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School Kids in Javakhk Get Two More Weeks of Vacation, and Work

September 1, 2014 Armenia, Georgia No Comments
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00:23, September 1, 2014

Children in Javakhk aren’t starting classes today as usual.

The school year in Georgia will begin on September 15 as part of a reform package initiated by former Georgian President Saakashvili.

It will not end on May 24 but June 15.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Artsakh Border Community School in Need: New Ping-Pong Tables Aren’t the Answer

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12:09, September 1, 2014

Today, across Armenia and Artsakh, pupils are returning to school after the summer vacation.

The same holds true for the community of Aknaberd in Artsakh’s northern Martakert District.

But unlike the schools in the capital Stepanakert, students in Aknaberd will be returning to a school in need of serious and immediate repair.

Before the Karabakh War, Aknaberd (formerly Oumoudlu) was an Azeri village. The school building now being used by the 111 Armenian pupils was built in 1974.

Many of Aknaberd’s current residents hail from communities in Shahoumyan now under Azerbaijani military control.

School principal Narineh Osipyan supervises a staff of 26 teachers and 10 technical workers.

Armenian POW in UN refugee camp – Pastinfo.am

September 1, 2014 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Diaspora No Comments
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The Armenian POW released from Azerbaijan after being held in captivity for over a year is now in a UN camp for refugees, Pastinfo.am reports, citing a family member.Hakob Injighulyan’s brother, Harutyun, told the website that they maintain contact with him through Skype but only hear his voice, without seeing the serviceman. He added that the family is now at rest that Hakob is no longer in Azerbaijan.
Hakob Injighulyan was detained in Azerbaijan after accidentally crossing into the country on August 8, 2013. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Serzh Sargsyan attends school opening in Karabakh village (photos)

September 1, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora, Karabakh No Comments
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As part of his working visit to the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has taken part in the opening of a newly-constructed school in Martakert region.
The school in the village Chapar has come to replace the old building, which had suffered major damages during the 1990’s war. The new two-storey construction is designed for 84 pupils; it will have 53 young learners this academic year.
Accompanied by Bako Sahakyan, the president of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, the Armenian leader also visited a monument to the Karabakh war heroes to pay respect to their memory.
On Sunday, the leaders of the two Armenian Republic visited Taghavard, another village in Martuni, to get familiarized with the activities of a sunflower oil refinery plant.

It is worth dying for art – Turkish director’s Genocide movie premiered at Venice festival

September 1, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora, Film No Comments
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A Turkish-German director’s movie telling viewers about the Armenian Genocide has been screened at the 71st Venice International Film Festival.
The Cut, which was premiered at this year’s cultural movie event, vies for the Golden Lion prize, according to Hurriyet.
The director, Fatih Akin, had earlier faced threats by Turkish nationalists. “It is worth dying for the sake of art,” he said in that connection.
Armenian members of the creative group, including scriptwriter Martik Marin, actor Simon Abgaryan (better known to the Armenian audience as Rober Keshishyan), also attended the premier in Venice. 

Episodes from the movie

Akin with Tahar Rahim, the leading actor 

Martik Martin

Source: TertOriginial Article

Sarkisian Visits Karabakh


President Serzh Sarkisian has travelled to Nagorno-Karabakh and inspected a number of local businesses one month after an upsurge in deadly fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops stationed around the territory.

Sarkisian arrived in Karabakh on Sunday morning and spent the next two days visiting two textile factories in Stepanakert and a vegetable oil refinery in a village in the southeastern Martuni district. He and Bako Sahakian, the Karabakh president, also inaugurated on Monday a newly rebuilt school in another village located in northwestern Karabakh.

A statement by Sarkisian’s office said the Armenian leader will head to the Karabakh town of Shushi (Shusha) later in the day to attend the official opening of a geology museum. He will also be present at a late-night open-air opera performance in Shushi dedicated to the 23rd anniversary of the Karabakh Armenians’ declaration of independence from Azerbaijan, which will be marked on Tuesday.

Rosneft to gain $13.5b net profit by end of 2014 – CEO

September 1, 2014 Diaspora, Europe No Comments
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Net income of Russia’s Rosneft will be $13.5 billion by the end of this year, RIA Novosti reports, citing an interview by the company’s CEO, Igor Sechin, with the German magazine Spiegel.

“In the first half of 2014 alone, our income was five billion on revenue of $80 billion. Net profit at the end of the year will be $13.5 billion,” Sechin said.

The funding base of Rosneft will ensure the company’s work for a period over 20 years, and the Western sanctions imposed against it will affect only those fields, which were only planned to be developed in the future, Sechin said.

Independence is key chapter of our history, says Karabakh official

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Independence marks a key turning point in the history of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), as September 2 opened a new chapter in our history, an official has said, commenting on the agenda of the events set to mark the 23rd anniversary of the country’s independence.
“We should consider this an integral part of the Armeniam statehood instead of separating Artsakh and the Armenian history. This is an important part of our common history,” David Babayan, a spokesperson for Nagorno-Karabakh’s president, told Tert.am.
The Declaration on Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence was adopted on September 2, 1991 in a joint session attended by parliamentarians and members of the regional council of Shahumyan. In a referendum on December 10, the population of the then autonomous region voted overwhelmingly for independence (99%).
Asked to comment on the developments over the past period, Babayan said they managed to proclaim the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, investing long and painstaking efforts in state-building activities.
“Having been an autonomous region for 70 years [in the Soviet period], we are now embarking on a period that implies a higher degree [of freedom]. And we have created a new state which has, of course, brought new challenges, new problems, and opportunities. Those 70 years were years of struggle, as our nation accumulated a very powerful potential and developed a kind of immune system to all sorts of difficulties,” Babayan added.
He said the Armenians’ joint efforts helped overcome the challenges to the entire nation in the face of Azerbaijan’s blatant threats to destroy Artsakh and Armenia. “Azerbaijan’s calculations fell flat, and we, the two Armenian states, are integrated and full of hope for the future today,” he added.
Commenting on the California Senate’s decision to recognize Artsakh, Babayan described it as their latest achievement that became a kind of gift for all Armenians in the run-up to the independence anniversary. He said the move was a really significant landmark, noting that California is a big and powerful state with a powerful economy.
“It is due to joint efforts – by Armenia, the Diaspora and Artsakh. It is also the valuation of the past path, as no one is likely to recognize a fascist and extremist state. Hence what California – I mean the civilized world – has said is that Artsakh is a democratic and civilized state. That is why we earned California’s recognition,” he noted.
Babayan said they are now preparing for the holiday, adding that a special commission has been set up to deal with organizational issues. “Though this is not а jubilee – as the anniversary is the twenty-third – there will be the traditional events. The president will host honoring ceremonies; we will conduct visits to different places and lay flowers on the monument of freedom-fighters [veterans of the Artsakh liberation war]. There will also be a festive concert and a display of fireworks,” he added.

Ukraine crisis: US senators urge arms for fight against Russsia

September 1, 2014 Armenia, Europe No Comments
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Leading American senators have called for the US to send weapons to help Ukraine fight what they say is “a Russian invasion”, BBC News reports.Robert Menendez, head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Russia’s President Vladimir Putin must face a cost for his “aggression”.Senator John McCain said: “This is not an incursion. This is an invasion.”Earlier, Mr Putin called for talks to discuss the matter of “statehood” for eastern Ukraine.Meanwhile, a meeting of the so-called Contact Group on Ukraine is expected to start later on Monday in Minsk, Belarus.Representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe will attend the talks. The participation of pro-Russian rebels from eastern Ukraine remains unclear.Last week’s first direct talks between Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Minsk did not lead to any major breakthrough.The conflict in eastern Ukraine erupted in April following Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s southern Crimea peninsula a month before. Some 2,600 people have died since April.Read more on the BBC website. 

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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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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


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.