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Azerbaijan Blacklists Maestro Marciano Over Artsakh Visit

September 1, 2015 Armenia, Arts, Azerbaijan, Music No Comments
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10:46, September 1, 2015

Gianluca Marciano, Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Tbilisi State Opera & Balle Theater and Artistic Director of the Al Bustan festival in Beirut, has been blacklisted by Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs because he will be travelling today to Artskah for the premiere of Verdi’s Requiem.

Marciano was invited to attend the performance by Armenia’s First Lady Rita Sargsyan.

Several days ago Marciano told reporters that he was not at all concerned about being blacklisted by Baku and that the program in Artskah was a cultural one that spoke of peace.

Mousa Ler – Pilgrimage and Other Ancient Sites

August 30, 2015 Armenia, Music No Comments
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20:12, August 30, 2015

Author: Sonia Tashjian

Antioch, the nearest city to Mousa Ler, is a name that survives from ancient times. It isn’t by accident that there are numerous ancient sites in the environs of Mousa Ler that include holy sites, ruined monasteries and churches.

On the slopes of Mt. Mousa there are several wells at the most travelled site leading up the mountain. Local residents called these djrhiurnen (wells). They were built in the middle of a wide and long slab stone so that rain water would be captured. [1]

The Sunset of the Union

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15:50, August 24, 2015

By Vrej Haroutounian

Previous Article

“The youth palace … served as the open window to the outside world because diasporan students lived there and the building symbolized everything new and fresh. You had family there, and the building was kind of like being in a space pod, but instead of the building protecting you from the outside world, it was the outside world; and you would hear stories there of how life was abroad”

Yerevan Interviewee

The Demirchyan Arena, Sports and Music Complex, or simply Hamalir, was built in 1983 and is recognized as one of the greatest works of architecture produced in the Soviet Union. 

Musical Luminary Vatsche Barsoumian Reflects on His Haigazian University Experience

August 15, 2015 Armenia, Arts, Diaspora, Music No Comments
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19:12, August 15, 2015

Maestro Vatsche Barsoumian, founder and director of the highly acclaimed Lark Musical Society in Glendale, CA, welcomes over 200 students each year to the world of music.

As stated in its mission statement,  “ LARK  serves as the musical and cultural brain trust for the Armenian community in Los Angeles – at LARK, music is studied, researched, created, published, felt, and performed by young and old.  Through the beauty of music we will win the hearts and minds of our children and our community and this will strengthen our roots and preserve the Armenian identity in Los Angeles.”

Montenegro: Police Arrest 13, Including City Mayor, in Abuse of Office Probe

August 14, 2015 Armenia, Business, Music No Comments
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22:03, August 14, 2015

Authorities in Montenegro have arrested 13 people, including the mayor of the coastal city of Budva, several Budva municipality officials, the director of a company, and an advisor to Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, on suspicion of abuse of office.

The police operation started in Budva in the early hours of Thusday when authorities arrested mayor Lazar Radjenovic, former mayor Rajko Kuljaca, deputy mayor Dragan Marovic, local official Milena Marovic Bogdanovic, and the prime ministers advisor Alexander Ticic.

All of them can be detained for up to 48 hours. Another string of arrests followed, including current and former city officials and the former director of the company Trade Junik CG, Goran Bojanic.

Towards Lifelong Freedom

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18:35, July 29, 2015

By Mher Yenokyan

Shall I open my eyes?

I am already awake.

I feel the light upon my closed eyelids.

When I was a little boy, I thought the day started at dawn. I did not even suspect that the elders’ day could start in darkness, at night. I was sure the New Day woke up as people did, in the morning, with the sun. I grew absorbed in thought when I discovered I had been counting the day from the wrong end for years. Something broke inside me; the childish candid and natural delusion was so naively pleasant.

I opened my eyes.

There are only the photos of the Woman-Girl. There is nobody around.

Romania: Police Roust Alleged Drug Traffickers Out of Sewers

July 24, 2015 Armenia, Music, Video No Comments
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14:56, July 24, 2015

Romanian authorities have raided the sewers in the North Station area of Bucharest, as well as several nearby buildings, to crack down on what they say is a drug-trafficking gang based in the underground tunnels of the capital.

Prosecutors ordered the sewers searched Tuesday to tackle a ring of 23 people they believe deals heroin, methadone and various other drugs throughout the area. They arrested a 41-year-old man they say leads the group and who has “achieved significant financial benefit” from these activities.

While the identity of this man was not officially released, local media say he is Florin Hora, who uses the street name “Bruce Lee.”

Deathbed Ramblings of Islamized Armenian Orphan to Granddaughter: ‘We ran from the Kurds and soldiers’

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14:35, July 3, 2015

In a weird twist of fate, it was the onset of Alzheimer’s that got Mrs. Ogyut, well past ninety, to recount fragments of her Armenian childhood; something she never mentioned to her family.

Slipping in and out of consciousness, Mrs. Ogyut repeatedly recounted one particular image from her lost childhood.

“They were in a tunnel and fleeing from the Kurds and soldiers who were firing at them. They were killing the parents,” Evrim Hikmet, the granddaughter of Mrs. Ogyut tells Hetq. “The she cries and the soldiers, hearing her cries, come and take her.”

This is the story that Mrs. Ogyut recounted before she died. She would also wake up and say that she saw her mother’s silhouette on the window.

Gyumri Electricity Rate Hike Protesters Seek Other Options, Even Civil Disobedience

June 29, 2015 Armenia, Music No Comments
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19:00, June 29, 2015

Residents of Gyumri protesting the recent electricity rate hike, while not large in numbers are searching for other ways to express their opposition other than the traditional sit-in.

A public forum was announced for June 27 to discuss their options. Yesterday they gathered at Theater Square, listened to music and danced, and waited to see what developed in Yerevan, the focal point of the movement.

Karen Petrosyan, one Gyumri activist, announced that if force was used to disperse the demonstration in Yerevan they would resort to civil disobedience.

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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.

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.