News > Lebanese Armenians > Zartir Vortyag video clip banned in Lebanon
Considered as offensive to Turkishness
Lebanese security officers did not grant permission to Lebanese Armenian performer Eileen Khatchadourian to air her "Zartir Vortyag" video clip (see left) on local TV channels, claiming that it may damage the existing warm ties between Lebanon and Turkey.
The video clip, however, was allowed to be aired exceptionally on 24th April 2010.
In an interview with Horizon Armenian TV (USA), Khatchadourian wondered how could a video clip disturb the relations between two countries, especially that the word "Turkey" is not mentioned in it. "The video was all about sybmols", she said, adding that the security officers were afraid the video clip may "upset the Turkish Ambassador".
The video clip is based on a traditional national song "Zartir Vortyag" (Awake my son), in which a mother urges her son to go to the battlefield and fight for justice and freedom. The theme itself is repeated in various forms in numerous Lebanese and Palestinian songs, without offending any ears.
The Armenian political parties in Lebanon joined Eileen Khatchadourian in her protest of this senseless censorship.
Not a single representative from the Lebanese official circles and Muslim communities attended the recent Armenian Genocide march in Beirut, thus raising concern about the increasing Turkish influence in Lebanon.
Raffi Keuhnelian, an International Relations graduate from Concordia University, Montreal, said "it is very dissappointing to see Lebanon bow to Turkish pressure".
Other commentators stressed the fact that the current government of Lebanon has been the most pro-Turkish one of all. This has given no chose for major Armenian political forces but to join the opposition.
In the website of "Armen Karo Students' Association" in Canada the following question was made: "Is Turkish Penal Code 301 being applied in Lebanon by the Turkish Ambassador? Did Lebanon forget that in the year 2000, its government had recognized the Armenian Genocide? Is the Turkish Ambassador more important to the Lebanese government than its citizens?"
"Censorship can start with my music video, but then what? What else will they ban not to offend the Turkish Embassy? We canít remain silent about this, and the support of the people is also giving me more power to fight", said Eileen Khatchadourian to journalist Paul Chaderjian.
Eileen Khatchadourian has been the winner of the Best Rock Album at the 10th Annual Armenian Music Awards in Los Angeles, 2009.
A draft translation of the song lyrics:
Wake up, my son, rise up, the war horn has been blown. The country's voice is calling you to wake up. Time for life or death has come.
I have prepared your weapons and have placed them here just above your head, as I used to prepare your books, when you were going to school.
Stand up and let me put the sword on your waist and tie the bullet-belt to your shoulders, while the sacred flag of our homeland would be waving on your right arm.
Above are the words of the song that was banned in Lebanon and considered to be offensive to Turkishness!
Զինուորի Մօր Երգը
Զարթիր որդեակ, յուշ բեր,վեր կաց,
Պատերազմի փողն հնչեց,
Զարթիր կոչեց ձայն հայրենեաց,
Կենաց մահու ժամ հնչեց։
Պատրաստել եմ քո զէնքերը,
Ահա գլխիդ վերեւ կան՝
Ինչպէս երբեմն քո գրքերը՝
Երբ կ՛երթայիր վարժարան։
Ելիր կապեմ սուրը մէջքիդ,
Ասպար կախեմ քո ուսէդ,
եւ սուրբ դրօշակ հայրենիքիդ,
Թող ծածանի աջ թեւէդ։