Category Archives: diaspora

Armenians all over the world marked the 95th anniversary of Armenian Genocide

The country and Armenians worldwide marked on Saturday (April 24th) the 95th anniversary of Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire.

You can find pictures from Australia to Argentina rallies here.

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Bill Handels victim of Holocaust apologized

The Armenian National Committee-Western Region (ANC-WR), joined by community organizations and activists, met with KFI640-AM radio show host Bill Handel and station management regarding offensive comments that aired on Handel’s radio show on May 13 and 14 during a discussion between Handel and Lara Hermanson.

Acknowledging that a line had been crossed, Handel, KFI and Clear Channel management apologized to the Armenian American community. With Handel himself being a descendent of Holocaust survivors, he also made it clear that recognition of the Armenian Genocide is something he has been aware of and passionate about throughout his career and promised to continue raising awareness about the issue.

“We deeply regret the inappropriate comments that were made on Bill Handel’s show last month which deeply hurt the Armenian American community. The comments were wrong,” said Robin Bertolucci, KFI Program Director. “We take responsibility for this offense as any genocide, including the Armenian Genocide, are serious topics that should not be used as the basis for humor.” KFI issued an on-air apology on June 12. KFI also released a video apology from Hermanson and Handel.

The ANC-WR requested a meeting with KFI management to convey the community’s outrage and ask that the situation be addressed. In the meantime, the ANC-WR reached out to dozens of activists and community organizations, such as the Armenian Bar Association, eager to work together on the issue, Asbarez Daily reported

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Mikel Housep Martirossian -The mission of Dhaka’s last Armenian

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Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital, was once home to thousands of migrants from the former Soviet republic who grew to dominate the city’s trade and business life.

But Martin, aged in his 70s, is now the only one left.

“When I die, maybe one of my three daughters will fly in from Canada to keep our presence here alive,” Martin said hopefully, speaking broken Bengali with a thick accent. “Or perhaps other Armenians will come from somewhere else.”

Martin came to Dhaka in 1942 during World War II, following in the footsteps of his father who had settled in the region decades earlier.

They joined an Armenian community in Bangladesh dating back to the 16th century, but now Martin worries about who will look after the large Armenian church in the city’s old quarter.

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Hawaii became the 42nd U.S. state to recognize the Armenian Genocide

HR192 H.D.1
House of Representatives
Twenty-fifth Legislature, 2009
State of Hawaii

House Resolution

Declaring April 24 as a Day of Remembrance in Recognition and Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide of 1915

WHEREAS, during the chaos of World War I between the years of 1915-1923, approximately 1,500,000 Armenian men, women, and children living within the Ottoman Empire’s borders were killed in a brutal genocide; and

WHEREAS, hundreds of thousands of Armenians were forced to flee to foreign countries after being stripped of their possessions, national identities, and homeland; and

WHEREAS, documented as the first instance of genocide in the 20th century, the Armenian genocide remains unacknowledged by the Republic of Turkey to this day; and

WHEREAS, even though over 90 years have passed since these mass killings took place, present-day atrocities continue to resonate throughout the world; and

WHEREAS, it is every person’s responsibility to recognize the brutal slayings of so many innocents, remember their suffering, and vow to help prevent future occurrences of genocide; and

WHEREAS, Armenia’s ties to Hawaii started in the 1920s with the gifted painter Arman T. Manookian, a genocide survivor, who lived in Hawaii for almost six years before his tragic death in 1931, and who became known as Hawaii’s Van Gogh; and

WHEREAS, Hawaii has a growing Armenian-American community that is involved in all aspects of public life, including business, education, and government; and

WHEREAS, each year, Armenians throughout the world honor those who perished in the first genocide of the 20th century, and all the people of the world should join in recognizing and commemorating the Armenian genocide to ensure that this ugly testament to man’s inhumanity to man is never forgotten; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-fifth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2009, that this body hereby declares April 24 as a day of remembrance in recognition and commemoration of the Armenian genocide; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this body joins with Hawaii’s Armenian- American community and all Armenians worldwide in recognizing and honoring those who were killed and persecuted during the Armenian genocide, and urging people throughout the world to never forget these horrific crimes against humanity; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, who in turn is requested to transmit copies to the Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America and Armenian National Committee of Hawaii

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2009/lists/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HR&billnumber=192

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Obama:The United States strongly supports the full normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia

This future was not easily assured. At the end of World War I, Turkey could have succumbed to the foreign powers that were trying to claim its territory, or sought to restore an ancient empire. But Turkey chose a different future. You freed yourself from foreign control. And you founded a Republic that commands the respect of the United States and the wider world.
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Turkey has its own responsibilities. You have made important progress toward membership. But I also know that Turkey has pursued difficult political reforms not simply because it’s good for Europe, but because it is right for Turkey.
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No Grammy for Isabel Bayrakdarian

Unfortunately, Isabel Bayrakdarian -shortlisted for Best Vocal Performance Grammy Nomination with Komitas’ songs was not selected as a winner. Anyway, in my opinion, it was good chance once again  present armenian ethnomusic to the world, like Jivan Gasparyan and Ara gevorgyan done.

The 2009 Grammy nominees and winners.

BEST CLASSICAL VOCAL PERFORMANCE

Winner-“Corigliano: Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems Of Bob Dylan,” Hila Plitmann (JoAnn Falletta; Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra)

“Fussell, Charles: Wilde,” Sanford Sylvan (Gil Rose; Boston Modern Orchestra Project)
“Gomidas Songs,”  Isabel Bayrakdarian (Eduard Topchjan; Serouj Kradjian; Chamber Players Of The Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra)

“Maria,” Cecilia Bartoli (Adam Fischer; Orchestra La Scintilla)

“Terezín: Theresienstadt,” Anne Sofie Von Otter (Christian Gerhaher & Daniel Hope; Bengt Forsberg & Gerold Huber)
More on Grammy

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2008/12/grammy-scorecar.html

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Armenian officials:SOAD will not represent Armenia at Eurovision Song Contest

Finish of the saga of SOAD at Eurovision-2009

 The Turkish media regularly reports false stories and makes exaggerated claims. The latest example of misinformation is the Turkish claim of preventing the participation of the world famous American-Armenian rock band System of A Down (SOAD) in the May 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow, Harut Sassounian, Publisher of The California Courier, writes in his editorial.

The article goes on:

“What are the facts? Last August, in an interview with Asbarez newspaper, SOAD’s lead singer Serj Tankian said that a Finnish journalist had asked him if he would be interested in participating in “a song competition” which would raise “awareness about the Armenian Genocide.” Tankian told the reporter that it was “an interesting idea.” When the reporter asked if he would be interested in participating in such a song contest, Tankian said, “Maybe, yeah.”
Soon after the Finnish interview, Tankian said he was inundated with media reports that he was “going to take System of A Down to do this Eurovision thing.” He told Asbarez: “It was all a misinterpretation and a misunderstanding to a point where I had to actually call my label reps [representatives] in Finland and asked them to please tell the journalist to retract those statements, since I never said that.”

Despite Tankian’s attempts to lay these rumors to rest, the Armenian and Turkish media continued to report that SOAD would be presenting a song on the Armenian Genocide on behalf of Armenia in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. Armenian public TV officials, who have the task of selecting Armenia’s official representative to the Eurovision Song Contest, repeatedly announced that they had received no such request from SOAD.

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