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All-Armenian Fund to Construct a New School Campus in Artsakh’s Sos Village

October 13, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Sports No Comments
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15:17, October 13, 2014

After years of making do with a dilapidated school, the village of Sos, in Artsakh’s Martouni Region, is set to have a new, modern campus, to be built by the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund.

The construction of the new facility is co-sponsored by the Armenia Fund US Western Region (through the financial support of benefactor Jerry Turpanjian) and the government of Artsakh. 

The planned two-story campus, with a total area of 830 square meters, is designed to accommodate up to 200 students. It will feature spacious classrooms, a library, an infirmary, and a teachers’ room. Also to be built are an adjacent gym and an outdoor sports field and playground. Currently earthwork is being performed on the site. 

Robert Redford to receive New York career honor

October 12, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora, Film No Comments
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Hollywood actor and director Robert Redford is to receive a lifetime achievement award from New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Centre, the BBC reports.The 77-year-old’s career highlights will be celebrated at a gala in the city next April.The society, which organizes the annual New York Film Festival, said that Redford’s “impact is hard to measure in many ways”.Recent Chaplin Award recipients include Barbra Streisand and Nicole Kidman.The honor is given to the movie industry’s most notable talents, and has also lauded Martin Scorsese, Alfred Hitchcock and Charlie Chaplin, after whom the award is named.He was the first recipient in 1972, while last year’s winner was director Rob Reiner.Lesli Klainberg, the film society’s executive director, said that Redford’s contribution as an actor has been significant, but also pinpointed his work as founder of the Sundance Film Festival.”Without the Sundance Institute and Sundance Film Festival, we’d likely have a different industry. And they continue to have a huge impact,” she said.”Obviously he’s a star that many of us have grown up watching from his films in the early ’60s to his current work.”I happen to think he’s also had some of the greatest co-stars ever, from Natalie Wood to Faye Dunaway, Barbra Streisand, and, of course, his great bromance with Paul Newman,” added Ms Klainberg.Redford starred in All is Lost in 2013, which was shown at the New York Film Festival. His performance was greeted with a standing ovation at its Cannes Film Festival premiere last year. 

Nagorno-Karabakh president visits trade fair on Day of Agricultural Worker

October 12, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Culture No Comments
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On 12 October Artsakh Republic President Bako Sahakyan, accompanied by country’s high ranking officials visited the trade fair organized in the Stepanakert city in connection with the Day of Agricultural Worker.President Sahakyan noted with satisfaction that such trade fairs had already become traditional and had formed a new culture in marketing agricultural production.Primate of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan, chairman of the National Assembly Ashot Ghoulyan, premier Ara Haroutyunyan and other officials partook in the event. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Turkey’s Erdoğan, Russia’s Putin discuss ISIL threat

October 12, 2014 Armenia, Culture, Turkey No Comments
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed threats posed by jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), while Erdoğan also voiced his concerns over troubles faced by Crimean Tatars, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.Erdoğan initiated a telephone conversation with Putin late on Oct. 11, sources from his office told the state-run Anadolu Agency, noting the main motive of the phone call was extending condolences to the Russian head of state for the recent suicide bombing in Grozny.Contact between Erdoğan and Putin came within days after Moscow warned Ankara that any plan to set up a buffer-zone in Syria, as Turkey has urged, would need to be approved by the United Nations Security Council.“The discussion covered bilateral issues in view of the fifth High-Level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council summit, to be held at the end of the year in Turkey. The two presidents spoke out for the further development of trade and economic ties between Russia and Turkey, including in agriculture and high technologies,” the Kremlin said in a statement. “The discussion of international affairs focused on the threat posed by the ISIL terrorist group,” the Kremlin added.In Ankara, the same sources said Erdoğan underlined that “as a country that has fought against organizations such as the PKK [the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] and ISIL, Turkey is against all kinds of terror.”Erdoğan, meanwhile, brought up the plight of Crimean Tatars and urged Putin to be receptive to the elimination of their concerns, the sources told Anadolu.

Yerevan Calling: Joint Opposition Rally Attracts Thousands; and More Random Musings

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12:04, October 10, 2014

Oct. 10 – Regime Change Once Again; Opposition Parties Stage Joint Rally Skimpy on Specifics

Thousand packed Liberty Square in Yerevan this evening to hear representatives of three parliamentary opposition parties (ANC, Heritage and Prosperous Armenia) call for regime change in Armenia.

There were few, if any specifics, on how they planned to achieve this.

The demonstration was the largest in recent memory and the crowd appeared ready to storm the presidential palace if given the order from the dais.

I’ll cut through the rhetoric and make this short.

The original justification for the rally was the 12-point list of demands the opposition had filed with the government calling on it to make immediate reforms on a number of socio-economic and political issues. But the rally went far beyond in its scope.

EU: International Customs Operation Seizes 1.2 Million Counterfeit Goods, 130 Million Cigarettes

October 9, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Europe No Comments
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20:55, October 9, 2014

A two-week international customs operation, code-named “Replica”, has seized 1.2 million counterfeit goods and 130 million cigarettes, or a year’s worth of smokes for 17,000 pack-a-day smokers.

According to a European Commission website release from Oct. 6, the European Anti-Fraud Office coordinated the operation, which targeted counterfeit imports by sea.

The operation involved physical and X-ray checks of several hundred shipping containers, which turned up € 65 million (US$ 82 million) worth of counterfeit goods including cigarettes, perfumes, car and bicycle spare parts, toys, fashion accessories and electric devices. Officials said the seizures prevented € 25 million (US$ 31.6 million) in lost taxes and customs fees.

President of Artsakh Control Chamber Resigns

October 9, 2014 Armenia, Arts No Comments
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12:40, October 9, 2014

Artour Mosiyan, President of Artsakh’s Control Chamber, has handed in his resignation.

The control chamber is akin to the General Accountability Office in the U.S. that investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

PACE decision on Karabakh in line Azerbaijani policies – Karabakh Foreign Ministry

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The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly’s (PACE) recent decision on Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) is fully in line with the Azerbaijani polices aimed at disrupting the OSCE Minsk Group efforts, the Nagorno-Karabakh Foreign Ministry finds.
Commenting on the decision to prepare a report, entitled “Rise in Violence in Nagorno-Karabakh and Other Occupied Territories of Azerbaijan”, a source from the ministry said that neither the document nor the resolution to be adopted on its basis are likely to have any political implications in the peace process.
As for the possible visit of Robert Walter, the PACE rapporteur on Karabakh, a corresponding decision will be made in case there is such a request by the European official. “If the rapporteur insists on his intention to prepare an unbiased report, it is logical that he should visit Artsakh [Nagorno-Karabakh]. The authorities will adopt a decision on his visit in case of the availability of a corresponding request,” the source told our correspondent.

Russian premier visits Armenian pavilions at Golden Autumn – 2014 agricultural exhibition

October 8, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Culture, Diaspora No Comments
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The Golden Autumn – 2014 agricultural exhibition has officially opened in Moscow, Russia.Fifteen Armenian companies are participating in the exhibition.Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, who attended the opening ceremony, accompanied by Russia’s Minister of Agriculture Nikolay Fyodorov, visited the Armenian pavilion and was hosted by Armenia’s Minister of Agriculture Sergo Karapetyan and Armenian Ambassador to Russia Oleg Yesayan.Accompanied by Armenia’s minister of agriculture, Russia’s premier toured the Armenian pavilions displaying meat products, juices, canned fruit and vegetables, dairy products, alcoholic beverages, including Armenian cognac, which is in great demand in Russia.The Russian premier tasted the Armenian cognac and cheeses and noted their high quality.Minister Sergo Karapetyan raised the problem of Upper Lars at his meeting with Russia’s premier. He noted that inefficient operation of the Upper Lars checkpoint prevent free exports. Mr Medvedev promised to resolve the problem as soon as possible.Minister Sergo Karapetyan also had meetings with his Belarusian, Kazakh and Turkmen counterparts. 

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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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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.