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Artsakh Defense Army Suppresses Azerbaijani Cross Border Firing

August 1, 2015 Armenia, Arts, Azerbaijan No Comments
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13:38, August 1, 2015

The Artsakh Defense Army reports that Azerbaijan violated the Line of Contact ceasefire 1,100 times from July 26 to August 1, firing 17,000 rounds including grenade launchers and mortars.

The Defense Army says it took counter measures that suppressed the Azerbaijani fire.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Young Yazidi Refugee from Iraq: ‘We felt it best to come to a Christian country like Armenia’

August 1, 2015 Armenia, Arts, Europe No Comments
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16:26, July 31, 2015

The bracelet worn by Fadil Bshar, a 17 year-old Yazidi from Iraq, catches my eye. Woven in white thread, it reads ‘Shangal’.

Shangal, also known as Sinjar/Shingal is a town in northern Iraq, mainly inhabited by Yazidis, which the Islamic State (IS) captured in August 2014. Hundreds of Yazidis were massacred and thousands fled to the mountains north of the town.

Fadil’s family of nine and that of his brother (5 members), took the flight from Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan and arrived in Armenia last night.

The families had been living in Shingal before IS captured the predominately Yazidi northern Iraqi province, also home to Arab and Assyrian minorities.

Azerbaijan Continues to Violate Line of Contact Ceasefire

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[unable to retrieve full-text content]The Artsakh Ministry of Defense reports that Azerbaijan violated the Line of Contact ceasefire 140
times last night and fired more than 2,500 rounds of ammunition, including mortars and grenade
launchers.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Annotating Yerevan

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18:01, July 30, 2015

Tina Bastajian is a media artist and researcher born in Los Angeles and based in Amsterdam. Currently she is a lecturer of documentary film at Amsterdam University College and of media and culture at Webster University, Leiden. Among her works are “Jagadakeer… between the near and east” (2001), “A tree once grew on Pushkin” (2009), “Coffee Deposits: Topologies of chance” (an interactive documentary in collaboration with Seda Manavoglu, 2010). Last week Tina Bastajian started a workshop at the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies called “Geolocated Storytelling”. Hetq spoke with Tina about the project and related issues.

What is ‘geolocated storytelling’ all about?

Towards Lifelong Freedom

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18:35, July 29, 2015

By Mher Yenokyan

Shall I open my eyes?

I am already awake.

I feel the light upon my closed eyelids.

When I was a little boy, I thought the day started at dawn. I did not even suspect that the elders’ day could start in darkness, at night. I was sure the New Day woke up as people did, in the morning, with the sun. I grew absorbed in thought when I discovered I had been counting the day from the wrong end for years. Something broke inside me; the childish candid and natural delusion was so naively pleasant.

I opened my eyes.

There are only the photos of the Woman-Girl. There is nobody around.

Gulbenkian Grant Helps Update “Armenian Jerusalem” Project

July 29, 2015 Armenia, Arts, Culture No Comments
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18:51, July 29, 2015

By Arthur Hagopian

The Gulbenkian Foundation, one of the world’s leading philanthropic organizations, has provided the “Armenian Jerusalem” heritage preservation website project with a new grant, enabling organizers to carry out necessary hardware upgrades and software updates.

The grant reaffirms the Foundation’s keen interest in the project and cements its support for what is hoped will help preserve the history, culture and traditions of the Armenians of Jerusalem, rescuing their saga from oblivion.

The project, launched in 2007, is the brainchild of Arthur Hagopian, former Press Officer of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and involves the creation of a website that will host a compendium of archival material chronicling the story of a community that has its roots in the city even before the advent of the Christian era.

Armenian Prime Minister Hosts Swiss-Armenian Businessman Sirmakes

July 28, 2015 Armenia, Arts, Business No Comments
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16:14, July 28, 2015

Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan today hosted Swiss-Armenian businessman Vardan Sirmakes, chairman and co-owner of luxury watch brand Franck Muller.

Abrahamyan praised Sirmakes for his $150 million backing of the “Hin Yerevan” (Old Yerevan) construction project for downtown Yerevan.

The Armenian prime minister also congratulated the Istanbul-born Sirmakes for his investments in Artsakh.

Photo (from left): Sirmakes, Abrahamyan

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Artsakh Military Responds to Azerbaijani Firing Along Line of Contact

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10:18, July 28, 2015

Azerbaijan violated the Line of Contact ceasefire 210 times last night and early this morning according to the Artsakh Ministry of Defense.

2,700 rounds were fired by Azerbaijani forces including mortars and grenade launchers.

Artsakh military units are reported to have responded  in kind.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Russian Night Wolves Gang ‘Not Involved’ In Planned Biker Trip To Karabakh

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A senior member of the Moscow-based Russian Armenian union has denied that an upcoming trip of a group of motorcyclists to Nagorno-Karabakh will involve members of the controversial nationalist biker gang linked with the Kremlin.

The Night Wolves, whose leader Alexander Zaldostanov, nicknamed “The Surgeon”, is friends with Russian President Vladimir Putin, are subject to sanctions in several countries in the West, including in the United States and Canada, for their alleged active involvement in the Russian annexation of Crimea and for helping recruit separatist fighters for Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine.

The biker gang also sparked controversy in Europe in May when it set off from Moscow to Berlin to mark the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.

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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.

Commentary

Capitalism Run Amok Is Just Plain Capitalism

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16:37, January 17, 2015

By Markar Melkonian

The source of Armenia’s misery and humiliation, we often hear, is not capitalism per se, but rather “gangster capitalism,” “a broken system,” “capitalism run amok.”

The goal for the future, then, is to “fix the system,” to reform capitalism, to make it more like regular, pure, genuine Free Enterprise, the kind of capitalism that works. But what if Armenia’s actually existing capitalism already is genuine capitalism?

An economist once observed that the only existential meaning of “enterprise” in the term free enterprise is “whatever capitalists happen to be doing at the time”–and “free” is the accompanying demand that they be allowed to do it.

Ukraine: Cops Go After Casinos, Suggest Yanukovych Connection

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21:45, December 15, 2014

Ukraine’s ministry of internal affairs has launched a campaign against illegal casinos amid fears that a large network of underground gambling dens could be providing an income source for the son of the country’s disgraced former president Viktor Yanukovych.

The new crackdown on unlawful casinos – an ongoing scourge for law enforcement agencies in Ukraine since regulation was made stiffer with a 2009 law – was launched on Dec. 8 after an announcement on Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov’s official Facebook page.

Avakov, who keeps a lively and occasionally angry Facebook commentary on current affairs, pledged to put a complete stop to the establishments within ten days; first in the capital of Kyiv, then the rest of the nation.

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.