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Searching for the Subjects of Three Photos Taken in Three Wars

September 19, 2014 Armenia, Film, Karabakh No Comments
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13:28, September 19, 2014

Photo-journalist Oleg Klimov has covered numerous wars during his career.

Twenty years on, Klimov decided to locate the subjects in three photos he shot in three conflicts – Karabakh, Abkhazia and Chechnya.

Klimov confesses that the identity of people he’s photographed during war were unknown to him and merely served as characters caught up in a wider conflict.

In a film entitled “Letters to Myself”, the documentarian Masha Novikovachronicles the search of Klimov to track down these individuals, starting with Karabakh.

The photo is entitled – Madonna with Klashnikov in Hand”. Klimov can only remember that it was taken in Stepanakert, the capital of Karabakh.

Armenia’s premier receives Kuwaiti parliamentary delegation

September 19, 2014 Armenia, Business, Culture, Diaspora No Comments
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Armenia’s Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan received a Kuwaiti parliamentary delegation led by Head of the Kuwaiti-Armenian parliamentary friendship group Faisal Al Shaya.Armenia’s premier welcomed the guests and highlighted the development of Armenian-Kuwaiti relations.
“Armenia’s government is interested in expanding the bilateral trade and economic ties and in implementing different investment projects. We are ready to create favorable conditions for Kuwaiti capital,” Mr Abrahamyan said.
Mr Faisal Al Shaya conveyed the Kuwaiti premier’s greetings and invitation to visit Kuwait to Armenia’s premier. According to him, mutual visits will give new impetus to Armenian-Kuwaiti cooperation. Mr Faisal Al Shaya stressed Kuwait’s interest in developing the bilateral trade and economic ties. In this context, he stressed the need for closer cooperation between the Armenian and Kuwaiti Chambers of Commerce in organizing business forums.
The sides were unanimous on great potential for cooperation in agriculture, industry, tourism and other areas. They also stressed the importance of launching direct flights.
Mr Faisal Al Shaya stated that Kuwait is ready to support the construction of the New Aleppo district.

Artsakh Minister: "We aren’t a country wealthy enough to work on just one school ten times”

September 18, 2014 Armenia, Arts No Comments
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14:22, September 18, 2014

Earlier this month, Hetq published an article entitled “Artsakh Border Community School in Need: New Ping-Pong Tables Aren’t the Answer”highlighting the problems facing students and teachers at the Aknaberd School in Artsakh’s norther Martakert District.

The school, in the former Azeri village, was built in 1974 and needs serious renovation, both inside and out.

We contacted Artsakh Minister of Urban Development Karen Shahramanyan on the issue. His reply was that there weren’t enough pupils in the village to warrant renovating the entire school building.

“If I’m not mistaken the school can accommodate at least 300 students,” was the minister’s reply, arguing that since the school has an enrollment of 111,   renovation isn’t a priority.

Karabakh Armenians Hail Scottish Referendum


Nagorno-Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian leadership welcomed on Thursday the referendum on Scotland’s independence from Britain as yet another triumph of peoples’ right to self-determination that has been championed by it in the conflict with Azerbaijan.

A spokesman for Bako Sahakian, the Karabakh president, praised the British government for allowing the Scots to decide whether they want to become an independent state or remain part of the United Kingdom.

“Whatever the outcome of the referendum, the main thing is how Great Britain has responded to such an aspiration. As we can see, [it has responded] in a very civilized way. I see no pressure on and no intimidation of Scots,” the official, Davit Babayan, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).

Aznavour to give concert in Moscow

September 17, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora, Music No Comments
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World-famous French-Armenian singer and song-writer Charles Aznavour is going to give a concert in Moscow on October 3, ITAR-TASS reports.
Speaking to the agency, the musician said that he continues thinking about the release of a CD in Russian. He expressed a desire to listen to the songs in French before recording them in the original Russian version.
He described Russia as a country that gives him a unique sense of pleasure upon every visit.
Over the course of his career that over decades, Aznavour has released more than 100 CDs and played in 60 movies. In 1997, the he was honored with the French Academy’s César Award for his contribution to the cinema art.

Source: TertOriginial Article

Stunning Cartier tiger jewellery bought by Edward VIII for wife Wallis Simpson goes on sale for £1.5 million

September 16, 2014 Arts, Diaspora, Music No Comments
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Two bejewelled tigers made by Cartier for Wallis Simpson and later given to opera star Sarah Brightman by Andrew Lloyd Webber have emerged for sale for £1.5 million, the Daily Mail reports. The brooch and bracelet were bought by Edward VIII, the Duke of Windsor, in the late 1950s when he and his wife were living in exile in France following his controversial abdication.The Duchess of Windsor had a love of fine jewellery and she was showered with expensive gifts by Edward.Following her death in 1986, her enormous jewellery collection was sold off in a landmark auction held in Geneva.One of the bidders was composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, who snapped up the tiger brooch and bracelet made from onyx, diamond and emerald as a present for his then wife Sarah Brightman.The gift celebrated the couple’s success in the hit musical Phantom of the Opera, which Lloyd Webber wrote and Brightman starred in.Brightman, 54, the world’s most successful classical singer, is now selling the jewellery through London auctioneers Christie’s with a price tag of £1.5 million.A Christie’s spokesman said: ‘The Cartier Tiger Collection has been a highlight of 20th century jewellery design since it first appeared in 1928.’The rarity of these pieces is enhanced by the story behind their ownership – two romantic tales where they became symbols of love through the act of giving.’Edward VIII was King for less than a year when he abdicated in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson.’Living in France, together they created a remarkable collection of avant-garde jewels that defined the style of the 1940s and 1950s.’These pieces were bought by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor from Cartier between 1956 and 1959.’In the legendary sale of her collection in 1987 in Geneva a total of seven Great Cats pieces by Cartier were offered, including the two tiger pieces now presented for sale.’It was at this auction that Andrew Lloyd Webber bought them for his then wife, Sarah Brightman.’They were a present to her to celebrate the huge London and Broadway success of The Phantom of the Opera, which he wrote and in which she starred.’Over the years, the jewels have brought immense joy to Ms. Brightman, who would now like to release them to new splendor in order for others to appreciate them as she did.’Some of the proceeds of the sale will be donated to the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation which supports arts and music in schools.The auction will take place on November 11 in Geneva. 

U.S., Russia ‘Still Cooperating’ On Karabakh


The United States and Russia continue to work together in trying to broker a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict despite their disagreements on other international problems, a senior U.S. diplomat insisted on Tuesday.

“Despite our differences in other parts of the world, we see eye to eye on the way forward and we want to coordinate our diplomacy,” James Warlick, the U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, told reporters in Yerevan.

Warlick made the comment as he answered a question about the sincerity of Russia’s peace efforts given large-scale arms supplies to Azerbaijan. “We are concerned about the arms buildup and risks that that poses for peace and for successful negotiations,” he said before insisting that U.S.-Russian cooperation in the Karabakh peace process is continuing despite Russia’s deepening standoff with the West.

Armenian Parties Remain Divided On Constitutional Reform

September 16, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Asia, Top News No Comments

Armenia’s leading pro-government and opposition parties stuck to their conflicting positions on far-reaching constitutional changes sought by President Serzh Sarkisian at a roundtable discussion of their top representatives held in Yerevan on Tuesday.

Raffi Hovannisian, the leader of the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party, organized the one-day meeting of the six parties represented in the Armenian parliament in an attempt to bridge their differences. An ad hoc presidential commission drafting constitutional amendments was also invited to participate in the gathering.

Members of the commission, the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and the opposition Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) argued that curtailing the sweeping presidential powers is critical for Armenia’s democratization.

James Warlick: We are concerned about Armenian-Azerbaijani border tension

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The US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group says the mission is concerned over the recent violence along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border and the Line of Contact surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh.
At a news conference held at the US Embassy in Yerevan, James Warlick voiced alarm over Azerbaijan’s arms build-up and the possible risks it poses to the region.
“We work very closely working with the Russians and communicate regularly with the Russian co-chair in the context of the Minsk Group. Despite our difference in other parts of the world, we see the way forward. And we want to coordinate our diplomacy and work together, and I hope we can, at some point as mediators, achieve a lasting settlement [of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict]. We are concerned about the arms buildup and risks it poses for peace and for successful negotiations. That’s our shared goal of peace,” he said.
The diplomat stressed the role of the conflicting countries’ active efforts towards reducing the tension in the border zone.
“This isn’t an issue for co-chairs to deal with directly, but we do talk about the issue of violence along the Line of Contact and along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border. We are concerned about the violence that has taken place and the deaths and injuries it has resulted, and if we are to find a way to a lasting peace, we know that violence must stop and the ceasefire must be respected.”

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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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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


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.