Monday, 16 January 2017

Armenian News... A Topalian... Tigran Hamasyan develops themes

Well-known tunes, Ghars then Yaman Yar

 - just listen how Tigran Hamasyan develops these themes

Turkey to build walls on borders with Armenia, Iran - media
January 11, 2017

PanARMENIAN.Net - Various media reports suggest Turkey is going to erect walls on borders with Armenia and Iran.

A similar fence, which measures three meters high and has barbed wires on top, is currently being built on the border with Syria, reports.

According to local media, Turkey is fencing its borders in the framework of the fight against terrorism and smuggling.

The concrete wall being built to stop illegal crossings along the length of Turkey's 900-km border with Syria will be finished by the end of February, a Turkish official was quoted as saying earlier.

[now look at how the Azeris use this speculation as propaganda]
AzerNews, Azerbaijan
Turkey considers building wall along border with Armenia
11 January 2017
By Rashid Shirinov

Turkey considers constructing a wall along the state border with Armenia.

The proposal is being discussed by the Ministries of National Defense and Finance, Trend reported with reference to the Turkish Star newspaper on January 11.

The 3-meter concrete walls will be erected in the Turkish provinces of Ardahan, Kars and Igdir, which border on Armenia.

The concrete walls are expected to contribute to fighting against terrorism, smuggling and prevention of illegal border crossing.

The tension in the relations of Turkey and Armenia is due to Armenia's so-called “genocide” claims against Turkey and occupation of Azerbaijani territories. That was the very reason due to which the Turkish-Armenian border is closed since early 1990s.

Turkey has repeatedly stressed that the Ankara-Yerevan normalization of ties is impossible without the liberation of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.

In late 2015, Turkey launched construction of a wall along its border with Syria to keep out ISIS fighters. The construction is expected to be completed in April 2017.

The concrete wall stretching the length of the border between the two countries, include barbed wire, a dedicated patrol road and a reinforced fence. Some 28 kilometers of the wall is left to build.

RFE/RL Report
Mediators Concerned About Armenian-Azeri Skirmish 
January 10, 2017

U.S., Russian and French mediators have deplored a recent "attempted
incursion on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border" but stopped short of
blaming Armenia or Azerbaijan for the deadly incident.

"Violations of the ceasefire are unacceptable and are contrary to the
acknowledged commitments of the Parties, who bear full responsibility,
not to use force," the three co-chairs said late on Monday in a joint
statement on the December 29 incident, which left three Armenian and
at least one Azerbaijani soldier dead.

"The Co-Chairs urge the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to strictly
observe the agreements reached during summits in Vienna and
St. Petersburg in 2016, including obligations to finalize in the
shortest possible time an OSCE investigative mechanism," they said.

"We call upon the Parties to cease mutual accusations and undertake
all necessary measures to stabilize the situation on the ground,"
added the statement.

The mediators also urged the Armenian side to repatriate "without
delay" the body of the Azerbaijani serviceman that was left lying in
Armenian territory after the skirmish.

Armenian officials say the fact that he was shot dead at an Armenian
border post in the northern Tavush province proves that it was
attacked by Azerbaijani forces. Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian
made the same point when he reacted to the co-chairs' statement on

"We agree with them in that ceasefire violations are unacceptable,"
Nalbandian said in written comments to the Armenpress news agency. "We
agree that agreements reached in Vienna and Saint Petersburg,
including on the introduction as soon as possible of a mechanism for
investigating [armed] incidents, must be implemented unconditionally."

"Such a mechanism would allow [the parties] to cease, as the co-chairs
put it, mutual accusations," he said. "Though, when an Azerbaijani
saboteur is neutralized inside Armenian positions, it is clear to
everyone, even without that mechanism, who launched the attack."

Nalbandian insisted that the Azerbaijani side continues to oppose this
and other safeguards against truce violations in the Nagorno-Karabakh
conflict zone.

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry has denied launching an incursion in the
mountainous area. It claimed that an Armenian "reconnaissance squad"
was ambushed by its forces while trying to cross into Azerbaijan.

Official Baku did not comment on the co-chairs' statement as of
Tuesday afternoon.
Median gross salary in Armenia falls to 181,400 drams
January 11.  

According to the latest numbers of Armenia’s National Statistical Service (NSS), the median gross monthly salary in the country in 2016 November was 181,375 drams ($379 or 24,441 Russian rubles), 0.3% down from the year before. In October 2016 the median gross salary was 181,478 drams, 0.1% less than in October 2015.

The highest median monthly salary of 212,500 drams was reported in 2016 October by the southern province of Syunik, while the lowest paid province was the central Aragatsotn with 124,400 drams. In the capital city Yerevan, the median gross monthly salary in 2016 October stood at about 195,000 drams.

The highest salaries were boasted by financial and insurance companies – 381,700, information and communication sector – 374,900 drams, and the mining sector - 349, 900 drams.

The most low-paid sectors were culture, entertainment and leisure -113,500 drams, agriculture, forestry and fishery – 117,500 drams, education -122,600 drams and catering and hotels - 127, 400 drams. ($ 1 - 484.71 drams). -0-

From Arthur Hagopian
Dec 31 , 2016

The words flow out powerfully in a resurgent stream, like the waters of the River Jordan, unstoppable, evocative, seeking to stir, rouse us into an emotional or spiritual contemplation.
Always seeking the light, soaring towards the light. 

As he walks along a dark and silent street, his head down, he is shadowed by the moon. The wind blows dispassionately, as if intent on throttling the silence. 

Self-centered, he is seeking answers from God, but when he stumbles against a beggar, he relents and asks forgiveness for his egoism and mercy for the hapless man.
Meet the poet, the Very Reverend Father, Pakrad Berjekian, Vicar general of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church in America, former Chairman of General Assembly of the Brotherhood of St James in Jerusalem. 

A priest and a poet. Not a first - he is preceded by such illustrious Armenian greats as Ghevont Alishan, St Nerses the Gracious, Megerditch Khrimian ("Hayrig"), Khoren de Lusignan, Sayat Nova): another beacon of light for literature, not only Armenian, but universal. What Berjekian writes, finds echoes in all languages, all over the world. 

There was a time when, in his teens, the words would flow from the end of a lead pencil, black on white, wafting onto a sheet of lined paper, scratching long lines of vivid emotion.
The lead pencil is long gone now, replaced by the serrated black rows of a computer keyboard. No scratching paper. just a luminescent screen, where his somber visage is reflected, a background censor zealously marking the outpouring of words. 

He was only 17, a novice seeking a life of spiritual enlightenment as a seminarian in Jerusalem, immersed in the quest of service to God and his community, when he felt the first inklings of a poetic stirring in his soul. 

He remembers his first bashful attempts at putting down the cascade of ideas filling his mind. He was fortunate in having as his mentor an acclaimed poet, and fellow priest, the late Patriarch, Archbishop Yeghishe Derderian. Under his tutelage, Berjekian's budding skills developed and the young seminarian forged ahead with his dreams of capturing the world in rhythm and rhyme.
"Derderian read everything I wrote and helped me with his critique," Berjekian confides.
The years rolled by and he became ordained a celibate priest of the Holy See of Jerusalem.
There never was any conflict between the chalice and the pen. Every time he lifts the golden cup during holy mass, his eyes brim with tears, but his hands are sturdy as a rock, as in awestruck reverence, he offers his prayers: there is nothing before him but the blood and body of Christ which he is consecrating. 

And when he sits down to craft his poems, there is no other thought other than capturing the "tsunami" of emotions pleading for utterance. 

Berjekian's style is heedless of quantitative linear considerations.
"The important thing is the theme and the imagery and the message.
The beauty is in the imagery and its flow with a tsunami of emotions," he explains.
"I do not look or explore, feelings and thoughts may rush through my mind simply by observing a natural scene or by hearing some heart touching music," he explains.
"Personal injustices or malicious acts, or any kind of happy moments may have an impact on my urge to write," he adds. 

"Feelings create images in me which come out in words imagined in my own way. For example, I watch the rain, and often see in the rain the image of a harp played by divine hands resulting in a heavenly music." 

Writing under the pen name Pakradouni, derived from an ancient Armenian hereditary nobility, he has produced three books so far with such catching titles as: "Looysn Ooshatzadz" [The Light is Late],"Hokiyi Hamerk" [Orchestra of the Soul], and "Hooysi Navag" [The Boat of Hope].
It is a universal truth that the life of a priest is one of personal penance and sacrifice, embedded in pledges of obedience, poverty and celibacy, in a world where temptation beckons us at every step. 

Berjekian knows that abandoning and renouncing the world and all its riches in favor of serving God and man, demands a lifelong commitment, bolstered by an indomitable will and an indefatigable zeal. 

No stranger to hard work and dedication, he had been tasked with the oversight and protection of the Armenian Patriarchate's real estates in Jerusalem, and when he was sent to the US, he was assigned Vicar of the Western Diocese and supervisor of all Saturday schools functioning under its authority. 

[The Jerusalem Patriarchate is the second most important source of spiritual rejuvenation for all Armenians after the Mother Church at Etchmiadzin, Armenia. One of its fundamental tasks is the training of priests at its theological seminary: Armenian churches around the world rely upon Jerusalem to replenish the ranks of their clergy when they run down]. 

Berjekian had chosen a career that is relentlessly difficult and demanding, but at the same time, immeasurably rewarding. 

Wrapped in a world of spirituality, and a heavy cloak to ward off the merciless weather, he would walk the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem on cold winter nights, to assume his duties as a celebrant in the Cathedral of the Holy Sepulchre, his heart bursting with a concatenation of thoughts, feelings and emotions. 

The midnight trek is part of the trauma and torment that is the lot of an Armenian priest.
But for Berjekian, it is also a precious period of quiet reflection, and there is a smile on his face as he plods on. 

For he knows how to turn pain into song, as he says in his "Orchestra of the Soul".
"My wound that festered of eve
"Is transmuted into song today ." 

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