Thursday, 31 March 2016

Literary Tribute to Assadour Guzelian

Dear friends,

Hasmik Harutunyan has requested me to circulate her article. The  article is written in English, Wester Armenian with classical spelling and Eastern Armenian with spelling used at present in Armenia. The purpose of using the two dialogues and spellings  is to facilitate reading of the article for everyone concerned. The articles have been saved both in WORD and PDF formats.



P. S. Website below contains additional photos from the literary evening  (20.03.2016)

Copy and paste the website to your browser.

Speakering Anush Hovhannisyan.pngA Guzelian and Seda Ananian on the stage.pngPerforming  Anush Hovhannisyan.pngSpeaking  Manuel Atamian.pngSpeaking Anush Hovhannisyan.pngSpeaking Assadour Guzelian.pngSpeaking Bishop Hovakim Manukyan.pngSpeaking Jirair Kevorkian.pngSpeaking Tamar Geghamian-Minassian.png

** FATHER FRANK’S RANTS Rant Number 672 31 April 2016 LAWRENCE OF ARABIA


Who was T.E. Lawrence? A leader of desert warriors? An adventurer? A spy? A modern crusader? An Englishman who dared to dream a dream on behalf of the Arabs? A self-hating, sado-masochistic homosexual? An advocate of peace between Britain and Germany murdered by war-mongers?

In Dorset on Holy Saturday, visiting Lawrence’s secluded, Spartan cottage at Clouds’ Hill, the priest found himself wondering whether that fascinating man was not a bit of all those things.

During WWI Lawrence led a daring and bloody Arab revolt against the ruling Turks. An illegitimate, middle-class child, short but fair and sturdy, the youth got a First Class Honours in history at Oxford. His thesis was on the architecture of castles built by crusading Franks in the Levant – a clue to his vocation and destiny?

Undoubtedly Lawrence liked the Arabs and wanted them to achieve some sort of independence. Mecca’s Amir Faisal was indeed promised an Arab state in exchange for fighting the Turks. Unfortunately the infamous, secret Sykes-Picot Agreement said otherwise. France and Britain had already decided to gobble up the Middle East for themselves. When Lawrence later learnt of it he confessed: ‘I was bitterly ashamed’. Yet he assured Faisal that England would keep her word. A melancholy episode, because it may show the legendary hero being like any diplomat of the old school – a man sent abroad to lie for his country.

Not totally fair.  Because after the war Lawrence refused to accept the many baubles, honours and decorations Britain wanted to bestow on him. Lawrence personally told King George V he believed the role he played in the Arab revolt was ‘dishonourable to himself and to his country and government. He had, by order, fed Arabs with false hopes’. Further, he respectfully informed his monarch he was determined to fight on, even militarily, until the Arabs obtained justice. That shows a man with some moral consistency, even dignity and nobility.

Faisal, on behalf of his father the Sharif of Mecca, wanted to be King of All the Arabs. Damascus was at the heart of his project but at the Paris Peace Conference France seized the mandate for Syria. Winston Churchill put the guilt for Faisal’s misfortunes on French greed for their share of the cake. Gallic sentiment for Syria went back to Saladin and the Crusades, it seems. Bitterly, Faisal remarked: ‘You forget who won the Crusades…’

Blaming ‘la perfide France’ suited Churchill but he left out the real jokers in the pack at Paris: the Zionists. The ambiguous 1917 Balfour Declaration had committed Britain to ‘the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people’. Faisal’s father however rejected the Zionist aspirations. A Cairo British intelligence officer reported further that ‘the Arabs of Palestine fear repetition of the story of Jacob and Esau’. For the biblically illiterate, look up Genesis, chapter 27. The account of how Jacob shamefully cheated his first-born brother Esau of his birth right. For Jacob read the Jews and for Esau the Arabs. Yet, Lawrence did not sympathise with the shabby Balfour imbroglio. Still, while at Paris, according to a hostile writer, A.L. Tibawi, he may have colluded with Zionist Chaim Weizmann’s subtle deceptions towards the Arabs.

Robert Graves’ 'Lawrence and the Arabs' makes no bones about his hero’s dark side. Though an accomplished guerrilla leader and strategist, he disregarded military conventions about the treatment of prisoners. The Arabs brutally massacred and robbed Turkish captives. ‘Take no prisoners…the best of you are those who bring me the most Turkish dead’ Lawrence told his Bedouins. On seeing the remnants of Turkish police forces at Deraa (where he himself had been tortured by a queer Turkish Pasha), men notorious for their cruel treatment of Arab peasants, being led away as prisoners, Lawrence again ordered no mercy. Conduct becoming ‘an officer and a gentleman’? Groan…I suppose he behaved no worse than the Turks did towards their Arab prisoners.

After the war Lawrence could have had anything he wanted. A high post in the Colonial Office or an imperial, lucrative governorship in the East, the sky was the limit. Instead, he scorned all. He was an extraordinary being for whom comforts, a wife and a family, a home, money, rank and power were basically indifferent. Whether that is wise in the sense meant by the Book of Proverbs, chapter 9 – see the title of his epic work, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom – I know not.  He enlisted as a simple private in the RAF and then the Army. Amazingly, he even applied for a job as a night watchman in a London block of flats. (Atonement, perhaps?) After the ferocious desert battles and the Byzantine diplomatic intrigues, Lawrence craved silence and obscurity. Human, all too human.

In 1935 Lawrence died in a motorcycle accident. His friend and peace activist Harry Williamson believed he had been assassinated, to stop his leading a campaign for an entente between Britain and Germany. Conspiracy theory or conspiracy fact?

After the cottage I went to see Lawrence’s tomb in the graveyard of St Nicholas Church. On the tombstone is the motto of Oxford University, ‘Dominus Illuminatio Mea’. Also the immortal words from St John’s Gospel, 5: 25: ‘The Hour Is coming & Now Is When The Dead Shall Hear The Voice of The Son of God And They That Hear Shall Live’.


Revd Frank Julian Gelli


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Armenian News... A Topalian...The End of the Ottomans

A major two part program from ARTE TV
The End of the Ottomans
In French with English subtitles. 

[the Turkish authorities return to their old habits]

A list of lands and buildings in Diyarbakir's Sur district--including
the Surp Giragos Armenian Apostolic and the Armenian Catholic
Churches--have been expropriated by the Turkish government, according
to reports.

Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos reported that an "urgent expropriation"
cabinet decision was taken regarding 6,300 plots of land, citing
the March 25 issue of the Official Gazette of the Republic of Turkey
(T.C. Resmi Gazete), the country's official journal that publishes
new legislation and official announcements. Based on the report,
the Surp Sarkis Chaldean Church, Virgin Mary Ancient Assyrian Church,
and the city's Protestant church have also been expropriated.

Diyarbakir Metropolitan Municipality Cultural Heritage Director Nevin
Soylukaya told Agos that some properties belonging to the municipality
have also been expropriated, and that the local government will
initiate legal action. She also urged owners of other expropriated
properties to take legal action. Armenian Weekly contributor and member
of the Surp Giragos Church reconstruction project Raffi Bedrosyan said
that there will be a strong effort to reclaim the lands. "All legal and
political channels will be mobilized within Turkey and internationally
to stop this legalized robbery," Bedrosyan told the Armenian Weekly.

According to Agos, lands in Abdaldede, AlipaÅ~_a, Cemal Yılmaz,
Camikebir, CevatpaÅ~_a, Dabanoglu, Hasırlı, Ä°nönu, Ä°skenderpaÅ~_a,
Lalebey, Malikahmet, Ozdemir, Suleymangazi, SavaÅ~_, Å~^emhane, and
Ziyagökalp neighborhoods, as well as two neighborhoods in YeniÅ~_ehir
province have been expropriated through the decision.

On February 14, reports emerged that the Armenian Catholic Church
of Diyarbakir had sufferedextensive damages during clashes between
Turkish armed forces and Kurdish militants in recent months. A
series of images depicting the extent of the damage to the church
were posted on the "Armenian Church Surp Giragos and Surp Sarkis in
Diyarbakir" Facebook page. The Armenian Catholic Church is located
in the historic Sur district of Diyarbakir, which has been a target
of military operations by the Turkish state.

Bedrosyan in a Jan. 7 article had written that "[The historic Sur
district] is now mostly in ruins. Most of the buildings have been
destroyed by rockets and cannon fire from army tanks. The Surp Giragos
Church has escaped relatively unscathed with only broken windows
and some bullet holes. But the Armenian Catholic Church had its doors
broken down and some internal damage. The most important mosque in Sur,
the historic Kursunlu Mosque--originally the St. Theodoros or Toros
Armenian Church, converted to a mosque in the 16th century--has been
completely burned down."

Armenians from around the world flocked to Surp Giragos Church in
Diyarbakir on October 22, 2011, to attend both the consecration
of the largest Armenian Church in the Middle East and theBadarak
held the following day. The church was renovated by the Surp Giragos
Armenian Foundation, with the support of the local Kurdish-controlled
municipality of the time. 

Armenian News Network / Groong
March 28, 2016
By Arthur Hagopian

Easter in Jerusalem in 2016 is bound to go down in history as one
of the most memorable the Holy Land has experienced in decades,
following the momentous announcement of plans to renovate the tomb of
Jesus, located in the Holy Sepulchre Church, after a 200-year hiatus.
    The news has been greeted with widespread acclaim throughout the
Christian world, troubled as it is by the prevalent feeling of
insecurity and spiritual anguish in the wake of the horrendous wave of
terrorism gripping our planet.
     "About time," one Facebook subscriber commented.

 "Our congregations need regular such shots in the arm to rekindle
their faith, and arm them against the evils of the world," one priest
     "Hallelujah Jerusalem!" proclaimed another believer.
The announcement by the three Guardians of the Holy Places, the Greek
Orthodox and Armenian Patriarchates and the Franciscan Custodia,
indicated a welcome breach in the unending impasse that has hampered
restoration work at dangerously crumbling portions of the Holy
Sepulchre, centre of pilgrimage for thousands of Christians every

The new development reinforces the conviction that the three Guardians
have succeeded in burying their differences sufficiently to assert
they are ready to begin the restoration work at the tomb at the earliest
     The tomb of Jesus lies within an enclosure, the Edicule, that
sports a number of long openings in its wall: it is from one of these
holes that the miraculous holy fire bursts out into the world on the
Saturday before Easter.
     Work is scheduled to start within weeks with completion expected
by the end of the year. Armenian renovation experts will be in the
vanguard of the team that will undertake the painstaking work. The
University of Florence is also expected to field its own experts.
     This will be the first time in over two centuries that the
Edicule is being refurbished. The last time such an enterprise had
been launched was in 1810, following a destructive fire two years
     According to the Greek Patriarchate of Jerusalem
the decision to embark on the restoration project was based on the
recommendation of a team of specialists from the National Technical
University of Athens who arrived at their conclusion following a
technical examination of the structure.
     The action has been spurred by reports from the architects who
are also to take part in the work, of structural damage to the
building caused by condensation from the breath of the thousands of
pilgrims who visit the church every year.
   This is leading to a deterioration in the fabric of the mortars.
The report also cited the use of lighted candles that cause a great
deal of thermal stress on the marble used in building the Edicule.
     It is understood that the Edicule will be dismantled piece by
piece so the damaged parts can be replaced.
     The church, one of the most venerated spiritual edifice for the
whole of the Christian world, will remain open for worship as the
restoration progresses.
    While no estimate of the cost of the repairs is available, it is
understood that the three Guardians will bear the major load with
contributions from other denominations that share custody of the
    The announcement is of particular ecumenical significance because
it puts an end to the inertia gripping the Guardians and breaks the
impasse that has prevented them, for years, from moving ahead with
vital restoration works within the church.
     "Things have not been made easy with each of the various churches
placing a sometimes conflicting interpretation of the 1853 status quo"
that governs relations among them all and sets down in minute detail
the principles and parameters of demarcation, responsibilities and
jurisdiction over the holy sites in the Holy Land, according to a
local historian.
    The status quo came into force following the issue of a "firman"
(decree) by the Ottoman overlords grown weary of the unending turf
battles among the various Christian denominations, that often resulted
in physical violence.
    However, the fact that the keys to the only entrance to the church
have been entrusted for safekeeping to two non-Christian families, the
Nusseibehs and Judehs, has somewhat helped ease further tension. The
practice is said to stem back to a decision made by the Caliph Omar
who, after entering Jerusalem in 638, had rejected his generals'
entreaty to pray inside the Holy Sepulchre, as
would have been their right as conquerors.
Instead, Omar had picked up a stone and flung it as far as he could,
telling his men to pray where it landed.

Embattled Azerbaijani writer Akram Aylisli, who several years ago
published a novel telling about the 1988 pogroms of Armenians, was
detained at Baku's airport today, Azerbaijan's Turan agency reports.

Aylisli was reportedly to travel to Venice, Italy, together with his
son to participate in an international literary festival, but was
not allowed to leave the country.

Aylisli became a target of criticism in Azerbaijan in 2012 for
authoring and publishing in Russia a novel "Stone Dreams" that tells
about violence against ethnic Armenians in Sumgait and elsewhere in
Azerbaijan in 1988-1990. He was then labeled traitor.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stripped Aylisli of his People's
Writer title amid a mass hysteria against the novelist that included
calls for burning his books, depriving him of citizenship and expelling
him from the country.

The United States, the European Union and international organizations
then condemned the persecution of Aylisli and called for measures to
ensure his personal safety.

It is yet unclear whether Aylisli's detention is connected with his
recent activities, and specifically with publishing the book about
Armenian massacres.
29 Mar 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Member of the UK House of Commons, member of the British delegation
to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Mark
Pritchard visited the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial today accompanied by
Armenian lawmakers Hermine Naghdalyan and Naira Zohrabyan.

Mr. Pritchard laid flowers at the Memorial to the Armenian Genocide
victims and paid tribute to their memory with a minute of silence.

The British MP toured the Armenian Genocide Museum Institute and left
a note in the Book of Honorary Guests.

The Hawaii State Legislature adopted a resolution on Tuesday
recognizing the Independence of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh.

It is one more significant step in international recognition of
independent Artsakh, which is a victory of the Armenian people,
David Babayan, Spokesman for the NKR President, told

According to him, it is a great political, legal and moral victory,
which stems from national values and special respect for Artsakh.

"We believe that it is one more significant victory of the Armenian
people and one more significant step in international recognition of
independent Artsakh. It is our common victory as it has been built
up due to our unity - Armenia-Artsakh-Diaspora," Mr Babayan said.

Mr Babayan expresses gratitude to the Hawaii people and authorities.

"It is noteworthy that the State of Hawaii is the first to recognize
independent Artsakh in that geographical area, and this is a great
event, indeed."

And Hawaii is the seventh US state to recognize independent
Nagorno-Karabakh, following Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Louisiana,
Maine, California, Georgia.

As to the fact that the resolution was adopted on the threshold of
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's visit to the nuclear summit,
with a message, Mr Babayan said:

"We are not going to be interested in this matter. Let him go
wherever he wants for them to see who they are dealing with. And
the triumphant process of recognition of Artsakh's independence will
receive nw impetus." 

RFE/RL Report 
Armenian-Azeri Fighting Again Intensifies

Three Azerbaijani soldiers have reportedly been killed in action after
the Armenian military accused Baku of again intensifying ceasefire
violations in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone late last week.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said on Monday that two of those
soldiers, one of them a lieutenant, died on Sunday when Armenian
troops "attempted to invade" the Gazakh district in western Azerbaijan
bordering Armenia's northern Tavush province.

The combat deaths were announced two days after an Armenian soldier
serving in the area was wounded and hospitalized as a result. Another
Armenian, a 64-year-old civilian resident of Berkaber village close to
the Azerbaijani border, was wounded by cross-border gunfire late on
Friday. He too required hospitalization.

The third Azerbaijani casualty, an army sergeant, was reportedly shot
dead on Friday. The Azerbaijani military did not specify whether he
died on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border or "the line of contact"
around Karabakh.

Nagorno-Karabakh - Yevand Firian, a Karabakh Armenian farmer, receives
medical treatment after being wounded in Azerbaijani rocket fire,

According to Karabakh's Armenian-backed Defense Army, fighting along
"the line of contact" intensified on Friday night and Saturday
morning, with Azerbaijani forces firing more than 100 mortar shells
and rockets. The reported rocket fire left a Karabakh Armenian farmer
injured in the head.

The Defense Army said its frontline troops responded to the truce
violations with "punitive actions." A separate statement by the
Defense Ministry in Yerevan released on Saturday said the Armenian
military is conducting operations aimed at "restraining the
Azerbaijani side" and "stabilizing the situation." It did not

The ministry spokesman, Artsrun Hovannisian, said on Monday that the
situation at the Tavush-Gazakh section of the Armenian-Azerbaijani
frontier was tense over the weekend. "The Armenian army's actions were
proportionate," he told the Armenpress news agency. "We responded to
all targeted [Azerbaijani] gunshots."

The latest escalation came just days after Andzrej Kasprzyk, the top
OSCE official monitoring the ceasefire regime in the conflict zone,
called on the warring sides to avoid any truce violations during the
Nowruz and Easter holidays celebrated in Azerbaijan and Armenia and
Karabakh respectively. Each side now accuses the other of ignoring the

Announcing its latest casualties on Monday, the Azerbaijani Defense
Ministry urged the international community to condemn the "Armenian
provocations." An Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman, for his
part, claimed that the Armenians are heightening tensions in order to
cement the Karabakh status quo.

Unlike the Armenian side, Baku has repeatedly rejected specific
safeguards against ceasefire violations that are sought by U.S.,
Russian and French mediators. As recently as on March 19, Azerbaijani
President Ilham Aliyev denounced the proposed confidence-building
measures, saying that the mediators are "helping to freeze the
conflict" and thereby supporting Armenia. 
29 Mar 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan

In November Kolkata will witness the biggest congregation of
Armenians in recent times. They will gather in the city to be a part
of celebrations lined up by their alma mater - Armenian College and
Philanthropic Academy (ACPA), which will turn 195 this year. The
get-together of sorts will also help the community relive its past,
connecting with old acquaintances now spread across the globe, the
Times of India reports.

Amid all the hype, ACPA has embarked upon the most difficult task of
creating a databank of Armenians from Kolkata. "This is the first such
databank since 1956," said Rev. Zaven Yazichyan, the India-Armenian
Spiritual Postorate, ACPA.

Entrepreneurial and devout Christians, Armenians arrived here in
early 1600s, some 60 years prior to East India Company. When Kolkata -
then Calcutta - was the British capital, the Armenians poured money
into colonial mansions, virtually transforming the wilting city into
what Kolkata eventually became.

Though they called it their home, Armenians started leaving 'Calcutta'
even before the British started moving out. For the last six decades,
their numbers have dwindling alarmingly. The city of 4.5 milling barely
has 150 Indian Armenians left now. According to the Armenian General
Benevolent Union news magazine, the number of students dropped from
206 in 1961 to just six in 1998. Among the 68 students studying here
now, only two are Armenian-Indians. The school relies on students
from abroad - mostly immigrants from Iraq, Iran, Russia and Armenia -
to fill its dormitories.

"Kolkata is the last surviving home to Armenians in India, and the
195-year celebrations will tell this to the world and bring to the
fore the proud past that we Armenians have," said Rev. Yazichyan.

The school is being renovated in a big way and several projects are
being taken up. The Araratyan library has been computerized and its
books are being preserved with modern methodology. The school has
tied up with different international educational institutions. The
swimming pool, which is the second oldest in Kolkata, is getting a
new lease of life. The school has also started weekly online chat on
Skype so that students can interact with their parents living abroad.

Even as numbers have been diminishing every year, two more Armenian
Indians will be added next year, informed Sasoon Zarookien, an alumnus
who hails from Tehran. So instead of brooding over the vanishing
world of Armenians, the celebrations will re-establish Armenian's
bond with Kolkata, felt Yazichyan. 

RFE/RL Report
Armenian Central Bank Approves Another Rate Cut
Emil Danielyan

The Central Bank of Armenia (CBA) lowered the minimum cost of
borrowing in the country for a third time in as many months on
Tuesday, citing a further drop in inflation and "weak" consumer

The CBA's governing board cut its refinancing rate by 0.25 percent to
8.25 percent. The two previous rate cuts were announced on February 16
and December 22.

The benchmark rate stood at 6.75 percent when the Armenian dram began
weakening against the U.S. dollar in October 2014 amid falling cash
remittances from Armenian migrant workers in Russia. The CBA raised it
to 9.5 percent in January 2015 and 10.5 percent in February 2015, a
move that helped to stabilize the Armenian currency's exchange rate.

The Central Bank began gradually easing its monetary policy in
August. The authorities in Yerevan have since reported a steady
decrease in inflation.

A statement by the CBA said the national consumer price index was
actually down by 1.4 percent year on year last month. It attributed
the deflation to the decreased cost of foodstuffs imported to Armenia.

"In case of anticipated economic developments as well as the absence
of additional internal and external risks, the CBA Board will continue
to ease monetary terms," added the statement. That could further
stimulate economic activity in Armenia.

According to official statistics, the Armenian economy grew by around
3 percent last year despite a fall in domestic consumption, another
consequence of the decreased remittance inflows. The World Bank
forecast last month that economic growth in the country will slow down
to 2.5 percent this year.

Government data indicates, however, that Gross Domestic Product
increased more rapidly in the first two months of the year on the back
of strong performances of the manufacturing and non-trade services
sectors. The National Statistical Service (NSS) also recorded a nearly
24 percent surge in Armenian exports in January-February 2016.

The CBA said on Tuesday that these reported upswings offset the
macroeconomic impact of what it described as "weak consumer demand."
According to the NSS, the total volume of retail and wholesale trade
fell by around 2 percent. This might also explain why Armenian imports
shrunk by over 22 percent in the two-month period.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Armenian News... A Topalian... Final Anointing

Final Anointing of the late Archbishop Yegiche Gizirian
St Vartan Cathedral, New York

Good reference of illustrated cultural articles on Armenia
Armenia is the most militarized country in Europe: report
March 24, 2016 

Israel, Singapore and Armenia top the list of the
world's most militarized countries for a third consecutive year, a
report said.

Also, Armenia is the most militarized country in Europe.

According to the Bonn International Center for Conversion, Russia,
Cyprus and Azerbaijan follow Armenia in the list.

Switzerland was named the least militarized country.
citing La Stampa
Three churches of Jerusalem to finance Tomb of Christ reconstruction
26 March, 2016 

The marble tomb has not undergone major repairs for decades, daily
receiving thousands of pilgrims and tourists. Only broken parts will
be replaced, the remaining parts will refurbished, the structure
holding the marble fragments will be strengthened. The chapel will be
dismantled and restored in its former appearance.

The financing of the reconstruction will be done by the 3 main
churches of the Holy Land: Armenian Apostolic, Greek Orthodox and
Catholic. Resources will be allocated from the state and private
sectors. The works will begin in May and will be completed in 8
months. During this time, the tomb of Christ will be open for
religious ceremonies.

The tomb of Jesus Christ is located in the center of the Church of the
Holy Sepulchre

It's time that the US faced up to the 'G word' and finally
recognised the Armenian genocide
Robert Fisk 

It’s not difficult to accuse the bad guys of genocide – Colin Powell had
no problem over Darfur in 2004. We should stand up to the real bullies

Why won't US politicians talk about genocide every time it occurs?

All week, the G-word has been rattling around the foreign ministries
of the world. Ever since John Kerry – he of Israeli-Palestinian peace
"in six months" fame – announced that Isis was committing genocide
against Yazidis, Christians and Shia Muslims, we’ve been trying to
work out just what he’s talking about. Even the poor old Canadians
and their super-liberal prime minister Justin Trudeau, have since
been refusing to recognise the Isis atrocities as "genocide" – the
attempt to exterminate an entire race of people – preferring instead
to talk about “crimes perpetrated…against religious and ethnic
minorities.” Could this be, ask Canadian critics, because Canada last
month withdrew the last of its clapped out CF-18 fighter jets from the
battle against Isis?
More likely the Canadians have caught on to the whole genocide trap.
But first: yes, Isis have indeed committed horrific crimes against
minorities under their control. Their massacre of Shia Muslims and
the murder and enslavement of Yazidi and Christian women and
children are all real – perhaps 10,000, perhaps 100,000, the figures
are as numbing as they are vague. The Isis magazine Dabiq admits
all this – perhaps the closest anyone has come to self-incrimination
since Pol Pot listed his crimes in Cambodia.

But there’s a problem. These terrible atrocities are being committed
on the very land and deserts upon which a far more terrible genocide
was perpetrated just over a hundred years ago by the Turks who
head-chopped and knifed and shot to death a million and a half
Armenian Christians, raping their women and throwing so many
of their dead men into the waters of Anatolia that the very rivers
changed course. And Turkey – heaven be praised – is now our
good friend, Nato ally and, since this month, our bastion against
the Muslim refugee "invasion" of Europe. Back in 1915, the Brits
and Americans had no problems in naming the guilty party, along
with the Turks’ militia ally – again, take in your breath – the Kurds,
now our brave allies against the forces of Isis darkness.

All this, you see, is a bit embarrassing. The Yazidis and Christians
of Iraq have certainly been massacred – including a few Armenian
grandchildren of the 1915 survivors, although that hasn’t cut much
ice in the US – although the Shia Muslims of Iraq were being
slaughtered in Iraq by the thousand during the latter half of
America’s military occupation. The Shia, I suspect, have been
given a bloodbath upgrade to genocide because Shia Iran a
greed to a nuclear deal with the rest of the world. But back to
Yazidis for a moment.

One of the worst genocides against this forlorn, centuries-old religion
occurred in 1892 when the Turkish Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II
targeted them for mass extermination. But the Sultan included
among his victims tens of thousands of 19 th century Armenians
– whom Mr Kerry cannot bring himself to declare victims of genocide
in the 20 th century (although he did so for many years when he
was a mere Senator). So earlier references to Yazidi extermination
have to be left out of the Kerry narrative of history. The current Kerry
mantra for the Armenian genocide is “one of the worst atrocities of
the 20 th century”.

Clinton is going to be no help in all this. She regularly condemned
the Armenian genocide until she became Secretary of State to
Barack Obama and discovered that the frightful persecution of the
1915 Christians – a teaching forum for future Nazis who witnessed
the genocide as young German army officers and later put their
lessons into practice against the Jews – was now “a matter of
historical debate”. Donald Trump has not yet entered this particular
blood-boltered ‘debate’ although his Trump hotel in Azerbaijan
– a country which, like Turkey and (to its shame) Israel, denies the
Armenian genocide – suggests that we shall be hearing from him

Much of the rest of the world – governments and parliaments of
29 countries up to last year – have recognised the Armenian
genocide. For 20 years, The Independent has regularly referred
to the Armenian Holocaust – with a capital ‘H’, the very same word
(‘Shoah’ in Hebrew) used by many ordinary Israelis to describe the
slaughter. But not the Americans.

Last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose Sukhoi jet had
of course not yet been shot down by the Turks, attended the official
genocide memorial day in the Armenian capital of Yerevan, declaring
the genocide a fact of history – to the fury of the Turks -- while
President Obama skulked in Washington, still too fearful of offending
his Nato ally whose airbases – ironically built, in many cases, on
lands stolen from murdered Armenians – were so important to the
US Air Force which was already supposedly destroying Isis.

All in all, then a pretty mess. Kerry tells us that Isis is “genocidal by
self-proclamation, by ideology and by actions…” as if the destruction
of the Armenian people in 1915 was not – and is perfectly happy to
label the dark forces of the ‘Islamic Caliphate’ as genocidal themselves
– which they clearly are. But it raises another frightful question. Since
we know that Isis sells Syrian and Iraqi oil to the Turks – Russian
bomber pilots have seen miles of Isis oil convoys running to the
horizon towards Turkey – and since Turkish journalists have been
imprisoned for reporting on secret Turkish arms transfers to Islamists
in Syria – the Americans are, in effect, blaming Isis for the genocide
of a hundred thousand or more human beings while being too
frightened to label the Armenian massacres of a million and a half
souls as genocide lest it offend Isis’ sinister chums in Turkey.

It’s not difficult to accuse the bad guys of genocide – Colin Powell had
no problem over Darfur in 2004 – but shouldn’t we stand up to the real
bullies who prevent us honouring the memory of those million and a
half Christians who were treated just as Isis treats the Yazidis and
Christians and Shia today : the Turkish government and the Turkish
army and the Turkish institutes of state? And all this at a time when
an increasing number of brave Turks are themselves acknowledging
the Turkish genocide of 1915?

Forget it: 75 million visas to Turkey in response to their $3-billion
European bailout to block those refugees is enough to keep the
Armenian mass graves of 1915 well and truly closed. Just ask
John Kerry.
An 82 year old cyclist on his 17th mission to help Armenia
25 Mar 2016 

Siranush Ghazanchyan Asbarez ` Vatche Soghomonian, the 82 year old athlete and lifetime
member of Homenetmen Scouts, will be riding his bike again for another
worthy cause to aid the people of Armenia.

It was 17 years ago, in 1999, when Vatche rode his bike from capital
to capital ` Stepanakert to Yerevan to help fund the grape nursery
that the Armenian Technology Group, Inc. (ATG) was establishing in
Karabakh. Since then, every year he devotes two weeks in the summer to
travel to Armenia with his own resources to paddle throughout the
countryside to raise funds in support of numerous worthy endeavors.

This year, Vatche has committed himself to help deliver the latest
innovation, the Mobile Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (MVDL), to
Armenia. `This is the most valuable and noble mission that I am
undertaking,' said Vatche. In 2004, Vatche, along with his cycling
friends, helped deliver four milk collecting-refrigeration tanks for
ATG project in Armenia. He will ride his bike on April 2, 2016.
`I was a lab technician during my college years. Now that I see this
portable lab, I can only envision how beneficial it will be to the
veterinarians and especially to the dairy farmers.' It will enable the
vets to do on site testing and diagnosis of food producing animals to
ensure that they are free of diseases. After all, the consumers, the
children and people in Armenia, will benefit from it.

`My goal is to raise enough funds to supply one portable lab this
year,' said Vatche.

This innovation is the latest projects of the ATG. Dr. James Reynolds,
President of ATG, devoted three years of his time to testing and
assembling the lab and delivered the first prototype to Armenia in
2015. ATG's objective is to supply 10 MVDLs, one for each region of
Armenia and Karabakh. Each of the units costs $15,000, which includes
training and follow-up support to develop baseline diagnostic
information and clinical data. The MVDL could be rapidly deployed and
activated in any rural location. Our mission is simply help increase
farm production and income.

More than 25 years ago, ATG started with a simple belief that we can
make a difference in the lives of your brothers and sisters in Armenia
and Artsakh no matter what the challenges are. We have the collective
power to do so.

As Vatche likes to say with a smile on his face, `I will be doing all
the hard work, and I will truly appreciate your financial support for
this worthy cause.'

National Geographic Magazine
OUT OF EDEN WALK A Century Later, Slaughter Still Haunts 
Turkey and Armenia 

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Dr Dikran Abrahamian...

Օրհնեալ է յարութիւնն Քրիստոսի

Translate or View it in your browser


Armenian Priests Convert the Slavs

Patriarch Photus, a Byzantine clergyman of Armenian birth sent two Armenian priests--St. Cyril and St. Methodius--to convert the Slavs into Christianity. This pivotal success continues to reverberate in history and in religion in and outside Eastern Europe. Read More
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Dr. Dikran Abrahamian · 15 Bridle Rd. · Penetanguishene, On L9M 1J5 · Canada

Friday, 25 March 2016

Great Lent... St Sarkis Armenian Church

Please copy and paste to your URL...

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Armenian News ... A Topalian ... KOHAR VIDEO.... BEST GOALS

KOHAR Releases New Music Video 

Henrikh Mkhitaryan - Best Goals
23 Mar 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan 

According to the data of the Belgian authorities, there are no 
Armenians among the victims of the Brussels blasts, the Armenian 
Embassy in Brussels informs in a Twitter post. 

The Embassy also notes that there will be no passenger flights into 
and out of Brussels Airport tomorrow, 24 March and advises to contact 
the airlines for flight information.

21 Mar 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan 

Only mountains can be better than mountains, famous Tbilisi-based
Armenian mountaineer Levon Sarkisov says.

Lev Sarkisov first discovered his love for mountains, when working at
the Tbilisi Aviation Factory. A group of mountain climbers here was
organizing periodic expeditions. In 1962 the group decided to climb
Kazbek, the highest peak of the Caucasus Mountains.

Sarkisov later joined the mountaineer group of the Armed Forces and
worked as coach for a long time.

Sarkisov was the first Armenian to climb Everest - the highest peak
in the world. He holds the Guinness record as the oldest mountaineer
to conquer the highest peak.

He climbed Mount Ararat four times and took the Armenian tricolor
to the peak. "Taking the Armenian flag was a great risk. I could be
arrested had the flag been found in my rucksack. I bought fabric of
three colors at a store in Bayazet and sew the flag at the hotel,"
he said.

In 1999 Georgian President Edward Shevarnadze awarded him with an
Order of Honor. He's also the recipient of Snow Leopard award, a
Soviet mountaineering award, given to climbers conquering all five
peaks of 7,000m and above located in the former USSR.

Even at 70, Lev Sarkisov is ready to take the road to mountains.
21 Mar 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan 

Ethnic Armenian soldier Gevorg Mkrtchyan was killed in clashes
between the Syrian Army and the Islamic State, reports,
quoting its sources in Aleppo.

Terrorist groups violated the ceasefire regime in Aleppo, opening fire
in the Sheikh Maqsud neighborhood, leaving four killed and 7 wounded.

YEREVAN. - Now, only 10 thousand Armenians are left in Syria, Aleppo
Armenian Vasken Mesrobian, who has just returned from Syria, stated
at Monday's press conference in Armenia's capital city of Yerevan.

In his words, the Syrian conflict will not be resolved soon.

"If we [i.e. Syrian Armenians] fled Syria and came to our historical
homeland [i.e. Armenia], we need to have a good attitude toward it,"
Mesrobian noted. "Thank God that we have been able to come here and
live in peace here."

He stated that the Armenian government is helping with what it can.

"I consider the remaining Armenians in Syria [to be] true heroes,"
Vasken Mesrobian added.

Around 60 to 70 thousand Armenians lived in Syria before the start
of the civil war in the country. More than half of these Armenians
resided in Aleppo, the largest city in Syria, and the rest lived in
capital city Damascus and several other towns. 
23 March, 2016 

YEREVAN, MARCH 23. Minister of Diaspora of Armenia
Hranush Hakobyan is amazed at diligence, devotion and taste of Syrian
Armenians. The Minister confessed about this at the opening of Charity
exhibition-fair entitled "The spirit of Syrian Armenian culture in
Yerevan", which exhibited the handmade works of Syrian Armenians,
candies and other various things.

"I am gazing at the silverware, which are very beautiful, as well as
the section of spicery and dishes", "Armenpress" reports the Minister
saying, adding that many of the presented items are worth having
at home.

Hranush Hakobyan stated that currently there are 17 thousand Syrian
Armenians in Armenia, who are very devoted and responsible towards
their work.

"Now it seems there is a tendency of Syrian Armenians engaging in
production of household items, shoes, textile production", she said.

In the words of the Minister, the number of the participants in the
traditional exhibition-fair increases. If 10-12 Syrian Armenians
participated in the first exhibition, on March 23 the number reached

Citing, Azerbaijani website protests
against, which presents materials covering the rich history and
heritage of the Armenian community of the Azerbaijani capital, Baku.

The website objects to the fact that the Armenians have played an
active socio-political role in Baku for centuries. For example,
writes about the pogroms of the Armenian population in Baku in 1905,
1918 and 1990, which claims have not happened.

In the description of, however, it is highlighted in four
languages (Azerbaijani, Armenian, English and Russian) that the
purpose of the website is "to present and enlighten the prosperous
past and inheritance of the Armenian community of Baku - the capital
of Azerbaijan." The website targets scientific organisations, achieves
and everyone interested in the history of the Armenian communities
and Baku.

Moreover, points out that the human rights violations, as
well as the anti- Armenian propaganda implemented on the state level
in Azerbaijan prohibit any mentioning of the role of the Armenians
in the history of Azerbaijan, and particularly in the history of
Baku. "In this regards the website has an important mission to reveal
the forgotten or forbidden pages of the history of Baku. The website
does not follow any purpose to stir up national passions; it gives
an opportunity to acknowledge the past and to secure the peaceful
coexistence of the two neighbour nations in future," writes.

The Armenian community in Baku fell victim to the genocide, which
was well planned by Azerbaijani and Turkish authorities and carried
out in three stages. As a result, the Armenian element that made
great contribution to the history of development of Baku city ceased
to exist.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Baku as a large industrial centre
in the Transcaucasia region of the Russian Empire had rich Armenian
civilizational presence. The Armenians were the third large ethnic
group after the Russians and multi-tribal Muslim population in the
city. Nevertheless, Armenians had leading role in social, industrial
and cultural life of the city. Due to the Armenian entrepreneurs'
activities, Baku oil industry ran up.

The buildings constructed with the support of the Armenian businessmen
and designed by talented Armenian architects in European architectural
best traditions and styles so far decorate Baku, the capital city
of Azerbaijan. The official anti-Armenian policy of Azerbaijani
authorities does not tolerate any mentioning of the Armenian existence
in Baku and of their great contribution to the history of the city. 
YEREVAN, March 23. Getting education and skills right is core
to investment and job creation. Children are using digital technology
before they even step foot inside a classroom. To meet this growing
trend, Microsoft Armenia has announced Armenia's inclusion in the
"School of Digital Age" international project.

The overall goal of the project is to bring the most innovative
technology to elementary schools in Armenia, create a productive and
modern learning environment for students and establish a universal
tool for individual and group cooperation within the school community.

The launch of the project took place in School No 98 in Noragavit
today. The launch was e attended by Minister of Education Levon
Mkrtchyan, Deputy Minister Karine Harutyunyan and the head of the
Education Department of Yerevan Municipality Gayane Soghomonyan. Liana
Korkotyan, Microsoft Country Manager in Armenia, headed the Microsoft
delegation which included Christodoulos Papaphotis, Head of Education
for Central and Easter Europe, and senior education experts Frangiskos
Lambrinos, and Danijel Bacelic.

All participants - 75 1st graders - received Windows 10 devices that
can be used both as a tablet or a laptop. The devices are specifically
produced for education purposes and are drop and water resistant
making them perfectly suited for children in a classroom or on the go.

All devices are based on Windows 10 operating system, will include
pre-installed standard education package from Intel, facilitated by
Unicomp, as well as learning applications for kids. The devices also
include free Microsoft Office 365 licenses for every student and
teacher - Office 365 is a Web-based version of Microsoft's Office
suite of enterprise-grade productivity applications.

Among other things, the project allows teachers, students and parents
to effectively communicate and collaborate with each other. It also
allows remote access to classroom for a student, use of a shared
whiteboard, and assignment control of the tasks.

"We're delighted to support Armenian students by building on their
capacity to become competitive in an increasingly globalized market.

Windows based devices are ubiquitous in today's society and it's
imperative that we give them an early advantage by putting them on
equal footing with their European and US counterparts. Investing in
education is a mission Microsoft feels very strongly about and we're
proud to support that mission in Armenia," said Liana Korkotyan,
Country Manager, Microsoft Armenia. 

RFE/RL Report
Iranians Again Flock To Armenia On Nowruz Holiday
Tatevik Lazarian

Thousands of Iranian tourists have arrived in Armenia at the start of 
annual celebrations of Nowruz, the ancient Persian New Year that has 
long been their country's most popular and longest holiday. 

For the past several years, Armenia has been a major destination for 
Iranians marking the two-week holiday abroad. Their influx is visibly 
much stronger this time around. 

Arlen Davudian, whose Yerevan-based Tatev Tour travel agency 
specializes in Iran, estimated on Monday that the number of 
holidaymakers from Iran, which usually exceeded 15,000 during previous 
Nowruz celebrations, has tripled this year. 

"There are several reasons for that," Davudian told RFE/RL's Armenian 
service ( "The first and foremost is the deteriorating 
security situation in Turkey." 

Hordes of such tourists could be seen strolling in the streets of 
central Yerevan and taking pictures as Nowruz celebrations in Iran 
began on Sunday. Many of them looked forward to not only visiting 
Armenian tourist attractions but also going to live concerts by 
Iranian pop singers banned in the Islamic Republic. Younger visitors 
will also flock to Yerevan night clubs rented by Iranian entertainers 
for the Nowruz period. 

"People and the city are very good," one Iranian man told RFE/RL's 
Armenian service ( "There will also be a lot of 
concerts. We come here for the concerts as well." 

"I'm here for a third time and I enjoy it," he said, adding that he 
and his wife will proceed to neighboring Georgia later this week. 

"A travel firm [in Iran] offered Dubai and Armenia to us," said an 
Iranian woman. "We chose Armenia. People are nice here." 

According to Roobik Monasian, a Yerevan-based correspondent for Radio 
Farda, RFE/RL's Persian-language service, the names of many popular 
sites in the Armenian capital already have unofficial Iranian 

"For example, they call the Cascade (a massive terrace-like structure 
on a hillside overlooking the city center) `a thousand steps,'" 
Monasian explained. "Yesterday I heard them calling Northern Avenue 
(Yerevan's main pedestrian street) `the French street.' They likened 
it to the Champs Elysees." 

In a city that was for centuries part of the Persian Empire, very few 
restaurants, cafes and shops provide Persian-language information or 
make special commercial offers to the Iranian visitors. 

"For a period of just a few days, that would be too much work," said 
Yervand Papazian, the manager of a Northern Avenue caf . "You can't 
just translate the menu [to Persian.] You also have to adapt it [to 
Iranian tastes.]" 

"It's hard to deal with such customers because 90 percent of them 
don't speak English or Russian while we don't speak Persian," Papazian 
said. "So we try to communicate with hand gestures." 

There are many Persian-language signs at nearby Republic Square where 
tour operators and individual taxi owners advertise day trips to 
ancient Armenian monuments outside Yerevan. "We mainly offer to show 
them our churches," said one taxi driver, Zhora. He claimed to have 
learned basic Persian from his customers. 

Some Iranians arrive in Armenia in their own cars. "Our traffic police 
hassle them too much," complained Aida, an Armenian tour guide. 

Davudian, the travel agency owner, said, for his part, that Armenia 
could have attracted a much larger number of Iranians and resulting 
economic benefits for its tourism industry had the Armenian government 
done more to promote the country in Iran. "Ignoring such a huge 
tourism market would be nave, to say the least," he said. 

According to Armenian government data, the number of Iranians visiting 
Armenia rose by 24 percent to 144,000 last year.