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Bako Sahakyan attends opening of momument to hero commander

October 24, 2014 Arts, Diaspora, Karabakh No Comments
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President of the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) Republic Bako Sahakyan on Friday visited the Tonashen village (Martakert region) to participate in the solemn opening of a monument to a legendary war hero.
According to a press release by the NKR Presidential Office, Sahakyan granted a post-posthumous hero’s title to Commander Shahen Meghryan, praising his exceptional services, courage and valor during the 1990’s liberation war.
He highly appreciated the late commander’s contribution to Nagorno-Karabakh’s state-building efforts, noting that that his life and activities were a fair proof of faithful devotion and service to the Motherland.
The president honored eight war veterans with the medal For Courage and for Service. Three of the awards were posthumous.

Source: TertOriginial Article

Tour De Armenia – New Travel Book about Armenia Now Available

October 24, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Diaspora, Europe No Comments
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09:45, October 24, 2014

In the words of Raffi Youredjian, the London based author of Tour De Armenia, the book tells the story of his 1,000-kilometer cycling journey through Armenia and Artsakh looking for adventure, searching for identity, and quite possibly getting married off along the way.

Youredjian, a traveler since the age of 16, describes his first book as a non-fiction comedy that seeks to entertain but which also has a higher purpose – getting young Armenians in the diaspora interetested in Armenia.

“I’ve always felt young Armenians in the diaspora have nothing that connects them to their homeland in the modern era, and I wanted to create something to fill that gap,” says the author, who works for the Discovery Channel in London.

Contemporary American Writers’ Tour of Armenia Ends with Public Reading at AUA

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21:30, October 23, 2014

By Karine Aghajanyan

Introducing Armenians to the contemporary American literary scene plus a bit of Turkish-Armenian diplomacy

Peter Balakian was one of the five contemporary award winning American writers and poets who hosted a public reading at Yerevan’s American University of Armenia on October 22 – the culmination of a literary tour of Armenia to introduce Armenians to the contemporary American literary scene.

The five writers – Gish Jen, Mary Hickman, Peter Balakian, Chris Merrill and Gregory Orfalea –read from their works and explained the contextual background that compelled them to write the work in question.

The mostly young and enthusiastic audience, many students and budding writers, engaged the five American writers in a lively Q&A session that followed.

Keira Knightley to make Broadway stage debut

October 24, 2014 Diaspora, Film No Comments
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British actress Keira Knightley is to make her Broadway debut next year in a stage version of a famous French novel, the BBC reports.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star will play the title role in Therese Raquin, based on Emile Zola’s 1867 classic.
Described as “a tale of love, lust, betrayal, and guilt,” the play will cast her as a young woman trapped in a loveless marriage who has an affair with one of her husband’s friends.
The Roundabout Theatre Company show opens in October 2015 in New York.
Knightley, who turns 30 next year, previously trod the boards in London in The Misanthrope and The Children’s Hour.
The actress has two films out next month in the UK – World War Two drama The Imitation Game and US comedy Say When.
Therese Raquin has been staged and filmed many times, most recently as the film In Secret starring Elizabeth Olsen.
The new version is by British playwright Helen Edmundson, who previously adapted the Tolstoy novels Anna Karenina and War and Peace for the stage.
Knightley appeared in a 2012 film of Anna Karenina and has also appeared in film adaptations of Pride and Prejudice and Ian McEwan’s Atonement.
Therese Raquin begins previews on 1 October and has its opening night on 29 October at a Broadway theatre yet to be announced.
Earlier this year Knightley revealed she had hoped to take The Children’s Hour to Broadway but could not work out the scheduling with co-star Elisabeth Moss.
“We tried to make it happen, but our scheduling didn’t work out,” she told The Advocate. “It was a real shame, because it would be great doing it on Broadway.”

Catholicos Aram I – Armenia and Diaspora Have Different Approaches, but Same Aim, Regarding Genocide Demands

October 23, 2014 Armenia, Culture, Diaspora No Comments
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16:32, October 23, 2014

On October 21, Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia rubbed shoulders with Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan at a celebration in Nor Jougha (Iran) marking the 350th anniversary of the founding of the Holy Savior Cathedral (Sourb Amenaprkich)

Abrahamyan was in Iran heading an Armenian delegation for talks with government officials

Also on hand from Armenia were Diaspora Minister Hranoush Hakobyan and Culture Minister Hasmik Poghosyan. (A press release from the Great House of Cilicia says that seven Armenian ministers were on hand)

Prime Minister Abrahamyan is said to have congratulated the Nor Jougha Armenian community for maintaining its identity for the past 400 years.

Romania: Forest Agency, Officials Investigated For Corruption

October 22, 2014 Armenia, Business, Culture No Comments
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21:21, October 22, 2014

The Romanian Anti-Corruption Office (DNA) raided offices and businesses connected to the Romanian state forest authority, Romsilva, on Oct. 15 over allegations of bribery and corruption.

Those under investigation include Adam Craciunescu, the head of Romsilva, and Ilie Sarbu, the former Minister of Agriculture and father-in-law to Prime Minister Victor Ponta.

At issue are allegations that the accused helped sell forest lands fraudulently re-appropriated after the fall of Communism. Romanian law states individuals can reclaim ownership to forest if they can provide certain inheritance documents, but the system has been plagued with large-scale fraud.

France Looks Forward To Armenian-Azeri Summit

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France’s President Francois Hollande will try to revive the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process when he hosts fresh talks between his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts in Paris early next week, the French ambassador in Yerevan said on Wednesday.

Henri Reynaud said the French government expects the upcoming summit to “give new impetus in the substantive sense” to the long-running search for a compromise solution to the Karabakh conflict. It also hopes that Presidents Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev will agree on confidence-building measures that will boost “stability on the frontline” around Karabakh and along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, he told a news conference.

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UK: Police Intercept Stolen Cars At Ports

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17:17, October 21, 2014

In ports across the United Kingdom, shipping containers may conceal stolen vehicles destined for other countries. A recent operation by British authorities seized many of these vehicles before they could be smuggled overseas.

A crackdown codenamed “Operation Toyer” recovered 44 high-end vehicles and SUVs, including BMWs, Range Rovers, Audis, and a Porsche Cayenne. The haul also included Scania trucks and a Komatsu hydraulic excavator, according to the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Police said the vehicles were destined for Africa, Cyprus, France, the USA, Malaysia and Burma. The stolen goods, which also included a container of parts from 29 stolen BMWs, were worth nearly US$ 2 million.

Designer Oscar de la Renta dies aged 82

October 21, 2014 Arts, Diaspora No Comments
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US fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, who dressed former first ladies Jackie Kennedy and Hillary Clinton, has died aged 82, his family has confirmed, the BBC reports. De La Renta, who most recently designed Amal Clooney’s wedding dress, was diagnosed with cancer in 2006.Born in the Dominican Republic in 1932, he left home at 18 to study painting in Madrid, Spain.He soon developed a love of fashion design and began an apprenticeship with Spain’s designer Cristobal Balenciaga.De la Renta made his name in the early 1960s when the then first lady, Jackie Kennedy, frequently wore his designs. He launched his own label several years later.Over the following decades he dressed nearly every first lady up to and including Michelle Obama, who he once chided for not wearing American designers.Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush all opted for De la Renta gowns.Laura Bush described the designer as “the man who made women look and feel beautiful”.Mrs Obama eventually made her first appearance in one of his dresses at a White House reception in October.At a ceremony honoring the designer this year, Hillary Clinton heaped praise upon De la Renta.”This man has been working for more than 20 years to turn me into a fashion icon,” she said.De la Renta rose to further prominence after being chosen by Amal Alamuddin to design the gown for her wedding to George Clooney.”George and I wanted a wedding that was romantic and elegant, and I can’t imagine anyone more able than Oscar to capture this mood in a dress,” Mrs Clooney told Vogue.”Meeting him made the design process all the more magical, as he is so warm and such a gentleman.”De la Renta passed away at his home in Connecticut, reports say. The cause of his death was not immediately clear, although he had been diagnosed with cancer.His stepdaughter Eliza Reed Bolan said in a statement that De la Renta had passed away surrounded by family and friends and “more than a few dogs”.”While our hearts are broken by the idea of life without Oscar, he is still very much with us,” the statement said.”All that we have done, and all that we will do, is informed by his values and his spirit.” 

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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

Yerevan Calling: A Weekly Roundup of Random Musings from Armenia

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13:05, October 3, 2014

Here it is dear readers, the debut of a weekly column I hope to maintain on a regular basis.

It’s sort of a catch-all of news snippets, irreverent commentary, and personal observations on what’s happened during the week here in Yerevan, and throughout Armenia.. Hopefully, you’ll find it interesting, if not slightly diverting.

Your comments and suggestions are welcomed.

Regards – Hrant

Oct. 2 – Protests Throughout Armenia: A Game of Numbers & Solidarity

Three separate protest rallies took place in Armenia today.

As Hetq reported earlier, business owners in the town of Sevan kept their stores and factories shut to protest changes to the so-called volume (sales) tax. Local residents flocked to the bread factory to wait on line for a loaf or two.

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.