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OCCRP Launches 1st Documentary: Feud Between Kremlin Connected Businessmen

April 17, 2015 Armenia, Business, Film No Comments
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17:35, April 17, 2015

Today OCCRP launches “Killers Inc.,” its first independently produced investigative documentary. The film is the result of a two-year, multi-country investigation examining a violent feud between businessmen connected to the Kremlin, and the criminal groups and assassins-for-hire tasked with settling their scores.

On the evening of March 20, 2012, Gherman Gorbuntsov, a controversial Russian banker living in self-exile in England, entered his apartment in East London. As the door closed behind him, an assassin shot the banker multiple times. Gorbuntsov lived, barely, but the question of who ultimately sent the assassin pointed to Gorbuntsov’s Russian past, and the Kremlin-connected businessmen he once considered his partners.

New Street Photography Book Chronicles the Legacy of Bourj Hammoud

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12:41, April 16, 2015

Beirut Neighborhood Became Home to Thousands of Armenian Genocide Survivors

On the occasion of the Armenian Genocide Centennial and the 40th anniversary of the start of the Lebanese Civil War, filmmaker and documentarian Ara Madzounian is releasing a book of original photographs that chronicles Bourj Hammoud, the Beirut suburb which became home for Armenian Genocide survivors.

Madzounian, who was born in Bourj Hammoud to parents who survived the Armenian Genocide, has been at the helm of scores of Armenian and non-Armenian multimedia projects around the world. His resume includes directing films, documentaries, producing popular music and telethons and performing theatrical productions.

Kim Kardashian Starts Landmark Trip To Armenia

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Kim Kardashian, the world-famous U.S. reality TV star of Armenian descent, began on Wednesday a first-ever visit to Armenia that will put her ancestral homeland under an international spotlight.

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Armenia – Kim Kardashian and her sister Khloe arrive at Yerevan’s Zvartnots airport, 8Apr2015.

Kardashian arrived at Yerevan’s Zvartnots airport together with her husband, American rapper Kanye West, daughter North and sister Khloe. They were accompanied by camera crews from a U.S. broadcaster that will film several episodes of the reality series “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.”

No official meetings or press conferences are planned during the high-profile trip timed to coincide with the 100th century of the Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey. Kardashian and her family members are expected to visit the genocide memorial in Yerevan.

International Conference – The Armenian Genocide Legacy 100 Years On

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12:34, April 8, 2015

On March 5-7, 2015, 22 experts gathered for a conference at The Hague Institute for Global Justice to look at the legacy of the Armenian Genocide from the perspective of law, humanities, media, arts and letters, politics and education.

Speakers focused on the influence that the 1915 Genocide and its denial have had on research and practice in their disciplines. The conference was organized by Alexis Demirdjian (Centennial Project Foundation), the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD) and the University of Southern California Institute of Armenian Studies (USC IAS).

We have a big Yeraz!

April 6, 2015 Armenia, Europe, Film No Comments
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18:10, April 6, 2015

Story: Natalia Mackojć
Photos: Natalia Mackojć & Małgorzata Witczak

Me and my companions, the European Voluntary Service volunteers from Youth Events Holding Center are capable of sticking our nose in many places in Yerevan and around.

Pretty enigmatically I can give you a hint that recently we are beginning to train ourselves in the art of documentary work. This week’s lesson was a practical one.

Ani Hovannissian and Narek Aleksanyan – journalists from Hetq.am took us under their wings this time. Armed with a camera, we traveled to the village of Ushi, north of Yerevan. There, in the main intersection we hop into the “Happy Bus”- dreamy Yeraz owned by one of our hosts – Dyuma Poghosyan. Smiling, he takes us to his house, surrounded by peach trees. 

New Book Chronicles the Legacy of Bourj Hammoud

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10:02, March 31, 2015

Neighborhood Became Home to Thousands of Genocide Survivors

On the occasion of the Armenian Genocide Centennial and the 40th anniversary ofthe start of the Lebanese Civil War, filmmaker and documentarian Ara Madzounian is releasing a bookof original photographs that chronicles Bourj Hammoud, the Beirut suburb which became home for Armenian Genocide survivors.

Madzounian, who was born in Bourj Hammoud to parents who survived the Armenian Genocide, hasbeen at the helm of scores of Armenian and non-Armenian multimedia projects around the world.His resume includes directing films, documentaries, producing popular music and telethons and performingtheatrical productions.

Worldwide Release April 17: Film “1915” To Shed Light on Forgotten Armenian Genocide

March 19, 2015 Armenia, Film, Music, Turkey No Comments
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10:56, March 19, 2015

To Premiere in Yerevan on April 25

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the forgotten genocide that ravaged the Armenian population of Ottoman Turkey, Bloodvine Media, in conjunction with Strongman and mTuckman Media, plans to release “1915” in theaters on April 17 and on demand April 22, 2015. 

The psychological thriller is directed by Armenians Garin Hovannisian (author of Family of Shadows) and Alec Mouhibian, and features a who’s who of Armenian cast and crew, including executive producer Raffi K. Hovannisian (Armenia’s first foreign minister), Grammy Award winning composer Serj Tankian (from the band System of a Down, soon to go on a tour dedicated to the Genocide), and actors Simon Abkarian (Casino Royale) and Angela Sarafyan (Twilight).

Russians Moving to Latvia: Dream or Nightmare?

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17:29, March 12, 2015

WRITTEN BY SANITA JEMBERGA AND INGA SPRIŅĢE

Vitaly Mansky, a Russian documentary director,  knows exactly when he decided to establish a sanctuary outside of the Russian Federation. It was the spring of 2014, and Mansky was in Spain for a film festival, watching the news in his hotel room.

An anchor at one of the Kremlin-controlled news stations reported that Russia’s parliament had allowed President Vladimir Putin to use the army to protect his compatriots in other countries . In other words, they had legalized the annexation of Crimea and allowed Putin to provide support for pro-Russian combatants in Eastern Ukraine.

International Figures Unite to Announce New Humanitarian Prize as part of 100 LIVES Initiative

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10:54, March 11, 2015

George Clooney and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel to Co-Chair Global Human Rights Award

An interview with George Clooney is available for download here

NEW YORK, March 10, 2015– The 100 LIVES initiative is launching today expressing gratitude to the individuals and institutions whose heroic actions saved Armenian lives during the Genocide 100 years ago.

The purpose of the 100 LIVES initiative is to address the issues of genocide, human rights violations and the power of positive action through three key elements:

Learning from the past by issuing a global call to unearth the untold stories of survivors and saviors from the Armenian Genocide that will be brought to life on 100LIVES.com;

RSS International News By CNN

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.

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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.