AW: Kariné Poghosyan wows a sold-out crowd on Valentine’s Day

By Sophie Khachatryan
Photos by Christian Giamarella

Kariné Poghosyan during her Valentine’s Day concert at Carnegie Hall

On the night of Valentine’s Day, I took my seat in the beautiful Carnegie Hall to enjoy the unique “All that Jazz” program by pianist Kariné Poghosyan. The heart of the program was the centennial celebration of the world premiere of George Gershwin’s iconic “Rhapsody in Blue,” which debuted on February 12, 1924. The incredible concert was presented by the Permanent Mission of Armenia to the United Nations.

Poghosyan was magnificent – from her killer dress to her impeccable phrasing, breathtaking vulnerability and power. I have followed Poghosyan’s musical journey and attended her concerts for many years, including her online Facebook performances during the pandemic, and later became her Patreon supporter.

I was not alone in appreciating this unique experience, as the packed house, sold out for over a week prior, gave the artist a jubilant standing ovation. In attendance were some remarkable figures, including United Nations dignitaries. 

“We were happy to have partnered, once again this year, with our distinguished artist, the New York-based Armenian-American pianist Kariné Poghosyan, to bring together dear friends and colleagues to a musical evening at the iconic Carnegie Hall,” said His Excellency Ambassador Mher Margaryan during his remarks before the group of Permanent Representatives of the U.N. member states at the pre-concert reception. 

“The times which we are going through are extremely challenging for many nations, including for Armenia, but also for the collective humanity, which continues to be put to the test. It is, perhaps, in times like this that the significance of art, music and other forms of creative human _expression_ become even more pronounced, offering a sense of purpose and unity and a source of hope and inspiration,” Margaryan continued.

His Excellency Mher Margaryan, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Armenia to the United Nations, during his remarks at the pre-concert reception for the United Nations dignitaries

Anita Anserian, managing director of AGBU, remarked, “Kariné wowed the audience with each of the pieces she had meticulously chosen and masterfully played. We experienced so many emotions as she gave her unique interpretation to each and for an hour transported us to a colorful, musical world.”

Principal violinist of the Harlem Chamber Players Ashley Horne was also very impressed. “A magnificent recital! Ginastera’s first piano sonata was a tour de force. Coleridge-Taylor’s ‘Three Fours’ had a real singing and lyrical quality, perfectly placed after the Ginastera. From there we heard wonderfully played pieces by Babajanian and recent Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, Tania Leon. She ended her concert with a very jazzy arrangement of Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue,’” Horne said.

Director of the music program at Saint Louis University, Dr. Aaron Johnson, traveled to New York especially to attend the recital. “I love watching Kariné perform. She is, without question, one of the most compelling and exciting pianists I have ever experienced live. Her love of music is always on full display when she performs, and it is infectious. She makes her audience feel the same happiness and love she feels for the music she performs. I felt that happiness and love, and it made the 2000-mile round trip journey to be there more than worth it. We at Saint Louis University are so looking forward to Ms. Poghosyan repeating this same program at the Sheldon Concert Hall in Saint Louis,” he said.

The cultural advisor of the Embassy of Armenia to the U.S., Vicki Shoghag Hovanessian, said it best. “Kariné Poghosyan is one of those virtuoso spectacular pianists with extraordinary stamina and musical skills as well as jaw-dropping performances. It’s a musical reverie to attend Ms. Poghosyan’s performances. A foremost interpreter of Aram Khachaturian, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky and other composers, she inhabits the music in all its stormy, turbulent depths, shattering staccato and ravishing sensuality, bringing her own unselfconscious sense of fun.”

The concert was an unforgettable experience that will stay with viewers for years. Poghosyan is a trailblazer in the music world.

Armenian Foreign Minister, EU’s Borrell discuss latest Azeri provocation

 16:06, 13 February 2024

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 13, ARMENPRESS. Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and Vice President of the European Commission, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell held a meeting on February 13 in Brussels ahead of the Armenia-EU Partnership Council meeting.

Views were exchanged around Armenia-EU Partnership agenda issues, the foreign ministry said in a readout.

The course of implementation of the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), democratic developments in Armenia, as well as the joint steps implemented for developing partnership in new directions and the existing prospects were also discussed.

The security issues in the South Caucasus were discussed.

The February 13 Azerbaijani military provocation in Syunik Province, Armenia was also discussed. FM Mirzoyan emphasized that the provocation once again showcases that Azerbaijan is seeking pretexts to escalate the situation on the border and is continuously attempting to derail the efforts of the actors interested in stability and security in the South Caucasus aimed at resuming the talks. The suppression of further actions aimed at destabilization in the South Caucasus was highlighted.

4 Armenian soldiers were killed and 1 was wounded when Azerbaijani forces opened gunfire at an Armenian military post in Syunik province on February 13.

Turkish Press: Azerbaijan slams allegations by EU foreign policy chief during news conference in Brussels

Yeni Safak 
Turkey – Feb 14 2024

Azerbaijan slams allegations by EU foreign policy chief during news conference in Brussels

Josep Borrell ‘turns a blind eye' to Armenia's military provocation, dismisses ‘unprovoked sniper attack' that injured an Azerbaijani serviceman, says Foreign Ministry

Azerbaijan on Wednesday slammed allegations made by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell during a joint news conference with Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan a day earlier.

In a statement by the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, Baku accused Borrell of “whitewashing” and “turning a blind eye” to Armenia's military provocation, saying the EU side is dismissive of the Azerbaijani serviceman injured due to an “unprovoked sniper attack.”

The cross-border fire came following five months of stability in the Azerbaijani-Armenian border, the statement stressed, and said Baku's response to the provocation was “totally adequate and of a local character.”

“These response measures have also prevented Armenia from further expanding its military escalation,” it added.

The statement also defined Borrell's proposal to distance forces as “regretful,” and said “mercenaries” deployed by Armenia in border regions under the EU's mission in the country “jeopardize the lives of Azerbaijani servicemen and civilians.”

“Furthermore, it is unacceptable to refer to residents of Armenian origin who voluntarily departed Azerbaijan's Karabakh economic region as displaced people and to utilize non-existent names such as ‘Nagorno-Karabakh' referring to this region,” it noted.

Azerbaijan regrets Borrell's “unilateral pro-Armenian stance” which it said creates an impasse between Azerbaijan and EU institutions, while further isolating himself from the Azerbaijan-Armenia normalization process, the statement also said.

During a news conference with Mirzoyan, Borrell said Azerbaijan's measures to the cross-border fire “seems to be disproportionate,” expressing that the recent incident illustrates the need for the “distancing of forces” advocated by the EU for a long time.

Azerbaijan's State Border Service said on Monday that one of its soldiers was injured due to shots fired by Armenian forces toward the country's southwestern Zangilan district.

Baku on Tuesday said it carried out a "revenge operation" in response, destroying the combat post from where its servicemen were fired upon.

According to Armenia's Defense Ministry, four of its servicemen were killed and one injured.

After Pakistan, Turkey Arms Azerbaijan With ‘New-Gen’ Akinci Drones Amid Tensions With Armenia

Feb 14 2024

Amid sporadic incidents of cross-border firing with Armenia, Azerbaijan has showcased the Bayraktar Akıncı unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) during President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to the recently-opened UAV academy of its Air Force (HHQ).

Azerbaijan has opened a training facility and hangar for its new Akinci drone. According to Azeri authorities, the hangar at the facility will be the maintenance headquarters, and the training facility is for UAV operators learning to fly the drone.

The Bayraktar Akinci drone took to the skies to mark the unveiling ceremony and for a first glance at the drone. The President oversaw the takeoff and landing of the Akinci. A set of images published by the President’s office showed an Akıncı with manufacturer serial S46 and Azerbaijani markings. The chief technology officer of Akinci manufacturer Baykar, Selcuk Bayraktar, posted images of the ceremony on Platform X.

In addition to the drone, Aliyev examined a variety of air-launched weaponry, such as a general-purpose bomb with a glide kit, a MAM-T laser-guided bomb, and a Roketsan SOM cruise missile. At least ten other weapons were on exhibit, as seen in the Azerbaijani TV footage of the visit. 

The unveiling of the vaunted Turkish-origin UAV comes at an opportune moment for Azerbaijan, as it remains embroiled in a conflict with Armenia.

On February 13, the Caucasian rivals accused each other of opening fire on one another and claiming lives. This is the first documented instance of violence on the dangerous border since peace negotiations to put an end to the protracted conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh territory began last year.

Cross-border firing was reported after the unveiling ceremony, with Azeri media claiming that Armenia was begrudged at Azerbaijan’s acquisition of the advanced Turkish drone. Armenian military analysts argued that Azerbaijan bought the Akinci to tip the scales in a region that included Iran and Russia, given Akinci’s range.

Azerbaijan bought the Akinci drone very discreetly. Haluk Bayraktar, the CEO of Baykar, stated at a press conference in March 2022 that three countries were considering purchasing the Akinci drones without naming them.

At the time, Azerbaijan was speculated to be among the first few customers, given that it was already operating the Bayraktar TB2 drone and had employed it with incredible combat success during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict of 2022.

By August 2022, the Azerbaijan government announced that a group of Azerbaijani UAV pilots had completed training on the Akinci UCAV, again triggering speculations that the country had either already signed an agreement for the purchase or was about to sign it. However, no formal announcement was made by the government or the Turkish UAV manufacturer.

Baykar and Azerbaijan reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding for the production of Baykar drones in the country in April 2023.

However, the first customer of the UAV was Pakistan, Turkey’s South Asian ally, which received the first batch of Akinci UAVs in the summer of 2023. A deal for purchase was likely signed by Islamabad in 2022.

The Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF’s) Public Relations Department released a video featuring the Akinci combat drone in October 2022. The video also showed a PAF Squadron Leader wearing an Akinci patch.

Military expert Ramil Mammadli told Azer News that Armenia made some moves following the 44-day conflict between the two states and tried to buy military drones and strike UAVs. According to the expert, this forced Azerbaijan to modernize and expand the number and variety of UAVs in its inventory.

“The close cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey in the military-technical field allows us to acquire and use modern technologies of these vehicles produced in Turkey. I consider that Azerbaijan has to increase both its production and the army’s arsenal in the field of UAVs. The acquisition of Akinci will also strengthen the UAV techniques and arsenal,” he said emphatically.

Although the Azeri military specialists have attributed their purchase of the Akinci to the military purchases carried out by Armenia, the agreement for the Baykar drone likely precedes any major military acquisition by Yerevan.

Armenia is reportedly importing an anti-drone system from India, as reported by EurAsian Times in November last year. People who did not wish to be identified said Armenia has contracted to buy India-developed Zen Anti-Drone System (ZADS). The purchase is believed to be aimed at countering the threat posed by Baku’s advanced combat drones.

Bayraktar Akinci is a high-altitude, long-endurance drone that can be armed with weapons. Akinci is the Turkish word for ‘raider.’ The drone can fire various missiles, both air-to-air and air-to-ground.

The combat drone’s dimensions are 20 meters wide, 4.1 meters high, and 12.2 meters long. Its maximum cargo capacity is 1,350 kg, its takeoff weight is 5,500 kilograms, and its flight ceiling is 40,000 feet (12,192 meters).

“Bayraktar Akinci is equipped with dual artificial intelligence avionics, which supports real-time signal processing, sensor fusion, and situational awareness. It carries electronic support systems, dual satellite communication systems, air-to-air radar, collision avoidance radar, and synthetic aperture radar,” reads the specifications of Akinci drones by the Turkish company.

It has various weapons, including missiles like the Smart Micro Munitions (MAM-L) created by well-known Turkish contractor Roketsan. It is capable of being fitted with air-to-air missiles Gökdoğan (Merlin) and Bozdoğan (Peregrine) as well as the locally manufactured active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.

It can also fire several additional indigenously produced weapons, including the Stand-Off Missile (SOM), a long-range air-to-surface cruise missile with a range of up to 150 miles (240 kilometers), which is manufactured in Roketsan.

According to Baykar, the Akıncı can strike targets on land and in the air. In addition, it can fly higher and stay in the air longer than Turkey’s current drone fleet while operating alongside fighter jets.

The Turkish manufacturer of the Akıncı, Baykar, says it intends to equip the UAV with a 250-kilometer-range armament by integrating the SOM-A cruise missile, but it has not provided any updates.

Baykar announced that an Akıncı had tested the Çakır cruise missile, which has a lower range, in September last year. Additionally, it was revealed that Akıncı had conducted tests with the 95-kilogram laser-guided glide bomb MAM-T and a 500 lb Mk 82 bomb equipped with the KGK-SİHA-82 guided glide bomb kit, which was created by Tübitak SAGE in Turkey in 2021.

The drone has been sold to other customers, including Ethiopia, Libya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, and Saudi Arabia..

Borrell regards Armenia’s decision to join the Rome Statute as courageous


YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 13, ARMENPRESS. Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has welcomed the initiatives of the Armenian government in the direction of reforms in the field of justice and the fight against corruption.

 As reported by the Armenpress Brussels correspondent, Borrell made the remarks during a joint press conference with Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ararat Mirzoyan.

 Borrell announced that he welcomed the steps taken in the justice reform, the fight against corruption and encouraged Armenia to further address challenges in the fight against discrimination, hate speech and disinformation.

Borrell also referred to Armenia's decision to join the Rome Statute, assessing it as an important and courageous  decision.

Armenian tourism experts to participate in trainings at Les Roches Global Hospitality


YEREVAN, JANUARY 19, ARMENPRESS. Armenian tourism experts have been enabled to participate in special training courses at the renowned Les Roches Global Hospitality educational institution in Switzerland. 

First Vice President of the Tourism Committee Susanna Hakobyan told Armenpress that the trainings are part of an MoU signed with Les Roches Global Hospitality.

Similar other programs will be launched in the future.

Hakobyan described Les Roches Global Hospitality as "one of the top 5 tourism and hospitality schools" in the world. She said that the committee will cover all expenses of the training for the selected applicants.

Two candidates have already been chosen after passing several selection procedures and the trainings will start in March 2024.

The committee had been looking for candidates who are 23-37 years old, have at least a BA in tourism or a related field, and at least 2 years of working experience.

“We want to further elevate experienced specialists,” Hakobyan said, adding that the program is not for beginners.

She attached importance to education and training programs.

"Russians ‘saved’ Artsakh, now they want to pass to Armenia". Opinion from Yerevan

Jan 19 2024
  • JAMnews
  • Yerevan

On severing ties with Russia

“Russia wants to project in Syunik [Armenia’s southern region bordering Azerbaijan] the logic of a corridor. They say if you don’t want to be taken away by force [the road meant to connect Azerbaijan with its exclave of Nakhichevan], give it away voluntarily,” Armenian political scientist Gurgen Simonyan said, commenting on the Russian Foreign Minister’s statements.

Although Sergey Lavrov said yesterday that there is no clause about the so-called “Zangezur corridor” in the November 9 trilateral statement, Simonyan claims that Moscow is determined to take possession of this road. What the Russian side calls control of the road, in his opinion, is actually a demand for an extraterritorial corridor. At the same time, the analyst emphasizes that there cannot be any “X-space where the laws of the country do not apply” on Armenia’s sovereign territory.

The political analyst commented both on Lavrov’s recent statements concerning Armenia and expressed his opinion on Armenian-Russian relations and cooperation with the West.

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Sergey Lavrov said during a press conference on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s activities in 2023 that the “Zangezur corridor” was never discussed within the framework of the agreements reached on November 9, 2020.

According to him, all economic and transportation ties will be unblocked according to this document, which ended the 2020 Karabakh war. Armenia will guarantee the security of transport in both directions between the western regions of Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan, and the border service of the Federal Security Service of Russia will exercise control on that road. He emphasized that Armenia’s sovereignty and jurisdiction on these routes will be fully preserved.

Lavrov also said that the West does not want to allow the implementation of the agreements reached between Yerevan and Baku through Moscow’s mediation. According to him, the lack of progress in the conclusion of the peace treaty is due to the position of Yerevan, while Baku is ready to sign the agreement on the territory of the Russian Federation.

The analyst argues that only Armenia has “naively and shortsightedly” fulfilled all points of the obligations stipulated under the November 2020 trilateral statement, while Moscow and Baku have not fulfilled a single one:

“If they raise the issue of unblocking the roads in Syunik, then let them ensure the security of the Lachin corridor [was stipulated under the trilateral statement], provide an appropriate atmosphere and conditions for the return of Artsakh Armenians to the homeland of their ancestors.”

The political analyst regards any demands from the Russian side, which has not fulfilled its obligations, as “rhetoric with hostile overtones”. He believes that Armenia should take Russia’s statements as a threat and pursue a policy of reducing the risks arising from them.

In the political analyst’s opinion, Yerevan should be very clear about the situation on the ground.

“It should be said that it was you who annulled the November 9 document, no process envisaged under it has been implemented in the region. And there are no Armenians left in Nagorno Karabakh. But the situation is changed not by statements, but by appropriate policy”.

He also suggested what motives Russia has to control the road connecting Azerbaijan with Nakhichevan through the territory of Armenia. He recalled that Russian peacekeepers stationed in Nagorno-Karabakh demanded large sums from local residents for transportation of goods and people through the Lachin corridor:

“If they control this section of the road, the money that was supposed to go to the Armenian budget will flow into their pockets.”

Political scientist Richard Kirakosian – on Armenian-Russian relations, Armenia-EU cooperation

“If some force threatens your existence, there is a way to confront it, regardless of its scale. Obviously we cannot confront this powerful country with brute military force. So we have to look for allies,” the political scientist believes.

At the same time, Simonyan says that Armenia can only expect new allies to provide it with the latest technologies, economic and military training, but it should fight on its own.

According to him, the West has failed to prevent the Russians from “saving Artsakh”, but so far it has managed to oppose Russia’s plan to “save” Armenia. If suddenly Russia succeeds, then after such “rescue” the Republic of Armenia will cease to exist and there will be no Armenians left in it, just as there were no Armenians left in Karabakh.

The political scientist made such an appeal to the Armenian authorities. He believes that if Yerevan is able to harmonize its interests with those of friendly countries, it will find allies in their face. However, for that it is necessary to pursue an active policy.

Meanwhile the current government, in his opinion, pursues an “unprincipled and short-sighted” policy, regularly “heading North,” to Russia.

“In addition, Armenia continues to be part of military-political and economic integration projects (the CSTO military bloc and the Eurasian Economic Union), which obviously pursue a hostile policy towards it. The authorities go to the EAEU event and play up the chairmanship of this organization [the Prime Minister recently accepted Armenia’s chairmanship of the EAEU], but do not participate in the economic forum in Davos, where the future of the world is being discussed. These people do not react to the realities facing Armenia due to external and internal challenges, they are in some illusory world.’

The political analyst believes that Yerevan should start strategic relations with the European Union, as well as with the North Atlantic security system, as Armenia’s ally in the region is the West. And Russia, according to him, has staked on the Turkic world.

He does not rule out that in the near future Azerbaijan will join the structures operating under the aegis of Russia, e.g. EAEU and CSTO. He says it is still unclear what Baku will get in return for this integration.

“If this scenario is played out, we must fight and defend our territories [in Syunik] so as not to lose our strategic importance, our connection with Iran. If we lose our territory but keep our independence, we will lose our independence after some time because we will not be interesting to the world.”

Glimpses into the ARF Photo Archives: What is an Archive, Anyway?

For the past few months, I have had the great privilege of working through the collection of over 3,500 photographs in the archives of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF).

The photographs have been meticulously scanned and thoroughly cataloged already by some colleagues. My job has been to go through the list, fix or fine-tune whatever needs an extra pair of eyes – at times involving some engaging and surprising supplementary research – and upload the images onto the photographs section of the website. Some finishing touches have often been further supplied by more colleagues still. It is a real team effort.

Now that we are past the 1,500 mark of uploaded photographs, I have put together a few brief articles for the pages of the Weekly highlighting some themes and takeaways from the collection. This venerable newspaper has shared insights from the ARF Archives on more than one occasion in recent years. Beyond anything else, I would like to invite readers to have a look at the images for themselves at Maybe you will find a great illustration for a report, a fun tidbit to share with family and friends, or a familiar face or two – relatives or ancestors, perhaps?

To start with, it is worth asking: just what is an archive, anyway? What gets to be called an archive – as opposed to, say, a scrapbook? How are archives even made?

The term “archive” can be quite broad. It comes to English via French and Latin, ultimately from the Greek arkhe, meaning “beginning” or “first,” the same root for “archeology.” That is also the same root possibly shared with the Armenian arka [արքայ], meaning “king.” In Armenian itself, the word bahots [պահոց] could be used to mean an archive – suggesting a place for storage. Another word is tivan [դիւան], which is more associated with courtly, official record-keeping. 

All of the above suggest a systematic documentation of materials – so, maybe indeed like a scrapbook, but much bigger, covering a longer period of time and including information and objects that have probably had some measurable impact on society. Official archives have public significance, after all – history worth preserving and sharing. The archives of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation are now in the process of being made more and more accessible for that very reason.

At the same time, how archives are compiled requires judgment and pointed effort. Getting up to the level of “systematic documentation” can be tricky, costly and time-consuming. In addition, some items never get preserved or get lost along the way, for all sorts of reasons (wars, natural disasters, conspiracies, carelessness…). For scholars studying the origins of government and statehood, the spread of bureaucracies serves as a strong indicator of the organized regulation of public life. Their activities tend to be especially directed towards conscription and taxation – controlling armies and money have long been the most important characteristics of governments. The establishment of archives forms part of such processes.

However, if there ever were a nation that could not claim a regular, stable political path, it would be the Armenians. And so it comes to pass that the ARF Archives present, in fact, a motley and not-necessarily-systematic collection of materials, whatever has managed to survive. In one of his very last public lectures – delivered at Soorp Khatch Church in the Washington, D.C. area in May 2023 – the late Prof. Richard Hovannisian recounted how he first came across the boxes of documents pertaining to the Republic of Armenia in Boston covered by a thick layer of dust. That was probably sometime in the 1950s or 1960s. The record-keeping of the young republic of 1918 is certainly included in the ARF Archives – to whatever extent possible given the upheavals of 1918-1921. Papers from the ARF as a political organization are likewise there. The photographs, for their part, stretch from the era at the beginning (arkhe!) of the Federation of Armenian Revolutionaries (as it was first called) of the late 19th century, all the way up to the 1970s, possibly later still.

One reason why it is important to share the photographs far and wide is the first theme from the collection that would strike anyone clicking through the website – a lot of unknowns.

One reason why it is important to share the photographs far and wide is the first theme from the collection that would strike anyone clicking through the website – a lot of unknowns. Many of the posts are entitled “Unknown Man” or “Unknown Group.” One of my favorite parts of the job is deciphering the handwriting that appears on the back of many photographs. Sometimes it is quite clear. Other times, a few good guesses need to be thrown in with accompanying question marks. And then, very often, there is no information at all accompanying the pictures. But they still need to be shared. So they go on the website as an “unknown.” I hope that someone somewhere will recognize the subject or the event and eventually chime in.

My colleagues and I recognize these imperfections in the archives. We also acknowledge our own limitations in the way we document and share them. Library science and database management are well-established disciplines and practices. We are doing our best with the chief aim of opening up the materials at the ARF Archives to the public. In future, we hope to be able to preserve and present these materials even more professionally, with more detailed records. Right now, we intend for the website to serve as a tool and resource for a broad audience.

(The ARF Archives is glad to hear even now from scholars and researchers, if anyone wishes to make a specific project proposal for a closer look and first-hand access to materials, depending on their availability.)

For my own part, I can say that, for example, choosing to transliterate between Western Armenian and Eastern Armenian pronunciation standards has been challenging when putting up the materials in English. Publishing information in the original Armenian would also be worthwhile at some point down the line. That is just one detail that comes to mind as I sift through episodes of history and understand my own responsibility in shaping how generations to come will perceive generations past. That is another impact archives have, directly or indirectly.

In the meantime, going through the collection is like unwrapping a Christmas present with every click. You never know what’s going to happen, who’s going to show up next! We Armenians already get two Christmases every year. People working on archives evidently get multiple Christmases a day.

In future glimpses into the ARF photo archives, I shall curate some images from the collection – many of them thought-provoking, some surprising, at times funny and always interesting. They form a part of our collective story and now give us the chance to form a fuller picture of our past.

Nareg Seferian has lived, studied and worked in New Delhi, Yerevan, Santa Fe, Boston, Vienna, Istanbul and Washington, DC. His writings can be read at

Georgian President wishes “peace, welfare” to Armenians on Christmas, Epiphany holidays

Agenda, Georgia
Jan 7 2024

Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili on Saturday wished the Armenian Apostolic Church and its congregation in Georgia and abroad “peace, health and welfare” on their Christmas and Epiphany celebrations. 

In her social media post, Zourabichvili “heartily” congratulated the Armenian people, while also extending her congratulations to the representatives of the denominations who are celebrating the Annunciation of the Lord today.

Earlier today, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili also congratulated Armenian compatriots, as well as Armenians “all over the world”, on the holidays.

Japan earthquake death toll tops 126

 14:40, 6 January 2024

YEREVAN, JANUARY 6, ARMENPRESS. The death toll from Japan's New Year's Day earthquake topped 126 on Saturday with more than 222 people still missing, as follows from the data published by the regional authorities.

According to the recent data, at least 516 people have received injuries of various degree of severity. So far, emergency services have not detected location of 222 residents. A search and rescue operation is underway in the disaster area, involving the Japan Self-Defense Forces.

The greatest damage was caused to Ishikawa Prefecture where more than 250 houses were destroyed, and fires destroyed about 300 buildings. The region continues to experience power and water shortages and fuel shortages.