Archive for September, 2006

Happy Birthday, Ra!

Today is Armenian Republic's 15th Anniversary of Independence! Here is a photo from the Armenian Embassy in Washington, D.C. taken during my recent trip to the 2006 ANCA Leadership Conference. More info will follow later. I am headed to Los Angeles again.

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Your Homework (i Am Not Kidding)

I will be in Washington, D.C. from Friday, September 15 to late Sunday, September 18, 2006 for the ANCA Leadership Conference.

I registered for the conference a month ago and had no idea that Dalai Lama would be in Denver the same weekend! So I will have to participate in the D.C. Conference instead of participating in DU’s (University of Denver), close to where I live, Peace Conference where His Holiness will be the keynote speaker, along to other Noble Prize winners for Peace (speaking of Peace, I got a letter from the Dean of my former college encouraging me to apply for the Student Peace Prize; I found out the dateline had passed long time ago).

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I knew Dalai Lama was going to come, but I didn’t realize it would be this early. I was hoping he would visit Colorado’s State Capitol and take a tour (of course mine, since I am always requested for the *special* tours). Speaking of *special* tours, Taiwan’s vice-president for defense took my tour two days ago (they joined my tour when I had already started). Other *famous* people of my given tours are the chief clerk for the Chinese parliament, Mike Schiavo (Terri Schivao’s husband). I guess that makes the list. Now I don’t get to do as many tours: I just jump in whenever we are short on the volunteers.

Anyhow, the leadership conference should be fun (I hope it will not be too partisan, since the organizers are mostly from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation party). From reading the schedule, I came across to a few familiar names (Aram and Ardashess from ANCA), plus a friend should be there too. And it is always good to meet new people!

I tried to get my representative or the senator to escort me to the dome of the Nation’s Capitol (only congressmen can take the public to the dome), but my request was too late: none of them are at the Capitol this weekend.

So Blogian will not be with you for three days. Well, I have decided to keep you busy. Your homework is to study the attached picture (it is in Armenian), write down your thoughts, and then compare those to my thoughts when I return and post them at Blogian. You can send your comments to [email protected]

Have a good weekend.

The New Look Of The Airport

My good friend and Blogian reader Anna Hovhannisyan has sent an interesting article about Yerevan International Airport's new look. Living in Denver, Colorado, where the newly reconstruced airport is the biggest one in the United States, I read the article with additional interest; I also wonder how the sinister service will change at Yerevan's airport. Thank you to Anna for the news!!!

Arrival Hall of New Passenger Terminal of Zvartnots Airport inaugurated

By Anna Hovhannisyan
Special to Blogian
September 14, 2006

In 2001 the Government of the Republic of Armenia entered an agreement with “Armenia” International Airports” CJSC to privatise Zvartnots International Airport, the major airport in the nation, for a thirty-year concession period.

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New Terminal construction began in July, 2004. It occupies 18,000sq/m terriroty, has approximately 35m width and is situated in the eastern sector of Terminal 1. It is parallelly located along the longitud of the apron which improves the ground handling and positioning of the airplanes. This layout is due to be widened in the future towards the eastern sector.

The New Terminal consists of Arrival and Departure Halls. It is connected with Terminal 1 through a connecting bridge of the Departures Hall. The building has all the conditions of seismicity, and the seismic isolation equipments will maintain the building from any movement or earthquake. It has also a Technical Room which will provide the building with maintenance. The new building is equipped with all the necessary systems, such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, electrical, fire fighting and sanitary installations, and so on.

The Arrival Hall of the New Passenger Terminal was inaugurated yesterday, September 13. The red tape was cut by Andranik Margaryan, the Prime Minister of RA and Juan Pablo Gechidjian, the Director of “Armenia” International Airports” CJSC. The Prime Minister didn’t find any defects and said that a few years ago when the airport went under the control of Mr. Eurnekyan, an Argentinean-Armenian, there was a negative opinion towards it. And today looking at it the opinion is quite another one. Vardan Oskanyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, expressed his admiration saying: “Fantastic. Our airport can compete with the best airports in Europe”.

So, the Arrival Hall of the New Terminal is open for arriving passengers starting from today, September 14, 2006. The first passengers arrived from Min. Vodi at 12:15 a.m. today and were welcomed with applauds by the airport administration, managers, employees and official guests. The women also received flowers at the entrance.

Welcome to Armenia – a museum under the open sky!

The Fate Of Cup Memorials After The Recognition

A month and a half ago I sent e-mail to ArmWorkShop (an online discussion board of Turkish, Armenian and other scholars and activists moderated by Turkish professor Fatma Gocek from the University of Michigan) concerning the fate of CUP (the young Turkish party that organized the Armenian Genocide) memorials after the formal recognition of the Armenian Genocide [by Turkey].

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There are graves/memorials in “honor” of many perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide in Turkey. As a third-generation survivor, I wrote, I would like to see those monuments destroyed. On the other hand, I acknowledged, the righteous revenge would amount to vandalism. Perhaps plagues could be added to these “monuments” telling who those murderers really were.

I am not sure what exactly I would like to see happen
to those monuments, but there is an interesting and
thought-provoking story that I want to share with you:

There is a [U.S.] civil war monument in front of
Colorado's State Capitol building, where I work, in
Denver, Colorado (U.S.A.), placed there in 1909. The
statue is in honor of all Colorado soldiers who fought
and died in the civil war (for both sides – North and
South).

The Civil War memorial lists the battles that Colorado
battalions participated in: "Sand Creek Nov 29, 1864"
is listed too.

In the 1990s, a Colorado state senator was reading the
plague on the memorial, and came across to "Sand
Creek" as a battle. The senator was shocked, because
he knew that Sand Creek was the massacre of over 150
Native American women and children in Colorado.

After years of discussions, Colorado's legislature
came up with an idea that would let visitors know
about the reality of Sand Creek but would not
vandalize the almost century-old monument. A plague
was placed, by the Native tribes, underneath the
memorial telling about the Sand Creek massacre, the
killing of 150 unarmed Native American women and
children.

[…]

Simon

Prof. Gocek, a Turkish scholar, yesterday responded to my e-mail saying that indeed the monuments could be preserved for “documentation of denial,” but street names after the perpetrators must be changed [I totally agree with her].

This very interesting note from Simon Maghakyan made me think about the "Talat Pasha Boulevard" in Ankara the name of which makes me feel uncomfortable every time I pass by it.
[…]

I would propose to replace each and every one of those street names with the name of a contemporaneous 'righteous Turk' who tried to save Armenian lives.

Muge [Fatma Gocek]

German professor Tessa Hofmann commented on the issue today:

Dear Müge,

I agree with your thoughts. The monument of "Topal" Osman Aga at Giresun
is a very interesting case: According to my information, the monument
for this notorious ethnic killer still stands, whereas the inscription
has been allegedly erased after Turkey's process of joining the EU
entered a more committed phase.

Interestingly, the problem of streets and places dedicated to WW1
perpetrators is not a Turkish problem alone. Turkey and Cyprus are
united here in an unexpected way, for there are still Talaat
Pasha-Streets in previous Turkish quarters of South Cyprus. When we
protested a few years ago, we got an informal explanation from members
of the Cyprus Embassy here: The street names are preserved in order to
avoid any reason for international or national bodies (the UN or Turkey)
to blame Cyprus for the destruction of Turkish heritage in Cyprus or for
Hellenisation of toponyms. So Cyprus preserves these dreadful names.

In case, that this ever will be changed, one could rename the
streets/boulevards/places, but with a small explanation below,
mentioning the previous names with the explanation, who Talat, Enver,
Topal AGA etc. were. We have this in Berlin, where many citizens would
not know about all the persons, mentioned in street-names. We explain them.

In Giresun, I suggest, an interpretative centre could be opened which
explains the regional "hero"/perpetrator Topal, his life, background and
crimes. There are many good ways to incorporate history, including the
history of mis-representation.

Tombs are tombs. But they should not be "honorary tombs", as the Turkish
inscription of the Turkish cemetery in Berlin says. This definition
includes the tombs of Cemal Azmi and Dr. Behaettin Sakir, which are
situated just in front of the entrance of the new pompous mosque, built
by donations of the Turkish community of Berlin.

Best regards,
Tessa

The Most Successful Ethnic Group

The most successful ethnic group in Britain, according to a recent analysis, are the Armenians, Times reports in its Sunday (Sep 10, 2006) issue.

Is it because Britain's oldest written document, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, says "The first inhabitants [of Britain] were the Britons, who came from Armenia"?

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Actually, no. According to Times, "Of the 2,651 people of Armenian descent in Britain, more than 1,600 run businesses and a high proportion live in expensive parts of west London." After listing a few famous British Armenians, Times writes, "Many Armenians fled to England after the first world war, during which up to 1.5m died, amid allegations of genocide by the Turks."

The definition of "success" for the survey is apparently the financial one, and, pretty ironically, the reporting newspaper itself calls the Armenian Genocide "alleged."

I guess the survey speaks of individual and not about collective (community) success. Anyhow, it still makes me proud. If you wonder if Armenians are the most successful group in the U.S.A. too, the answer is “no.” Don’t worry, neither are the "all-powerful" Jews. Asian Indians – is the answer (according to my sociology textbook).

Here is another "success" story (of an Armenian Muslim in Britain) that I wrote about a few months ago.

At the end, I want to mention a successful Armenian (with my own definition of the term) who lives in Britain: my friend Artur Asatryan, the founder and director of www.Hayastan.com.

The Week's Quote

"…History must be remembered for it was, not for what we would like it to be."

– U.S. Senator Norm Coleman commenting to AP on Bush administration's refusal to use the term "Armenian Genocide" on September 7, 2006.

The Newest Adventures Of Holdwater

Holdwater, the Turkish webmaster of the denialist www.tallarmeniantale.com hatesite*, is trying everything to keep up the attention (please don't attack me for making him happy).

Short on "documents" to prove that the Armenian Genocide never happened, Holdwater (also known as "Ilyas Botas") is now dehumanizing genocide scholars in, according to him, cartoon series called "Alice in Genocideland."

Below are the dehumanized Taner Akcam, first Turkish scholar to acknowledge the term "Armenian Genocide;" and Armenian scholars Richard Hovhannisian and Vahakn Dadrian, the world famous genocide studies professor. The Holdwaterian "masterpiece" is at http://www.tallarmeniantale.com/alice2.htm.

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P.S. I will NOT please Holdwater by reporting on his pornographic "photo evidence" (photographs from various R rated movies) that the Armenian Genocide never happened. I do not find those funny nor appropriate for Blogian. The sacrilege and stupidity of genocide denial has no boundaries.

* www.tallarmeniantale.com is a hatesite for calling Armenians rats.

Genocide Poster Source Found

The photographic source of a WWI American poster to support the Armenian Genocide survivors may have been found.

Missak Kelechian announced finding the source in August of 2006.

The photograph has Near East Relief Star Logo and the side writing “Armenian Woman" on it, meaning the people in the poster are real survivors (to be victims?) of the Armenian Genocide.

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Here are Kelechian's comparisons of the poster and the photograph:

1. Look at her head scarf band details!
2. The head angle look!
3. Her shirt and the design details!
4. Minor difference in the hands especially the fingers!
5. The skirt and its shades!
6. Look at the strapped baby. The baby’s cap is so real!
7. The poster’s back ground is a ruined house, while the real picture is some where most probably in Syria in an alley between two houses/walls. Look at the typical people looking mostly at the photographer! They seem to have shoes on their feet!
The whole world was, and still is, looking at the photographer instead of the victim!
But Armenians are looking to the Mother… and the child on her back…

Information about the poster can be found at http://snuffy.lib.umn.edu/image/srch/bin/D…amp;id=msp01021.

Thanks to Missak Kelechian and Fatma Gocek for the information.

This Changing World

A photo from Armenia's capital Yerevan, taken a few minutes ago and sent by my brother-in-law via e-mail, showing the "new city."

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For those of you who have been out of Yerevan for even three years, like my situation, this photograph may be shocking. The world is changing.

A Book From Iran

A few weeks ago I received my pen pal Shahen Hovsepian’s “Cultural Genocide” (Tehran 2006, 171 pages) book/photo-album.

The book (in Armenian, English and Farsi) features several hundreds of photographs testifying to the destruction of Armenian monuments in Turkey as a result of the genocidal campaign to eliminate Turkey’s Armenian past.

Since I have researched the topic for three years now, most of the photographs were familiar.

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Furthermore, I was surprised to see Shahen using many photographs from www.Hayastan.com’s “Culutral genocide” gallery section (which is not available in its old format now, since I, as Hayastan.com gallery’s moderator, have not updated it after Turkish hacker attacks), which ended up being the core of my “Cultural Genocide 2005” CD (I sent Shahen a copy of the CD but I guess never told him that I was the moderator of Hayastan.com’s gallery). Although I had spent more than two years on creating the gallery and the CD, neither of those photographs were taken by me. Thus, again we are facing the copyright issue that I had addressed in the CD, but not in the gallery. Hopefully, the photographers will not get very upset by Shahen’s book, since it is done for a good cause.

Shahen writes, “…we express our thanks to R.A.A. organization, Virtual Ani and Hayastan web pages… for delivering their photos for publishing in this book.”

Congratulations and many thanks to Shahen Hovsepian for publishing the very important photo-album. The destruction and neglect of Armenian monuments in Turkey is undeletable issue and much work, first of all awareness, needs to be done.

UPDATE: As a response to this entry, Shahen sent me a letter which elaborated on the copyright issue:

Dear Simon,

Thank you so much for introducing the Cultural
Genocide book in your web page and I hope it can be
useful.

There is more than 10 years which I am traveling to
East and West Armenia and taking many photos which
they have been used many times without asking my
authorization therefore copy right is very important
for me also.

In this regards when two years ago Sebouh srbazan
decided to publish such a book I sent many e-mails to
all web pages including Hayastan web page to receive
their authorization to use the photos in the book
which I informed by Hayastan that most of the photos
took by Baze [Hrair Khatcherian] therefore I found his e-mail and
contacted with him and received his positive answer to
use his photos.

[…]

With thanks and best wishes,

Shahen

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