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...and home we were.
Simon Aynedjian - Gibrahayer e-magazine - 23 October 2010 - The elite of Armenian media - 200 in number from 26 countries - gathered in Stepanakert last week to engage in a four-day conference and in parallel to also make a political statement.
Organised by the Diaspora Ministry and iron-lady Hranush Hagopyan the agenda was an educational seminar on how to enhance Armenia's, Karabakh's and Diaspora's media force to the next levels in promoting Armenian national issues and elevating the quality of our publications. It was also an opportunity to put names to faces, even with people a lot of us had exchanged multiple emails with.
But it was also a statement of intent.
That we had all converged from all over the world to another part of our homeland whose ownership is disputed by no one, even if it is not recognised by the international community - not even the Armenian Republic.
And home we were.
Stepanakert is cute, tidy and it sure feels like home. It is that kind of feeling you get when you are walking the pathways of Magaravank and at the same time you gaze at the snow-peaked Tarsus mountains across the sea .... Cilicia ... home...
Or when you are walking under the ruins of our churches in Sourp Ganchvor in Famagusta, Sourp Asdvadzadzin in Turkish-occupied Nicosia, or Akhtamar's Ani... when you look at Ararat's peak even on an unclear day, or even when you walk the streets of Yerevan.... home.
And Stepanakert, as well as every inch of Armenian Artsakh felt that way ... haygagan pour me hogh.
Kantsasar ... whose divine-protected church had survived the Azeri missiles that failed to explode every time they had landed there.
Shushi... whose strategic long-awaited liberation is not in any military handbook.
Tigranagert Castle ... the ultimate proof of Karabakh's Armenian identity littered with archaeological findings with every step you take and every foot you dig.
Home was visible in every beautiful smile of the citizens of Karabakh, in the morning songs of the schools, and the morning cry of the new-born baby across the road.
Although Azeri provocations continued even while we were there - with an Armenian teenager falling victim to sniper fire of the enemy on Saturday - Karabakh has come a long way in establishing itself as an entity to be reckoned with and every day that passes by, is the consolidation of this process.
Whether it is the garbage trucks that keep the streets spotless, the night life in the jazz clubs of Stepanakert, the ongoing agricultural projects in the countryside, the fire in the eyes of the Karabakhtsi black berets in their tank maneuvres or the confidence that Karabakhtsi girls project ... one thing is certain.
Karabakh is home.
WIN MEDIA ONLINE AWARD
Gibrahayer e-magazine press release - Gibrahayer e-magazine brought back an important online media award from the Media Conference that was concluded in Stepanakert last Friday. The awards in each category (printed media, radio, TV and online) were presented by The Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hagopyan and President of the Armenian World Congress Ara Abrahamyan in a Dinner that marked the end of the four-day conference.
Accepting the award, Gibrahayer e-magazine's Chief Editor Simon Aynedjian, thanked the organisers for the recognition and thanked Gibrahayer's faithful team who had worked voluntarily for a decade. Aynedjian specially thanked Alexander-Michael Hadjilyra, Jean Ipdjian, Vahan Aynedjian and Sevag Devletian as well as Gibrahayer's subscribers throughout the world whose support had made this award a reality.
Talking to representatives of the Armenian press after the ceremony, Aynedjian said that tribute must be given to everyone - especially in the Diaspora - who have dedicated their life to information dissemination and combating Anti-Armenian propaganda. "In most cases, they have done this as a mission in life and not a job" he concluded.
Simon Aynedjian was also one of the speakers in the conference. His topic "Anti-Armenian propaganda in the international media and the role of the Armenian media in the propaganda war. The role of the social networks and bloggers to counteract anti-Armenian propaganda", received favourable comments and will be published next week.