Western U.S. edition - Armenian Reporter

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Western U.S. edition - Armenian Reporter

Every objecthas its placein porcelainshowN.Y. summerintern programwraps up 22ndseasonTurkey beatsArmenia, 2-0,in soccer matchSee story on page 10 m See story on page 4 m See story on page 20 m$2.00Western U.S. EditionNumber 134October 17, 2009the armenianreporterForeign Ministers Edward Nalbandian of Armenia, left, and Ahmet Davutoglu of Turkey shake hands while European Union foreign affairs chief Javier Solana, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, and U.S. Secretaryof State Hillary Clinton, back row from left, applaud during the signing ceremony of the protocols between Armenia and Turkey, at the University of Zurich, Oct. 10. AP Photo: Keystone, Partick B. Kraemer, Pool.Protocols to end Turkishblockade of Armenia are signedTurkey still links implementation to KarabakhVisit us at reporter.amSee story on page 1 m


Biblead:Layout 1 10/12/09 3:46 PM Page 1The Armenian Reporter | October 17, 2009ANNOUNCINGAn exciting publishing eventfrom the Eastern Diocese!The Holy BibleARMENIAN CHURCH EDITIONTHIS BEAUTIFULLY-PRODUCED VOLUME allows ourfaithful to encounter the wisdom of the Bible ascontained in all the Scriptural books acknowledged asauthoritative in the Armenian Church tradition.Most English-language Bibles present the booksauthorized by Protestant denominations, leavingout numerous ancient writings deemed“apocryphal” or “deutero-canonical.” However,these same writings—considered importantscriptures in the ancient Christian movement—were embraced by the Armenian Church and usedin our writings on theology, liturgy, and history.The “Armenian Church Edition” of the Bible,newly-published by the Eastern Diocese of theArmenian Church of America, includes these features:Restores to their proper places all thescriptural books used in the Armenian Church.Employs the New Revised Standard Version(NRSV) translation of Scripture, recognized forits fidelity to original manuscripts, and itselegance of language.Contains an informative introduction byBiblical scholar Fr. Vahan Hovhanessian,Ph.D., who has overseenand guided the entire project.Includes useful supplements to enhancehistorical understanding and spiritualdevelopment.“I urge our faithful to make this newpublication a part of every Armenianhome. Our younger generation—andthose embarking on college, marriage,child-rearing, or other life milestones—will especially benefit from this Bible,which allows readers to ‘rediscover’a vital part of our religious heritage.”—Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, PrimateCopies of The Holy Bible—Armenian Church Edition may be purchasedfor $15 each (plus $7 shipping and handling) from the St. VartanBookstore, 630 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016;www.stvartanbookstore.com.For fastest service, contact the bookstorevia telephone at (212) 686-0710, ext. 152,or via e-mail at bookstore@armeniandiocese.org.Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)Առաջնորդութիւն Հայոց Ամերիկայի Արեւելեան Թեմի630 Second Avenue, New York City | www.armenianchurch.net


Number 134October 17, 2009the armenianreporterProtocols to end the Turkish blockade are signedas Turkey links implementation to KarabakhArmenia, U.S. objectto Karabakh linkageby Vincent LimaYEREVAN – The foreign ministersof Armenia and Turkey on October10 signed a historic accord thatpromises to end the 16-year Turkishblockade of Armenia, even asAnkara insisted that implementationwas unlikely without major Armenianconcessions to Azerbaijan.Armenia has ruled out such concessionsas a precondition for proceedingwith the agreement.Under the terms of the accord,which consists of two protocolsand a timetable, the border wouldbe opened two months after ratificationby the parliaments of thetwo countries.The agreement was the outcomeof “soccer diplomacy” initiated byPresident Serge Sargsyan of Armenia,who seized the opportunityof a Turkey-Armenia World Cupqualifying match in September2008 to invite his Turkish counterpart,Abdullah Gül, to Armenia.Taking up Mr. Gül’s return invitation,Mr. Sargsyan on October 14went to Turkey to watch the returnmatch and press for prompt ratificationof the protocols. (See storyon this page.)Foreign Ministers Edward Nalbandianof Armenia and AhmetDavutoglu of Turkey signed theprotocols in Zurich. Secretary ofFrom June 14 through August 8,32 college students of Armeniandescent from 11 countries participatedin the eight-week New YorkSummer Intern Program (NYSIP).The 2009 Program was comprisedCommunityState Hillary Clinton and her Russian,French, EU, and Swiss counterpartswere on hand to witness thesigning. But they were called uponto engage in a frantic diplomaticintervention as last-minute objectionsthreatened to derail the signing.The ceremony took place threehours after the scheduled time.The diplomats have declined toA woman crusades against breast cancerSusan Kulungian smiles coyly whenpeople call her “the mad hatter.”One day, she comes dressed as apirate with a patch over her eye andConcert to showcase 12 young performing artistsCelebrating the music of Armenianand classical composers, theupcoming AGBU Performing Artistsin Concert program will beCommunityCommunityCommunityForeign Ministers Edward Nalbandian of Armenia, left, and Ahmet Davutoglu of Turkey sign protocols on the normalizationof relations as European Union foreign affairs chief Javier Solana, Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, FrenchForeign Minister Bernard Kouchner, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov,back row from left, look on, at the University of Zurich, Oct. 10, Photo: Tigran Tadevosyan/Photolure.the next day, a chef with an armfulof groceries. Tom Vartabedian tellsthe story.See story on page 9mpresented at New York’s Weill RecitalHall at Carnegie Hall on Saturday,October 24.See story on page 8mNew York summer intern program wraps upof students from Argentina, Armenia,Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy,Lebanon, the Netherlands, Syria,Russia, and the United States.See story on page 4mAt an annual symposium, Armenian schoolteachers discuss ties between language and faithAt the annual Symposium for ArmenianTeachers at the DiocesanCenter in New York last month, educatorsheard presentations froma scholar of Armenian studies anda veteran teacher on the ties betweenthe Armenian language andfaith, and focused on ways theycould help students identify theseconnections in the classroom.See story on page 6mdescribe the issues that arose, butit appears that the Turkish sideplanned to make a post-signingdeclaration that would link implementationof the protocols to“progress” in the resolution of theKarabakh conflict, and the Armenianside had objected.Mrs. Clinton told reporters laterthat Armenia and Turkey each hadby Armenian Reporter staffYEREVAN – Armenia’s PresidentSerge Sargsyan traveled to Bursa,Turkey, on October 14 at the invitationof Turkey’s President AbdullahGül to watch the World Cup qualifyingreturn soccer match betweentheir two national teams, just fourdays after their foreign ministers inZurich signed protocols on the normalizationof relations.The return visit came 13 monthsafter Mr. Gül’s trip to Armenia, onMr. Sargsyan’s invitation, for thefirst soccer match. Mr. Sargsyanhad undertaken to go to Turkeyonly if the border had been openedor was about to open.Accompanying Mr. Sargsyan onhis visit to Turkey were Deputy ForeignMinisters Arman Kirakossianand Shavarsh Kocharian;other officials, several well-knownbusinesspeople from Armenia, anddozens of journalists.President Sargsyan and his delegationwere met at the airport inBursa, a former Ottoman imperialcapital, by Turkey’s Foreign MinisterAhmet Davutoglu, the governor ofBursa, and other Turkish officials.From the airport, the Armenianpresident went to the Holiday InnHotel to meet with the members ofArmenia’s national soccer team andwish them luck before their gameagainst the Turkish team later onobjections to the other’s preparedstatement to be delivered after thesigning. In the end, no statementswere made at the ceremony.“There was an agreement that theprotocols should speak for themselves,”Mrs. Clinton said in a pressbriefing soon after the signing.“They have been carefully, painstakinglynegotiated over manythat evening. He was then taken,along with his delegation, to theAlmira Hotel, where he was greetedby Mr. Gül.The two presidents had a privatemeeting and were later joined bytheir delegations and staff.Mr. Sargsyan stressed thatthe Republic of Armenia is adamantabout moving forward withArmenia-Turkey relations withoutany preconditions.“We are not writing history. Weare making history,” Mr. Gül said,according to Reuters. “Remembertwo years ago and just thinkhow far we have come since then....What is important is to bring peacemonths. . . . People are free to saywhatever else they want, but let theprotocols be the statement.”Under the protocols, the sidesagree to establish diplomatic relations,open the border, and “implementa dialogue on the historicaldimension with the aim to restoremutual confidence between the twonations, including an impartial scientificexamination of the historicalrecords and archives to defineexisting problems and formulaterecommendations.” For this dialogue,an intergovernmental commissionwith a sub-commission “onthe historical dimension” is to beestablished. The proposed sub-commissionis controversial because itcould give credence to the Turkishcontention that the jury is still outon whether the events of 1915–17 or1915–23 constituted genocide.The parties also confirm “themutual recognition of the existingborder between the two countriesas defined by the relevant treatiesof international law.”Signing statementIn a televised address just a fewhours before the signing ceremony,President Serge Sargsyan hadpresented Yerevan’s official interpretationof the protocols in whatamounted to a signing statement.(See full text on page 3.)After arguing that there is “noalternative to the establishment ofthe relations with Turkey withoutany precondition,” the presidentContinued on page mPresident Sargsyan goes to Turkeyfor Armenia-Turkey soccer matchPresident Abdullah Gül welcomes his Armenian counterpart Serge Sargsyan toTurkey. Photo: Melik Baghdasaryan/Photolure.and stability to the whole region.”Following the meetings, a dinnerand reception was held in honor ofPresident Sargsyan at the AlmiraHotel, after which the two presidentsand their delegations went toBursa’s Ataturk Stadium to watchthe soccer match. Turkey’s nationalsoccer team beat Armenia 2-0. Bothnational soccer teams have alreadybeen knocked out of the World Cupqualifying competition.The Armenian delegation departedBursa as soon as the gameended.No official statements have beenissued by either side after theirmeeting in Bursa.f


The Armenian Reporter | October 17, 2009Nationalby Emil SanamyanU.S. and Russia detailtheir roles in Armenia-Turkey dealReports by U.S. and Russian officialsplayed up their respective interventionsas decisive in gettingArmenia and Turkey to sign theprotocols on bilateral relations.The October 10 signing in Zurich,Switzerland, of the protocols,which require parliamentary ratificationto take effect, was delayed byseveral hours after Armenian andTurkish foreign ministers EdwardNalbandian and Ahmet Davutoglutook issue with each other’sproposed post-signing statements.En route from Zurich to Londonlater that night, Secretary of StateHillary Clinton revealed that sheand Assistant Secretary for EuropePhil Gordon “have been dealingwith [Armenia-Turkey issues] formonths.”The United States initially hadclaimed no public role, with Switzerlandserving as the formal mediator.Mrs. Clinton said she was onthe phone with the Armenian andTurkish foreign ministers “to geteverybody in the same place.” Shealso talked to President BarackObama “several times.”SecretaryHillary Clintonand ForeignMinister SergeiLavrov expressconsternationat joint pressconference inMoscow onOct. 13. Photo:Russian ForeignMinistry.Washington briefing“So that’s when I went in andspent time talking through someof the concerns that had been expressed,and brought Minister Nalbandianwith us back to the university,”with other senior officialsarriving there for the delayed signingceremony.Meanwhile, citing an unnamedsource in “one of the delegations,”the Russian daily Kommersantgave credit for “saving the day” toRussia’s Foreign Minister SergeiLavrov.“While Secretary Clinton was tryingto convince the sides to avoid ascandal, Lavrov, [European Unionforeign affairs commissioner] JavierSolana, French Foreign MinisterBernard Kouchner, andSlovenian Foreign Minister [presenton behalf of Council of Europe]Samuel Zbogar were watching theRussia-Germany soccer game.”When the game was over, theArmenian and Turkish foreignministers were presented with anultimatum and a deadline to sign,Kommersant claimed.“At that moment Mr. Lavrovwrote a short note to Mr. Nalbandian.It had six words ‘Edward! Agreeto ceremony without statements,’”Kommersant’s source reported. “Thenote was also co-signed by Kouchner,Solana, and Zbogar.”The signing ceremony wentahead in silence, concluding withhugs, kisses, and no comments.Turkish leaders have since saidthey did not expect ratification anytime soon. (See story on Page One).Mrs. Clinton acknowledged thatratification is “going to be difficult.”“There is a lot of very difficult,complex issues that have to continuallybe discussed and workedout,” she said following the signing.“The Armenians, as we saw withPresident [Serge] Sargsian’s tour,have people around the world withstrong feelings.”Key Armenian Caucusmembers comment onprotocols, GenocideresolutionLeading advocates of Armenian-American concerns in Congress issueda joint statement that raisedconcerns with some of the provisionsof the Armenia-Turkey protocols,while also reiterating theirintention to continue to advocatefor a congressional resolution onthe Armenian Genocide.Caucus co-chairs Reps. FrankPallone (D.-N.J.) and MarkKirk (R.-Ill.) together withReps. Adam Schiff (D.-Calif.)and George Radanovich (R.-Calif.), issued a joint statementthat “shared the concern of theArmenian-American communityregarding the possibility of creatinga historical commission toreview the events of 1915 to 1923,”the Armenian National Committeeof America (ANCA) reportedon October 10.Separately, Mr. Schiff told TheHill newspaper on October 10 thathe and his colleagues “intend topush forward with the recognitionof the genocide,” in spite of the Armenia-Turkeyprotocols.House Resolution 252 affirmingthe U.S. record on the ArmenianGenocide was introduced lastMarch with 77 co-sponsors. Itssupporters have since gathered 58additional signatures, with the totalco-sponsorship list this week at135 of the total of 435 House members.It remains unclear when andif the House Foreign Affairs Committeeplans to consider the measure.But as Turkey’s ambassador inWashington Nabi Sensoy told TheHill, consideration of the resolutionwould “have a negative impacton what we are trying do, which isnormalization of relations with theArmenians” and that as part of this“normalization . . . historical aspectsof the issue will be discussed.”The congressional statementalso suggested that “as Secretaryof State Clinton and other seniorofficials work to maintain stabilityin the region, we urge them to takeadvantage of the knowledge andexpertise of the Armenian-Americancommunity.”ANCA also cited Department ofJustice records as showing that formerRepublican Speaker DennisHastert and former DemocraticParty in Congress Dick Gephardt,both now working for Turkey, havemet with both Secretary HillaryClinton and National Security AdvisorJim Jones.Rep. Wexler during a July 2008 booksigning. Photo: Yelena Osipova for theArmenian Reporter.Pro-Turkey memberof Congress resigns todeal with Middle EastpeaceRep. Robert Wexler (D.-Fla.), akey supporter of Turkey in Congress,said he will resign his seat inJanuary, a year before completinghis seventh term in the House ofRepresentatives.Mr. Wexler, who is also knownas a strong advocate of Israel, saidin an October 14 statement that hewill instead become president ofthe little-known Center for MiddleEast Peace. The center was foundedby Slim-Fast diet foods magnate S.Daniel Abraham in 1989.During last year’s presidentialcampaign, Mr. Wexler was an earlyand active supporter of BarackObama’s campaign. Commentatorshave speculated he may play arole in the administration’s effortsto address the Arab-Israeli conflictor that his resignation may be financiallymotivated. Mr. Wexler deniedhe would take a lobbying job.A senior member of the HouseForeign Affairs Committee, Mr.Wexler is the founding co-chair ofthe Turkey Caucus in 2001 (whichcounted 94 members as of lastmonth), has made at least eighttrips to Turkey, and takes pride inclose relationships he developedwith leaders in Ankara.“My wife jokes I could run forPrime Minister of Turkey,” hewrote in his book Fire-breathingLiberal, published last year. His resignationstatement made no mentionof Turkey, however.Turkey bars Israel fromwar games in latestsnubAnkara barred the Israeli air forcefrom the annual “Anatolian Eagle”exercises conducted in Turkey togetherwith NATO since 2001, internationalmedia reported on October11. The United States and Italyhave pulled out of the war gamesas a result.The decision, reportedly first relayedto the Israelis on October 8,was only the latest in the Turkishgovernment’s recent steps to distanceitself from Israel.At the World Economic Forumheld in Switzerland last JanuaryTurkish Prime Minister RecepTayyip Erdogan publicly clashedwith Israeli President ShimonPeres over Israel’s invasion of Gazaat the end of 2008.Last month Mr. Erdogan devotedmuch of his United Nations addressto the Gaza crisis. And this weekForeign Minister Ahmet Davutoglutold CNN that the improvementof Israeli-Turkish relations dependedon Israel negotiating with thePalestinian leadership in Gaza.In its October 12 editorial, theJerusalem Post called the move “anunprecedented slap in the face” andargued that “Ankara appears to bedoing everything it can to junk itsrelationship with the Jewish state,”merely using Gaza as an excuse.Israeli officials sought to playdown the development, citing Turkey’simportance, but off the recordthey reportedly threatened to“review” weapons sales to Turkey inretaliation.For his part, Ephraim Inbar, aveteran proponent of Israeli-Turkishrelations, suggested droppingsupport for Turkey in its lobbyingagainst the Armenian Genocideresolution in U.S. Congress.“If they behave, we should help;if not, then while we should notactively work against them, weshould let them know that there isa price for their misbehavior,” Mr.Inbar suggested.Israeli aircraft first began trainingin Turkish airspace on a bilateralbasis in 1996. According to theTurkish air force web site, Israelistook part in the inaugural AnatolianEagle in 2001, as well as in2003, 2004, 2005, and again, mostrecently, in September 2008. fAnatolian Eagleexercise emblem.Photo: TurkishAir Force.Protocols to end the Turkish blockade of Armenia are signedas Turkey links implementation to Karabakhn Continued from page strongly reaffirmed Armenia’scommitment to the universal affirmationand condemnation of theArmenian Genocide, ruled out anylinkage between the implementationof the protocols and the resolutionof the Karabakh conflict, andwarned Turkey against dragging itsfeet on ratification.He also took the position thatthe protocols left the matter of theborder between Turkey and Armenia“to be resolved through the prevailingnorms of international law.”The prepared statement thatForeign Minister Edward Nalbandianwas supposed to deliverin Zurich presumably made someof the same points. According tothe Turkish daily Hurriyet, ForeignMinister Ahmet Davutoglu ofTurkey objected to a reference inthe statement to the Genocide.Karabakh linkageTurkey closed the border with Armeniain 1993 in solidarity withAzerbaijan, as Turkish-supportedAzerbaijani troops suffered setbacksin their efforts to thwart theindependence of Nagorno-Karabakh.Since then, Turkey has insistedon the withdrawal of Armenianforces from disputed territoriesas a precondition for openingthe border.The protocols unveiled on August31 and signed on October 10 makeno reference to Karabakh andAzerbaijan. But Prime MinisterRecep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkeyhas consistently held that Turkeywould not open the border unlessthat precondition is met. Armeniacategorically rejects any linkage betweenthe two issues.If the Karabakh conflict is resolved,“our people will quicklyadopt the normalization of Turkish-Armenianrelations,” Mr. Erdoganannounced after a high-levelmeeting of his ruling Justice andDevelopment Party (AKP) on October12. “I want to reiterate onceagain that Turkey cannot adopt apositive attitude unless Armeniawithdraws from occupied Azerbaijaniterritories,” he added.In his prepared statement for Zurich,Mr. Davutoglu was almost certainlygoing to make the same point.According to Hurriyet, Mr. Nalbandianfound that unacceptable.International reactionPresident Barack Obama reportedlycalled Mrs. Clinton tocongratulate her on helping theparties find a way to sign notwithstandingtheir objections tothe statements. Both Mr. Obamaand Mrs. Clinton have called forthe normalization of relations ina reasonable timeframe and withoutpreconditions.U.N. Secretary-General Ban Kimooncalled the signing a “historicdecision” that “constitutes a milestonetoward the establishmentof good neighborly relations.” Heexpressed hope that the protocolswould be “swiftly ratified by theParliaments of Armenia and Turkeyto ensure full normalization oftheir bilateral relations.”The Armenian delegation in Zurichincluded Armenia’s ambassador toSwitzerland, Charles Aznavour. f


The Armenian Reporter | October 17, 2009InternationalIn signing statement, President Sargsyan formallyaddresses concerns about protocolsOn October 10, shortly before thesigning in Zurich of the protocols onthe normalization of relations betweenTurkey and Armenia, PresidentSerge Sargsyan delivered a televisedaddress “to the people of the Republicof Armenia and to all Armenians.”The address is in the nature of signingstatement of the sort proposed bythe Armenian Reporter in its editorial,“Setting down the parameters”(Sept. 26).Mr. Sargsyan rejects the notion putforward by Turkey that the universalaffirmation of the Armenian Genocideis a diaspora priority imposed onArmenia. He insists that neither theproposed intergovernmental commissionwith a sub-commission on “thehistorical dimension” nor any relationshipwith Turkey can cast doubton “the fact of the confiscation of theArmenian patrimony and the Genocide.”He takes the position that the protocolsleave the matter of the borderbetween Turkey and Armenia “to beresolved through the prevailing normsof international law.” He rules out anylinkage between the implementationof the protocols and the resolution ofthe Karabakh conflict.President Sargsyan also warnsTurkey against dragging its feet onratification.The full text of the presidentialstatement follows.Dear compatriots:For the past several months the attentionof Armenia and the Armeniansworldwide has been focusedon the ongoing process of thenormalization of Armenian-Turkishrelations and in particular thetwo protocols that have been initialed.All segments and layers ofthe Armenian nation answered ourcall to open a public debate on thedocuments and engaged in it. Wesaw a new strong wave of a debateover the smaller and bigger issuesthat concern Armenia and the Armenians.The debate included a large varietyof issues not related to Armenian-Turkishnegotiations but concerningthe whole Armenian nation.This process caused and triggereda new, engaged discussion onthe place and the role of Armeniaand the Armenians, the presentand the future of Armenia and theArmenians. As a result, the worldsaw and understood that, whenit comes to the normalization ofArmenian-Turkish relations, theyhave to deal not just with Armenia,with its three million population,but with ten million Armenians.And let no one ignore the factthat, contrary to any slogans, theArmenian nation is united in itsgoals and is strong with its sonsand daughters. And let no one tryto split Armenia and our brothersand sisters in the diaspora andrepresent their concern over thefuture of Armenia as an attempt toimpose something on the RepublicArmenia.My fellow Armenians:The historic destiny of our nationhas many times required us to findwise ways out of the most complexsituations. We have only succeededwhen we have pragmatically assessedthe current challenges andtaken appropriate actions. Todaywe find ourselves in such a position.In order to build and consolidateour statehood, we collectively needto demonstrate adequate thinkingand action.Today we are trying to put ona normal track the relations witha country where, under Ottomanrule, our nation fell victim to thepolicy of the confiscation of theArmenian patrimony and genocide.The scars of the Genocidedo not heal. And the memory ofour martyrs and the future of ourgenerations dictates that we havea solid and stable state, a powerfuland prosperous country, a countrythat is the rebirth of the dreams ofthe whole Armenian nation. OnePresident SergeSargsyan. PressOffice of thePresident.of the significant steps along thatroad is having normal relationswith all our neighbors, includingTurkey.Independence dictates the willand determination to take responsibledecisions; it dictates pragmatismand forward-looking, sustainedwork. That is the road I havechosen. I have done it with a strongunderstanding of the historical realityand a strong belief in the futureof our people.There is no alternative to theestablishment of relations withTurkey without any precondition.It is the dictate of the time. It isnot this need that is being debatedtoday. The concern of individualsand some political forces is causedby the different interpretation ofcertain provisions contained in theprotocols, and their historic mistrusttoward Turkey.Having realistically assessedthese circumstances and beingconvinced in the necessity and correctnessof the steps undertaken, Iinsist on the following:1. No relations with Turkey canquestion the reality of the confiscationof the Armenian patrimonyand the genocide perpetratedagainst the Armenian nation. Itis a known fact and it should berecognized and condemned by thewhole of progressive humanity.The relevant sub-commission to beestablished under the intergovernmentalcommission is not a historians’commission.2. The issue of the existing borderbetween Armenia and Turkey is tobe resolved through the prevailingnorms of the international law. Theprotocols do not go beyond that.3. These relations cannot and donot relate to the resolution of theNagorno-Karabakh conflict, whichis an independent and separateprocess. Armenia does not regardthe clause on the territorial integrityand inviolability of borderscontained in the protocols as in anyway related to the Nagorno-Karabakhissue.4. The Armenian side will have acorresponding reaction if Turkeyprotracts the process of ratificationor raises conditions for it. Armeniaundertakes no unilateral commitmentsthough these protocols anddoes not make any unilateral affirmations.Armenia is signing theseprotocols in order to create a basisfor the establishment of normal relationsbetween our two countries.Hence, if Turkey fails to ratify theprotocols within a reasonable timeframeand does not implement allthe clauses contained herein withinthe provided timeframe, or violatesthem in the future, Armeniawill immediately take appropriatesteps as stipulated by the internationallaw.Dear Compatriots:In addressing you I want to emphasizethat today, more than ever,our people should stand united.We should have the capability ofmaturing our collective identity tocorrespond to life in the reality ofstatehood. That is our road to thefuture.The signing of the protocols willbe followed by stages of their ratificationand implementation. All theconcerns and possible threats thatwere so widely expressed in thecourse of the debate will be takeninto careful consideration, and weshall be able to prevent any developmentthat might contradict ournational interest.Today, I am more than convincedthat we will succeed. And we will dothat together, all of us, the Armenians.Today we are not the samewe were only a few months ago.And it is a fact from now on.I have confidence in the wisdomof our people. I have confidencethat together we shall hand downa prosperous and peaceful motherlandto our generations. It will definitelybe so.And may God be with us! fStrobe Talbott: U.S. regularly briefed Turkey on Karabakh in the 90sAbove left:Vladimir Yakunin,one of Russia’smost influentialpolitical figures.Above: Formerdeputy secretaryof state StrobeTalbott andAyatollahMohammad-AliTaskhiri of Iran.Left: DjivanGasparyanperformed atthe openingceremony.by Armenian Reporter staffRHODES, Greece – “Every timeI was in Yerevan and Baku, andsometimes went to the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Stepanakert, Iwould always make the effort, onthe way in and on the way out, tostop in Ankara and meet with theleadership there,” revealed StrobeTalbott, who was deputy secretaryof state from 1994 to 2001and co-chair of the OSCE MinskGroup, which mediates the Karabakhconflict.Mr. Talbott made his commentduring the Seventh Annual Sessionof the Rhodes Forum of theDialogue of Civilizations, heldfrom October 8 to 12 in Rhodes,in response to a question posedby Vardan Aloyan, generalmanager of CS Publishing House.(CS Publishing House and thisnewspaper are both affiliatedwith the Cafesjian Family Foundation.)The Dialogue of Civilizations wasfounded by Vladimir Yakunin ofRussia, Jagdish Kapur of Indiaand Nicholas Papanicolaou ofGreece and the United States. Mr.Yakunin, the founding president, ishead of the state-run Russian Railwayscompany and a member ofPrime Minister Vladimir Putin’sinner circle.Mr. Talbott’s topic was “BarackObama and the World.” He saidthe dialogue of civilizations is thealternative to the clash of civilizationsand argued that Mr. Obamais the leader of an emerging cosmopolitanworld.On Armenia and its neighbors,he said that Mr. Obama hadplaced the issue on his agendaand “taken a personal interestand has used personal diplomacyto try and improve relations betweenTurkey and Armenia.” Headded that the president “hasquietly been effective in developingan atmosphere conducive tobilateral relations between Armeniaand Turkey.”These efforts “will pay off for Europealso,” and “improved relationsbetween Armenia and Turkey willalso help resolve the NKR issue,”Mr. Talbott said.The forum heard from ImmanuelWallerstein, the well-knownworld-systems theorist, and CraigCalhoun, president of the SocialScience Research Council, on ayearlong research project.At the opening of the forum eachyear, a musician of internationalrepute is invited to perform. Thisyear’s forum was opened by DjivanGasparyan.fconnect:wpfdc.org


The Armenian Reporter | October 17, 2009 5CommunityStepan Partamian’s Yes, We Have presented in metro DetroitBIRMINGHAM, Mich. – OnTuesday, September 8, metroDetroit Armenians gathered atEdgar Hagopian’s Birminghamrug showroom to hear provocativetelevision personality StepanPartamian, publisher of the newlyreleased book Yes, We Have. Introducedby Edmond Azadian, Mr.Partamian spoke of his researchover the last year to put togetherthis celebration of contributionsby American-Armenians to theUnited States.Mr. Partamian’s overview wasfollowed by a lively question-andanswersession that lasted wellinto the night. Mr. Partamian thenspoke of his plans to publish anexpanded edition in the future toinclude extensive biographies, articles,and photographs. Guests linedup to purchase a signed copy of thebook while enjoying wine, coffee,choereg and cheese provided bythe Detroit Chapter Tekeyan CulturalAssociation, which organizedthe event.Scholarships awarded to New Jersey high-school gradsFrom left, AraBelian, HagopAlexanian,StepanPartamian, andStepan Dallakianin the HagopianShowroom.EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.– On Sunday June 28, at the LandmarkII Restaurant on Rt. 17 in EastRutherford, N.J., over 150 peopleassembled to honor 11 local highschool students who received collegescholarships.The recipients were Jeremy Badach,son of Mark and Christine(Chakmakian) Badach, Wyckoff(Stevens Inst. Of Tech.); JanineBalekdjian, daughter of Richardand Laura (Berberian) Balekdjian,Upper Saddle River (ColumbiaUniv.); Jack Boyajian, sonof Gevork Boyajian and MaroMarkosian, Closter (Univ. of Vermont);Raffi Charhkutian, son of Kostanand Annie Charhkutian, Westwood(Univ. of Hartford); Kyle Greulich,son of Jeff and Robin (Arpiarian)Greulich, Nutley (Univ. of Connecticut);Eric Halejian, son of Dr.Barry and Andrea (Tilbian) Halejian,Wyckoff (Ithaca College); ChristopherHavatian, son of Josephand Silva (Karagosian) Havatian,Ridgefield (Montclair Univ.);Jessica Ohnikian, daughter ofRobert of and Linda Ohnikian,Mahwah (West Chester Univ.);St. Gregory ArmenianChurch gears up for fall fairNORTH ANDOVER, Mass. –Members of St. Gregory Armenian-Apostolic Church are gearing up fora traditional event. The Women’sGuild will host its annual fall fairOct. 16 and 17 from 10 a.m. to 8p.m. inside its newly refurbishedJaffarian Hall, 158 Main St.The church is coming off a successfulpicnic last month withneighboring St. Michael’s Church.The fall festival will offer a similarbanquet of ethnic foods and pastries,along with a number of tablescontaining crafts, gifts, jewelry andwhite elephant. Raffles will be conductedthroughout the day.Among the delicacies availableThe Ladies Guildprovides themost delicioushomemadepastries.are baklava, boorma, khadaif, spinachand cheese pies, along withchoreg, a popular sweet bread.The country kitchen table provideslamejun, an open-faced meatpie, home-made string cheese, pickledpeppers, kufte, jams, Armenianbread and made-to-order soujoukh,a cured meat delicacy.Lunch and dinner will be servedeach day. Takeouts are also available.The Ladies Guild will also host itsannual Christmas craft fair Nov. 7.Both events are open to thepublic.connect:1-978-685-5038Melanie Panosian, daughter ofRaffi and Roxanne Panosian, Chatham(Muhlenberg College); LauraSarkisian, daughter of the Hon.Judge Barry and Barbara Sarkisian,Allendale (Bentley Univ.); MaralVarjabedyan, daughter of Vahn andHera Varjabedyan, Oradell (RamapoCollege).Friends and family of the honorees,as well as the public, wereinvited to attend the agau luncheon.The entertainment at theluncheon was the YY Sisters, Tatev,her older sister Sona, and heryounger sister Lucy. Together theyperform Armenian traditionalclassical music. The sisters bringboth new perspective and reverenceto this old age, Armenianmusic. Tatev’s three-part harmoniescoupled with the group’sunique vocal styles and sensitivitiescreate stirring, haunting sonorities.Sona and Tatev are pastrecipients of the scholarship andasked if they could perform tohelp the organization that helpedthem to attend college. The grouphas recently come out with twoCDs, one in English of jazz musicand the other of traditional Armenianharmonies.The agau executive board includesIrene Khorozian (president),Rose Kirian (vice president), DianeBurgraf and Alice Shenloogian (recordingsecretaries), Mary Vateresian(corresponding secretary),Grace Hagopian (treasurer), andShakeh McMahon (publicity). Theagau scholarship committee includesHenry Hagopian, FloraineHalejian, June Kashishian, andVirginia Shenloogian. connect:1-201-262-4627Primate to visit St. Peter Armenian ChurchYervant Kutchukianto be ordained adeaconWATERVLIET, N.Y. – ArchbishopKhajag Barsamian, Primateof the Diocese of the ArmenianChurch of America (Eastern), willvisit St. Peter Armenian Church ofWatervliet, N.Y., on Sunday, October18, to celebrate Liturgy and ordainSubdeacon Yervant Kutchukianto the rank of Deacon.Having been born and raised inthe Capital District of New York,Mr. Kutchukian first became involvedwith St. Peter ArmenianChurch through its ArmenianSchool where he was first instilledwith a love and passion for the Armenianlanguage and culture. Hewent on to study internationalrelations at Georgetown University,during which time he becameinvolved with St. Mary ArmenianChurch in Washington.In 2001, he was baptized and receivedinto the Armenian Church atSt. Mary and subsequently went onto study at St. Nersess ArmenianSeminary in New Rochelle, N.Y.,studying language in the contextof faith. Upon graduation he wasordained to the ranks of tbir andsubdeacon.After spending a year studying inEngland, he came back to the CapitalDistrict and is currently in hissecond year of Clinical Pastoral Educationresidency at Albany MedicalCenter, where his ministries centeron the prison and psychiatric units.Since coming back to the CapitalDistrict, Mr. Kutchukian has onceagain been actively involved in thelife of St. Peter Armenian Churchby faithfully serving on the altarand as an advisor for the St. Peteryouth group.Following services and the ordinationceremony on Sunday, October18, a celebratory luncheon willbe served in the Gdanian Auditorium.A home-style losh kebab mealwill be served. There will be a shortprogram to include remarks fromthe Primate and the Parish CouncilChairman, Richard Hartunian,as well as presentations from theSt. Peter Church Armenian Schoolstudents.His Eminence also comes at atime when St. Peter ArmenianChurch will be celebrating its earlybeginnings dating back to January2, 1899, when the small communityof Armenians decided toform a parish. In conjunction withthe 110th anniversary of the parish,recognition will also be givento the establishment of the St. PeterWomen’s Guild on May 4, 1914,which is now in its 95th year.In addition to welcoming thePrimate on October 18, the Armeniancommunity, together withnon-Armenian friends, will alsocelebrate with an anniversarydinner dance gala to be held onSaturday, October 24, at Michael’sBanquet House, 1019 Old LoudonRoad, Cohoes, N.Y.The evening will begin with acocktail hour and hors d’oeuvresfrom 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Dinner willthen be served, followed by dancingfeaturing the music of the PhillyKef Band. Dance-only tickets areavailable at the door after 9:30 p.m.To conclude the series of anniversaryevents, the traditional annualspecial anniversary requiemin memory of all those who haveestablished memorials and endowmentsin St. Peter ArmenianChurch will take place on Sunday,October 25. A fellowship hour willbe held in the Gdanian Auditoriumfollowing services to commemoratethe occasion.connect:1-518-274-3673Let us know what’s on your mind.Write to us atletters@reporter.am


6 The Armenian Reporter | October 17, 2009CommunityParticipants pose for a group photo at the Symposium for Armenian Teachers held at the Diocesan Center last month.Armenian school teachers discuss ties between language and faithHovsep Melkonian, who has served as the principal ofHamasdegh Armenian Language School in Bethesda, Md.,spoke about a teaching model he developed which scheduledArmenian and Sunday School classes on the same day.Dr. Roberta Ervine, professor of Armenian Studies at St. Nersess ArmenianSeminary, spoke to educators about the origin of the Armenian alphabet and itsclose relationship with Christianity.NEW YORK – At the annualSymposium for Armenian Teachersat the Diocesan Center last month,educators heard presentationsfrom a scholar of Armenian studiesand a veteran teacher on the tiesbetween the Armenian languageand faith, and focused on ways theycould help students identify theseconnections in the classroom.More than 70 participants representing10 Diocesan Armenianschools in New York, New Jersey,and Massachusetts attended theevent on Saturday, September 12.The day’s program was organizedby the Diocese’s Armenian Studiescoordinator Gilda Kupelian.Dr. Roberta Ervine, professorof Armenian studies at St. NersessArmenian Seminary, spoke toeducators about the origin of theArmenian alphabet and its close relationshipwith Christianity.In addition to making it possibleto translate the Bible into Armenian,the alphabet helped embed Christianterms in the Armenian languageby associating certain letterswith words like “God” and “Christ.”For example, Professor Ervinenoted that the first letter of the alphabet- Ayb - is linked to the word“Asdvadz,” or “God.” Meanwhile theletter Keh - originally the last letterof the Armenian alphabet - representsthe cross and is associatedwith “Kristos,” or “Christ.”Hovsep Melkonian, who hasserved as the principal of HamasdeghArmenian Language Schoolin Bethesda, Md., spoke about ateaching model he developed whichscheduled Armenian and SundaySchool classes on the same day.Quoting Mkhitar of Sepastia’ssaying, “I do not sacrifice my nationfor my faith, nor my faith for mynation,” Mr. Melkonian explainedhow the model helped studentsmake connections between Armenianlanguage, religion, and culture.Mr. Melkonian also spoke aboutchallenges Armenian Schools facein the diaspora and asked teachersto think about the mission ofArmenian language programs. Hestressed the importance of evaluatingteachers’ work, recognizingdedicated educators, and organizingpublic performances and otheractivities to exhibit student workand motivate students.Gilda Kupelian, the Diocese’sArmenian Studies coordinator,introduced the Armenian AlphabetWriting and Coloring Book andaccompanying flashcards, whichwere recently released by the Departmentof Youth and Education.The resources help young studentsreinforce the Armenian alphabet,basic vocabulary, and writing skills.In addition, she highlighted theArevig software, produced by theGulbenkian Foundation in Portugal,and its companion Englishguidebook and lesson plans, developedby Kupelian.Also during the symposium,teachers reviewed recommendationsissued at the Clergy Conferencelast spring, which encouragethe establishment of programs forstudents of non-Armenian speakingfamilies, summer classes, andthe increased use of technologicalresources in the classroom.Reviewing the “Armenian SchoolsSurvey,” which was completed byall Diocesan Armenian Schools inthe 2008-09 academic year, educatorsnoted the suggestions to holdregional workshops for teachers,foster parental involvement inArmenian language instruction,improve students’ knowledge ofArmenian culture, and introduceupdated textbooks.“We have already taken steps topropagate cultural literacy andare working incessantly to do thesame for language learning in ourexisting programs, as well as forour new initiatives,” said Kupelian.“Our guest lecturers inspiredus with their erudition and it isalways gratifying to witness thecontinued commitment of theArmenian language teachers andprincipals.”The day also featured an awardceremony. Lucy Martayan of HolyNectar Munro of St. Gregory the Enlightener Armenian School in White Plains, N.Y., and AraxiShamamian of St. Vartan Cathedral Armenian School in New York, N.Y., were honored for 25 years ofservice at the Symposium for Armenian Teachers held at the Diocesan Center last month.For 10 years of service, educators were presented with a bust of writer andpoet Khachatur Abovyan at the Symposium for Armenian Teachers held at theDiocesan Center last month.Martyrs Saturday School in Bayside,N.Y., was honored for 52 yearsof service; and Nectar Munro of St.Gregory the Enlightener ArmenianSchool in White Plains, N.Y., andAraxi Shamamian of St. Vartan CathedralArmenian School in NewYork, were honored for 25 years ofservice.For 10 years of service, the followingindividuals were presentedwith a bust of writer and poetKhachatur Abovyan: Dr. Levon Capanof Kirikian Armenian Schoolin Tenafly, N.J.; Mayreni JermenHallajian of the Shnorhali Schoolin Washington; Maro Partamianand Vartan Garniki of the KhrimianLyceum in New York; KayanehHaroutounian of Soorp Kevork ArmenianSchool in Houston, Tex.;and Svetlana Amirkhanian, MarinaBagdasarova, Angela Kazarian,and Yuriy Tsaturyan of St.Gregorythe Illuminator Armenian Schoolof Brooklyn, N.Y. The busts werecrafted in Armenia on the occasionof the 200th anniversary ofAbovyan’s birthIn addition, all participants receivedsigned Bibles from ArchbishopKhajag Barsamian, Primateof the Diocese of the ArmenianChurch of America (Eastern).“The workshop was helpful. I reallyenjoyed it,” said Anna Asatrian, ateacher at St. Gregory the EnlightenerArmenian School in WhitePlains, N.Y.“We were very impressed by thelectures,” added Marie Yacoubianof Holy Martyrs Saturday School inBayside, N.Y. “They were constructiveand innovative.”


The Armenian Reporter | October 17, 2009 7CommunityOh yeah, we canhelp you sell itClassifieds with theArmenian Reporterclassifieds@reporter.am612-436-2037Calendar of EventsNorthern CaliforniaOCTOBER 24 - Exhibit ofArtwork by Armenian-AmericanArtists. Location: UnionSquare Plaza San Francisco.Admission: Free. For moreinformation contact: 415-596-6162, anibaghdassarian@sbcglobal.netOCTOBER 25, 3pm - BookSigning. Armenian Eats! SimplyArmenian and SimplyQuince. Location: OmnivoreBooks on Food: 3885a CesarChavez St. San Francisco. Admission:Free. For more informationcontact: 415-282-4712,info@omnivorebooks.comOCTOBER 31 - PhotographyShow/Sales. Location: CafeSapore: 790 Lombard St SanFrancisco. For more informationcontact: 415-860-5975, gohar@euroway.comNOVEMBER 14 - ArmenianFood Fair and Festival. Location:Calvary Armenian CongregationalChurch: 725 Brotherhoodway San Francisco,12:00noon-9:00pm. Admission:Free. For more informationcontact: cacc@cacc-sf.orgor 415-586-2000.Central CaliforniaSend the Armenian ReporterOCTOBER 30, 2009 6:30 p.m. -Family Night. Location: St. PaulArmenian Church - Haig BerberianHall: 3767 N. First StreetFresno. Admission: $5.00 perperson. For more informationcontact: 559-226-6343, dancing_zar@yahoo.com,Armenian Church.St. PaulSouthern CaliforniaOCTOBER 17 - ANNUALBAZAAR- ARMENIAN CUL-TURAL FESTIVAL. Location:St John Garabed ArmenianChurch, 4473 30th Street, SanDiego, CA. 12:00pm Admission:Free. For more informationcontact St. John GarabedArmenian Church, 619-284-7179; StJohnGarabed@sbcglobal.net.OCTOBER 18, 4pm - Lecture,Children of Armenia. Ararat-Eskijian Museum: 15105 MissionHills Rd Mission HillsCA. Admission: free. For moreinformation contact: 818 838-4862, mgoschin@mindspring.comOCTOBER 31 – Taline andFriends Halloween Concert.Location: Alex Theater: 216 NBrand Blvd Glendale. Admission:$25. For more informationcontact: 818-726-8748,alex@talinemusic.comSave the date:OCTOBER 31 – St. Peter LadiesFashion Show, Lady inRed, Saturday, Sheraton Universal.NOVEMBER 1 - Lecture, Theimpact of World War II onSecond Genration Armenian-American Identity. Location:Ararat-Eskijian Museum:15105 Mission Hills RD MissionHills. Admission: free.to schoolA perfect going-away giftfor your college student:a subscription to the Armenian Reporter.Don’t delay.Call us at 1-612-436-2037to order a gift subscription today, orwrite business@reporter.amOWN YOUR DREAM HOME IN ARMENIA NOWThe roses are in bloom,the blackcurrants ripe.Apples and grapes are on their way.A comfortable house with a garden in the highly desirableAygedzor neighborhood of Yerevan is for sale. 2 br, 2½ baths,lr, dr, kitchen, working fireplace, hardwood floors, eleganttiles, on 2 sunny stories (160 sq m total on a 220 sq m lot)newly upgraded. City gas. 24-hour water.On a quiet street steps away from Baghramian Ave.,the location is peaceful yet accessible. Contact Martha atarmenia.home@gmail.com for more information.For more information contact:818 838-4862, mgoschin@mindspring.comNOVEMBER 1 – Sunday,sponsored by “Kach Nazar”Magazine 10th AnniversaryNationwide Telethon tobenefit: Christmas Fund forArmenian Orphans and DisabledChildren and the Restorationof Children’s Home.Please make your donationsto this fund: Christmas Fundfor Armenian O.D.C.R.C.HWells Fargo Account Number1736834043 or sendyour donations to: PO Box250038, Glendale, CA 91225.fourourkids@gmail.com. TaxID# 26-3208049. For more informationcall: 818.246.0125,818.246.2070, 818.239.6880 or818.606.2070.NOVEMBER 28 - 11 AM and4PM. Hoy Lari Children’s Concert- 2 shows. Location: ElPortal Thearte: 5269 LankershimBlvd North Hollywood.Admission: $23.00. For moreinformation contact: (310)600-0207, hoylari@yahoo.comNATIONALNOVEMBER 7 – Professionalof the Year Banquet honoringDr. Vartan Gregorian. SherationUniversal Hotel, cocktailsat 6:30 PM. $150/person,reservation deadline Oct. 26.For reservations and informationcontact the ArmenianProfessional Society at apsla@aplsla.org or at 818.685.9946.Tickets are also available at Its-MySeat.com.“The Way We Were” musical theaterensemble marks 20th anniversaryHelp WantedThe Armenian Reporter is seekingexperienced advertising salesrepresentativesin the Metro New York andSouthern California markets.Send your cv and a covering letterto hr@reporter.amSubscription Couponthe armenianreporterannual ratesU.S.A.: First Class Mail, $125; Periodicals Mail, $75Canada: $125 (u.s.); Overseas: $250 (u.s.)namestreetcity/state/zipTEANECK, N.J. – The Way WeWere troupe will celebrate 20 yearsof entertainment this fall with aproduction of Hello Ellis Island atSt. Gregory Armenian Church ofMerrimack Valley, North Andover,Mass., on Sunday, October 25, at2:00 p.m. The story unfolds on aship bound for North America.Dedicated to reviving traditionalmusic and theater arts which aredisappearing from the Armenianstage, The Way We Were has offeredwide-ranging themes basedon Armenian traditional folksongs (mostly of Gomidas), dances,myths, and legends.An example of the group’s versatilitywas The Girl Who Said No, aromp through Armenian marriagecustoms. Looking ahead to the2010–2011 seasons, rehearsals areunderway for The Hye Legion–TheGamavor Story, based on the narrativesof ordinary American-Armenianswho led extraordinary livesof great sacrifice.Information concerning rehearsaland audition schedules for actors,singers and dancers is availablefrom director Hourig Papazian-Sahagian or assistant producerNoubar E. Kizirian. connect:1-201-837-4115, 1-201-394-6915Check Enclosed OR Charge My:Mastercard Visa Amex DiscoverExp.mail coupon to: armenian reporter15 s 5th st ste 900 minneapolis mn 55402orfax coupon to (612) 359-8994(credit card orders only)


The Armenian Reporter | October 17, 2009 9CommunityA woman crusades against breast cancerby Tom VartabedianSusan Kulungian.ANDOVER, Mass. – Susan Kulungiansmiles coyly when peoplecall her “the mad hatter.”One day, she comes dressed as apirate with a patch over her eye andthe next day, a chef with an armfulof groceries. The hats are wornto match the outfit. A baseball capcomes on when she cheers for herfavorite team – and there are dayswhen there’s a bandana. Or no hatat all.That’s when the real Susan Kulungiansteps forward – a stay-athomemom with two children,fighting breast cancer. One lookat Kulungian with her hats andyou’d never know the 45-year-oldwas fighting the dreaded disease.According to the American CancerSociety, one out of eight women isafflicted in America.“By bringing a smile to others, Ifind it’s the best medicine for me,”she says. “A good sense of humoroften works wonders. There are othersout there who might have thesame thing and could use a quickpickup. I want to show people thatyou can overcome obstacles with apositive attitude.”Check out Susan’s blog and it becomesinstant therapy. She’s got asection titled “The many hats youwear when you’re bald” and anotherupdating readers on her radiationand chemotherapy treatments.“A piece called ‘Hair today, gonetomorrow’ details her reaction tothe treatments.The balding look is often seenin church on Sundays when Susanattends with husband John, whochairs the Board of Trustees, andtheir two children, Tori, 15, andNick, 12. The family support hasbeen huge ever since Susan was diagnosedin January.“I got the news right after ArmenianChristmas,” she recalled. “Iwas in a store buying crafts whenmy cell phone rang. It was my oncologisttelling me the cancer waspositive. I froze in place and becamedisoriented.”Susan stormed out of the storeas tears welled in her eyes. Shegot in her car and broke the newsto her husband at work. The childrenwere informed later that afternoon.“It’s a very scary moment withyoung children,” she confessed.“We leaned on one another andprayed for the best.”Kulungian underwent a lumpectomyto have the cancerous tumorremoved – one day after the communitylost its beloved pastor, DerVartan Kassabian. For Susan, it wasa “double whammy.”“His death was traumatic,” saidKulungian. “I was thinking he’d bethere for me. On Facebook I foundout he died. Der Vartan called meevery day after I was diagnosedand visited me often. Just hearinghis voice was so uplifting. When hedied, I gained an angel.”Four weeks of recovery were followedby four rounds of chemo andanother 33 rounds of radiation dailyover a 6½-week period. Althoughthe prognosis remains very good,there is a downside.“There’s a very high recurrencerate for people with my type of cancer,”she pointed out. “All I can do isstay positive.”And positive it’s been on everyfront. Nothing in her life has beencompromised, least of all her familyand her Armenian church community.She’s there at every call,attending picnics this summer atCamp Hayastan and helping withher own church picnic and bazaar.She’ll approach some guy sheknows and doffs her hat as bothsport that balding look. “Look, Stepan,”she’ll quip. “You and I havesomething in common. Good headsthink – and look – alike.”And what about that tattoo shejust received? It turns out to be theincision her surgeon made to makesure the right spot was being radiated.“Maybe they can fashion it intoa rose or a daisy,” she’ll muse. “I’llask.”Susan joined up with a neighbor,Lisa Corti, to form a team whichentered the Susan Komen Race fora Cure in Boston Sept. 26. She didthe 5 kilometers and felt all the betterfor it. Over $3,000 was raised byher crew for breast cancer research.“My support mechanism hasbeen just great,” she confirms. “Thechildren are dealing very well withit in their own way.”Others who’ve gone throughthe same ordeal have been sourcesof inspiration to Kulungian whilethose at church have lent theirphysical and moral support. Twodear friends from Longmeadowhad breast cancer and both are doingwell.A woman in church approachedSusan and pointed to anothergroup chatting. Three of the fivewere breast cancer survivors, includingher.“To have that touch you at ayoung age is scary,” says Kulungian.“It’s a woman’s worst fear. Ihave God on my side, my church,family and friends. That’s the fortunateside.”Other hardships have piercedSusan’s life. She lost a brotherStephen at 29 and has a dad withAlzheimer’s. Ara Shrestinianserved as a deacon in the churchbefore the disease struck him.“My mom (Virginia) has been atower of strength through all this,”added Susan. “I have to stay strongso others around me won’t growweak.”The blog (kulungian.blogspot.com) started in March as a way ofkeeping others informed and creatinga bit of levity in her world,despite the difficult times.In one report she wrote:“I got a call after my second treatmentfrom my good friend Steve.He told me he had something toshow me and wanted to drop by.When he got to the door and tookoff his baseball cap, I couldn’t believeit. He had shaved his head inultimate support of me.”She writes about the good daysand the bad, the chemo treatmentsand people met along the way. Shetells of life as it should be and thesimple dialogue with her friends.There is sunshine in her blog – thegift of life.“I laugh every day, mostly atmyself,” Susan beams. “I’ll keepthe blog going through Christmas.By then, I hope to be in remission.”Her good friend ChristineKourkounian had pink breastcancer bracelets made for the clan.They belong to a group called theArmenian Desperate Housewives– a group of former AYFers fromMerrimack Valley now marriedwho enjoy a girls’ night out eachmonth.The chef’s hat often comes onwhen Susan takes to the kitchento prepare her cookies. Sometimesshe decorates them with a red, blueand orange flag. She also enjoysperennial gardening, scrapbooking,crafts and reading.In her handbag was a NicholasSparks book, True Believer.“The biggest thing I’ve learnedthrough all this is to live eachday to the fullest, be thankful forwhat you have and not take lifefor granted,” Kulungian broughtout. “Love the people you love.When I get down on myself, Isimply refocus. The pity party isover.”agbu nysec concert to showcase 12 young performing artists andpremiere by 19-year-old composer Continued from page 8She received a full scholarshipto Temple University’s Pre-Collegedivision for gifted young musiciansand served as principal violist thereand at the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra.Anoush received her Bachelorand Master of Music degreesfrom The Julliard School, whereshe also served as principal violistof the Juilliard Symphony and theJuilliard Opera Orchestra.She was awarded with Gluckand Morse Fellowship programs,through which she taught musicat P.S. 89 in New York City andperformed in the city’s hospitals.As a teacher, Anoush has servedon the faculty of New York StateUniversity’s pre-college division,the Juilliard pre-college division,the United Nations’ InternationalSchool and the School for Stringsin New York City. She is currentlya candidate for a doctoral degree atthe State University of New York.Violinist Nazig Tchakarian hasgiven recitals in Bulgaria, Croatia,Spain, Italy, Germany, France, theNetherlands and the United States.She made her Carnegie Hall debutin May 2008. She is an award winnerof national and internationalcompetitions, such as the InternationalCompetition “Pancho Vladigerov”and the “Rodolfo Lipizer”International Violin Competitionin Italy.She is currently on the facultyof the International Festival-Instituteat Round Top and performs asconcertmaster of the Texas FestivalOrchestra. Nazig has performedas a soloist with orchestras in Europeand the United States, and isa member of the Tchakarian Duowith her sister Varta.She holds a Bachelor of Music degreefrom Louisiana State Universityand a Master of Music degreefrom the Cleveland Institute ofMusic. She is currently pursuing aDoctorate of Musical Arts at StonyBrook University.Bulgarian-Armenian pianist VartaTchakarian has performed inBulgaria, the Netherlands, France,Canada, and the United States.She made her New York debut ina recital in 2005 at Yamaha ArtistServices and her Weill Recital Hallat Carnegie Hall debut recital camein 2008 as a member of TchakarianDuo with her sister Nazig.Varta is winner of the De BoseNational Piano Competition andthe Susan L. Tajra Foundation PianoPrize in Paris, and was grantedfirst prize in numerous competitionsin her native country.Varta holds a Master of Musicdegree from The Juilliard Schoolunder the tutelage of Seymour Lipkin,and a Bachelor of Music degreefrom Louisiana State Universityunder the tutelage of ConstanceCarroll. She is currently performingand teaching in the New YorkCity area.Viktoria Tchertchian (violin)was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, andstarted playing the violin at the ageof five. From an early age, she becamewell known as a participant insolo concerts, orchestral concerts,and chamber concerts in Bulgaria,France, Germany, Norway, and Belgium.At the end of high school, she waschosen as one of the soloists withthe Plovdiv Symphony Orchestra.In 1996 Viktoria won a full scholarshipto Louisiana State Universityand was invited to study there withProf. Kevork Mardirossian. In 2006,Viktoria received her Master in ViolinPerformance degree from theLongy School of Music in Boston.She currently performs with thePortland Symphony, the RhodeIsland Philharmonic, the BostonPops, the Cape Symphony Orchestra,and the New Hampshire MusicFestival. She also teaches violinand chamber music at the PowersMusic School in Massachusetts,the Manchester Community MusicSchool, and the St. Paul’s School inNew Hampshire.Bulgarian-born percussionistSylvie Zakarian (marimba),a winner of international musiccompetitions, has given criticallyacclaimed recitals at such venuesas Weill Recital Hall and Town Hallin New York, the Wilshire EbellTheatre in Los Angeles, the RegisCollege Theatre, and the BerkleePerformance Center in Boston.She has also been a soloist andpremiered new works with the NationalAcademy of Music orchestrain Bulgaria, the Ensemble forContemporary Music at the RoyalCollege of Music in London, andthe Quincy Symphony Orchestrain Massachusetts.Zakarian holds degrees with honorsin Percussion and Marimba Performancefrom the Royal College ofMusic in London and Boston Conservatory.At the Royal College ofMusic, Zakarian was awarded thearco scholarship given to a soloperformer by The Good Officer ofHis Royal Highness, the Prince ofWales. She made her British radiodebut on the BBC’s “Classic FM”and, a year later, performed a recitalon BBC Radio 3’s “Young Artist’sForum.”Zakarian has held master classesand workshops for young musiciansat the Purcell School of Music,Royal College of Music, andBerkshire Young Musician’s Trustin the UK. Currently, she is on thefaculty of the Winchester CommunityMusic School and an affiliate atthe Office for the Arts at HarvardUniversity.connect:1-212-319-6383 ext. 124


“Every object has its place” in porcelain exhibitSignature works ofthe Russian ImperialWorkshop are ondisplay in YerevanCollecting art has been the passionof art historian, philosopher,and writer Ruben Angaladyanfor more than four decades. Hisextensive art collections havebeen on display in Yerevan severaltimes. Apart from paintingsand sculptures, he has collectedporcelain, mainly the signatureworks of the Russian ImperialWorkshop, which were on displayat the Museum-House ofYeghishe Charents in Yerevanfrom September 29 to October 6.“This exhibition, titled, ‘EveryObject Has its Place,’ includesthe works from the worldrenownedSt. Petersburg porcelainfactory. Included in the exhibitionare samples from theLomonos-Kaiser factory, whichwas responsible for makingRussian porcelain renownedthe world over,” explains Mr.Angaladyan.The exhibition also displayedworks by A.V. Vorobyuzsk, oneof the masters of the secondhalf of the 20th century. Hisworks have become classics. His“Winter Fairytale” collectionbrought him internationalrecognition, especially after itwas exhibited at the KremlinMuseum.A collection of cups by I.Morozov, which were made atthe Russian Imperial Workshop,are superb duplicates of thecoffee cups used by Peterthe Great and his daughter,Elizabeth II, the originalsof which are found at theHermitage in St. Petersburg.By 1925, the Russian ImperialWorkshop was at the height ofits production. That year, duringan international exhibitionin Paris, it won practically allthe gold and silver medalsin competition. The samehappened at the exhibition inMilan, Italy. Today, porcelainfrom the Russian ImperialWorkshop is sought by all majormuseums around the world. connect:www.bvahan.com/rubenangaladianCups by I. Morozov, which were made at the Russian Imperial Workshop.Challenging artist friends with a round spaceRouben Angaladyanhas created a newmovement with hiscollection of paintedplatesby Betty Panossian-TerSarkissianRouben Angaladyan began collectingart pieces in 1967, whenhe was studying art history inSaint Petersburg. He was only 20years old. At first, he collectedthe works of his artist friends,pieces expressing a free spiritvis-à-vis Soviet oppression.Collecting art has been the passionof this art historian, philosopher,and writer for more thanfour decades. Angaladyan describeshimself as someone witha broad approach toward art.Apart from paintings and sculptures,he has collected porcelain,mainly the signature works ofthe Russian Imperial Workshop.One of his private collections ofArmenian contemporary artists’signature plates were exhibitedlast year at the Gevorgyan Galleryin Yerevan.Can you paint a platefor me?The concept of the plate exhibitionwas born out of a simplegesture by one of Angaladyan’sartist friends, painter RobertElibekyan, who in 2003 gave Angaladyana special gift, a paintedround plate. That plate becamethe first art piece of his newcollection. “It was the very firstplate of the signature work of acontemporary Armenian painter,”Angaladyan says.He goes on to explain that,through the ages, Armenianartists have rarely occupiedthemselves with painting onplates, with the exception ofsome solitary works by two orthree Armenian artists in thebeginning of the 20th century.“We must say that in the Armenianapplied arts we lack signatureplates painted by artists,”Angaladyan says. “And when Ireceived my very first paintedplate, I thought of the manyartist friends of mine and consideredasking each to paint mea plate.”Angaladyan’s fascinationwith painted plates broughtabout a new trend among Armenianartists: that of paintingon round plates. At first theart specialist asked his painterfriends to make him presentsof round plates featuring theirpainting. Soon the enthrallmentof experimenting on theround space of plates spreadto include dozens of Armenianpainters from Armenia andabroad.That resulted in a huge collection(exceeding 60 signaturepainted plates), worth around$200,000. Not a single artistrefused his or her friend’s request.Marina Dilanyan, TeniVardanyan, Edward Kharadyan,RoubenAngaladyanHasmik Sevoyan, and ArmenGevorgyan were among thefirst to contribute their paintedplates to the new collection.By 2005, around 30 paintershad contributed to the collection.In 2006, ten more painterscontributed. In the sameyear, Angaladyan exhibited hiscollection for the first time, atthe Museum-House of YeghisheCharents in Yerevan. “It wasthe first-ever exhibition of signatureplates by Armenian artists,”Angaladyan says.For his second exhibition, Angaladyanchose the GevorgyanGallery, one of the few professionalart galleries functioningin Yerevan. “The gallery has anamazing approach to the finearts, has high artistic taste, and,most importantly, all that is reflectedon the exhibition hall,”Plates from Angaladyan’s collection.Angaladyan says.The difference of age betweenthe youngest and the oldestpainters exhibited in the collectionis 65 years. The exhibitionhas several themes. “The exhibitionreflects time throughvarious viewpoints and styles,”Angaladyan explains, referringto the fact that styles includefigurative, surrealist, pop art,installation art, and abstractart. “There is everything fromContinued on page 15 10 Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture | October 10, 2009


Migration issues have always interested RubinyanHakob Rubinyan finds it useful to be in the United States when writing a show about Armenians in America.Without a doubt everyone livingin Armenia has at least one relative,friend, or acquaintance inthe United States. With advancesin different forms of communication,everyone believes he orshe has a pretty good idea of thelives of Armenian- Americans.To further shed light on thisreality is the TV show The Immigrants,which is about the lifeof an Armenian family living inthe United States.The show, which is broadcaston USArmenia TV, portrays acertain reality. The show’s principalwriter, Hakob Rubinyan,came to the United States tomore closely follow American-Armenian reality and be able towrite truthfully about it.Varuzhan Navasartyan:Many people know you as a TVcommentator. Now, it seemsyou have decided to changeyour direction.Hakob Rubinyan: In general,I am a journalist. During themid-1990s I had a show calledAysor (Today), which was shutdown in 1999 for my so-calledover-the-top “political revelations.”As for being the screenwriter[for the show], I havebeen writing for more than 15years. I wrote the script for MerAybenaran and for a documentaryon Armenian industry andArmenia’s national soccer team.I have also written the screenplaysfor Qami der kam, Mi LusankariBadmutyn, and others.Therefore, I have not betrayedmy creative principles.VN: At this time, you havedecided to write the script for atelevision series.HR: Under different circumstances,most probably I wouldhave declined to write for ashow. However, after thinkingabout it for a while, I said tomyself, “Why Not?” The idea interestedme. The subject of immigrationhas always interestedme. Even before I receivedthe offer from USArmenia TVto write the script for The Immigrants,I was in the UnitedStates. At that time I was consideringwriting not a movieabout migration, but a documentaryfilm. By the way, I stillhaven’t given up on that idea.After The Immigrants I will focusmy attention on that film.VN: How is the writing progressing?HR: Out of 160 episodes, Ihave already written 45.VN: Is it easy to write for a televisionseries?HR: You won’t believe this, butin a week’s time I write about 150book pages. In other words, in amonth’s time I have written closeto two volumes. Can you imaginewhat kind of massive work it is?VN: You began working onthe script in Armenia, and thencontinued writing in the UnitedStates. Was there any particularreason for that?HR: The reason was strictlycreative. It is difficult to writeabout a country and its inhabitants,while living in anothercountry. And in reality, you canreally feel the American reality inAmerica, more so than in Yerevan.And aside from that, here Iget to meet with people from differentspheres, whose charactersare in the show: lawyers, policeofficers, insurance agents, doctors,psychiatrists, and others.VN: Do you consult withrepresentatives of the Mafia?Many viewers of The Immigrantshave the understandingthat the show is about the Armeniamafia in the U.S.HR: First of all, let me disagreewith your statement. Theshow has many different thematiclayers. Everything is includedhere – drama, tragedy,action, love, the idea of goodand bad. I want to say that theshow is conceived to be viewedby many different layers of society.And if I was going to callthe show anything, I would callit a show about life. Aside fromthat, each person can see forhim or herself, what Americanlife is about.VN: Let me rephrase my lastquestion: is the series aboutreal issues?HR: The main character who isplayed by Levon Sharafyan, hashis real prototype.VN: And who would that be?HR: I can’t say.VN: Why?HR: He’s a member of the mafia[he smiles].Hidden talents emerge at Ford Boyardby Seda BoghosyanThe hit TV show Ford Boyard,airing on USArmenia TV, is notonly attracting more viewers,but is also disclosing the hiddentalents of those Armenian starstaking part in the program. Lastweek’s show, apart from amazingus, also raised some issuesamong our viewers.During the show, actress NazeniHovanessian wasn’t ableto successfully complete one ofthe challenges. It appeared toeveryone that she had a phobiaof heights. While walkingalong a high wall, she wasclearly terrified. However forthe next challenge, which entailedriding a bike upside downwhile suspended in the air,she seemed to perform effortlessly.“I don’t have a phobia ofheights, I’ve even ridden in ahot air balloon,” said Ms. Hovanessian.“As for failing to completethe first challenge, it wasa combination of unfamiliarityand panic. I couldn’t catch mybreath. For the next challenge,I decided to do everything possibleto get through it.”In the meantime, for herchallenge with the dominoes,the singer Shprot had placedher faith in God’s help. Watchingher use her hands so deftly,people began to wonder if thewell-known singer was beinghonest when she said she hadno professional musical trainingbecause only a professionallytrained pianist could have beenso brilliant at the game. “I reallydon’t have any professional musicaltraining. I don’t know howpianists would have handledthat situation; however I dideverything in my power not tobe nervous, even though at theend, my hands were shaking.At that moment I was relyingon a supernatural power. Asidefrom that, I ascribe my successon the fact that I don’t drink orsmoke,” said the singer.At any rate, there was onechallenge that even supernaturalpowers couldn’t helpShprot with. When she had togo into the water with one ofher fellow participants, singerArame, she refused. It was duringthat challenge that Aramewas able to show viewers ofFort Boyard how to succeedwhen one is excellent physicalshape and quick on his feet.We were able to find out thatthe singer often goes to thegym and has always had a lovefor sports. “At the fort, I wassurprised that they weren’t lettingme do the harder, physicalchallenges, because at the gymI lift heavy weights,” Aramesaid. “And so, they were givingme the more awkward challengesand many people weresurprised that I was able to successfullycomplete them.”Arame’s only complaint aboutthe freezing water was that hecouldn’t find a swimming suit inhis size and therefore had to gointo the water in his underwear.During the show, the teamkept calling out numbers followedby Hovo’s name when hewas attempting his challenges.Many people watching the episodecouldn’t understand whatthose numbers meant. Theywere in fact, showman HovhanessAzoyan’s (Hovo) telephonenumber. “Hovo is my goodfriend and has a good sense ofhumor. I knew that he wouldn’tArmeniansoutside FortBoyard, wherea hit reality TVshow is recorded.get upset even from this naughtyjoke,” said Arame, who wasresponsible for the idea.Shprot recalls, “We knewwe were being ‘naughty’ but itwas giving us strength by being‘naughty.’” The team haddecided to let Hovo in on theirjoke once they arrived in Yerevan,however they couldn’tkeep the secret and let Hovoknow while they were still inFrance to prepare him for thebarrage of calls he would soonbe receiving.Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture | October 10, 2009 11


The walls have tonguesA visit to Yerevan’sMuseum of ModernArtby Gregory LimaYEREVAN – There is the oldadage, Be careful what you say,“the walls have ears.” But at Yerevan’sMuseum of Modern Art,the reverse appears to be true.To this visitor, the walls seemedto talk as if they had tongues.The works of art hanging onthe walls or placed against themseemed to be in dialogue witheach other and with any visitorwho may pass by. There areany number of stories they cantell. What stories you hear dependsupon the route you takealong the walls, and to whichart works among the many youhave the time and the inclinationto listen.All are silent until your eyestouch their surface. Then theydon’t say much until you reallywant to hear them and your eyesgo and remain within the spacethey command. Once you areinside their space, you must letyour eyes trace their languageon your mind, and then you maylive for a while in the world theartist has created just for you.A New Yorker, Gregory Lima went toTehran in 1958 to start Kayhan International,which became, in its heyday, theleading English- language news paperin the Middle East. He remained withKayhan, first as editor, then as specialcorrespondent and critic, through itsdemise in the revolution of 1978–79.He is the author of The Costumes ofArmenian Women (Tehran, 1974) andother titles. He shares his time betweenPatterson, New York, and Yerevan. Hismost recent article for the Reporter wasabout Arshile Gorky.Minas AvetisianThis visitor has a few preferences,and he moves directly to whathe wants you to share. Makea sharp left after the entranceand start with the walls thathold Minas Avetisian, one ofArmenia’s most beloved artistsof the mid-20th century.In the 1920s, when some ofthe surviving remnants of Armeniagathered to lay the foundationsfor what has becomethe small, modern Armenianstate, the artists of the timehad a critical cultural role. Theirlandscape paintings, by decision,were a deliberate wayof asserting cultural claim tothe Armenia within view, andto the Armenia that is alivein the inner eye. No painterachieved this with more engagingartistry than MartirosSaryan. Stand in your mindinside his majestic landscapesthat embrace the sun, the distantmountains, and the rolling,fruited plains in the wide,warm expanse that is his Armenia,and perhaps you may hearthe fanfare of breathless brassand be ready both to cry and tosalute. Of the next generationof artists, no one rose higherin his footsteps than MinasAvetisian, who graciously tookSaryan’s palette and brought itto his village, where he made anArmenian rural survivor centerednew art.Minas paints with more intensityof color than any otherartist of his generation, and yethe comes across as thoughtful,actually stepping back from thefires of his passion. His figureshave the static pose, flat planes,and foreshortened perspectivethat Arshile Gorky also foundemotionally resonant. On thewall is one of his village landscapes.We see a rooted life thatis not lived for the day or theHakob Hakobyan, in contrast to Minas Avetisyan, whom he admired, living and painting through the same Soviet period,sees bareness, confusion in the cultivation of the land, and an emptiness of meaningful work and life. Photos: ElinaMelikyan/Armenian Reporter.year; but a life where man andthe soil of his fathers are one,in a manner passed on throughgenerations of birth and tragedy,and he gathers the colorsof this spread of time. He givesus spring and autumn and thecolors of life in between. Youmust try to deliberately feel thecolors with your eyes. Perhapsyou will catch the dancing beatof the tmbook and the tar.Minas could run afoul of powersthat wanted another kind ofart, the concept of the new manin the Soviet Union. In 1973 hisstudio somehow burned down.In the fire, much of his maturework was consumed and lostforever. Two years later, at theage of 47, in a reported accident,he was dead.Hakob Hakobyan, The Woman, a portrait of an enigma. Self absorbed, but with alethal weapon.Hakob HakobyanCross the room and move overto the walls occupied by HakobHakobyan. Here we face a landscapein thin light that makesMinas a warm memory. It depictsa new world of lost Armeniangenius in which, in Hakobyan’sown words “the farmershave become kolkhoznik, the artisanturned into a laborer, andthe entrepreneur sentenced toexile or death.”Hakob Hakobyan is a repatriateArmenian of the diaspora,born in Egypt. He moved to Armeniawith his family in 1965at the age of 40, having alreadydeveloped a distinguished careeras a major new voice in thegraphic arts.Painted by a man of toweringtalent, the landscape is called“The Lonely House.” The canvasis bisected by a road emptyof traffic. In the foreground isa cultivated field that appearscrippled by the confusion of thecultivators, related to the houseonly by proximity. The house,of modern box design, seemsto have no roots in where it islocated, divorced from villageor city, set back alone, almosthidden behind a rise in the land.The saddest stroke of paint inContinued on page 13 12 Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture | October 10, 2009


The walls have tonguesLeft: Modernmass man.Right: In thesesculptures bythe artist whosigns herselfNina, the girlsthey depict liketo look you backin the eye whenyour eyes touchtheirs. It wakesthem up from thecenturies. If youpermit them thetime, you mightfind them quitetalkative. Continued from page 12the composition is the singletelephone pole. It has no wire.It tells of ambition that has notfound essential connection, ofhaving a telephone that doesnot ring for you, and should youspeak into it, your voice will notbe heard. The most encouragingdaub of paint is the warm lightin the house. It suggests lifecontinuing, patience, perhapsas the evening falls, a small lightin the darkness, and maybe thestrength to meet the traffic thatmay come tomorrow.The landscape gains poignancyby two portraits flanking it on thewall. One is called the fisherman.The person of the fisherman istotally absent. All we discernis his jacket hanging on a chairwith the sleeve in a basket, seemingto claim or to offer some fish.Yet, as much of a conundrum asthis may be, we will look moreclosely at the other portrait, ofthe woman, which may be themost compelling in this wholemuseum of modern art.Minas Avetisian brought together the vibrant colors of all the seasons on onecanvas in a celebration of life on Armenian land. He paints the sensuous joy ofhaving soil of one’s own among your own people in the shadow of your mountains,under your own sun.Grigor Khanjan carries us to place and moment in Mexico as a shared experiencein real time.The new womanThe portrait of the fishermanmay be the man in the new societywhile the other is the portraitof the new woman in thenew society.As a composition, it is exquisitelydone. A rectangle ofpressed space boxes her in withinvisible constraints. She sits ina clinging, simple sheath dress,legs crossed. Instead of lookingoutward to the world, her faceis blanked by the oval mirrorshe holds. As a woman, she isseen by us as totally self-absorbedand self-regarding.Replicating her crossed legsand the angles of her arms is ascissors with long, slim blades,the finger loops of the scissorsrepeating the form of theoval mirror. The design createsrhythms and tension withinthe pressing space. The verylong blades of the scissors havean ominous, lethal quality.She is an enigma you may unravelto your desire. To some menshe may threaten imminent castration.I find her the only onepossibly capable of decisive actionin the whole ensemble of paintingson the walls. If she is self-regarding,she may be the only onewho really knows where she isand who she is. I believe she isthinking seriously about makingsome alterations. If she stands upand reveals her true face, and ifshe succeeds in doing what sheis thinking, the landscape of thenew world will change.I find it a painting that speaksto us and to the other walls of asmall glimmer of hope.The new mass manAgainst these positive thoughtsHakob Hakobyan gives us thenew mass man in a series on acompanion wall. When he presentsthe fisherman in a portraitthat does not contain the person,there is a possible reference tothe Genocide, the absence of thelarger part of the nation. It hasbeen said, “He is the conveyor ofRudolf Khachaturian: People make the difference. In an orderly world, if giventhe chance, people of talent will create a landscape in which the arts can thrive.As vivid and large as life itself, in his brilliantly rendered self-portraitKhachaturian re-affirms the rural optimism of Minas in an urban setting. Heseems to say that, whatever the problems, we still have among us floweringpeople able to create beauty, harmony and a thoughtful life.the eternal pain of Armenia. TheGenocide is permanently imprintedin his essence.” On thisother, companion wall, I believehe talks of a completed Genocidein the Soviet era by what hecalled “this monstrous regime.”(See Maria Titizian’s interview,“Meet Hakob Hakobyan: repatriate,patriot, painter,” ArmenianReporter, Feb. 21, 2009.)He shows modern manhemmed into a regulated herdby his own social devices andurban constructions. He wouldknow he was being suffocated ifhe had a head. In another depictionwe discover he also doesn’thave hands. So reduced, heseems barely capable of helpinghimself. Modern man for all hissartorial elegance and fancy conveniencesallows himself to befundamentally manipulated. Heis become a totally empty suit.There is a poem by the Chileanpoet Pablo Neruda writtenwhen he was in the diplomaticservice. He wished to expresshis personal opinion, butprotocol strictly forbade it. Inthe protocol in which he had tooperate, you are not so much aperson as an instrument of policy,a tool. So he decided to justsend his suit to meetings andreceptions without anything ofhimself worth mentioning insideit. Even so, he was found atfault. They didn’t like the waythe tie on the empty shirt wasknotted.Continued on page 14 Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture | October 10, 2009 13


The walls have tonguesRight: EmilKazaz’striumphantwoman holdinga severed head.One may noteher attempt at amodest responseas she standswith her swordon a fallen shieldborne aloftby cherubimblowing theircelestial horns.Left: Ara Alekyan.In Yerevan’sMuseum ofModern Art thepainting and thesculpture seemsto conductinga dialogue withthe visitor whilesome, in whatcan be a lovelyway, may want totalk only to itself. Continued from page 13These empty suits as themodern way of life were paintedwhen Armenia was still verymuch an integral part of theSoviet Union. His remains aunique voice, contentious, courageous,resonant.Rudolf Khachatrian“Nevertheless, some of us actuallyhave faces,” Rudolf Khachatrianseems to call out politelyjust another step further on thesame wall. And indeed we see anexquisitely drawn pair of facesprominently flanking anotherlandscape.Is this a direct challenge to Hakobyan?What he is showing iswhat Hakobyan hoped to find inhis repatriation to Soviet Armenia:cultivated Armenian peopleof high intelligence and artisticcreativity in a warmly hospitablenation. We exist, he insists.You simply have to find us.While there well may be anexcess of self-congratulation inthis self-portrait and his depictionof his life and his wife, Iwas reminded of some words ofmy old friend, the Assyrian artistHannibal Alkhas: “Nothingis more deeply interestingthan the human face.”A largely self-taught master,Khachatrian draws intelligentfaces with remarkable sensitivity,every line, every stroke onhis surface a revelation.He is said to have never triedto draw what he already felt butto have feelings emerge fromthe lines as he drew. Throughouthis life he sought out faceswith intellectual heft and artisticsensitivity, and he drewthem so hyper-real that youwould not be too surprised ifthey were able to walk out oftheir frames.The portraits hanging onthese walls are full human sizewith bodies and hands to makethem even more real and aliveand among us. The landscapethey occupy is the urban oppositeof Hakobyan’s. It suggestsa comfortable, connected, andorderly urban life.Judging only from the evidenceon these walls, he seemstoo oddly content with life as hefound it for a man who claimedhis only teacher was ErvandKochar – the Kochar who createda public sculpture in Yerevanthat depicts modern manas someone who breathes inthe offal of congested urban air,has swallowed high rise glassand steel, and eats concrete.Emil KazazThen glance over to a sculptureby Emil Kazaz. Startled, youwill find the sculpted work theeffigy of a woman who has cutoff one of Khachatrian’s sensitivelybeautiful faces. She standstriumphant, believing she isworthy of our praise. It is as ifthe woman of the Hakobyanportrait, the girl with the scissors,put down her mirror andmade her decision.Granted, she has put on toomuch weight, dropped herdress, and carries a sword, butthose are only details. The factis she got one of the people whoare in charge, comfortable, andconnected, and cut off his head.Has the revolution begun?Grigor KhanjianAcross on the opposite wallwe flee to the brilliant GrigorKhanjian, the itinerant Sovietartist who brings us back to anotherkind of face, and to Mexico.The faces have Khachatrian’sveracity but it is fiesta time, andrather than hearing the powerful,lyric strings of the philharmonic,someone is strumminga guitar and we are all now inlamplight, close, and with asmell the color of avocados.I believe that it was in theMexico series that Khanjianrose to his full stature as an artistand that it marks a dividingline in his work. It is in Mexicothat Khanjian seems to come toterms with his deeply religiousspirituality and it more openlyanimates his work then andfrom that time on.The untitled portrait ofthe woman is truly alive withmovement and with song. It isa painting whose invisible guitaris audible, and if you cannothear her sing it can only bebecause you refuse to listen tothe paint.Khanjian on the Mexico journeyseems to walk as if he werewith the early Saryan, but morein the shadows than in the sunshine,while also discoveringand painting masks that speakof exotic scriptures and canevoke the local ghosts.From this land of Diego Riveraand Siqueros he came home anddecided he must also paint onwalls. The end of his life will findhim painting the huge frescotriptych that has been completedand spectacularly restored inYerevan’s Cascade as an integralpart of the very-soon-to-be-unveiledCafesjian Center for theArts. Comfortable again withfaces, we walk on.NinaAcross the way there is sculpturethat is as round and fat asseriously big cannonballs, andour eyes are led to the biggestone on which are painted twonude, ample-busted, cavortingwomen in the round. It has theprovocative title – or is it a command?– “Talk.” The way they arepainted they may be able to chatwith each other, but as a visitorwho may not want to contorthis body into a circle, I chooseto talk to the most visible oneon top. But carefully. The one ontop is a bit of a flirt. The artistsigns herself Nina.She explains herself in thisway: “The images, when onepeers at their faces, exist andsimultaneously do not exist.Continued on page 16 14 Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture | October 10, 2009


U.S. Embassy presents American documentariesDavid Hoffman.A scene from Sputnik.The U.S. Embassy will be presentingan American DocumentaryShowcase, featuringdirector David Hoffman anddocumentary film expert SandraRuch, from October 14 to 20,2009, in Yerevan. The Showcasewill officially open on October 16and will continue until the endof November.From the first Americanfeature -length documentary,Nanook of the North, releasedin 1922, until today, documentaryfilms describe not onlythe human condition, but alsocontemporary events, and recordsocial and cultural phenomena.This Showcase offersa broad, diversified look at lifein the United States and Americanvalues as seen by Americandocumentary filmmakers. TheShowcase also demonstratesthe role documentary films playin fostering understanding andcooperation.The American DocumentaryShowcase will include filmscreenings at the National Galleryand the Moscow Movie Theater,with the official openingon October 16, featuring DavidHoffman’s film, Sputnik Mania.The film screenings are open tothe public and free of charge.Hoffman and Ruch will alsomeet with local directors, hostworkshops, and hold two masterclasses for film students.The American DocumentaryShowcase is sponsored by theU.S. Embassy, the U.S. State DepartmentBureau of Educationaland Cultural Affairs, Art FilmGallery, and the National Galleryof Armenia. The program ispart of an international tour. connect:http://armenia.usembassy.govChallenging artist friends with a round space Continued from page 10still life to nudes and nature,with both ethnic and universalingredients,” Angaladyan says.“This collection even contains aself-portrait. I am very contentto be living among such contemporaries.”The round spaceAngaladyan says that his currentcollection consists entirelyof round spaces, challenging Armenianartists to make the ultimateartistic use of the roundplate. “My collection aims atcomprehending the round spaceof the plate. Later on, we mayexperiment with plates of variousother shapes,” he says.“The round space of a plate issomething very common – ifone is not creative and has noflash of imagination,” Angaladyancontinues. “However, thereare creators who look at theworld and at the round space ofthe plate with a magical glance.The plate is a galaxy of paradoxes,a merging of worlds andcountries, a delight of knowingtastes and forms, an open bookof being, and a space which islocked. My aim is to make theplate not only a possession ofour daily culture, but a work ofart for [serious] collectors.”From Angaladyan’s collection.For a new movement in ArmenianartCreating a new contemporaryart movement in Armenia is oneof the main motives behind thiscollection. “And the artists wereaware of this from the very beginning,”Angaladyan says, explainingwhy so many Armenianartists were eager to becomepart of it.The mere existence of theseplates is what matters most toAngaladyan. The collector addsthat when people ask him to singleout his most favorite plates,he says that they all are equallydear to his heart. “In fact, thatis not so,” he notes. “In reality,I am a very subjective person. Imay prefer some. What I needmost out of this collection isthat the pieces exist and, mostimportantly, that this movementsubsists through time,gains a greater momentum, andembraces yet another generationof Armenian artists.”The collection is still expanding.Just half an hourbefore the opening of the exhibition,Angaladyan receivedtwo new plates. “We exhibitedthem with the paint still weton the plates,” he says. “Theywere done in the style of 1930spaintings and had a deep psychologicalresonance.”“Such actions within variousexpressions of art are very important,”Angaladyan continues.“They enrich our nationalart. This collection should haveits continuation.”Following the exhibition,Angaladyan will receive fournew plates by four new artists.He believes that thismovement has grown furtherthan experimenting ona round space. Several artistsin Armenia have now devotedthemselves to creating art onround plates.The collector’s and the intellectual’srole in the developmentof art is essential. Angaladyanbelieves that “The end which agiven art collection aims at isvery important. If a collectionlacks direction and goals, then itloses its content.”Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture | October 10, 2009 15


Program Grid19 – 25 OctoberEST 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 am19 October 20 October 21 October 22 October 23 October 24 OctoberMONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAYMondayImmigrantsKyanqi Gine2 YeresRepeatSassounian CommentaryUnlucky HappinessRepeatKargin haghordumYere12 YeresRepeat 6Americayi DzaynSassounian CommentaryNostaljiFort Boyard-Hayer3Karmir te sevMer Lezun, Mer XosqeBari Luys HayerBarev, yes emKhohanotzYO YONews2 Yeres1 originalBlefMi Katil MeghrNewsUnlucky HappinessOriginal 1Yere1Kyanqi GineOriginal 1Immigrants18IrakanumBari Gisher HayerTuesdayBari Gisher hayerKyanqi gine-Repeat 1Unlusky Happines 2NewsMi Katil Meghr2 YeresRepeatNewsKhohanotzKargin HaghordumLos ArmeniosNewsBari Gisher HayerMer Lezun, Mer Xosqe2 Yeres1 RepeatBlefNewsUnlucky Happinessrepeat1Yere1Kyanqi Gine-Repeat 1Immigrants18IrakanumBari Luys HayerKhohanotzYO YONews2 Yeres2 originalYere1NewsUnlucky Happiness2 OriginalLos ArmeniosKyanqi GineOriginal 2Immigrants19IrakanumBari Gisher HayerWednesdayBari Gisher HayerKyanqi Gine-Repeat 2Unlucky Happines-repeat 2NewsLos Armenios2 YeresRepeatNewsKhohanotzMi Katil MeghrBlefNewsBari Gisher HayerYere12 Yeres2 RepeatMer Lezun, Mer XosqeNewsUnlucky Happiness-Repeat 2Los ArmeniosKyanqi Gine-Repeat 2Immigrants19IrakanumBari Luys HayerKhohanotzYO YONews2 Yeres3 originalLos ArmeniosNewsUnlucky Happiness3 OriginalYere1Kyanqi GineOriginal 3Immigrants20IrakanumBari Gisher HayerThursdayBari Gisher HayerKyanqi Gine-Repeat 3Unlucky Happiness-repeat3NewsMi Katil Meghr2 YeresRepeatNewsKhohanotzBlefYere1NewsBari Gisher HayerMer lezun, ,Mer xosqe2 Yeres3 RepeatLos armeniosNewsUnlucky Happiness-Repeat 3Yere1Kyanqi Gine-Repeat 3Immigrants20IrakanumBari Luys HayerAybenaranNews2 Yeres4 originalYere1NewsUnlucky Happinnes4 OriginalKargin HaghordumKyanqi GineOriginal 4Immigrants21IrakanumBari Gisher HayerFridayBari Gisher HayerKyanqi Gine-Repeat4Unlucky Happiness-repeat4NewsYere12 YeresRepeatNewsKhohanotzMi Katil MeghrLos ArmeniosNewsBari Gisher HayerBlef2 Yeres4 RepeatMi Katil MeghrNewsUnlucki Happiness-Repeat 4Kargin HaghordumKyanqi Gine-Repeat 4Immigrants21IrakanumBari Luys HayerKhohanotzAybenaranNews2 Yeres5 originalUnlucky Happiness5 OriginalYere1Kyanqi GineOriginal 5Imigrants22IrakanumBari Gisher HayerSaturdayBari Gisher, HayerKyanqi gine-Rep.5Unlucky Happiness 5NewsKhohanotz2 YeresRepeatNewsHAYTNUTYUNLos ArmeniosNewsFort Boyard-HAYERSundayMer lezun, mer xosqe2 Yeres5 RepeatKargin HaghordumNewsUnlucky Happiness-Repeat 5Yere1Kyanqi Gine-Repeat 5Immigrants22IrakanumHamergArajnordaranGorVardanyanSassounian Commentary2 Yeres6 originalMi Katil MeghrYere1Los ArmeniosSassounian CommentaryBlefBarev, yes emKargin HaghordumFort Boyard-HAYERNostaljiUnlucky Happinnes25 OctoberSUNDAYSundayUnlucky HappinessSassounian CommentaryUnlucky HappinessSassounian CommentaryLos ArmeniosYere1Sassounyan CommentaryMer Lezun, Mer xosqeMi Katil Meghr2 Yeres6 RepeatYere1Sassounian CommentaryBlefBarev yes emKargin haghordumFort Boyard-HayerNostaljiLos ArmeniosArajnordaranArmenian TeletimeAmericayi DzaynYere1NostaljiBlefSassounian CommentaryMi Katil MeghrBarev, yes emFort Boyard-HAYERKarmir te sevImmigrantsThe walls have tongues Continued from page 14They are present, yes, each doessomething, but at the sametime they are absent.” I take thatto mean they can be somethinglike Hakobyan’s absent peoplewho at least wear clothes whenthey are not there. But as theseladies have no clothes. When “atthe same time they are absent,”you find yourself just talking toa nude cannonball.Ara AleyanIn the mood to search out moresculpture and what it might sayto us, we find the work of AraAlekyan. He constructs sculptureof familiar forms out of oldmetal parts that would otherwisebe rusting in automotivejunkyards. He achieves this withthe creative flair of an artist thatmight otherwise be working notwith a torch but a delicate pencil.But his lines are steel.There is a form before us thatwe can recognize as a three-dimensionalfish. Yet it is morethan what at first sight is aboned fish lifted from a dinerplate after a hearty meal. Thisis a fish that has the magic ofan art form. If it could talk ofwhere it came from, it mightdisclose it is the almost elusivefish of Hakobyan’s elusive fisherman.It is beautiful in its own wayand tragic. One can believe itcan whip rapidly in the air inwhich we and this fish breathe,and it is dangerous in all itssharp, spiked bones, still huntingfor prey.Alekyan’s rhinoceros is nothunting but seems to smell athreat that excites a wary alertness.It gruffly sniffs the groundbefore our feet. Armenian artistshave effectively used therhinoceros in a grotesque formas lumbering, armor-clad, satiricsymbol for war. But thisone for all its wariness seemshappy to be just what it is inthis lively museum.We have seen enough for today,even when we hear manyof the very best artists hereclamoring for our attentionfrom the many additional walls.They will soon get their chance.A new dialogueIn the coming weeks, an importantnew dialogue will begin.Armenian art that has heldcenter stage at home duringthe 20th and 21st centuries willsoon meet at the Cafesjian Centerfor the Arts a huge, permanentexhibition of artists, mostfrom elsewhere in the world,many in their fields having attainedthe highest contemporaryinternational repute. Itwill provide a fresh opportunityin Armenia for a new dialoguefor the 21st century, for artistsand the wide public alike, andanyone privileged to listen inmay find it eloquent. Some of Arto Chakmakjian’s works.Arto Chakmakjian.Arto Chakmakjian in Armenia, once againThe Naregatsi Art Institute inYerevan hosted world-renownedsculptor Arto Chakmakjianin Yerevan on October 16. Artlovers had the chance to meetwith the sculptor and discusshis work.Arto Chakmakjian was bornin Egypt in 1933. His fatherowned a bookstore and hisgrandfather was a sculptor. Atthe age of 12, the young Artostarts experimenting with clay,which would later help definethe rest of his life.In 1948, the Chakmakjianfamily moves to Soviet Armeniaduring the Great Repatriation,when almost 100,000 Armeniansfrom around the worldrepatriated to Armenia. He immediatelyenrolls at the TerlemezianArt Institute where hestudies sculpting and painting.The aspiring artist went onto become a researcher at theAcademy of Arts and Scienceswhile continually and consistentlycreating sculptures thatwon international recognition.Arto Chakmakjian was oneof the first Armenian artiststo try and break through rigidideological concepts of socialrealism and tried to introducenews styles in sculpting. Forthis reason, he was persecutedby Soviet authorities.In 1975, the sculptor, heartbrokenmoves with his familyto Montreal, Canada. He is nowa member of the L’Academie desBeax Arts and has created manynotable sculptures and receivedmany awards for his creations.Today, he occasionally returnsto the homeland.The “Naregatsi” Art Institute,incorporated in 2002 in Armenia,is a non-profit organizationdedicated to serving Armenia’sexisting cultural heritagethrough supporting Armeniancontemporary artists and creatinga forum in which the spiritof art and the common voicecan resonate freely.By nurturing the expressionof human creativity and documentingartistic accomplishments,Naregatsi Art Instituteseeks to enrich the understandingand the exposure ofArmenian art today, the ancestryfrom which this art hasstemmed, and the future whichcreativity, social consciousness,and collaborative energy willlead to.Naregatsi Art Institute (nai) isdedicated to serving the spirit ofart, and in doing so sets forth objectivesand goals based upon nobilityand benevolence found atthe heart of the artistic aim. 16 Armenian Reporter Arts & Culture | October 10, 2009


Watch Armenia TV on Dish Network. To get a dish and subscribe, call 1-888-284-7116 toll free.Satellite Broadcast Program Grid19 – 25 October19 October 20 October 21 OctoberMONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAYEST PST4:30 7:30 News inArmenian5:00 8:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial6:00 9:00 Yere16:40 9:40 Cost of life-Serial7:30 10:30 Immigrants-Film8:00 11:00 In Reality8:30 11:30 GoodNight,Armenians9:30 12:30 Cost of life-Serial10:15 13:15 Immigrants-Film11:00 14:00 TheHour(Armenian NewsEdition)11:30 14:30 UnhappyHappiness-Serial12:10 15:10 Telekitchen12:40 15:40 A Drop ofHoney13:00 16:00 TheHour(Armenian NewsEdition)14:00 17:00 Blef14:30 17:30 OurLanguage,Our Speech15:00 18:00 TheHour(Armenian NewsEdition)15:30 18:30 Yere116:00 19:00 Celebrity-Serial16:40 19:40 A Drop ofHoney17:10 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-Serial22:20 1:20 Telekitchen23:00 2:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial0:00 3:00 Cost of life-Serial0:45 3:45 Immigrants-Film1:30 4:30 News inArmenian2:00 5:00 Fort Boyard3:00 6:00 Celebrity-Serial4:00 7:00 Yere1EST PST4:30 7:30 News inArmenian5:00 8:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial6:00 9:00 Los-Armenios6:40 9:40 Cost of life-Serial7:30 10:30 Immigrants-Film8:00 11:00 In Reality8:30 11:30 GoodNight,Armenians9:30 12:30 Cost of life-Serial10:15 13:15 Immigrants-Film11:00 14:00 TheHour(Armenian NewsEdition)11:30 14:30 UnhappyHappiness-Serial12:10 15:10 Telekitchen12:40 15:40 A Drop ofHoney13:00 16:00 TheHour(Armenian NewsEdition)13:30 16:30 Yere114:00 17:00 A Drop ofHoney14:30 17:30 Blef15:00 18:00 TheHour(Armenian NewsEdition)15:30 18:30 Los-Armenios16:00 19:00 Celebrity-Serial16:40 19:40 A Drop ofHoney17:10 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-Serial22:20 1:20 Telekitchen23:00 2:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial0:00 3:00 Cost of life-Serial0:45 3:45 Immigrants-Film1:30 4:30 News inArmenian2:00 5:00 Hello, it’s me2:30 5:30 A Drop ofHoney3:00 6:00 Celebrity-Serial4:00 7:00 Los-ArmeniosEST PST4:30 7:30 News inArmenian5:00 8:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial6:00 9:00 Yere16:40 9:40 Cost of life-Serial7:30 10:30 Immigrants-Film8:00 11:00 In Reality8:30 11:30 GoodNight,Armenians9:30 12:30 Cost of life-Serial10:15 13:15 Immigrants-Film11:00 14:00 TheHour(Armenian NewsEdition)11:30 14:30 UnhappyHappiness-Serial12:10 15:10 Telekitchen12:40 15:40 A Drop ofHoney13:00 16:00 TheHour(Armenian NewsEdition)13:30 16:30 Los-Armenos14:00 17:00 A Drop ofHoney14:30 17:30 OurLanguage,Our Speech15:00 18:00 TheHour(Armenian NewsEdition)15:30 18:30 Yere116:00 19:00 Celebrity-Serial16:40 19:40 A Drop ofHoney17:10 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-Serial22:20 1:20 Telekitchen23:00 2:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial0:00 3:00 Cost of life-Serial0:45 3:45 Immigrants-Film1:30 4:30 News inArmenian2:00 5:00 Hello, it’s me2:30 5:30 A Drop ofHoney3:00 6:00 Celebrity-Serial4:00 7:00 Yere122 October 23 October 24 October 25 OctoberTHURSDAY 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-Film8:00 11:00 In Reality8:30 11:30 GoodNight,Armenians9:30 12:30 Cost of life-Serial10:15 13:15 Immigrants-Film11:00 14:00 TheHour(Armenian NewsEdition)11:30 14:30 UnhappyHappiness-Serial12:10 15:10 Telekitchen12:40 15:40 A Drop ofHoney13:00 16:00 TheHour(Armenian NewsEdition)13:30 16:30 Yere114:00 17:00 A Drop ofHoney15:00 18:00 TheHour(Armenian NewsEdition)15:30 18:30 Cool Program16:00 19:00 Celebrity-Serial16:40 19:40 A Drop ofHoney17:10 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-Serial22:20 1:20 Telekitchen23:00 2:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial0:00 3:00 Cost of life-Serial0:45 3:45 Immigrants-Film1:30 4:30 News inArmenian2:00 5:00 Fort Boyard2:40 5:40 Los-Armenios3:00 6:00 Celebrity-Serial4:00 7:00 Cool ProgramEST PST4:30 7:30 News inArmenian5:00 8:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial6:00 9:00 Yere16:40 9:40 Cost of life-Serial7:30 10:30 Immigrants-Film8:00 11:00 In Reality8:30 11:30 GoodNight,Armenians9:30 12:30 Cost of life-Serial10:15 13:15 Immigrants-Film11:00 14:00 TheHour(Armenian NewsEdition)11:30 14:30 UnhappyHappiness-Serial12:10 15:10 Telekitchen12:40 15:40 A Drop ofHoney13:00 16:00 TheHour(Armenian NewsEdition)13:30 16:30 Cool Program14:00 17:00 OurLanguage,Our Speech15:00 18:00 TheHour(Armenian NewsEdition)15:30 18:30 Yere116:00 19:00 Celebrity-Serial16:40 19:40 A Drop ofHoney17:10 20:10 UnhappyHappiness-Serial17:45 20:45 Immigrants-Film18:15 21:15 Cost of life-Serial19:00 22:00 News inArmenian19:20 22:20 The ArmenianFilm21:00 0:00 TheHour(Armenian NewsEdition)21:30 0:30 Celebrity-Serial22:30 1:30 A Drop ofHoney23:00 2:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial0:00 3:00 Cost of life-Serial0:45 3:45 Immigrants-Film1:30 4:30 News inArmenian2:00 5:00 A Drop ofHoney3:00 6:00 Celebrity-Serial4:00 7:00 Yere1ESTPST4:30 7:30 News inArmenian5:00 8:00 Blef5:30 8:30 Hello, it’s me6:00 9:00 Cool Program6:30 9:30 Fort Boyard7:30 10:30 Nostalgy9:00 12:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial11:00 14:00 News inArmenian12:00 15:00 UnhappyHappiness-Serial13:00 16:00 News inArmenian13:30 16:30 The ArmenianFilm15:00 18:00 News inArmenian15:30 18:30 Yere117:00 20:00 Celebrity-Serial18:00 21:00 A Drop ofHoney18:50 21:50 OurLanguage,Our Speech19:30 22:30 The ArmenianFilm21:30 0:30 Our Alphabet22:00 1:00 Cool Program22:20 1:20 Yere123:45 2:45 Los-Armenios0:20 3:20 Blef0:45 3:45 Hello, it’s me1:00 4:00 Cost of life-Serial2:00 5:00 voa(The Voiceof America)2:30 5:30 Yo-Yo3:20 6:20 NostalgyESTPST4:30 7:30 News 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Write the Reporter, andwe’ll get crackin’ to profilethe son or daughter of Haykin an upcoming issue.Point and click an ‘e’ toarts@ reporter.am (dot amon the ‘net is for all thingsArmenian!).connect:arts@reporter.amArmenian Reporter Arts & Culture | October 10, 2009 17


18 The Armenian Reporter | October 17, 2009CommunityDetroit fetes Edgar Hagopianby Betty Apigian KesselPhoto of Committee with Edgar Hagopian.Standing from left: Simon Javizian, Corinne Khederian, Edgar Hagopian, Shirley Sarkisian, David Terzibashian, Ray Boujoulian and Ed Bedikian.Seated from left: Gregory Vartanian, Madeline Thomasian, Pam Coultis, Hagop Alexanian, Angela Hagopian Snow, Diana Alexanian, Suzanne Hagopian.ROCHESTER, Mich. – Whenyou can get almost 300 people togather for an evening of tributesto one person, he must have donesomething right. So it was on Sept.20, when Metro Detroiters and othersfrom across this great nation attendeda most memorable eveninghonoring Edgar Hagopian at thestylish Royal Park Hotel.Hagopian has earned a stellarreputation and has been labeleda humanitarian, prominent businessperson,philanthropist, leader,and friend. Although those aremarvelous attributes, it is his solidmarriage of 52 years to his belovedSarah and devotion to their threechildren that seals them as a family.“We love you, Dad,” was in essencethe sentiment expressed by Edgar’schildren, Suzanne, Edmond, andAngela who were gracious in theirappreciation to the large groupwho turned out to fete their specialfather.As a teen, Hagopian worked withhis father Haroutun in the familycleaning business. The company expandedand in 2009, the HagopianFamily of Companies celebrated 70years of business. The third generationof Hagopians, including theHagopian’s son-in-law Ken Snoware now operating the businesswith the same ideals of communityinvolvement and a mission to moveforward. Through it all, Hagopianremains an unusually humble man.The tribute has been in the planningstages for several months,brought to smooth fruition bya loyal group of Mr. Hagopian’sfriends known as The ArmenianFestival Committee because of theirsummer out-door food and musicfestival attracting thousands. Theyare a band of Armenian-Americansdedicated to perpetuating theArmenian spirit by bridging thecommunity. Hagopian modestly isquick to give credit to this groupfor their many successful projectswhen in fact they in turn say he istheir inspiration.Guests were greeted warmly bymembers of the Hagopian familyand committee members as they arrivedinto the candle-lit, floral filledreception area of the Royal Park forthe cocktail and hor d’oeuvres hour.Kanoun music was provided byAra Topouzian. Cellist Debra Fayroianand violinist Adrienne Ronmarkprovided a musical interludeprompting Hagopian to comment“their music touches one’s soul,”Very Reverend Diran Papaziandelivered a fitting and beautifulblessing commenting on Mr. Hagopian’strue Armenian spirit andgenerosity.Guests dined on a gourmet filetmignon dinner accompanied by aselection of fine wines.Event co-chairs were CorinneKhederian and David Terzibashianwho in his remarks called Edgar,“Worthy of being called an Asbed.”Master of Ceremony duty fell to thecapable Simon Javizian. Americanand Armenian national anthemswere sung by Rubik Mailian withpiano accompaniment by MargaretBenian. Key advisor for the eveningwas the Detroit Chapter of theKnights of Vartan.Hagopian World of Rugs showroomwith its hundreds of extraordinaryOriental rugs and carpetsserves as a backdrop for Armeniangatherings featuring authors, professors,scientists and even Turkishscholars. Many writers havehad solemn wine blessing ceremoniesperformed on their booksthere. Guests are encouraged toseat themselves on these pricelessworks of art as authors unfoldtheir literary accomplisment in thisrarified atmosphere of stimulatingconversation reminiscent of thegreat salons of Europe and all whilethey freely partake of an ample assortmentof food and refreshmentsgenerously provided by the HagopianFamily.Among the dignitaries whoshared their thoughts, love, and respectfor Hagopian were former Rep.Joe Knollenberg, Edgar’s longtimefriend, who gave the toast stating,“This day should have come longago” speaking of how Edgar workedto increase military aid to Armeniaand Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, whowith Hagopian worked hard to get“Armenian Genocide RemembranceDay” signed into Michigan law.It was a day of proclamationsand special tributes by MayorBrenda Lawrence of Southfield,State Rep. Chuck Moss who calledEdgar “One of Oakland Countiesfinest residents,” Bryan Ardouny,executive director of the ArmenianAssembly, and on whose boardHagopian serves as well as on armenpacwith Annie Totah, HarryDerderian of the Armenian RevolutionaryFederation and DetroitUnited Committee, who stated“We don’t take you for granted. Wehave all felt his financial and moralsupport,” and Corinne Khederianon behalf of State Senator JohnPapageorge, Diana Alexanian forEdmond Azadian of Tekeyan, andso many others who lauded andbenefited from Hagopian’s generosity.Mr. Azadian had recently writtena fine editorial in where he describedHagopian “As a man of hisword and he does not mince them,”said to be right on the mark by Edgarand that he always believe oneshould be true to oneself no materthe ramifications.Also attending was Irina Lazarianof the Armenian Fund usa. At Mr.Hagopian’s request, net proceedsfrom the event will be donated tothe afusa.Every word of praise and appreciationspoken were for the man whotonite was overwhelmed by the accoladesshowered upon him, a manEdgar Hagopian and Rep. Thad McCotter.driven by his passion for Americaand his ancestral homeland “Don’tyou feel a strong sense of obligationto maintain this incredible3,000 year old Armenian culture?”he says.In 2005, Hagopian was awardedthe Ellis Island Medal of Honor.He is a major benefactor of theDetroit Institute of Arts and aHonorary Board Member. Hagopian’sinvolvment in local, national,and international causes are legendand too numerous to mention.Aiding him is his faithful assistantPam Coultis who makes itall mesh smoothly.Edgar is a man who loves allthings beautiful – art, music, literature,architecture, and people butmore than that, his wish is to bringthe Armenian community togetherin unity, to end the division, thebest gift he could receive.The perfect evening concludedwith Hagopian’s remarks revealinghis humanity. He rememberedhis Moslem friends by mentioningRamadan had just ended, andthat it was the beginning of RoshEdgar Hagopian and Irina Lazarian of Armenia Fund usa.Hashanah, the Jewish time for forgivenesssand rebirth. “Let’s startanew,” he said. “Remember howlucky you are our parents came toAmerica.”We are all lucky that out of Armenia’sashes, a first generationArmenian-American came forthto reap the benefits of a hardwork ethic who has dedicated hislife to making the world a betterplace with his leadership. I’mnot quite sure just one evening isenough to fete someone of EdgarHagopian’s ilk.He is “The Original Hagopian,”dyed in the wool, weaving his ownpattern of generosity.


The Armenian Reporter | October 17, 2009 19CommunityThe Cathedral was filled both Saturday and Sunday.Archbishop Oshagan blesses the congregation during theLiturgy. Photos: Bedros Yessaian.Two new candle altars and icons were consecrated Saturdayevening.A general view of the congregation on Saturday during the re-consecration of thealtar and the consecration of new liturgical items.St. Illuminator’s Cathedral reopens after year-long renovationby Iris PapazianNEW YORK – It was a gloriousweekend for the Eastern Prelacyof the Armenian Apostolic Churchof America as St. Illuminator’s Cathedralin New York City reopenedwith impressive services on September19 and 20.Founded in 1915, St. Illuminator’s,the first Armenian Cathedralin the United States, has a rich historyof service to the Armeniancommunity in the aftermath ofthe genocide, the Great Depression,and two World Wars.The Cathedral has been undergoingextensive renovations for morethan one year. The sanctuary iscomplete except for some finishingartistic touches. Work on the renovatedhall and offices is continuingand a completely re-designed exteriorand interior front entrance willbe completed during the comingmonths.Reconsecration of thealtarSaturday evening Archbishop OshaganCholoyan, the Prelate of theEastern Prelacy, reconsecrated theCathedral’s altar, as well as two newcandle altars and two icons donatedby Mr. and Mrs. Edward andCarmen Gulbenkian. Also consecratedwere the five new crystalchandeliers and various liturgicalitems such as crosses, altar covers,censor, pitcher, a set of completevestments for the celebrant, and ahandmade silver and gold chalicewith cover, a gift from the Prelacy.The familiar and beloved altarpainting of the Mother of God withthe infant Jesus, by Arshag Fetvadjian,continues to grace the altar.Clergy attending and participatingin the Saturday servicesincluded: Bishop AnoushavanTanielian, Vicar of the Prelacy;Archpriest Fr. Moushegh DerKalousdian, Pastor Emeritus ofthe Cathedral; Archpriest ArshagDaghlian from North Andover,Mass., who is retired but continuesto serve as an outreach priest; Rev.Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor ofthe Cathedral; Rev. Fr. Nareg Terterian,pastor of St. Sarkis Church,Douglaston, N.Y.; and Rev. Fr. HovnanBozoian, pastor of Sts. VartanantzChurch, Ridgefield, N.J.In his message on Saturday, thePrelate praised the Cathedral’sfaithful parishioners for their dedicationthrough the years. He expressedthanks to the donors whomade the renovation possible andthe members of the building committee,headed by Setrak Agonian,who facilitated and guidedthe renovation, encounteringmany unexpected “surprises” alongthe way which added to the timeand expense of the renovation. ThePrelate noted how it was the Cathedralcommunity that helped thesurvivors after 1915 as they arrivedyear after year in a new land withno possessions or resources exceptthe will to start over again. Many ofthe survivors relocated in the vicinityof the Cathedral and that areabecame known as “Little Armenia.”During the Second World War,the Cathedral saw many of her sonsand daughters leave to fight foreigntyranny and when the war endedthe Cathedral once again openedher arms to welcome refugees fromcommunist countries who were livingin camps and were saved by theAmerican National Committee forHomeless Armenians (ancha). Ina partnership between ancha andthe Armenian Relief Society (ars),the Cathedral became their steppingstone to the new world. Mr.Agonian, who as a young boy wasrescued by ancha, and is now asuccessful businessman, a leaderin the International Olympics committee,and chairman of the Cathedral’sBuilding Committee, recalledthose days. “I was 16 years old, andmy mother and I arrived with almostno possessions. This Churchwelcomed us, fed us, and helped usget settled in a new life. Of courseI am going to help now; this Cathedralis our Ellis Island,” he said.Many others in attendance whowere aided by ancha echoed thesame sentiments.Divine Liturgy onSundayOn Sunday, Archbishop Oshagancelebrated the Divine Liturgy anddelivered the sermon to an overflowcrowd of parishioners and friends.The archbishop spoke about thesignificance of the Mayr Yegheghetzi(Mother Church). “The Cathedral,”he said, “has been a faithfuland doting mother to us. She hasnurtured our wounds at the timeof distress and has shared our happinessin our moments of joy.” Herecalled how the Mayr Yegheghetzikept the Christian faith vibrant inthe lives of her children, and thenational dream alive, including thesymbols of statehood like the tricoloredflag. “This Church and ourPrelacy kept our dream alive andnever wavered,” His Eminence said.The Prelate warmly welcomedthe newly appointed ambassadorof Armenia to the United Nations,Garen Nazarian, and wished himsuccess in his important assignment.Cathedral’s priest ishonoredThe Prelate read an encyclical fromAram I, Catholicos of the GreatHouse of Cilicia, granting Rev. Fr.Mesrob Lakissian, the Cathedral’spastor, the honor of wearing thePectoral Cross on special occasions.The Prelate presented a beautifulcross to the grateful Der Hayr.Requiem service forclergyRequiem Services were held forKarekin I, on the tenth anniversaryof his passing, and for the past prelatesand the priests who served theCathedral, including, ArchbishopHrant Khatchadourian, ArchbishopMesrob Ashjian, V. Rev. Fr. BoghosKaftanian, Rev. Fr. Matteos Mannigian,Rev. Fr. Azaria Boyajian, Rev.Fr. Serovpe Nershabou, Rev. Fr.Bedros Hagopian, Rev. Fr. RupenKapikian, Rev. Fr. Untzag Kazanjian,Rev. Fr. Matteos Hekimian, Rev.Fr. Nishan Papazian, Rev. Fr. MesrobDer Hovannessian, Rev. Fr. StepanosGarabedian, Rev. Fr. ArsenSimioniantz, Rev. Fr. KhachadourGiragosian, Rev. Fr. Asoghik Kelejian,Rev. Fr. Nerses Baboorian, Rev.Mampre Biberian, Rev. Fr. AshotKodjian.Madagh offered; Eagleof Prelacy awardedAfter the conclusion of theRequiem Service, Madagh wasblessed and offered to the congregationgathered in the newly renovatedhall. Attending were manyof the children of the survivorgeneration that had embraced theCathedral and kept her enrichedwith love and devotion. Many ofthose first-generation childrenof the survivors were baptized inthe Cathedral, many were marriedthere as well. They have since relocatedto other areas especially inNew Jersey and Long Island, buttheir attachment to the Cathedralremains fervent.Archbishop Oshagan presentedthe highest Prelacy award, “TheEagle of the Prelacy,” to Mr. Agonian,chairman of the buildingcommittee, for his extraordinaryservice to the Cathedral and community.With concise and movingwords Mr. Agonian acceptedthe award and expressed his lovefor the Armenian Church and St.Illuminator’s Cathedral. He calledupon all to rally around the Cathedralto keep her vibrant and strong.“Let us complete this renovation soin five years we can celebrate theCathedral’s Centennial anniversaryproudly and with the secure knowledgethat the Cathedral, renewedin spirit and structure, will continueher service for another hundredyears.”Mrs. Lalique Vartanian,chair of the Cathedral’s Board ofTrustees, expressed her heartfeltthanks to the many people whomade this day possible and sheSetrak Agonian,chairperson ofthe buildingcommittee, whowas awardedthe Eagle of thePrelacy award,speaks aboutthe Cathedral’stransformation.asked for the continued supportand encouragement of parishionersand friends.Ambassador Garen Nazarian expressedcongratulations to ArchbishopOshagan and to Rev. Fr.Mesrob Lakissian. He noted thatthis is a special time in Armenia.“Tomorrow is the 18th anniversaryof the independence of Armeniaand today all of the churches in Armeniaare offering special prayersfor the Republic.”Rev. Fr. Mesrob expressed heartfeltthanks to Aram I, and to ArchbishopOshagan, for the honor bestowedupon him. He thanked thedonors to the building fund andnoted that 90 percent of the workis complete and the remaining 10percent will be completed withinthe next few months.For all those who are eternallylinked to the Mayr Yegeghetzithrough personal memories bothjoyful and sad, this weekend wasa crowing moment in the long andrich history of St. Illuminator’s Cathedralstrengthened by the graceof the Holy Spirit.


ignings, tensarchedin pro-20 The Armenian Reporter | October 17, 2009Armenia60,000 protest Armenia-Turkey protocols in Yerevanby Maria TitizianThe pressure inthe stadium wasoverwhelmingby Tatul HaobyanBURSA, Turkey – The Armenia-Turkey return soccer match herewas of little interest as a sportingevent. Both national teams werealready out of the running for the2010 World Cup. The significance ofthe match was more emotional.The teams entered the Bursa field45 minutes before the start of thegame. From that moment, the psychologicalpressure on the Armeniansthere – reporters and somefans, but above all soccer players– began in earnest.For almost three hours, therewas endless whistling in the 30,000-seat stadium. During the performanceof Mer Hairenik, Turkishsoccer fans drowned out the Armeniannational anthem. When theTurkish national anthem began, afew Armenian journalists remainedseated in protest.Yerevan – One day before theanticipated signing of the Armenia-Turkeyprotocols, an estimated60,000 Armenians marchedthrough the streets of Yerevan inprotest.The rally began in Yerevan’s RepublicSquare and moved to thevicinity of the Presidential Palace,where Armen Rustamian of theArmenian Revolutionary Federationread out a statement on behalfof the protesters, signed by 12political parties and over 60 localorganizations. The statement wasthen passed on to Karen Karapetian,the president’s chief of staff.The statement said the participantsdid not object to the normalizationof relations with Turkeywithout preconditions, butopposed concessions to Turkey soit might end the illegal blockade itbegn 16 years ago.The protesters proceeded toTzitzernakaberd, the ArmenianGenocide memorial; by the timethey arrived, the crowd had swelledto over 60,000 people chanting“No” to the protocols and calling forPresident Serge Sargsyan’s administrationto refrain from signingthe documents. The protesters,holding signs and banners, continuallychanted “Struggle, Unity,Victory.”Under the shadow of themonument to the memory of1.5 million Armenians who weremurdered 94 years ago, speakersrepresenting different politicalJournalists and fansA few minutes after the beginningof the match, we took out our fewArmenian tricolors, started wavingthem and yelling “Hayastan,Hayastan.”Guards approached us immediatelyand instructed us to putparties took the stage to voicetheir discontent with the termsof the agreement between Armeniaand Turkey.Among the parties representedat the rally were the ARF and theHeritage Party, which hold seatsin parliament, and the New Timesparty. With these groups cooperating,Mr. Rustamian, in a speech,was able to herald the establishmentof a long-awaited “nationalfront” in Armenia.The foreign ministers of Armeniaand Turkey are expected tosign the protocols on October 10 inSwitzerland. U.S. Secretary of StateHillary Clinton, Russian ForeignMinister Sergey Lavrov, andFrench Foreign Minister BernardKouchner are expected to witnessthe signing.fTurkey beats Armenia, 2-0, in soccer matchAt the Armenia-Turkey soccer match. Photo: Melik Baghdasaryan/Photolure.away our flags because, underthe rules of FIFA, the internationalgoverning body for soccer,flags are not allowed in the pressarea.Our voices could not be heard inthe soccer field, but they were stilltoo much for the fans in the nextTens of thousands of people marched and rallied against the terms of anagreement negotiated between Turkey and Armenia, Yerevan, October 9, 2009.Photo: Mkhitar Khachatryan/Photolure.section. They started whistling atus and making threats.Before the match, Turkish andAzerbaijani fanatics had thrownrocks at one of the minibuses carryingArmenian journalists.A single organismThe Turks played a lot better thanthe Armenians, without question.It seemed like the soccer playersand fans were a single organism.The Turkish team was playingunder the inspiration of Turkishsongs and whistles.Because of security concerns, notickets had been sold. Everyonepresent had been invited, and inthis way the Turkish hosts soughtto avoid and succeeded in avoidingundesirable incidents.Security was provided by some3,000 police officers. It struck methat the purpose of my presencewas not to watch and report on asoccer match, but to leave the Bursastadium unharmed. Especiallyafter they made us put away thetricolors, a few Armenian reportersshed tears.Although it had been announcedthat Azerbaijani flagswould not be allowed into theNATO sees progress in defense reforms in Armeniastadium, the Azerbaijani flag wasamong those that could be seenfrom the area where PresidentsAbdullah Gül and Serge Sargsyanwere seated.White dovesBefore the game started, a fewdozen white doves were released assymbols of peace.As in Yerevan in September 2008,thus in Bursa today, the Turkishteam won 2-0. The Turkish teamwas competing with only 10 playersas of the 32nd minute; at that timeone of the players was ejected fromthe field for rough play.But by then the Turks had alreadyscored two goals. In the 17thminute Halil Altintop and in the28th Servet Cetin had scored.“The pressure of the stadium wasterrible,” Ruben Hairapetian, thepresident of Armenia’s soccer federation,told the Armenian Reporter.He added that the Armenian teamplayed better in Bursa than it hadin Yerevan.Mr. Hairapetian also said thatthe president of Armenia hadvisited with the soccer playersbefore the game and encouragedthem.fYEREVAN – Special progress hasbeen made in Armenia in carryingout defense reforms within theframework of implementing theIndividual Partnership Action Plan(IPAP) of NATO.Mediamax reports that the Representativeof NATO InternationalStaff Lorenz Meyer-Minnemannsaid this during the first spacebridge between the InformationCenter on NATO in Yerevan and thealliance’s headquarters in Brusselson October 14.According to Mr. Meyer-Minnemann, practical evidenceof those reforms is the quality ofwork being carried out by the Armenianpeacekeeping contingentin Kosovo.Mr. Meyer-Minnemann statedthat there has significant progressin institutional reforms, in particular,by involving a large number ofcivilians in the work of the defenseministry of Armenia.“Earlier this year, NATO and Armeniasigned an agreement on updatingIPAP, and in this context, Armeniahas yet to carry out volumework,” Mr. Meyer-Minnemannstated.He spoke highly of the relationsbetween Armenia and NATO, statingthat Armenia has demonstratedgreat activity in the process ofthe “Partnership for Peace” programimplementation.Mr. Meyer-Minnemann expressedthe opinion that normalizationof Armenian-Turkish relationswill be of great importancefor providing security in the regionand will positively influence relationsbetween Armenia and theNorth Atlantic Alliance.Head of Alliance Operations DivisionErik Sandahl, during thespace bridge, said active negotiationsare in process with Armeniaregarding its participation in ISAFInternational operation in Afghanistan.According to Mr. Sandahl, themain issue is the deployment of anArmenian peacekeeping subdivisionin the north Afghan provinceof Kunduz in February, 2010.Ambassador of Armenia to NATOSamvel Mkrtchyan said thatpresently, the coordination of thecorresponding legal documentsbetween Armenia and NATO is inprocess.“Striving to send its peacekeepingcontingent to Afghanistan,Armenia is trying to make its contributionto securing internationalsecurity and increase professionalqualification of ArmenianArmed Forces,” Mr. Mkrtchyanstated.He stated that the Armeniansubdivision in Afghanistan will notparticipate in military actions, butwill be involved in the defense ofKunduz Airport. The Armenian ambassadornoted that the provinceof Kunduz is a relatively peacefulregion in Afghanistan, where theGerman military contingent, consistingof a few thousands soldiers,is deployed.A day earlier at a forum entitled,“The role of NATO and the EU inensuring stability in Armenia andthe South Caucasus,” NATO Coordinator-Officerfor the South CaucasusZbigniew Ribatski statedthat the alliance and the EuropeanUnion collaboratively assist in themaintenance of peace and stabilityin the Caucasus. NATO is notinvolved in the regulation processof the conflicts in South Caucasus,but it is interested in their peacefulregulation. According to him, theimprovement of Armenian-Turkishrelations will bring Armeniaand NATO closer to each other, asTurkey is a member of the North-Atlantic Alliance as well.“The cooperation of Armenia andNATO is developing quite activelyin the direction of some programs,but in Armenia there still exists thestereotype of a negative attitudetoward NATO, a heritage of its theA scene fromthe NATO spacebridge. Photo:Hayk Badalyan/Photolure.Soviet past,” Mr. Ribatski noted.“Armenia has taken an importantstep by regulating its relations withTurkey... I hope that over a periodof time Armenia will change itsnegative attitude toward NATO.”Speaking of the relations of thecountries in the region with NATO,he noted that the alliance attachesa military importance to the relationswith its partners. Affiliationto NATO is not part of Armenia’sforeign policy agenda. However, ifArmenia is interested, it will be possibleto speak of the country’s affiliation,said Mr. Ribatski. Accordingto him, NATO respects Armenia’sdecision to strengthen its militarycooperation with Russia. f


The Armenian Reporter | October 17, 2009 21ArmeniaMarket updateby the CascadeInvestments GroupSeptember, 2009FX OUTLOOKUSD/AMD pair rate continued itsupward movement in Septemberand was near AMD 375-386/ USD1. The volume of dollars traded onthe NASDAQ OMX, Armenia postedunprecedented increase by 800% toUSD 115 million with an average priceAMD 380.45/ USD 1 on the volume ofdollars traded on the NASDAQ OMX.However, currently the demand forthe dollar is low, as the level of dollarizationis very high. We believe,under such conditions even a mediumvolume intervention by theCentral Bank of Armenia (CBA) ora large volume sell of the USD onthe FX market can notably push therate down. A similar scenario can beexpected in case of euro’s depreciation,as it can be a negative signal fortraders forcing them to avoid investinginto foreign currencies. However,still there is no serious signal for thedollar’s depreciation. We are of theview that the dollar will remain onthe positive path and will continueto strengthen.EUR/USD pair rate demonstrateda slight downward trend throughoutthe month. At the beginning ofthe month the euro continued toclimb versus the dollar, as evidencesof economic recovery increasedconfidence and forced investors topurchase riskier assets, leaving therelative safety profile of the dollarless attractive. This factor resultedin appreciation of commodity relatedcurrencies, as well as assets incountries with emerging markets,like Brazil and South Korea. Afterbreaking a year record low, the dollarslightly rebounded when theFederal Reserve was pessimistic regardingthe economic recovery inNorth America. This fact attractedinvestors to the relative safety ofthe greenback, soaring demand forthe currency. Another factor favoringthe dollar’s position was theunexpected cut of interest rates inRussia, bringing back risk aversionand uncertainty to the FX marketsand boosting demand for the USDby further points. At the end ofthe trading session the dollar becameone of the best performingcurrencies, as the G7 suggestedthe USD’s strong position wouldbe helpful for the world economicrecovery. However, even if G71041031021011009998members are agreeing that a strongdollar is a fundamental factor forthe improvement of the economy,investors’ actions may not be in totalconcordance with policy makers’opinions. Key macroeconomic dataare still playing an important rolein the rates’ movements. This factormakes it hard to predict whatdirection the major currencies willtake towards the end of the year.However, our outlook for the USDremains positive, as we expect itwill significantly appreciate versusthe single currency.Key macroeconomicindicatorsGDPFor January-August, Armenia’sGDP contracted by 18.4% comparedto the same period in 2008. Thedecline reflects 52.6% and 11.9%decline in construction and industrysectors. The export and importindicators fell by 41.4% and 27% respectively.The volume of producedelectricity has decreased by 11.8%.Construction and external tradeare still the most volatile sectors ofthe GDP pushing its volume down.Despite some indicators, whichposted a slight rise compared tothe previous month, there are stillsome negative signs slowing up theeconomic recovery. Constructionand retailing sectors rose by 8% and11.4% respectively. Meanwhile, volumeof export went down by 20%.Government and private salarieshave declined by 9% and 5.1%.An Armenian reporter in BursaCPIJ-09 F-09 M-09 A-09 M-09 J-09 J-09 A-09CPI (YOY)CPI (vs. previous month)Construction15040130302011010900-1070-2050-3030-40-5010-6008-08 10-08 12-08 02-09 04-09 06-09 08-09Construction volume (in bln. AMD) YOY change (%)Construction as % of GDP400.00380.00360.00340.00320.00300.00620.00570.00520.00470.00420.00%Inflation overviewOn October 6, the CBA Boardmaintained the refinancing rate at5.00%. In September, inflation ratewas 0.7% compared to August andYOY inflation 3.7%.Increased price levels of somecommodities on the world marketresulted in increased externalpressure on domestic inflation.We believe under such conditionsthe current level of the refinancingrate will help to set the economicgrowth on a positive path and atthe same time will prevent furtherdrastic price movements keepingthe inflation rate close to the targetlevel.Corporate securitiesIn September, the volume of corporatebonds traded on the NASDAQOMX Armenia decreased by 26% toAMD 387 million. The average yielddeclined from 11.02% to 10.56%.16,068 securities were traded. 40 %of all trades on NASDAQ OMX Ar-370.00A-08 O-08 D-08 J-09 M-09 M-09 J-09 A-09EUR/AMD EUR/AMD Index (Jan-09- 100%)menia were executed by Cascade500450400350300250200150100500Investments.This month the volume of tradedgovernment bonds has notably increased.We believe the reason forthat is a lower spread making governmentbonds more attractive.In September, the most activelytraded bonds were Converse Bankwith 27% trade volume. Nominalvalue is AMD 30,000; total volumeAMD 300 million; annual couponyield 10.64%; maturity date16.12.2011. Second was Imex Groupwith 17% traded volume. Nominalbond value is AMD 10,000; totalvolume AMD 1 billion; annual yield11.5%; maturity date 13/10/2010.USD/AMDA-08 O-08 D-08 J-09 M-09 M-09 J-09 A-0908-0809-08USD/AMD%10-08USD/AMD Index (Jan'08-100%)EUR/AMDGDP11-0812-0801-0902-0903-0904-0905-0906-0907-0908-09GDP Volume (in bln. AMD) YOY change (%)Cascade BusinessSentiment Index (CBSI)In September the CBCI posted adecrease from 4.16 to 3.49. Thenegative tendency reflects increasedconcerns on the worldmarkets.Cascade CommodityIndex (CCI)1301251201151101051009590130125120115110105100959085801510-5-10-15-20In September the Cascade CommodityIndex posted a slight increaseby 0.3 % to 20120, mainlyreflecting a slight price movementof fuel price.f50by Tatul HakobyanBURSA, Turkey -- Prior to the Turkey-ArmeniaWorld Cup qualifyingmatch in Bursa, Turkey, some localTurkish newspapers, like Akhshamran an ad in both Turkish and English,which read, “One triumph fortwo nations, that is our wish.” Inthe middle of the page, there wasa soccer ball illustrated with theTurkish and Armenian flags.This ad is not unlike the ad thatwas placed in most Armenian newspaperswhen President AbdullahGul was in Yerevan for the Armenia-Turkey qualifying match in September,2008, which read, “WelcomeHonorable President Abdullah Gul,fair play beyond 90 minutes, thatis our wish.” The advertisers for thead are Zvartnots Armenia InternationalAirports, AKSOY, Fruitful Armenia,Hayastani Hogher (Terra deArmenia) and Converse Bank.Bursa was the seat of the Patriarcateof Constantinople before itmoved to Istanbul. In the 18-19thcenturies there were approximately90,000 Armenians living in the vilayetof Bursa, and another 10,000in Bursa itself. Turkish sources statethat the Armenians constitutednearly seven percent of the populationin the vilayet of Bursa duringthe first years of the 20th century.According to Patriarch MakhakiaOrmanian, there were 82,000 Armeniansin the vilayet of Bursa in1912. Armenians there lived in thedistricts of Kurtoglu and Emirsultanin Setbashi in the city of Bursa.Armenians left Bursa after 1923.Today there are no Armenians livinghere according to Aris Nalchi, aneditor at the daily newspaper Agos.The residents of Bursa were excitedabout the Armenia-Turkey soccermatch, yet couldn’t find tickets tothe game anywhere. Yalchin Chai,a businessperson in Bursa complainedthat he couldn’t go to thestadium to see the match becausetickets weren’t being sold. Differentsources say that the administrationof Bursa only gave away invitationsto the game in order to be able tocontrol the crowds.“Armenians lived on these landfor centuries. I know that Armenianswere deported from theselands and killed. I know that Armenianssuffered more, but Turks alsowere killed” said Mr. Chai.A man standing nearby, MehmetIlarslan turned to Mr. Chai andasked him, “Are you Armenian?”Both men laughed heartily and saidthat they welcome the Armenian presidentto Bursa. Mehmet added thathe would like this football match toThe flags of Turkey and Azerbaijan on display in Bursa, Oct. 14.be an Armenian-Turkish friendshipmatch. Both Yalchin and Mehmet saythey would like the Turkish-Armenianborder to be opened.Bursa was the first capital of theOttoman Empire in 1335. Today,this city is considered to be a nationalisticcenter in Turkey.Rana Yucelan, Seivcan Keskin,and Esra Gench are youngTurkish girls and said that I was thefirst Armenian that they had evermet. Asked what their feelings werewhen they saw an Armenian, theysaid that when they hear the wordArmenian, the first thing that comesto their minds is the word Genocide,which they vehemently refuted.These young girls said that theydid not want the border betweenTurkey and Armenia to be openedand complained that no one talksabout those Turks who sufferedduring the Ottoman period. f


22 The Armenian Reporter | October 17, 2009CommentaryEditorialthe armenianreporterThe Obama administration and Turkish tacticsSecretary of State Hillary Clinton, the foreignministers of Russia, France, and Switzerland,and the European Union’s top diplomatwere all on hand in Zurich on October10 for the signing of the protocols on thenormalization of relations between Armeniaand Turkey. They wished to provide internationalbacking for protocols they hadstrongly supported throughout the negotiatingprocess mediated by the Swiss, and toshare the credit for bringing together twonations that have been at odds for as long asanyone can remember.The precise contours of the disagreementbetween Armenia and Turkey were lostin most of the media coverage. There wassomething about many people allegedlygetting killed 90-odd years ago. There wassomething about drawing borders and openingborders. But what mattered was that theinternational community – for once – hadapparently succeeded in resolving a longstandingconflict. Perhaps President Obamadeserved his Nobel Peace Prize after all.But not so fast. The whole thing lookedlike it was going to fall apart. There was ahitch. What was the hitch? Was the Armenianside getting cold feet? Did Armenianeed extra persuading, extra cajoling? Mrs.Clinton had to miss a flight, but that’s okay;“it’s just what you sign up for” when you becomesecretary of state, as she put it.No, Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandiandid not need extra cajoling. Indeed, a failureto sign the protocols, to which the administrationof President Serge Sargsyan hasdeeply committed itself, would be an embarrassmentto the foreign minister and theadministration.What had happened was that the fundamentalcontradiction in Turkey’s two publicpositions had come to a head.On the one hand, Turkey’s Foreign MinisterAhmet Davutoglu was preparing to signan agreement under which Turkey wouldend its 16-year blockade of Armenia – onterms explicitly stated in the agreement.On the other hand, his government took– and takes – the position that it would notend the blockade until Armenia agreed to anadditional condition that does not appearin the document. The additional condition,of course, is to reach an agreement on theKarabakh conflict on Azerbaijan’s terms.It appears that Mr. Davutoglu was goingto state this additional condition in hisremarks after the signing. Mr. Nalbandianfelt he could not allow such a condition tobe voiced at the signing, lest it appear thatArmenia was agreeing to the condition. Theeventual solution was that all parties agreedto say nothing. This solution allowed thesigning to take place. But it did not solve theunderlying problem, which is Turkey’s reluctanceto abide by the terms negotiated.Turkey closed the border to make Armenianssuffer and force them into concessionsto Azerbaijan. Such concessions have beenTurkey’s primary precondition for endingits blockade. If Turkey agreed – by initialingthe protocols and now by signing them – toforgo this precondition, perhaps it understoodthat (a) the pressure was not workingand (b) promoting mutual trust in theregion would be more conducive than thestatus quo to a resolution of various issues,including the Karabakh conflict.But Ankara apparently can’t give up onits 16-year tactic. Maybe, the prime ministerappears to think, Yerevan will succumbto pressure now, now that an open borderseems within reach.President Sargsyan has made it clear,however, that he will not accept any linkagebetween Armenia-Turkey relations and Armenia-Azerbaijanrelations. If Turkey dragsits feet on ratifying the protocols, or if itratifies the protocols and fails to implementthem, Armenia will not sit around and waitpassively.“The Armenian side will have a correspondingreaction if Turkey protracts theprocess of ratification or raises conditionsfor it,” Mr. Sargsyan said in an address toEdward Nalbandian with Hillary Clinton, Zurich, Oct. 10. Photo: Tigran Tadevosyan/Photolure.the nation on October 10, hours before hisforeign minister signed the protocols. “Armeniaundertakes no unilateral commitmentsthough these protocols and does notmake any unilateral affirmations. Armeniais signing these protocols in order to createa basis for the establishment of normal relationsbetween our two countries. Hence, ifTurkey fails to ratify the protocols within areasonable timeframe and does not implementall the clauses contained herein withinthe provided timeframe, or violates them inthe future, Armenia will immediately takeappropriate steps as stipulated by the internationallaw.”In this position, Armenia has the statedsupport of the United States and the restof the international community. The Obamaadministration and the Clinton State Departmenthave insisted repeatedly that normalizationshould happen within a reasonabletimeframe and without preconditions.The big question is whether the administrationand the State Department are going tomake the effort to see their policy implemented.In Zurich, diplomats postponed the problemby agreeing to no post-signing speeches.But the problem will not go away. Turkeyneeds to be told in no uncertain terms thatit will be held responsible for its conduct goingforward.The Obama administration expendedmuch energy and political capital to securethe protocols. It has received credit for theapparent progress made to date. But normalizationwill not happen – indeed the conceptof normalization will be discredited fora long time – if Turkey is allowed to destroythe process. The administration needs to domore to prevent that from happening.We urge our readers in the United Statesto remind the Obama administration of itskey responsibility in moving all parts of theprocess forward – toward normalization ofrelations and also toward the affirmation byTurkey of some of the darkest pages of itspast, the Armenian Genocide.fLettersThe struggle shouldcontinueSir:Like many Armenians and non-Armenianswho wish Armenia well, I have been perplexedand frustrated by the events of thepast few weeks. Of course I knew, in my owntime in Armenia, that it was a priority for theRepublic of Armenia to seek an accommodationof some sort with neighboring Turkey.It was a necessity, in fact, given the highcost of living, the expense of transport, andthe isolation imposed by the border closure.But I did not expect the accommodation toemerge in the way and form it did. I am nowdisappointed and somewhat dismayed, butnot totally disheartened.In an online town-hall meeting hosted bythe ANCA, I expressed my opinion that theimpulse to seek an accommodation with Turkeywas well-founded, but that, in the actualexecution, it was flawed. That remains myjudgment. The best way to have establisheddiplomatic relations would have been simplyby doing so, with no implicit or explicitpreconditions. Although all sides are sayingthat there are no preconditions in the dealthat was signed at Zurich, it does not appearso obvious to many of us. On the other hand,it may have been impossible to do otherwisethan the authorities chose to do.At this point, though, it seems to me thatwe need to be a bit philosophical about all ofthis. The world is not going to change overnight.The quest for universal recognition ofthe Armenian Genocide will not stop. Themoral high ground that Armenia occupieswill not cease to be high ground. The sympathythat millions of people around the worldfeel for Armenia will not evaporate overnight.And Turkey, surely, will continue to evolve.The priority for the near future, in myview, should be to strengthen the Republicof Armenia to the maximum extent possible,along all dimensions of national power, economic,political, strategic, and social. This isparticularly necessary in the current difficulteconomic conditions. All eyes, of course,are now on Karabakh, and that negotiationneeds to be watched with great care.In short, the struggle should continue,with efforts rechanneled into new forms.Armenians everywhere should think aboutwhat they individually and collectively cando to help the republic navigate successfullythrough the shoals that lie ahead. The wellknowndivisions within the diaspora are, alas,not about to disappear, but perhaps theycould be eased somewhat in the interest ofovercoming this latest shock.Very truly yours,John M. EvansWashingtonMr. Evans was the U.S. ambassador to Armeniafrom 2004 to 2006.Tell us what you think. Write to letters@reporter.amArmenian Reporter (ISSN 0004-2358), an independent newspaper,is published weekly by Armenian Reporter llc.Copyright © 2009 by ArmenianReporter llc. All Rights ReservedGerard L. Cafesjian, President and ceoPeriodicals postage paid at Paramus, N.J., andadditional mailing offices.POSTMASTER: Send address changes to PO Box129, Paramus, NJ 07652-0129.The views expressed, except in the editorial, arenot necessarily those of the publishers.Editor Vincent LimaAssociate editor Maria 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 | October 17, 2009 23CommentaryTurkey’s guilty conscienceby Christian CarylOctober 9, 2009: Pop quiz: Can you name onepart of the world where the United Statesand the Russian Federation have been makingcommon cause? Correct answer: in Turkeyand Armenia, where the two powers havebeen collaborating of late.And that’s only one of the many remarkabletwists to emerge from a diplomaticquest that, for sheer complexity and emotionalexplosiveness, is likely rivaled only bythe search for peace in the Middle East. Ithas been a wild ride, and it’s not over yet.Ankara and Yerevan are signing two historicagreements that could pave the way towarda major diplomatic rapprochement and anopening of the two countries’ common 325-kilometer border, which has been closed forthe past 16 years.“I think we’re seeing a series of high-watermarks in a long process,” says the InternationalCrisis Group’s Hugh Pope. “Consideringwhere we’ve come from 10 years agoto where we are today, it’s nothing short ofamazing.”But there’s still a long way to go. Like theIsraelis and Palestinians, the Turks and Armeniansshare a lot of history, and that’snot always a good thing. As in the MiddleEast, the Turks and the Armenians are separatedby religion, harshly felt territorial disputes,and the poisonous legacy of killingon a scale so vast that it boggles the mind.Small wonder that the two peoples havespent most of the past 100 years locked inmutual antipathy.The issue that looms over all else is 1915’s“Great Calamity,” when more than 1 millionoverwhelmingly Orthodox ChristianArmenians met their deaths at the handsof mostly Muslim Ottoman Turks duringthe turmoil of World War I. Armenians,and most non-Turkish historians, say itwas genocide. The Turks, for their part,have long denied that it ever happened– perhaps because admitting the massacreswould cast a stain on the birth of thepresent-day Republic of Turkey, which wasestablished in the aftermath of the war. Acontroversial Turkish law that prohibitsinsults to “Turkishness” has sometimesbeen used as a basis for prosecuting thosewho would dare refer to the events of 1915as genocide.Christian Caryl is a contributing editor to ForeignPolicy. His column, “Reality Check,” appears weeklyon ForeignPolicy.com. This essay is reprinted withpermission..Understandably, many Armenians haveinsisted that a clear Turkish acknowledgmentof the 1915 massacres precede any diplomaticopening between the two countries– and that’s precisely what hasn’t happened.Instead the two governments have agreedto sidestep the issue by appointing an independenthistorical commission to discuss it.Armen Ayvazyan, director of the Ararat Centerfor Strategic Research in Yerevan, speaksfor many Armenian nationalists when he denouncesthis move as “outrageous.” Imagine,he says, that an unrepentant Nazi Germanyhad called for a “historical commission” todebate the Holocaust. Politically, the movehas also enabled the Turks to argue thatcountries that have been considering parliamentaryresolutions officially condemningOttoman actions in 1915 as genocide – read“the United States” – should postpone doingso, at risk of derailing the current rapprochement.One of the world’s thorniesthistorical conflicts is on theverge of being solved. Butlong-term peace betweenTurkey and Armenia mightbe as hard to achieve as alasting Middle East truce.And yet, as Pope insists, merely denouncingthe current normalization processas a sellout to an unrepentant Turkeymisses a key point. He notes that, since2000, a growing number of Turkish intellectualshave been steadily challenging thetraditional taboos, openly challenging theofficial version that downplays the 1915massacres as a few random atrocities ratherthan a systematic state-orchestratedcampaign of killing. (Among the dissenters:Nobel Prize-winning novelist OrhanPamuk.) They’ve been organizing academicconferences and pushing for the publicationof long-suppressed documents, suchas the diaries of senior Ottoman officialTalat Pasha, which clearly show his intimateinvolvement in the killings. Last December,a group of 200 Turks even organizeda petition expressing a Turkish apologyfor 1915, and it’s since been signed bysome 30,000 people.Given the history on both sides, one ofthe most surprising things about the normalizationprocess is how much support ithas managed to find. When Turkish PresidentAbdullah Gül launched the present initiativeby heading to a September 2008 soccermatch in Yerevan, a poll in Turkey foundthat 69.6 percent approved, while some 62.8percent thought Turkey should developeconomic and political ties with Armenia.“The more they [Turks and Armenians] meet,the more they realize how similar they are,”notes Diba Nigar Göksel of the EuropeanStability Initiative, pointing out that thereare already some 70,000 Armenian guestworkers in Turkey. (At the same time shebemoans the lack of the myriad exchangesand contacts of the kind that have considerablyenlivened relations between Turkeyand Greece over the past two decades). Still,she notes, public opinion in Armenia itselfpredictably remains more complicated: AskArmenians if they support opening the border,and they overwhelmingly approve; askthem if the border should be opened if Turkeydoesn’t acknowledge the 1915 genocide,and they overwhelmingly don’t.There’s another complicating factor waitingin the wings: the status of the “frozenconflict” between Armenia and Azerbaijan.The Azeris are ethnic Turks and have beenviewed with corresponding suspicion by theArmenians, even when both groups were livingin their own titular republics back in theold Soviet Union. In 1988, fighting broke outwhen the majority Armenian inhabitantsof the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh insideAzerbaijan insisted on joining their brethrenin Armenia proper.The war ended in 1994 with Armenianforces in tight control of Nagorno-Karabakhand the two republics – which became independentcountries after the collapse of theSoviet Union – locked in a state of mutualhostility that remains to this day. At firstthe Turkish push for normal relations withArmenia didn’t make resolving the Azeri-Armenianlogjam a precondition. But an outcryin Baku, as well as harsh criticism fromthe powerful nationalist opposition in theparliament in Ankara, forced the governmentof Turkish Prime Minister Recep TayyipErdogan to put Nagorno-Karabakh backon the agenda – despite apparent promiseshe’d made to the Armenians on that score.Lately Erdogan’s government has reaffirmedthat the rapprochement with Yerevan willgo ahead regardless of progress on the Azeri-Armenian peace talks.The stakes are enormous for both sides.The Turks closed their border with Armeniain 1993 as a rebuke for Armenia’s seizure ofNagorno-Karabakh, and since then Armenia’sonly land link with the rest of the Caucasushas been through Georgia. Openingthe border would give a huge boost to theArmenian economy. The Turks would benefitfrom vastly expanded geopolitical influencein the strategically sensitive Caucasus. Overthe long term, say analysts, the Erdogan governmentwould also be able to demonstratemuch greater diplomatic credibility in itsdealings with Greek Cypriots, and, beyondthat, with the European Union (which maintainsreservations about Turkey’s humanrights record and democratic bona fides). Ankarawould also, potentially, be able to counterthe chronic bad publicity it has receivedaround the world for its persistent denial ofthe genocide – no small thing given the enormouspolitical traction of the Armenian diasporain Europe and the United States.Moscow and Washington apparently thinkthey have something to gain, too – evenif they hold that belief “for very differentreasons,” Pope notes. Washington wants tosee a reduction of conflict in the Caucasusthat would enable energy from the region(and the neighboring countries of CentralAsia) to find alternate routes to the West (adesire shared, if less assertively, by many inBrussels). Moscow, meanwhile, thinks thatbringing its old ally Armenia and its newfriend Turkey closer together will diminishthe pull of “extraregional actors” (i.e.,the Americans and the Europeans) in theCaucasus. And the fact that lifting the ironcurtain between Turkey and Armenia willsubstantially reduce the geopolitical weightof Georgia, Moscow’s declared enemy, probablycontributes as well.Yet the deal is still a long way from done.The protocols that will be presented by thetwo governments this month still have tobe approved by the Turkish and Armenianparliaments. “The crucial point is ratification,”says Sinan Ülgen of the Centre for Economicsand Foreign Policy Studies in Istanbul.“This is going to be ratified if, and only if,Azerbaijan and Armenia can come to agreementon Karabakh.” And that is far from asure thing, given the long legacy of mistrust.Laurence Broers of the London-based nonprofitConciliation Resources points out thatthere are precedents from Turkish and Armenianleaders who tried to build rapprochementwithout sufficient backing from theirown peoples – they failed. “So I am not veryoptimistic.”Let’s see what happens next.fJaume Plensa inTamanyan ParkYEREVAN – After a late night,it was an early morning. Itook my older daughter toschool, stopped at my parents’apartment to drop somethingoff, and returned a LosAngeles–area phone call (whileit was still a decent hour 12 timezones away) as I walked downMoskovian Street toward thebus stop. Suddenly I noticedsomething new and incrediblehad appeared in Tamanyan Park.Right there in the middle ofwhat is now the CafesjianSculpture Garden at TamanyanPark was a semitransparentthree-dimensional work ofart. As I approached, I saw itwas a gorgeous work by JaumePlensa. I had to get off thephone to snap this photo. (Inthe background is FernandoBotero’s popular RomanWarrior.)The excitement is building upas the November 7–8 GrandOpening of the Cafesjian Centerfor the Arts approaches. Seeingthis work in the park, I felt likethe Center had already, in itsown way, improved the qualityof life in our capital city.—Vincent Lima.


24 The Armenian Reporter | October 17, 2009


The Armenian Reporter | October 17, 2009AGBU 10th Ad Full_Layout 1 9/14/09 2:06 PM Page 1


October 17, 2009artsculturethe armenian&reporterThe walls have tonguesGregory Lima visits Yerevan’s Museum of Modern Art. See page 12Emil Kazaz’s triumphant woman holding a severed head. Photo: Elina Melikyan for the Armenian Reporter.

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