Eurovision 2015 First Semi Final tonight: Armenia performs second

The First Semi-Final of the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest takes place tonight, 19th of May, live from the Wiener Stadthalle in Vienna.

Sixteen songs will participate in the first Semi-Final, and professional juries in each of the participating countries, as well as in Spain, Austria, France and Australia, voted on yesterday’s dress rehearsal. They account for 50% of the overall total.

Each jury member ranks all the songs in the show by judging each song, each jury member should focus on the vocal capability of the artists, the performance on stage, the composition and originality of the song, and the overall impression by the act.

The EBU’s televoting partner Digame will merge the points given by the jury and the televoters tonight per individual country. If there is a tie between two or more songs between jury votes and televotes, then the song gaining the most televotes will be ranked higher.

Armenia is represented by Genealogy, a band that consists of six singers who were internally selected by the Public Television of Armenia to sing Face The Shadow in Vienna, a powerful anthem about peace, unity, and love.

The Contenders

  1. Moldova: I Want Your Love sung by Eduard Romanyuta
  2. Armenia: Face The Shadow sung by Genealogy
  3. Belgiumm: Rhythm Inside sung by Loïc Nottet
  4. The Netherlands: Walk Along sung by Trijntje Oosterhuis
  5. Finland: Aina Mun Pitää sung by Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät
  6. Greece: One Last Breath sung by Maria Elena Kyriakou
  7. Estonia: Goodbye To Yesterday sung by Elina & Stig
  8. F.Y.R. Macedonia: Autumn Leaves sung by Daniel Kajmakoski
  9. Serbia: Beauty Never Lies sung by Bojana Stamenov
  10. Hungary: Wars For Nothing sung by Boggie
  11. Belarus: Time sung by Uzari&Maimuna
  12. Russia: A Million Voices sung by Polina Gagarina
  13. Denmark: The Way You Are sung by Anti Social Media
  14. Albania: I’m Alive sung by Elhaida Dani
  15. Romania: De La Capat sung by Voltaj
  16. Georgia: Warrior sung by Nina Sublatti

Iran, Georgia, Armenia to exchange electricity

Iran’s deputy energy minister says Iran, Georgia and Armenia will soon start trilateral cooperation on electricity exchange, Press TV reports. 

“Through Armenia, we can have energy exchange with Georgia,” Hooshang Falahatian said in a Monday meeting with his Georgian counterpart Mariam Valishvili in Tehran.

The Iranian official also reiterated that, if necessary, Tehran is ready to invest in Georgia’s energy sector and build power plants and electricity transmission lines in the former Soviet Union republic, IRNA reported.

Falahatian also pointed to the planned construction of a170 kilometer transmission line in Armenia and said after the completion of the project, which will take two years, Iran will be able to have power exchange with Tajikistan.

Armenian Genocide sculpture in Copenhagen delayed

A scuplture commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide was supposed to have been unveiled in Copenhagen this coming weekend but resistance to the project has delayed its debut by months,  reports.

The busy Copenhagen square Kultorvet was scheduled to see the installation of a nine-metre high sculpture entitled ‘The Draem’ (Danish Remembrance Armenian Empathy Messenger) on May 23 but the fear of vandalism and even violence has delayed the sculpture’s debut until September, Politiken reported on Monday.

The sculpture was supposed to be placed in Kultorvet for ten days to mark 100 years since upwards of 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman regime. The announcement of the project last month was met by an official protest from the Turkish Embassy in Copenhagen, which called the sculpture “morally indefensible”.

Since then, resistance to the sculpture has grown within Denmark’s Turkish community, Denmark’s largest immigrant group.

Turkey officially rejects the notion that the 1915 mass killings constitute a genocide.

More than 100 complaints have been filed with the City of Copenhagen over the plans to instal the sculpture, in an apparent effort from the Turkish community to kill the project.

Politiken reported that many of the complaints share the same language including the line that “Copenhagen should not play host to a sculpture that incites hatred.”

Fears that the sculpture could lead to violent resistance have led Armenia’s ambassador to Denmark to push its debut back to September.

“As you know, ‘The Draem’ has, despite being designed as a marking of peace promotion, unleashed an anger that could possibly give rise to violence,” Ambassador Hrachya Aghajanyan wrote to Copenhagen Deputy Mayor Carl Christian Ebbesen, according to Politiken.

Aghajanyan told the newspaper that from an insurance standpoint, the project is now considered ‘high risk’ and meeting the requirements to properly insure the work have become more complicated than originally anticipated.

Levent Ökten, the deputy chairman of the national organization of Turkish associations, said that around 2,000 members of the Turkish community plan to protest against the unveiling of the sculpture.

“It is not fair that Turks living here are taken hostage in a 100-year-old conflict. Therefore we want to express our strong dissatisfaction with both the sculpture and the city’s decision on something that they should let historians decide,” Ökten told Politiken.

Ökten added that protests against the sculpture would be peaceful.

“We are not out for trouble. We are adults and one naturally should not fear us. Just as they [the people behind The Draem, ed.] are using their democratic rights, we will also show that we are here,” he added.

Ebbesen said he was disappointed by the delay.

“I am deeply offended as a politician and a member of the Danish People’s Party by the fact that one cannot express their opinions in Denmark. I think we should take that very seriously. We must not bow down,” he told Politiken.

Ebbesen added however that it is not the city’s responsibility to insure the sculpture.

While the European Parliament, a UN sub-committee and more than 20 countries worldwide recognize the killings as a genocide, Denmark does not.

“The Danish government does not keep silent about the tragic events of 1915 but has not officially acknowledged the events as genocide. Our opinion is that that distinction is better left to historians,” Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard said last month when the sculpture was announced.

Armenian-Chinese friendship that passes along the Silk Road

 

 

 

A group of Armenian journalists paid a week-long visit to China at the initiative of the Chinese Embassy in Armenia.

“We have a reliable partner in the face of Armenia. The Armenian-Chinese friendship is at the highest level today,” Deputy Foreign Minister of China Chen Gopin said at the meeting with reporters.

“I believe the journalists’ visit will contribute to the further deepening and reinforcement of business and friendly ties between the two countries and peoples,” he added. Speaking about Armenia, the Deputy Minister said “Armenia stands out for its brilliant culture and history. Wise and diligent Armenia is building its own home today. As for our friendship, it dates back to the times of the Silk Road.”

Which are the most promising fields of Armenian-Chinese cooperation? “Despite the long distance between Armenia and China, we have managed to establish cooperation thanks to the powerful Silk Road. Both countries have advantages in the fields of industry and economy and can effectively complement each other.”

“About ten years ago a successful Armenian-Chinese project was implemented. Here we founded a rubber factory on the basis of Armenian technologies. China, for its part, is ready to support Armenia, particularly in the fields of infrastructure and transport. I should note that some Chinese communities are successfully growing Armenian apricot, which has become another symbol of friendship and cooperation between the two countries,” Chen Gopin said.

“Armenia is a unique country and I think the number of tourists wishing to see something special will grow,” said an official from the Ministry of Commerce. He said the January issue of the most prestigious tourism magazine in China was completely devoted to Armenia.

Commenting on the expor of Armenian goods to China, he said “the difficulties are connected with the lack of sea route between the two countries, which results in the increased prices.”

“Within the framework of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s visit to China the leaders of the two countries reached an agreement to intensify the cooperation in building a Silk Road Economic Zone. A corresponding cooperation agreement has been signed between China’s Ministry of Commerce and Armenia’s Ministry of Economy. We’ll help develop your infrastructures. It requires means and efforts,  but we hope to solve the issue of transportation in a few years.”

Statue of selfie-taking Ottoman prince erected in Turkey

A bizarre steel statue showing an Ottoman prince taking a selfie with a smart phone while grasping his sword has raised eyebrows in a historic Turkish town – only to be physically attacked hours later, the  reports, quoting Doğan News Agency.
The municipality in the Black Sea province of Amasya erected the unconventional statue on the shore of the town’s Yeşilırmak River on May 9.
In the Ottoman era, Amasya served as one of the cities to which sultans sent their young sons, titled “Shahzade,” to learn how to govern.
Amasya Deputy Mayor Osman Akbaş said the steel statue did not depict any particular “Shahzade.”
“We built it for a purely visual purpose. We thought it would draw attention,” Akbaş said.

The statue indeed drew attention as scores of tourists flocked to the area to take their own selfies with the Ottoman prince, hours after reports of the statue appeared in the media.

However, on May 10 unidentified assailants broke off the cellphone feature on the statue.