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Former Armenian Deputy PM Appointed Head of IDeA Foundation

October 30, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Business, Diaspora No Comments
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12:28, October 30, 2014

Armen Gevorgyan is appointed the new Head of IDeA Foundation (Initiatives for Development of Armenia) set up by philanthropist and businessman Ruben Vardanyan and his wife Veronika Zonabend. 

“IDeA Foundation implements large-scale charity initiatives for Armenia, Artsakh and Armenian Diaspora which are aimed at creating conditions for worthy future of the Armenian people. We have many projects which are in various stages of implementation and we also have many new ideas and programs. I am convinced that Armen Gevorgyan has all the necessary traits to consistently put our projects into practice”, said Ruben Vardanyan.

China to invest $8m in construction of Chinese language school in Armenia

October 30, 2014 Armenia, Culture, Diaspora, Europe No Comments
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The school with in-depth study of the Chinese language to be constructed in Yerevan will be the largest school in Eastern Europe, Armenia’s Minister of Education and Science Armen Ashotyan told reporters on Thursday.The students will study Chinese culture as well.“The school will be provided with state-of-the-art infrastructures: a library, culture center, as well as a hall of residence, for talented students from Armenia’s regions to receive education,” the minister said.“We encourage foreign investments in education. This Armenian-Chinese project is of political importance because the school will promote Armenian-Chinese humanitarian cooperation. Given the Chinese side’s enthusiasm, $8m investment is expected. The Chinese language is gaining worldwide popularity,” Mr Ashotyan said.The construction is to be launched next year, with education process to start in two years. 

Artsakh Parliament Passes Law Regarding Ratification of European Cultural Convention

October 29, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Culture, Europe No Comments
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14:00, October 29, 2014

After one reading, the Artsakh Parliament today passed a law “On the Ratification of the European Cultural Convention”.

The parliament’s press office describes this step  as the beginning of Artsakh’s unilateral drive to join a number of international treaties and conventions.

The Convention was launched in 1954 by the Council of Europe.

In brief, it is designed to:

Develop mutual understanding among the peoples of Europe and reciprocal appreciation of their cultural diversity, to safeguard European culture, to promote national contributions to Europe’s common cultural heritage respecting the same fundamental values and to encourage in particular the study of the languages, history and civilisation of the Parties to the Convention. The Convention contributes to concerted action by encouraging cultural activities of European interest.

Big Brother to launch in China

October 29, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Asia, Diaspora, Video No Comments
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China is to get its own version of Big Brother for the first time, with the housemates’ exploits to be broadcast on popular video site Youku Tudou.The reality show, in which contestants are monitored 24 hours a day, has been seen in dozens of countries since launching 15 years ago, reports BBC Entertainment & Arts.Big Brother’s creators Endemol have signed a deal with Youku Tudou, the biggest online video site in China.The site has 500 million active users, according to a statement.Big Brother China will launch in early 2015 and will last for 10 weeks.Endemol Asia chief executive Arjen van Mierlo said: “We’re thrilled to announce this landmark deal with Youku Tudou Inc, bringing a format that has changed the face of television to China for the first time.”In a market that annually generates hundreds of billions of video views, partnering with the number one digital video platform will allow us to bring Big Brother to a young audience and deliver the most immersive, interactive and unique experience to fans across the nation.”The deal comes three years after the Chinese government orderedsatellite TV channels to cut the number of reality TV, dating and talk shows because of their “vulgar tendencies”. 

Armenia, Azerbaijan Urged To Step Up Efforts On Karabakh Settlement

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French President Francois Hollande called on his visiting Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts to show “political will” to overcome the differences and prepare their peoples for peace as he hosted their talks in Paris on Monday.

President Serzh Sarkisian, of Armenia, and President Ilham Aliyev, of Azerbaijan, met for a third time in less than three months over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. After face-to-face talks they were joined by the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group — U.S. Ambassador James Warlick, Igor Popov of Russia, and France’s Pierre Andrieu.

Hollande initiated the talks during his tour of the South Caucasus in May, three months before a major outbreak of violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.

Hraparak: Teachers of Yerevan schools urged to sell lotto tickets

October 28, 2014 Arts, Diaspora No Comments
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The paper cites complaints by secondary school teachers who reportedly claim that they are urged to realize lottery game tickets.
A teacher who contacted the paper on Monday said that one ticket of the lottery, Artsakh Lotto, sells for 2,000 Drams (approx $5). “That’s a disgrace. A teacher does not afford buying it but has to realize it in a way. How can they force a parent or pupil buy that lotto?,” the source told the paper, adding that pedagogues in nursery schools too are forced to sell the tickets.

Source: TertOriginial Article

Artsakh Foreign Minister Tours Armenian Communities in Canada

October 28, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Azerbaijan No Comments
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12:37, October 27, 2014

NKR Foreign Minister Karen Mirzoyan yesterday met with Armenian community representatives in Toronto on his first leg of a working visit to Canada.

Mirzoyan was also the principal speaker at the Hayastan All Armenia Fund annual gala and presented his government’s plans to develop the country.

He also spoke about the current stage of the Artsakh-Azerbaijan conflict settlement process.

The NKR foreign minister is scheduled to hold a series of meetings with the Armenian communities of Ottowa and Montreal.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Every day this nice old man is visited by a wild hummingbird

October 26, 2014 Diaspora, Film, Video No Comments
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Every day, 83-year-old Joao Silvestrini has the most unusual visitor – a hummingbird! It flies in and out of the kitchen window of his Brazil home several times a day, stopping for a chirpy chat and a drink of sugar water, odditycentral.com reports.The story of the unusual friendship between man and bird has become popular on Facebook, after Joao filmed the bird and posted the video online, last month. The footage shows the tiny bird flying around Joao’s head and waiting patiently until he offers it the daily dose of sugar sweetened water.Joao is a bachelor and a retired ornithologist; he wakes up at 5.30 every morning to open the kitchen window and wait for his little friend. Before long, the bird arrives in search of water and continues the routine several times during the day. “When he wants water, he is flying around me, he will not let me use the computer,” Joao laughed.“I like animals and always put sugar water for the hummingbirds in the backyard, but this one is shameless,” he added. “I talk to him, try to get closer, but he does not care for me. In fact, he only cares about drinking water.”Joao said that he isn’t surprised by this unusual behavior, because the bird seems to have become accustomed to human presence since it was very young. He also explained that hummingbirds are quite territorial, so if another one tries to drink from its special bird feeder, it will result in a fight.Ever since he uploaded the video, Joao has been getting several likes and friend requests on Facebook. “I cannot evaluate all the requests,” he said. “I just close my eyes and accept.” He is quite amazed at all the positive response – he explained that he only meant to share it with his friends and relatives, and he did not expect to become famous because of it.As much as he enjoys the hummingbird’s companionship, Joao knows that it will be short-lived. He realises that as the bird grows, it will become more independent and seek food from other sources. “It is already growing, it is almost an adult and will eventually leave. That’s life,” he said. 

From Knee Injury to Life Threatening Bone Cancer: Young Soldier Appeals for Help

October 25, 2014 Armenia, Arts 1 Comment
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18:30, October 24, 2014

“I don’t place any hope on the government”

This is the story of Mayis Geghamyan, a 19 year-old whose life was irrevocably changed on July 15, 2013 while serving as a conscript soldier in Artsakh.

It was on that date, just four days into his military service that Mayis took on a fall during a training exercise and damaged his right knee.

Today, he’s a patient at the Nayri Medical Center in Yerevan receiving chemotherapy for osteosarcoma which has metastasized into his lungs.  His right leg has since been amputated.

On the day I went to visit him in hospital, Mayis was feeling poorly but wanted to talk.

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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.