Armenia always sees danger of escalation by Azerbaijan, says Speaker of Parliament

 15:05, 28 November 2023

YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 28, ARMENPRESS. Armenia always sees a danger of border escalation by Azerbaijan, Speaker of Parliament Alen Simonyan has said.

Simonyan was asked whether there’s a risk of escalation given that Washington has said it would have to use whatever tools it could to avoid having a trade route created by non-peaceful means.

“We always see a danger of escalation. Why we always see it, because there are numerous examples, when in late August of 2022 a meeting took place and thirteen days later Azerbaijan launched military operations. I mean we never rule out anything, a politician can’t rule out [anything]. The U.S. official’s statement is a warning,” Simonyan said, adding that Armenia is ready for peace and wants peace.

Exhibition in parliament showcases Armenian historical-cultural presence in Baku

 16:22, 28 November 2023

YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 28, ARMENPRESS. An exhibition of photographs showing the historical Armenian presence and Armenian cultural-religious heritage in the Azeri city of Baku was opened today in a hall at the Armenian Parliament.

Speaker of Parliament Alen Simonyan, Members of Parliament, foreign officials and others attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition titled Armenian Historical-Cultural Trace in Baku.

MP Vilen Gabrielyan, the Chairman of the Gardman-Shirvan-Nakhijevan Pan-Armenian Union, said in his speech that his organization will consistently struggle to restore the rights of the persons who were forcibly displaced from Azerbaijan.

The total number of Armenians who were forcibly displaced from Azerbaijan during various times throughout history is over 800,000, Gabrielyan said. More than 500,000 of the forcibly displaced Armenians were born in Azerbaijan.

In his speech, Gabrielyan said that the forced displacement of Armenians from Azerbaijan began on February 27, 1988 during the Sumgait pogrom, and continued in Baku and other Azeri towns. The MP said that without any proper international assessment, the aggressive and ethnophobic policy of the Azeri authorities has continued to present times, eventually leading to the forced displacement of over 100,000 Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Gardman-Shirvan-Nakhijevan Pan-Armenian Union Deputy Chairman Mariam Avagyan said that Baku was a cultural city, and “one of the pillars of the culture was the Armenian architectural mind”.

The exhibition displays photos of buildings designed by Armenian architects and engineers, the heritage of Armenian magnates and Armenian religious and historical-cultural heritage in Baku that have been either destroyed or misrepresented by Azeri authorities in an effort to falsify history and erase Armenian traces.

The California Courier Online, November 30, 2023

The California
Courier Online, November 30, 2023


1-         Azeri Paper
Attacks Sassounian for Saying

Wastes billions on Lobbying

            By Harut

The California


2-         President of
Iraq visits Armenia

3-         Armenia and
Saudia Arabia Establish Diplomatic Relations

4-         Six
Armenians Among Portantino Honorees for 2023 Women in Business Awards




1-         Azeri Paper
Attacks Sassounian for Saying

Wastes billions on Lobbying

            By Harut

The California



Last week, I was asked by Alpha News TV to comment on the
U.S. Senate’s decision, by a unanimous vote of 100 to 0, to suspend for two
years Pres. Joe Biden’s authority to waive Section 907 of the United States
Freedom Support Act which prohibits providing assistance to Azerbaijan.
Should the House of Representatives also approve this bill, it would then go to
the President for his signature which would make it a law. Since 1992, all U.S. presidents, including Pres. Biden in the
last two years, have waived Section 907, thus providing tens of millions of
dollars of aid to Azerbaijan.

The Senate’s decision angered Azerbaijan’s
Foreign Ministry which described it as a blow to Armenia-Azerbaijan relations
and cancelled its participation in the planned Washington talks between the foreign
ministers of the two countries on Nov. 20.

During my interview with Alpha News, I stated that not a
single U.S. Senator objected to the anti-Azerbaijan bill, despite Azerbaijan hiring multiple large lobbying firms
to defend its interests in Washington.
This means that Azerbaijan
has wasted tens of millions of dollars in the last two decades paying for these
useless lobbying firms. I would like to add that the person directly
responsible for overseeing the work of these lobbying firms is Azerbaijan’s
Ambassador to Washington, Khazar Ibrahim. Therefore, any government that
becomes aware of the waste of such large amounts of money would immediately
fire its Ambassador. If Pres. Aliyev does not dismiss Amb. Ibrahim, then he
himself would be just as responsible for the waste of millions of dollars on
worthless lobbying firms which have not been able to convince a single Senator
out of 100 to vote in favor of Azerbaijan’s

Within days of my interview with Alpha News, Azerbaijan’s
first English language newspaper, AzerNews, published a lengthy article titled,
“Bribing congressmen, Armenian lobby poses threat to future of Yerevan,”
attacking me personally for saying that Azerbaijan has wasted millions of
dollars on lobbying. This is what shameless people do when they accuse others of
doing things they are guilty of.

The whole world knows about Azerbaijan’s
notorious Caviar Diplomacy and Azerbaijani Laundromat, bribing politicians
throughout Europe with billions of dollars to cast votes in favor of Azerbaijan in order to whitewash Azerbaijan’s
severe human rights violations and its fraudulent presidential elections.

Shamelessly, AzerNews falsely states that “Armenia’s lobby organizations abroad, pour
millions or perhaps billions into the pockets of congressmen, of course,
baseless and biased opinions against Azerbaijan will be voiced from the

There are several grave errors in the above sentence. First
of all, the Armenian government has not hired a single U.S. lobbying firm
simply because it does not have the huge amount of petrodollars that Azerbaijan
has which it wastes on lobbying firms in Washington, instead of taking care of
its poor people at home. Secondly, Armenian-American organizations do not have
millions, let alone billions of dollars to “pour into the pockets of congressmen.”
Armenian-Americans do not need to bribe anyone. When your cause is just, you do
not need to pay bribes to convince anyone of the truth. Only when you commit
massive crimes, as Azerbaijan
and Turkey
repeatedly do, you need to spend millions and billions of dollars to cover up
your crimes.

AzerNews went on to incriminate Azerbaijan,
saying that Baku “is not only interested in
participating in this auction of finding partnerships that Armenia is
lavishly doing now.” Even though the sentence is not grammatically correct, the
Azeri writer seems to admit that Azerbaijan is eager to bribe
foreign officials. This is a useless statement since Azerbaijan has been bribing foreign
officials for years.

should be the last country in the world to cast aspersions on Armenia or any other country, since Baku is led by a dictator
who jails journalists and human rights activists, and his soldiers commit the
ugliest war crimes, such as rapes and beheadings. Azerbaijan invaded Artsakh and
committed genocide against its Armenian population. Furthermore, Ramil Safarov,
an Azeri soldier, during a NATO-sponsored training seminar in Hungary,
chopped the head of a sleeping Armenian soldier with an axe. After Pres. Aliyev
bribed the Hungarian government to release him from prison, he pardoned him and
recognized him as a national hero.

I commend AzerNews for tracking all the way from Baku my interview in Glendale,
California, and writing a
baseless and false response. The writer of the article, Elnur Enveroglu, Deputy
Editor-in-Chief of AzerNews, went to great lengths to find not only my TV
interview, but also to translate it from Armenian into English.


2-         President of Iraq visits Armenia


(Armenpress)—President of Iraq Abdul Latif Rashid arrived in Armenia on
November 21.

The Iraqi President had meetings with President of Armenia
Vahagn Khachaturyan, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Speaker of Parliament
Alen Simonyan.

President Abdul Latif Rashid was welcomed at the Zvartnots Airport
in Yerevan by
Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan. Pashinyan welcomed the Iraqi president
noting that the "visit is significant and essentially historical"
because he is the first president of Iraq
to visit the Republic
of Armenia.

Pashinyan noted there are rich cultural and historical ties
between the countries, and expressed hope for continued economic cooperation.

Referring to his meeting in Armenia, Abd Al-Latif Jamal Rashid
concurred, saying the sides discussed strengthening bilateral cooperation in
the political, economic, and trade spheres.

Issues related to regional security and stability, the
process of normalization of Armenia-Azerbaijan relations were addressed.

Pashinyan also presented the humanitarian problems of more
than 100,000 forcibly displaced persons in Nagorno-Karabakh as a result of Azerbaijan’s
ethnic cleansing policy and the steps taken by the Armenian government to
overcome them.


3-         Armenia and Saudia Arabia Establish
Diplomatic Relations


Saudi Arabia
on Saturday, November 25 formally agreed to establish diplomatic relations with
ending a decades-long policy related to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Foreign Ministry announced that the Armenian and Saudi ambassadors to the United Arab Emirates signed a relevant protocol
in Abu Dhabi.
It said the document cites the two countries’ desire to “establish cordial
relations in various fields.”

has long maintained such relationships with other Gulf Arab monarchies, notably
the United Arab Emirates and
Both nations have embassies in Yerevan.

It was not immediately clear whether Riyadh
and Yerevan are
planning to open embassies in each other’s capital.

Saudi Arabia
had for decades refused to establish diplomatic ties with Armenia due to
its conflict with Muslim Azerbaijan over Karabakh. The oil-rich kingdom
signaled a change in that policy after its relations with Armenia’s arch-foe and Azerbaijan’s ally Turkey deteriorated significantly
several years ago.

During the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, Saudi Arabia had called for a boycott of Turkish
goods after Turkish president Erdoğan blamed Saudi
Arabia for the tensions in the Caucasus and the Middle East. Additionally during the 44-Day War in 2020,
Saudi channel Al Arabiya hosted a special speech delivered by Armenian
President Armen Sargsyan condemning Turkey
and Azerbaijan and urged
international community to prevent Turkey
and Azerbaijan
from intervening in the conflict together.

The policy change was highlighted in October 2021 by then
Armenian President Armen Sarkissian’s visit to Riyadh. Sarkissian sat next to Saudi Arabia’s
de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, at the opening ceremony of an
international conference held there.

Saudi Arabia
made more overtures to Yerevan in February 2022
when its Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and his Armenian
counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan held talks on the sidelines of the Munich Security
Conference in Germany.
It was the first-ever face-to-face meeting of the top diplomats of the two

subsequently voiced support for Saudi
Arabia’s bid to host the Expo 2030 world
fair. In another sign of warming bilateral ties, a Saudi airline launched
first-ever commercial flights to Yerevan
in June this year.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signaled the impending
normalization of Armenian-Saudi relations in televised remarks aired on Friday,
November 24.

“I hope that Armenia
and Saudi Arabia
will soon establish diplomatic relations, which would be a very significant
development,” he said.



4-         Six
Armenians Among Portantino Honorees for 2023 Women in Business Awards


Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – Burbank) will host the
annual 25th State Senate District Women in Business Legislative Update &
Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, December 6 at the Castaway in Burbank. Among this year’s honorees are
Yvette Vartanian Davis, Aida Dimejian, Lusine Simonyan, Anahid Oshagan, Seda
Khojayan, and Lilit Odabashian.

“It is my privilege to recognize the accomplished women of
the great 25th Senate District,” commented Senator Portantino. “I look forward
to honoring our deserving honorees for their successful service that touches
all of us in such a positive way.”

The event will honor local women who have contributed to the
economic vitality and diversity of the 25th Senate District. Women in Business
will also celebrate women who have contributed to the greater good of our
community. These honorees inspire others, stimulate our workforce, and lead
some of the most impressive non-profits, healthcare organizations and
businesses across with 25th Senate District.

The Senator’s office received several hundred nominations
from the community. The women were nominated by their peers, co-workers, family
and friends who believed that their nominees are deserving of special



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Ukraine hopes Baltic Black Sea Defense Alliance’s doors will be open for Armenia

 11:21, 20 November 2023

YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 20, ARMENPRESS. Ukraine has signalled support for Armenia’s possible participation in the Baltic Black Sea Defence Alliance.

In an interview with AnalitikaUA, Mykhail Podoliak, the adviser to the chief of staff of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Office, said that Armenian politicians ought to engage in dialogue.

Asked on the possibility of Armenia participating in the Baltic Black Sea Defence Alliance, Podolyak expressed hope that the doors of the alliance will be open. He said that legal and logistic formulas must be found.  “Armenian politicians must engage in dialogue,” he said.

The Ukrainian official expressed conviction that Armenia will overcome the many difficulties it is facing, stressing that Armenians around the world must have faith in their own country.

Podolyak said that Armenia is on the right track.

“The strategy that I now clearly see in Armenia’s stance is the intensive dialogue with NATO countries UK, US, and France, with whom historically there’s always been good dialogue,” he said.

U.S. ‘would welcome a role’ in facilitating Armenia-Azerbaijan negotiations

 11:19, 21 November 2023

YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 21, ARMENPRESS. The United States continues to engage the leadership of Armenia and Azerbaijan and offer to facilitate a dignified and durable peace where the rights of all are respected, U.S. Department of State spokesperson Matthew Miller said in Washington on Monday.

I will say that we continue to engage the leadership of both countries and offer to facilitate a dignified and durable peace where the rights of all are respected. It is important that Armenia and Azerbaijan discuss and resolve issues directly to benefit the region. We would welcome a role in facilitating those talks. We’ve seen other countries offer to facilitate those talks. We think it’s important that the two countries talk face to face to reach a durable agreement,” Miller said at a press briefing.

Miller refused to comment on the U.S.-mediated Armenian-Azerbaijani foreign ministerial negotiations that were scheduled to take place on November 20, but were cancelled after Azerbaijan opted out.

Asked whether the U.S. still continues offering Washington as a potential platform for the talks, Miller said:  “As I just said, we would be willing to facilitate those talks, as we have in the past, and we welcome other countries doing so as well.”

Armenpress: Armenian Foreign Minister held meeting with ambassadors of the European Union, EU member states


YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 22, ARMENPRESS. Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ararat Mirzoyan, on Wednesday held a meeting with the ambassadors of the European Union and EU member states accredited to the Republic of Armenia. During the meeting, ideas were exchanged on the comprehensive agenda of the Armenia-EU partnership, the foreign ministry said.


“The interlocutors discussed the steps taken to deepen the political dialogue between Armenia and the EU, as well as the prospects for further development of mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields.


Among other things, reference was made to the holding of the second high-level session of the Armenia-EU dialogue on political and security issues, which took place in Brussels a few days ago. Discussions also touched upon the activities of the EU monitoring mission in Armenia, as well as the continuous support provided by the EU to the reform agenda and strengthening of democratic institutions in Armenia, in line with the joint statement of the Prime Minister of Armenia and the President of the European Commission on October 5.


Regional security issues were discussed at the meeting, during which Ararat Mirzoyan presented Armenia's vision for establishing stability and lasting peace in the region. The minister emphasized that it is based on the main principles that were also reflected in the statement made after the quadrilateral meeting held in Granada in October within the framework of the European Political Community, pertaining to the mutual recognition of territorial integrity, demarcation, and unblocking of regional communications,” reads the statement.

According to the source, Ararat Mirzoyan presented to the EU ambassadors the vision of effectively unblocking  regional communications and forming beneficial relationships in the region based on the “Crossroads of Peace” project developed by the Armenian Government, which can also become a guarantee of peace.

Referring to the large-scale military attack carried out by Azerbaijan against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh in September and the complete ethnic cleansing in Karabakh, the Armenian Foreign Minister specifically noted the need to address the needs and rights of forcibly displaced persons, highlighting the steps taken in that direction.

"Baku and Moscow’s goal is to derail the peace process" – Armenian political scientist

Nov 17 2023

Will Baku return to negotiations on the Western platform?

Baku and negotiations on the Western platform

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan often speaks of the political will to sign a peace treaty with Azerbaijan, and insists on the possibility of signing the document in the coming months. However, he does not forget to emphasize that he cannot “sign it alone”, i.e. a similar intention is needed from the Azerbaijani side. The Prime Minister’s team even talks about the possibility of signing the agreement before the end of the year.

The expert community does not share this optimism, recalling the recent cancelation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani summit talks in Granada and Brussels. And now Azerbaijan has also refused a meeting at the level of foreign ministers scheduled for November 20 in Washington.

Until recently Azerbaijan accused France of bias, and after the congressional hearings on the Karabakh issue it announced the “unilateral approach” of the United States.

“We have clearly stated that relations with Azerbaijan after September 19 [the military operation in Nagorno-Karabakh, as a result of which all Armenians left their homes] will not be normal until we see progress in the peace talks. For this reason, we canceled several high-level visits and condemned Baku’s actions. The 907th Amendment, which prohibits military assistance to Azerbaijan, will remain in force until the situation improves,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs James O’Brien said during the hearing.

  • “Armenia is not an outpost for the realization of foreign plans” – Pashinyan
  • Borrel threatened Baku with “serious consequences”. Opinion on the EU position
  • “The enclaves may become a pretext for Baku’s next attack” – Armenian political scientist
  • “Americans extending a helping hand”: US-Armenia military cooperation

“There is a possibility of signing some kind of document, given that 2024 is an election year. They will be held in the United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Parliament. In the midst of these electoral processes, it is quite possible that at some point the power centers will come to a consensus and Armenia and Azerbaijan will be forced to sign something under this international pressure.

If this happens, it will not be a final document, a peace agreement, but, for example, a road map. Or a document that will say that the parties commit not to use force and to continue negotiations.

I do not see the possibility of signing an agreement in the near future, of reaching agreements on such important issues for Armenia and Azerbaijan as delimitation, demarcation, unblocking of infrastructures.”

Principles and Details of the Armenian Government’s Project on Unblocking Regional Communications, Commentary

“Armenia is now under pressure. Moscow and Baku, as well as Ankara, are trying to force the Armenian authorities to go to Moscow for talks. But this pressure does not yield results.

The Armenian side manages to resist this pressure, to defend its position. And the only tool to counter these challenges is diversification, i.e. involvement of other players. First of all, we are talking about the Western partners, as well as Iran, India and other countries. The combined position of this group allows Yerevan to resist the pressure of Moscow, Baku and Ankara.”

“Azerbaijan is in euphoria after the victory. If we assess objectively, then yes, it is not in its interests to make any concessions or to retreat from its demands. And its demands are inexhaustible. That is why Baku is trying to disrupt negotiations on all those platforms where it is possible to achieve at least an intermediate result.

In the case of the Moscow format, there will be no final agreements. Russia is interested in leaving unresolved issues in the conflict in order to continue playing on them. And at the moment Azerbaijan’s interests coincide with this position. It is for this reason that Azerbaijanis are trying to move the negotiations to Moscow, so that an agreement is not reached and the process is prolonged.”

According to political scientist Ruben Mehrabyan, this platform can be effective only after peace is established in the region

“There is also the issue of unblocking regional communications and control over them. Here we should talk about the so-called “Zangezur corridor” to connect Azerbaijan with Nakhichevan. And Russia needs it much more than Azerbaijan or even Turkey. Moscow is the first beneficiary of this corridor and intends to control it. But the agenda is formed not around the “Zangezur corridor”, but on all points on which there is no consensus and it is very difficult to agree.

For example, if Armenia suddenly decided to agree to provide a “corridor” [i.e. a road that it would not control itself], Russia and Azerbaijan would find something else to demand. Something that would be problematic for Armenia. For example, the issue of enclaves would arise, which, by the way, they are already starting to talk about. We could also raise the issue of return of Azerbaijanis to Yerevan.

Moscow and Baku are united by interest, a common goal – to prevent the signing of the agreement and only after that common approaches on roads and other issues.”

“At the moment, relations between Baku and Washington have deteriorated more than relations between Yerevan and Moscow. And this has become a serious problem for Azerbaijan. There are, of course, many different factors. But let’s leave them for now and consider the situation as it is now: the war in Ukraine, the war between Israel and Palestine. In this situation, it will be increasingly difficult for Azerbaijan to resist and not to return to the Western platform.

The pressure on Baku is increasing. Although Azerbaijan is an authoritarian state operating under the auspices of Russia, at the same time it is financially, economically dependent on the West. In terms of exports, Baku is also energy dependent on Europe and the collective West. Forcing Azerbaijan to do something through all these factors is only a matter of desire for the West.

But Azerbaijan, encouraged by its victories, is not quite realistic about the situation and will come out of its euphoria with painful blows. At least, there are such symptoms. After more than 20 years, the restoration of the 907 amendment is already a sign of serious damage for Baku.”

AW: Letter to the Editor: Protecting my identity

In the aftermath of the mass exodus of my fellow Armenians from Artsakh, I felt like a leaf, vibrant with some color but torn from its tree. Carrying with me the identity of a Syrian Armenian who endured five years of the Syrian Civil War, I sought answers to my childhood questions about the reasons behind wars and their purpose. It compelled me to share my thoughts with you. My intention in writing this piece is not to politicize or reopen old wounds, but rather, it is to share my perspective on a crucial topic that necessitates discussion.

“It is an unfortunate fact that we can secure peace only by preparing for war,” said John F. Kennedy. It is a hard pill to swallow, yet it is a reality that cannot be ignored. But what about how an individual feels? Objectively speaking, wars are not just clashes between two states but also an internal struggle that an individual, a citizen, silently endures, waiting for the day of victory. It is like opening your eyes again after a long, heavy coma. Who knew we were going to witness these days? Or if we predicted, what actions could we have taken to prevent the reality we face now?

Sometimes, I need tranquility. Sometimes, I feel the need just to sit and look at what I have. Wars have been an inevitable part of politics and human life. Yet, we collectively want more, seek more, and cry out for more. But I have noticed that my identity is crying, looking for compassion and care, and I ask myself what I am doing for my identity. It is a deep and thoughtful process to understand the whole meaning of identity because to some it might mean language, to others it means culture. But I think to me it means, “What am I doing today that will help others recognize something similar within themselves?”

I remind myself that it is not just how I describe myself that makes my nation proud but how I secure my identity that will make my nation more stable and irreversible. It takes more than effort, action and determination to protect our identity. Before anything, we are humans, and after that, we are individuals with identities, and ultimately, we are a community and the representatives of a society. Lucky are those who are aware and conscious of their actions to protect their identities.

Besides fighting for what we want, we should also fight for the betterment of ourselves and consequently question and analyze the events happening to us. Understanding what our identities need and demand from us is an ongoing process that requires careful attention and consideration. How I treat my identity profoundly impacts how others perceive themselves in relation to me. It is like we are walking on an empty street with mirrors in our hands. There are a few lessons I taught myself throughout the not-so-favorable but lifelong experiences that I will forever keep in my heart. The first is to always be an active seeker of what my identity needs. This could be self-development, knowledge, more education or more discipline. The other is to know the worth of my identity, to value it and to keep it as high as possible.

Born and raised in Aleppo, Syria, Kyourk Arslanian is currently a sophomore student, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in politics and governance at the American University of Armenia.

2023 Haigazian Armenological Review published

Haigazian University is pleased to announce that the first book of Haigazian Armenological Review for the year 2023, namely book 43/1, has been published.

In its 520 pages, alongside the editorial (included below) entitled “What the Diaspora Armenians Lack: The Role and Influence of the Armenian Scholar,” the book hosts a number of research papers pertaining to arts, folklore, literary criticism, church matters, sociology, linguistics and history, as well as an unpublished document, two briefings and two book reviews.

Launched in 1970, the Haigazian Armenological Review is published by the Armenian Department of Haigazian University. As of 2022, this annual publication is being published semiannually.

Haigazian Armenological Review book 43/1 features the following content:

Lusine Sahakyan, Current Issues of Komitas Studies
Robert Megerdichian, Abraham Megerdichian, Eemin shinadz panerus  (The Things I’ve Made)
Antranik Dakessian, A Survey of the Armenian Copper Bath Tass used for Clay
Galya Davidova, Remembering and Reviving Armenian Wedding Ceremonies and Marriage Symbols
Armen Sargsyan, Armenian Popular/Folk Cock-and-bull Stories
Karine Rafaelyan, The Exchanging of Material and Abstract Worlds in Hrachya Saribekyan’s Novels Yergvoryagneri Areve (The Twins’ Sun) and Abushneri Ooghevorutyune (The Idiots’ Journey)
Liza Karimian, Anti-Chalcedonism in Armenia in the Early 6th Century: The Confessional Orientation of the Dvin Council in 506
Samvel Khachatryan, An Examination of the Intersection of Populism and Democracy: The Case of Armenia
Mary Alik Karamanoukian, Diaspora in Armenia: Immigration and Political Integration of Syrian Armenians
Syuzanna Barseghyan, Diaspora Newspapers in the Context of Ethnic Media
Lusine Tanajyan, Some Peculiarities in the Religious Attitude of the Armenian Communities of Los Angeles and Tehran
Herant Katchadourian, Culture and Psychopathology: The Case of the Armenian Village of Anjar
Zaven Messerlian, Consciousness Matters: The Armenian Genocide Within Turkey
Anjela Amirkhanyan, Compound Names of Plants with the Rootword ‘Wolf’
Hagop Cholakian, A General Observation of Plant Names in the Dialect of Kessab
Mohammad MalekMohammadi, Armenian-Arabic Language Contacts and Armenian Words of Arabic Origin
Lalik Khatchatryan, The Transformation of Old Armenian Analytical Constructions into Compound Words with a Pattern Noun+Verb > Verb (Dyachronic Aspect)
Hayk Nazaryan, The Development of the Armenian Air Defence Forces between the May 1994 Armistice and the Military Actions of April 2016  (Part 2)
Seda Galstyan, Pages from the Archive of Anton Kochinyan (1966-74)
Vahram L. Shemmassian, The Saint Paul Capuchin Mission in Musa Dagh, 1919-39
Vazgen Hakhoyan, The Turkish Massacres in the Province of Alexandropol in 1920-21
Karen Mkrtchyan, Raffi’s Historical Articles in Meshag between 1872 and 1878 on the Armenian Community of Iran
Mihran A. Minasian, An Unpublished Report of 1900 on Denek Maden (Kesgin)
Elina Mekhitaryan, The Critical Conditions of the Indigenous Population of Artsakh (An Observation on Refugee and Internally Displaced Groups)
Vahram Hovyan, Interconfessional Cooperation in Kessab during the Years of the Armenian Genocide


What the Diaspora Armenians Lack: The Role and Influence of the Armenian Scholar

Non-doctrinal thinking, freedom of speech and action are moving forces for the development of any society. The scholar who voices the issues of their society in an objective way and struggles against cautious, conforming, fossilized understandings and mindsets is considered the forerunner of the development of that society.

With outstanding qualities, like critical thinking, courage, rigorous attitude, modesty, independence and broad-mindedness, such scholars commit themselves to the human and national value system and shape social culture through unbiased examinations of diverse issues of life.

In assessing social shortcomings and bygone initiatives of society in an objective and daring manner, the scholar intends to rectify and reduce the shortfalls, balance the disproportions, even to the extent of discomforting society and authorities.

The best evidence of what is said above is the Armenian revival in the 19th century, which had Armenian scholars as its main avant-guard. Emanating from different forums and places, they succeeded in elevating the Armenians from the darkness of the previous centuries.

Indeed, Armenian scholars played a pivotal role in cultivating the 19th century Armenian space. The integration of scholars and capitalists led to the thriving of Armenian culture. Most of the Western Armenian cultivators of this flourishing culture became victims of the Armenian Genocide.

The presence of scholars and a scholarly mindset in the decision-making bodies and leadership of the Diaspora between the 1920s and 1950s was significant. The leadership of the 1950s to the 1980s, which was shaped by the previous generation, maintained the road map of its predecessors to a certain extent. Nonetheless, the gradual decline of the role and place of scholars was also noticeable. 

The marginalization of scholars in the decision-making bodies of the late 20th century was obvious. Scholars lost their weight, role and place in those structures, leading to an imbalance that did not yield the expected steps to be taken against the increasingly challenging conditions of the Diaspora. Indeed, the value system had deteriorated, the national vision was lessened and the strategic output was reduced. 

For these and other reasons the Armenian Diaspora is fumbling in its undertakings to recreate its identity.

This is why the restoration of the role and place of the independent scholar is a must that should not to be postponed any longer. 

In fact, the scholars, grassroots and followers of Armenian Diaspora religious and lay institutions follow a specific guideline of their own. Therefore, these institutions neither separately nor combined can have a pan-Armenian nature, view or space for endeavor. Complementing the leadership of these two institutions with independent scholars may generate a new quality, which may offer a plurality of choices to a society facing numerous concerns. These independent scholars may suggest different approaches to form opinions, thus sanctioning pluralism in national issues and the opportunity to consider various options in taking a stance. This is how democracy, the most important factor for the development of a society, becomes rock-solid.

The problem does not lie in the absence of scholars. Rather, it is the absence of the impact and influence of scholars. It is not an issue of individuals, rather an issue of their high and effective voice. It is not the absence of individual research papers. Rather it is the failure of the acceptance-adoption and implementation of credible calls in shaping views and policies. It is not an issue of quick, superficial internet investigations. It is the issue of acquiring deep and piercing analyses, no matter what their source.

Offering places to scholars, who have a different say in the public sphere, is a basic pathway for generating such a condition. This will encourage the scholarly youth with an ingrained interest to voice their views. Eventually, a healthy atmosphere will come to life in society, which will penetrate to the schools, which should undergo radical educational reform, including critical thinking and free _expression_ as ingredients of the curriculum. This can be the first model of democracy for the scholar of tomorrow, who gets training in free _expression_ and listening to the other from his teens.

In due time these steps consolidate the culture of independent thinking, which revitalizes society for a better future.

Antranik Dakessian

Silva Papazian, Arshalouyse Topalian, Armen Urneshlian

Sylvia Agemian, Megerditch H. Bouldoukian, Seta Dadoyan, Arda Ekmekji, Murad Hasratian, Nanor Karageozian, Hranush Kharatian, Susan Pattie, Hratch Tchilingirian, Yervand Yerkanian

AMAA Yerevan Office

Benefit concert for Artsakh refugees to be held in Boston

Join Armenian American musicians for a night in support of Artsakh refugees. Co-sponsored by the Zoravik Activist Collective, “The Mountains Remember: Benefit Concert for Artsakh Refugees” will be held on Wednesday, November 22, 2023 at 8 p.m. at the Square Root in Roslindale, Massachusetts. 

The benefit concert will feature John Baboian (jazz guitar), Raffi Semerdjian (folk art guitar), Yalla Hilda (guitar – Laura Zarougian, drums – Michael Alan Hams), Armadi Tsayn Duo (oud – Samuel Sjostedt, upright bass – Filippo Goller) and The Tony Donatalle Jazz Quartet (details TBD).

Weaving a thread between traditional folk songs, electric jazz, twangy songwriting and loop pedals, these artists gather inspiration from their ancestral homeland while exploring new, universal sounds. The evening will showcase five artists who are broadening our definition of what it means to make Armenian music.

On Sept 19, after a nine-month blockade, Azerbaijan attacked the indigenous Armenian population of Artsakh. Over 100,000 Armenians were forcibly displaced from their ancestral lands. Proceeds from the show will be donated to Tufenkian Artsakh Refugee Relief, which is providing housing, education and mental health support for the refugees.

Guitarist, composer and educator John Baboian has been on the faculty at Berklee College of Music in Boston since 1980. Although best known for his work in the jazz and swing idioms, Baboian has performed in the classical, blues, rock, R&B, Latin and world music genres. 

Raffi Semerdjian is a multimedia artist whose primary mediums are paint and poetry. Weaving imagery into lyrics, his longtime musical project, “Palm of Granite,” has cradled Semerdjian’s songwriting craft between his hometown of Los Angeles and his homeland of Armenia. 

Yalla Hilda is a musical duo comprised of Armenian Cowgirl Laura Zarougian and her jazz-rocker husband, Michael Alan Hams. Together, they blend voices and songs into an eclectic experience, brimming with worldly rhythms and ideas.

Armadi Tsayn is a contemporary folk ensemble led by Samuel Sjostedt and Alek Surenian. The Boston-based group explores the melodies of Western Armenian and blends them with a touch of modernity. 

The benefit concert will be held at the Square Root, 2 Corinth St., Roslindale, Massachusetts, 02131. Admission is $20 at the door, $10 for students.