Junior Eurovision: Armenia: Karina Ignatyan releases video for “Colours Of Your Dream”

ESCXTRA
Nov 2 2019
Armenia: Karina Ignatyan releases video for “Colours Of Your Dream”


NYT: The Spirit That Brought Down the Berlin Wall Lives On

New York Times
Nov 1 2019
 
Opinion
 
The Spirit That Brought Down the Berlin Wall Lives On
 
Bloodless revolutions from Armenia to Lebanon are about ending the fatalism corrupt rule engenders.
 
By Roger Cohen 
Opinion Columnist
Nov. 1, 2019

YEREVAN, Armenia — It has been 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. A guard threw open a gate, the Soviet imperium folded, more than 100 million people in Central and Eastern Europe were freed, a divided continent was made whole, and the end of history was announced.

What to make of the three decades after Nov. 9, 1989? Poverty receded. Lives got longer. Human exchange became borderless. Artificial intelligence started making things smart. China rose, as did sea levels. The United States, attacked and wounded, tried managed decline, and at last, in wild frustration, elected a loudmouthed con man to its highest office. History, not terminated after all, ushered in a new wave of nationalism, nativism and xenophobia.

Water is the new oil. Data is the new plutonium. Climate is the new Armageddon. The talk in 1990 of the inevitability of a world of liberal democracy turned to predictions of a world of autocrats buttressed by the surveillance states that technology has enabled. It has proved impossible for technology companies to do no evil.

The best of all possible worlds was deferred yet again. Joachim Gauck, the Lutheran pastor and anti-Communist East German activist who later became president of a united Germany, captured the illusions and shattered hopes of 1989 best: “We dreamed of paradise and woke up in North Rhine-Westphalia.”

Of course, North Rhine-Westphalia is not bad, but in our polarized all-or-nothing political age not bad is generally not good enough. In the forgotten-words stakes, compromise rivals statesmanship.

Big things changed, and small. My lackluster soccer club, Chelsea, got a Russian oligarch as owner and, with his billions, started winning trophies. I’d never thought the fall of Communism could so directly affect my mood. The Russians arrived — on the Côte d’Azur, on the beaches of Vietnam and, of course, in Syria. And here in Armenia, the great Armenian saga of tragedy, migration, reinvention and survival took another twist.

The Soviet Union fell apart. The Republic of Armenia became an independent state in 1991. It got a tiny piece of the worst possible real estate Armenia had occupied over the millenniums of its history, but still it was something.

In every office there are images of Mount Ararat, which rises in Turkey, a symbol for Armenians of longing, pride, the hope of return and the suffering of the Armenian genocide that began in 1915 and involved the Ottoman Empire’s killing of more than one million Armenians.

The House of Representatives, defying familiar Turkish warnings, this week passed a resolution recognizing that genocide. President Barack Obama never recognized it publicly, despite a promise to do so as a presidential candidate in 2008. Realpolitik won out over his principles.

Turkey, which insists there was no organized campaign to slaughter Armenians, is not Armenia’s only problem. Comrade Stalin loved to tinker with nationalities and borders. Decades later, this caused friction between Armenia and Azerbaijan as the Soviet Union collapsed. The disputes culminated in war over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region a quarter-century ago. Today, Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan is closed. Its border with Turkey is closed. Only the borders with Georgia and Iran are open.

Yet I found Armenians in upbeat mood! What do physical borders matter these days? The nearly three million citizens of Armenia are in constant touch with the many more millions of Armenians in the diaspora, who are sending money home. With a strong tech sector, Armenia sees itself as a start-up country. It’s looking forward more than back.

The country’s bloodless revolution in 2018 has not delivered paradise, but it has eliminated fatalism. People feel they have the freedom to try what they want.

Weeks of mass protests against corruption and cronyism brought down the old Armenian political class, much as massive demonstrations in Beirut, Baghdad and Santiago in recent weeks have brought down or shaken the governments of Lebanon, Iraq and Chile.

The spirit of 1989 has not been trampled underfoot by Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping, after all. People prefer agency to the dead hand of unaccountable rule. They prefer the rule of law to arbitrary arrest. That’s why they are in the streets of Hong Kong.


Liberal democracy is not, as Putin has insisted, “obsolete.” It just needed a jolt.

Armen Sarkissian, the Armenian president, told me in an interview that old systems would not work. “We are living in a quantum world because more than half of life is virtual,” he said. The notion of democracies functioning through elections every few years is outdated. He called Armenia “one of the first labs” to find new “rules or behavior” for a world where every individual has a voice that “is exercised and expressed daily.”

On the Armenian genocide, and Turkey’s denial, Sarkissian said this: “Recognition of something that you have done wrong in ordinary life, in your family, with your friends, recognition is a strength. It’s not a weakness. If you take Turkey recognizing the Armenian genocide, that will also be recognition of the fact Turkey is on its way to become a tolerant state.”

One enduring lesson of 1989 is that the truth will out. Even the Trump White House will one day discover this.


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/01/opinion/armenia-genocide-resolution.html
 
 
 

Armenia eyes expansion of electricity co-op with Iran

Tehran Times, Iran
Nov 2 2019
November 2, 2019

TEHRAN – Armenian minister of territorial administration and infrastructure said Iran could act as an electricity hub in the region to connect Armenia to other nations like Iraq, ILNA reported on Saturday.

Suren Papikyan made the remarks during a visit to the 19th Iran International Electricity Exhibition (IEE 2019) in Tehran.

“Just as Armenia is a gateway for Iran's relations with Georgia and the Eurasian Union countries, naturally, Iran could also be a gateway for Armenia's greater connection with Iraq and other countries in the region,” Papiyan said.

Referring to the modern equipment and achievements presented by Iranian companies in the mentioned international event, he said “During the visit to the exhibition, we established very good connections with Iranian companies active in the industry, so after returning to Armenia this communication will continue in practical form.”

Noting that Armenian companies welcome participating in the 20th Iran International Electricity Exhibition, he added, “Armenia as a major importer of energy carriers, is always looking for new ways to increase cooperation with other countries and to find new energy sources. We are looking forward to sharing experiences between the two countries by participating in this international event.” 

Iran and Armenia have been cooperating for years in gas and electricity swap, and two-way economic and political ties have grown in tandem with an increase in trade.

EF/MA

Program helps poor, elderly Armenians heat homes in bitter winter weather

CRUX
Nov 2 2019
  • In Catholic News Service, Church in Europe
  • Catholic News Service
    Nov 2, 2019

An elderly woman is seen at her home in Armenia. Catholic Near East Welfare Association has launched a campaign, partnering with Caritas Armenia, to provide heat to more than 700 Armenian households. (Credit: CNS photo/Caritas Armenia, courtesy CNEWA.)

NEW YORK – Poor, elderly Armenians will receive an extra hand in staying warm during the upcoming frigid winter weather under a three-year-old program developed by two Catholic charitable agencies.

Called Warm Winter, the effort of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association and Caritas Armenia will open Dec. 1 and will provide fuel to more than 700 households.

Recipients will receive firewood or gas or electric heat through their local utility company. The fuel will be supplemented by food, hygienic supplies, first aid supplies and medicines.

Gagik Tarasyan, director of Caritas Armenia, said extreme weather conditions and poor housing stock make life difficult for thousands of the country’s elderly citizens.

“(To keep warm), they burn whatever is flammable, pasteboard, cardboard, garbage, paper, plastic, old clothing, shoes and young tree saplings,” Tarasyan said in a statement released by CNEWA.

Some of the materials produce toxic fumes, endangering the health of people – and at times leading to death – while damaging the environment, he said.

Social workers and volunteers have identified people most in need in 125 locations around the country. The most vulnerable people are those living in crumbling temporary housing in rural and urban regions that date to the country’s devastating 1988 earthquake, CNEWA said.

Aid agencies have determined that about 300,000 Armenians 65 years old and older – about one-third of the country’s elderly – live in poverty. CNEWA said most elderly people live alone.

Msgr. John E. Kozar, CNEWA president, said in a statement that the program is part of a broader effort to support the churches in Armenia and Georgia.

“Despite their relative obscurity and poverty,” he said, “these churches witness the Gospel in so many beautiful ways, upholding the dignity of all human life, especially in their commitment to the marginalized among them, the abandoned, the powerless, the impoverished.”


NYT Armenian President interview: Recognition is a strength. It’s not a weakness

News.am, Armenia
Nov 2 2019
NYT Armenian President interview: Recognition is a strength. It’s not a weakness NYT Armenian President interview: Recognition is a strength. It’s not a weakness

20:51, 02.11.2019
                  

If you take Turkey recognizing the Armenian genocide, that will also be recognition of the fact Turkey is on its way to become a tolerant state, Armenian President Armen Sarkissian said during an interview with The New York Times’ Roger Cohen.

“Recognition of something that you have done wrong in ordinary life, in your family, with your friends, recognition is a strength. It’s not a weakness. If you take Turkey recognizing the Armenian genocide, that will also be recognition of the fact Turkey is on its way to become a tolerant state,” he said.

According to Armenpress, journalist Roger Cohen published a detailed article in The New York Times and touched upon the adoption by the US House of Representatives of the Armenian Genocide resolution.

“In every office there are images of Mount Ararat, which rises in Turkey, a symbol for Armenians of longing, pride, the hope of return and the suffering of the Armenian genocide that began in 1915 and involved the Ottoman Empire’s killing of more than one million Armenians,” Kohen wrote.

The author also turned to the history of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, saying that today Armenia has closed borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey, and only borders with Georgia and Iran are open.

“Yet I found Armenians in upbeat mood! What do physical borders matter these days? The nearly three million citizens of Armenia are in constant touch with the many more millions of Armenians in the diaspora, who are sending money home. With a strong tech sector, Armenia sees itself as a start-up country. It’s looking forward more than back,” he noted. “The country’s bloodless revolution in 2018 has not delivered paradise, but it has eliminated fatalism. People feel they have the freedom to try what they want. Weeks of mass protests against corruption and cronyism brought down the old Armenian political class, much as massive demonstrations in Beirut, Baghdad and Santiago in recent weeks have brought down or shaken the governments of Lebanon, Iraq and Chile.

The author of an article entitled “The Spirit That Brought Down the Berlin Wall Lives On” in an interview with the Armenian President touched upon a wave of changes that swept people around the world. Armen Sarkissian noted that the old systems will no longer work today.

“We are living in a quantum world because more than half of life is virtual,” he said. The notion of democracies functioning through elections every few years is outdated. He called Armenia “one of the first labs” to find new “rules or behavior” for a world where every individual has a voice that “is exercised and expressed daily.”

Armenian Defense Minister receives Ramkavar Azatakan party delegation

News.am, Armenia
Nov 2 2019
Armenian Defense Minister receives Ramkavar Azatakan party delegation Armenian Defense Minister receives Ramkavar Azatakan party delegation

19:32, 02.11.2019
                  

Armenian Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan received the delegation of the central administration of the Ramkavar Azatakan party led by the head of the central administration of the party Mike Kharapyan.

The minister greeted the guests and highlighted the importance of the active role of the diaspora structures in preserving the Armenian identity and communication with the Motherland.

Davit Tonoyan presented the course of large-scale reforms being implemented in the Armed Forces, priorities and programs of the defense sector.

Mike Kharapyan, in his turn, thanked for the reception and assured that the Ramkavar-Azatakan party still pays attention to strengthening ties between the motherland and the diaspora and is ready to implement public programs in the framework of mutual cooperation between the army and society.

Action film-like murder occurs in Armenia village

news.am, Armenia
Nov 2 2019
Action film-like murder occurs in Armenia village (PHOTOS) Action film-like murder occurs in Armenia village (PHOTOS)

16:16, 02.11.2019
                  

A murder reminiscent of action films took place today in Gegharkunik Province of Armenia.

Around 9:15am, police received a call from Gavar town hospital that two persons were brought there with gunshot wounds, and one of whom had died without regaining consciousness.

According to shamshyan.com, police and investigators found out that the deceased was 40-year-old Gagik Hakobyan, a resident of Noratus village, and the injured was his fellow villager, 56-year-old Arevshat Ghazaryan.

Police also found out that these men had sustained these gunshot wounds at the Noratus village section of the Yerevan-Sevan-Martuni highway.

Investigators at the scene have found a vehicle with multiple traces of shooting. Five automatic weapon bullet shells were also found there.

According to preliminary information, more than 20 shots were fired at the scene.

A criminal case has been initiated.

Those assembled at the scene said that a few years ago, the man who was killed had fired shots near the court of general jurisdiction of the Gegharkunik Province toward the people who there to attend the hearing of the case on the murder of the son of former Gegharkunik governor Hakobyan, when he was informed that his father had been beaten there. 

Those gathered also said that today's shooting may be revenge.

Elizabeth Stanton, Actress and Television Host, Travels to Armenia for “Impact Humanity Television and Film Festival”

EIN News
Nov 2 2019

Elizabeth Stanton, Actress and TV Host

“Volunteering in different parts of the world has grounded me and helps me appreciate how fortunate I am to be able to travel and give back.” –Elizabeth Stanton

LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, November 2, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — Elizabeth Stanton, Actress and Television Host, has certainly had a productive year so far. After travelling throughout Europe on a talent scouting tour for CW’s “The Big Stage,” the starlet recently flew to Yerevan, Armenia October 14th-18th to take part in the “Impact Humanity Television and Film Festival.” Stanton was asked to a part of the film festival involving human rights, and she traveled to Armenia with co-founders Dean Cain and Montel Williams to present awards.

“Volunteering in different parts of the world has really grounded me and helps me appreciate how fortunate I am to be able to travel and give back,” explains Stanton, “After volunteering in Armenia this year, I learned about the genocide, which opened my eyes to other atrocities around the world that continue to this day. I was honored to be on the committee whose mission is solely to promote human rights.”

During the festival, Stanton spoke with Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, and also met with the President of Armenia, Armen Sarkissian. Both of these meetings were regarding the importance of human rights, the importance of the film festival, and how to use production and films like the ones featured in the festival to show human rights violations around the world and what people can do to help.

This trip was nothing out of the ordinary for Stanton. She has always had a curiosity for new cultures and a passion for making a difference in people’s lives. At age 12, she was feeding children in the slums of Nairobi; at age 13 she was helping give hearing aids to children in Vietnam; at age 15 she was bringing propane stoves to families in Nicaragua with co-presenters Dean Cain and Montel Williams, their first of many humanitarian trips together. Since then, she’s been a huge advocate of promoting human rights. She has gone back to different parts of Africa to feed children, she has been a spokesperson for recognizing the Armenian Genocide, and has called attention to the worldwide crisis of anti-Semitism. Her 16th birthday was a fundraiser for “The Marine Toys for Tots” and she has since been a spokesperson for them. The “Impact Humanity Television and Film Festival” supports all the things that she believes in and is so proud to be a part of, bringing to the forefront so many humanitarian issues that face us today.

“I have been so lucky to have had travel be such a significant part of my life,” concludes Stanton, “Travelling helps me learn lessons I will never forget, and also adds value to the journey of my every-day life. These lessons are priceless in the bigger picture of my life.”

Aurora DeRose
Michael Levine Media
+1 310-396-6090


Turkey may face reparation demands after U.S. recognises Armenian genocide – Turkish politician

AHVAL News
Nov 2 2019
Turkey may face reparation demands after U.S. recognises Armenian genocide – Turkish politician

Armenians in the United States may seek a reparations ruling after the U.S. House of Representatives’ on Tuesday voted in favour of recognising the mass killing of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire a century ago as genocide, a veteran Turkish politician said

The Armenian plaintiffs could seek to appeal against a previous ruling by a California court before the deadline on Nov. 9 after last Tuesday’s House ruling, said Cemil Çiçek, former speaker of the Turkish parliament and current member of Turkish presidency’s Higher Advisory Board.

The House vote on Tuesday came amid bipartisan anger in Congress over the Turkish offensive in northeast Syria against Syrian Kurdish forces that fought the Islamic State alongide U.S. forces.

Çiçek told Ahmet Taşgetiren, a columnist for Karar newspaper, that the U.S. Congress’ move might have wider repercussions. 

“Armenians of Turkish origin have been filing reparation cases against Turkey for a while,” Taşgetiren quoted Çiçek as saying on Friday. 

“The latest decision of the U.S. House of Representatives’ on genocide in one way has fulfilled the demands of the Armenians in the political dimension. Moreover, the number of votes in favour (405 to 11) could encourage Armenians. The courts from now on might not justify their decisions by saying the matter should be left to politics,” he said.

Çiçek was referring to a decision of the United States Court of Appeals on Aug. 9 to deny the appeal of two lawsuits brought by several Armenian-Americans demanding compensation from the Republic of Turkey and two of its banks for confiscating their properties shortly after the period when the Armenian genocide took place. The decision of the court can be appealed until Nov. 9, the politician said.

The first lawsuit was filed in 2010 by Alex Bakalian, Anais Haroutunian, and Rita Mahdessian seeking $65 million from Turkey’s central bank and state-owned Ziraat Bank. The second lawsuit was filed by David Davoyan and Hrayr Turabian against the Republic of Turkey, the Central Bank of Turkey, and Ziraat Bank.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in 2013 dismissed the two lawsuits declaring that “under the political question doctrine which says certain questions—in this case, determining whether Turkey’s actions were genocide—should be handled by the executive branch, not the courts.” 

The court in August rejected the appeal against its previous decision, saying that the two Armenian lawsuits were time-barred.

“The Armenians right now may seek to ensure a ruling from the higher court in favour of reparations by thinking that the current climate in the United States right now can have results to their advantage,” Çiçek said. “Such a reparations decision can create problems for Turkey which it might struggle to overcome for 100 years,” he said. 

Armenian Assembly: Omar’s Refusal to Acknowledge Armenian Genocide Doesn’t Represent ‘Muslim Values’

PJ Media
Nov 1 2019

In reporting on the refusal of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Ankara) to vote for a House resolution condemning the Armenian Genocide, NBC News quoted Van Krikorian, the co-chair of the Armenian Assembly of America, saying that Omar’s “votes and actions…do not represent the best of American or Muslim values. Innocent people were and are being slaughtered, and there is a universal need to defend the victims of genocide and ethnic cleansing, not to stand with or defer to the murderers.”

Although his statement reflects the dominant view in the United States and all over the West about how Islam is really a cuddly religion of peace if you just get to know it, Van Krikorian is wrong. The Armenian Genocide was carried out in accord with “Muslim values,” and that may be why Ilhan Omar, who makes a public show of her devoutness in Islam by wearing the Sharia-mandated hijab, would not vote to condemn it. The History of Jihad from Muhammad to ISIS reveals the shocking truth about 1,400 years of jihad activity, including the genocide of Anatolia’s Christians.

In 1894, the Ottoman sultanate began massacring Armenians ruthlessly, committing mass rapes, killing even children, and burning Armenian villages. The chief dragoman (Turkish interpreter) of the British Embassy wrote that those who committed these atrocities were “guided in their general action by the prescriptions of Sheri [Sharia] Law. That law prescribes that if the ‘rayah’ [subject] Christian attempts, by having recourse to foreign powers, to overstep the limits of privileges allowed to them by their Mussulman masters, and free themselves from their bondage, their lives and property are to be forfeited, and are at the mercy of the Mussulmans. To the Turkish mind, the Armenians had tried to overstep these limits by appealing to foreign powers, especially England. They, therefore, considered it their religious duty and a righteous thing to destroy and seize the lives and property of the Armenians.”

The jihad against the Armenians went on even in Constantinople, after Armenian revolutionaries seized the Bank Ottoman in 1894. In retaliation, Muslim mobs for two days bludgeoned Armenians to death with cudgels wherever they found them. The British chargé in Constantinople wrote that the “Turkish mob” was aided by “a large number of softas [student of Islamic theology] and other fanatics…individuals wearing turbans and long linen robes rarely seen in this part of the town. They mostly carried clubs which had evidently been carefully shaped after a uniform pattern; some had, instead of these, iron bars…there is nothing improbable in the stories current that the clubs and bars…were furnished by the municipal authorities.”

At Urfa in December 1895, the Armenians gathered in their cathedral and requested Ottoman government protection, which the officer in charge granted, surrounding the cathedral with troops. Then other Ottoman troops, along with local Muslim civilians, rampaged through the city, slaughtering Armenians and plundering their houses. A large group of young Armenians was taken to the local imam, who ordered them to be held down. An eyewitness said that the sheik then recited some verses of the Qur’an and “cut their throats after the Mecca rite of sacrificing sheep.”

The German historian Johannes Lepsius visited the devastated areas at the time and chronicled the atrocities. He referred to the cover-up of these horrific events that had already begun: "Are we then simply forbidden to speak of the Armenians as persecuted on account of their religious belief? If so, there have never been any religious persecutions in the world… We have lists before us of 559 villages whose surviving inhabitants were converted to Islam with fire and sword; of 568 churches thoroughly pillaged, destroyed and razed to the ground; of 282 Christian churches transformed into mosques; of 21 Protestant preachers and 170 Gregorian [Armenian] priests who were, after enduring unspeakable tortures, murdered on their refusal to accept Islam. We repeat, however, that those figures express only the extent of our information, and do not by a long way reach to the extent of the reality. Is this a religious persecution or is it not?"

Lepsius also reported that the Muslims had destroyed 2,500 Christian villages and 645 churches and monasteries, and that the number of those who had been forced to convert to Islam was fifteen thousand. Three hundred twenty-eight churches were converted into mosques, and 508 more were plundered.

There is much more of this in The History of Jihad, as well as a huge mass of evidence to show that for all its savagery, the Armenian Genocide was no outlier, but was a manifestation of a will to violence that has played out all too often in Islamic history. If we had any actual journalists in America today, they would be asking Omar hard questions about what she thinks of that bloody history. But we don’t.