ASBAREZ ONLINE [11-12-2004]


1) Oskanian Minsk Co-chair Meet in Moscow Pre CSTO Meeting
2) ARF, Armenian Delegation Bid Yasser Arafat Farewell
3) Armenian Genocide in Argentine Curriculum
4) Opposition Supporters Seize Abkhazian President’s Offices
5) Conversation with Mark Geragos
6) ARS “Erepouni” Chapter Celebrates 70 Years of Service
7) Latest Chapter in Mt. Davidson Cross Saga
9) Axis Of Justice Releases CD/DVD
10) Early ‘Intervention’

1) Oskanian Minsk Co-chair Meet in Moscow Pre CSTO Meeting

ASTANA(Combined Sources)–Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian received Yuri
Merzlyakov and Henri Jacolin, the Russian and French Co-chairs of OSCE Minsk
Group, at the Armenian Embassy in Moscow on Friday to discuss the Mountainous
Karabagh conflict resolution process.
Oskanian, who is in Moscow for a meeting of foreign affairs ministers of
member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), condemned
the support of certain CSTO member-states for Azerbaijan’s initiative to take
the Karabagh issue to the United Nations, calling it “incomprehensible.”
He stressed that their vote of support in the UN for the Azeri move is
counters the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group, tasked to find a resolution to
that conflict.
Oskanian also met with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov to discuss bilateral
ties and international developments, as well the CSTO gathering that will
primarily focus on international terrorism.
CSTO signatories Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and
Tajikistan have stepped-up concerns lately about the threat of terrorism,
illicit drug trafficking, irregular migration, and organized crime.

2) ARF, Armenian Delegation Bid Yasser Arafat Farewell

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) conveyed its condolences to the
Palestinian Fatah Movement on the death of one of its founders Yasser Arafat,
who until his death, was the head of the Palestinian Authority. In its letter,
the ARF Bureau expresses profound sympathy to the Palestinian people and
leadership, and hopes that they achieve victory by building an independent
Palestinian state.
Palestinians closed a chapter of their history on Friday by burying Yasser
Arafat, their leader for three and a half decades.
Arafat’s Friday burial took place at Arafat’s headquarters in the West Bank
city of Ramallah, where Israel had kept him under siege for nearly three
It came just hours after an orderly funeral ceremony in Cairo.
Headed by National Assembly Speaker Arthur Baghdasarian, an Armenian
delegation joined other foreign dignitaries in Cairo for the military funeral.

3) Armenian Genocide in Argentine Curriculum

YEREVAN (Yerkir)–Following exhaustive efforts by the Armenian National
Committee (ANC) of Argentina, the government of Buenos Aires has released a
44-page book on the Armenian genocide. Jointly prepared by the ANC and the
Buenos Aires Department of Human Rights, the book was published in 5,000
and delivered to libraries and teachers in the city’s 600 public schools.
The book introduces the Armenian Genocide, as well as accounts by famous
international and local scholars. It includes newspaper articles, maps,
pictures, and a teaching curriculum.
Presenting the book at the Buenos Aires state school, the renowned writer and
author of the preface to the new Spanish translation of “The 40 Days of Musa
Dagh,” Osvaldo Bayer, denounced the Turkish government and its people for
denying the genocide of Armenians. He praised the ANC and welcomed the
Argentine government’s courage to publish the book.

4) Opposition Supporters Seize Abkhazian President’s Offices

TBILISI (AP/Interfax)–Thousands of supporters of Abkhazia’s opposition
presidential candidate seized the office of the outgoing president Friday,
raising tensions in the breakaway Georgian region nearly six weeks after a
disputed–and unresolved–election.
Demonstrators supporting Sergei Bagapsh and his contention that he won the
Oct. 3 election stormed the headquarters of outgoing President Vladislav
Ardzinba in the region’s main city, Sukhumi.
Election officials ruled that Bagapsh won, defeating former Prime Minister
Raul Khajimba, and the region’s highest court confirmed his victory.
However, the court overturned the verdict hours later after hundreds of
Khajimba’s supporters broke into the court building and allegedly threatened
the court’s chief judge.
Amid the turmoil, Ardzinba ordered a new election, a decision Bagapsh has
refused to recognize.
Earlier Friday, Bagapsh again claimed victory in a telephone interview with
“We were victorious in the election,” he said. “That means that my
inauguration as president will take place on Dec. 6.”
Footage on Russian television showed people waving Abkhazian flags from the
windows and armed men celebrating with champagne and vodka in Ardzinba’s
office. Scattered fist fights were seen in the hallways, and several people
were reported injured.
A Bagapsh supporter, Robert Taniya, answered the phone in the presidential
headquarters and said Bagapsh already occupied Ardzinba’s office.
But Bagapsh denied that in a telephone conversation with The Associated
The Interfax news agency reported that Bagapsh appealed to his supporters to
disperse and promised to assume the presidency by legal means.
Khajimba and Bagapsh held talks in an attempt to defuse tensions.
Bagapsh told supporters that he has offered to Khajimba to form a coalition
government. He said that all the presidential candidates, who were running in
disputed October 3 elections, should be represented in the government.
made no comments after talks.
Abkhazia, which has had de facto independence since Georgian troops were
driven from the region in 1993, has been in turmoil since the Oct. 3 vote.
Georgia has ignored the election turmoil. Since being elected in January,
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has vowed repeatedly to reign in
Abkhazia and South Ossetia, another breakaway region.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said if the situation
in Abkhazia takes an illegal turn, “the Russian side will have to take
necessary for protecting its interests.”
“Everyone in Abkhazia must know that the entire responsibility for possible
negative consequences rests with Bagapsh and his supporters, who are trying to
seize power by force,” he said.
“We should remain calm and do maximum we can to preserve peace in
Abkhazia… We
will take over power with the peaceful means,” Bagapsh said.

5) Conversation with Mark Geragos

–San Francisco APS Hosts Famed Attorney

By Teni Issakhanian Avanessian

SAN FRANCISCO–The San Francisco Armenian community gathered at Vasbouragan
Hall for the Armenian Professional Society’s “A Conversation with Mark
Geragos.” The November 6 event, which kicked off APS’s 23rd year of service to
the Bay Area Armenian community, featured an interview and question-and-answer
session with prominent attorney Mark Geragos.
“Mr. Geragos is always breaking ground in the criminal defense arena and
consistently setting precedent,” stated APS President and moderator for the
evening, Dr. John Missirian. A graduate of Loyola Law School and Haverford
College, Geragos serves as the managing partner of the twelve-year-old Los
Angeles-based law firm Geragos and Geragos–founded by his father and former
Los Angeles APS President Paul Geragos. Known for his high-profile cases and
representation of prominent figures in politics, entertainment, and business,
Mark Geragos’s client roster boasts the likes of actress Wynona Ryder, hip hop
star Nate Dogg, superstar Michael Jackson, US. Congressman Gary Condit, the
Clinton Whitewater scandal’s Susan McDougal, and currently, Scott Peterson.
In addition, Geragos is a self-proclaimed “stealth Armenian” who has
successfully defended many young Armenians involved in shootings and gang
activity in recent years. He has tackled the very real problem of racial
profiling among Armenian youth in Glendale. He even served as one young
Armenian man’s criminal defense attorney in the first California decision on
Proposition 21, which made juveniles eligible for the death penalty in
California based on gang affiliation. His successful defense not only
invalidated Prop. 21, but also saved his client’s life, reducing the sentence
from the death penalty to a brief incarceration followed by 2000 hours of
community service. This young man has since turned his life around and
become a
trustworthy and upstanding citizen.
With such stories, the APS event exposed a side of the lawyer that the public
normally does not see when observing him in court, on TV, or on his recently
launched Internet-based television broadcasting network. Besides criminal
defense, the outspoken Geragos also candidly shared his views on the recent
Presidential elections, the state of Armenians in Glendale, and his Armenian
Of particular concern to him, however, was the intersection of law and
politics as it affects the diaspora Armenian community. “The Armenian Bar
Association is not as effective or as active as it should be. We should carry
more weight with the Governor when he makes judicial appointments,” Geragos
expressed. He went on to criticize Armenians in positions of power as one of
the primary reasons why Armenians have not made as much a name for themselves
as they should have by now. He stressed that by this point in time, we should
have taken greater strides to establish our reputation, our name, and our
presence in business, politics, media, and public affairs. He traced this
failure back to the days of George Deukmejian, former governor of California,
who did not fully maximize his golden opportunity and power to help Armenians,
open doors for them, and place more of them in visible, prestigious positions
of clout and influence. In addition, Geragos blamed Armenians themselves for
always being dissatisfied: “We have too many chiefs and not enough Indians.”
For this reason, Geragos believes we continue to envy Jews who–in contrast to
Armenians–not only unite, but upon doing so, pull one another up by their
bootstraps more loyally and in a more widespread manner.
Geragos did not confine laying blame to Deukmejian, however. He went on to
incite strong emotions among audience members when he reminded them about
Hampig Sassounian’s trial before the California Supreme Court. Of the
seven-person panel, the two California Supreme Court Justices of Armenian
descent–Justices Marvin Baxter and Armand Arabian–recused themselves when
Sassounian’s case was heard before the highest Court of the State of
California. Sassounian’s case may have turned out differently had Baxter and
Arabian stayed on for that trial. It is worth mentioning, however, that the
now-retired Arabian did sponsor many Armenian law students and young
lawyers as
clerks in his chambers, and he continues to remain involved in the Armenian
No other Armenian in the legal profession has earned more of Geragos’s praise
than Federal District Court Judge Dikran Tevrizian who, according to Geragos,
is unwaveringly committed to mentoring and helping up-and-coming Armenian law
students and lawyers to excel in the profession. “He’s tremendous. He is
one of
my heroes,” Geragos pronounced with fervor.
As the evening progressed, it became abundantly clear that Geragos is
passionate about many things: his Aintabtsi wife and two children, his liberal
political views, Armenian food (his favorites are kufteh and dolma/sarma), and
his career as a criminal defense attorney. He does not apologize for his
professional choice; in fact, in true criminal-defense-attorney fashion, he
protects it wholeheartedly. “As a criminal defense attorney, you can’t care
about being liked…you must like fighting against the odds, and you must like
being in the courtroom…It’s not my job to determine guilt. My job is to
take my
client’s position and argue it zealously. I’m proud of what I do. I personally
think that criminal law defense is the noblest profession there is.”
Driving his point home, Geragos spoke of his uncles who were dragged into the
desert and murdered during the genocide. He also spoke of his mother who
in Fresno two generations ago and lived in a community where signs were posted
that read: NO BLACKS, NO DOGS, NO ARMENIANS. As an Armenian who grew up
such tales from his mother, his Grandmother Rose and other genocide survivors,
Geragos certainly understands and appreciates the plight of the underdog. This
appreciation has evolved into a career devoted to challenging the Government
(particularly the District Attorney’s office) and defending each and every
client with equal dedication and conviction.”
Regardless of people’s views on Geragos’s philosophy on politics, prominent
Armenians, and his profession, his blunt and unapologetic beliefs are a
refreshing change in this otherwise politically correct and tactful society.
Furthermore, despite what one’s opinion is about Scott Peterson’s guilt or
Geragos’s values and priorities for choosing to represent him, most would
that if the day ever came that they were placed in a position to need it, they
would want Geragos on their side. As Dr. John Missirian summed it up at the
of the evening, “If I am ever in trouble, I know who I would like to represent

6) ARS “Erepouni” Chapter Celebrates 70 Years of Service

By Vickie Markarian

SAN FRANCISCO–The Oakland Erepouni Chapter of the Armenian Relief Society
celebrated its 70th anniversary on Sunday, October 17, with an afternoon
program at the Saroyan Hall in San Francisco. Special guests from the
included Rev. Fr. Avedis Torossian of St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church,
Serpouhi Messerlian from the ARS Western Region Executive Board, Maida
from the San Francisco ARS Garin Chapter, among others.
The program’s emcee Araxie Boghossian, invited Rev. Fr. Torossian to open the
evening with a prayer, followed by the Erepouni Chapter’s chairlady Annie
Tatarian, who spoke briefly of the chapter’s various activities over the past
ARS Western US Regional Executive Board Member Serpouhi Messerlian, praised
the good works of the Erepouni Chapter, especially their weekly Armenian
and adopted school in Armenia. She also presented the chapter with a plaque on
behalf of the Western Region, which read: “It is with great pleasure that we
congratulate you on your 70th anniversary and wish you success in your future
endeavors. Erepouni Chapter is one of the Western Region’s most industrious
energetic chapters and has supported the Regional Committee every year in its
helpful work to our nation.”
Keynote speaker Dr. Margit Hazarabedian, an auxiliary member of the Erepouni
Chapter, offered a stirring and nostalgic account of the beginnings of the ARS
in the Bay Area and of their wonderful work following World War II, when both
the San Francisco and Oakland chapters strived to help displaced Armenians in
camps overseas, and then brought them to this country through ANCHA (American
National Committee for Homeless Armenians). Weaving her own family’s hardships
during that time, she recalled the names of the dedicated founders and early
members of the Erepouni Chapter who gave so much of their time and effort. She
stressed that these selfless women saved many Armenian families.
One of the highlights of the program came when Vickie Markarian introduced
eight former exceptional students of the Erepouni Chapter’s Friday Armenian
School who have either gone on to university or to the work force. The
honored were Armine Avanessians, Alex Bunch, Tamar Kozanian, Arpy Mikaelian,
Kohar Shirikian, Vrej Tajirian, Hovig Tatarian, and Ani Tejirian. Markarian
called each student to stage and presented them with a Certificate of
Appreciation. The audience truly appreciated seeing these young people
recognized in this way and gave each heartfelt applause. The program came to a
lively end as The Mazmanians played a rousing version of “Ghapama.”
Rev. Fr. Torossian also felt compelled to offer his own words of
gratitude. He
stated that the ladies of the ARS deserve the thanks of all our people. In
addition to caring for their own families and often working outside the home,
they have taken on the task of helping their fellow Armenians, both within the
community and in Armenia. The memorable evening ended with a moving
candle-lighting ceremony.

7) Latest Chapter in Mt. Davidson Cross Saga

–Turks agree not to appeal Armenian genocide plaque decision

SAN FRANCISCO–Two Turkish-American organizations, and the Turkish Consul
General, have withdrawn their lawsuit against the Council of Armenian American
Organizations of Northern California rather than face the claim of the
Council’s attorneys for fees.
The lawsuit attacked the plaque commemorating the Armenian genocide, which
Council had placed near the 103 foot cross on San Francisco’s Mt. Davidson.
Council had purchased the Cross and adjacent land in 1997 from the City of San
Francisco, which sold it to settle a challenge to its ownership on
In their lawsuit, the Turks claimed that the plaque violates the terms of the
deed under which the Council acquired the Cross and land from the City. The
Council’s attorneys denied any violation and also urged that the Turks lacked
legal standing to challenge the plaque. The lawsuit, they said, was an
impermissible attempt to suppress the Council’s free speech rights.
The court agreed and dismissed the case. This entitled the lawyers, who were
representing the Council without charge, to recover their attorneys’ fees from
the Turks. Faced with a claim for $100,000 in fees, the Turks agreed to
their appeal of the court’s ruling, and submitted to an injunction against any
repetition of it. They also agreed to indemnify the Council if any such
is brought by any of their members. In return, the Council’s lawyers, at its
request, dropped their claim for fees.
Speaking for the Council, a coalition of 35 Armenian American
organizations in
Northern California, its Chairman, Dr. Krikor Soghikian, stated that the
Turkish challenge to the memorial plaque is part of a broad campaign to oppose
any public acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide, which is officially denied
by the Turkish government. The 1915 event is considered by historians as the
first genocide of the 20th century, and the most significant human rights
crisis of World War I. The leaders of the Ottoman empire systematically
out the extermination of 1.5 million Armenians, more than half of the Armenian
population living in its historic homeland. The overwhelming majority of
Armenians living in San Francisco and the United States are descendants of
Armenian Genocide survivors.
Armenian Americans wished to purchase the Mt. Davidson Cross to avoid the
destruction of a San Francisco landmark. As the first nation to have accepted
Christianity in 301 AD, they believed that the Cross site would be an ideal
gathering place to remember their forefathers. Turkish groups actively opposed
the purchase, conducting a protest campaign urging city officials,
and political groups, to vote against the enabling proposition, but 68% of San
Francisco voters cast their ballots in favor of the proposition.
The plaque was unveiled in 1988 by Mayor Willie Brown, in the presence of
several Genocide survivors. It reads:
“The Mt. Davidson Cross was designed and built by George Kelham and
inaugurated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934. In 1997, the citizens
of San Francisco voted to approve the sale of the monument to the Council of
Armenian American Organizations of Northern California., to preserve it as a
historic landmark. This revered site is cared for in memory of the 1,500,000
victims of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Turkish government from
1915 to 1918. Over half the Armenian population on its ancient homeland was
killed, and no Armenian community remained in historical Western Armenia. By
honoring those lost, we honor all victims of injustice and cruelty. In their
name, we dedicate ourselves to the protection of human rights and the dignity
of all

If evil of this magnitude can be ignored,
If our children forget,
Then we deserve oblivion,
And earn the world’s scorn.
Avedis Aharonian
(writer and educator, 1866-1948)
Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day
April 24, 1998.”

The Council was represented in the lawsuit by David Balabanian, Geoffrey
Holtz, and Matthew Gray of Bingham McCutchen, an 850 lawyer firm with offices
in 12 cities.


A bittersweet concoction with a kick

“Vodka Lemon is the only thing the Russians have left them is the one thing
they didn’t have before-their freedom,” explains one of the characters in the
film Vodka Lemon, by Iraqi Kurd director Hiner Saleem.
The third feature by the exiled director portrays an abandoned community
that’s magically upbeat. With its blinding-white vistas, graceful Armenian
score, the film celebrates its quirky characters while it mourns their plight.
“A blessed wonder…Saleem displays the visual confidence and subtle screwball
rhythms of a master,” writes the Village Voice.


In the snowy badlands of post soviet Armenia, village life is nearing
subsistence level. The Russians have long departed, and almost all of the
village’s young men have gone abroad for work. In the heart of
sixty-something-year-old Hamo, a handsome widower, hope rests through his
youngest son, who has recently immigrated to France in search of work. Hamo’s
sole possessions on earth are barely enough to sustain him. But Hamo finds
contentment through his daily bus trips to the local cemetery where his wife
has been laid to rest. During one of these visits Hamo notices Nina, a
beautiful fifty-year old widow. Although an initial attraction between the two
is clear, Hamo’s loyalty to his dead wife and Nina’s shyness forestalls the
from allowing the sparks to fly. Nina retreats to her job at the desolate
village bar, Vodka Lemon, and Hamo hustles home with hope waning that his son
in Paris has mailed him. Retreating back to the cemetery, Hamo once again runs
into Nina–and with a few kind gestures, the two begin a September-December
romance that leads to the film’s indelible conclusion of love among the ruins.
The winner of the San Marco prize at the Venice Film Festival, Vodka Lemon’s
exclusive Los Angeles engagements begin at Laemmle’s Fairfax Cinemas in the
Fairfax District and One Colorado Cinemas in Old Town Pasadena on Friday,
November 19.
The Fairfax is located at 7095 Beverly Boulevard in the Fairfax District and
the One Colorado in Old Town Pasadena.
Call 310-274-6869 or 626-744-1224 for show-time information. See

9) Axis Of Justice Releases CD/DVD

The revolution may not be televised, but it is available on your CD player
The Axis of Justice: Concert Series Volume I was recorded at the Avalon in
Angeles as one in a series of benefits for Axis of Justice, the non-profit
organization founded by Serj Tankian of System Of A Down and Tom Morello of
Audioslave/Rage Against The Machine, in an effort to bring concerned
fans of music, and grassroots political organizations together to fight for
social justice.
The unique night of music featured performances and surprises by a number of
special guests, including Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, Tool/A Perfect
Circle’s Maynard James Keenan and Pete Yorn. The album includes the donated
track from Chris Cornell and Keenan of their cover of Nick Lowe’s “(What’s So
Funny ’bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding,” recorded at last year’s
Lollapalooza. Other highlights include all-star jams of U2’s “Where the
Have No Name,” Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up,” “Alice in My Fantasies” by
Funkadelic, and the Bob Dylan classic “Chimes Of Freedom.”
The companion Bonus DVD contains live footage of the Avalon show as well as
some excerpts from past Axis shows, which include appearances by artists such
as Boots Riley of The Coup and Wayne Kramer. It also includes Tankian’s
performance of “Speak on It,” a spoken piece about Armenian genocide with the
rapper Knowledge. Plus as an added bonus, the DVD features audio excerpts from
the Axis of Justice radio show.

10) Early ‘Intervention’

Armenia’s Moushegh Baghdasaryan’s short film “Intervention” won the the
F. and Harle G. Montgomery Prize for Excellence for Best Child-Produced
Film or
Video at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF).
Fourteen-year-old Moushegh’s 2 minute film transforms a symbol of war into a
thing of peace, with a message that silence speaks louder than words.
The one-minute short “Waltz” by another 14-year-old, Elen Gyulnazarian of
Armenia, competed in the same category of Children for Children nominations.
The Director of Armenia’s Manana Children’s-Youth Educational-Cultural
Ruzan Baghdasarian, revealed that only 24 films were nominated in the specific
Baghdasaryan’s award marks 15 victories for Manana in international
Thirty other films shot at Manana’s small studio have registered victories in
various film festivals in England, Greece, Spain, Serbia, and the United
Founded in 1983, the CICFF is the largest festival of films for children in
North America and features over 200 animated and live action films from 40
countries. The Festival welcomes over 24,000 Chicago area children, adults,
educators to the screenings, and over 100 filmmakers, media professionals, and
celebrities attend the festival to lead interactive workshops with kids.
It is also the first competitive festival of films for children in the US.
impetus for the festival came from a need to introduce new, culturally diverse
films for children to American children’s audiences, and to recognize
excellence in children’s filmmaking. From its inception, the festival has had
independent juries of children and adult media professionals awarding
prizes in
multiple categories.
The festival provides screenings both for schools and the general public.
Educators bring their classes to school screenings during the fall festival to
view international films. Films are used as a springboard to class-work in a
wide number of subject areas, including geography, math, music, social
art, health and language studies. After screenings, children are engaged in
discussions with filmmakers and festival personnel. These discussions are
designed to lead children and teachers toward powerful dialogue about the role
of television and film in their lives. The impact of violent films, and
alternatives to them, are frequently explored.
Children attending the Festival are also instructed to view each film
carefully and critically, so that they may cast an informed ballot for
“Best of
the Fest.” These interactive experiences enrich festival audiences with a wide
range of cultural perspectives and give them a “behind-the-scenes”
understanding of the art and craft of filmmaking.


Resident Skeptik delves into the deep, dark world of Armenian online dating


I’m not a smart man but I think I know what love is. I know that there are
more kinds of love than a woman has pairs of black shoes. There’s love of
country, the love of a spouse, or the love of a sibling or family member. For
instance, the way you love your parents is not the way you love your favorite
dish at your favorite restaurant. You’d take a bullet for your parents. You
(hopefully) wouldn’t take a bullet for a plate of chee kufta. But whether
you’re a rich man or poor man, educated or uneducated, almost everyone (I said
ALMOST) falls in love at one point or another in their lifetime.
I’m bringing this issue up because lately, and I don’t know why, everyone
around me is either getting engaged, married or falling in…dare I say
it…love. I thought springtime was when love blossomed but I guess we
Armenians are always late anyway. I think love is a beautiful concept but I
think people should learn to love themselves and be comfortable with who they
are before seeking validation from another human being. This is particularly
important for Armenians. Of all the people in the world, you would be hard
pressed to find a group that are bigger xenophiles (lovers of all things
foreign) than Armenians. On top of everything else, they are also
with themselves. I’m not a Buddhist but I believe in Buddha’s advice: “You,
yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and
affection.” Armenians just can’t seem to love themselves unless it’s a
dysfunctional type of love. When it comes to music at a banquet or dance,
ready to run and jump in the arms of that Arabic, Persian, or
even…yes…Turkish seductress. When it comes to jewelry, clothes, food,
whatever the case may be…Armenians place such high regard on all things
But when it comes down to it–to bringing someone home to mom and dad–90
% of
Armenians are adamant that it is important to marry someone who is also
Armenian. This makes perfect sense (sarcastic tone starts in 3…2…1) if you
think about it. After all, you have to marry an Armenian, so your children can
grow up Armenian, learn how to speak, read, and write Armenian and then only
speak English to their friends and family and shake their “voreegs” to
non-Armenian music every weekend! If anyone out there thinks that by marrying
someone Armenian, you are able to ensure that your children or grandchildren
will grow up Armenian, than I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I will sell you
for only $20,000.
There are exceptions to every rule. There are Armenians who will marry other
Armenians and find happiness but marrying a fellow Armenian isn’t the key to
that happiness. The real key to happiness is finding someone who shares your
beliefs and values. And if you value being Armenian and your spouse respects
and cherishes your values, then you will have children who will learn about
their cultural identity and grow up to be good people.
“What if she doesn’t want your children to learn Armenian?” countered my
friend emphatically during one of our hypothetical scenario debates recently.
“What about it? I don’t even know any Armenian girls that can read or write
Armenian fluently. Most of them think Hovhannes Toumanian is a car mechanic in
Hollywood and wouldn’t be able to make pilaf and dolma if their lives depended
on it,” I responded sardonically.
A week after this exchange, I discovered that my friend had registered online
with an Internet dating service. I hope it works for him and he finds “the
one,” that one girl out there who will be able to raise his children to be as
materialistic as they can be and not know the difference between 301 AD and
AD but be able to spot the difference between an S-Class and C-Class Benzos
from a mile away. But kudos to whoever came up with the idea to gather up all
the insecure Armenians out there and bring them together on one website. I
to admit, my curiosity had been aroused. I had to find out more about this
so-called “singles” website. I did a search on Google on “Armenian Singles”
came up with not just one, not two, but a whole group of websites all aimed at
bringing Armenians together and helping them fall in love.
The first one I visited was “HyeSingles” (HS henceforth.) HS claims to be
“Your Compatible Armenian Singles Community.” Before I delved any further
the world of Armenian singles, I decided to look up their “success
stories.” My
favorite was a comment by Armen with no last name. (We’ll try to use different
names to protect the innocent). Armen wrote, “Thank you for being out there
me. I am not lonely anymore!” This made me wonder if this was some kind of
joke. Can these really be Armenians posting success stories online? One person
from Iran met her “hubbie” in the US and they are now married. I thought maybe
these were fabricated stories until I came across a posting by
It read as follows (I’ve inserted my own opinions in bold and in brackets
Hey, so like I was not sure [ten bucks says she’s from the San Fernando
Valley, maybe even a Ferrahian grad] about this Internet dating thing and
the small size and talkatitive [who is this girl? Is she related to George W.
Bush?] nature of the Armenian community [talkative? A blind date is talkative!
The Armenian community makes the CIA look like a kindergarten game of
telephone] I was apprehensive posting my profile, much less my picture but
after some convincing from my younger sister (who coincidentally met her
online) [like I care] I got up the nerve to go through with it. Well let me
tell you, I not only was amazed at the number of emails I received, but at the
quality of your members. [Nowhere else in the world will you find such a large
collection of aging, balding men with German luxury cars who still live at
and wear more jewelry than their mother] Long story short I went on several
dates before meeting my Armenian match so to speak.[“so to speak”
–translation: he didn’t drool, or drag his knuckles on the ground and didn’t
think that it was okay to sleep with women who aren’t Armenian because its
practice for when you do marry a pure as the snow virgin] We’ve been dating
for 4 months now and knock on wood [wow, I guess this is an actual Armenian
testimonial, unless “knock on wood” means something else in non-Armenian
circles, like “PLEASE SAVE ME FROM THIS ABOOSH. Oops, did I say aboosh? I
no one cancels a subscription], we are both extremely happy and
appreciative to
have found each other.
So I’ve decided to conduct an experiment. After all, Ralph Waldo Emerson said
that “All life is an experiment.” It starts with this issue and will last as
long as it has to. Like Jacques Cousteau, I shall venture into the
unknown–this Armenian online singles soiree, and see if it is indeed possible
to meet normal people. The experiment will be the following. I will create
anonymous profiles loosely based on actual single friends that I have (with
their consent) and go fishing for a mate.
See you next week when we report from the world of the single, lonely, and

Skeptik Sinikian is over 5 feet tall, enjoys TV sitcom theme songs, reading
billboards, and brief sprints on the beach (he’s allergic to sand and sea
salt). Anyone interested can contact him at [email protected] or visit
his blog at

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