Saturday, 5 November 2016


Hayasdan Fund 

Click on the 2015 Annual Report to see all the projects 
achieved in that year, including those funded by the UK. հայերեն english 

Perhaps you will consider a donation to continue the 
work that addresses so many essential needs in Armenia. 
Contact Armineh Carapeti (who features in the video) 

Dates for your diary:

3 November at 7pm: Lecture by Der Arsen Saroyan, 
the new pastor for St Yegihe Church, 
on the Sacrament of the Holy Communion, 

23 November at 7:30pm: Lecture by Dr Tom Samuelian, 
Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at the American 
University of Armenia, 
on Narek: Doctor of the Universal Church. Dr Samuelian 
produced a critically acclaimed translation of the Lamentations 
into English. 

25 November at 7:30pm: Dr Samuelian 
on the Global Threat of Impunity for Genocide. 
Dr Samuelian was one of the first disaporans to be called to the 
Armenian Bar to practice as a lawyer. 

All at the Gulbenkian Hall, St Sarkis Church, Kensington.

PJ Media
Slogan in Turkey During Erdogan’s Rally: 'Armenian Bastards 
Cannot Deter Us'
By Robert Jones
October 30, 2016

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently held a rally at the
airport in the northern Turkish city of Trabzon. During his speech,
the crowd started chanting: “Armenian bastards cannot deter us.”
Erdogan did not warn or condemn the crowd as they repeated their ugly

Garo Paylan, an Armenian MP from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic
Party (HDP), launched a criminal complaint through his lawyer, Levent
Piskin, against those who organized the rally on October 15 and those
who shouted the slogan for “public incitement to hatred and hostility
towards and denigration of the Armenian people.”

“The fact that Erdogan stayed silent and did not stop the slogans has
facilitated the targeting of Armenians,” said the petition, which
continued: “Paylan has seriously been impacted by these slogans and
has been exposed to threats and insults by people encouraged by the

Paylan said that Erdogan, Suleyman Soylu (the Turkish minister of
interior), and Veysel Eroglu (the minister of forestry and water
affairs) were present at the rally, “as eyewitnesses” to the incident.

Turkey not only still aggressively denies the 1915 Armenian genocide,
but also continues to insult the survivors of the genocide for their
Armenian identity
. And this tradition dates back to the founding phase
of the Turkish Republic in 1923.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder and first president of Turkey,
declared on March 16, 1923, in a speech to the Adana Turkish Merchant

"The Armenians have no right whatsoever in this beautiful country.
Your country is yours, it belongs to Turks. This country was Turkish
in history; therefore it is Turkish and it shall live on as Turkish to
eternity. ...  Armenians and so forth have no rights whatsoever here.
These bountiful lands are deeply and genuinely the homeland of the

This denialist, discriminatory, and degrading policy regarding
Armenians is still alive and well in Turkey.

Erdogan himself, during an interview broadcast on Turkish TV in 2014,
referred to Armenians as “ugly.”

The Clarion Project reported that since August of last year, military
curfews have been imposed on several predominantly Kurdish towns in
southeastern Turkey. “While Turkish security forces destroyed the town
of Cizre in September, 2015, they announced on a loudspeaker to the
local Kurdish population: ‘Armenians are proud of you; you are all
Armenians. You are Armenian bastards.’

“The Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) also reported that the
police announced to the Kurds of Cizre that they were ‘Armenian

“None of the police officers or soldiers responsible for these
announcements has been brought to account, apparently because they
acted in accordance with the official line of the Turkish regime.”

Nov 1 2016
Rebirth Of The World's Oldest Winemaking Regions In Armenia
By Angela Ordonez
Nov 01, 2016 

According to news report by Smithsonian , an Armenian wine expert highlighted the best places to experience the rebirth of a wine culture stifled under Soviet rule

Armenia has been recognized as the foundation of wine making. Even the 18 th Century BC Kings of Urartu coined the ancient Armenia as the "land of the vineyards".

Assyrian armies wondered the massive quantities of its vines and trees. In Genesis, it is in the mountain of Ararat where Noah first planted its seed as explained in Smithsonian .

The report also states that Armenia's culture in traditional winemaking had been changed during the Soviet rule.

Researchers in the University of California, Los Angeles and the Armenian Institute of Archeology and Ethnography, discovered the oldest winery in southeastern Armenia, in the village of Areni .

Driven by the recent discovery, a new generation of post-communism vintners has set out to regain Armenia's winemaking legacy.

Mr. Vahe Keushguerian, the founder of Semina Consulting and project manager at Karas Winery .

Vahe is committed to reinvigorating the Armenia's wine culture. He said that Armenian viticulture is undergoing a "rebirth".

"There's a very good, positive energy in Armenia now," Vahe said.

"It's the right time to discover what's happening", he added in a statement in Smithsonian.

To experience the best of Armenia's wine renaissance, Mr. Vahe Keushguerian recommends the following Wineries destinations, as specified in the Smithsonian news report:

Zorah Wines in Rind, Vayots Dzor - the Zorah Karasi Areni Noir is one of the best wines in the world, as Bloomberg named it.

Old Bridge in Yeghegnadzor, Vayots Dzor - Old Bridge B&B is a family-run vineyard that doubles as a bed and breakfast. Guests can also visit the ancient bridge to which the winery is named.

Hin Areni in Areni, Vayots Dzor - the winery features state-of-the-art equipment, but the team at Hin Areni handpicks their grapes and stores them in barrels made from local, Artskah oak.

Getnatoun in Vernashen, Vayots Dzor - uses natural fermentation methods and a meticulous production process to craftaward-winning wine varieties

Van Ardi in Ashtarak, Aragatsotn - spreads out over rolling hills in picturesque Ashtarak, an ancient winemaking region comparable to Vayots Dzor.

Mr. Vahe was asked what needs to be done to revive the Armenia's wine industry. His answers tackle about the need to reacquire our wine culture, pointers on the challenges regarding narrative of the industry and marketing

"I am a positive person and I see huge potential in the future of Armenian wine. We are blessed with good vineyards. But one thing we lack is institutional support. We don't have the resources for research," he said during his interview with Exotic Wine Travel.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan leaves Manchester United's Aon Complex alone as Armenian remains on the fringes of Jose Mourinho's squad
By Alex Bywater
30 Oct 2016

    • Henrikh Mkhitaryan trained alone at Manchester United's Aon Complex
    • Mkhitaryan was pictured leaving in his white Lamborghini on Sunday
    • The Armenian remains firmly on the fringes of Jose Mourinho's squad
    • Mkhitaryan hasn't been included since flopping in the Manchester derby
    • Mourinho has nonetheless said Mkhitaryan is still part of his plans

Henrikh Mkhitaryan's start to his Manchester United career has seen him remain firmly on the sidelines of Jose Mourinho's struggling squad.

And just 24 hours after United huffed and puffed in their 0-0 stalemate with Burnley at Old Trafford, the out of favour Mkhitaryan was pictured leaving his team's Aon Training Complex having worked out alone.

The Armenian international, 27, moved to the Premier League from Borussia Dortmund this summer, signing a four-year contract for a fee of £23.6million. But he's made just one start under Mourinho since - the Manchester derby defeat by City.

Mkhitaryan is on the fringes of the United squad and sat out the scoreless draw with BurnleyMkhitaryan is on the fringes of the United squad and sat out the scoreless draw with Burnley

On Sunday, Mkhitaryan took to Instagram to write: 'Better days will come for us! We march on. One for all and all for one! #mufc.'

Mkhitaryan was once again left out of the United squad against Burnley, watching from the stands as the men in red failed to break down the Clarets and saw manager Mourinho and Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera sent off. 


Appearances: 5

Goals: 0

Assists: 0

Minutes played: 104

After a spectacular 2015-16 campaign with Dortmund, much was expected of Mkhitaryan when he arrived in English football.

But the talented winger suffered the humiliation of being substituted at half time after a wretched performance against City. He has not been seen on the pitch since.

The former Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder hasn't been helped by a lingering thigh injury, but was declared fit before United faced Fenerbahce in the Europa League.

Nonetheless, he has failed to appear in a red shirt since, raising significant questions over the future of a man who currently looks like an expensive mistake.

That said, Mourinho was at pains to point out before the draw with Burnley that he believes Mkhitaryan will eventually come good at United.
Mkhitaryan posted this picture to Instagram with the caption: 'Better days will come for us! We march on. One for all and all for one! #mufc'Mkhitaryan posted this picture to Instagram with the caption: 'Better days will come for us! We march on. One for all and all for one! #mufc' 

Mkhitaryan hasn't been seen in a United shirt since a poor display in the Manchester derbyMkhitaryan hasn't been seen in a United shirt since a poor display in the Manchester derby 

The 27-year-old was substituted at half time during his team's defeat by bitter rivals CityThe 27-year-old was substituted at half time during his team's defeat by bitter rivals City 

United manager Jose Mourinho said before the Burnley game Mkhitaryan was still in his plansUnited manager Jose Mourinho said before the Burnley game Mkhitaryan was still in his plans

'We believe in him and of course we believe that sooner or later there will be no problem,' Mourinho said earlier this week.

'But Mkhi needs time to become the top player he can be. With some players, their profile is adapted to come and play.

'Some others need more time to feel the intensity and the aggression (in England), the game without the ball, the competitiveness. Many times players come from different countries and the style of football is different.

'There's no other country where it doesn't matter the team you play against, you have to play at the highest level. If you don't, you have no chance.'

Despite barely featuring so far this term, United have rejected any notion Mkhitaryan could be quickly moved on in January. The 27-year-old, who speaks six languages, is said to be 'an absolute gentleman' and popular with Old Trafford staff.

But Sunday's solitary training session is hardly something which will reassure the player, Mourinho moving to compare Mkhitaryan to Angel Di Maria this week. He will hope his United career doesn't go the same way as that of the Argentinian misfit. 

Mkhitaryan is popular at United but Mourinho clearly feels he is not yet ready to playMkhitaryan is popular at United but Mourinho clearly feels he is not yet ready to play

'Mkhi is not injured. He is training with the team 100 per cent, there is no limitation in terms of his fitness-related injuries,' Mourinho added.

'Willian - he arrived at Chelsea, had problems to play. He went through a process then after he became a top player. Then the next season he became absolutely phenomenal and still is.

'When Di Maria arrived at Real Madrid, he also had to learn a lot about his game and a new reality. Sometimes it happens. Attacking players sometimes arrive and go straight to success. Other times it takes a little more time.

'In Mkhi's case the process was interrupted by an injury that kept him out for about a month. To be out for a month you have to go through a process of getting match fitness. Then you need a competitive level to do it.'

[a centennial article - better late than never] 
New Statesman
24 APRIL 2015 The Armenian genocide: the journey from 
victim to survivor
Anoosh Chakeli
an, deputy web editor at the New Statesman.

The global activity around the Armenian genocide centenary is unprecedented – reality TV stars, western lawyers, Turkish intellectuals, metalheads and the Pope have all spoken out. But has this brought international recognition any closer?

When I mention that I’m Armenian to new people I meet, I usually receive one of two reactions. One involves Kim Kardashian. The other is a vague awareness of something horrible that happened during the First World War. It’s particularly noticeable this year, as the world (including cousin Kim) has lingered a little longer than usual on the events of the Armenian genocide as it reaches its centenary.

Today is 24 April, a date that has resonated for me ever since I was born. Well, the Armenian pronunciation of it has, anyway (“Uhbril Ksan Chors”). Today marks 100 years since the Ottoman Turks rounded up hundreds of Armenian community leaders and intellectuals in Constantinople, and executed them.

This was the first phase of a genocide that lasted throughout the First World War. The ensuing century has perpetuated the pain with silence and denial.

The facts are already out there – pretty much every western journalist or historian who has written about this subject, and many Turkish ones at that, will give you a similar account. During death marches and massacres perpetrated by the Young Turk regime as the bloody conclusion of its “Turkification” programme, 1.5 million Armenians were killed of an estimated population of 2.1 million.

A collapsing empire, war, religious hegemony, and a rumbling resentment towards the flourishing Christian people living in the heart of their empire, led the Ottomans to this final solution to the “Armenian question”.

And every Armenian in the vast diaspora today has been touched by the story. My grandparents on my father’s side were both born in Cilicia – a historic Armenian community to the south of Turkey. Their families both managed first to flee to Iskenderun, which was then part of Syria, when my grandparents were very young. Just before the Second World War, when Iskenderun fell into Turkish hands, they then escaped to Lebanon. My grandparents only met and married years later, in Beirut.

The Turkish government has always denied that its ancestors committed genocide. It maintains there were deaths on both sides (or, what the Independent ’s Robert Fisk calls , “the old ‘chaos of war’ nonsense”). This has led to certain countries (like Britain) and leaders (like Barack Obama) being too craven to use the word “genocide”, for fear of angering a strategically useful ally.

Those writing about the genocide will repeat the same telling quotations from history: Winston Churchill calling it “an administrative holocaust” and “a crime planned and executed for political reasons”; Adolf Hitler asking his generals ahead of his invasion of Poland: “Kill without mercy men, women and children… Who, after all, today remembers the annihilation of the Armenians?”; the lawyer Raphael Lemkin who coined the term “genocide” using the case of the Armenians to formulate his definition, which was adopted by the UN in 1948.

All compelling, but it’s time to focus on the present. The global activity around the Armenian genocide centenary is unprecedented. Will it change anything?

Kim Kardashian, the Pope and some metalheads 

The coalition of people and institutions urging Turkey's government to move on from denial is now overwhelming. The Pope angered the Turkish regime by using the term genocide to describe the events during a mass two weeks ago. The European Parliament adopted a resolution last week calling on Turkey to recognise the Armenian genocide. Germany is poised to recognise it this week.

And aside from politics, Kim Kardashian caused hysteria on her visit to Armenia as she tweeted and broadcasted to an adoring audience the truth about her family’s past. Simultaneously, the popular Armenian-American metal band System of a Down has been on a world tour raising awareness of the Armenian genocide, playing a special free set in the land of their ancestors for the first time.

Plus countless books and articles have been published by western, Armenian and Turkish scholars alike giving ever more forensic examinations of the crimes against humanity committed 100 years ago. A prominent British example is the QC and judge Geoffrey Robertson, who recently represented Armenia alongside the barrister Amal Alamuddin (now Clooney) at the European Court of Human Rights. He has written a book called An Inconvenient Genocide, which contains reams of evidence.

“The deaths of Armenians were not a ‘tragedy’,” he says at an event to promote his book in London. “They were a crime, a crime against humanity – the class that we now call genocide.”

So an odd army of top British barristers, wildly popular reality TV stars, the Pope and headbanging goths around the world are just a few examples of an eclectic, broad-based side in a debate that is becoming increasingly difficult for the Turkish government to win.

“I think, for the coming years, that the Turkish political elite will be alone in denying the genocide, because the Turkish intellectual elite is moving on,” Vicken Cheterian, the historian and author of Open Wounds: Armenians, Turks, and a Century of Genocide , tells me.

“From my research, I’ve been discovering new people – so many Turkish and Kurdish individuals, scholars, writers, historians ­– who are dedicating their professional life, and sometimes more than that, to the study of Armenian history as part of their own history, and this is extremely encouraging.”

Robertson too is optimistic. He tells me: “There’s a terrific amount of literature coming out for the centenary, and I’ve met a lot of the authors. We’re getting over this silly, pointless argument over whether it was or wasn’t genocide, and instead exploring how it can be rectified…

“I think that the signs are good. The lack of response, very little response from Turkey, is significant. They don’t seem to have anything more to say. I sense the truth is now out.”

A rattled response 

Turkey’s response has given the Armenian community and its international supporters reasons to be cheerful. The President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s clunky efforts to distract the world from the centenary have been embarrassing. They include rescheduling the date for the Gallipoli commemoration to fall on 24 April, inviting over 100 world leaders to Turkey for the day. The date should be, and always has been, 18 March.

To seal his “PR disaster”, as Simon Heffer describes it , Erdoğan recalled the Turkish ambassador to the Vatican following the Pope’s intervention, threatened to convert the ancient and venerated Orthodox church Hagia Sophia in Turkey into a mosque, and his foreign affairs ministry accused the EU of succumbing to “Armenian propaganda”.

When multitudes of Turkish people mourn the Armenians each year, urge their leaders to accept the truth, and protest that “We are all Armenians” – with the world echoing the sentiment – the Turkish regime looks increasingly neurotic, paranoid, rattled and alone.

Wake up, world 

But does the world really echo the sentiment? There are currently more than 20 countries that officially describe the events as genocide. Yet the UK has shied away from doing so, in spite of an unofficial political consensus that it did take place.

This is clear in Robertson’s Freedom of Information request that threw up a memorandum from the Foreign Office: “Turkey is neuralgic on this subject; our position is unethical. But given the importance of strategic, political and commercial relations with Turkey, it would be inconvenient to acknowledge the genocide.”

The US is slightly different. It does recognise the Armenian genocide, in the sense that 43 of its states do , and its House of Representatives has adopted three resolutions commemorating the Armenian genocide in 1975, 1984 and 1996. Obama, in a 2008 campaign speech, used the G-word:

The Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence. The facts are undeniable. An official policy that calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable policy. As a senator, I strongly support passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution, as president I will recognise the Armenian Genocide.

He hasn’t used the word since becoming President, instead referring to the genocide as “Meds Yeghern” (“great catastrophe” in Armenian) – a phrase that merely inspires hollow laughter among Armenians frustrated by our politicians’ semantic dances.

Moving on 

As a British-Armenian, I would like to see the UK recognise the Armenian genocide, hear Obama use the word before he stands down as President, and for Turkey finally to come to terms with its history.

Even if you discount the injustice felt by Armenians around the world, the deathly cycle of annihilation should be reason enough to force the world to recognise the genocide. Places like Deir ez-Zor in the Syrian desert, where mass graves of Armenians were found, are the exact same killing fields occupied by Islamic State today.

So not only did the Armenian genocide give Hitler his idea for the Holocaust, but a century of impunity has made the very land where it took place ripe turf for further massacres of civilians.

Yet ultimately Turkey and its fearful Nato allies must call the crime by its name for the sake of Armenian identity. As if the culture hasn’t come under enough strain throughout history, it is weighed down by the burden of constantly being associated with death, sorrow and endless injustice.

The lead singer of System of a Down and modern Armenian hero Serj Tankian is reticent about Armenians being defined by their bloody history:

I think, with justice prevailing, I would like to see the Armenian culture move on from talking about the genocide,” he tells me. “We don't want to be known as the lost orphans of the near east forever. We want to be known for what we are today, and for what we've represented through our history in general.”

I find that encouraging, as someone who has attempted to bring the unique and joyous nature of Armenian culture to the attention of friends and fellow journalists.

Armenia has its own language and alphabet that is part of no other language family. It also boasts a formidable mastery of chess , a curious cultural obsession with pomegranates , numerous madcap proverbs, and lays claim to a delicious smorgasbord of enigmatically-named dishes (“The Priest Who Fainted” is a personal favourite). The country itself is a compelling clash of Soviet brutalism with the pretty symmetrical solemnity of its Orthodox churches. And you should see it take on Eurovision.

Only when denial turns to recognition can the genocide become part of that list, rather than always being the headline. And only when the silence on this issue is drowned out will Armenians be truly able to define themselves as survivors, and no longer victims.ay

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