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Parliament Speaker: ‘We all have a duty to clean-up government expenditure abuses’

November 12, 2013 Armenia, Life Style No Comments
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13:34, November 12, 2013

At a news brief today, National Assembly Speaker Hovik Abrahamyan told reporters that there indeed were government expenditure abuses that needed to be addressed.

Abrahamyan made the remark while the parliament debates whether to reappoint Ishkhan Zakaryan as head of Armenia’s Control Chamber.

Noting that all government officials have a responsibility to see that the Control Chamber works effectively, Abrahamyan added that some are trying to derail the work of the oversight agency.

Several months ago, Zakaryan was chided by President Sargsyan for exaggerating the scope of expenditure abuses and government waste.

Best Armenian athlete students receive awards

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The Youth Foundation of Armenia held an award ceremony for the winners of the 27th Summer Student Games in Kazan, Russia, their coaches, heads of the Armenian delegation, as well as the best participants in the 14th Students Games.Vice-Chairman of the Student Sport Federation Mher Ghazaryan pointed out that the Armenian government has in recent years highlighted healthy life-style programs for students and sporting events. The government is willing to do its utmost for athlete students to show the best results at international competitions.Karen Avagyan, Coordinator of the Board of Trustees, Youth Foundation of Armenia, stressed the important role of the Student Sports Federation of Armenia in student sports development, which results in Armenian athletes’ victories at Student Games.Attending the award ceremony was Mr Adam Roczek, President of the European University Sports Association (EUSA). He arrived in Yerevan to participate in the EUSA Executive Committee’s meeting, on Wednesday. Mr Roczek congratulated the athletes and stressed EUSA’s close cooperation with the Student Sports Federation of Armenia. 

World Food Day 2013: Towards Sustainable Food Systems

October 16, 2013 Armenia, Culture, Life Style No Comments
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11:08, October 16, 2013

By Jos Graziano da Silva,

Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

World Food Day falls on 16th October, commemorating FAO’s foundation on that date in 1945. It offers a moment each year for people all around the world who are involved in the many diverse elements of the food system to come together to reflect on the vital role that food plays in our lives and to consider how things can be done better. The process of producing food and getting it onto our plates is extraordinarily complex. It involves many different steps and players – not just farmers and fishermen, but the scientists who develop improved technologies; the suppliers of farm inputs; those who transport, store and process food; and those who market it. All people are, of course, consumers of food and what they decide to eat, how they acquire it, the ways in which they prepare it, and how many children they have determine the nature and scale of the overall demand for food.

UN and Its Partners Commemorate World Humanitarian Day

August 19, 2013 Armenia, Life Style No Comments
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14:22, August 19, 2013

Sevan, 19 August 2013 – Today around 40 children and youth participated in the commemoration of the World Humanitarian day organized at the Sevan Windsurfing Club by the UN Office in Armenia.

The goal of the event was to further inspire youth to be more active humanitarians. The UN representatives discussed with youth the UN work in humanitarian area, distributed relevant UN materials and awarded seven winners of the windsurfing competition with UN promotional products.

Every year on August 19th, the UN marks World Humanitarian Day in honour of aid workers who have lost their lives in the line of duty, including the dozens who have died this year. This year marks 10 years since the UN headquarters in Baghdad was bombed and 22 UN and aid workers were killed, including the then Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq.

"UN Decade for Deserts and Fight against Desertification" Art Exhibition Opens

July 10, 2013 Armenia, Life Style No Comments
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13:36, July 10, 2013

An art exhibition, which commemorates the UN Decade for Deserts and Fight against Desertification, was inaugurated today at the UN House. More than 25 artworks of an Armenian artist Peto Poghosyan were presented to the UN staff and the art community at the opening ceremony.

The exhibition, entitled “City Variety” features watercolor paintings of Yerevan, Gyumri and Paris. Peto Poghosyan’s art attracted youth, artists, the international community, civil society activists, the media and the general public.

Health concerns and unhealthy life style: Nutrition specialists warn of increased number of overweight children in Armenia

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Parents of school children in Armenia face concerns of nutrition, as school canteens typically fail to offer healthy options, if any at all.

The system of nutrition in the Soviet schools which provided free milk and cookies for the first graders, soups and main courses for the rest of students and teachers, is not practiced since the collapse of the Soviet Union.


Madlene Minassian

Despite the fact that the Soviet school canteens have been the subject of jokes for several generations because of the specific odor and a standard set of dishes, it however could offer a complete lunch for the students and teachers, who spent from 5-8 hours in the schools.

My Vasyli Stus

October 27, 2012 Armenia, Life Style No Comments
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15:28, October 27, 2012

We have an Armenian poet who was anxious about the fate of Armenia, who was ready to sacrifice his life to Armenia, who used to say about those always awake the following “Offspring sleeping in coats”. Exactly like this was Vasyli Stus for his Ukraine.

My friendship with Stus has a history of 35 years.

I had friends, who sacrificed their lives in the battlefield for the sake of immortality of their country. Up to now I love them and keenly appreciate their deeds. But what Stus did for his country was much more than just to sacrifice his life. Stus was not simply a soldier. He was a whole ideology, type of prototype. I also had friends, who used to be my ideological comrades-in-arms-wise and reasonable, self-sacrificing and self-denying friends. But Stus is quite another world for me. He is beyond comparison, beyond all criteria; my dear, incomparable, perfect Vasyli Stus.

Cost of Living in Armenia Nearly Twice As Much As 2005

Armenian News

Armenia experienced six percent inflation over the first half of this year, conditioned in part by up to 25 percent increase in cost of food products, compared to last year. Experts don’t see any decrease in the near future.

As compared to June, last year, vegetable prices rose by 21 percent, fruit by 17 percent, meat by 13 percent, and sugar by 6 percent, this year.

“Abrupt deflation was registered in July, last year; however, judging by the current tendencies, I do not think that seasonal food products [fruit, vegetable] will have such a deflation, this year,” Gurgen Martirosyan, Head of Prices Statistics and International Comparison Department of the National Statistical Service of Armenia, said in a press conference today in Yerevan.

Armenian Tourism Figures Questioned

Armenian News

Government claims that hundreds of thousands of foreign tourists visit Armenia each year are wide of the mark, according to private tour operators and other individuals familiar with the country’s tourism industry.

They estimate that the real number of such visitors may be ten times smaller than the one reported by the National Statistical Service (NSS) and cited by the Armenian government.

The official statistics show that as many 575,000 tourists visited Armenia from abroad last year. The government said earlier this year that the figure will surpass 620,000 in 2010.

“Our data for the first quarter of this year gives us reason to believe that we will have a growth of up to 8 percent this year,” Ara Petrosian, a deputy minister of economy dealing with tourism, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service this week.

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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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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…

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Write to me with your ideas and story suggestions.

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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

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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.

Armenian Foreign Policies 2013: Customs Union, U-turn on EU accord, Karabakh, Turkey, regional developments

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2013 became a milestone year for Armenia not only in its foreign, but also domestic politics. After nearly four years of negotiations with the European Union over the signing of an association agreement on September 3 Armenia unexpectedly announced its intention to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

This decision has had its influence not only on Armenia proper, but also on the processes elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Inspired by Armenia’s decision, Russia stepped up its pressure on Ukraine, which suspended the process of signing of the Association Agreement with the EU one week before the Vilnius summit of Eastern Partnership. As a result, on November 29 such agreements were initialed only by Moldova and Georgia.

Heritage reshuffle: Postanjyan becomes new leader of parliamentary faction

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Zaruhi Postanjyan has been elected new head of the opposition Heritage faction in parliament. The change comes after Ruben Hakobyan announced his decision to resign as faction leader earlier today.

Talking to media in parliament Hakobyan said Heritage Party leader Raffi Hovannisian had been notified about his move well in advance. He left questions about reasons for his step without commentary, only saying that he had decided to step down as faction leader before the recent scandal around Postanjyan in the wake of her controversial question to President Serzh Sargsyan about his gambling habit at the PACE plenary session in Strasbourg on October 2.