Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Armenian News ... A Topalian... Gérard BOYADJIAN on Vimeo

Le Tcheurek de Vartouche (Eng. Subtitles) 

from Gérard BOYADJIAN on Vimeo 
 7 December 2016 

Silicon Valley engineers refuse to build Muslim registry, 
remind Trump of Armenian Genocide
15 Dec 2016 

Engineers and employees from major tech companies — including Google, IBM, Slack, and Stripe — have pledged never to build a database of people based on their religious beliefs.

A group of employees at major tech companies have signed a pledge refusing to help build a Muslim registry. The pledge states that signatories will advocate within their companies to minimize collection and retention of data that could enable ethnic or religious targeting under the Trump administration, to fight any unethical or illegal misuse of data, and to resign from their positions rather than comply.

The group describes themselves as “engineers, designers, business executives, and others whose jobs include managing or processing data about people.”

“We, the undersigned, are employees of tech organizations and companies based in the United States. We are engineers, designers, business executives, and others whose jobs include managing or processing data about people. We are choosing to stand in solidarity with Muslim Americans, immigrants, and all people whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by the incoming administration’s proposed data collection policies. We refuse to build a database of people based on their Constitutionally-protected religious beliefs. We refuse to facilitate mass deportations of people the government believes to be undesirable,” the pledge reads.

“We have educated ourselves on the history of threats like these, and on the roles that technology and technologists played in carrying them out. We see how IBM collaborated to digitize and streamline the Holocaust, contributing to the deaths of six million Jews and millions of others. We recall the internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War. We recognize that mass deportations precipitated the very atrocity the word genocide was created to describe: the murder of 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey. We acknowledge that genocides are not merely a relic of the distant past—among others, Tutsi Rwandans and Bosnian Muslims have been victims in our lifetimes,” the signatories said.

Leo DiCaprio donates $65,000 to Children of Armenia Fund
15 Dec 2016 

Oscar winner Leo DiCaprio bought a work by hot painter Joe Bradley for $65,000 at the Children of Armenia Fund’s gala at Cipriani 42nd Street, according to pagesix.com .

DiCaprio’s friend, art dealer Tony Shafrazi, was the gala’s honorary chair, and Simon de Pury presided over the auction. Terry George and Eric Esrailian were honored.

On December 9th, the 13th Annual COAF Gala at Cipriani in New York raised $3.1 million to fund COAF’s extensive range of programs in Armenia.

Spanning education, health, wellness, science, technology, innovation, culture, art, communication and languages, COAF’s programming was created to empower a new generation of healthy, educated Armenians to significantly improve the future of their homeland on both a local and global scale.

U.S. gives parole to Armenian sentenced over Turkish envoy’s murder
December 15, 2016 

An Armenian gunman serving life sentence for killing a Turkish diplomat in 1982 has been given a long-sought parole by a board in the U.S. state of California , Daily Sabah reports.

The parole board accepted Wednesday, December 14 the demand of Harry "Hampig" Sassounian , a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Army (ARA), who killed Kemal Arikan, Turkey's consul general to Los Angeles, on January 28, 1982.

Sassounian was originally sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole; however, he became eligible for parole after admitting his guilt and formally apologizing in 2002. Previous demands by Sassounian were rejected by a parole board in 2006, 2010, 2013 and 2015.

In a statement on Thursday, Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounced the court's ruling.

Sassounian, hailing from a family of Lebanese Armenian emigres, was identified by witnesses as one of the two gunmen. During the trial, the prosecutors indicated that Sassounian "was motivated to kill Arikan by vengeance for the Armenian Genocide committed by the Turkish Ottomans of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1923."

Russia low-cost airline operates maiden flight from Armenian Gyumri to Moscow
December 15. 

Russian low-cost airline Pobeda (a division of Aeroflot) that was allowed to operate flights form Vnukovo airport in Moscow to Gyumri, the second largest city of Armenia, implemented today the maiden flight from Gyumri to Moscow taking board 173 passengers. The tickets for the first flight were sold at 990 rubles (about $ 16).

According to representatives of the airline, almost all the tickets for the next flight have already been sold.
The company will operate three fights a week – on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. The company will also organize transportation of passengers from Gyumri to capital Yerevan.

In November, a source in Pobeda told Russian news agency Interfax that the airline refused to operate flights to Yerevan because of "very high’ cost of ground services at Zvartnots airport. -0-

Komitas Choir participates in Baroness Caroline Cox’s Concert
December 16

A few days ago the annual “Christmas Carol Concert” was organized by Baroness Caroline Cox with the supervision of Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust at St. Cuthbert’s Church.

As the Tekeyan Center Foundation reports, Komitas Choir of Tekeyan Trust & Cultural Association of the UK has again taken part in the concert upon the invitation of Baroness Cox.

In order to pay tribute to the memory of the Armenian Genocide victims the members of the choir were wearing signs with forget-me-nots and before the performance of the choir Conductor Sipan Olah turned to the symbolism of the forget-me-not in his welcome speech recalling the tragic historical incidents. He also noted the day was another day of commemoration for the Armenian people as a devastating earthquake hit Armenia on 7 December 1988 claiming thousands of lives.

During the concert Komitas Choir performed “Hymn of the Nativity” by Komitas, “New Armenia” by Stepan Lusikyan, traditional Welsh lullaby "Suo Gan" and “Armenian Folk Songs” by Stepan Shakaryan conducted by Sipan Olah and accompanied by pianist Ella Babayan.

Conductor Sipan Olah as a soloist performed two classic works: “J'ai perdu mon Eurydice” Gluck's Orphée et Eurydice and F. Schubert's "Serenade".

The Christmas Carol Concert also featured the Ugandan Acholi London Choir and Chinese opera soprano Chen Wang.

Baroness Caroline Cox has congratulated the participants of the concert. She particularly underscored the obvious development in the performance of the Komitas Choir and congratulated President of the Choir, Honorary Secretary of London Tekeyan Trust Vartan Ouzounian, Conductor and Artistic Director Sipan Olah, as well as the members of the choir welcoming the important cultural activities carried out by them both within the Armenian community and in the British society.

Armenian architect wins prestigious award in London
Marie Taryan
December 15, 2016 

University of Liverpool graduate Roy Khatchadourian, employed at Tim Flynn Architects London office, won the United Kingdom’s oldest and most prestigious award in architectural education.

Roy Khatchadourian received the Dissertation Medal of President’s Medals Student Awards held by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

President’s Medals are given to promote excellent architectural education, appreciate talent and encourage architectural discussions worldwide.

Roy Khatchadourian’s medal was a reward for his thesis titled “A Juxtaposition of Ideological Expressions: Evaluating the Urban Transformations of Yerevan (Armenia) During 1915-2015”.

Tutored by Lain Jackson, the architect focused on the role of architecture in creating a sense of identity following political oppression in Yerevan.

“What determines our sense of belonging to a territory? How can an identity be maintained, or created? Yerevan – the crown jewel and capital city of Armenia – has been grappling with these issues in a quest of rediscovering its national pride, after years of political oppression, even genocide,” Roy Khatchadourian said .

Analysis of Alexander Tamanyan’s masterplan and its appropriation in various ways over the last century is a key part of Roy Khatchadourian’s dissertation. Apart from exploration of the specifics of Yerevan, his research touches on themes such as collective memory loss, the manipulation of architecture to express political values, the impact of commercialization and city gentrification.

“What struck me was that Tamanyan’s masterplan came out of nowhere. I became interested in what he was trying to achieve in his design and what were his points of reference in creating the masterplan. This plan dictates the future architectural image of the city. His introduction of a new style in the Opera and Government Buildings became the norm for Armenian architecture,” Roy Khatchadourian said .

At the same time he noted that “developments in Yerevan seem to have been promoted to attract touristic interest and financial gains, with the cost of a city with rich history and culture, Tamanyan’s initial vision”.

RIBA President’s Medals are the oldest award of the institute. The award was established in 1836 along with RIBA Gold Medal.

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