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News > Pan-Armenian News > Newsletter issue number 014 (December 2007)


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Middle East Armenian Newsletter
Issue 14 10 December 2007
In This Issue
New embassy building is ready for opening ceremony in Abu Dhabi
The art of Andrey Antonyan
Interview with Father Issahag Minasyan in Jerusalem
Each and every year should be considered 'The year of the Armenian language'
9th anniversary of the Armenian Church in Sharjah
ATOP Mission to Armenia
Renovated St. Gregory the Illuminator church re-opens its doors in Cairo
Iraqi pop band 'Unknown to No One' is no more unknown
Chair of Western Armenian Language in Yerevan State University
'The knock at the door' wins USA News Best Book of 2007 Award
One year with and without you
Armenian Lebanese solidarity song by Gassan Rahbani
The Armenian Culture Week in the UAE
Yerevan Chamber Choir performs in three Syrian cities
Constantinople 1920: a new book by Haig Tahta
'Pro Educatio' raises questions on Melkonian Educational Institute
'The Birds' Nest': home for Armenian children in need
New embassy building is ready for opening ceremony in Abu Dhabi


 
President Robert Kocharian will be paying an official visit to the United Arab Emirates from 11-13 December 2007, during which he will preside the inauguration ceremony of the new Embassy premises and Ambassador's residence in the Diplomatic Quarter in Abu Dhabi.
 
The ceremony will take place on Wednesday 12 December 2007, at 4:30 pm and will be attended by high ranking UAE officials, foreign diplomats accredited to the UAE and members of the Armenian community. 
 
Later on the same day, President Kocharian will meet representative of the Armenian organizations in the UAE.
 
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The Art of Andrey Antonyan 
The art of Andrey Antonyan
 
By Sylvia Bourdjian - Matta
 
"The Art of Andrey Antonyan" is a newly published book depicting Andrey's art in 3 branches: Paintings, Iconography and Restoration with views from various art critics. The book is rich in photos illustrating the artist's works.
 
I met him in Aleppo in 1993 when he came to restore the old holy icons of the Forty Martyrs' Cathedral and stayed until 1997. He was invited by Archbishop Souren Kataroian (then Primate of Aleppo and the surroundings until 2003) to restore and revive 25 paintings that were produced from 17th - 19th centuries and represented the expression of Armenian thought and creativity in Aleppo.
 
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Father Issahag Minsayan 
Interview with Father Issahag Minasyan in Jerusalem
 
It is sad that many Armenian communities living in the Middle East can't make pilgrimage to Jerusalem, says Father Minasyan.
 
You have been in Jerusalem for more than a decade now? What changes do you notice during this period?
It depends what kind of changes you are looking for.  A decade ago I haven't had chance to know the city and the people so well. I guess some positive changes have taken place, but they are tiny and do not allow to evaluate correctly.
 
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Nishan Basmajian 
Each and every year should be considered 'The year of the Armenian language'
 
By Nishan Basmajian
 
I refer to Catholicos Aram I's declaration of the year 2007 as "The year of the Armenian Language" and my subsequent comment*. 
 
Recently I was reading an article in Aztag daily newspaper (1st October 2007 issue) with the following title: "Vdankevadz lezounerou tej vayrer" (Location list of endangered languages), where Ms L.Guloyan-Srabian quotes and comments on the research about languages in danger. The research is done by two linguists, D. Harrison and L. Campbell.
 
As per Prof. Harrison, in most of the cases it is the children who decide to abandon a mother tongue. Children living in environments where two languages are spoken tend to use the higher evaluated language and they abandon the one which is given less importance (makes sense!).
 
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9th anniversary of the Armenian Church in Sharjah 
9th anniversary of the Armenian Church in Sharjah

 

"Go ahead and create an active community life", says Bishop Papken Charian.

 

The 9th anniversary of the inauguration of the Saint Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Church of Sharjah took place on 16th November 2007. 

 

Following a special ceremony and the blessing of meat and salt, some 10 volunteers spent the whole night of 15th November 2007 in the church yard, preparing the sacrificial offerings (madagh).

 

In the morning of the following day, His Grace Bishop Papken Charian, Primate of the Diocese of Isfahan (Nor Jugha), Iran, who was visiting the United Arab Emirates, performed the Holy Mass and delivered a sermon in the presence of hundreds of Armenians from all around the country.

 
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ATOP mission in Armenia 
ATOP Mission to Armenia

10-Year Follow-up for Trauma Outreach and Prevention Project

The Association for Trauma Outreach and Prevention's (ATOP) Mental Health Outreach Project (MHOP) is embarking on a humanitarian mission to Armenia from 23 October to 04 November 2007.

The first team to be deployed comprises Dr. Ani Kalayjian, the President of ATOP, and Danielle Reid, the Vice President of Public Relations. The team will provide postwar humanitarian outreach and recovery training for psychologists and orphanage personnel, as well as mass-trauma training and generational healing and prevention of genocide.

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Baptism scene in Cairo Armenian Church 
Renovated St. Gregory the Illuminator church re-opens its doors in Cairo

After almost one year of renovation works, the St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic church of Cairo opened up its doors once again to reveal the beauty of this genuine Armenian architectural edifice, one of the most exquisite Armenian churches of the diaspora.

On this Sunday morning of 25th November 2007, the masses, gathered at our 80 year old beloved church, witnessed the re-opening and official blessing of our revered house of worship which underwent massive renovation works consisting of a complete indoor and outdoor infrastructure restoration.

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UTN1 Band 
Iraqi pop band 'Unknown to No One' is no more unknown

Artin (Art) Haroutiounian, Shant Garabedian and their three colleagues advance in their career
 
The new single song of the Iraqi band "Unknown to No One" (UTN1) is on air after months of hard work. The video clip has been displayed on pan-Arab music channel Melody Hits (on Nilesat) since late October 2007 and has been broadcasted on major Middle Eastern channels and radio stations.
 
The dream has come true, but this is only the beginning of a long path ahead, with new challenges. It took 10 years to come to this point. The band went through many difficulties starting from the last years of the old Iraqi repressive regime and going through the hardships of foreign invasion and the problems associated with securing legal residence and entry into countries where music production was possible. During the course of events the members were almost helplessly dispersed, each trying to solve own questions of livelihood.
 
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Chair of Western Armenian Language in Yerevan State University 
Chair of Western Armenian Language in Yerevan State University
 
The Yerevan State University (YSU) announces that starting from the academic year 2008 - 2009 students will be able to enroll at the newly formed "Chair of Western Armenian Language" within the Faculty of Armenian Philology.
 
The tuition would be US$ 1.100 yearly (or the equivalent).
 
The University undertakes to secure free residence permits for overseas students covering their period of study. 
 
Currently, the monthly room rent for a moderate apartment in Yerevan equals US$ 200-250, while staying in University dormitory costs about 20.000 Armenian dram (equivalent of US$ 60).
 
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'The knock at the door' wins USA News Best Book of 2007 Award  
'The knock at the door' wins USA News Best Book of 2007 Award

Memoir of Armenian Genocide sweeps World History Category
 
A book by Margaret Ajemian Ahnert
 
Synopsis:
In 1915, Armenian in Turkey were forced to change their religion, barred from speaking their language, and often driven out of their homes as the Turkish army embarked on a widespread campaign of intimidation and murder. In this riveting book, Margaret Ajemian Ahnert relates her mother Ester's terrifying experiences as a young woman during this period of hatred and brutality.
 
At age 15, Ester was separated from her foster family during a forced march away from her birth town of Amasia. Though she faced unspeakable horrors at the hands of many she met on the road, and was forced into an abusive marriage against her will, she never lost her faith, quick wit, or ability to see the good in people. Eventually she escaped and made her way to America.
 
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One year with and without you 
One year with and without you
 
By Carlos Jose Bourdjian
 
Her superior ability to deliver Armenian soul music through the contemporary multi-faceted vocal interpretations is astonishing. She is an exceptional new-generation Armenian jazz and soul vocalist that will definitely amaze anyone with her unique and sophisticated style.
 
A year has passed since the tragic death of Vartuhi Vartanian. Her memory lives among thousands of her music admirers, friends and relatives. Several memorial services have been organized in Yerevan, Los Angeles, Beirut and other cities in memory of "Tutush" (her well known nickname), to keep her image forever cherished in their hearts. 
 
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Armenian Lebanese solidarity song by Gassan Rahbani 
Armenian Lebanese solidarity song by Gassan Rahbani

"We live here" a bilingual Arabic - Armenian song by Gassan Rahbani has been released in Beirut (In Arabic: Nehna haoon men ish; In Armenian: Menk hos gabrink).
 
See song on Youtube below. 
 
Gassan Rahbani is the nephew (in-law) of the great Lebanese singer Fayrouz. His father is famous lyrical author, composer, orchestra arranger and conductor Elias Rahbani, one of the three Rahbani Brothers
 
Gassan's first piano teacher was Agop Arslanian (read biography below).
 
"We live here" starts with a preface: To the beloved Armenian people, I donate these feelings.
 
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The Armenian Culture Week in the UAE 
The Armenian Culture Week in the UAE
 
Last week, starting from October the 20th the United Arab Emirates experienced the entire beauty of Armenia.
 
Taking into consideration the feedback and appraisals of various public circles, as well as media coverage, we can assert that the cultural extravaganza week (named "Taste of Armenia") was an unprecedented event.
 
A large group of 45 professional and highly acclaimed performers and artists conveyed the cultural and historical heritage and the spirit of our country to the UAE nationals and expatriates living here.
 
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Yerevan Chamber Choir performs in three Syrian cities  
Yerevan Chamber Choir performs in three Syrian cities
 
By Elsy Melkonian

Under the patronage of  H.E. Dr. Riad Nassan Agha, Minister of Culture in Syria and the Higher Institute of Music, in collaboration with the Embassy of Armenia in Damascus, a musical concert was given by the Yerevan Chamber Choir in three Syrian cities: Aleppo, Latakia and Damascus on 20, 22 and 25 October 2007.

The Choir was conducted by Haroutyoun Topikian, one of the eminent Armenian musicians.

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Constantinople 1920: a new book by Haig Tahta 
Constantinople 1920: a new book by Haig Tahta

Constantinople 1920, the second book in Haig Tahta's projected trilogy, chronicles the impending fall of the Ottomans and explores the circumstances and atmosphere of Constantinople during the British occupation of the city from 1920 to 1922. It carries forward the same characters from Mr. Tahta's first novel, April 1915 (See Azad-Hye article here), set in the Ottoman Empire at a critical moment following its fateful decision to join the Great War in November 1914.
 
Olga, an Armenian girl, and Selim, a Turk, are impossibly in love. Their relationship, much more difficult and problematic than Romeo and Juliet, develops and unfolds during the Greco-Turkish War, reaching its shocking climax in the burning of Smyrna. An historical novel of deep insight and high passions, Constantinople 1920 brings to focus a time which echoed throughout the world and set in train events that would engulf Europe in flames a few decades later.
 
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'Pro Educatio' raises questions on Melkonian Educational Institute 
'Pro Educatio' raises questions on Melkonian Educational Institute

A Paris based forum called "Pro Educatio" has recently issued a communique titled "Remarks and Questions on issues of minorities and human rights in relation with Melkonian Educational Institute".
 
See below parts of this communique compiled for our readers: (The complete text in PDF format is availabe here).

The Melkonian Educational Institute (MEI), based on its campus in Nicosia, Cyprus closed its doors in June 2005 to students coming mostly from overseas countries where people of the Armenian Diaspora are settled. The MEI is closed down by the decision of the Board of Directors of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) with its Head offices in New York, USA.
 
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The Birds' Nest 
'The Birds' Nest': home for Armenian children in need

"The Birds' Nest", an orphanage directly supported by the Catholicosate of Cilicia is the home of our entire nation. As the shelter of Armenian children in need of care, it is the center of attention to all the philanthropists of the Armenian nation.
 
As an expression of continued Pontifical support for the "Birds' Nest", Catholicos Aram I recently appointed V. Rev. Yeghishe Mandjigian as the new spiritual dean and Mr. Kevork Toroyan as its new principal. The new heads of this institution work hard - in consultation with His Holiness and the board of trustees - to create a cozy Armenian environment and make the Armenian children happier.
 
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Posted on Saturday, December 15, 2007 (8459 reads), comments: 0
 
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