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Aznavour to give concert in Moscow

September 17, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora, Music No Comments
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World-famous French-Armenian singer and song-writer Charles Aznavour is going to give a concert in Moscow on October 3, ITAR-TASS reports.
Speaking to the agency, the musician said that he continues thinking about the release of a CD in Russian. He expressed a desire to listen to the songs in French before recording them in the original Russian version.
He described Russia as a country that gives him a unique sense of pleasure upon every visit.
Over the course of his career that over decades, Aznavour has released more than 100 CDs and played in 60 movies. In 1997, the he was honored with the French Academy’s César Award for his contribution to the cinema art.

Source: TertOriginial Article

Stunning Cartier tiger jewellery bought by Edward VIII for wife Wallis Simpson goes on sale for £1.5 million

September 16, 2014 Arts, Diaspora, Music No Comments
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Two bejewelled tigers made by Cartier for Wallis Simpson and later given to opera star Sarah Brightman by Andrew Lloyd Webber have emerged for sale for £1.5 million, the Daily Mail reports. The brooch and bracelet were bought by Edward VIII, the Duke of Windsor, in the late 1950s when he and his wife were living in exile in France following his controversial abdication.The Duchess of Windsor had a love of fine jewellery and she was showered with expensive gifts by Edward.Following her death in 1986, her enormous jewellery collection was sold off in a landmark auction held in Geneva.One of the bidders was composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, who snapped up the tiger brooch and bracelet made from onyx, diamond and emerald as a present for his then wife Sarah Brightman.The gift celebrated the couple’s success in the hit musical Phantom of the Opera, which Lloyd Webber wrote and Brightman starred in.Brightman, 54, the world’s most successful classical singer, is now selling the jewellery through London auctioneers Christie’s with a price tag of £1.5 million.A Christie’s spokesman said: ‘The Cartier Tiger Collection has been a highlight of 20th century jewellery design since it first appeared in 1928.’The rarity of these pieces is enhanced by the story behind their ownership – two romantic tales where they became symbols of love through the act of giving.’Edward VIII was King for less than a year when he abdicated in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson.’Living in France, together they created a remarkable collection of avant-garde jewels that defined the style of the 1940s and 1950s.’These pieces were bought by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor from Cartier between 1956 and 1959.’In the legendary sale of her collection in 1987 in Geneva a total of seven Great Cats pieces by Cartier were offered, including the two tiger pieces now presented for sale.’It was at this auction that Andrew Lloyd Webber bought them for his then wife, Sarah Brightman.’They were a present to her to celebrate the huge London and Broadway success of The Phantom of the Opera, which he wrote and in which she starred.’Over the years, the jewels have brought immense joy to Ms. Brightman, who would now like to release them to new splendor in order for others to appreciate them as she did.’Some of the proceeds of the sale will be donated to the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation which supports arts and music in schools.The auction will take place on November 11 in Geneva. 
 

Eurovision 2015 slogan revealed

September 13, 2014 Diaspora, Europe, Music No Comments
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“Building Bridges” is the official slogan for the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest, ORF, the Host Broadcaster revealed.There were hundreds of proposals to ORF for the slogan, both internally and externally. In the end, it was “Building Bridges” that was picked to be the most suitable one for the next contest by the organizers.
It was the creative agency PKP BBDO who was behind the concept that will connect the variety of ingredients of the upcoming event. In the next weeks, the concept will be visualised from the logo to the on-screen graphics.
Dr. Alexander Wrabetz, the Director General of ORF said: “After the decision for Vienna as the host city and the nomination of the complete core team, we have set another important milestone on the way of organising the world’s largest TV entertainment event by choosing the slogan. With “Building Bridges” we have chosen a theme, the idea of Europe with the uniting character of music and that in Vienna, the traditional capital of world music in the heart of Europe.”

Yerevan preparing for Literary Ark festival

September 9, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Diaspora, Karabakh, Music No Comments
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Armenia’s capital will turn into a unique international literature platform later this month, hosting foreign writers from across the globe as part of the Literary Ark festival.
Fifteen writers from 13 different countries will be invited to Yerevan to participate in the annual international literary event from September 18 to 28. The guests will take part in different international debates and meet with students of Armenian universities; they will also share their experience and knowledge with contemporary Armenian writers.
This year they are also scheduled to visit Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) to have meetings and debates with the local literary circles.
On September 27, which marks the birthday of Komitas, the forefather of the Armenian classical and ethnographic music, the guests will visit the Yerevan pantheon named after the great musician to join the initiative 100,000 Poets for Change.
Literary Ark has also prepared a surprise for the Armenian book lovers. This year’s guests of the event are the renowned Polish writer Yanush Leon Vyshnevsky and the US-based British writer Meg Rosoff.
The screened version of Rosoff’s Novel, How I Live Now, will be screened in Yerevan’s Cascade complex in the frameworks of the festival. 

Market Promotes Honey as Alternative to Mining

September 8, 2014 Armenia, Music No Comments
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17:52, September 8, 2014

People from far and wide yesterday travelled to the village of Shnogh, in Armenia’s northern Lori Province, to take part in the “Hank or Gyank?” (Mines or Life?) honey and jam market.

Organizers billed the festival as a grassroots effort to spur alternative economic development in opposition to mining.

Visitors were entertained by live music and the chance to see how honey is made.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Armenian Genocide through art: Impact of performance on recognition

September 7, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora, Film, Music No Comments
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Any piece of art or performance by a Diaspora-Armenian artist can raise awareness of the Armenian Genocide and the Armenian Cause, but given the targets and audiences, they are not absolutely likely to replace state functions, says Violet Grigoryan, an Armenian writer and publicist. “A piece by an independent artist – be it a painting, performance or whatever – is of more help to the audience and people who might be politically less aware of the Armenian Genocide, interstate relations and the Armenian history. It works better, raising more people’s awareness. But its effect is for the given moment only, with no guarantees or responsibilities for future,” she told Tert.am, commenting on US-Armenian rock musician Serj Tankian’s initiative to co-author the symphonic composition 100 Years ahead of the Armenian Genocide centennial.
The musician had earlier unveiled a plan for presenting the project on September 20 in Pasadena. Lark Musical Society has been chosen to premier the new composition.
Actress Lala Mnatsaknyan is of the opinion that it is very important to focus more coordinated efforts on the art or performance aspect while seeking an international recognition and condemnation of Genocide. Speaking to Tert.am, the actress said she expects more concrete results from Diaspora-Armenian artists but expressed regret that the events were not arranged much earlier.
“It is impossible to organize a concert in May and invite a couple of people here to sing, recite poetry and then leave. This should have been already done, but I do not see anything as yet. Perhaps they are planning to arrange it later. But why do it late? Didn’t we know about 2015 five years ago? This should have been done long ago so that we would be in that process now,” she said.
The actress proposed producing films and staging performances, noting in the meantime that they do not absolutely have to feature crying scenes or other sad episodes.
“It is important to organize globally interesting events, and not only on artists’ level. The more we have people speaking about Genocide, the better the international community will be aware of it. We, the individuals, do what were are supposed to, but we need a higher level of state assistance and a higher level of reaction. It is necessary to speak about this, because we are losing the moment,” Mnatsakanyan added.

One Caucasus Festival Uses Music to Bring Youth Closer

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17:49, September 2, 2014

From August 28 to 31, the One Caucasus festival took place in the Tseravki District of Georgia bordering both Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The site was strategically chosen by the organizers of the initiative that seeks to create an inspirational and safe space for young people of the Caucasus to meet.

Musicians from several European and African countries, including the UK, Senegal and Ukraine, performed to an audience that was mostly made up of residents from the nearby Armenian village of Shahoumyan.

The region hasn’t seen an event of such scope since the break-up of the Soviet Union.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Samsung’s new necklace Strangest Tech Product of 2014

August 28, 2014 Business, Diaspora, Music No Comments
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After unveiling its Samsung Gear S smartwatch late last night, presented earphones that join together to form a necklace that vibrates when someone calls a user.
The Samsung Gear Circle can be paired with a smartphone to receive calls and listen to music, similar to existing high-end earphones and headsets. But one thing that is new about the headset is its magnetic locking system, which turns the earphones into a vibrating necklace when they’re not in use, Business Insider reports.
Pairing the Gear Circle to a smarpthone via Bluetooth will allow you to give voice commands and take calls using the headphones, which fit around your neck as a necklace when not in use.
See more on the Business Insider website. 

Top 8 highlights from 2014 MTV Video Music Awards

August 25, 2014 Armenia, Music, Video No Comments
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BBC News has singled out eighttop highlights from this year’s MTV Video Music Awards:1. Everyone is talking about Beyonce. And not just because of her metallic leotard. She performed an epic 20-minute set that brought the house down.

2. The singer accepted the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award. She was joined on stage by husband Jay Z and daughter Blue Ivy. Beyonce cried saying: “I am filled with so much gratitude”. The crowd chanted her name.

3. No twerking this year for Miley Cyrus. She won Video of the Year for Wrecking Ball and got a homeless man, Jesse, to collect her award. He’s from My Friend’s Place, a charity the singer supports which helps people on the streets “improve their psychological, intellectual and physical capacity”.

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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

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

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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.