25 May 2016
A team of scientists comes up with an unusual idea to preserve the
disappearing snows of Armenia, according to Fair Observer.
Because of climate change, the weather in the small mountainous
country of Armenia is getting hotter and hotter. The mountain snows
that normally serve as a source of water now melt earlier, meaning
floods in the spring and droughts in the summer.
Filmmaker Vardan Hovhannisyan follows a team of Armenian scientists on
Mount Aragats who has come up with an unusual new idea to preserve the
reaches unimaginable level
Currently, there are hard times for the beautiful Karabakh, as the
Karabakh conflict broke out with a new force in April, journalist
Rayhan Demytrie reports in a BBC program The Fifth Floor.
The journalist particularly speaks about her first visit to the
Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR) in 2015. Then, she visited settlements
close to the frontline and met a local woman, who told her that people
there lived with constant fears of the war starting again.
A year later, in April 2016, Demytriewent back to the same villages
and it was quite shocking for her to see that there was a grad rocket,
which landed not far from the house of the woman she had met a year
ago. The entire village was evacuated, and she watched with horror how
people were leaving in a rush.
Demytrie notes that at first glance,it is impossible to imagine how
deep the conflict is. Sometimes, the Azerbaijanis’ animosity and
hatred for Armenians reaches an unimaginable level.
For example, an Azerbaijani soldier undergoing training in Hungary in
2004 axe-murdered a sleeping Armenian military officer.It was a
cold-blooded murder. There was a trial, he was jailed; however, in a
few years, the Azerbaijani authorities brought this person back
promising that he would serve the remaining of his sentence at home.
He was greeted in his country as a national hero, and his photograph
is in every school in Azerbaijan. “It is absurd that this person is
considered a hero, only because he axe-murdered a sleeping man,”
Demytrie says in the interview with the BBC.
In 2004, the Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan took part in the
three-month English courses of the NATO titled "Partnership for Peace"
in Budapest. He was killed on 19 February, early in the morning.
Murderer, Azerbaijani officer RamilSafarov struck in the face of
sleeping Armenian officer with an ax for 16 times. Subsequently he was
recognized as imputable by the Hungarian court and was sentenced to
life imprisonment without right of pardon for 30 years. On August 31
it was stated that RamilSafarov will be extradited to his fatherland
and was pardoned by the decree of Azerbaijani President IlhamAliyev.
In Azerbaijan, the pardoned murderer RamilSafarovwas met as a hero, he
was given a department and was paid and officer salary for the 8 years
he had spent in prison. In addition, Azerbaijan’s Defense Minister
awarded Safarov with a special rank of mayor wishing him “further
In connection with the extradition of Safarov to Azerbaijan, Armenian
President SerzhSargsyan announced a termination of diplomatic
relations with Hungary.
U.S. President Barack Obama, the U.S. Department of State, Foreign
Ministries of Russia and France, Secretary General of the Council of
Europe, Secretary General of the CSTO, NATO and international
organizations of human rights condemned Safarov’s extradition,
pardoning and glorification in Azerbaijan. On September 13, European
Parliament adopted the resolution of condemnation too.
To the 10th anniversary of GurgenMargaryan’s murder, in the frameworks
of "Ordinary Genocide" project, a video-footage has been prepared
called "Azerbaijan: Racism has no borders." The footage is in English,
Russian, and Hungarian. It concisely presents the history of a murder,
which shocked the world, as well as the subsequent transfer and
glorification of Safarov in Azerbaijan. It is significant that the
authors chose a part of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 (called
Leningrad) known as invasion of fascists as the soundtrack.
The "Ordinary Genocide" project is being implemented by the
Information and Public Relations Center under the RA President’s
A senior official from the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday
urged the Armenian government to make good on its latest pledge to
step up the fight against corruption and significantly improve the
domestic investment climate.
"I think now is a critical moment [to do that,]" said Teresa Daban
Sanchez, the head of the IMF office in Yerevan. "If you have shocks
like Armenia has, fighting against corruption, curtailing monopolies
and improving the business environment becomes more important than
before. This process needs to be accelerated."
Daban Sanchez commented on Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian's May 12
pledge to speed up reforms because of "new challenges" facing Armenia
as a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In particular,
Abrahamian said the Armenian authorities will make tax administration
less arbitrary and investigate de facto monopolies owned by wealthy
businesspeople close to the ruling establishment.
The premier went on to promise that the authorities will liberalize
lucrative imports of fuel and other essential commodities to Armenia
that have long been effectively controlled by a handful of
"oligarchs." "Any citizen can import anything they want," he
said. "There will be no artificial obstacles."
The IMF as well the World Bank have for years been calling for such
reforms, saying that they are vital for faster economic growth in the
Daban Sanchez stressed that a stronger ruler of law would translate
into more jobs and other economic opportunities for Armenians.
"Armenia is a small economy with a small-sized market," she told
RFE/RL's Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). "There is no room for many
players. Therefore, the rules of the game should be improved so that
even if there are only a few players [in a particular sector] they act
in a competitive way."
By Naira Hayrumyan -
May 25, 2016
Germany’s Bundestag plans to consider passing a resolution on the
Armenian Genocide on June 2. Experts speak about the likelihood of
such a resolution being adopted, but note that this would depend on
global agreements between Germany and Turkey.
The German parliament failed to discuss a similar resolution in 2015,
when Armenians marked the 100th anniversary of the Ottoman-era
Genocide. The vote then was repeatedly delayed, and many experts now
also believe that the Bundestag is using the resolution as a tool in
negotiations with Turkey. In particular, it concerns the issue of
immigrants to Europe. Turkey is accused of encouraging the flow of
migrants towards the continent and Brussels is trying to arrange a
deal for Turkey to keep migrants and refugees coming from troubled
regions of the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
Meanwhile, a German Bundestag delegation headed by Vice-Speaker
Edelgard Bulmahn has been in Yerevan this week. At a press conference,
the German politician said that the text of the resolution condemns
the violence and deportation against the Armenians and other peoples
of the Ottoman Empire, but also notes a sinister German role in the
crime. Germany was Turkey’s ally during World War I and, according to
historical evidence, did nothing to prevent the crime.
During these days German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in Turkey where
she is attending the United Nation’s World Humanitarian Summit. During
talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Merkel expressed
dissatisfaction with the law adopted by the Turkish parliament on the
eve of her arrival under which lawmakers in Turkey will not enjoy
parliamentary immunity. The international community regards this as an
act against the Kurdish deputies in the Turkish parliament, who are
now effectively left defenseless before the authorities.
Germany is home to quite a large Turkish community, but a large part
of immigrants are also ethnic Kurds and other ethnic groups opposed to
Turkish dominance. Germany supports the Kurdish movement, including as
a tool of pressure on Turkey, whose authorities are now conducting
military operations against the Kurds. In this context, the assertion
that the Armenian issue is also a similar tool does not seem
It is noteworthy that the author of the Armenian Genocide bill is
German MP Cem Ozdemir, the son of a Turkish-Circassian gastarbeiter
25 May, 2016
YEREVAN, MAY 25. Court of Turkey has convicted nationalist
Tolga Adıgüzel, who had earlier threatened to launch “hunt against
Armenians” in the streets of Kars city. Armenian member of the Turkish
parliament Garo Paylan filed a lawsuit against him after the
announcement of Tolga Adıgüzel. “Armenpress’ reports, citing Turkish
“Hurriyet”, the court sentenced him to imprisonment of 7 months and 15
days and obliged him to pay 11 thousand and 24 Turkish liras
(3800USDD) as penalty.
But the sentence has been postponed considering the fact that Adıgüzel
has not been convicted in the past.
Paylan has mentioned, “Hate speeches pave the way for crimes committed
on the grounds of hate. The verdict for the hate speech against the
Armenian identity gives hope to Armenians and the public order of
Turkey, as well as those who believe in justice. We will continue our
struggle against crimes on racial and hate grounds, search for justice
and make efforts for public order”.
Tolga Adıgüzel - head of the Kars branch of the “Ülkü ocaklar”
(Hearths of Ideal) radical group of the Grey Wolves - has voiced
threats towards Armenians of Kars after renowned jazz pianist Tigran
Hamasyan performed Armenian chants and verses in the ruins of the
historical capital of Armenia – Ani. Tigran Hamasyan’s and Yerevan
State Chamber Choir’s concert program “Luys i Luso” (Light of Light)
kicked off in Turkey on June 21. Adıgüzel threatened Armenians by
saying “What should we do now? Should we start a hunt for Armenians in
the streets of Kars?”
He accused Armenians of the ‘events of 1915’ and Khojalu. He also
accused all Turkish journalists and officials, who ‘support Armenians
launching activity in Turkey.” He urged Armenians not to test the
patience of Turks. He later added, “Turks, for example, cannot arrive
in Armenia and freely organize an event at a sacred site for
Armenians.” He threatened to take necessary measures if such steps
25 May 2016
Since May 10, dozens of civil engineers and structural craftsmen based
at the Robins Air Force Base in the U.S. state of Georgia have been
working on important renovations at Yerevan Elderly Institute #1,
improving the safety and conditions of 12 residential suites and the
common area of the institute.
These members of the 116th Civil Engineer Squadron of the Georgia Air
National Guard came to Armenia as part of the U.S. military’s
Humanitarian Civic Assistance Program. The military engineers replaced
the flooring of the institute, making the entire facility safer for
the elderly who rely on it. They also repaired bathrooms in the
building, worked on sewage lines and electrical wiring, and replaced
and refinished many walls. The renovation provided crucial skill-set
training for the engineers, who were able to practice their skills in
real-world settings. At the same time, the renovation continues the
long-lasting friendship between the Armenian people and the citizens
of the United States.
“We will be grateful for many years for the work you have done here,”
said Khachik Sargsyan, director of Yerevan Elderly Institution No. 1.
“The work carried out here will help our residents with hot water and
heating and provide a safe and cleaning living environment.”
“These members of the Georgia Air National Guard represent some of the
best of the best in the U.S. military, and now they have a personal
understanding of the Armenian people that they can carry with them as
they return home,” said U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills, Jr.,
who was joined at a ribbon cutting for the renovated facility on
Wednesday, May 25, 2016, by the Armenian Minister of Labor and Social
Issues Artem Asatryan.
This is the third year the U.S. European Command’s Humanitarian Civic
Assistance Program has been active in Armenia.
“Through efforts such as this renovation, in partnership with the
Armenian government and civil society, we at the Embassy are working
to improve the lives of the Armenian people and help this historic
nation have the secure, peaceful, and prosperous future it deserves,”
Ambassador Mills said.
25 May 2016
Grammy winning singer-songwriter and activist Serj Tankian has
released “Aurora’s Dream,” a song he was commissioned to write for the
recent “Aurora Prize” ceremony in Yerevan, Armenia, according to
“Aurora’s Dream” was featured as the main theme song for the inaugural
“Aurora Prize” ceremony, which was organized by the 100 Lives
initiative to honor individuals whose actions have had an exceptional
impact on preserving human life and advancing humanitarian causes. On
behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to
their saviors, an Aurora Prize Laureate will be honored each year with
a $100,000 grant as well as the unique opportunity to continue the
cycle of giving by nominating organizations that inspired their work
for a $1,000,000 award. Though the April event was the first official
ceremony, it marked the second time an Aurora Prize has been awarded.
“‘Aurora’s Dream’ is the result of some of my best compositional
efforts in years,” says Tankian. “I’m glad it was for the 100 Lives
organization and for the wonderful things they’re doing with bringing
attention to devastating tragedies and the real heroes that rise to
the occasion, especially with their Aurora Prize events.”
An instrumental version of “Aurora’s Dream” served as the backdrop to
“Aurora,” a film by Eric Nazarian that was featured during the
“Aurora’s Dream” follows the recent release of “Artsakh,” an acoustic
song Tankian wrote in support of the people of Artsakh.
“These people have lived on those lands for thousands of years,” said
Tankian. “They have great struggle but also great beauty written on
their foreheads. The whimsical appropriation of land by an empire
(Stalin) placed them under Azerbaijan. They have since gained their
independence and have lived a prosperous existence for the last 20 or
so years. I do not believe in wars and ultimately borders but I deeply
believe in self-determination and life without oppression. Therefore
it is time for the world to recognize them as the Republic of Artsakh
Tankian recently composed the soundtrack for The Last Inhabitant and
just released the soundtrack for 1915, a film created by
writer-directors Garin Hovannisian and Alec Mouhibian about the
Armenian genocide, an attempted extermination of the Armenian people
by the Ottoman Empire.
With his band System of a Down, last year Tankian commemorated the
100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide with a global arena tour
that included the group’s first-ever performance in Yerevan’s Republic
May 25, 2016
Borussia Dortmund’s Armenia international Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been
named the player of the Bundesliga 2015-16, according to a poll
conducted by German magazine Kicker.
The 27-year-old attacking midfielder topped the list with over 31
percent of the votes, followed by Bayern Munich’s Polish striker
Robert Lewandowski, who has about 22 percent of the votes.
Bayern’s Thomas Muller and Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came
third and fourth with 13.6 and 13.2 percent, respectively.
Scoring 23 goals and creating a further 32 in 51 appearances for
Dortmund in the 2015-16 season, Mkhitaryan earlier made it into the
Bundesliga and Europa League dream teams decided by media. With five
goals scored in the Germany Cup, Mkhitaryan has also been recognized
as the tournament’s best scorer.
Mkhitaryan is likely to stay in Dortmund for 2016-17 despite media
speculations linking him with possible Arsenal or Chelsea moves.
The Bild wrote earlier this week that Borussia’s management had made a
“shock decision” to keep Mkhitaryan for one more season and allow him
to leave for free next year. The decision, the paper suggested, was
due to the apparent unpreparedness of the Bundseliga’s 2015-16
runners-up to lose another player after Mats Hummels’ transfer to
rivals Bayern Munich and Ilkay Gundogan’s likely move to Manchester