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Weekend Update: Seventh anniversary of Hrant Dink assassination; Russians form squadron of helicopters at Erebuni military airfield

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January 19 marked the 7th anniversary of the assassination of Hrant Dink, the Turkish-Armenian editor of the Istanbul-based “Agos” newspaper. Oral Chalyshar, the Turkish journalist from Turkish Radical newspaper wrote: “”It has been seven years, our hearts are wounded, and there is still nothing in our hands. We all feel guilty before Hrant Dink”.

Thousands of people gathered in Istanbul’s Taksim Square on Sunday to mark the anniversary and demand justice for the prominent Turkish-Armenian journalist.

Unexpected Welcome: Young Man Is Homeless after Finally Returning to Armenia

January 19, 2014 Armenia, Europe, Georgia, Sports No Comments
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11:46, January 18, 2014

Tevos Ghandilyan, 34, has been living in a homeless shelter since November. His troubles began once he attempted to return to Armenia after living abroad. 

Born in Etchmiadzin,Tevos grew up in Yerevan. He studied obstetrics and gynecology at the medical university, but never graduated. He was called to compulsory military service, and when he returned, he was unable to continue to studies as he needed to earn a living.

After working in Armenia for some time, he moved to Russia, where he also married. He has a son. Later, he divorced from his wife and decided to return to Armenia. His troubles began the day he attempted to return to Armenia from the Russia-Abkhazia border.

‘Shirak Province One of the Most Complicated’: Provincial Governor

January 11, 2014 Armenia, Georgia, Sports No Comments
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Though at the start of his meeting with journalists today, Shirak Provincial Governor Felix Tsolakyan, said that he wants to wish journalists a happy new year and success in their endeavors, he was obliged to respond to a few questions.

But before he did, he made a request and provided a few words of advice: “I’m not a journalist, but I know that every Armenian from birth has either a little bit of a journalist or a little bit of a politician [in them]. What I want to say, or rather, ask, is for people who work professionally in the media to be fair and report honestly.”

Russia’s Kirov welcomes Olympic Flame relay

January 6, 2014 Diaspora, Music, Sports No Comments
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The 2014 Winter Olympics torch relay came to Kirov on Sunday, the Voice of Russia reports.After speedskaters carried the Olympic Flame along the ice lanes of the Rodina stadium, a spectacular sports and music festival began.Athletes from the local Bystritsa aquatics center and the Palace of Fighting Sports and from the Olymp-Arena sports palace in Kirov-Chepetsk demonstrated their skills.The Olympic Flame arrived in Kirov from Perm on a special train at 10:20 am Moscow Time. Governor of the Kirov region Nikita Belykh was the first to lit a torch and take it down a snow-covered street.The Kirov stretch of the Olympic torch relay was extended by 3 km to 32.5 km and the number of torchbearers grew from 160 to 184.Figure skater Yelizaveta Tuktamysheva, sports acrobats Yelizaveta Dubrovina and Alyona Ivanova, runner and participant in 1988 and 1992 Summer Olympics Lyubov Gurina, snowshoe racer Inna Ivannikova, 2000 Olympic bronze medalist in boxing Kamil Dzhamalutdinov, and figure skaters Yevgenia Shakhtarina and Denis Kozlov were among the torchbearers. 

Australian sportsman to join Ararat FC

January 3, 2014 Australia, Diaspora, Sports No Comments
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Australian midfielder Robert Stambolziev is joining Ararat Football Club in January, Armsport.am reported, citing Andranik Mnatsakanyan, a football agent.
The sportsman, who formerly represented Australia’s U-20 team, played in Greek and Cypriot teams in the recent years. He now plays for AEK Kouklia.
Stambolziev is expected to sign his contract with Ararat after January 10, before a training session set to take place in Montenegro later this month. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

2013: Armenia’s sporting life in pictures

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During last year, the press photographer for the armsport.am website Hakob Berberyan prepared over 200 reports on sports events.Below are the pictures of the main sports events of 2013.JanuaryMen’s and women’s chess championship at the Tigran Petrosyan Chess Palace.The presentation of the newly formed football club Urartu at the Congress hotel.FebruaryThe Armenian national football team spent three days in Valence, France. Numerous Armenian fans living in France attended the team’s practices.Armenian-Luxembourg – 1:1. The Armenian team led by Had Coach Vardan Minasyan opened the year with a friendly match in Valence.MarchYerevan hosted an international junior basketball championship.Football: Armenia-Czech Republic 0:3. The Armenian team’s only major lose in the qualifying round of the 2014 world championship.AprilAn Armenian swimming championship at the David Hambartsumyan diving school.A new stadium opened at the Football Academy in Yerevan’s Avan community.MayA new football school opened in Shuhsi.The Shirak football team Armenia’s champion after a long interval.Pyunik wins Armenian Cup 2012/2013.Presentation of the Championship Cup and medals to Shirak in Gyumri, Armenia.JuneArmenia-Malta – 0:1.Denmark-Armenia – 0:4. The Armenian team’s best match in 2013, Copenhagen, Denmark.Dinamo-Shirak – 1:1. Armenian and Georgian champion teams play a friendly match in Tbilisi, Georgia.President of the Football Federation of Armenia Ruben Hayrapetyan holds 3-hour-long meetingJulyThe qualifying round of the Champions League: Shirak breaks through in a match with the San Marino-based Tre Penne team.Pyunik defeats Teteks (Macedonia) in the first qualifying round of the Europa League.Champions League: after two drawn games with Partisan, Shirak drops out.Europa League: Pyunik fails to break through in a match with Žalgiris (Lithuania).AugustThe Armenian football championship 2013/2014 starts.Albania-Armenia – 2:0.SeptemberCzech Republic-Armenia – 1:2. The Armenian team wins the away match.Armenia-Denmark 0:1. Armenia loses its chance to play in the finals of the 2014 World Championship.Shirak wins the Armenia Super Cup.OctoberThe legendary football team Ararat-73 marks its 40th anniversary.Armenia-Bulgaria – 2:1.Italy-Armenia – 2:2. The Armenian team finished its performances in the qualifying round of the 2014 World Championship with an away match with Italy.NovemberArmenian coaches get PRO licenses.DecemberHenrikh Mkhitaryan Armenia’s best football player.Armenia’s Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs honors ten best athletes.The National Olympic Committee honors the best ten.

Putin visits bomb-hit Volgograd

January 1, 2014 Diaspora, Sports No Comments
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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday made a pre-dawn visit to the city reeling from two suicide bombings this week, bringing gestures of sympathy for the victims and questions for the officials he has ordered to beef up security.The bombings at the main railway station of Volgograd and on a city trolleybus killed 34 people and wounded scores, 65 of whom are hospitalized.No claim of responsibility has been made for either attack, but they come a few months after the leader of an Islamic insurgency in Russia’s south called for attacks in the run-up to February’s Winter Olympics in the resort city of Sochi.”Whatever motivated the criminals’ actions, there’s no justification for committing crimes against civilians, especially against women and children, OK” Putin said, opening a meeting in Volgograd with the heads of the Federal Security Service and the Interior Ministry.He said he would ask the two officials in the closed-door session for details on what measures their agencies are taking to raise security in the country.Afterward, Putin placed a bouquet on the pile of flowers, balloons and other commemorative items that has risen at the site of the trolleybus bombing, then visited a hospital where some of the wounded are being treated.Volgograd, a city of about 1 million, has been under heavy security since the Sunday and Monday attacks. Police reinforcements and paramilitary troops were sent into the city.City authorities canceled public New Year’s Eve gatherings and have closed movie theaters until Thursday.Olympic organizers have introduced some of the most extensive identity checks and other security measures ever seen at an international sporting event. But even if security at the games is tight, the Volgograd bombings show how public transit in Sochi and sites away from the sports venues are vulnerable.Suicide bombings have rocked Russia for years, but the insurgents seeking to create an Islamic state have largely confined their attacks to the North Caucasus region in recent years. The blasts in Volgograd signaled that militants want to show their reach outside their native region. Volgograd is about 300 kilometers (200 miles) north of the Caucasus and about 690 kilometers (430 miles) northeast of Sochi.
 

Sports in 2013: Soccer, chess dominate year’s sporting news

December 31, 2013 Armenia, Europe, Sports, Turkey No Comments
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The ending year of 2013 has been marked in sports by more failures and successes of the national soccer team and its individual players as well as the nation’s chessmen.

The ending year of 2013 has been marked in sports by more failures and successes of the national soccer team and its individual players as well as the nation’s chessmen.

The national soccer team of Armenia was finishing 2013 at the highest-ever place on the FIFA rankings – 34th as of November (slipping to 35th in late December).
This is due to a series of successful matches played by the team as part of the World Cup campaign, including victories over the strong teams of Denmark, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and a draw against Italy.

Russian freestyle wrestling world champion Kudukhov dies in car crash

December 30, 2013 Asia, Diaspora, Sports No Comments
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Four-time freestyle wrestling world champion Besik Kudukhov died in a road accident in the small hours on Sunday on the highway from the city of Vladikavkaz, the capital of the Russian North Caucasian Republic of North Ossetia, to the Russian southern city of Krasnodar.The road accident has occurred on the motor road near the city of Armavir, where a heavy-duty truck collided with Kudukhov’s car, the North Ossetian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports told Itar-Tass.Russian freestyle wrestler from North Ossetia Besik Kudukhov, 27, was the four-time world champion, the bronze medalist of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the silver winner of the London Olympics in 2012. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

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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.

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Commentary

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

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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.

Armenian Foreign Policies 2013: Customs Union, U-turn on EU accord, Karabakh, Turkey, regional developments

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2013 became a milestone year for Armenia not only in its foreign, but also domestic politics. After nearly four years of negotiations with the European Union over the signing of an association agreement on September 3 Armenia unexpectedly announced its intention to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

This decision has had its influence not only on Armenia proper, but also on the processes elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Inspired by Armenia’s decision, Russia stepped up its pressure on Ukraine, which suspended the process of signing of the Association Agreement with the EU one week before the Vilnius summit of Eastern Partnership. As a result, on November 29 such agreements were initialed only by Moldova and Georgia.