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Karabakh ‘Ready’ To Accept Yazidi Refugees


Nagorno-Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian leadership on Tuesday expressed readiness to grant asylum to Yazidis who have been forced to flee their homes in parts of northern Iraq controlled by the Islamic State.

Davit Babayan, the spokesman for Bako Sahakian, the Karabakh president, referred to the Yazidis as “brotherly” people facing genocide at the hands of radical Sunni insurgents.

Political Party Calls for Opening of Artsakh Diplomatic Representation in Tehran

August 19, 2014 Armenia, Arts No Comments
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11:41, August 19, 2014

The National Rebirth political party in Artsakh has publicly voiced its concerns regarding the country’s low level of relations with neighboring Iran.

The party argues that better relations with Iran could open up new opportunities in Artsakh in the economic, political and cultural sectors.

National Rebirth thus urges the Artsakh government to take a more proactive stance regarding fomenting relations with Iran and calls for the opening of a permanent diplomatic representation in Tehran.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Armenia must have its place and interests in Russia – economist

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The recent expert opinions have cooled the euphoria over Armenia’s chances to benefit from Russia’s sanctions against the West and sin Russia’s market.
In an interview with Tert.am, economist Vardan Bostanjyan said:
“The production output cannot upsurge now, because Russia’s ban on the import of European products does not at all mean ample opportunities for Armenia to flood Russia’s markets with its agricultural produce. And relevant statements might have been more serious. They should have thought of boosting domestic production and exports instead of waiting for something bad to happen (Russia’s sanctions).”
Economist Tatul Manaseryan spoke of farm product raw materials available and the processing industry working with them.
“If any people are enthusiastic about their business interests, I should say that Armenia should have long ago entered Russia’s market, and this is an occasion to highlight this fact and think that, when Russia imposed sanctions on Georgian wines, we failed to take advantage of that or present our products in Russia’s market. The same can be said of mineral waters. That is numerous chances have been missed.
“Armenia can and must have its interests in Russia. We should not compare our products with their European counterparts because our failing to meet European standards is an obstacle to our entering the European market. That is, we have to resolve the competitiveness problem. Finally, we need a government approach in terms of food strategy, not in the context of one-year sanctions,” Mr Manaseryan said.

Yerevan ‘Deeply Concerned’ About Violence Against Iraqi Yazidis

August 15, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Top News No Comments

Armenia officially expressed concern on Friday at Islamist militants’ continuing campaign of violence against Yazidis in northern Iraq who have been forced to flee their homes in droves.

“We are deeply concerned by the violence against the Iraqi Yazidis perpetrated by extremists. We share the indignation of Yazidis living in Armenia concerning the ongoing tragic events,” Tigran Balayan, the Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman, said in written remarks.

“We agree with the international community on the need to immediately stop the violence by extremists in Iraq,” he said. “The Armenian Missions in the UN and other international organizations have received respective directives to closely cooperate with stakeholders on this issue.”

Political Party Calls on Artsakh Prez to Assist Iraqi Yezidis

August 15, 2014 Armenia, Arts No Comments
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12:19, August 15, 2014

Citing the fact that the Yezidi community in Armenia has always performed its civil duties in exemplary fashion, the National Rebirth political party has called on Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan to publicly express his position regarding the persecution of Yezidis in Iraq by the Islamic State (IS) and to meet with representatives of the community in order to assess the needs of Iraqi Yezidis and to provide all possible humanitarian assistance.

National Rebirth, in a statement, condemns the terrorist actions of the Islamic State and charges those nations supporting it with complicity in the genocide of the Yezidis in Iraq.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Armenia To Send Relief Aid To Iraqi Yezidis


Responding to appeals from leaders of Armenia’s Yezidi community, the Armenian government has decided to provide humanitarian assistance to their ethnic kin in northern Iraq that have been forced to flee for their lives in the face of advancing Islamist militants.

One of those leaders said on Wednesday that the government will allocate food aid worth $50,000. The Armenian Foreign Ministry confirmed this information.

“That is likely to be done through an international organization as there are serious problems connected with delivering aid to people there today. Right now we are in negotiations with a relevant international organization,” Tigran Balayan, the ministry spokesman, told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service (Azatutyun.am).

Armenia’s minister of defense congratulates young people

August 13, 2014 Armenia, Arts No Comments
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Armenia’s Minister of Defense Seyran Ohanyan addressed a congratulatory message on International Youth Day.
“Dear young people,
“The Armenian army, which was formed due to great sacrifices and won victory in the Artsakh war of liberation, has been excellently performing its heroic mission during the recent critical days and has felt popular support.
“As Armenia’s minister of defense, seeing the 18-2-year-old soldiers and officers at the posts, with their faces without a trace of panic, I recall the soldiers that were standing at the posts before them. I congratulate all of you on International Youth Day and express my gratitude as a man for your ability to defend your homeland and people and for you willingness for any sacrifice when you hear the words ‘Armenia’ and ‘Artsakh.’”

Stop the Violence in Syria and Iraq – Armenians, Assyrians Protest at United Nations

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10:01, August 12, 2014

NEW YORK, NY- Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region (ANCA ER) activists joined with leaders of the Assyrian, Chaldean and Syriac communities to rally international support for ending targeted attacks against their brethren in Iraq and Syria during a peaceful protest held in front of the United Nations in New York City.

The ANCA Eastern Region’s Armen Sahakyan voiced solidarity with the Assyrian community, noting that today’s violence harkens back to Turkey’s genocide and exile of over 3 million Armenian, Pontian Greek and Assyrian Christians from 1915-1923.

Sahakyan went on to urge greater international effort to end the violence against these beleaguered communities, initiated by radical extremists and, in the case of Syria’s Aleppo and Kessab communities, supported by the Turkish Government.

Nagorno-Karabakh president thanks Defense Army for efficient border protection

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President of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) Bako Sahakyan convoked a working consultation on Monday dedicated to a range of domestic and foreign policy issues.President Sahakyan expressed his gratitude to the defense ministry, the command staff and all the personnel of the NKR Defense Army and to the relevant units of other structures for keeping steadfast the state’s border, averting the enemy’s intrusion attempts, maintaining stability and peace in the region, noting that their work was among the best manifestations of self-devotion, high professionalism and patriotism, which inspires pride to all the Armenians.Special attention was paid to the situation along the borderline, increasing the army’s fighting efficiency, the process of the Artsakh Republic’s international recognition, the activities carried out in various sectors of the economy.Bako Sahakyan gave concrete instructions to the responsible representatives of the concerned structures on the discussed issues and their efficient implementation.Primate of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church Archbishop Pargev Martrosyan, National Assembly chairman Ashot Ghoulyan, prime-minister Ara Haroutyunyan, other officials were present at the consultation. 

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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.