The Armenian Weekly

News of general interest to the Armenian-American community, as well as editorials, political analyses, regular columns, and short stories and poems.


Mon, 22 Jan 2018 18:17:27 +0000
Henrikh Mkhitaryan Officially Joins Arsenal

LONDON (A.W.)—Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Armenia’s 29-year-old football/soccer captain and star midfielder, officially signed with London-based English Premier League football club Arsenal in a long-term contract on Monday. Arsenal released this official photo of Mkhitaryan in his new jersey on Monday (Photo: Arsenal) According to press release published by Mkhitaryan’s new club, the deal has star Alexis Sanchez joining Manchester United—a club with which Mkhitaryan made 39 appearances, scoring five times. He was also part of Manchester United’s UEFA Europa League winning squad last season. “I’m very happy that we could finish this deal, and I’m very happy to be here. It’s a dream come true because I’ve always dreamed of playing for Arsenal. Now that I’m here, I’ll do my best for this club to create history,” Mkhitaryan said of the new deal. Mkhitaryan is the captain of the Armenian national team and its all-time top scorer. He has received the Armenian Footballer of the Year award a record eight times. The Armenian midfielder started his career with Armenian club FC Pyunik, where he won the Armenian Premier League four times. He then moved to Ukraine, where he played for Metalurh Donetsk before joining Shakhtar Donetsk, where he made 72 appearances, [...]

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Mon, 22 Jan 2018 17:34:48 +0000
UCLA to Host 16th Annual Student Colloquia in Armenian Studies

LOS ANGELES—The graduate students of Armenian Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), recently announced the 16th Annual Student Colloquia in Armenian Studies, to be held on Feb. 1 and 2. The two-day event is composed of the undergraduate colloquium on Feb. 1 from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and the graduate colloquium on Feb. 2 from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Both events will be held at UCLA, in Royce Hall 314, and will be followed by catered receptions. The graduate students of Armenian Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), recently announced the 16th Annual Student Colloquia in Armenian Studies, to be held on Feb. 1 and 2 (Flyer: UCLA Armenian Studies) For 16 years, the graduate student colloquium has dedicated itself to encouraging, fostering, and promoting scholarly research among young scholars in the field of Armenian studies. This year it will feature presentations by 13 scholars from seven countries on a variety of topics relating to modern and contemporary politics and history, Armenian manuscript studies, reports from archaeological excavations in the historic region of Cilicia, as well as studies on marginalized topics and experiences in Armenian society. “We are proud to host this [...]

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Mon, 22 Jan 2018 17:18:30 +0000
Los Angeles Armenian Community Honors Grammy Nominees Mansurian and Orbelian

LOS ANGELES—At a celebration luncheon held on Jan. 13 in Los Angeles, the Armenian community honored two Armenian musicians, Tigran Mansurian and Constantine Orbelian, on the occasion of their nomination for the prestigious Grammy Awards. Maestro Orbelian with Mrs. Alice Navasargian, one of the sponsors of the luncheon (Photo courtesy of Sona Hamalian) The luncheon, which took place at Bistro Garden in Studio City, was attended by a cross section of cultural leaders and music lovers. It was sponsored by Drs. Nazareth and Ani Darakjian, Mrs. Alice Navasargian, and Mr. and Mrs. Joe and Joyce Stein. Maestro Orbelian with the organizing committee: Mrs. Flora Dunaiants, Mrs. Elizabeth Agbabian, and Mrs. Hermine Janoyan (Photo courtesy of Sona Hamalian) In his opening remarks, the event’s master of ceremonies, professor Peter Cowe, Narekatsi Chair of Armenian Studies at UCLA, formally introduced the honorees and encapsulated the achievements for which they have received Grammy Award nominations from the Recording Academy. Professor Cowe also highlighted the fact that this year marks the 85th anniversary of the Yerevan Opera House, as well as the 150th anniversary of Armenian opera, which was founded with the operatic masterpiece “Arshak II.” Maestro Orbelian with the Sharafyan family (Photo courtesy [...]

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Mon, 22 Jan 2018 16:56:48 +0000
Letter to Yerevan (Part VIII)

Letter to Yerevan (Part VIII) The Armenian Weekly is periodically publishing the English translation of Andranik Tzarukian’s epic 1945 poem Tught ar Yerevan (Letter to Yerevan) Do you recall, Abov? There was a rout elsewhere And petrified panic of disintegration; A riotous retreat, like a spooked and soused herd, Of all the Russian conscripts; Lenin had heralded his call—Homeward! Greetings to the suffering land and men! Greetings to the foe! Hail to the vanquished! Greetings to all and a rush towards home… Do you recall, Abov? The same bloody-snouted monster Was returning with sharpened fangs, With a sweeping ultimate onslaught To deliver the last blow to the last remnants… Has there ever been throughout the ages A darker, hopeless cataclysmic time, When the bleeding moribund heart Of the Armenian realm, Hanging at the rim of eternity’s chasm, Ceased to beat for an instant? Do you recall, Abov? The sky was frozen, There was no benevolent god to be found, And our fallen land, a mere living corpse, Faced the hyena’s wide open mouth… While in the useless register of fate A merciless hand Had already marked a full stop… The sky was frozen and there was no God… But lo [...]

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Mon, 22 Jan 2018 16:18:34 +0000
Yerevan’s Blue Mosque to Be Submitted for UNESCO Heritage Site Consideration

YEREVAN (A.W.)—Armenia will officially submit Yerevan’s Blue Mosque for consideration for UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site List, according to Deputy Head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicraft, and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) Mohammad Hossein Talebian. Yerevan’s Blue Mosque (Photo: Travis Witt) Talebian told reporters on Monday that Iran has officially discussed the matter with Armenian Ambassador to Iran Artashes Tumanyan. Speaking to the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), Talebian explained that the mosque needs to be renovated and that the Islamic Republic has prepared a renovation plan in conjunction with the Iranian embassy in Yerevan. Last August, it was announced that Iran has officially allotted some $427,000 to the restoration of UNESCO-designated churches that are located in northwest of the country. The announcement was made at Saint Thaddeus Monastery, an ancient Armenian monastery that plays host to a religious gathering by the Christians in a mountainous landscape of West Azerbaijan province, adjacent to the borders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey. In July 2008, the St. Thaddeus Monastery was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, along with two other Armenian monuments in the same province—the Monastery of Saint Stepanos and the Chapel of Dzordzor. It was also [...]

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Mon, 22 Jan 2018 15:49:17 +0000
‘Gna Merir, Yekur Sirem’: Artsakh War Veteran, Outspoken Activist Sarkis Hatspanian Dies at 55

Artsakh War veteran, political commentator, and political activist Sarkis Hatspanian passed away on Jan. 20 in Lyon, France. He was only 55. Born in Adiyaman in southeastern Turkey (former Cilicia), he had left for France in 1980 to avoid persecution of the military dictatorship in Turkey. In 1990, he moved to Armenia to join the Artsakh War effort. Sarkis participated in the liberation of the Karvajar (Kalbajar) region, which unites Artsakh and Armenia. A photo of him with an elderly woman became a symbol of the war. This photo, taken by Zaven Khachikyan, had two stories—one very real, the other a complete lie. A photo of Hatspanian with an elderly woman became a symbol of the war. The photo had two stories—one very real, the other a complete lie. (Photo: Zaven Khachikyan) The real story was as reported by a French journalist who accompanied the Armenian forces during the campaign, depicting Sarkis with an 80-year-old Azeri woman, Shaikha Hanum. She was left behind, along with other elderly Azeri women and children in the Karvajar district, when all the able-bodied Azeris had fled ahead of the advancing Armenian forces. Her son was a police commander in the district. Sarkis was in charge of [...]

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Mon, 22 Jan 2018 15:11:22 +0000
Turkey in Syria… and More

With the battles to eradicate the irremediable vermin known as Daesh/ISIS winding down in Iraq and Syria, other conflicts, subsumed and overshadowed by that effort, are now coming to the fore. Here, I’ll try to summarize what’s going on with the Kurds in Syria, largely by way of the huge role of outside powers in this situation. Map of Syria showing which forces control what parts of the country as of Jan. 19 (Map: syria.liveuamap.com) The sources of this information are non-U.S., hence they might be biased in a direction that is not everyday or customary for most readers of this piece. Let’s cover this country by country, although some overlap is unavoidable. Please see the accompanying map for additional clarity. Starting with the U.S. is most helpful because there is quite a hue and cry over its latest actions and pronouncements. A “new” plan for a “security corridor” in northern Syria is being touted. These Kurdish parts of Syria are currently run by the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces). The U.S. is now training what is intended to become a 30,000 strong military force, 15,000 of whom will be new recruits and the remainder will come from current SDF forces. [...]

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Mon, 22 Jan 2018 14:41:58 +0000
Artsakh Ministry of Defense: Azerbaijani Drone Fires at Armenian Positions Using Primitive Grenade-in-Glass Tactic

STEPANAKERT, Artsakh (A.W.)—An Azerbaijani drone fired at Artsakh Army positions on Saturday afternoon, in the northern portion of the line of contact (LoC) between Artsakh and Azerbaijan. The Artsakh MoD announced that the Artsakh Defense Army had uncovered that a hand grenade embedded in an ordinary drinking glass was used by the UAV instead of a mortar shell (Photo: Artsakh MoD) According to the Artsakh Defense Ministry (MoD), an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) opened fire at around 2:50 p.m. on Jan. 20. The Artsakh Defense Army did not suffer losses as a result of the attack. “Ignoring the commitments reached at meetings held in Krakow under the auspices of the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] Minsk Group, which called on the sides to take confidence-building measures, the adversary has made another provocation,” read a part of the MoD’s statement, which included photographs of the aftermath of the Azerbaijani operation. The following day, on Jan. 21, the Artsakh MoD published a second statement, which announced that the Artsakh Defense Army had uncovered that a hand grenade embedded in an ordinary drinking glass was used by the UAV instead of a mortar shell. “It is tragic that Azerbaijan, which [...]

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Fri, 19 Jan 2018 17:08:33 +0000
Who Takes Out the Trash in Yerevan?

For every majestic photograph of Mount Ararat from Yerevan posted to Instagram, there is a far less-appealing view lurking just outside the edges of its neatly cropped frame. Left: A view of Mount Ararat from a vantage point in Armenia’s capital, Right: A view of a garbage-strewn field, taken from from the same vantage point (Photo: Karine Vann) Plastic bags, bottles, dirty diapers, used yogurt containers—all the disposable items that fuel the seemingly insatiable engine of single-use consumerism—are nestled in the nooks and crannies of Armenia’s countryside. The nation has not yet come to terms with the fact that it has fully embraced a throwaway society. For many years following the collapse of the USSR, derelict garbage bins overflowing with trash were a sign of business as usual in the communal courtyards of Yerevan. Until recently, the infrastructure to manage the enormous, new streams of waste generated by a convenience-driven economy simply did not exist. Nubarashen, a 52 hectare trash dumping station on the outskirts of Yerevan. It is the largest “landfill” in Armenia and does not abide by international standards of sanitation. (Photo: Gayane Mkrtchyan / JAMNews) Armenia still is not host to even a single sanitary landfill (plans [...]

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Fri, 19 Jan 2018 16:53:39 +0000
Obituary: Alice Aghavni (Hamparian) Kasbarian

Alice Aghavni (Hamparian) Kasbarian – Dec. 20, 1927 – Jan. 17, 2018 Alice Aghavni (Hamparian) Kasbarian Alice Aghavni (Hamparian) Kasbarian, 90, of Teaneck, N.J., died Jan. 17, surrounded by family. Born in New York City in 1927 to Armenian Genocide survivors from Sepastia, Western Armenia, Alice was a longtime figure in the Teaneck public school system. For more than 30 years, she served as a remedial teacher of English and math and as a member of the Teaneck High School administration. Alice also served as a Kindergarten teacher at the Nareg Armenian School of New Jersey in the 1970s, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church of Ridgefield, NJ, in the 1990s. Alice was a standard bearer of the Western Armenian cultural tradition, imparting the endangered language and folkways of her ancestors to subsequent generations living in exile. Her insistence on speaking Armenian in the home played a dominant role in facilitating her aims. A trained lyric soprano, Alice gave up a promising operatic career to raise an Armenian family. She belonged to the Nayiri Western Armenian Folk Song and Dance Ensemble of NY; the Armenian National Chorus of N.Y.; and the Hamazkayin [...]

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