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Foreign Grants Received by Armenia’s Ministry of Culture

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12:30, July 30, 2015

The “Union of Informed Citizens” has already presented the international grants Armenia has received in the agriculture sector. Continuing this series, we are presenting the international grants provided to Armenia’s culture sector.

The data provided by the Ministries of Culture and Finance of Armenia in response to our inquiry show that organizations functioning under the RA Ministries of Culture and Finance received grants totaling US$ 4,060,180 during 2005-2014.

By Projects

In terms of the amount of financial assistance, 1st place goes to the National Cinema Center of Armenia SNCO. The Center (a State Non-Commercial Organization) has received more than 3 million Euros in assistance from different countries for shooting 10 films.

Armenian Health Minister Visit Akhalkalak Medical Center

July 30, 2015 Armenia, Georgia No Comments
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14:06, July 30, 2015

An Armenian delegation, headed by Armenian Minister of Health Armen Mouradyan, wound up its trip to Georgia with a visit to the Unimed-Samtskhe Medical Center in Akhalkalak.

The Center is undergoing major renovations that are scheduled to be completed by this October.

There are four medical organizations operating in Javakhk today.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Tbilisi Court Rejects Suit Filed by Tabatzghour Residents Against MP Ayvazyan; Will Appeal

July 28, 2015 Armenia, Georgia No Comments
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19:23, July 28, 2015

The Tbilisi Municipal Court today refused to hear a suit filed by residents of the Armenian populated village of Tabatzghour (in the Samtskhe-Javakhk region of Georgia) in their long-going dispute with Vardan Ayvazyan regarding fishing rights in a lake located in the community.

Residents took Ayvazyan to court, seeking that the Georgian government’s lease agreement signed with Ayvazyan’s company be invalidated and for the lake to be handed over to the state.

The dispute dates to 2010 when Vardan Ayvazyan’s company Ldjer Ltd. obtained the right to use a lake in the village to farm fish. He banned locals from catching fish in the lake.

Ayvazyan is an MP in Armenia’s National Assembly who was born in Tabatzghour

Armenia Refuses Extradition Request by Driver in Country’s Largest Drug Seizure

July 24, 2015 Armenia, Georgia No Comments
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18:44, July 24, 2015

Armenia has refused a petition filed by Avtandil Martiashvili, the Georgian citizen sentenced to 17 years by an Armenian court for driving a truck in which 850 kilos of heroin were seized in 2014 at the Meghri customs house, requesting that he be extradited to Georgia.

Armenian Deputy Justice Minister Vigen Kocharyan,in his response to Martiashvili, stated that the petition had been reviewed but that extradition wasn’t considered appropriate at this time since a new criminal case in  Armenia’s largest drug bust to date was being examined.

Kocharyan failed to provide specifics. 

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Armenian PM Off to Georgia: Will Inspect Kazbek Border Crossing

July 24, 2015 Armenia, Europe, Georgia No Comments
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15:18, July 24, 2015

Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan leaves for Tbilisi tomorrow on a working visit at the invitation of his Georgian counterpart Irakli Garibashvili.

Abrahamyan is scheduled to participate in the opening ceremonies of the 2015 European Youth Summer Olympic Festival.

The two officials will also visit the Upper Lars-Kazbek border crossing that links Georgia to Russia to examine firsthand the situation on the ground at this crossing which is a vital link for Armenia’s overland commerce.

The crossing was recently closed due to landslides.

Photo (from left): Abrahamyan, Garibashvili

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Questionable Crawfish: Lake Dispute Continues Pitting Javakhk Armenian Villagers Against MP Ayvazyan

July 10, 2015 Armenia, Georgia No Comments
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00:05, July 10, 2015

On July 28 the Tbilisi Municipal Court is scheduled to rule on a long-going dispute between residents of the Armenian populated village of Tabatzghour (in the Samtskhe-Javakhk region of Georgia) and Vardan Ayvazyan (an MP in Armenia’s National Assembly who was born in the village).

What’s at stake is who owns the rights to a lake in the village and, by extension, who can fish it.

The dispute dates to 2010 when Vardan Ayvazyan’s company Ldjer Ltd. obtained the right to use a lake in the village to farm fish. He banned locals from catching fish in the lake.

Georgian Parliament Debates State Language Bill

July 10, 2015 Armenia, Europe, Georgia No Comments
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10:00, July 10, 2015

Yesterday, the Georgian parliament’s standing committee on cultural and education affairs began debating a language bill that would have Georgian enshrined as the state language by law.

The Armenian Community of Georgia website adds that the bill would delineate Georgian as the only working language in all the country’s administrative units and individuals and legal entities violating the new law would be subject to a fine.

The website notes that this is the fourth attempt by the Georgian parliament to pass a state language bill.

It also notes that the Georgian parliament has yet to begin the ratification process of the European Charter regarding regional and minority languages as mandated by the Council of Europe. 

Armenia’s Football Squad Drops to 89th in FIFA Rankings

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19:10, July 9, 2015

In today’s FIFA rankings, Armenia’s football team has dropped five spots to 89th with 373 points.

In the run up to the new rankings, Armenia lost to Portugal 3-2 in Yerevan.

Argentina is now ranked number 1, rising from 3rd place.

The Latin American team is followed, in descending order, by Germany, Belgium, Colombia, Holland, Brazil, Portugal, Romania, England and Wales.

As for Armenia’s neighbors, Iran is ranked 38th, Turkey 48th, Azerbaijan 108th and Georgia 153rd. 

Armenia’s average ranking since FIFA created its scoring system in 1994 is 95.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Driver in Armenia’s Largest Drug Bust Requests Extradition to Georgia

July 9, 2015 Armenia, Georgia No Comments
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14:45, July 9, 2015

Avtandil Martiashvili, the Georgian citizen sentenced to 17 years by an Armenian court for driving a truck in which 850 kilos of heroin were seized on January 17, 2014 at the Meghri customs house, has requested that he be extradited to Georgia.

This news was conveyed to Hetq by Martiashvili’s relatives in Tbilisi. They told Hetq that they have already initiated the extradition process.

Turkish citizen Osman Oğurlu, who ran the company that had leased the truck in question, got 19 years.

The case has been Armenia’s largest drug bust to date. 

Photo (left): Avtandil Martiashvili

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.

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.