ASBAREZ Online [08-26-2005]


1) European Union Member States Present Fresh Doubts on Turkey
2) Rice Hopeful About Crucial Armenian-Azeri Talks
3) California State Senator Jackie Speier Woman of the Year
4) Briner Sets Record Straight
5) Celebrating Armenian Alphabet’s 1600 Years
6) Critics’ Forum
7) It’s A Small World, After All
8) Armenian Pontiff to Make Historic Visit to California
9) Nune 2005 North American Tour

1) European Union Member States Present Fresh Doubts on Turkey

PARIS (BBC)Preceding Turkey’s scheduled October 3 start of negotiations for
accession into the European Union, French President Jacques Chirac said
Turkey’s position on Cyprus “poses political and legal problems.”
Although lobbying hard for EU membership, Turkey backs the unrecognized
Turkish Cypriot administration in the north of the divided island, shunning
internationally-recognized Greek Cypriot government.
Chirac, who has previously backed Turkey’s EU candidacy, says he wants EU
foreign ministers to discuss Turkey’s position on Cyprus when they meet in
Wales next week.
At a meeting in Paris, he told the President of the European Commission, Jose
Manuel Barroso, that Turkey’s refusal to recognize Cyprus was not in the
expected of a candidate state.
The prospect of Turkey joining the EU has worried voters, contributing to the
rejection of the proposed EU constitution in the French referendum in May, and
surfacing as an election issue in Germany.
French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has said it is “inconceivable” to
open membership talks with a country that does not recognize all 25 EU member
Last month, Turkey signed an accord extending its customs agreement with the
EU to the 10 newest EU states, including Cyprus. However, it said that
doing so
did not imply that it recognized the government in Nicosia.
Cyprus has been split into the Greek-Cypriot-controlled south and the
Turkish-occupied north since Turkey invaded in 1974.

Conservatives Say No to Turkey Again

The favorite to win Germany’s general election next month, Angela Merkel also
urged caution on the Turkish bid.
The leader of Germany’s centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU) wrote to 11
European leaders, advising them to offer Turkey a privileged partnership with
the EU instead of full membership.
In a letter to conservative EU heads of state ahead of a Sept. 1 summit,
chancellor candidate Angela Merkel has renewed her call for the EU to offer
Turkey a “privileged partnership” instead of full membership.
Merkel penned the letter along with Christian Social Union leader Edmund
Stoiber, timing it to hit the desk of center-right leaders just before an
informal meeting on Thursday of EU foreign ministers, where EU accession
negotiations with Turkey will be discussed.
“We are fully convinced that accepting Turkey would overburden the EU
politically, economically and socially and would endanger the European
integration process,” the letter, addressed to 11 European leaders, said.
The letter cited “the continuing refusal of Turkey to recognize the Republic
of Cyprus, a member state, under international law” as an obstacle to Turkish
membership, and also noted “still-significant problems in upholding and
imposing human rights.”
Merkel and Stoiber underlined that the EU was interested in a close
between Turkey and the European Union, but “we ask you to make clear that the
framework of the negotiations also includes the perspective of a privileged
partnership with Turkey.”
A copy of the letter also went to the current EU president, British Prime
Minister Tony Blair, and EU Commission President Jose Barroso.
It is not the first time Merkel has pushed for an EU relationship with Turkey
which falls short of full membership. She brought the topic up a year ago,
three weeks before the EU Commission released a report on Turkey and a few
before regional elections in two eastern German states.
Then there was disagreement over the proposal even within her own party.
Fellow Christian Democrat and former defense minister Volker Rühe reminded
Merkel that the conservative government of Helmut Kohl had in 1997 signed an
agreement laying out Turkey’s official EU candidate status. He said closing
door would destabilize the country and could strengthen anti-European

2) Rice Hopeful About Crucial Armenian-Azeri Talks

(RFE/RL)–The United States underscored its hopes for a breakthrough in the
Mountainous Karabagh peace process Thursday when Secretary of State
Rice telephoned Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev to discuss his upcoming,
crucial meeting with Armenian counterpart Kocharian.
In a statement cited by the Itar-Tass news agency, Aliyev’s office quoted
as telling the Azeri leader that she “attaches great importance” to the talks
that are due to take place in the Russian city of Kazan on Saturday, and
expressed hope that they would facilitate a peaceful resolution of the
US, Russian, and French diplomats spearheading the negotiating process
signaled last month that the Kocharian-Aliyev meeting in Kazan could clear the
final hurdle to peace. US Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs Paula
Dobriansky similarly noted on July 27 that their meeting “can potentially be a
turning point.”
Preparations for that meeting were discussed by the Armenian and Azeri
ministers in Moscow August 23-24. Vartan Oskanian and Elmar Mammadyarov
cautiously upbeat after their talks held in the presence of the mediating

3) California State Senator Jackie Speier Woman of the Year

ANCA Western Region will Honor Armenian American Senator at Annual Banquet

LOS ANGELES–California State Senator Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo) will
the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region’s (ANCA-WR)
prestigious Woman of the Year award at the 2005 ANCA-WR Annual Banquet on
September 18 at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles.
Sen Speier is appreciated throughout the Armenian American community for her
steadfast support of legislation and issues that affect Armenian Americans in
the state.
Since her time in the Assembly, Sen Speier has authored numerous measures of
interest to Armenian Americans among the unprecedented record of over 300
pieces of legislation that she has been able to have signed into law. Among
most recent accomplishments, Sen Speier authored the 2005 Armenian Genocide
resolution in California and, along with fellow Armenian American legislator
Sen Chuck Poochigian (R-Fresno) authored SB 424, which was signed into law by
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to permanently designate April 24 as California
Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide. Sen Speier is the state’s highest
ranking Democratic elected official of Armenian descent and the only Armenian
American woman currently serving in the state legislature.
“Senator Speier is known throughout the State Capitol as an effective
legislator, and she has used her skills to bring issues of concern to Armenian
Americans forward,” said Steven Dadaian, Chairman of the ANCA-WR. “The
National Committee is honored to have the Senator accept the Woman of the Year
award at our annual banquet this year.”
Sen Speier’s career-long commitment to public service was nearly cut short in
1978 when she traveled to Jonestown, Guyana as an aide to California
Congressman Leo J Ryan’s fact-finding mission investigating legations of
individuals being held hostage by cult leader Reverend Jim Jones. On November
18, 1978, at the end of a two-day investigation, gunmen from the Rev Jones’
People’s Temple cult ambushed, shot and killed Congressman Ryan and four
in his traveling group. Sen Speier, then 28 years old, was struck by five
bullets and lay on a jungle airstrip for 22 hours awaiting help. The day she
was shot, over 900 cult members committed mass suicide or were murdered at the
People’s Temple compound.
Sen Speier has stated that “the Jonestown tragedy is a daily reminder that no
one is guaranteed a tomorrow . . . this has absolutely molded my philosophy
my zest for work and for life.” To this day, she carries two bullets in her
body from the tragic incident in Guyana.
Two years after the Jonestown shootings, Sen Speier became the youngest
ever to serve on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors when she won her
first election by defeating a 20-year incumbent. Sen Speier served in the
California State Assembly from 1986 to 1996 before being elected to the State
Senate, where she is completing her second term and was recently named
Assistant President Pro-Tem. Last year, Sen Speier visited the ANCA-WR office
to discuss her intention to run for Lieutenant Governor of the State of
California in 2006. She has since been campaigning for the position throughout
the state, garnering the support of key constituencies. If elected, Sen Jackie
Speier would become only the second Armenian American to serve in statewide
office since Governor George Deukmejian (19831991).
The ANCA-WR Annual Banquet regularly draws over 700 individuals, including a
long list of dignitaries, such as prominent Members of Congress and state
legislators, as well as a vast number of Armenian American community leaders
and political activists. The annual event is the largest of its kind and helps
raise funds to operate the nation’s largest and most influential Armenian
American grassroots and political advocacy organization. More honorees are to
be announced in the coming weeks before the annual banquet.
For more information on this year’s ANCA-WR Annual Banquet, or to reserve a
table, call the ANCA-WR office at (818) 5001918.

4) Briner Sets Record Straight

Swiss Senate Ready to Tackle Genocide Question

On August 6, Swiss media outlet Swissinfo published an article titled “Swiss
Senate Washes Hands of ‘Genocide’ Question,” in which they cited president of
the Senate foreign-affairs committee Peter Briner as saying that “Turkey’s
massacre of Armenians in 1915 will never be an issue for the Swiss Senate.”
[ed. The article appeared in Asbarez on August 9, 2005.]
Last week, Swissinfo published a follow-up article in which Briner said that
his comments were misquoted, denying that he ever said that Turkey’s massacre
of Armenians would not be debated in the chamber.
“Those reports are based on either a misquote or a misunderstandingand
this is
of course most regrettable. What I did say was that when the Swiss House of
Representatives had [voted to] recognize the genocide, this was not an
issue in
the Senate,” Briner, a member of the center-right Radical Party, told
Swissinfo. “The policy of our governmentand the Senate foreign-affairs
committeeis that the two countries involved, Turkey and Armenia, should
investigate the terrible events of 1915 with a committee of historians from
both sides.”
The Swiss House of Representatives recognized the death of up to 1.8 million
Armenians as genocide in 2003. But unlike many western governments, the Swiss
government does not officially speak of “genocide” but of “mass deportation”
and “massacre.”
“I think that the position of our government is the better one. I don’t feel
comfortable being the judge of the whole world and of something that
happened a
long time ago,” said Briner, when asked why the Senate wouldn’t recognize the
Genocide as other Western countries have. “These are evidently terrible events
and I think that they should be investigated, but they should be primarily
investigated by the parties involved.”

5) Celebrating Armenian Alphabet’s 1600 Years

LOS ANGELES–In 405 AD, Mesrob Mashdots, a cleric of the Armenian royal court,
invented the letters of the Armenian alphabet to celebrate the beginnings of a
written Armenian literary tradition.
The Hamazkayin Educational and Cultural Society’s Regional Executive has
formed a council to specifically organize events commemorating the 1600th
Anniversary of the Creation of the Armenian Alphabet.
The Armenian alphabet has occupied an essential role in preserving not only
history, but also a large part of the Armenian cultural identity.
To celebrate this momentous occasion, Hamazkayin has planned various events,
including written and visual competitions, a conference, exhibitions, and a
major public event at the Alex Theater in Glendale.
A one day conference directed by Professor Peter Cowe will be held September
24 at 10:00 AM at the UCLA campus’ Rolfe Hall. Cowe, a professor of Armenian
language and culture at the University of California, Los Angeles, will be one
of the keynote speakers, along with Professor Stephan Astourian, Director of
Armenian Studies at UC Berkeley. Celebrated author Mark Arax of “In My
Father’s Name,” along with Ani Hovanessian, will serve as co-master of
A major public event at the Alex Theater will be held on October 2, featuring
performances by Hamazkayin’s Ani Dance Group, a theatrical performance
collaboratively staged by Elly Award-winning director Aram Kouyoumdjian and
original music composer Sebu Simonian of the band Aviatic, musical
by Element (formerly known as In Progress…), poetry recitations by students
from all Armenian schools in California, and other artistic performances. The
program will begin at 4:30 PM and will conclude at 6:00 PM.

For more information please visit or write to
[email protected]

6) Critics’ Forum


The Path Not Taken: My Brother’s Road

By Hovig Tchalian

The recently published biography by Markar Melkonian, My Brother’s Road: An
American’s Fateful Journey to Armenia, begins with an interesting premisewhat
kind of a man was the subject of the book and the author’s brother, Monte
As its subtitle suggests, the book attempts to answer the question by tracing
the life of an ordinary kid who grew up to become a freedom fighter in
Monte’s life led him from his birthplacethe quiet, unassuming farming village
of Visalia, California, “the Walnut Capital of the World”to the ranks of the
Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia, and on to heroics and a
legendary reputation in the battle for Mountainous Karabagh.
Along the way, we learn about Monte’s prowess as a little league baseball
pitcher. We discover his first encounters with “otherness” in the schoolyard,
when American schoolchildren ask him where he is born. We learn about his
interest in Armenian history and, eventually, the “Armenian Question.” We also
read about occasionally amusing encounters, such as the one between Monte
and a
childhood teacher who recognizes him unexpectedly on an airplane, just as
he is
preparing to assassinate a Turkish official. Melkonian’s book tries to walk
fine line between telling a good story and deriving a larger meaning from a
series of interesting events.
In essence, the book asks the opposite question posed by a novel Ara Oshagan
and I discussed several weeks ago, Micheline Aharonian Marcom’s The
Boy. Marcom asks howor whetherit is possible to understand a historical event
like the Genocide from within the fictional form of the novel. Melkonian seems
to ask instead whether it is possible to tell the fantastic exploits of a man
become legend from within the non-fictional form of biography.
The book’s Prologue seems to address just this dilemma, as the author
the day of his brother’s burial at the young age of thirty-five. As thousands
of mourners gather around the coffin as it winds its way through the
streets of
Yerevan, the author tells us that “a Russian general told a television
interviewer, quite inaccurately, that they had first met when Monte had been a
slayer of Soviets in Afghanistan. A one-legged woman claimed that Monte had
rescued her from a minefield. The child of a peasant recalled his ‘amazing
simplicity.’ And yet so much remained uncertain, obscure.” The characters
Melkonian singles out could just as easily populate a mystery novel or a book
of fables.
In the book’s final chapter, Melkonian returns to this burial scene, after
recounting his brother’s death by shrapnel in a roadside confrontation. But
now, Melkonian says simply that “the rumors and conspiracy theories
continue to
proliferate. But for my part, I’m convinced that Monte and Saribeg [a fellow
soldier] died in a chance encounter with Azeri fighters.” This seems to echo
the author’s earlier claim in the Prologuethat “as the rumors have
over the years, my need to separate fable from creditable report has only
grown.” The statement is entirely fair and pragmatic. But it comes on the
of a series of other puzzling questions about Monte”Was he temperate or was he
a vodka guzzler? A communist to his dying day, or a reborn nationalist? A
defender of captives or a slitter of throats?”puzzling more for being posed at
all than for their insight or interpretive value.
Unfortunately for the book and its readers, this apparent discord between the
marvelous and the mundane is never resolved or properly addressed. As such,
questions Melkonian poses and attempts to answer ultimately hold little
enduring philosophical or historical value. The reviews on the book’s cover
uniformly depict an author with a curious, intellectual interest in his
material. That may very well be true. The careful reader will also suspect,
however, that the author is ultimately less interested in the apparent dilemma
of Monte Melkonian’s life than in telling the story of his ‘kid brother’
folk hero. The result is a book that too often comes off as trite more than
philosophical, sentimental more than serious.
The book’s real value is in telling a good story, which it does well, and its
genuine warmth and honesty. There are also moments of some lyrical beauty,
ironically often in descriptions of battle and warfare. In chapter eight, for
instance, the author powerfully evokes a scene of war from Monte’s time in
Lebanon: “Israeli tanks squealed over the hills in the medium distance and
Israeli helicopters hovered low overhead, dropping phosphor flares that threw
flickering blue shadows over the boulders and brush around Monte’s earthen
Just a few lines later, however, Melkonian reverts to his more usual
‘personal’ narrative voice to describe his little brother: “putting his math
skills together with his military training, he radioed enemy coordinates to
Palestinian rocket launchers….” The nuanced description of battle quickly
gives way to what sounds like a line from a hastily prepared resume. Later in
the book, Melkonian muses about his brother, who is spent time in Italy: “he
strolled to a park near the Coliseum, absorbed in thoughts about architecture
and the morals of various nations.”
The book ultimatelyand quite explicitlyposes its own dilemma of the
personality that lies behind a myth, the ‘truth’ concealed within fiction.
a French journalist interviews Monte, the author suggests that she “had been
surprised to discover that the fearsome terrorist leader was in fact
funny, and smarta far cry from the bellicose fanatic she had expected.” The
line encapsulates the book’s interest in the ‘human’ side of Monte Melkonian’s
story well. But it suggests equally that the implicit emphasis on the personal
story is the book’s real undoing.
In My Brother’s Road, any ambitions of exploring the paradox of personality
are finally resolved in the private conversation between a man and his
brotherand more generally, two Armenians in communion with each other. It is
perhaps not too far-fetched to suggest that the pervasiveness of this too
comfortable paradigm of community is precisely the obstacle that diasporan
Armenian writing must overcome on its way to something greater.

All Rights Reserved: Critics Forum, 2005

Hovig Tchalian holds a PhD in English literature from UCLA. You can reach him
or any of the other contributors to Critics’ Forum at
[email protected]

7) It’s A Small World, After All

By Nanor Abkarian
Asbarez Summer Intern

The people of Disney exceed in creating wonders, but have left me wondering
why they are not content with the amount of money they have. People associate
Disney with cheerfulness and amusement, but while Disney yields to our
childhood fantasies it preys on those desperate for work. Even though I loved
my Mickey Mouse toy, I would have never imagined there was another girl my age
forced to make it for the sake of her survival.
Disney is definitely not a company that is short of money, but like many
large corporations, has decided to use sweatshops to manufacture its products.
While workers break their backs to get paid barely enough to survive, monster
corporations are willing to disregard all standards in order to smother
themselves with extra cash. They are constantly in search of the cheapest way
to manufacture goodslegally or illegallyand persistent when fulfilling
financial goals, no matter how unethical the process. And so, in an effort to
gain US investments, third world nations are competing against each other to
produce goods for the lowest possible price. Such factories are located in:
Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador,
Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mexico,
Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Sri Lanka, Thailand,
Turkey, and Vietnam.
Disney pulled its work out of the Shah Makhdum factory in Bangladeshafter
having produced garments there for about eight yearswhen the courageous
workers protested in public, seeking their basic rights.
Disney has had factories in Haiti where it produced clothing such as
Pocahontas T-shirts and Lion King outfits for kids. In September 1997, Disney
pulled out its work from that factory, and two others, after the workers
“publicly denounced factory violations and asked that their fundamental legal
rights be respected.” Once again, the workers were left unemployed.
Disney also left its factories in Shenzen, China where it produced toys to
give away as part of McDonald’s Happy Meals. When the Hong Kong Christian
Industrial Committee revealed that the factory violated the workers’ rights
maintained unsafe working conditions, both Disney and McDonalds pulled out of
the factory, leaving tens of thousands of workers jobless. Some other
that use sweatshops include: Nike, Wal-Mart, Phillips-Van Heusen, Disney,
Guess, The Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Tommy Hilfiger, Reebok, Levi
Liz Claiborne, Ralph Lauren, Mattel, and Kohl’s.
Actress/singer Kathie Lee Gifford was embarrassed in public in 1996 when
investigators from the National Labor Committee found that girls of ages 13-15
were being unfairly treated in the Global Fashion plant in Honduras,
working up
to 75 hours a week for 31 cents an hour.
Even after Kathie Lee was, with good reason, famously humiliated for her
cruelty and greediness, Disney is still able to continue disregarding laws and
lives without being punished due to its ownership of several large media
outletsamong everything else.
Consumers can do most to help end the use of sweatshops by boycotting
that have been made in sweatshops and instead, shopp from companies and unions
such as “No Sweat” or “American Apparel,” who manufacture sweat-free products.

8) Armenian Pontiff to Make Historic Visit to California

The Largest Armenian Diaspora Community in the World Eagerly Awaits Pontiff’s

LOS ANGELESHis Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia will
begin a 15-day Pontifical visit to the State of California on October 5, 2005.
The historic trip of the Pontiff, who prominently serves as the Moderator for
the World Council of Churches (WCC), an organization representing over 400
million Christians worldwide, will be framed around the theme of “Towards the
Light of Knowledge.” His Holiness represents hundreds of thousands of Armenian
American Christians whose ancestors made Armenia the first nation to
adopt Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD.
During his visit to California, His Holiness will participate in a number of
religious ceremonies, educational programs and youth forums in Los Angeles,
Fresno and San Francisco. The Pontifical visit will begin on October 5th with
an official welcoming ceremony at Saint Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church in
Hollywood and conclude with a visit to the Krouzian-Zekarian-Vasbouragan
Armenian School in San Francisco on October 18th. The Pontiff will visit a
number of other areas, including Fresno, where he will deliver his Pontifical
message on October 10th at the historic Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic
His Holiness will expand on the theme of his Pontifical visit “Towards the
Light of Knowledge” at a luncheon hosted by the Los Angeles World Affairs
Council on October 14th.
As the spiritual leader of the Great House of Cilicia, His Holiness
a religious center established in 1441 to serve the spiritual needs of
Armenians living in the Near East. For centuries, the Great House of Cilicia
maintained a network of over 15 dioceses, dozens of monasteries and was served
by hundreds of faithful priests. Following the Armenian Genocide of 1915,
during which 1.5 million Armenians were massacred and their houses of worship
destroyed, the Catholicosate was relocated to Antelias, Lebanon.
As the Moderator for the WCC, His Holiness represents the broadest and most
inclusive organization of the modern ecumenical movement, a movement whose
is Christian unity. The WCC brings together more than 340 churches,
denominations and church fellowships in over 100 countries and territories
throughout the world, representing some 400 million Christians. The WCC brings
together most of the world’s Orthodox churches, scores of denominations from
such historic traditions of the Protestant Reformation as Anglican, Baptist,
Lutheran, Methodist and Reformed, as well as many united and independent
Today the Catholicosate of Cilicia houses a prominent Cathedral, a Veharan
(the Catholicos residence), accommodations for visiting clergy, modern
facilities, a museum, a library, as well as administrative offices to run a
prominent Seminary and various dioceses in the United States, Canada, Lebanon,
Syria, Iran, Greece and Cyprus operating under its jurisdiction.
The visit of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia to
the United States has been initiated by His Eminence, Archbishop Moushegh
Mardirossian of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church on the
occasion of the 90th commemoration of the Armenian Genocide and the 1600th
anniversary of the creation of the Armenian alphabet.
The Pontifical visit will be marked by a number of memorable occasions,
including; a pontifical mass at St. Mary’s Church in Glendale on October
9th, a
youth forum in Fresno on October 10th, a visit to Fresno University’s
campus on
October 11th, a major address on “Christianity in the Middle East” to be
delivered at the World Affairs Council on October 14th and a symposium on the
“Christian Response to Violence” to be held at the University of Southern
California on October 15th.

9) Nune 2005 North American Tour

By Paul Chaderjian

The woman who set the standard for introducing and reacquainting Diasporans
and non-Armenians all over the world to Armenian songs and Armenian culture is
returning to concert halls in the US and Canada with new songs, her biggest
hits, dazzling costumes, and that recognizable voice which captures the drama,
emotion and perseverance of the collective, enigmatic Armenian soul.
She is known simply by her first name, Nune, and those who like her music all
agree that they can’t get enough. As a matter of fact, thousands congregate
when she appears anywhere. Her summertime concert at the Cascade in Yerevan
attracted fans from all corners of Armenia.
A week before the Children’s Day concert in Yerevan, Nune traveled to the
remotest corners of Russia, where Armenians families have created small
communities and financially support their cash-strapped extended families back
home. Her Russian tour took her to the cities of Gorky, Perma, Samara, and
“They are migrant workers, Armenians who have been far from home for
months or
maybe years,” says Nune. “They are homesick. Some feel disconnected from their
families. So, our music and concerts are very emotional for them. It’s a way
for them to feel a connection to the homeland.”
Tiresome train, plane, and car rides to the various venues are a drastic
contrast to her concert at the plush Kodak Theatre in 2002, when the premier
concert hall was full of well-dressed and well-to-do fans, including Kirk
Kirkorian. Even the New York Times wrote about the concert, telling the story
of an Armenian singer luring young Armenians back to their roots and culture.
Before leaving for Russia, Nune recorded her latest hit song “Dleh Yaman.”
rendition of the Armenian classic features Djivan Gasparian and debuted on
April 24 in commemoration of the 90th Anniversary of the Armenian genocide.
The “Dleh Yaman” music video features Djivan, 24 young dudug players, and
Nuneall dressed in blackperforming in front of an ancient monastery and in a
studio in front of images from the great catastrophe. The song and music video
have been among the top ten most requested continuously all summer.
“Dleh Yaman” featuring the intense drama and haunting range of the singer’s
voice is also a hit with fans who listen to Nune Radio via her web
site. The majority of listeners are from the US, and among the 47 countries
from where fans tune in range from Latvia to Kuwait, Turkey to Azerbaijan and
Chile to China.
The hit song will be part of Nune’s new CD, which features nine new songs and
is due out by the end of the year. Fans may hear these songs during Nune’s
upcoming North American tour. The retrospective concerts will focus on Nune’s
journey, travels and experiences during the past decade-and-a-half. They will
feature her hit songs and videos since her debut in 1989.
Bringing colorful, eye-catching, fresh designs and haute couture to Nune’s
North American tour will be the Tarloyan Haute Couture House in Paris. The
Tarloyan twin brothers, Vartan and Kevork, who are considered by mainstream
media to be among the hottest designers in Europe, created Nune’s concert
costumes and gowns.
“I am thrilled and can’t wait to start this tour,” says Nune. “We have
a show that I hope will share a few drops of my inner world, my blessings and
personal journey with my fans and audiences in North America.”
Nune’s first appearance in the US will be at the annual Armenian Youth
Federation 2005 Olympics celebration on September 2nd in Washington, DC.
Thousands from around the world are expected to celebrate Armenian Youth at
annual week-long gathering at the nation’s capital.
Nune’s tour will continue on the East Coast and in Canada with appearances
marking the 95th anniversary of the Armenian Relief Society in Chicago on
September 10, Detroit on September 11 and Boston on September 18.
“We are very excited and pleased to have Nune celebrate with us this
milestone,” says Mayda Melkonian, chair of the ARS Leola Sassouni chapter in
Boston. The Sassouni Chapter was one of the first ARS chapters established in
1910. Since then, the ARS has been working to help the Armenians through
various humanitarian projects worldwide and in Armenia.
“Who would be more appropriate than famous singer Nune to celebrate this
occasion with us,” says Melkonian. “Nune sings from her heart and touches the
hearts of her audience. With her songs she portrays the Armenian people’s
courage and nationalism. She captures the audience with her dynamic
presence on
the stage.”
Joining Nune on stage at the Watertown High School Auditorium will be the
Sayat Nova Dance Company of Boston. The award-winning dance group received
reviews during Nune’s last appearance in Boston three years ago. Performing
with the singer in Chicago and Detroit will be members of the phenomenal
and Siranoush Gevorkian Dance Group from Los Angeles.
Nune’s East Coast tour will continue with a one-night appearance north of the
border in Montreal. Organized by the Armenian Community Center, Nune’s
concert will take place on September 17.
Following her East Coast concerts, Nune returns to Southern California and
Pasadena Civic Auditorium on October 16. Information about Nune’s North
American tour dates and locations, and access to Nune Radio may be found at
web site.


Due to technical difficulties, Skpetik’s column will be posted on Monday,
August 29.

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