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Impressions of Armenia – The Moscow Times (photo set)

October 18, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Diaspora, Europe, Film, Music No Comments
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A photo set published by The Moscow Times has fixed episodes featuring recent developments in Armenia.
The pictures, taken in different parts of the country, are presented below:

A police officer walks along central Yerevan’s Victory Bridge — named after the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany — that crosses the Armenian capital Yerevan’s Hrazdan River.

A young man shows his support for Armenia’s national football team in central Yerevan before a European Championship qualifying match against Serbia.
A musician looks out the window of a bus carrying the members of a brass band to their next destination.

Young boys gratefully drink from the water fountains on Yerevan’s central Republic Square.A woman is seen preparing dolmas (stuffed cabbage rolls)
Khorovats (the Armenian word for barbecue ) prepared on large skewers for meat, vegetable and even fruit dishes

World Famous Soprano Montserrat Caballe Back in Artsakh for Concert

October 13, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Culture, Music No Comments
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15:45, October 13, 2014

World famous soprano Montserrat Caballe will give an exclusive concert at Stepanakert’s Renaissance square, tomorrow dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the cease-fire in Artsakh. 

Caballe arrived yesterday in Artsakh with family members, a Spanish tenor and an accompanist.

 She will hold master-classes for young opera singers from Artsakh at Stepanakert Sayat-Nova musical college. During the visit she is to meet President Bako Sahakyan and Artsakh’s spiritual leader Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan. 

The visit is organized jointly by the Ministry of Culture and Youth Affairs of NKR and “Starmus” company.

 

The general sponsor of the concert is “Converse Bank”and is co-sponsored by “Athenas Pallas”.

It’s about time! £110 smartwatch needs charging just once a year and connects to any iPhone or Android mobile

October 2, 2014 Diaspora, Music, Technology No Comments
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Battery life is consistently listed as a major feature customers want from their gadgets – and it’s such a major sticking point, Apple is even said to have delayed launching its smartwatch to get it right, the Daily Mail reports.
And while many smartwatches boast a two to seven-day battery life, an Illinois-based site is selling a design that is said to last for an entire year.
It is also almost half the price of Apple’s device, at $179.95 (110), and connects to any Android or iPhone device.
The No-Charge watch is available from online retailer Hammacher Schlemer.
According to the gadget’s product page, the watch uses one set of batteries for an entire year.
It connects to a range of smartphones using Bluetooth Smart technology.
This uses a fraction of the energy required by older versions of Bluetooth, claims the firm, ‘allowing the batteries to last up to one year and eliminating tedious recharging’.
When someone calls the connected phone, the watch displays the caller ID, and will also reveal the number of missed calls.
Elsewhere, the No-Charge watch shows incoming texts, emails, social media posts, calendar invites and appointments, and the phone’s battery status.
And buttons on the side of the bezel let wearers play or pause music playing on the phone, or take a picture.
The watch has a stainless-steel bezel, scratch-resistant mineral glass, and a rubber strap. It is also water resistant.
Apple is said to be unhappy with its own watch’s battery life, and, as a result, the $349 (216) device is not expected to ship before February.
Most existing smartwatches on the market, such as the Pebble, tend to last up to a week on a single charge.
Samsung’s Galaxy Gear 2 Neo claims to have a six-day battery life, but, in reality, this is closer to four days.
The closest Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook came to talking about the battery life for the watch, during a launch event last month, was saying that users would ‘charge it at night.’
He did, however, spend some time talking about the watch’s charging system, which combines Apple’s MagSafe technology with inductive charging.
Smartwatches have grown in popularity this year.
Samsung recently unveiled its Gear S device, the Moto 360 is set to launch later this month, and O2 has announced it is the only
UK mobile network to stock the newly-launched Pebble and Pebble Steel Smartwatches.
The Pebble Smartwatch costs 99 ($99), and the Pebble Steel costs 179.00 ($199).
Both models are also available from retailer Firebox.

Dilijan Resident with Poor Eyesight Tries to Break Stereotypes Through Art

September 24, 2014 Armenia, Music No Comments
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14:29, September 24, 2014

A 32-year-old man with extremely poor eyesight in Dilijan, northern Armenia, tries to break people’s preconceived notions of people with disabilities through his art.

“You can’t just go up to a person and say, I have a problem. I try to present that through art,” says Vache Grigoryan. “I’ve never been restrained in society, that I have vision problems so I shouldn’t interact [with people]. I myself have tried by interacting to break stereotypes, that a person who has a physical impediment, a person with limited abilities is a full member of society.”

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

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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

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.

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.