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Armenia’s First Open Air Cinema Opens

June 2, 2014 Armenia, Film, Sports No Comments
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00:21, June 2, 2014

CornPop Cinema, billed as the first open air venue for film lovers in Armenia, has opened on a hill overlooking the Karen Demirjian Sports Concert Complex in Yerevan.

The selection of films to be shown on the large screen after the sun has set for the first seven days of operation was based on a vote via CornPop’sFacebookpage.

On the first evening, admission was free and free popcorn was handed out to movie goers who arrived with pillows and blankets.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

President Sargsyan Addresses Genocide Coordination Committee: “Turkey has no alternative but to face history”

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15:05, May 27, 2014

Today the 4th session of the State Commission on Coordination of the events dedicated to the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide was held at the Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex in Yerevan.

The session was presided over by the Chairman of the Commission and the President of the RA Serzh Sargsyan.

Today’s enlarged session was aimed at finalizing the schedule and the strategy of the Commission’s actions in the run up to the official launch of the Centenary events. The members of the commission were joined by the representatives of regional Centenary committees from different communities, experts, diplomatic representatives of the Republic of Armenia, leaders of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church dioceses and members of the clergy from the Armenian Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, Armenian Catholic Church of Cilicia and Armenian Evangelical World Council.

Gunman in central Yerevan shooting charged with attempted murder

Armenian News

21:30 • 21/05
New government’s program not one of former ‘financier’s’ – Hrant Bagratyan

21:16 • 21/05
People in Turkey ‘prefer tomfoolery during inspections’

20:48 • 21/05
Dutch send envoy ‘to avert Saudi sanctions’

20:36 • 21/05
‘Both…and’ policy welcome – Gagik Makaryan

20:30 • 21/05
Iran ‘releases’ dancers from Pharrell Happy tribute video

19:00 • 21/05
Police disperse Soma, Berkin Elvan protesters marching to Justice Ministry

18:48 • 21/05
Opposition Armenian MP urges government to ‘create equal conditions for everyone’

18:12 • 21/05
Government’s program meets rich class’ interests – opposition MP

17:49 • 21/05
Gunman in central Yerevan shooting charged with attempted murder

16:58 • 21/05
Electronic implants could cure diseases – study

"Court’s Decision Might Have Caused Laughter, If Weren’t Talking About Someone’s Freedom"

May 21, 2014 Armenia, Europe, Sports No Comments
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14:31, May 21, 2014

Kotayk District Court of First Instance Judge Vaghinak Mkrtchyan yesterday announced the final part of his decision on attorney Marie Laure Dosé’s motion to change the measure of restraint applied to her client Vardan Petrosyan (who is currently in pre-trial detention): the judge refused to change the measure of restraint and release Petrosyan. 

“The court’s decision might have caused laughter, if we weren’t talking about someone’s freedom,” said Dosé during a meeting with journalists, mentioning the two grounds the court cited for keeping Petrosyan in detention: his possible escape from Armenia and possibly putting pressure on witnesses. 

Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex Put Up For Sale

May 20, 2014 Armenia, Sports No Comments
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11:14, May 20, 2014
The Judicial Acts Compulsory Enforcement Service of the RA Ministry of Justice hasput on the auction block[AM] the Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex. The starting bid for the historic building is 19.35 billion AMD (about $48 million USD). The bid notice states that the sport and concert complex is loan collateral.

The Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex was sold to the Muradyan brothers in 2008, of whom Murad Muradyan has beenAmbassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Armenia to Iraqsince 2010. He is also the founder of the company BAMO. By a decision of the Armenian government, the sport and concert complex was sold for $5.7 million, but BAMO was obligated to make $7–9 million investments.

Armenian GM leads Spanish Open

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Armenian chess grandmaster Karen Movsisyan maintains a leading position in the Spanish Open 2014.
After three rounds, the Armenian sportsman scored 3, becoming a top player on the list of 185 participants.
Nine other sportsmen with an equal score are in lower positions due to the results of the tie-break.

Source: TertOriginial Article

Indiegogo Fundraising Campaign Launched to Assist Fencing School in Armenia

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19:12, May 8, 2014

Emil is one of our top fencers here in Armenia. He comes to practice every day (except Sundays) along with the other handful of students at the Albert Grigoryan Fencing School – one of the seven fencing schools in Armenia. Conditions at the Armenian schools are, however, far below what would be considered a minimum standard for fencing practice.

As I am also a fencer in America, I have seen first-hand how schools there usually have 8 to 16 fencing strips (whereas, in Armenia, we have only one). Air conditioning is also missing here (only half of the windows at our school open fully). The fencing schools in the USA all have fully-lit rooms, while just a few of the electrical circuits in our ceiling work here. American fencing schools also have fully working equipment which is always available to all students – both old and new. Here, at our Armenian school, we need to take turns using the same equipment every few minutes.

My Family’s Saga: Execution by Shooting

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19:00, May 4, 2014

Vahan Ishkhanyan

Three orders – execution by shooting; that took the life of my two grandfathers and one grandmother.

Three documents that orphaned by mother and father.

I finally have the three orders in my possession; copies of course.

They executed Vahan Cheraz, my mother’s father, on January 9, 1928.

They executed Vardanoush Cheraz, my mother’s mother, on December 26, 1937.

They executed Ratikhan-Avetis Kirakosyan, my father’s father, on December 10, 1937.

The only grandparent that they didn’t execute, or didn’t get around to execute, was Haykanoush, my father’s mother. She died in 1930. Had she lived, they probably would have executed her, or exiled her, as they did to her second husband Gurgen Kalshyan, a Bolshevik.

Choking Embrace: ‘Mother’ Russia says won’t tolerate ‘outside interference’ in friendly countries

April 18, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Asia, Georgia, Sports No Comments
Armenian News

Russia will prevent any aggressive intervention in the internal affairs of friendly countries made “under the pretext of planting ideas alien to our minds and hearts”. This was stated by Russian Ambassador to Armenia Ivan Volynkin during the Seventh Forum of Russian compatriots in Armenia on April 12.

Armenia has still not officially protested against this statement by the Russian diplomat. But in the media there have been some articles describing it as “diplomatic nonsense” and a bid for total control of “hearts and minds” in Armenia.

The relations between Armenia and Russia increasingly appear to be contradictory: on the official level the two sides state about their fraternal friendship, loyalty for all times to come, about Armenia’s intentions to integrate into the pro-Russian Eurasian space. And on the “second level” the entire spectrum of conflict of interests and intentions of Armenia and Russia is manifested.

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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.


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.