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“We are happy from Karabakh” – 35,000 Youtube Hits

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09:50, June 30, 2014

The video of “We are happy from Karabakh”, based on the famous “Happy” song of Pharrell Williams, was circulated yesterday on Youtube.

In a mere 18 hours it has received more than 35,000 views.

It has been produced by Areg Balayan and Arsen Beglaryan with the support of “Hayastan” All Armenian Fund.  

The video comprises 70 episodes with participation of over 120 people. The long-time friend of Artsakh Baroness Caroline Cox of the UK House of Lords also took part in the project, dancing together with disabled people and employees of the Stepanakert rehabilitation center.
Its authors aim to demonstrate that Artsakh is not a conflict, but a developing state with happy people, who enjoy their everyday lives.

Aliyev Again Blames Mediators For Karabakh Stalemate

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Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has again denounced the U.S., Russian and French mediators and the broader international community for not helping his country regain control over Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenian-controlled territories surrounding it.

Speaking after military exercises held by the Azerbaijani army on Thursday, he also renewed his threats to reconquer those lands by force.

Aliyev claimed that the world has been pursuing a “policy of double standards” towards Azerbaijan in the Karabakh conflict. “Unfortunately, the mediators dealing with this issue, the OSCE Minsk Group, are doing more to step up confidence-building measures than to resolve the conflict peacefully,” he told military personnel involved in the drills. They are keen to prevent another Armenian-Azerbaijani war, rather than “restore justice,” he said.

Armenian PM Admits Snags In Eurasian Union Entry

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Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian appeared to have acknowledged on Thursday a delay in Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

“Better late than never,” Abrahamian told reporters when asked about the Russian bloc’s anticipated failure to draft an accession treaty with Armenia by July 1.

The deadline was set by the presidents of the three EEU member states at a summit held in the Kazakh capital Astana on May 29.

“There were some issues or directions that had to be discussed. They are being discussed. Things will be clear after the July 3 meeting,” said Abrahamian.

“At any rate, I think that the process will progress. In terms of the time frame, there could be changes,” he added.

Ex-PM Named New Armenian Ambassador To U.S.

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Former Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian was appointed as Armenia’s ambassador to the United States on Thursday nearly three months after his surprise resignation.

Sarkisian stepped down on April 3, just two days after the country’s four leading opposition parties announced plans to hold nonstop rallies in Yerevan in support of their parliamentary motion of censure against his cabinet.

Opposition leaders said President Serzh Sarkisian (no relation) forced the premier to step down in order to stave off protests that would have threatened his hold on power. Representatives of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) denied that. But neither they nor Tigran Sarkisian gave a clear reason for the resignation followed by a government reshuffle.

Armenian PM Visits Karabakh Frontline

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Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian visited “the line of contact” east of Nagorno-Karabakh and inspected Armenian military positions there on Wednesday at the end of a two-day trip to the disputed territory.

Photographs released by the Armenian government showed a uniform-clad Abrahamian walking through trenches and talking to soldiers on frontline duty. He was accompanied by General Movses Hakobian, the commander of the Karabakh Armenian army, and other top military officials.

“It is very important to be with soldiers and familiarize oneself with their challenges on the ground,” Abrahamian told reporters. “This time I got a better sense that the soldiers are enthusiastic and confident and, most importantly, things are good.”

Kocharian Again Speaks Up

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Armenia – Former President Robert Kocharian is interviewed by Karabakh state television, 01Sep2011.

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More Armenian-Azerbaijani Truce Violations Reported

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Armenia — Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian inspects Armenian army positions on the border with Azerbaijan’s Nakhichevan exclave, 19Jun2014

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Russian Arms Exporters Visit Azerbaijan

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Azerbaijan – Russian-made tanks, artillery systems and attack helicopters put on display at a military base in Nakhichevan, 7Apr2014.

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Russia Reassures Azerbaijan Over Armenian Membership

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Azerbaijan – Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov (L) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a press conference in Baku, 18Jun2014

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CNN International Explores the Secrets of Armenia’s Stone Henge

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Featured Books

Book Reviews

John Balian’s “Novel Approach” Brings the Armenian Saga to the Masses – An interview with John Balian by Lucine Kasbarian

Gray Wolves and White Doves cover art

Armenians often wish for a tale about the Armenian Genocide and its aftermath that would make a blockbuster film and draw attention to their cause. John Balian’s new book, Gray Wolves and White Doves (CreateSpace/Amazon.com), may be that tale.

 Largely autobiographical, this atmospheric novel is presented through the eyes of an innocent young boy trying to make sense of the world as he grows up amid repressive conditions in Western Armenia/Eastern Turkey during the 1960s and 70s.

 This fast-paced, multi-layered narrative takes readers from Hanna Ibelin’s (a.k.a. Jonah Ibelinian’s) close-knit family life in the perilous Asia Minor region of Palu to terror and tragedy while en route to Syria’s Kamishli, to a bleak existence on the mean streets of Istanbul.

New Children’s Picture Book From Armenian Folklore

Teaneck, N.J. and Belmont, Mass. –  An Armenian folktale retold by Armenian-American writer Lucine Kasbarian and illustrated by Moscow-based artist Maria Zaikina debuts with Marshall Cavendish Children’s Publishers in April 2011.

The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale is from the ancient Armenian oral tradition and culture, which was nearly obliterated during the Turkish genocide of the Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks in 1915. The author learned the tale from her father, editor and columnist C.K. Garabed, who would recite it to her at bedtime. He had learned it from his own grandmother, a celebrated storyteller from the Old Country.  The tale was first put to paper by Armenian poet Hovhannes Toumanian at the turn of the 20th century.

“We Need To Lift The Armenian Taboo”

Turkish writer and publicist Ahmet Insel labels the initiative of the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party to pray namaz on the ruins of Ani as provocation.

In an interview with “A1+,” the publicist said the initiative was supported only by a small percentage of Turks.

“They offered namaz in Ani in protest against Christian rites carried out in Trabzon and Akhtamar. The leader of the Nationalist Movement Party, Devlet Bahceli said if Christians are allowed to pray inside museums, similarly he can pray namaz in Armenian churches,” said Ahmet Insel.

The Turkish writer arrived in Armenia to participate in a book festival. Presentation of Armenian version of Dialogue sur le tabou arménien (Dialogue about the Armenian Tabou) co-authored by Ahmet Insel and Michel Marian was held during the festival.

US Media Discusses The Armenian Genocide

BURBANK, CALIFORNIA –  KFI 640, a popular news/talk radio station hosted by Bill Handel on September 23 aired a live interview with Michael Bobelian, the writer of a new book titled  Children of Armenia: A Forgotten Genocide and the Century-long Struggle for Justice

The book chronicles the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide of 1915, and recounts a people’s struggle for justice in the face of a century of silence and denial.

During the interview, which was aired during the prime morning time slot, Bill Handel addressed both the efforts within the United States to ensure that the US government appropriately acknowledges the Armenian Genocide and Turkey’s ongoing denial.

Handel, a well known and nationally syndicated radio talk show host, has discussed the Armenian Genocide during past shows.

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Commentary

China: President Takes Action Against High Ranking Corrupt Officials

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21:31, July 30, 2014

Zhou Yongkang, one of China’s most powerful former leaders, is under investigation in the highest-level corruption inquiry since the Communist Party came into power in 1949.

Under current president Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection is investigating Zhou for “serious disciplinary violations,” as the officialXinhua news agency reports. Media has not yet, however, specified the allegations against him.

The probe is an attempt to show the length to which Xi and the party will go in order to combat abuse of power reportsThe Wall Street Journal. 

A commentary published in the officialPeoples Daily makes the point that regardless of  an official’s rank or supporters, punishment will result for violating laws or the party’s discipline. 

Armenian Gangs: Caught between an Archetype and a Cliché

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19:15, July 12, 2014

By Marineh Khachadour

“The whole thing started with a scene straight out of a mobster movie. It was around 6 p.m. when more than a dozen men from two organized crime groups opened fire on each other in a North Hollywood parking lot. Witnesses say nearly everyone was armed, and the shootout quickly went mobile. The men took off in cars, exchanging fire as they weaved through the Whitsett Avenue traffic.”

Stories such as this are not unique to Armenians in the American press, but this investigative report recently published in the LA Weekly is about Armenian Power, the Los Angeles based Armenian gang that operates in the heavily Armenian populated communities of Glendale, Burbank, and North Hollywood.

Want to Write for Hetq?

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10:24, March 14, 2014

I’m looking for freelancers who can broaden the scope of Hetq’s English edition

Arts & Culture, Commentary, Politics, Civil Society, Interviews…

Anything interesting happening in your local community you’d like to share?

Write to me with your ideas and story suggestions.

Hrant at hg.hetq@gmail.com

Source: HetqOriginial Article

For Better or For Worse: Nature Protection Ministry Proposes Amendments to Water Use Laws

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16:44, February 14, 2014

With the goal of providing a systematic solution to issues of effective use of water resources in Ararat valley, the Ministry of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia (RA) is proposing amendments and additions to the RA Water Code, and the RA laws on the Republic of Armenia’s National Water Program, on Licensing, and on State Tax.

The proposed legislative package has been sent to the relevant state agencies for their input.

Head of the Ministry of Nature Protection’s Water Resources Management Agency Volodya Narimanyan told Hetq, said that with this amendment package his ministry is attempting to clarify the ideas and the ambiguous commentary, as well as introduce new requirements. For example, one of the main points of the proposed amendments is if water use permit conditions are not met, the water use permit might be annulled.

2013 in Civil Society: Protests and more protests

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The struggle of civil movements this year has been comprehensive and diverse with limited success in certain fields due to unified efforts and active involvement of the civil society.

Despite the rather passive start of the year in terms of civil movements, the second half of 2013 turned out to be tense with active developments.

Some analysts believe that especially after the February 18 presidential ballot, when current president Serzh Sargsyan won a decisive victory over his opponents and was re-elected for a second term, despite the widespread poverty and atmosphere of injustice in the country, people became even more aware of the fact that is it impossible to achieve changes via elections and started practicing their constitutional rights to civil protest and disobedience more frequently.