“Poets in Conversation” at NAASR to feature Susan Barba and Shahe Mankerian

BELMONT, Mass. — The National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) will host a literary evening titled “Poets in Conversation” with authors Susan Barba and Shahé Mankerian on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at 7:30 p.m., in Batmasian Hall on the third floor of the NAASR Vartan Gregorian Building, 395 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA. The program will be moderated by Dr. Lisa Gulesserian of Harvard University’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC).

This will be an in-person event and also presented online live via Zoom and YouTube. For those attending in person, NAASR recommends the wearing of masks to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Susan Barba is the author of geode (2020), which was a finalist for both the Massachusetts Book Awards and the New England Book Awards, and Fair Sun (2017), which was awarded the Anahid Literary Prize from Columbia University. Her poems have appeared in The New York Times MagazineThe New RepublicThe New York Review of BooksPoetryRaritan, and elsewhere. Her poetry has been translated into German, Armenian, Romanian and Swedish. She earned her doctorate in comparative literature from Harvard University, and she has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. She works as a senior editor for New York Review Books. She currently serves on the NAASR Board of Directors.

Shahé Mankerian is the principal of St. Gregory Hovsepian School and the director of mentorship at the International Armenian Literary Alliance (IALA). His debut book of poems History of Forgetfulness (2021) has been a finalist at the Bibby First Book Competition, the Crab Orchard Poetry Open Competition, the Quercus Review Press Poetry Book Award, and the White Pine Press Poetry Prize.

Founded in 1955, NAASR is one of the world’s leading resources for advancing Armenian Studies, supporting scholars, and building a global community to preserve and enrich Armenian culture, history, and identity for future generations.

Australian city of Ryde raises the flag of Artsakh

Public Radio of Armenia
May 9 2022

Today, the City of Ryde Council in Australia raised the flag of the Republic of Artsakh, in support of the Armenian nation and in confirmation of solidarity with Stepanakert, reports the ARmenian National Committee of Australia.

Late last month the City of Ryde Council in Sydney Australia unanimously adopted a Mayoral motion solidifying support for the indigenous Armenian people of the Republic of Artsakh.

The motion, moved by Mayor Jordan Lane with the support of Armenian-Australian Councillor Sarkis Yedelian, resolved to raise the Republic of Artsakh flag in a Council ceremony at Putney’s Kissing Point Park in solidarity with the City of Ryde’s friendship city Stepanakert.

Armenpress: Exhibition on Hrant Dink’s life and struggle to open in Yerevan

Exhibition on Hrant Dink’s life and struggle to open in Yerevan



 09:10, 5 May, 2022

YEREVAN, MAY 5, ARMENPRESS. An exhibition on Hrant Dink’s life and struggle will open May 7 until July 30 at the Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art in Yerevan.

The Hrant Dink: Here and Now exhibition is organized by the Hrant Dink Foundation on the 15th anniversary of the assassination of the editor-in-chief of Agos Newspaper Hrant Dink.

Hrant Dink was assassinated in Istanbul in front of his newspaper’s office on January 19, 2007.

The former office of Agos Newspaper, where thousands gather every year on the day of his assassination to commemorate and demand justice, opened its doors to visitors on April 23-24, 2019 as the 23.5 Hrant Dink Site of Memory.

23.5 promotes the universal values embraced by Hrant Dink such as democracy, co-existence, equality, truth, peace and justice. With its exhibits, archives and public programs, 23.5 acts as a space for remembrance, reflection, dialogue, learning and mutual understanding.

The site of memory takes its name from Hrant Dink’s article ‘23.5 April’, which was published in Agos on April 23rd, 1996.

The Hrant Dink: Here and Now exhibition is an extension of 23,5, said Talin Suzme, Turkey-Armenia Programme Coordinator at the Hrant Dink Foundation.

Hrant Dink will be the narrator and the guide telling his own story and his path of righteousness. Separate corners of the exhibition will be a focus on themes such as memory, justice and minority rights in Turkey.

Hrant Dink Foundation project coordinator Armenuhi Nikoghosyan said the exhibition will make Dink’s voice heard in different parts of the world and present his path of struggle.

“In Turkey, Hrant Dink was speaking about topics which weren’t that much acceptable then. His voice was silenced, but his family is doing everything they can to make Hrant Dink’s voice heard all over the world. Democracy, freedom of speech, justice, these are the issues that concern not only Turkey but other countries,” she said.

She added that the civil society is now under pressure in Turkey, and many NGOs are working in difficult conditions, facing various formal inspections and procedures.

The Hrant Dink Foundation has also faced problems. In 2020, the Dink family lawyer received threats, but many people stood by the foundation and only then legal processes were initiated.

Yerevan to host EMERGE 2022 international tech conference



 10:51, 5 May, 2022

YEREVAN, MAY 5, ARMENPRESS. EMERGE 2022 international tech conference will be held in Yerevan, Armenia, on June 1-2.

The event will be attended by over 2000 IT sector representatives from USA, countries from Western and Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Central Asia.

The speakers include representatives from TechCrunch, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Snap Inc., Pinterest, Google Deepmind, Glovo and many other international companies.

The conference aims at introducing specialists, founders and investors on IT development trends, as well as becoming a platform for forming networks between top specialists.

The speeches will focus on two directions – #trendwatching and #founderstories.

The participants also will have an opportunity of matchmaking – a face to face meetings with speakers and investors.

Another key component of the conference is the annual EMERGE CHALLENGE competition, the winners of which will receive investments and awards by Amazon Web Services. During last year’s conference the startups attracted over 5 million Euro investments.

EMERGE conference is dedicated to new technologies, startup issues and global IT trends.

The conference will take place in Gabriel Sundukyan Theater of Yerevan.

English is the official language of the event.

Among speakers are Mike Butcher (TechCrunch, Techfugees), Aliona Doletskaya (journalist, ex-Vogue) Davit Baghdasaryan (Krisp), Kris Farber (Openface), Mikayel Vardanyan (Picsart), etc.

Tickets are available online.

Conference partners are Dom-Daniel, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Inecobank, Semrush, the Untitled, Vibranium VC, BigStory VC, Team Telecom.

Russian Foreign Ministry: Moscow is interested in the stability and peaceful development of Armenia

Armenia – May 6 2022
Marianna Mkrtchyan

ArmInfo. All issues of the internal political life of the country should be resolved exclusively in the legal and constitutional field within the framework of  appropriate democratic procedures. Alexei Zaitsev, Deputy Director of  the Information and Press Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry,  stated this at a briefing on May 6, answering a relevant question.

Recalling that this is an internal affair of Armenia, Zaitsev  stressed that Moscow is interested in the stability and peaceful  development of the allied republic.

"As for linking current internal events with the process of  Armenian-Azerbaijani normalization, as we understand, this is not  about the attitude of the opposition to tripartite agreements, but  about the perception of certain statements by the Armenian  leadership," Zaitsev said.

He stressed that Russia actively contributes to the normalization of  relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, primarily through the  implementation of all the provisions of the tripartite statements of  November 9, 2020, as well as January 11 and November 26, 2021, also  the conclusion of a peace agreement between Yerevan and Baku.   Earlier,  press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation  Dmitry Peskov, referring to the processes in Armenia, noted that this  is an internal affair of the union republic.  At the same time, he  stressed that Moscow is interested in the soonest stabilization of  the situation on the territory of Armenia, due to the fact that it is  a partner country of Russia.  

It should be noted that on April 17, thead of the "I have the honor"  opposition parliamentary faction Artur Vanetsyan launched an  open-ended protest action on Freedom Square in Yerevan in defense of  Nagorno- Karabakh and demanded the resignation of the current Prime  Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and his team. He  called on everyone to join his protest action. His initiative was  supported by the "I have the honor", "Armenia" opposition factions,  as well as the "5165" party.  Since May 1, a tent camp of opposition  forces has been set up on France Square, demanding the resignation of  Pashinyan and his team.  Activists of the movement have been spending  the fifth night on the street.  Traffic is blocked not only along the  central roads of Yerevan, but also key regional transport hubs.

Pashinyan comments on rumors on how government became owner of Zangezur Copper and Molybdenum Combine



 12:17, 5 May, 2022

YEREVAN, MAY 5, ARMENPRESS. During today’s Cabinet meeting Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan commented on the rumors about how the government became the owner of the Zangezur Copper and Molybdenum Combine.

“Some consider this a suspicious, corruption deal. This is very surprising. If any ruler or a ruler’s cousin became the owner of that property with offshore, no one would worry, as it always happened, but when the state acquired property seems doubtful, I don’t know why.

What is suspicious? An investor, who acquired share from the old shareholders, decided to make a donation to Armenia, and Armenia gratefully accepted that donation”, the PM said.

Recently in the Parliament the Prime Minister said that “the Republic of Armenia, the people are the owner of the Zangezur Copper and Molybdenum Combine”.

Sports: Armenian National Championships To Determine National Team For Upcoming IMMAF Events

May 5 2022

(MENAFN- International Mixed Martial Arts Federation)

From May 7-8, the Armenian MMA Federation will host its 2022 National Championships. The tournament will take place at the Dynamo Arena in Yerevan, Armenia. Youth categories A, B and C will take place along with a senior tournament. 

The competition will determine a national team for Armenia that will aim to compete in the upcoming IMMAF tournaments. The Armenian Federation held its first tournament since the Covid lockdown was lifted in May of last year. They have been actively working on the development of the sport since. 

Armenia actively competed in IMMAF competition in 2021, building on their first-ever IMMAF appearance in 2019. They had three entries at the 2021 Youth World Championships, as well as two entries at the European Championships in Arman Avanesyan and Levon Tsatryan .

Speaking ahead of the event, Armenia MMA Federation's President, Garegin Aghabalyan, explained the importance of the event. 

“This is going to be the pivotal event of the year. The result of it will lead us to create a national team for all ages. We expect many participants as MMA gets more and more popular in Armenia. We'll create a strong national team to participate in Youth World's, European and subsequently World Championships.”


Blinken tests positive for COVID after meeting with Armenian FM

Armenia – May 5 2022

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tested positive for COVID-19 via a PCR test on Wednesday afternoon, two days after a meeting with Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, the Department of State reported.

“The Secretary is fully vaccinated and boosted against the virus and is experiencing only mild symptoms. He tested negative on Tuesday and again as recently as this morning. The Secretary has not seen President Biden in person for several days, and the President is not considered a close contact according to guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” it said.

Blinken hosted Mirzoyan in Washington, D.C., to launch the U.S.-Armenia Strategic Dialogue (USASD) on Monday. “During the Dialogue, the United States and Armenia reiterated their commitment to strengthening bilateral ties across the breadth of the bilateral relationship,” the State Department said.

Blinken tests positive for COVID after meeting with Armenian FM

Armenia – May 5 2022

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tested positive for COVID-19 via a PCR test on Wednesday afternoon, two days after a meeting with Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, the Department of State reported.

“The Secretary is fully vaccinated and boosted against the virus and is experiencing only mild symptoms. He tested negative on Tuesday and again as recently as this morning. The Secretary has not seen President Biden in person for several days, and the President is not considered a close contact according to guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” it said.

Blinken hosted Mirzoyan in Washington, D.C., to launch the U.S.-Armenia Strategic Dialogue (USASD) on Monday. “During the Dialogue, the United States and Armenia reiterated their commitment to strengthening bilateral ties across the breadth of the bilateral relationship,” the State Department said.

Expert: Ukraine cannot have any expectations from Armenia in legal and moral terms

Armenia – May 5 2022

The Defense Intelligence of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has accused Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan of negotiating with Moscow over the re-export of Russian products to international markets.

“The supply is planned to be made in the form of Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijani products and export them to third countries,” the Defense Intelligence said on May 1.

Panorama.am has spoken with military expert and reserve colonel Hayk Nahapetyan over the matter as well as the legal and moral aspects of Ukraine's expectations from Armenia in the process of imposing sanctions on Russia.

Hayk Nahapetyan: We should look at things from the legal perspective. Ukraine is complaining that individual entrepreneurs or legal entities engaged in economic activities have opened such enterprises in Armenia under domestic laws, isn’t it? That is, what law has been violated? No law has been broken. It is no coincidence that such a statement was issued by the Defense Intelligence. Because if the Armenian side had undertaken some commitments and had violated them, the Ukrainian diplomatic corps and political institutions would have reacted somehow apart from the intelligence office. But Armenia has not violated any agreement. Georgian Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili has also demanded explanations from the Ukrainian authorities over the country’s accusations, asking it to provide evidence. If the Ukrainian side had substantiated evidence, I believe it would have used it first for propaganda instead of just making a statement.

The world has seen such precedents when the intelligence provided inaccurate information to the military and political leadership, as a result of which an entire country and its people suffered, with hundreds of thousands of casualties. Take, for example, the display of a small bottle by first black U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell when Iraq was actually invaded by NATO, and then it turned out that Colin Powell and the U.S. military and political leadership had been provided with inaccurate information about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq by intelligence. That is, intelligence reports cannot serve as a basis and are not enough. But there is a moral aspect of the issue. From the legal terms, they can't substantiate that Armenia or Georgia have violated any verbal or contractual commitments.

The moral aspect is that Ukraine dares to interfere in the internal affairs of our country. It is for Armenia to decide what kind of relations to establish with a specific country in accordance with the agreements Armenia signed about 30 years ago.

Ukraine, no less, is laying out demands for Armenia, when Armenia has not made such a commitment. Armenia and Georgia did not join the sanctions [against Russia] and it is up to the authorities of the two countries to decide on the matter.

Ukraine would be better off dealing with its internal problems, rather than pointing fingers at who and why did not join the sanctions. As if the planet Earth now moves around Ukraine, and they believe that any state that does not help them, at the very least, is not their friend, if not an enemy.

In essence, I understand that the rule of the Nazi authorities in Ukraine is coming to an end, it is not far off and they are already in agony. They are blaming everyone, including NATO, the U.S., EU countries, and now some allegations are made against the three South Caucasus countries. This state of mind makes them look for others to blame for their own woes and defeats. I understand their feelings; we Armenians are also living through such times. Instead of acknowledging their mistakes and correcting them, our authorities are looking for the guilty outside the country. This is also the case in Ukraine.

Panorama.am: Against the background of the position on the Artsakh issue expressed by Ukraine for decades and especially during the 44-day war, does Ukraine have any moral right to expect Armenia to take a position in its favor? Moreover, after all this the Armenian authorities seem to have taken a neutral stance on the conflict.

Hayk Nahapetyan: Ukraine’s military and political leadership, law enforcement authorities and Security Council still stick to their position. When Azerbaijan occupied certain heights on Karaghlukh and Khramort, the Ukrainian top leadership was excited by the fact that Azerbaijan was about to start military operations against Artsakh, which would entail military actions against Russia, because the guarantor of the Artsakh people’s security is the Russian peacekeeping mission. They hoped that if such operations began, they could escalate into an Armenian-Azerbaijani war, thus a second front would open for Russia. They were extremely enthusiastic and made statements at the level of the heads of security agencies as well as members of the Rada.

Ukraine adheres to the following principle: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Obviously, during the 44-day war and up to present Ukraine is trying to support Azerbaijan. Incidentally, before the well-known events of February 24, the Azeri president visited Kyiv and held a meeting with Volodymyr Zelensky. A memorandum was signed, according to which Azerbaijan and Ukraine, to a certain extent, mutually undertook obligations to each other in case of violation of the territorial integrity of the two countries. They recognized each other's territorial integrity when they joined the UN. Azerbaijan also recognized Crimea as a part of Ukraine in principle, let alone Donetsk and Luhansk. In the same way, Ukraine recognized the Republic of Artsakh as a part of Azerbaijan. An agreement was also signed on military and technical cooperation. They are allies and have common handlers in the person of Turkey, UK and the United States. Naturally, Ukraine’s stance on the self-determination of the Artsakh Armenians and the independence of Artsakh is extremely negative.

Panorama.am: Some reports suggest that Ukraine also provided Azerbaijan with banned weapons which were used in the 44-day war. How would you comment on it?

Hayk Nahapetyan: I can neither confirm nor deny the reports that the cluster phosphorus weapons were supplied [to Azerbaijan] by Ukraine, but it has not been disproved. It is a fact that after Ukraine declared its independence in 1991 it inherited the lion's share of the military-industrial complex of the USSR. It was clearly in its interest to arm a state that was at least in unfriendly relations with Russia. Such military and technical assistance has been provided for years.

Military and technical cooperation is not prohibited by law, but the problem lies with weapons of mass destruction, phosphorus and cluster munitions banned by several international conventions, while the countries using them could face sanctions, just as Iraq was accused of developing chemical weapons and punished by NATO.

Here we have to look at whether such prohibited weapons that Ukraine had were sold to Azerbaijan. Some say that the phosphorus munitions were provided [to Azerbaijan] by Ukraine. At least there is no production of these weapons in Azerbaijan, otherwise other sources would have spoken about it.

Interview by A. Vardanyan