved in energy trade with Iran,the House Foreign Relations Committeereported on December 15.The measure is championed byHouse Foreign Affairs CommitteeChair Rep. Howard Berman (D.-Calif.), who in the release for thepress said, “the prospect of a nuclear-armedIran is the most seriousand urgent strategic challengefaced by the United States.”Mr. Berman’s House Resolution2194 would penalize companiesthat are involved in developingIran’s domestic petroleum-refiningcapacity.The Obama administration,which is seeking to reach an agreementon sanctions with the Europeans,Russians, and Chinese, hasnot endorsed the legislation.In recent months Iran has turneddown international offers to enrichuranium abroad and Iranian officialssaid they planned to build additionalenrichment facilities. Uraniumenrichment produces fissilematerial that can be used for bothmilitary and peaceful purposes.Russia, Georgia saythey are “ready” toreopen land, air linksThe presidents of Russia and Georgiaexpressed readiness to reopendirect transportation links betweenthe two countries, Russianand Georgian media reported. Thefirst charter flights between Moscowand Tbilisi are now expected bythe New Year holidays.Russian president Dmitry Medvedevsaid on December 9 thateven though relations remainedstandoffish, he saw “no obstacles”to reopening of the overland bordercrossing closed in 2006 and directair links suspended in the wake oflast year’s war.A spokesperson for Georgia’sMikhail Saakashvili respondedon the next day that “in spite ofRussian occupation of Georgianterritories” Tbilisi would accept theRussian offer.Russia has recognized Abkhaziaand South Ossetia as independentstates and established military basesin both former Georgian provinces.This week the Pacific island nationof Nauru joined Nicaragua andVenezuela in recognizing the independenceof Abkhazia in exchangefor Russian economic aid.(Nauru previously joined 60-oddpro-Western countries in recognizingKosovo’s independence overRussian objections.)Russia’s Foreign Ministry firstproposed to reestablish direct linkslast May. Russian and Georgian officialshave since held proxy talksmediated by Armenia. More talkswere held this week in Moscow betweenformer prime ministers ofRussia and Georgia.Prior to 2006 the Georgia-Russiaborder crossing was also the mainoverland route between Armeniaand Russia.fVahan Hovhannesian, leader ofthe ARF faction in parliament, said,“In response to Ankara’s statements,an adequate mechanism of reactionto the Turkish blackmail maturesin the Armenian side,” accordingto Mediamax. But whether Turkeyratifies the protocols or not, theARF will continue to oppose ratificationby Armenia, he said.Khachik Harutyunyan, amember of parliament from thepro-presidential Country of LawsParty, praised the president’s approach,saying, “The ball is in theTurkish part of the field, and theblame for failure of the protocolratification process will fall on theTurkish side.”Meanwhile, member of parliamentand former diplomat AramSafaryan, a senior member of theProsperous Armenia Party, part ofthe governing coalition, remainedoptimistic, predicting that “inJanuary-February, the Turkishparliament will ratify the protocolswithout preconditions.” f


The Armenian Reporter | December 19, 2009InternationalDateline Democracy: news and views from TurkeyIn Turkey, Constitutional Court bans pro-Kurdish party, ousts members of parliamentby Lou Ann MatossianMinneapolis – Turkey’s ConstitutionalCourt closed the pro-KurdishDemocratic Society Party (DTP)and banned 37 of its members fromparticipating in a political party forfive years, reported Today’s Zamanon Dec. 11. The charge: too-close associationwith the outlawed KurdistanWorkers’ Party (PKK).“The PKK is a result of the Kurdishissue and not a cause of it,” declaredthe DTP’s Washington officein a statement on the closure hearing.“The state’s evaluation of all identitiesand cultures other than ‘Turkishness’as ‘the other,’ ‘enemy,’ and‘separatist’ has caused many tragediesand created much pain sincethe establishment of the republic,”said the communiqué. “Demandingclosure of a party because it doesn’tsupport the official state ideologyand criticizes the state’s policies isincompatible with any democraticperspective, morality or law.”“If the DTP is forced to close,”Bugün’s Gülay Göktürk hadwarned on Dec. 10, “there is anenormous faction whose actual sizeis unknown to us, waiting to demandtheir stolen rights and freedoms.”Indeed, violence broke outin several cities, including Istanbul,in the wake of the party’s ban.Already on Oct. 27, the HumanRights Association of Turkey hadexpressed concern that the government’sprogress regarding democracyand human rights was coincidingwith a “rapid increase” in violationsof those rights, especially inTurkey’s eastern and southeasternregions.“If we turn away from a democraticsolution to the KurdishQuestion - the Republic’s biggestproject,” stated Vice President MuharremErbey, who heads the organization’sDiyarbakir (Dikranagerd)branch, “our country will bebrought back a hundred years.”Armenians and Kurds:a historic parallel“I see a very strong correlation notonly regarding the solution butalso regarding the origins of theKurdish and Armenian issues,” saidTaner Akçam in a recent interviewwith the British blog “ChangingTurkey in a Changing World.” Theinterview appeared in the ArmenianWeekly for Nov. 29.In both cases, he explained, minoritygroup demands for socialreform and equality were repressedby the Turkish state as a threat tonational security, resulting in anescalation of the conflict.“If I may put it bluntly, the Armenianissue was the Kurdish issue ofthe 19th century,” Mr. Akçam added.“Or the Kurdish conflict todayis the Armenian conflict of the 19thcentury because in both cases theThe logo of the the pro-KurdishDemocratic Society Party (DTP).Ergenekon: Berlin-based think tank releases OperationCage plan in English translationsame mentality produced similaroutcomes.”The historic parallel was apparentlynot lost on DTP deputy chairSelahattin Demirtas as he addressedthe Turkish parliament onthe Armenia-Turkey protocols onOct. 21.“During the last period of the OttomanEmpire, in 1915-16, the Unionand Progress Party systematicallypursued a policy of exterminationof the Christians who had been thenative peoples of the country forcenturies,” Mr. Demirtas declared,as representatives of other partiesshouted objections. “No nationalsecurity considerations can be anexcuse for the annihilation of apopulation by means of forced displacementand massacres.”Recognizing the systematic exterminationof Armenians in 1915“was a first for the Turkish Parliament,”commented Ayse Gunaysuin the Armenian Weekly, noting that“it was a Kurdish MP who made thishappen.” [President Obama hadaddressed the issue in the samechamber on April 6, however.]“The Kurds,” she added, “someof whom actively took part in theArmenian Genocide, were also thefirst in Turkey to talk and writeabout the genocide of the Armeniansand Assyrians.”Addressing the Assyrian associationof Midyat in late December2008, DTP chair Ahmet Türk apologizedfor the Kurdish role in “theevents” of 1915, Turkish and Assyriannews sources reported at the time.(Midyat is located in the southeast,near the former Armenian Catholicstronghold of Mardin.)“Probably we, as Kurds, have ourstake in the killing of this [cultural]richness,” he acknowledged. “Today,when we see Armenian and Assyrianbrothers [sic], and look at them,we feel shame.”DTP to appealIn a lawsuit filed in November2007, Chief Public Prosecutor AbdurrahmanYalçinkaya had demandedthat 219 members of theDTP, including Mr. Türk and severalsitting legislators, be bannedfrom politics, Hürriyet reported.Mr. Türk and MP Aysel Tuglukwere expelled from parliament afterthe court ruling was publishedin the official gazette, according toToday’s Zaman.Having lost her parliamentaryimmunity from prosecution, Ms.Tugluk is to be brought to court “byforce” next spring to be chargedwith membership in the PKK, anIstanbul court ruled on Dec. 15. Ifconvicted in the seven ongoing casesagainst her, the 44-year old attorneyfaces up to 50 years in prison.Radikal columnist Oral Çalislarmaintained that despite the currentimpasse - or what he called a“sharp curve” - in Kurdish-Turkishrelations, most people in both societiesfavor a peaceful solution. “Itis not possible that death and warbe the desire of the majority,” hewrote on Dec. 9.“If you go to Diyarbakir or anyother place in The Southeast,” Mr.Çalislar continued, “you will seethat the demand of identity thatDTP voices is the common demandof all Kurds - no matter what partiesthey vote for.”“For the success of the Kurdishinitiative,” he concluded, “it is necessaryto include Turkey’s Kurds inthe process. Without them, a resultcannot come about.”The DTP has announced it will appealto the European Court of HumanRights against the closure.(Translations by Mizgîn Yilmaz,Today’s Zaman, Ayse Gunaysu,Hürriyet, and the Assyrian InternationalNews Agency.)fby Lou Ann MatossianMinneapolis – Like Watergateand The Gulag Archipelago, the Ergenekoninvestigation challenges“a culture of impunity for crimescommitted by the state,” says theBerlin-based European StabilityInitiative (ESI) in a news analysis.“Recent weeks have seen the Turkishveil of secrecy drawn aside in aspectacular manner.”Ergenekon is the name of an allegedultranationalist conspiratorsaiming to overthrow Turkey’s Islamist-leaninggovernment.Until recently, only Turkishspeakerswere able to read the OperationCage Action Plan in horrifyingdetail. Now, however, an Englishtranslation available at esiweb.org confirms that the four-stageoperation was intended to distractthe public from the Ergenekoninvestigation by terrorizing “non-Muslims” in Turkey.The stated aim of Operation Cagewas “to increase both local and foreignpressure on the AKP Government,to keep the public pre-occupiedand to change the agenda,particularly in the Ergenekon case,by questioning the safety of non-Muslims’ life and property.” ESInotes that the largest communityamong the 125,000 “non-Muslims”is the Armenian community ofsome 60,000 people.In the preparatory stage, membersof the “non-Muslim” populationwould be identified throughsubscription lists, organizationalmembership rosters, and the namesof students, parents, and employeesof “non-Muslim” schools. Alsoto be determined were the datesand locations of religious festivalsand holidays where the targetedcommunity would be likely togather. “Non-Muslim” cemeteriesAdmiral A. Feyyaz Ogutcu of theTurkish Navy.“which would be suitable for operations”would be located.In the “fear creation stage,” Agossubscriber lists would be posted onthe Internet, particularly at hostilesites, and left out in the open atthe Princes Islands, an Armenianinhabitedarea of Istanbul. Subscribersand residents would bethreatened in phone calls, letters,and graffiti slogans.Next, “black propaganda” wouldmobilize public opinion against the“insensitive attitude” of the AK Party.The subscriber lists would be plantedin press reports, ensuring furtherpublicity. Indignant newspapercolumns would be commissionedabout the issue. False-flag Web siteswould be set up, purportedly to defendAgos and minority rights.In the final “operation stage,”bombings would target Agos andthe Princes Islands while the policewere being distracted with bombscares. Leading defenders of minorityrights would be assassinated.“Non-Muslim” celebrities would bekidnapped. “Sensational operations”would attack “non-Muslim”cemeteries. “In regions with adense non-Muslim population, vehicles,houses and workplaces willbe set on fire at close intervals,” theplan states. Similar actions wouldtarget other provinces with a highpopulation of “non-Muslims,” suchas Istanbul and Izmir.“Responsibility for sabotage, kidnappingand assassination operationswill be claimed by reactionaryorganizations,” according to the plan.Senior Naval Forces AdmiralFeyyaz Ögütçü, who organizedsecret meeting places for the generalswho were plotting the Ergenekoncoup d’état, is listed as the“president” of Operation Cage. Alsonamed in the plan are 40 naval officersorganized into Marmara, Aegean,Black Sea, and Special Operationscommands.The action plan concludes witha list of weapons, munitions, andmaterials, such as sniper rifles,handguns, machine guns, bombs,and related equipment. ColonelErcan Kireçtepe, whose signatureappears on the Cage plan, wasarrested in April during an investigationinto a hidden arms cache inIstanbul’s Poyrazköy district.ESI reports that an electronic copyof the Cage Operation Action Planwas seized in the April raid and asigned copy in June during the arrestsof Turkish military officers suspectedof involvement in Ergenekon.The Turkish General Staff at first dismissedthe documents as fakes, butin October, a whistleblower withinthe General Staff sent the originalsigned copy to a Turkish prosecutor,along with further details on the individualsinvolved. Taraf publishedthe plan on Nov. 19.fMajor new publication on Turkey’sArmenian community exploreshistoric roots, today’s realityby Lou Ann MatossianMinneapolis – Underminingstereotypes about Armeniansfrom within Turkish society, acomprehensive new book publishedin Istanbul seeks to reintroducethe Armenian communityto the Turkish-speaking majority,Nouvelles d’Arménie and NorZartonk report.In Armenians in Turkey: Community,Individual, Citizen, authorsGünay Göksu Ozdogan, FusunÜstel, Karin Karakasli, and FerhatKentel explore Armenians’deep roots in the land of Ararat,prejudices against Armenians,community life today, and the constructionof Armenian identity incontemporary Turkey, among othertopics. A moody black-and-whiteThe coverimage forTürkiye’deErmeniler:Cemaat-Birey-Yurtta? isby notedphotographerAra Güler.image by noted photographer AraGüler graces the cover.Eight years in the making, the640-page volume is publishedby Turkish Economic and SocialStudies Foundation (TESEV), aliberal, independent think tankbased in Istanbul, in associationwith Istanbul Bilgi UniversityPress (www.bilgiyay.com). It iscurrently available only in theoriginal Turkish as Türkiye’de Ermeniler:Cemaat-Birey-Yurttas.TESEV Democratization ProgramDirector Etyen Mahçupyan,who also serves as editor-inchiefof the Istanbul Armenianweekly Agos, said that Turkishstate policy has long ignored thecountry’s Armenians. There is aneed to educate people who donot really understand the community,he added.f


4 The Armenian Reporter | December 19, 2009CommunityAt National Council of Churches Assembly in Minneapolis,Archbishop Aykazian reflects on his term as presidentMINNEAPOLIS – The NationalCouncil of Churches’ annual generalassembly met November 11-13 inMinneapolis, Minn., under the jointpresidency of Archbishop VickenAykazian, ncc President andLegate of the Diocese, and BishopJohncy Itty (who chairs the boardof directors of the ncc’s outreacharm, Church World Service).The meeting marked the last timethe country’s largest ecumenicalorganization would gather underArchbishop Aykazian’s presidency.Elected to a standard two-yearterm of office in 2007, he is the firstArmenian clergyman (and the firstof the Oriental Orthodox familyof churches) to be elected to headthe ncc. Archbishop Aykazian alsoserves on the central committeeof the World Council of Churches,and is an active figure in the nationaland international ecumenicalarenas.The 2009 ncc assembly tookits theme from one of the PaulineEpistles (“Rejoice always; pray withoutceasing; give thanks in all circumstances,”I Thess 5:16-18), butalso called upon member churchesand world governments to advancetoward more universal justice andpeace.The Rev. Michael Kinnamon,the ncc’s general secretary, and theRev. John McCullough, executivedirector of Church World Service,made forceful presentations oncombating poverty, and on addressingreform of the U.S. healthcaresystem.The General Assembly also issueda statement on the massacreat Fort Hood, Texas-which hadoccurred days prior to the gathering-whichcalled for “all Christiansand religious communities of goodwill to reach out to one anotherthrough personal dialogue, localawareness-building, national advocacyadvancements, and othermeans of fostering relationships oftrust and mutuality.”Other statements coming out ofthe assembly revolved around nucleardisarmament and gun control.The ncc affirmed its role in advocatingawareness of historic andcurrent genocides, and in seekingprogress for a Middle-East peaceprocess which acknowledges therights and historic presence of theregion’s beleaguered Christian minorities.Archbishop Aykazian hasbeen a vocal proponent for the lattercauses during his tenure as nccpresident.A whole new levelThe Armenian Church has beenvery active in the ecumenicalmovement for decades. The churchentered the arena under the pontificateof Catholicos of All ArmeniansVasken I, and ecumenicalengagement has been nourishedand advanced under his successorsCatholicos Karekin I and CatholicosKarekin II.In America, the Eastern Dioceseof the Armenian Church has hada long and influential relationshipwith the ncc, and the WesternDiocese likewise. Armenian representativesat the 2009 ncc assemblyincluded the Very Rev. Fr.Aren Jebejian (of Chicago, Ill.)and Yeretzgin Arpi Kouzouian (ofCambridge, Mass.) from the ArmenianChurch of America’s EasternDiocese, and the Rev. Fr. VartanKasparian (of Yettem, Calif.) fromits Western Diocese.Building on this long history, the2007 election of Archbishop Aykazianto the ncc presidency broughtthe Armenian Church’s interactionand influence “to a whole new level,”in the words of Fr. Jebejian. “Hewas an excellent president to thencc, because of his national andinternational connections.”Regarding his term as president,Archbishop Aykazian does notlook upon it as a personal achievement.“The ncc elected the participationof the Armenian Church inecumenical life here in the U.S. andaround the world. It was a sign ofappreciation for the work that ourchurch has done so far.”He stressed the importance ofbringing churches together andgetting involved in the social livesof people: helping the hungry, thepoverty-stricken, those affectedby HIV. “The ncc is the voice ofthe voiceless,” said ArchbishopAykazian. “As the most prestigiousChristian organization, its role isto find unity among the churchesand then to use that unity to makethe world a better place.”Archbishop Aykazian will finishhis two-year term as president onDecember 31, 2009. But when hesteps down he will remain a memberof the ncc’s executive committee.The installation of thenew president, Rev. Peg Chemberlin,currently the executivedirector of the Minnesota Councilof Churches, took place on November13, as part of the generalassembly.“As president of the ncc, it was ablessing to be able extend friendshipto people in the Middle Eastand Far East, and to meet withreligious leaders in those parts ofthe world,” reflected ArchbishopAykazian. “My role will not changemuch once I step down.”He believes that the challengesnow faced by Christians in theU.S. relate primarily to interfaithdialogue, and to creating an environmentwithin which peace candevelop and flourish, here in theU.S. and around the world. “We canonly create more opportunities fordialogue. The ncc supports interfaithdialogue, and will continuealong this path.”Since its founding in 1950, theNational Council of the Churchesof Christ in the usa has been aleading voice for ecumenical cooperationamong Christians in theDateline Democracy: news and views from TurkeyErdogan’s defense of al-Bashir raiseseyebrows in TurkeyLeft: The VeryRev. Fr. ArenJebejian (ofChicago, Ill.)and YeretzginArpi Kouzouian(of Cambridge,Mass.) at thencc annualgeneral assemblyin Minneapolis,Minn.Below:ArchbishopVicken Aykazian,ncc Presidentand Legate ofthe EasternDiocese, andthe Rev. MichaelKinnamon, thencc’s generalsecretary.United States. The ncc’s memberfaith groups include various Protestant,Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical,historic African-American,and “Living Peace” churches. Email harasser must pay $5,300 forracist threats against Armeniannewspaper, Istanbul court rulesby Lou Ann MatossianSudan’sPresident Omaral-Bashir, right,and Turkey’sPrime MinisterRecep TayyipErdogan shakehands beforetheir meeting, inAnkara, Turkey,Jan. 21, 2008. APPhoto: BurhanOzbilici.MINNEAPOLIS – “Sometimessome of Erdogan’s remarks driveme crazy,” commented OrhanKemal Cengiz in Today’s Zaman,Dec. 12, in a reference to Turkey’sPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.“He said he was in Darfurand he could not see any tracesof genocide,” Mr. Cengiz added.“What was Erdogan expecting tohappen? That President OmarHassan al-Bashir would take himto some place and show him howthey butcher people there?”“As if this were not enough,” thecolumnist continued, “he saidMuslims do not commit massacres.What is al-Qaeda doing? What happensin Iraq every day? What happenedin the past in this country?”“His last remarks about the Armenianmassacres were equallyunlucky ones,” Mr. Cengiz concluded.“He said that his ancestorsdid not commit genocide. Heshould tell us then what happenedin Turkey in 1915.by Lou Ann MatossianMINNEAPOLIS – Sparking hopesfor the Turkish judiciary system,the Sisli (Istanbul) Second MagistrateCriminal Court has convicteda fourth individual of harassingthe Istanbul Armenian weeklyAgos, reported the bia News Centeron Dec. 15.Kenan Celepoglu of Samsunwas fined 8,000 TL ($5,286) for“insult via an oral or written message”on the grounds of anonymousemails he had sent to Agos.The messages allegedly containedinsults, threats, and racist statements.“It is a positive and hopeful signfor the Turkish judiciary systemthat this kind of racism and hostileactions are punished withoutreducing the sentence,” said Agosattorney Fethiye Çetin. “In ouropinion, these examples have anintimidating effect [on offenders]and are encouraging for otherjudges.”In earlier convictions datingback to October 2007, Sisli criminalcourts sentenced MuhammetKaray to three years andthree months imprisonment forthreatening Agos employees andArmenians via email. Zafer Filizand Ridvan Dogan, who had sentthreats to Agos after the assassinationof Hrant Dink, received suspendedprison terms of three andtwo years, respectively. Mr. Dogan,19, who showed remorse and wasdeemed unlikely to reoffend, wasplaced on two years’ probation.


The Armenian Reporter | December 19, 2009 5CommunityOne hectic evening in New York with District Attorney MorgenthauNEW YORK – On the evening ofWednesday, December 2, RobertM. Morgenthau, District Attorneyof the County of New York fornearly 35 years and a living legendamong prosecutors, needed to bein three places at the same time.He was late for a dinner beingthrown by the Institute for JewishHumanities, which was honoringhim for a lifetime of achevement ofpublic service. At the same time, hewas scheduled to act as master ofceremonies for a lecture by PeterBalakian introducing his latestbook about the Armenian Genocide.But meanwhile, a controversyhad erupted with City Hall, andfor the moment, duty required Mr.Morgenthau to answer the questionsof a pack of reporters whohad descended upon his office.Finally, the hour grew late, andMr. Morgenthau apologized to thenewspeople, explaining that he hadto be on his way. But just before heleft, he turned to the reporters andsaid, “Any of you guys interested inthe Armenian Genocide?”To anyone who knows RobertMorgenthau, the question shouldnot have come as a surprise. Mr.Morgenthau is fiercely and unapologeticallyloyal to the Armeniancommunity on a host of humanitarianconcerns, but never more passionatelyso than when the causeis the one most closely associatedwith his grandfather, AmbassadorHenry Morgenthau, Sr.: the ArmenianGenocide.As demonstrated in an exhibitabout the Morgenthau family currentlyon display at the Museum ofJewish Heritage in New York City,it was Ambassador Morgenthau’switness of the Genocide of theArmenians which, more than anyPeter Kougassian, r., with Robert Morgenthau. Photo: HarryL. Koundakjianother experience, galvanized himin his commitment to public serviceand ethical principle.And when, despite truly heroic efforts,Ambassador Morgenthau wasunable to save so many Armeniansfrom annihilation, he channeledhis despair into vast projects, suchas the Near East Relief Committee,as well as into countless individualacts of compassion and sacrifice, tohelp the dispersed Armenians. As aresult, nearly every Armenian familythat survived has a story to tellabout how Ambassador Morgenthautouched their lives.Accompanying District AttorneyMorgenthau throughout that hecticevening, as he accepted his awardand introduced the Genocide lecture,was his longest-serving Armenian-AmericanAssistant DistrictAttorney, Peter Kougasian.Peter has served under Mr. Morgenthauever since his graduationfrom Yale Law School in 1979. Mr.Morgenthau likes to note thatwhen his hiring panel interviewedPeter for the job back in the 1970s,they recommended rejecting himbecause he was “too intellectual.”Mr. Morgenthau overrode theirrecomendation. “I took one lookinto Peter’s eyes,” Mr. Morgenthaujokes, “and I realized: Peter is nointellectual!”Peter has held the positions ofDirector of Legal Staff Training, SeniorTrial Counsel, and currently isa Bureau Chief in the Office of theAt the exhibit, The Morgenthaus: A Legacy of Service, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York,images from the Armenian Genocide are included in the section dedicated to Amb.Henry Morgenthau,Sr. Harry L. Koundakjian.Special Narcotics Prosecutor. He isa Vice President and Board Memberof the Armenian Missionary Associationof America, and a memberof the Armenian Evangelical Churchof New York. He has also served as aVice President of the New York CityBar Association and chaired thatAssociation’s Executive Committee.“The best and the brightest fromall over America come to work forRobert Morgenthau,” Peter says.And it’s not hard to substantiatethat claim: one of Peter’s Yaleclassmates who joined him in theDistrict Attorney’s Office in 1979was United States Supreme CourtJustice Sonia Sotomayor.“Justice Sotomayor and I werecollege classmates and law schoolclassmates. We studied for the bartogether, and started in the DistrictAttorney’s Office, in the sametrial bureau, on the same day in1979. Even back then, to anyonewho knew her work well, it wouldhave come as no surprise that shewould one day be chosen for theSupreme Court. She is an astonishinglawyer.”“Most lawyers have many jobs inthe course of their career; in a realsense, I have had only one,” Petersays. “There’s an easy explanationfor that: when you work for RobertMorgenthau, you begin every daywith a deep sense of gratitude: Itis the greatest of blessings to haveshared so much with so great aman.”Armenian-American health professionals hold diabetes forumby Florence AvakianNEW MILFORD, N.J. – Preventionand early detection of diabetesfor children and adults were themain focuses of an important medicalforum with twelve Armenianspecialists, on Sunday afternoon,November 22, at the HovnanianArmenian School.“Medical care is the right of everyindividual”, stated ArmenianAmerican Health Professional(aahpo) President Dr. Larry Najarian,in welcoming the attendees.“The aahpo’s mission is to improvehealthcare awareness, increase diseaseprevention and early detection,and provide medical supportand education to Armenians in thetri-state area as well as those in ourhomeland,” said Dr. Najarian.Dennis McNeary, the highestelected official in Bergen County,NJ, listed the many grants that havebeen initiated for the county’s onemillion residents. These include thesenior drug program; an expandedMeals on Wheels, as well as nursinghome and human services departmentprograms; and a 21 percentincrease in health care in BergenCounty in the last two years.He also related that the countyboasts several social programs suchas an environmental center; sixmunicipal golf courses; a nine-milebiking and walking trail; a zoo; anda ski center. Among the county’s 12monuments is one dedicated to thevictims of the 1915 Genocide.In skillfully moderating the 12-doctor panel, Dr. Ohan Karatoprak,in family practice and geriatrics,began by stating that diabetesis a disease in which the body doesnot produce or properly use insulin.A panel ofphysiciansorganized byaahpo discussesdiabetes. Theevent took placeat the HovnanianSchool.A staggering 23.6 million childrenand adults in the United Stateshave diabetes, and almost a quarterof a million people die from thedisease every year.Participating in the forum werepediatric endocrinologist Dr. LevonAgdere, endocrinologist Dr. AraApelian, pediatrician Dr. GarbisBaydar, psychiatrist Dr. HaikazGrigorian, nutritionist Dr. KnarigKhachadourian, dentist Dr. ArthurKubikian, ophthalmologistDr. Larry Najarian, pharmacist Dr.Khoren Nalbandian, ophthalmologistDr. Kirk Tchorbadjian, andpedorphist Mario Yazidjian.Genetic andenvironmental factorsIllustrating their talk with powerpoint and diagram presentations,the doctors pointed out that TypeI diabetes in children (up to age20) from genetic causes is heaviestin the United States and theScandinavian countries. Symptomsinclude extreme thirst, frequenturination, weight loss, highblood sugar. Treatments involvethe reduction of blood sugar, injections,and exercise. Complicationsof the disease can be severeincluding poor circulation, badteeth, gums, skin, liver, heart,kidneys, leaky eye vessels, andeven coma and death.Type 2 diabetes which occurs inadults, the doctors continued, isevidenced by an extended abdomen,and obesity which affects theheart, blood pressure, gallbladder,and can lead to stroke, heart attacks,cancers, and sleep apnea. Fatcells produce hormones which leadto these problems, and inflammationis the precursor of all diseases,it was stressed.It is crucial that waist size bekept normal, 37 inches or lessfor men, and 32 inches or less forwomen, and weight be increasedby muscle, not fat. Where fat is depositedis crucial. The worst areasare the abdomen, around the heart,liver and intestines. The specialistsemphasized that longevity comeswith excess muscle. Towns in Italy,Greece and Japan were known asthe world’s longevity centers.Delineating a preferred diet, theypointed out that it should include40–45 percentage carbohydrates(fruits, vegetables, whole grains);30–35 percent protein (legumes,beans, nuts, seeds, lentils, chickpeas,etc.); 20–25 percent fat (oliveoil, omega 3 fish oil, canola oil).In concluding the informativeprogram, Dr. Najarian paid specialtribute to Dr. Arthur Kubikian forhis unique impetus and vision, aswell as to the Armenian PresbyterianChurch, the Friends of theArmenian Home – Bertha Vaniskhian,the Hovnanian School pto– Taleen Gergerian and KarenNargizian (pto Chair), St. LeonsArmenian Church – MargheritaOscherician, and the St. VartanantzArmenian Church. Need extra space at home?Sell your stuff with the Armenian Reporterclassifieds@reporter.am612-436-2037


6 The Armenian Reporter | December 19, 2009Communityncc honors James Kalustian with its “Award of Excellence”MINNEAPOLIS – DeaconJames Kalustian was one of thefour “Award of Excellence” winnersat this year’s National Council ofChurches general assembly.A member of the ArmenianChurch’s Supreme Spiritual Counciland the Eastern Diocese’s DiocesanCouncil, as well as serving asa deacon at Holy Trinity ArmenianChurch of Cambridge, Mass., Mr.Kalustian was presented with theaward during a dinner ceremonyin Minneapolis, Minn., where theNCC held its annual gathering November11-13.According to the National Councilof Churches, the “Award of Excellence”recognizes individualswho have advanced the ecumenicalmovement, met human needs,advocated for peace and justice, orprovided a strong “prophetic voice”in the Christian community. Mr.Kalustian has the distinction ofbeing the first Armenian to be soawarded.Kalustian is active in the spiritual,cultural, and philanthropiclife of the Armenian Church, whichhe has represented at regional, national,and international ecumenicalmeetings. Alongside his serviceon the highest governing bodies ofthe worldwide Armenian Churchand its Eastern Diocese, he is thepresident of Boston’s ArmenianHeritage Foundation.Other 2009 “Award of Excellence”recipients were Joan Leof, who coordinatesan anti-racism project ofthe United Church of Christ; andRev. Katherine Austin Mahle, alongtime leader of Minnesota’s ecumenicalcommunity. The GreaterMinneapolis Council of Churchesalso received the award as an organizationthat has battled poverty inits home state for five decades.“Once a year we give these awardsto people who have contributed totheir church and to the ecumenicalmovement,” explained ArchbishopVicken Aykazian, the Legate of theEastern Diocese of the ArmenianChurch of America, and the currentpresident of the NCC, whowill complete his two-year term atthe end of this year. “I think it’s agreat honor to have an Armenianchosen as an award winner, and Ibelieve that Jim Kalustian, who isvery much involved in the ArmenianChurch and dedicated to hisPrimate, Vicar take part in ecumenical gatheringhosted by Roman Catholic Archdiocese of N.Y.James Kalustian.faith, was completely deserving ofthis award.”“I was obviously flattered to behonored by the NCC,” said Kalustianabout receiving notice that hehad been selected to win the award.“However, the significance of therecognition is more important tome as a member of the ArmenianApostolic Church than as an individual.”For the Very Rev. Fr. Aren Jebejian,pastor of the St. Gregory theIlluminator Church in Chicago, Ill.,the highlight of the NCC assemblywas seeing Mr. Kalustian receive theaward. “Jim is the first Armenian inthe history of the NCC to receive anaward and be recognized,” he said.Fr. Jebejian has been a delegate tothe NCC for the past 10 years.Mr. Kalustian urges fellow ArmenianChristians to engage in the ecumenicalmovement. “We as Armenian-AmericanChristians need tomake our voices heard and therebycan have an impact through theecumenical movement on importantsocial and political issues. Notjust those that are important tothe Armenian Church-such as theintegrity of the Armenian Quarterin Jerusalem, recognition of theGenocide, and the plight of theArmenian Church in Georgia. Butalso, issues of broader social andreligious consequence, such as humanrights in Somalia and Rwanda,and the plight of Christians in generalin the Holy Land.” Help WantedNEW YORK – On Monday, November30, Archbishop KhajagBarsamian, Primate of the Dioceseof the Armenian Church of America(Eastern), and the Very Rev. Fr.Haigazoun Najarian, Diocesan Vicar,attended an ecumenical gatheringmarking the Feast of St. Andrew.Hosted by Timothy Dolan, theRoman Catholic Archbishop ofNew York, at his residence in Manhattan,the event brought togetherleaders of Roman Catholic, EasternOrthodox, and Oriental Orthodoxchurches to share an afternoon ofprayer and fellowship.The Feast of St. Andrew commemoratesAndrew, the first Apostlecalled by Jesus. According to tradition,St. Andrew traveled to Greeceafter Pentecost to preach the gospel.He is the patron saint of Greece,where he is known as St. Andrewthe Protocletos, or the “first called.”Welcoming the guests, ArchbishopDolan spoke about the importanceof building on the warmrelationship between the RomanCatholic, Eastern Orthodox, andOriental Orthodox churches, bothin the United States and abroad.The November 30 luncheon followedsimilar ecumenical eventsheld earlier this fall. In September,Archbishop Barsamian hosteda gathering for religious leadersat the Eastern Diocese in honorof Archbishop Dolan and MetropolitanJonah Pauffhausen, theOrthodox Church in America’sArchbishop of Washington andNew York, and Metropolitan of AllAmerica and Canada.The following month, the JointCommission of the Standing Conferenceof the Canonical OrthodoxBishops in the Americas (scoba)and the Standing Conference ofthe Oriental Orthodox Churchesof America (scooch) organizedthe ninth annual Joint OrthodoxPrayer Service for the United Nationscommunity.Also in October, religious leadersgathered for an afternoon programat the Greek Orthodox Archdioceseof America to welcomeHis All Holiness Bartholomew,the Archbishop of Constantinople,New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch,to New York.During the November 30 luncheon,Archbishop Demetrios,Primate of the Greek OrthodoxChurch in America, thanked participantsfor their warm receptionof the Ecumenical Patriarch, andsaid he was pleased at yet anotheropportunity to spend time withbrother clergymen from differenttraditions. Archbishop Barsamiandelivered the day’s benediction. The Armenian Reporter is seekingexperienced advertising salesrepresentativesin the Metro New York andSouthern California markets.Send your cv and a covering letterto hr@reporter.amAni L. Saryan, M.D., graduates from RossUniversity School of MedicineGREENFIELD, Wis. – Ani LucineSaryan has graduated fromRoss University School of Medicinewith the degree of Doctor of Medicine.She will be continuing hermedical training with a residencyin pediatrics or family medicine.Her course of study included atwo-year basic science curriculumon the island of Dominica in theCaribbean, followed by two yearsof clinical rotations at the Universityof Miami Clinical TrainingCenter (Fla.), Kings County Hospitalin Brooklyn (N.Y.), QueensHospital Center in Queens (N.Y.),Mercy Health Systems in Janesville(Wisc.), Children’s Hospital of Wisconsinin Milwaukee, and AmericanFamily Children’s Hospital inMadison.During medical school, Ani wasan active participant in the SalybiaMedical Mission Project, whichprovides essential health care servicesto the only remaining enclaveof indigenous Carib Indians in theworld.Dr. Saryan completed undergraduatestudies at the Universityof Wisconsin, earning her Bachelorof Sciences with Honors, in Biochemistry,in 2004. During college,Ani was president of the ArmenianStudents Association at UW-Madison.Ani is active in the ArmenianYouth Federation. She presentlyserves as a member of the EasternRegion Central Executive, and hasbeen president of the Racine ArmenGaro AYF chapter. She servedfor two seasons as a counselor atCamp Haiastan. In 2002, Ani traveledto Armenia with the AYF SummerInternship program, whereshe volunteered as physician’s aideat the Orran Children’s Center incentral Yerevan. She is a member ofthe St. Hagop Armenian ApostolicChurch choir and is active in theWisconsin Armenian community.Ani is the daughter of Dr. andMrs. Levon and Shirley Saryanof Greenfield, Wisc. She is thegranddaughter of Armine Saryan(and the late Sarkis S. Saryan) ofThousand Oaks, Calif., and MarthaKalajian Auer and Robert Auerof Greenfield. Ani Lucine Saryan, M.D.


The Armenian Reporter | December 19, 2009 7CommunityCalendar of Eventscafesjian centerfor the artsa. spendiarianopera and balleth. ghaplanyandrama theatreg. sundukianacademic theatreyerevan chambertheatreAddress: Cascade Complex, YerevanPhone: (+374 10) 541932Selected Works from the PrivateCollection of Gerard L.CafesjianGallery OneMural by Grigor Khanjyanand Selected Works from thePrivate Collection of GerardL. CafesjianKhanjyan HallStanislav Libenský and JaroslavaBrychtová: For ArmeniaSasuntsi Davit HallPattie Boyd: Yesterday andTodaySasuntsi Davit Garden GalleryArshile Gorky: Selectionsfrom the Private Collectionof Gerard L. CafesjianEagle HallIn the Mind of the CollectorEagle Garden GalleryWeather forecastAddress: 54 Tumanyan St., YerevanPhone: (+374 10) 586311, 520241, 527992DECEMBER 23 19:00“Anush” Opera by A. TigranyanConductor: Karen Durgaryanmher mkrtchyanartistic theatreAddress: 18 Khorenatsi Str., YerevanPhone: (+374 10) 564227, 565709, 580199DECEMBER 25 15:00“Titbit” Artistic Director: AlbertMkrtchyanDECEMBER 26 19:00“Barefoot in the Park” by NeilSimon. Artistic Director: AlbertMkrtchyanDECEMBER 27 15:00“Golden Key” by L. Tolstoy.Artistic Director: Albert MkrtchyanAddress: 28 Issahakian Str., YerevanPhone: (+374 10) 524723, 524733DECEMBER 19 19:00“Mamma Mia” by Ken LudwigDECEMBER 20 19:00“Love Confusion”DECEMBER 22 19:00“A Man in the Palm” PoetryEvening Artur and HrachuhiUtmazyanh. paronyanstate theatre ofmusical comedyAddress: 7 V. Sargissian Str., YerevanPhone: (+374 10) 580101, 580075DECEMBER 24, 25, 26, 27, 28,29 - 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00“A Tale About Four IdenticalBrothers” by P. PanchevArtistic Director: Yervand GhazanchyanAddress: 6 G. Lusavorich Str., YerevanPhone: (+374 10) 527670, 521852, 589622DECEMBER 25 19:00Poetry Evening. Participants:Vladimir Abajyan, Azat Gasparyan,Arsen Grigoryan andothersdemirchyan sportconcertcomplexAddress: Tsitsernakaberd Park, YerevanPhone: (+374 10) 399803, 399913, 390001DECEMBER 25 19:00Acord - Armenian Annual MusicAwardshamazgayintheatreAddress: 26 Amiryan Str., YerevanDECEMBER 22, 23, 24, 25 -11:00, 12:30, 14:30, 16:00“Magic Fairy Tail”Address: 58 Mashtots Ave., YerevanDECEMBER 19, 20 19:00“Shat Love Story”DECEMBER 25 19:00“Cabaret” ShowDECEMBER 26, 27 19:00“Shat Love Story”a. babajanyanconcert hallAddress: 2 Abovyan Str., YerevanDECEMBER 21 19:00“Shell” Piano TrioParticipants: Irina Zakhyan/soprano/Artashes Asatryan /viola/Armen Hovakimyan /cello/Program: F. Schubert, D.Shostakovich19 December 20 December 21 December 22 December 23 December 24 December 25 December 26 December 27 DecemberYerevan0+4-2+8+1+9+2+10+2+10+2+10+3+11+1+12-2+12Shirak-20-4+30+4-1+4-4+50+5-1+6-1+7-1+7Kotayk-20-4+30+4-1+4-4+50+5-1+6-1+7-1+7Gegharkunik-20-4+30+4-1+4-4+50+5-1+6-1+7-1+7Lori-1+2-1+5+1+7+2+7-1+6-1+5-1+70+80+8Tavush-1+4-1+6+1+8+3+8+2+7-1+7+1+7+2+9-1+9Aragatsotn mount.-20-4+30+4-1+4-4+50+5-1+6-1+7-1+7Aragatsotn0+4-2+8+1+9+2+10+2+10+2+10+3+11+1+12-2+12Ararat0+4-2+8+1+9+2+10+2+10+2+10+3+11+1+12-2+12Armavir0+4-2+8+1+9+2+10+2+10+2+10+3+11+1+12-2+12Vayots Dzor mount.-20-4+30+4-1+4-4+50+5-1+6-1+7-1+7Vayots Dzor-1+4-1+6+1+8+3+8+2+7-1+7+1+7+2+9-1+9Syunik valleys0+4-2+8+1+9+2+10+2+10+2+10+3+11+1+12-2+12Syunik+1+8+2+10+3+13+5+14+3+8+4+9+3+10+4+13+3+12Artsakh+1+8+2+10+3+13+5+14+3+8+4+9+3+10+4+13+3+12LORI (05)SHIRAK (07)IjevanGyumriVanadzorTAVUSH (10)Take advantage of the “Weather onYour Mobile” service.HrazdanARAGATSOTN (01)AshtarakKOTAYK (06)GavarSend the code of a region as atext message to the number 1009and get the weather forecast fortomorrow.ArmavirARMAVIR (03)YEREVAN (11)ArtashatARARAT (02)GEGHARKUNIK (04)VAYOTS DZOR (09)YeghegnadzorARTSAKH (12)Stepanakert120 AMD per message.SYUNIK (08)http://www.meteo-tv.amKapanAll rights reserved.Meteo-TV CompanyTower of Yerevan’s City Hall. Photo: Photolure.


Thousands attend Armenian Music AwardsLOS ANGELES – The 10th annualArmenian Music Awards andthe M/Club Music Video Awardstook place at the Nokia Theaterin Los Angeles on December 13.The 7,000-seat theater was almostfilled to capacity with musicians,producers, and fans.Among the highlights ofthe evening was the LifetimeAchievement Award bestowedon world-renowned singerCharles Aznavour, who wasin attendance with his daughterSeda Aznavour. When receivinghis award, Aznavour saidthat he “felt more Armenianthan ever after the 1988 Spitakearthquake.” Aznavour’s writingpartner, George Garvarents,received a posthumous AchievementAward. Mike Connors(Krikor Ohanian), better knownto American viewers as Mannix,was given the Many Hats Award.The lead singer of System OfA Down, Serj Tankian, performeda duet with his fatherKhatchadour Tankian. Theywere accompanied by the bandVisa, which fuses Greek, Armenian,and Arabic music using amultitude of different instruments.The popular Arto Tunçboyaciyanwon an M/Club awardfor best Original Music Videofor “Ararat.” Although absentfrom the awards ceremony,Tunçboyaciyan had sent a tapedvideo message in which hethanked all those people whohad supported him.Charles Aznavour. Photos: Liana Aghajanian/ianyanmag.com.Many well-known singersincluding Armenchik, NuneYesayan, Shushan Petrosyan,Alla Levonyan, andSofi Mkheyan took part inthis star-studded evening. Russianpop star Irina Allegrovacaptured a lot of attention aswell. Of Armenian descent, Ms.Allegrova was also awarded aLifetime Achievement Award.A performance that wasa collaboration between Reincarnation;Element Band;Armen Movsisyan; VictorEspinola, a harpist from Paraguy;and Russian cellist AlexanderZhiroff was a crowdfavorite at the ceremony. ElementBand, whose memberssing in Spanish, French, Persian,and other languages,were also a hit.Composer Konstantin Orbelian,who won the M/ClubComposer award, was one ofthe few winners who receiveda standing ovation during theawards ceremony.The Armenian Music AwardsNune Yesayan, Sofi Mkheyan, and Shushan Petrosyan.Element Band.was created by Peter Bahlawanianand the first awardsceremony took place at theAlex Theatre in Glendale onOctober 7, 1998. The inspirationbehind the awards showwas Bahlawanian’s desire tosupport Armenian artists andintroduce Armenian culture toa wider audience.First Ladies of Latvia, Armenia visit the Cafesjian Center for the ArtsYEREVAN – The First Lady ofLatvia, Lilita Zatlere, and theFirst Lady of Armenia, RitaSargsyan, toured the CafesjianCenter for the Arts exhibitiongalleries on December 11. Thefirst ladies were accompanied byNatalia Nalbandyan, the wifeof Armenia’s Foreign MinisterEdward Nalbandyan, and AlbinaGaloyan, the wife of Armenia’sambassador to Latvia.Following the opening of theCafesjian Center for the Artson November 7, when PresidentSerge Sargsyan and CatholicosKarekin II took part in theinauguration of the center, thisis the second visit of high-rankingofficials.The newly opened CafesjianCenter for the Arts has quicklybecome a favorite cultural landmarkfor thousands of residentsand guests of Yerevan alike.TheNew York Times wrote that theCafesjian Center for the Artsis “one of the most spectacularmuseum buildings to open anywhere,an instant landmark andtourist attraction.”The center has attractedThe First Lady of Latvia, Lilita Zatlere, at the Cafesjian Center for the Arts museum store.much attention from peopleof all ages. In November alone,more than 4,000 people cameto see the exhibitions, whilethe total number of visitors onthe opening day was estimatedto be around 15,000 people. Attendanceis expected to continuegrowing as the centerintroduces new exhibitions inFebruary 2010.Inspired by the vision of itsfounder and main benefactorGerard L. Cafesjian, the centeroffers a wide variety of exhibitions,many of which are derivedfrom Mr. Cafesjian’s ownextensive collection of contemporaryart. This collection is ofunusual breadth and containsmore than 5,000 works, includingone of the most comprehensiveglass collections in theworld.The collection is particularlyrich in the work of the CzechFirst Ladies Lilita Zatlere (l.) and Rita Sargsyan.couple Stanislav Libenskýand Jaroslava Brychtová,whose work revoluationalizedthe use of glass as an artisticmedium. Other important artistsin the collection includeDale Chihuly, Bohumil Elias,Pavel Hlava, Jaromir Rybák,Ivana Šrâmkova, Bertil Vallien,Lino Tagliapietra, MarkPeiser, and Hiroshi Yamano.The collection also has substantialholdings in drawings, paintingsand sculptures by such influentialartists as FernandoBotero, Arshile Gorky, JenniferBartlett, and others.In addition to its vigorous exhibitionschedule, the CafesjianCenter for the Arts offers a diverseentertainment programthat includes weekly movies,jazz concerts, and monthly winetasting events.connect: www.cmf.am.8 Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture | December 19, 2009


WinterFest 2009 promises to be inspiring“Let’s color wintertogether”Searching for andreviving the trueArmenian SantaClausYEREVAN – Two years ago,Deem Communications cameup with an adventurous andinnovative idea they calledWinter Fest for the holiday seasonin Armenia. Kanachastan, anon governmental organization,has taken over the reins andhas organized WinterFest 2009.The original idea of this winterfestival was to bring residentsof Yerevan together to celebratethe holiday season and to helpcombat the cold and dreary winteratmosphere.WinterFest 2009 will runfrom December 19 to January 6and promises to be an environmentallyfriendly, ecologicallyresponsible series of events thatwill instill the holiday spirit forboth young and old with a fewsurprises mixed in between.Armenia’s Ministry of Cultureand Ministry of Economy,Yerevan’s City Hall, andthe Boghossian Foundationare supporters of Winter-Fest 2009, as are the ArmenianCivil Society Initiativeand a wide range of civil societyorganizations.The objective of this year’sfestival is to promote havinggood, clean fun during any seasonof the year, to encourageenvironmental awareness, andto promote winter tourism tothe country.Enhancing the use ofpublic spacesKanachastan has reached out tovarious ngos that contribute tothe festival’s mission of alertingcitizens on issues of littering andto increase awareness for theutilization of recycled materials.According to organizers, theirgoal is to draw urban dwellersout to the city’s parks and naturalgreen zones. They encour-Continued on page 14 Children in traditional dress taking part in the WinterFest 2008 winter parade. Photo: Arsineh Khachikian.Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture | December 19, 2009 9


Max Sivaslian has his eye on the worldA photojournalist’sjourney fromIndia to war-tornKarabakh andbeyondby Maria TitizianYEREVAN – “Even though I grewup in a mostly Armenian neighborhoodin Marseille, I was farfrom most things Armenian,”says Max Sivaslian. “For somereason, my generation wasn’tvery close to its roots.” He recallsthat there were many Armenianfamilies in his neighborhood,and while he identified himselfas Armenian and was taught Armenian,he was mostly French.And then the Karabakh Warbegan. While the Armenianpeople were embroiled in oneof the fiercest battles of theirrecent history, Max Sivaslianjourneyed to the homeland.After having traveled theworld several times over, he arrivedin Yerevan in 1992. “Therewere no direct flights fromFrance to Armenia at the time. Ihad to travel quite a bit to reachArmenia,” he says.In one of the coldest winterson record, Max travelled to Nagorno-Karabakhsoon after arrivingin Yerevan in 1992 andstayed on the battlefield, photographingand creating a visualstory of the bloodshed, thehorror, and finally the victoryof Armenian forces in 1994.Before going to Karabakh,Max had been in India for anumber of years, traveling andtaking pictures. His life changedwhen he met Svetlana Paskaleva.The Bulgarian journalisthad come to Marseille to meetwith the French-Armeniancommunity and show her film,Karabakh’s Wounds. Max strugglesat first to say how it affectedhim. “I got sensitive,” hesays. “I saw that the Armenians,once again, had ‘troubles’ withthe Turks.” Since he had experiencein war reporting, he decidedto come to Karabakh “tobe a witness and to show otherswhat I had seen.”Shooting the battleHis photographs, shot over thecourse of two years on the battlefront, comprise one of the mostcomprehensive collections documentingthe war in Karabakh.His book, Le Jardin Noir, however,is more than a collection ofphotographs. It includes a journalof memories that Max keptwhile there.His images are riveting, moving,and painful, and can bringtears to your eyes. He has managedto capture the simplicity andA young boy jumps among the gravestones in Noratuz.The main square in Shushi the day it was stormed, May 9, 1992complexity of all the momentsthat take place when a people arefighting to protect their homesand their patrimony. There isdetermination in the eyes of Armeniansoldiers in the trenches,on the vast open battlefield, andwhile receiving the blessings of apriest before they go to fight. Butthere is also pain and heartachein their eyes when they lose a fellowcombatant or when they areforced to retreat.Being a “witness” to war mustbe a heavy burden with chillingmemories; surely these mustcontinue to haunt him. “I haveno trauma, I do not suffer fromtrauma,” he says plaintively. “Ofcourse, war is the worst thingthat can happen but it didn’timpact me so much afterwardbecause we were victorious. Perhapsif we had lost, I would havefelt differently.” The lives of allthose young men and womenwho died in the war were not invain. “They died for somethingand we won,” he explains. “Thatgives us hope, even today. Wehave begun to understand whatthat victory means.”He becomes reflective andsays that perhaps he can sayall these things because he continuesto live in Armenia. Heexplains that he maintains tieswith his friends from the warand when he goes to Karabakhnow, the victory is tangible. “Ifwe hadn’t won, there wouldbe no Karabakh and Armeniawould be a different country,”Max says. “I don’t know if diasporaArmenians have a real understandingof what this means,of what Armenia is, never mindthe reality of Karabakh.”Today Max works for theFrench-Armenian magazineNouvelles d’Armenie and collaborateswith many other agencies.Aside from Le Jardin Noir, healso shot all the contemporaryimages for a comprehensivebook called My Yerevan, a collectionof black-and-white photosof the capital city. He has acollection of photographs ofprisoners in Armenia’s prisonsystem also contained in a book.The images of prisoners withtheir heads shaved are jarring.He reflects on the developmentof photojournalism todayin Armenia. He sees a lot ofprogress and the fact that thecountry has a photo agency likePhotolure is a big advancementin this sphere.A prisoner receives a priest’s blessings.The anguish of war. Operation Djebrail, August 1993. Father Krikor saying a prayer for the soldiers on the front lines on April 26, 1992.Shooting conflictMax was witness to anothertragic moment in the life of Armenia– March 1, 2008 whenprotestors clashed with policefollowing the presidential election.The clashes resulted in thedeath of 10 people. Nouvellesd’Armenie, thanks to Max’s extensiveexperience photographingconflicts, had some of themost extensive series of photosfrom those protests.After a state of emergency wasdeclared in the capital, Max wasprobably the only photojournalistin the center of the melee thatcontinued into March 2. “I sawone other photographer, a foreigner.Others were at a distanceor shooting from balconies androoftops during the day; I wasthe only one on the ground afterthe declaration of a state of emergency,”Max recounts. “I askedmy colleagues why they weren’tthere and they explained thatthey were concerned about theirequipment, cameras, and lenses.”Indeed, in such circumstances,when events are progressingquickly, the work of a photographercan be treacherous. “Whenthe protestors were in front ofthe French Embassy during theday, two men came at me withthe intention of grabbing thecamera from my hands. Theywere successful in breakingmy lens.” Max smiles and saysthat’s part of the profession.“Both sides were in danger;people screaming at me to takeContinued on page 11 10 Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture | December 19, 2009


A common scene of village life: women and children carrying water from nearby wells.A brief respite before returning to battle in the end of April 1992.Selling fruits and vegetables during the coldest winter on record. Continued from page 10photos, others were trying topush me away. When darknessfell, I came across a lot of trouble,”Max says. “My colleaguesstayed away for this reason.”Anticipating the danger, Maxhad taken his oldest and leastexpensive camera with himwhen he decided to documentthe riots that day in pictures.With all that he has experiencedand documented, thisvenerable photojournalist can’timagine his life without a camera.Taking pictures had alwaysbeen a passion, and by the timehe was 21 he knew his path inlife. “I have been around theworld and if I don’t have mycamera with me, it’s pointless,”he explains. “Photographersneed to see things differently.When I walk, my eyes are constantlywandering.”The art ofphotojournalismCapturing a moment in time,which evokes a particular feelingthat can highlight beautyor destitution, joy or pain, is anart form. Max, however, doesn’tconsider himself an artist.“There are photographers whoshoot and are artists and thenthere are photojournalists, I amthe latter. I sometimes considermyself to be a technician, but ofcourse you have to have an eyethat sees things in a way othersdon’t,” he says.While he would love to pursuehis artistic side, Max admits thatat the moment he doesn’t havethe time. “Of course I have thedesire to do so; once in a while Ido it purely for art. I don’t havethat luck as yet,” he smiles.YerkirThese days Max is working on aproject very close to his heart.He is taking photographs inWestern Armenia of those Armenianswho have converted toIslam. “My wife is a journalist/sociologist and she is preparingthe texts and I am taking thephotos,” he tells me. “We havealready been to Turkey manytimes but I have to go once morealone to complete the project.”He has been all over Turkey…Sassoun, Malatya, Adiyaman…There are very few Armenianswho have maintained theirfaith in the historic lands of theArmenian nation. The overridingmajority have converted orhave grandmothers or grandfatherswho were Armenian. Insome places, these convertedArmenians were more thanhappy to have their picture takenand tell their story. In otherplaces like Malatya, peoplewere more reserved and oftendidn’t want their photos takenby Max. “Their fear disconcertedme,” he says almost sadly.There is something differentabout this endeavor. While Maxinsists he is more of a technicianthan an artist, he admitsthat these pictures requiresomething different from him.“I still need to take more photos,I have to be more artistic,” hesays. “That is why I need to goback one more time.”He hopes the book will bepublished sometime in the fallof 2010.Max Sivaslian from Marseille,who once considered himselfmore French than Armenian,came to Armenia to documenta war and stayed. He met andmarried his wife in Armenia. SheA woman kneels in prayer the day of the storming of Shushi, May 9, 1992.is French, by the way. And theyhave a three year old named MarieZabel, who bears the namesof both their mothers.“I lived in India for many years.I traveled to Nepal, Bangladesh,Pakistan,” his voice trails. “Iwanted to see something differentfrom Europe. I wantedto see how other people lived. Istayed there, I liked it.”And is Armenia his final destination?He admits that after 18 yearsof life in Armenia, he is tired. “Ihave lost some of my hope. Atfirst, I had a lot of hope. Youknow it’s a new country and it’snot easy to build a new country,I understood that,” he says.“When I think about the early90s and how horrific the timeswere…but we created a countrythat has turned out to be ‘egoist.’Today we have oligarchs.”As a witness to the Karabakhwar and its victory, Max volunteershis opinion about the politicalsituation. “They want toresolve serious issues we havewith Turkey,” he says. “I don’tthink they have the right.” Heremembers those men who diedfor homeland. He wants to honortheir heroism and their memory.He did his part by documentingtheir lives and for that reasonperhaps, he stays on. “I want tostay here, but let’s see what happens,”he says.Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture | December 19, 2009 11


Sumbat, an artist who captured village life in Iran Continued from page 12sites as Yosemite’s Half Domeseen from Inspiration Pointlose their reputation as startingpoints for all amateur artists andbecome merely beautiful places.It’s as if we are seeing them forthe first time when imbued withSumbat’s perfect color senseand depiction of light.But California is the end ofthe story; and even in Glendale,Sumbat’s favorite subjects wereArmenian villages; as the authordescribes, “In [Sumbat’s]mind the colors in no place wereas vibrant and delicate as in hisIsfahan.” Abrahamian describesSumbat’s Iranian subjects asthe “mesocosm”; he does notperform character studies, norbroad overviews, he takes amiddle view that conveys a placeas it is while he is seeing it. Onereviewer of his art describesthis as “The captured happinessof momentary encounters.”There is no specter of death inthese paintings. In a scene nearIsfahan a village is depicted setagainst a background of tallmountains. A man stands on acart loaded with hay while anotherman works on the ground.The frayed ends of the hay onthe cart are beside patches ofwind-blown dry grass. Sparsegreen leaves are seen on the fewtrees. The peaks of the mountainsseem to emanate the whitecloud patches that rise out ofthem. A foreground of layers ofearth and dirt road produce richshadows. The composition is insuch harmony with its partsthat the two men at work areas alive as the mountains, andshare the same attention in thescene. Of his work, Sumbat hassaid, “Inside I’m a happy personand I see happiness and brightnessin my scenes.”When using gouache, Sumbattested out colors on an oldnewspaper. One day he noticedshapes in the many stains ofcolor spread across the newspaper.He transformed the colorarray into an Iranian streetscene, embellishing the suggestionof forms he saw in the colorblots. He later dubbed this style“Sumbatism.” Although Sumbatwas not the first artist to mixprint and paint, Sumbatismsare quite unique. On canvassesof Armenian and Farsi newspapersarise scenes of Iranian andArmenian life; scenes of dancing,of making music and simplyof people walking throughtheir village. Yet in this contexteven a simple village scene isan exuberant celebration of life.The words of the world seem tocome alive, and every accidentalblot of paint is the nascent formof a life in the swell of activity.Sumbat would occasionallypaint portraits of family members,or of military officials for acommission; in the book thereare two self-portraits. In hisdepictions of himself there areno hints of ego or pomposity.He stands before his canvasseswith paintbrushes and a palettein his hand. His look is sincereand content. He knows who heis. One work that is much like aself-portrait is a still life of theartist’s tools. Assembled on theartist’s work table in this paintingare dishes of water, a cup ofbrushes and a pencil, a box ofjars of paint and a newspapercovered in smears of color whichobscure the name of the newspaper(although it is clear that itis “Asbarez”). One doesn’t needto see the artist’s face to recognizethat this is his identity andworld. Presented are the meansof artistic production, a catalogueof raw materials beforethe act of creation commences– or perhaps in the middle of anact of creation, because colorshave been tested on the newspaperand soon life will eruptspontaneously and overwhelmthe thoughts set down in printon the newspaper.The big jars of unmixed colorsin this still life are reminiscentof a later painting ofPersian carpet weavers in anIranian scene. The weavers areabsorbed in their work, weavingsmall pieces of yarn into abright and ornate carpet. Danglingabove their heads are bigballs of yarn in basic colors:bright yellow, green, red, blue,black, and white. The weavershave pulled what they needfrom these source colors, smallpieces of colored yarn sit inpiles around them, and withgreat skill and knowledge oftheir medium they composetheir masterpiece. The weaversare like the painter himself. It’sfrom the expert implementationof these raw colors thatthese great and quiet works ofart are produced. But the carpetweavers are only performingtheir everyday practice. All thecharacters depicted in Sumbat’spainting have a similar ease ofbeing and an unquestioningcontentment with their work,from young women carryingjugs of water home from thewell to villagers buying fruit ata market.The memories of these villagesinspired Sumbat all hislife. After living in Glendalefor 20 years, a copy of Asbareznewspaper, with its addresswritten in English, stillbrought forth from Sumbat’sbrush the colors, costumesand feelings of village life inIran. The estimated 10,000 ofSumbat’s paintings are currentlyscattered throughoutthe world. Since Sumbat’sworks were declared nationalSaghmosavank, 1992, watercolor, 56x42. Persian carpet weavers, 1997, watercolor, 45x30.treasures, the originals canno longer be exported fromIran for any reason; some ofthe earlier works were laboriouslyacquired from collectorsin Iran in order to representthis period of his art. Nevertheless,the book assemblesan impressive anthology thatcontains many examples of allhis evolving styles.Sumbat’s interest and skillin art has been passed down toBidhand villagenear Tehran,1977, watercolor,49x36.his family members. Der Kiureghian,when not engagedas a professor, spends time inLake Tahoe painting with watercolorsin some of the locationshis father painted, combiningwhat he’s learned fromhis father with his own style.Sumbat’s granddaughter, NairaDer Kiureghian, althoughnot a watercolorist, is also anaccomplished artist, and herwork in ceramics and other mediaexhibits the same wit andspontaneity that is seen in hergrandfather’s work. Der Kiureghianis presently workingon a full archive of Sumbat’smany works.The Life and Art of Sumbat wasprinted in Yerevan. It will beavailable through Sumbat.com,through Amazon.com, and in selectedbookstores, including AbrilBooks in Glendale, and ArtBridgebookstore-café in Yerevan. Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture | December 19, 2009 13


Program Grid21 – 27 DecemberEST PST09:30 pm 12:30 am10:00 pm 1:00 am10:30 pm 1:30 am11:00 pm 2:00 am11:30 pm 2:30 am12:00 am 3:00 am12:30 am 3:30 am1:00 am 4:00 am1:30 am 4:30 am2:00 am 5:00 am2:30 am 5:30 am3:00 am 6:00 am3:30 am 6:30 am4:00 am 7:00 am4:30 am 7:30 am5:00 am 8:00 am5:30 am 8:30 am6:00 am 9:00 am6:30 am 9:30 am7:00 am 10:00 am7:30 am 10:30 am8:00 am 11:00 am8:30 am 11:30 am9:00 am 12:00 am9:30 am 12:30 pm10:00 am 01:00 pm10:30 am 01:30 am11:00 am 02:00 pm11:30 am 02:30 pm12:00 pm 03:00 pm12:30 pm 03:30 pm01:00 pm 04:00 pm01:30 pm 04:30 pm02:00 pm 05:00 pm02:30 pm 05:30 pm03:00 pm 06:00 pm03:30 am 06:30 am04:00 pm 07:00 pm04:30 am 07:30 am05:00 pm 08:00 pm05:30 pm 08:30 pm06:00 pm 09:00 pm06:30 pm 09:30 pm07:00 pm 10:00 pm07:30 pm 10:30 pm08:00 pm 11:00 pm08:30 pm 11:30 pm09:00 pm 12:00 am21 December 22 December 23 December 24 December 25 December 26 DecemberMONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAYMondayImmigrants52 -56Kyanqi GineAmericayi DzaynImmigrants52 -56Kargin haghordumLos ArmeniosHamergSassounian CommentaryBarev, yes em-SundayFort BoyardKarmir te sevImmigrants56Americayi DzaynBari Luys HayerKhohanotzYO YONews2 Yeres1 originalMer Lezun, mer xosqeIrakanumIm….HarsaniqeNewsUnlucky HappinessOriginal 1Yere1Kyanqi GineOriginal 1Immigrants52Bari Gisher HayerTuesdayBari Gisher hayerKyanqi gine-Repeat 1Immigrants 52NewsUnlucky Happiness-Repeat2 YeresRepeatNewsKhohanotzMer lezun, Mer xosqeIm…HarsaniqNewsBari Gishr HayerBarev, yes em2 Yeres1 RepeatIm….HarsaniqeNewsUnlucky Happinessrepeat1Yere1Kyanqi Gine-Repeat 1Immigrants52IrakanumBari Luys HayerKhohanotzYO YONews2 Yeres2 originalMARIKAIm….HarsaniqeNewsUnlucky Happiness2 OriginalLos ArmeniosKyanqi GineOriginal 2Immigrants53Bari Gisher HayerWednesdayBari Gisher HayerKyanqi Gine-Repeat 2Immigrants 53NewsUnlucky Happiness-Repeat2 YeresRepeatNewsKhohanotzMi katil MeghrIm…HarsaniqNewsBari Gisher HayerYere12 Yeres2 RepeatIm…..HarsaniqeNewsUnlucky Happiness-Repeat 2Los ArmeniosKyanqi Gine-Repeat 2Immigrants53IrakanumBari Luys HayerHayreniq-SpyurqYO YONews2 Yeres3 originalTITUSIm…..HarsaniqeNewsUnlucky Happiness3 OriginalYere1Kyanqi GineOriginal 3Immigrants54Bari Gisher HayerThursdayBari Gisher HayerKyanqi Gine-Repeat 3Immigrants 54NewsUnlucky Happiness-Repeat2 YeresRepeatNewsKhohanotzBarev, yes em-SandayIm…HarsaniqNewsBari Gisher HayerLos armenios2 Yeres3 RepeatIm…..HarsaniqeNewsUnlucky Happiness-Repeat 3Yere1Kyanqi Gine-Repeat 3Immigrants54IrakanumBari Luys HayerMARIKAAybenaranNews2 Yeres4 originalKIATATOYANIM….HarsaniqeNewsUnlucky Happinnes4 OriginalKargin HaghordumKyanqi GineOriginal 4Immigrants55Bari Gisher HayerFridayBari Gisher HayerKyanqi Gine-Repeat 4Immigrants 55NewsUnlucky Happiness-Repeat2 YeresRepeatNewsKhohanotzKargin HaghordumIm…HarsaniqNewsBari Gisher HayerYere12 Yeres4 RepeatIm…..HasrsaniqeNewsUnlucki Happiness-Repeat 4Kargin HaghordumKyanqi Gine-Repeat 4Immigrants55IrakanumBari Luys HayerKhohanotzAybenaranNews2 Yeres5 originalSTEPANRUBINAUnlucky Happiness5 OriginalYere1Kyanqi GineOriginal 5Imigrants56Bari Gisher HayerSaturdayBari Gisher, HayerKyanqi gine-Rep.5Immigrants 56NewsUnlucky Happiness-Repeat2 YeresRepeatNewsHAYTNUTYUNIm…HarsaniqNewsFort BoyardMer lezun, mer xosqe2 Yeres5 RepeatIm…..HarsaniqeNewsUnlucky Happiness-Repeat 5Yere1Kyanqi Gine-Repeat 5Immigrants56IrakanumRUBINAArajnordaranSassounian CommentaryTITUS2 Yeres6 originalMi katil MeghrYere1Im…..HarsaniqeSassounian CommentaryKarmir te sevKargin HaghordumBarev, yes emMi Katil MeghrUnlucky Happinnes27 DecemberSUNDAYSundayUnlucky HappinessSassounian CommentaryUnlucky Happiness-Repeat2 YeresRepeatSassounian CommentaryMer Lezun, Mer XosqeIm…..HarsaniqeSassounyan CommentaryLos ArmeniosMi Katil Meghr2 Yeres6 RepeatYere1Sassounian CommentaryKarmir te sevKargin haghordumBarev, yes emMi Katill MeghrYere1Mer Lezun, Mer XosqeArajnordaranArmenian TeletimeAmericayi DzaynLos ArmeniosR. MANUKYANIm…..HarsaniqeSassounian CommentaryIm…..HarsaniqeBlefYereq PatBarev, yes emMi Katill MeghrImmigrantsWinterFest 2009 promises to be inspiring Continued from page 9age the use of artificial trees asopposed to natural evergreensto promote the protection ofArmenia’s fragile environment.“Moving from Canada to Yerevansix years ago, I noticed howimportant nature and greenspaces are for a healthy lifestylein urban areas. We believe ourWinterFest project will enhancethe use of public spaces, suchas parks and squares not onlyin the summertime but yearround,”said Raffi Niziblian,the founder of Kanachastan andthe brains behind WinterFest.The festival has become a traditionto kick-start the holidayseason in Yerevan and to attractparticipants nationwideand from neighboring countries.This year’s key activitiesare directed toward people’sunderstanding of the uses ofurban spaces and care for theenvironment.At a press conference in Yerevanearlier this week, MeghakApresian, head of the ministryof economy’s tourism department,said that this festivalwill help make Armeniaa winter tourism destination.Mr. Niziblian said that thisyear they hope to attract over3,500 people for the winter parade,compared with the 2,000who took part last year. Mr.Niziblian said that this year’smotto is “Let’s color winter together.”Reviving ArmenianSanta ClausThe festival officially kicked offon December 17 at the ArnoBabajanian Concert Hall. Thefirst event will be a winter paradecomplete with floats onDecember 19, which will passthrough the main streets ofthe capital city and conclude atLovers’ Park. Running throughto Armenian Christmas, therewill be a Christmas tree exhibition,which will help informpeople about how the New Yearis celebrated in different countries,outdoor concerts, wintergames, a figure-skating show,an outdoor bazaar, a MasqueradeBall and other events includingone called “Reviving theArmenian Santa Clause.” Therewill also be a two-day test-tastingevent showcasing traditionalArmenian dishes, which willbe organized by the Protectionand Development of ArmenianCuisine ngo.Having wonderful memoriesof winter fun as a childin Montreal, Raffi Niziblianwanted to pass on that experienceto his own wife andthree children in Armenia. “SoI decided to recreate that experiencefor them,” he told theArmenian Reporter.Arev, Noor, and Emilia enjoying the festivities organized by WinterFest 2008 in Lover’s Park.Kanachastan’s mission isto promote a healthy lifestylein Armenia’s urban spacesthrough educational campaigns,which help raise awareness. Theorganization strives to keepparks and public spaces clean;encourages the use of safe andenvironmental friendly publictransportation; works to ensurebrighter and safer streetsand underpasses, and improvegarbage disposal.Founded in Yerevan in 2008,WinterFest 2009 is Kanachastan’sfirst major undertaking. connect:www.winterfestarmenia.comA young volunteer taking part in the winter parade. Photo: Photolure.14 Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture | December 19, 2009


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To get a dish and subscribe, call 1-888-284-7116 toll free.Satellite Broadcast Program Grid21 – 27 December21 December 22 December 23 DecemberMONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAYEST PST4:30 7:30 News inArmenian5:00 8:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial6:40 9:40 Cost of life-Serial7:30 10:30 Immigrants-Film8:50 11:50 GoodNight,Armenians10:20 13:20 Cost of life-Serial11:00 14:00 Immigrants-Film11:30 14:30 UnhappyHappiness-Serial12:10 15:10 Telekitchen12:40 15:40 A Drop ofHoney13:00 16:00 News inArmenian14:00 17:00 Blef14:30 17:30 OurLanguage,Our Speech15:00 18:00 News inArmenian15:30 18:30 Yere116:00 19:00 Celebrity-Serial16:40 19:40 My Big, FatArmenian Wedding17:10 20:10 UnhappyHappiness-Serial17:45 20:45 Immigrants-Film18:15 21:15 Cost of life-Serial19:00 22:00 News inArmenian19:30 22:30 GoodMorning,Armenians21:00 0:00 News inArmenian21:30 0:30 Celebrity-Serial22:30 1:30 Telekitchen23:10 2:10 UnhappyHappiness-Serial0:00 3:00 Cost of life-Serial0:45 3:45 Immigrants-Film1:30 4:30 News inArmenian2:00 5:00 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Yere14:00 7:00 My Big, FatArmenian Wedding24 December 25 December 26 December 27 DecemberTHURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAYEST PST4:30 7:30 News inArmenian5:00 8:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial6:00 9:00 Cool Program6:40 9:40 Cost of life-Serial7:30 10:30 Immigrants-Film8:30 11:30 3 Wall8:50 11:50 GoodNight,Armenians10:20 13:20 Cost of life-Serial11:00 14:00 Immigrants-Film11:30 14:30 UnhappyHappiness-Serial12:10 15:10 Telekitchen12:40 15:40 A Drop ofHoney13:00 16:00 News inArmenian13:30 16:30 Yere114:00 17:00 A Drop ofHoney14:30 17:30 Hello, it’s me15:00 18:00 News inArmenian15:30 18:30 Cool Program16:00 19:00 Celebrity-Serial16:40 19:40 My Big, FatArmenian Wedding17:10 20:10 UnhappyHappiness-Serial17:45 20:45 Immigrants-Film18:15 21:15 Cost of life-Serial19:00 22:00 News inArmenian19:30 22:30 GoodMorning,Armenians21:00 0:00 News inArmenian21:30 0:30 Celebrity-Serial22:30 1:30 Telekitchen23:10 2:10 UnhappyHappiness-Serial0:00 3:00 Cost of life-Serial0:45 3:45 Immigrants-Film1:30 4:30 News 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16:30 Yo-Yo14:00 17:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial19:00 22:00 News inArmenian19:30 22:30 GoodMorning,Armenians21:00 0:00 News inArmenian21:30 0:30 Celebrity-Serial22:20 1:20 Telekitchen23:00 2:00 Red or Black0:00 3:00 Concert1:30 4:30 News inArmenian2:00 5:00 OurLanguage,Our Speech2:30 5:30 Celebrity-Serial3:20 6:20 Blef3:45 6:45 A Drop ofHoney4:00 7:00 My Big, FatArmenian WeddingLet us know what’s on your mind.Write to us atletters@reporter.amArmenian Reporter Arts & Culture | December 19, 2009 15


16 The Armenian Reporter | December 19, 2009CommunityNew edition of Hagop Nersoyan’s church history launchedNEW YORK – On Thursday, December3, a reception at the DiocesanCenter marked the publicationof New Faith to New World: Storiesfrom the History of the ArmenianChurch, a revised edition of the lateDr. Hagop Nersoyan’s classic work,A History of the Armenian Church.The long-awaited new editionfeatures 35 stories about saints,church leaders, and other great figuresfrom the annals of Armenianhistory. From Tigran the Great toSt. Vartan Mamigonian and St.Gregory of Datev to the establishmentof the first Armenian Churchin the United States, New Faith toNew World offers an engaging surveyof the icons and events shapingthe Armenian Christian heritage.Originally written in 1963 as ahigh school textbook for Sundayschool students, the volume wasrevised by Dr. Nersoyan for the newedition, this time geared to the generalreader. Dr. Nersoyan began therevision process in the early 1980sand completed it shortly beforehis passing in 2006. Some storieswere completely rewritten, whileothers were meticulously redraftedto make them more accessible to anew generation of readers.In the new edition – completedunder the leadership of Elise Antreassian,coordinator of ChristianEducation at the Eastern Diocese’sDepartment of Youth and Education– the stories are accompaniedby newly commissioned watercolorillustrations by Kyle Harabedianand short introductions, whichare the abbreviated versions of thescholarly forewords Dr. Nersoyanprepared in 1963.The project was underwritten bythe Women’s Guild through fundsraised at the organization’s SaintlyWomen’s Day commemorationsacross the parishes. The book isdedicated to the women of the ArmenianChurch.“These stories are our stories. Thepeople portrayed in them are thepeople we come from,” said ArchbishopKhajag Barsamian, Primateof the Eastern Diocese, at theDecember 3 reception.“That was Dr. Nersoyan’s goal – healways wanted the best for his people,the best for our church,” the Primatesaid. He added that the workis “a testament to Hagop’s legacyand shows the continuing relevanceand importance of his work.”Members of Dr. Nersoyan’s family,including his godson the VeryRev. Fr. Aren Jebejian, were presentat the celebratory evening. Dr.Nersoyan’s grandnephew SarkisJebejian thanked the Departmentof Youth and Education andthe Women’s Guild for making thebook available to a new generationof young people. He recalled readingthe stories as a child and saidhe looks forward to sharing themwith his own son.“When a book rolls off the pressand is celebrated, I like to think ofit as a new baby and a receptionlike this as a christening,” EliseAntreassian said. “The book comesinto existence at a moment in time– miraculously – although it is asmuch hard work as miracle, has apersonality, a character, contains astory, an appearance, grows old . . .and if it is a great book, like a greatperson, it will change for the betterevery life it touches.”Archbishop Barsamian thankedMs. Antreassian for spearheadingthe publication of the second editionof New Faith to New World, and“for treating the project with suchlove and reverence.”Women’s Guild Central Councilchair Leslie Movsesian thankedArchbishop Barsamian and Ms.Antreassian for bringing this projectto the attention of the Women’sGuild. She said the organizationwanted to fund a project that“would benefit the children of ourDiocese,” and Dr. Nersoyan’s bookwas “a perfect fit.” Ms. Movsesianemphasized that the book is animportant resource for SundaySchools and families. The Women’sGuild is donating two copiesof the publication to each parish.Megan Jendian, associate coordinatorof Christian Education atthe Eastern Diocese, served as masterof ceremonies at the DecemberAradzani Dance Group to performat Holy Martyrs Feb. 5BAYSIDE, N.Y. – The AradzaniDance Group of the ArmenianChurch of the Holy Martyrs willhave a Winter Kef dance on FridayFebruary 5, at 7:00 p.m., in KalustyanHall. Musical entertainment willbe provided by the Tarpinian Ensemblewith vocalist Lisa Tarpinian.Refreshments are included inthe admission.Lisa Tarpinian, 19, performs atvarious functions in the Armeniancommunity. Her latest performancewas with the ChookasianArmenian Ensemble of Californiaon November 14, when she was invitedto perform as guest vocalist.The Aradzani Dance Group underthe direction of Robert Haroutunianis an ethnographic dancegroup with a repertoire of 120 plusdances from the six villayets of pre-1915 Historic Armenia. Many of itsThe cover of New Faith to New World:Stories from the History of the ArmenianChurch, which was released this monthby the Eastern Diocese’s Departmentof Youth and Education.dances are almost extinct.The event aims to raise funds toproduce an instructional dvd coveringdances from Sepasdia, Kharpertand Dikranagerd, includingthe towns and villages of Govdun,Divrig, Prapert, Kochisar, Karhad,Shabin-Karahisar, Agn, Arapgir,Malatya, Charsanjakh, Chnkoush,Palu, Havav, and Ljeh. Memorial opportunitiesare available to rememberan ancestor from these places.The dvd will be an importanttool for Armenian school teacherswho are interested in teaching pre-1915 folk dance to their students. Itwill also insure that an importantpart of pre-1915 Armenian culturewill be preserved for future generations.connect:1-718-225-0235Rev. Fr. Mardiros Chevian, Very Rev. Fr. Haigazoun Najarian, Rev. Fr. Arten Ashjian, and Megan Jendian speak about NewFaith to New World at the December 3 reception.3 event. Also attending were illustratorKyle Harabedian and bookdesigner Glen Markarian, as wellas Joseph Kalemkerian, illustratorof the original 1963 edition.A native of Aleppo, Syria, Dr.Hagop Nersoyan was the son of theRev. Fr. Nersess Tavookjian, thepastor of Aintab who is revered asa hero for his courage in Armenia’sdarkest hour. Dr. Nersoyan’s brotherwas Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan,the Primate of the Eastern Diocesefrom 1944 to 1954.In 1946, Dr. Hagop Nersoyan settledin the United States, where heattended the Berkley/Yale DivinitySchool and later earned a doctoratein the philosophy of religion and ethicsfrom Columbia University. In 1967,Dr. Nersoyan became a professor atthe University of Dayton, Ohio.An ordained deacon of the ArmenianChurch, he also servedas the executive director of theacyoa and director of the SundaySchools of the Eastern Diocese,and worked closely with ArchbishopNersoyan on many Diocesanundertakings. New Faith toNew World is one of many workswritten by Dr. Nersoyan, whichinclude The Faith of the ArmenianChurch and From Istanbul to Aghtamar:An Armenian Pilgrimage.New Faith to New World is availablefor purchase from the St. VartanBookstore; call (212) 686-0710,ext. 152 for information. DIOCESE OF THE ARMENIAN CHURCH OF AMERICA (EASTERN)Following the Armenian Christmas Divine LiturgyIn St. Vartan Armenian CathedralThe luncheon will feature a special performance of theAGBU Antranig Armenian Dance EnsembleOn the occasion of its 40th anniversaryHaik & Alice Kavookjian Auditorium630 Second Avenue (corner of 35th Street)New York CityAdults—$30; Children (all ages)—$15For information & reservations, call (212) 686-0710


The Armenian Reporter | December 19, 2009 17CommunityExcerpt: The story of Thaddeus and SandoukhtNEW YORK – Inevitably thenews of the new preacher reachedthe higher strata of society. Somewere amused by the rumors, otherswere disdainful. The stranger wastoo weak to be a threat to them.Was it true that he and his followerskissed and engaged in savageacts in their secret gatherings? Andwhat was this medicine of immortalitythat he was said to dispenseto his followers? Among those whowere intrigued by those strangebits of information was the youngdaughter of Sanatrouk, the king.Her name was Sandoukht. One dayshe decided to find out for herself.When, dressed as an ordinarywoman, doing her best to hide herface and hands that gave away hernoble lineage, the princess followedher nurse into the room where theChristians were gathered, a fewturned around to look at her, butdid not seem to pay much attention.As she sat down, the womenimmediately next to her whispereda greeting which she did not grasp,though she felt that she was welcome.She looked at the man everyonewas following with both attentionand a clearly visible sentimentof respect and love. He was bearded,gaunt, poorly clothed. He mustbe a Jew, the princess thought, butsoon the man’s features melted inthe universality of his message. Hewas talking from the depths of hishuman heart, with radiant conviction.What touched the princesswas the manifest joy with which hemade his proclamation. He musthave said these things thousandsof times, to thousands of people,the princess thought, and yet itis as if he was facing an audiencefor the first time. The world mustknow, he was saying, that God declaredthis crucified Jesus Lord andChrist. The princess had heard thename Jesus before.Someone closed the door that theprincess’s nurse had left open. Thewindows let in just enough light forthe people to see each other. Occasionalspontaneous responses tothe preacher’s message seemed toindicate that the people not onlyfollowed but also agreed with himwholeheartedly. To Sandoukht,however, the things he said did notmake much sense. She heard himsay at one point that people shouldforgive their enemies. But enemiesare not to be forgiven, they are tobe defeated, the princess was thinking,when the preacher came upwith something even more outrageous.“I hear these words as if theyhad been pronounced an hour ago.Who can forget them?” he said. “Donot resist evil or injury, but if anyonestrikes you on your right cheek,turn the other to him too; and ifanyone wants to sue you for yourshirt, let him have your coat too.”Sandoukht had to control herselfnot to laugh out loud. Wait till I tellthis to my father. He’ll know thesepeople are out of their minds, shethought, but then she realized withsome sadness that her father wouldpunish her severely if he knew shewas attending this meeting. Thepreacher was telling stories aboutJesus restoring sight to the blind,hearing to the deaf. Then he madean astonishing declaration: “We ateand drank with Him after He hadrisen from the dead,” he said.The princess became aware of theman’s foreign accent. He was usingwords that she had heard her nurseuse when talking with people of herclass. She was not certain she hadheard the preacher correctly. Shevaguely knew about gods who hadlicked the wounds of dying men torevive them. Did he say, Jesus rosefrom the dead? I’ll ask my nurseon the way home, she thought. Thepreacher was now saying: “... He isthe Christ, the Son of God, He livesand reigns, and believing in Him,you may have life as His followers.”She felt she was addressed personally.People around her were becomingecstatic. A young man rose tohis feet and uttered syllables thatseemed to be a language Sandoukhthad never heard before. “Let’s go,”she whispered to the nurse.“What was that word the manused in connection with Jesus’coming back?”“Resurrection,” the nurse said.“And what was that young mansaying with such excitement?”“He was not saying anything inparticular. He was speaking intongues.”“What is speaking in tongues?”“People speak in tongues whenno words will do to express whatthey feel. When the Holy Spiritis in them and wants to be heardthrough them,” the nurse said.“The what?” asked the princess.The nurse did not answer.“Does the man himself ever speakin tongues?” Sandoukht was curious.“It looks as though we are goingto have a storm. Look how gray theclouds are,” the nurse said, pointingto the sky.“How do you know all about theresurrection and about speaking intongues anyway!” the princess said,suddenly annoyed at the nurse’s silenceand at her attempt to changethe topic of conversation.The nurse kept silent.“Are you...?”The nurse shuddered.“Are you a Christian yourself?”the princess asked. She looked ather companion. Never in her eighteenyears of being cared for by thiswoman had she seen her so pale.“You know I won’t tell my father,”the princess said, and she realizedjust then that this was the firsttime in two or three years that shehad gone for several hours withoutthinking of Zareh, the prince withthe deep, dark eyes, the best horsemanof them all.“No power on earth will keep mefrom confessing my commitmentto Jesus Christ. Yes, Madam, I ama Christian,” the nurse said.“They knew you, then. Did theyknow who I was? Had you ... toldthem?” asked Sandoukht haltingly.“I have never told anyone anythingabout today’s visit. But it is not impossiblethat someone should haverecognized you. We’ll find out nexttime we go,” the nurse said.“Next time...What makes youthink there will be a next time?”As she asked the question, Sandoukht’svoice betrayed a secretyearning.“The promise of immortality, ofthe inner peace that is unconquerable,that passes all understandingis irresistible,” the nurse saidsoftly. “Besides, you will see thatwe do not kill babies to drink theirblood or eat their flesh, contraryto what Your Royal Highness mayhave heard.”“Will the man be saying anythingwe did not hear today?”“I like the way you say ‘we’,” thenurse said. “I wish you referred tohim not as ‘the man,’ but as ‘theapostle.’ He was sent to preach tous. In fact he is our episkopos. Theoverseer of the Church of Christ inour Armenian land.”When Sandoukht went back tothe Christian service, she knewthey had recognized her the firsttime. They told her how scared theyhad been. They had thought theroyal executioners would be therewithin minutes after she had leftin a hurry. They were of course relieved,and thankful for her return.They all, men and women, huggedher with obviously sincere warmthand gladness as one of themselves,as just another child of God. Neverbefore had Sandoukht felt so genuinelyand deeply accepted. Sheherself felt the glow on her countenance.Her eyes were wet with love.Illustrationaccompanying,“The Gospelis Preachedin Armenia:The Story ofThaddeus andSandoukht,” inNew Faith toNew World. KyleHarabedian.“You have much to learn,” theapostle said as he welcomed her inturn, “about how the world came tobe, how men and women separatedthemselves from God, how Jesus,the promised Messiah, the selfsameChrist who is both God andHuman Being, came and is physicallypresent with us, in us ... but Iam saying too much too soon....” Heinstinctively turned to the table onwhich were placed a goblet of wineand loaves of bread. “I will baptizeyou when you are ready,” the apostlesaid. “I shall baptize you, as I wascommissioned by our Lord, in thename of the Father, and of the Son,and of the Holy Spirit. Then youshall drink the wine, and eat thebread with us. When we bless anddrink and eat them in remembranceof the Lord, they are to us the bloodand body of the Lord Himself. HeHimself said they were,” the apostlesaid calmly, with authority. “Theneach of us is like a grain that hasbecome in a sense the bread. It is asif we had all been kneaded togetherto be, together, like the Lord and tohave our being in Him.”The princess trusted the apostle.After some weeks of instruction,she understood enough of whatthe apostle was doing his best toconvey. One Saturday the apostlesaid: “Now you are ready.” Sandoukhtwas baptized. The entirecongregation was there. The timecame for the princess to sign herselfwith the cross. As she did soshe realized the miracle of Christianity:God crucified in Christon the instrument of torture hadmade of it the instrument of salvation.To celebrate her baptismthe women had prepared bowlsof boiled wheat, sprinkled withsugar and decorated with apricots,raisins and almonds. “I know youmake this for me, but this is somuch tastier,” Sandoukht said toher nurse. “Perhaps that’s becausethis celebrates something thathas changed your life forever,” thenurse answered, smiling.Upon returning to the palace,the princess made the necessaryarrangements. The next day, Sunday,at sunrise, she was to partakeof the body and blood of Christwith all her Christian sisters andbrothers. She spent the night inprayer, though she was tired. Shewas tired not just physically. Shewas tired of hiding the truth, tiredof hiding her true joy from Zareh,from her father, from everyoneelse in the palace. She was evenmore tired of her own weakness.The medicine of immortality willgive me the courage I need, shethought.Armenian Christmas services at St. Vartan Cathedral to takeplace on Wednesday, Jan. 6NEW YORK – The Nativity andBaptism of Jesus Christ will be observedat New York’s St. Vartan ArmenianCathedral on Tuesday andWednesday, January 5 and 6, 2010.A special liturgical schedule willbe in effect for these “ArmenianChristmas” services; please make anote of the times.On Armenian Christmas Eve– Tuesday, January 5 – there willbe an Evening Service with ScriptureReadings (by students fromthe Diocese’s Khrimian Lyceum) at6:30 p.m. The Divine Liturgy willimmediately follow, beginning at7:00 p.m., celebrated by ArchbishopYeghishe Gizirian.The St. Vartan Cathedral Choir– with the participation of studentsfrom the Diocese’s Khrimian Lyceum,and from area Diocesan ArmenianSaturday schools – will singthe Divine Liturgy, under the directionof the Khoren Mekanejian.A reception will take place followingthe services.On Armenian ChristmasMorning – Wednesday, January6 – Archbishop Khajag Barsamian,Primate of the Diocese of the ArmenianChurch of America (Eastern),will celebrate the Divine Liturgy.The Morning Service beginsat 9:30 a.m., and the Divine Liturgyfollows at 10:30 a.m.The sacred music will be sung bythe St. Vartan Cathedral Choir, underthe direction of Mr. Mekanejian.In Armenian tradition, this feastday commemorates not only thebirth of Christ, but also his baptismby John the Baptist. The latter isremembered through the “Blessingof Water” ceremony, whichwill follow the Divine Liturgy. Mr.Randy Sapah-Gulian, who chairsthe board of directors of the Fundfor Armenian Relief, will serve as“godfather” of the Blessing of Waterservice.After the cathedral’s January 6church services, a home blessingservice and Christmas luncheonwill take place in Haik and Alice KavookjianAuditorium.In a departure from the recentpast, a full Armenian Christmasluncheon will be held this year. TheAntranig Dance Ensemble, which isobserving its 40th anniversary, willperform. Admission to the tributeluncheon will be $30 per person, $15for children and students. Luncheontickets can be purchased at the door,but reservations are strongly encouraged,and can be made by calling theDiocesan Center at (212) 686-0710.Armenian Christmas will also beobserved at local parishes acrossthe Eastern Diocese. While manyparishes celebrate the feast on theJanuary 6 date, others will observeit on the following Sunday: January10. Please contact your local parishto ascertain the date and time of itscelebration.St. Vartan Armenian Cathedralis located at 630 Second Avenue(corner of 34th Street and SecondAvenue), in New York City. ArmenianChristmas Eve services beginat 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January5. The Armenian Christmas MorningService on Wednesday, January6 will begin at 9:30 a.m., with thecelebration of the Divine Liturgybeginning at 10:30 a.m., followedby the traditional Blessing of Waterceremony.Visit us at reporter.am


18 The Armenian Reporter | December 19, 2009CommentaryEditorialthe armenianreporterAnkara drops the ballWhat the Turkish prime minister did inWashington last week was nothing short ofwithdrawing from the agreement his governmentnegotiated with Armenia over thelast year and a half and signed amid greatfanfare on October 10 in Zurich.It was not a formal withdrawal, and hecan still redeem himself if he so chooses. Butthere’s little reason to believe that he will.The Armenian government has initiatedthe steps it has to take in response. It is agood time to take the long view and see whatnext steps may be available.Armenia’s goodwillThe government of the newly independentRepublic of Armenia in 1991 made the appropriatechoice to have diplomatic relationswith Turkey, its immediate neighbor. It madethis decision in spite of the bitter memory ofthe Armenian Genocide of 1915–17, and theTurkish government’s ongoing campaign tofalsify history and pretend Armenians neverexisted in their occupied ancestral homeland.It made the decision in spite of theattempts over the last nine decades to crushthe Armenians who remained in Turkey. Itmade the decision in spite of the Turkishgovernment’s choice to help Azerbaijan withmilitary equipment and trainers in its waragainst the Armenians of Karabakh.The basis of the decision was straightforward:Armenia was a newly independentcountry, looking to the future. Grievancescould be addressed over time through diplomaticchannels.But in a clear indication of hostility, theTurkish government declined to establishdiplomatic relations with Armenia. In 1993,it went a step further and closed the bordersbetween Turkey and Armenia in an attemptto starve Armenia and help Azerbaijan. Aborder that had remained open in the ColdWar era was closed by the Turkish state.The three administrations of Armeniasince 1991 each remained in favor of diplomaticrelations and open borders. Talks onvarious levels took place over the years, butthe Turkish side continually insisted on usingthe closed border as leverage to extractconcessions from Armenia.Nothing ventured, nothinggainedErdogan’s centennial dreamby Yelena OsipovaWashington – The agenda of Turkishprime minister’s visit to Washington lastweek was clear way in advance.It was not going to be about Turkey’s relationswith Armenia, or Israel for that matter,despite the wishful thinking of some. Rather,it was going to focus on Turkey’s increasinglyassertive foreign policy and America’s topicsof the day: Afghanistan and Iran.Of course, we do not know what exactlywent on during the private two-hour-long discussionthat President Barack Obama hadwith Recep Tayyip Erdogan; but from whatthe “unnamed officials” are telling the media,the disagreements are still there: Mr. Erdoganrefuses to commit combat troops to Afghanistan,he is opposed to sanctions against Iran,and he is still bothered - profoundly - by whathappened last winter in Gaza.Talking at the Trans-Atlantic Leaders’ Forumat Johns Hopkins University, after theofficial part of the day, Mr. Erdogan gavehimself another pat on the back, calling formore understanding of his government, andElena Osipova is a graduate student at the AmericanUniversity in Washington. She was an internwith the Washington office of the Armenian Reporterduring the summer of 2008.praising the longstanding American-Turkishrelationship.Mark Lynch, scholar of Middle East politicsat George Washington University, wrotein his Foreign Policy blog, “There is probablyno more interesting figure in the Middle Eastdiplomacy these days.”I tend to agree with the professor. Mr. Erdoganis trying to live up to this characterization,learning from the West and graduallyrealizing that often perceptions matter morethan deeds.I am not sure there was the need for a showthis time, though. Mr. Obama himself hailedTurkey as “a great country” and stressed heis “strongly committed to creating the bestpossible relationship between Turkey andthe United States.”However, did he have an alternative, giventhe attempts to leave Afghanistan and Iraqwhile saving face, and given the strong desireto stay out of Iran as much as possible?Not only has Mr. Erdogan capitalized greatlyon the geostrategic importance of Turkey’slocation and relations developed over thepast 50 years, but he has also successfully positionedhimself and his government in thecenter of East-West relations.Dismissing accusations of Islamism inherentin his party, Mr. Erdogan seems to haveinternalized “democracy-speak” very well,and Americans certainly like that.It appeared this year that a breakthrough inArmenia-Turkey relations might be at hand.President Serge Sargsyan invited his Turkishcounterpart to Armenia and initiated highprofiletalks aimed at getting the borderopened. Turkey agreed to join Armenia indiscussing normalization without preconditions.When the protocols negotiated were unveiledon August 31, it appeared that Turkeywas now willing to lift the blockade of Armeniawithout waiting for the resolution of theKarabakh conflict.And yet, the Turkish prime minister wastalking out of both sides of his mouth. Onthe one hand, he was agreeing to open theborder on conditions laid out in the protocols;at the same time he was announcingthat he would not open the border unlessthere was progress in the Karabakh talks.The Armenian government was, of course,aware of the statements the Turkish primeminister was making. Nonetheless, with thesupport of the United States government,which insisted on no preconditions for normalrelations, Yerevan proceeded with thetalks and committed itself publicly to theprotocols. The forward-looking attitude ofthe government was, “Nothing ventured,nothing gained.”Turkey is renegingNow the Turkish prime minister is sayingthat the Turkish parliament, in which theparty he controls has a two-thirds majority,will not ratify the protocols unless there’swhat he deems to be progress in the Karabakhtalks. In other words, he is reneging onthe agreement.President Sargsyan, in response, has indicatedthat Armenia’s patience and toleranceis not unlimited. He will not allow the protocolsto just sit there, signed but not ratified.If Ankara insists on conditions not includedin the agreement, Yerevan is likely to withdrawfrom the agreement altogether.In his interview with the Armenian Reporter(Oct. 3), President Sargsyan noted that thecollapse of the protocols would put the normalizationof Armenian-Turkish relationsback by many years. The collapse of “soccerdiplomacy” would also be a lost opportunityfor progress in regional stability and integration,which are stated U.S. interests.Whether President Barack Obama, Secretaryof State Hillary Clinton, and their subordinatescan prevent this collapse – and getthe Turkish government to open the borderwith Armenia – is a true test of Americandiplomatic skill and effectiveness.Speaking to be heardNow that the Turkish prime minister hasannounced that he is dropping the ball, acertain amount of time is needed to allowWith Spain, Turkey has been a co-sponsorof the Alliance of Civilizations launchedin the framework of the United Nations in2005, making a conspicuous show of goodwill in taking up a greater role in mediationand international diplomacy.In recent years, Turkey has mediated or attemptedto mediate between Syria and Israel,Russia and Georgia, various Lebanese andIraqi factions, and even Serbia and Bosnia,while having improved relations with Russia,Greece, Iran, and Syria.Mr. Erdogan’s university speech underscoredthe value he gives to strengtheningTurkey’s position. Just as throughout the pastyear, he once again criticized Israel’s actionsin Gaza - particularly the use of the phosphorusbombs - by appealing to what he called“humanist” values, and at least trying to demonstrateimpartiality, openness, and a desirefor justice. He did not say, however, to whatextent he adheres to these values when dealingwith the Kurdish guerillas, for instance.He did not shy away from talking aboutTurkey’s expanding relations with Russiaand Iran - not the two most popular statesin Washington.He even defended Iran’s right to have a“peaceful nuclear program” and called on theWest to “practice what they preach,” openlycriticizing the U.S. attitude toward Israel’sown nuclear arsenal.diplomats to try to save the day. In additionto Yerevan and the Obama administration,the other foreign ministers who showed upin Zurich for the signing – those of Russia,France, and Switzerland, and the EuropeanUnion – have an obligation to act.If, ultimately, they fail, and Armenia formallywithdraws from the protocols, it willbe essential for the Armenian governmentto explain the circumstances and articulatea vision for the future in a way that is verypublic. Turkey and its formidable public-relationsmachine cannot be allowed to dominatepublic opinion. Armenian high officialsas well as independent scholars and analystswill need to speak in various settingsin the United States and Europe and engagewith the press.While emphasizing that Turkey has unilaterallyundermined the agreement it negotiated,Armenians will need to put forward avision – a new roadmap – for progress in therelationship between Armenia and Turkey.For progress to come about, the first stepwill be for Turkey to end its blockade of Armeniaand open the border. If and when Ankaratakes that step, it will be possible to resumetalks, without conditions, to establishdiplomatic relations. Finally, after the borderis open and diplomatic relations are established,the two governments can discussmechanisms to move from normal relationsto improved relations and the eliminationof problems.In short, if Turkey insists in reneging onthe agreements it has signed, it will becomeimpossible for any Armenian government tonegotiate with Ankara in good faith – untiland unless Ankara makes the long-overduegesture of opening the borders first. fTurkey has long been a disliked and distrustedactor in the region, given the history,as well as its close ties with the United Statesand Israel. Being effectively rejected by theEuropean Union, increasingly recognizingthe further potential benefits Turkey canreap thanks to its location, and playing onhis strong popularity at home, Mr. Erdoganhas set out to truly achieve his “360-degreelook at the world.”And again, he took a swipe at “somepeople who are unhappy [and] envious ofTurkey’s position” and achievements inthe region, and who are “trying to disruptthe process.”Still, he emphasized his desire, yet again, forTurkey to join the EU and be recognized as asecular, democratic, and prosperous state.He was not modest in stating his objectivesfor 2023, the centennial of the KemalistRepublic: to be one of the top 10 economiesin the world, and to be a major agenda-setterin global affairs.Although he claimed there can be no “shift”in Turkey’s foreign policy focus because of itsinherently diverse nature, the West is gettingincreasingly wary of the more independentpath Mr. Erdogan is pursuing.But given the key role Turkey has come toplay in the region in all respects – be it military,economic, or political – Turkey’s 2023goals appear to be quite reasonable. fArmenian Reporter (ISSN 0004-2358), an independent newspaper,is published weekly by Armenian Reporter llc.Copyright © 2009 by ArmenianReporter llc. All Rights ReservedGerard L. Cafesjian, President and ceoThe views expressed, except in the editorial, arenot necessarily those of the publishers.December 19, 2009Èñ³ïí³Ï³Ý ·áñÍáõÝ»áõÃÛáõÝ Çñ³Ï³Ý³óÝáÕ“²ñÙ»ÝÇ³Ý ðÇ÷áñÃÁñ” ö´Àгëó»` ºñ¨³Ý, ºÕí³ñ¹Ç Ë×áõÕÇ 1ìÏ³Û³Ï³Ý 03²07552 ïñí³Í` 04.12.06Ã.гٳñÇ ÃáÕ³ñÏÙ³Ý å³ï³ë˳ݳïáõ`ìÇÝë»Ýï ÈÇÙ³îå³ù³Ý³ÏÁ` 500Editor Vincent LimaAssociate editor Maria TitizianWashington editor Emil SanamyanEastern U.S. editor Lou Ann MatossianAssistant to the Editor Seda StepanyanArt director Grigor HakobyanThe Armenian Reporter is your newspaper. We urge you to send us your news and yourviews.News. Please send your news to .Letters. Please send your letters to Letters should be no morethan 250 words long and may be edited for clarity. Please include your mailing addressand daytime telephone number.Commentary. Please send your essays to Essays and articlesnormally should be no longer than 900 words.Photos and artwork. We require high-resolution originals. 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The Armenian Reporter | December 19, 2009 19CommentaryLiving inArmeniaArminé of Artsakh and the spirit of the seasonby Maria TitizianShe has large, dark eyes that take up halfher face, an infectious smile that rarely fades,and an inexplicable charisma that drawspeople to her. Her name is Arminé and herprovenance is Artsakh.This bright young woman from a countrywhose destiny is yet to be determined couldvery well be the symbol of the optimism andhope that some of us seem to have lost somewherealong the way.The Karabakh Movement was the precursorfor the monumental changes that theArmenian nation would experience. Thesechanges would mark a shift in the traditionalparadigm of what it meant to be Armenianin the world. It meant victory on the battlefront,it meant independence, it meantnation-building. Victory, independence, andnation-building were concepts that we privatelybelieved no longer applied to us. Afterall, victory and Armenia hadn’t been synonymousfor quite some time.Today, more than 20 years after the KarabakhMovement, the Armenian nation, althoughvictorious, is still nursing the woundsof the past and the not-so-distant past. Forsome reason we had and continue to havedifficulty comprehending victory, and thedream of independence was forever tarnishedfor those who had to endure so much turbulenceand upheaval in the early years. Theystill leave. The concept of nation-building hasbeen distorted as well.Just when your hope for the future of thiscountry is beginning to wane, you encountersomeone like Arminé. Born just a few yearsbefore the Karabakh Movement began, inthe city of Martuni in Artsakh, she has seenenough heartache and pain to last her severallifetimes. But you wouldn’t know of herheartache and pain because of that persistentsmile of hers.As the holiday season is upon us, take amoment to reflect and remember what hascome to pass. 2010 will mark the 95th anniversaryof the Armenian Genocide. So manyperished and so much land lost. In the meantime,the babies and children of the KarabakhWar who stayed on their ancestral lands arenow young adults, studying, working, andserving their country.Remember the victory in Artsakh; theliberated lands and living witnesses tothat amazing time in our people’s history.Remember the heroes who fought in thetrenches, the mothers who lost sons, thewives who became widows, and an entiregeneration of children who became orphaned.They are alive and they are the livingtestimony of our victory.Remember the story of Arminé.When Azerbaijani military aggressionturned into full-blown war, Arminé and herfamily and thousands like them found themselvesin the eye of the storm. Imagine beinga five year old and having to understandwhat war is, what kind of danger it entails,and why it happens. Sadly, the children ofKarabakh quickly had to learn and understandthe meaning of war. Instead of playing,as children ought to do, they were forced torun and hide in bomb shelters.The orange tricycleArminé remembers the orange tricycle herfather had given to her as a birthday present.“I never even got a chance to ride that tricycle,”she recalls sadly. “My father hid it in the atticand told me that the war would soon be overand I would be able to ride it.” Every morningwhen Arminé woke up, there would be aquestion on her mind: would the war end todayso that she could finally ride her bike? Aftera while, she doesn’t remember when, thetricycle mysteriously disappeared. Arminésuspects her grandfather got rid of it.Her toys suffered the same fate. Arminé’smother hid all her toys in the cellar, in awooden chest, and locked it with a heavymetal lock. A child engrossed in her toysmight not be alert enough to react quickly ina sudden enemy attack, they reasoned. “Eventoday, I have a weakness for toys because as Ichild I never got a chance to play with them,”Arminé says.2010 will be the “Year of the Church”A Christmas message fromthe Western Dioceseby Archbishop HovnanDerderian“For to me to live is Christ”(Philippians 1:21)The birth of our lord and savior Jesus Christis the ultimate reflection of God’s immeasurableand eternal love for humanity. It isthrough this blessed miracle that we perceivethe value of God’s most precious gift of lifebestowed upon us.Christianity is neither science nor philosophy.Christianity is the true path to salvation,established by God. We all have been calledto follow this path. We all have moral obligationto do so.An unusual babyA Christmas message fromthe Armenian EvangelicalWorld Councilby Rev. Vahan H. TootikianChristmas is the celebration of God’s incarnation,His coming into the world. God’scoming to us in Jesus Christ is the greatestnews and the greatest Gift to mankind. Butthe greatest news and the greatest gift is notRev. Vahan H. Tootikian is the executive director ofthe Armenian Evangelical World Council..Furthermore, as we celebrate the birth ofChrist, we call on those who follow him andspread his word. The relationship betweenGod and man has been made possible througha covenant, granted upon us. The covenantmay be truly manifested in our lives if wefollow the example of the life of Christ – witha peaceful spirit, a vision of brotherly love, afruitful yet humble lifestyle, the respect forGod’s creation and all other Christian valueswhich make life a true blessing.We are on the doorstep of the year 2010.As this year draws to an end, we must reflecton our accomplishments and evaluate thescope of spirituality and success in our lives.We must reflect on the extent by which wehave shaped our dealings with others in accordanceto the teachings of our Lord.The Church is God’s magnanimous gift tous. It is strengthened with the reawakeningof our faith. We announce 2010 as the “Yearof the Church.” In the recent years, with thegrace of God, many churches have been risennecessarily received by all in the same manner.For example, on the first Christmas, thenews of Christ’s coming to the world was receivedjoyfully by the magi, “the kings of theOrient,” but was not received the same wayby King Herod of Judea.The Wise Men who came in search ofChrist went straight to the capital city of Jerusalem,knocked on the door of King Herodof Judea and inquired about the newbornking. That would be the logical place to begin.But their calculations proved to be false;he wasn’t there. Not that he was all that faraway – he was about six miles down the roadin the little town of Bethlehhem. Eventually,however, they found him, bowed down andworshipped him.That was not the case with King Herod.Today when she hears the word “war,” sheremembers the fear in her mother’s eyesevery time the bombing would start. “Thatforces you to grow up quickly,” Arminé says.“I remember how in a few days time my mother’shair turned white.”During the years of the war, they wouldhave electricity for one to two hours daily.Whenever the lights would come on, hergrandfather would run to the television to seeif the Russian stations were reporting aboutthe fact that they were in a blockade and thatthere was a war taking place. He would bedisappointed every time and would say, “Nomatter. One day they will talk about us.”Arminé is fulfilling her grandfather’sdream. She is currently studying journalismat the Caucasus Institute in Yerevan and shehas no qualms about where she will end up.She knows that she will always stay in Armeniaand Artsakh and work to help empowerher nation. She knows she is on the path torealizing her grandfather’s dream that shestudy and become a journalist so that oneday she would write about what took placein Artsakh.The day that changedeverythingOne day came the devastating news. “I alwaysremember my mother’s words the day whenshe told my brother and me, ‘You have to continueyour father’s work and you are obligedto tie yourself to this land,’” she recalls.“Even though I was only five years old whenmy father died in the war, I remember himvividly,”Arminé tells me. Her father was thechief agronomist in the region of Martuniand when the fighting broke out, he wasone of the first to volunteer with the otherfreedom fighters. He operated the tanks andevery Saturday he would try to come backhome to sit under the mulberry tree andwatch his children.Arminé’s father was killed during the battleof Kyulablur. She has difficulty talking orwriting about her memories of her father.Maybe one day....or are in the process of completion throughoutthe Western Diocese. These churchesare sanctuaries and symbols of hope for ourfaithful. They have served new communitiesand made the Good News accessible to manythroughout the Western Diocese. More importantly,they have guided our youth to thefaith of our forefathers.The celebration of Christmas for the faithfulis a new rebirth in Christ. When we celebratethe blessed birth of Christ, we are notonly celebrating the epiphany of the Lordbut also his everlasting presence in our lives.In the birth of Christ, we see the rebirth ofhumanity, our motherland, the call to peaceand the prosperity of the Mother See of HolyEtchmiadzin.Dear faithful of the Armenian Church,Let us celebrate the Holy Birth with the purityof a child’s heart. With the joy of his birth,we will meet all of life’s challenges especiallyduring the financial crisis. Let us strengthenour faith during these challenging times andWhen he heard the news of the newbornking, “he was disturbed and all Jerusalemwith him” (Matthew 2:3). A king upset by ababy. Cradle power unnerving a throne! Acradle that rocked a throne!Herod’s troubled nature can be understoodby the fact that he lived a life under the threatof the future. He did not want any rivalry.The “newborn king,” he thought, could be athreat to him.While the Wise Men from the East, led bya star, ended their long and weary journey atthe stable, King Herod’s troops swept downBethlehem’s streets and left death and lamentationin their wake. While the Wise Menworshipped the Babe of Bethlehem and lavishedhim with their gifts, Herod’s swordsmenlashed out hell!Today, Arminé’s family consists of onlythree people. Her mother, Melania, herbrother, Armen, who is currently a studentat the Vazken Sargsian Military Institute inArtsakh, and herself.Arminé says that one of the greatest difficultiesthat people in Artsakh face is the lackof job opportunities. After completing herstudies in Yerevan, she intends on returningand is hoping that she will be able to findemployment to lessen her mother’s burden.“I think there are things that I need to dothere,” she says.And what is her hope for the future? Theanswer is very simple. She doesn’t wantwar. “It’s enough. We are now in a stageof rebirth, which makes me very happy,”Arminé says.Every new building, every new tree that isplanted, every road that is repaired causesher to swell with pride and happiness.“I am sure that one day, the internationalcommunity will open its eyes and understandthat we have built our state in accordancewith all international laws and wehave nothing left to sacrifice. All we havedone is to liberate a small portion of ourlands that were unjustly taken from us,”she says.This year as we celebrate the New Year andChristmas with our loved ones, let’s take amoment to put aside our differences, whetherpolitical or economic, and remember thatwe have so much to be thankful for and proudabout. 2009 was a difficult year for the Armeniannation; from protests to protocols, toeconomic instability and divisions, we havemuch to overcome.The Arminés of the world help put thingsinto perspective. They help us to see theforest for the trees and see that there ishope for the future. The children of theArtsakh war will never forget. We shallnever forget but we must also pave theway for a new collective awakening, a rebirthof the notion of people, nation, andstatehood. We owe it to Arminé of Artsakhand all those children who saw and lived italongside her.flet the source become the blessed birth ofour Lord.As we celebrate the Blessed Birth, we freeourselves from our flaws and sins. In addition,we set ourselves on the path to righteousness.Therefore, this miraculous event fills ourhearts and spirits with joy. God’s love for humanityis reflected in the birth of our savior.There cannot be a greater gift than the blessedbirth of his only begotten son into this world.Moreover, as we fathom the magnitude of hislove, let us find our worthiness as a follower ofhis. Let us devote our lives in his service.Dear Faithful,Fill your lives with God’s love. Let the birthof Christ become a rebirth in your lives. Letus love one another as he loves us. Let ourchurches strengthen your bonds with God.May God bless each and every one of yourfamilies, as holy institutions with rich traditions.Let the Blessed Birth become a newbeginning and a new awakening in your spiritualendeavors.fLittle did Herod know that the Babe ofBethlehem did not want to replace him andbecome the puppet king of Judea. He wasafter something much greater than that. Hiskingdom was the human heart. He wantedthe voluntary loyalty and devotion of allpeople everywhere. That is still his purposetoday.At Christmas time we celebrate God’s incarnationthrough the birth of an unusualbaby who came to this world and gave hislife in order to open the passage for humanbeings. Accepting Jesus as our Lordand King will enable us to walk with Godagain.“Kristos Dzenav yév haidnétzav; tzézi, mézimédz avedis.” Christ is born and revealed;good tidings to you and to us.f


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The Armenian Reporter | December 19, 2009


December 19, 2009artsculturethe armenian&reporterPhotojournalist Max Sivaslianhas his eye on the worldSee page 10Photojournalist Max Sivaslian captures the beauty, dignity, and depth of his subjects. Photo: Max Sivaslian.

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