Monday, 25 May 2009

ARMENIAN INSTITUTE - HEAR MY SONG a festival of choral music



a festival of choral music

Friday 19 June 2009, 7.30 pm

St Yeghiche Armenian Church, Cranley Gardens, SW7

(Tube: Gloucester Road)

Choir of St Yeghiche

Aris Nadirian, director

A programme including the music of Komitas

and other Armenian composers


Geoff Burton and Lucy Gibson, directors

Sacred and ritual songs of the polyphonic tradition of Georgia

Choir of St Barnabas Dulwich

Vienna Francis –Mullins, soprano

Riccardo Bonci, organ

William McVicker, director

Mass of St Barnabas Tigran Grigoryan

Hear my Prayer Mendelssohn

Blessed be the God and Father Wesley

A new work by young Armenian composer Tigran Grigoryan provides the centrepiece of this evening’s concert of sacred music. Three choirs from contrasting traditions perform music from their own repertoire and heritage, showing the range of beauty and power of religious music. In the anniversary year of Mendelssohn, St Barnabas Choir also performs one of his best-known choral works. The Maspindzeli is a London-based Georgian choir whose members are not necessarily Georgian themselves but have trained in the tradition. They have performed in Georgia and through concert tours in the U.K. have inspired new choirs to form in the same tradition Beginning our concert tonight will be the Choir of our host church, St Yeghiche, singing the sacred music of the most loved Armenian composer, Komitas.

Admission: £10, £8 for Friends of the Armenian Institute;
students £5 and children free

Organised by the Armenian Institute

We are grateful to the Manoukian Foundation for the use of this beautiful church.

Please click on the link below for the event flyer:

The Armenian Institute is a London-based registered charity dedicated to making Armenian culture and history a living experience, through innovative programmes, educational resources, workshops, exhibits and performances. Its work is supported by friends, patrons and voluntary donations. For more information about the Armenian Institute or to find out about supporting the important work of the Institute, please visit our website at, contact us at or call 020 7978 9104. If you would like your email address to be removed from the list, please send an email with "remove" in the subject heading to

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Armenian News‏

May 21st, 2009

YEREVAN-Armenia's longtime former Foreign Minister, Vartan Oskanian,
has said Turkey and Armenia will not be able to make progress in their
efforts to normalize relations if Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
Erdogan continues to bring the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to the table,
the Turkish Today's Zaman newspaper reported on Thursday.

Oskanian's remarks came during a discussion with a group of Turkish
journalists who are in Yerevan this week participating in the
International Hrant Dink Foundation's Turkey-Armenia Journalist
Dialogue Project.

Speaking to the journalists, Oskanian warned that Ankara could make
relations with Armenia even worse if Turkish officials continue to
politicize the negotiations.

"The moment we leave Karabakh out, we can improve Turkish-Armenian
relations. If we bring Karabakh in, I really don't see this
happening. Karabakh is a separate issue," Oskanian was quoted by Zaman
as saying. "My conviction is that if Turkey normalizes its relations
with Armenia first, then the Karabakh solution will be much easier."

Oskanian said the Turkish Prime Minister began bringing the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to the forefront of Turkey's negotiations
with Armenia three months ago.

"Until that time, I was really hoping that there was a change of
policy on the part of Turkey and we would get results," he said.

Visiting Baku last week, Erdogan reaffirmed his government's intention
to link the two issues. "Occupation of Karabakh is the cause here
and closing of the border is the effect. It is impossible for us to
open the border unless that occupation ends," he told a joint press
conference in Baku with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev.

Turkey, a non-actor in the Karabakh conflict, has been seeking to boost
its role in the peace process by conditioning its own negotiations
with Armenia to a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict being
mediated by the US, France and Russia through the OSCE Minsk Group.

The French co-chair of the group, Bernard Fassier, on Monday warned
Ankara to drop efforts to link the two unrelated issues. He said
that linking the Karabakh peace process with the normalization of
Armenia-Turkish relations can jeopardize the new momentum in the
Karabakh talks.

Armenia's Government has also criticized Erdogan for the statements,
saying they could hamper both processes.

Oskanian reiterated those warnings, stressing also that Erdogan's
threats to Armenians deport Armenians working in Turkey were also
not helpful to fence-mending efforts between the two countries.

"I am beginning to be concerned that not only will Turkish-Armenian
relations not improve, but they may even get worse," said Oskanian,
who founded the Yerevan-based Civilitas Foundation late last year to
advocate peace and stability in the Caucasus.
17:27 19/05/2009

"Armenian Genocide and Turkish war trials" by famous Armenia historian
and genocide professor Vahagn Dadryan has been translated into Turkish
by the efforts of the printing-house director of Turkish University of
America, the writer told the students of the Yerevan State University.

"This is an important and great event. The book is published in Turkish
and is being spread in different Turkish cities. This is unbelievable
for me that the Turkish governments trying to refuse the Armenian
Genocide suddenly publish the book by the initiative of the Turkish
University," the writer said.

The book will be translated into English as well. Note that Vahagn
Dadryan has been honored President's Prize for his investment in
making the Armenian Genocide recognized and condemned in the world.

May 21, 2009

Armenia posted a 5.4% year-on-year staff reduction in March 2009,
with 99,513 employees being listed in the roll of the local leading

According to the Analysis of the March 2009 monitoring of Armenia's
major taxpayers (available on the RA State Revenue Committee's
website), the reason for job cuts is the ongoing global financial

Despite the global recession, wage allocations rose 4.6% to 13bln
drams in Armenia in late march. The country saw a 3.6% quarterly
staff reduction, with 99,842 employees being recorded in the reporting

Quarterly wage allocations rose 5.4% to 38.1bln drams. ($1 - 372.82

2009-05-22 19:33:00

ArmInfo. German University of Armenia (GUA) will be officially
inaugurated in Yerevan July 4.

Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University Edward
Saroyan says that GUA was established as a legal organization
in 2005 and has conducted different training courses and research
projects since then. It has established cooperation with many German
univesities: Kassel University, CVJM, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg,
etc. Presently, GUA is negotiating with the Free University of Berlin
and Humboldt State University. With some of the universities GUA has
concluded dual magistracy diploma agreements.

Over 30 professors from Germany have already expressed wish to give
lectures at GUA.

This year GUA will announce admission to a European behavior
magistracy course covering international relations and politics,
innovative economics, culture, general management. The university
will also offer Modular Architecture, Spiritual Theology course as
well as intensive German language courses.

Saroyan says that many German professors will give their lectures in
English. So, excellent German will not be a must at the initial stage.

GUA will also have different reseach institutes where students and
professors will be able to carry out practical research. "As a result
our graduates will be competitive in both Armenia and Europe. We have
already established an Institute of Inter-religious and Inter-Cultural
Communications, an Institute of Practical Psychology, an Institute of
East-West Studies. The tuition of one year will be 600,000 AMD. But
the first students will enjoy discount," says Saroyan.

To note, Armenia already has American University, French University,
Armenian-Russian (Slavonic) University and European Regional Academy
of the Caucasus (ERIICTA).
Oneworld Multimedia
Eurovision opens new wounds in the Caucasus
22.05.2009 by Onnik Krikorian

Already notorious more for its political block voting than even its
kitsch and glitzy musical entries, nothing could have prepared anyone
for the controversy surrounding the three countries of the South
Caucasus in this year's Eurovision Song Contest. In February, the
international song contest was already off to a bad start when Georgia,
still fuming over the August 2008 war with Russia, decided to enter a
retro disco track into the competition scheduled to be held in Moscow.

The song, `We Don't Wanna Put In' by Stefane and 3G, mocked the Russian
prime minister and was naturally considered unsuitable for the contest.
Eurovision's organizers requested that the lyrics be changed, but
Georgia refused. Besides, the country had initially considered
boycotting the competition and the song had anyway enjoyed considerable
international media exposure. Georgia instead decided to stage its own
`alternative' music festival which was held concurrently in Tbilisi last

However, the first real attempt to politically exploit this year's
competition had actually come in June 2008 when rumors started to spread
that internationally renowned American-Armenian metal band System of a
Down (SOAD) would enter the competition for Armenia. The band's front
man, Serj Tankian, was quoted as saying SOAD would consider doing so if
it could perform a song written about the 1915 massacre and deportation
of 1.5 million Armenians living in the then Ottoman Empire.

A campaign was launched on social networking site Facebook to support
the band's apparent Eurovision bid, and popular contest web sites even
picked up on the rumors. Armenian nationalist blogs selectively quoted a
French journalist as confirming SOAD's entry as late as December last
year while Turkish parliamentarian Akif Ekici believed the hype so much
that he even tabled a question on the matter to Turkey's prime minister.
By January 2009, however, it became apparent that the rumors were untrue.

The news came as a huge disappointment for many in Armenia as well as
its large Diaspora, but rather than focus on who might instead represent
the country, attention was turned towards finding a suitable scapegoat
to blame.

With centuries of ethnic rivalry and hostility slow to die out in the
region, it was obvious where one could be found. Distorting the actual
chronology of events, prominent nationalists such as American-Armenian
propagandist Harut Sassounian were quick to point the finger at Turkey,
accusing it of manufacturing the SOAD rumors.

A few weeks later, when the actual Armenian Eurovision entry was decided
in a televised national competition, all attention turned to how another
set of rivalries in the South Caucasus might play out.

Although Azerbaijan didn't enter Eurovision until last year, it has
nonetheless been highly critical of Armenian entries in the past. In
2006, for example, a complaint was lodged against Armenia's entry -
Andre, a young singer hailing from Nagorno Karabakh. Yerevan and Baku
are still technically at war over the disputed territory situated within
the borders of Azerbaijan. Other years have also been accompanied by
accusations that Armenia has `stolen' Azeri melodies, and many expected
the same to be true this year. Surprisingly, however, it wasn't.

Instead, Eurovision had appeared to be devoid of the tit-for-tat
accusations of the type defining earlier competitions. That is, until
the first semi-final held last week in Moscow when Azerbaijan discovered
that the presentation video for the Armenian entry included images of a
statue situated in Nagorno Karabakh. After complaining to the event
organizers, the image of the statue - considered to be the symbol of the
territory and also used on its coat of arms - was reluctantly removed.
However, Armenia's Public TV nonetheless plotted to display the image
live on air during the final itself.

In an elaborate plan to have its presenter - last year's entry, Sirusho
- stand in front of a video image of the monument displayed on a large
LCD screen in Yerevan's Republic Square, the singer also had a
photograph of the statue stuck to the back of the clipboard used to read
out votes cast by the Armenian public. The singer, recently engaged to
the son of former Armenian and Nagorno Karabakh President Robert
Kocharian, gleefully performed her task and local bloggers happily
documented much of the preparations for the provocation online.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan had also decided to retaliate against its
erstwhile foe in the South Caucasus by not displaying the telephone
number for viewers to vote for Armenia's entry. True, few would probably
have done so anyway, but Armenia did at least award one point to
Azerbaijan. Even so, ethnic rivalry between the two competing nations
was of course more noticeable than any symbolic gesture, with bloggers
in Baku reporting that not only was the sound turned down for Armenia's
entry in some local nightspots, but jeering occurred in at least one bar.

For most viewers outside of the two countries, however, the latest shots
fired in the war between Yerevan and Baku over Nagorno Karabakh hardly
rang out, although some did pick up on Armenia's blatant disregard of
the earlier Eurovision ruling about the statue. Therefore, perhaps in an
attempt to save face, nationalist bloggers in the country soon started
to accuse Azerbaijan's act, Aysel and Arash, of displaying an image of a
monument in Iran, even going so far as to accuse Baku of making
territorial claims on its southern neighbor.

The station also made an official complaint against Azerbaijan for its
removal of the telephone number necessary for viewers to vote for
Armenia's entry, although that would hardly have made much of a
difference. When all the votes had been tallied from the 42 countries
competing from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) on Saturday night,
Azerbaijan finished third with 207 points, Armenia came in tenth with
just 92, and Norway won the competition far ahead of the crowd with 387.

Predictably, however, the `battle' did not end when the competition did,
with Aysel and Arash returning to Baku on a private jet named `Karabakh'
while many in Armenia and its Diaspora applauded the decision of Public
TV to disobey Eurovision's earlier ruling about the statue. And with one
local newspapers in Yerevan now alleging that Armenia's Eurovision jury
had been `pressured' into awarding a full 12 points to Russia, the
controversy over this year's Eurovision certainly looks set to continue.

Yet, among the nationalist bickering to be heard from both sides, there
are at least some voices of reason struggling to be heard. `Perhaps it's
time to switch from this kindergarten approach to real conflict
resolution?' asked one young Azeri rhetorically on her blog. `Our kids
need fairy stories, not war tales - love, not hatred. Our kids deserve
the peaceful happiness we never had.'

22.05.2009 12:05 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The United Nations regular budget for 2008-2009
is facing a USD 1.5 billion gap, most of which is caused by nine
countries, including the United States, Britain, China and Germany,
in arrears, a top official with the world body said on Friday.

Angela Kane, Under-Secretary-General for Management, told a press
conference that the countries in arrears - and accounting for more
than 90 per cent of the budget gap as of May 7 - are Brazil, China,
Germany, Iran, Mexico, Norway, Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom
and the United States.

The UN Controller's office listed the arrears, as of May 7, as: USD
993 million (US), USD 121 million (UK), USD 104 million (Germany),
USD 53 million (South Korea), USD 33 million (China), USD 21 million
(Brazil), USD 19 million (Norway), USD 13 million (Iran) and USD 13
million (Mexico).

Russia has contributed USD 29 million, Georgia USD 73 thousand,
Armenia USD 49 thousand, Ukraine USD 1 million.

Matching our civic voice to our economic muscle‏

Matching our Civic Voice to our
Economic Muscle

Varant Melkonian
Chairman and CEO Closet World, Inc.

Robert H. Setrakian
Managing Director The Helios Group

We have, as a community of Americans of Armenian heritage, done great things.

We have survived genocide, crossed the ocean, and settled here on America's shores.

With the blessings of American liberty and opportunity, first, second, third, fourth, and now even fifth generation Armenians have prospered and contributed to nearly every sphere of American life: business, medicine, education, and the arts.

Our level of achievement is matched only by our ambition to accomplish, strive, and succeed at all we set our minds to. Few can match us.

We have also made our voice heard loud and clear in the civic arena, but not yet, we must admit, at a level truly commensurate with our community's social and financial success.

It's true that we have, through decades of hard work, earned a reputation as the powerful "Armenian lobby," tackling some of the toughest interests in Washington. We have organized ourselves effectively in Washington, DC and as a far-reaching public policy network.

Each November, we are courted for our votes and campaign support.

But, as we saw in April, even after all we have accomplished, we are still a community that can be crossed. A constituency that can be sacrificed to foreign and financial pressures.

Why? Read More. . .

In the Stands, or on the Field?

By Aram Suren Hamparian

I wanted to share with you a thought about a tendency I’ve seen in corners of the Armenian American community and to invite you to share your comments.

There is, you may have noticed, resistance among some Armenian Americans to organizing with others toward shared goals. This likely exists for a variety of reasons, some cultural, others personal. It could be that this tendency has roots in our long experience as subjects of foreign rule, not as citizens free to shape our own destinies.

This resistance takes on its most virulent form in the habit of some folks –particularly in online settings– to drive discussions down to the level of the lowest common denominator, which is a particularly fatalist brand of world-weary cynicism.

These are typically bright folks. People who have the intellectual capacity to grasp basic even complex realities. They could, if they wanted, very likely get involved themselves by, in Teddy Roosevelt’s words, entering the arena:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

But, for whatever reason, they lack the will, vision, or energy. Perhaps they don’t have faith that they can make any impact. So, rather than actually trying to contribute something, they end up fostering an atmosphere of hopelessness, essentially trying to drag everyone down to their level of fatalism.

To be fair, it is rather easy and even fun at times to be cynical. To call everyone a crook, a liar, or a fool. To sit in the stands and describe the weaknesses of the players on the field. It’s also serves as a sort of permission-slip to sit on the sidelines and complain, rather than summoning the courage to go to the front lines (where everyone takes their share of punches). Read more. . .

Gateway to Power

For more information on the Capital Gateway Program, contact

By Aram Suren Hamparian

As the ANCA Endowment Telethon approaches, we are, along with early donations from across the country, also receiving hundreds of very thoughtful suggestions about how we can better serve our community and our common cause.

A consistent theme of this feedback, in recent weeks and also for the past several years, has been that our success as a community hinges in great measure on having more Armenian Americans working inside the American political system, where the real policy decisions are made.

We’ve taken this advice to heart.

And produced real results.

Our Capital Gateway Program – funded by donations to the ANCA Endowment – provides a platform for a new generation of talented, young Armenian Americans to start careers in government, politics, international affairs, and the media. Read More. . .

The ANCA Endowment Fund is a 501c(3) charitable organization.

To donate the ANCA Endowment Fund, visit:

or mail your check to:
ANCA Endowment Fund Telethon
104 N. Belmont Ave Suite 305, Glendale, CA 91205.

Get connected to the Armenian Cause. Visit:
Facebook * YouTube * Twitter

Time for Turkey to be visionary‏

Gibrahayer e-magazine www.gibrahayer.comThe largest circulation Armenian e-magazine on the Internet Circulates every Wednesday - Established in 1999

<>"Nothing is settled until it is settled right." Rudyard Kipling

The EU-Turkey-Cyprus Triangle: style="font-size:130%;">"Time for Turkey to Be Visionary in the South Caucasus"

by Sabine Freizer - International Crisis Group Optimism about the normalisation of Turkey-Armenia bi-lateral relations, so prevalent on 22 April when the two countries announced that they had agreed on a comprehensive framework for reconciliation, has suddenly faded. Normalisation would include opening of the Turkey-Armenia border, establishing diplomatic relations, and setting up of bilateral commissions to deal with multiple issues, including the historical dimension of their relations. It first seemed that these steps could be accomplished by Autumn 2009. Now they may be delayed for years.
">Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan put a brake on the reconciliation effort, when in Baku on 13 May, he did not mince his words: “the closure of the [Turkey-Armenia] border is a result of the [Armenian] occupation in Karabakh […] until the occupation ends, the border gates will remain closed.">The occupation of some 13.5 per cent of Azerbaijan’s territory by Armenian-backed forces started in 1992, when Armenia and Azerbaijan went to war over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh enclave which was an Armenian majority autonomous region of Azerbaijan in Soviet times. Since the signing of a 1994 ceasefire, there has been no pulling back by any of the armed forces, and the ceasefire line remains an active front line where there are regular casualties.">Since 1993, Turkey has maintained a policy of keeping its border with Armenia closed until Armenian forces withdraw, largely due to its wish to express its respect for historical and ethnic ties with Azerbaijan. The closed-border policy had no impact on Armenia's Nagorno-Karabakh stance, and arguably made Armenia less likely to withdraw in exchange for peace; Turkey’s threatening posture did however cost it considerable political capital in the U.S. and Europe. But in 2008, after several years of secretive talks between Turkey and Armenia, it seemed as though Ankara had foresightedly de-linked its relations with Armenia from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Turkey appeared ready to re-open its border with Armenia as part of a broader normalisation package with its immediate neighbour -- in exchange for Yerevan’s recognition of Turkey’s current borders and participation in a commission to analyse their historical differences, including about the great massacre of Ottoman Armenians of 1915.">This visionary policy shift not only had the potential to help resolve one of the most strained relationships between two European countries since World War I but also to open new transport and communication links in the strategic South Caucasus. It was backed by Russia, and even more strongly by U.S. President Obama during his visit to Turkey in March.

read the rest of the article here:

"Turkish Cypriots Serve Notice on Peace Talks"

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