Archive for November, 2006

From Blogian To The Swedish Parliament

When Ayse Gunaysu sent a special report to us about a possible genocide mass grave discovered and covered up in Turkey, the news was picked up by Hetq.am, and the first actual article about the discovery of the mass grave in English was published at Hetq.

The news was then picked up by many news agencies that forgot to credit both Ayse Gunaysu and Hetq on the way. A week ago, I was able to trace who copied the news from whom, but now it is all around the place and there is no way I can find it out. Leave the copyright issue alone, here is great news: the Swiss "Spero News" reports the mass grave discovery has been discussed in the Swedish parliament!

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…he mass grave issue has now entered Swedish politics as MP Hans Linde from the left party recently submitted an interpellation to the Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt, asking for an independent commission of scientists and historians to examine the findings.

The foreign minister must now ask the foreign ministry to launch an investigation into the matter before he can respond to MP Hans Linde. The response of the foreign minister on this issue is due to be presented on the 12 of December before parliament.

p.s. the actual connection is more detailed than I have time to write about it. But, in short, after Hetq published the news it reappeared in the Turkish press again with the information published by Hetq, etc….

A Sad Poll Says Most Turks = Deniers

If you have ever been attacked for saying that most Turks are deniers, here is an upsetting poll that will prove your bias true.

According to CNN Turk's November 27, 2006, issue, 53 percent of 8000 Turkish citizens have said Armenia should apologize for its misdeeds during WWI (namely, deny that the Armenian Genocide ever happened and say that Armenians killed Turks instead), destroy the Genocide memorial in Yerevan, withdraw from Karabakh, and drop territorial claims on Turkey.

But you should have in mind that the survey has been conducted by "the Association to Combat the Baseless Genocide Claims," so the "halo effect" and other factors should be taken into consideration as well. And maybe, I mean, hopefully, this is not Turkey's reality. I bet if you asked 53% of the 1915 ordinary Turks whether they were for or against the Armenian massacres, they would say no. Why have the ordinary Turks changed so much?

For those of you who understand Turkish, here is the link.

Jesus Found In Cement, But Not In Racist Police

via Metro UK, a picture of what some think looks Jesus Christ appeared during construction.

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Read about it here.

At the same time…

Reports from New York say five undercover officers have killed an unarmed African American man when he was leaving from his bachelor party to get married the same day. Some suspect this was another hate crime against blacks in the U.S.

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Armenian Women

Today and yesterday (perhaps because of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) the media and Armenia’s blogosphere seems to be full of information about Armenia’s women. I guess the underlying question is, why are they so powerless in Armenia?

When I was watching the All-Armenian Telethon past Thursday on the web, where unrecognized Nagorno Karabakh Republic’s foreign cabinet minister Naira Melkumian was campaigning, I asked to myself, “Why Karabakh has a powerful woman leader, but Armenia doesn’t?”

The first answer that came to my mind was the idea in Karabakh to be as democratic as possible. The leadership there has repeated many times that the only way to have the international community recognize their independence is to show that it is the most democratic place in the former Soviet Union. Perhaps, they mean it.

So why doesn’t Armenia want to show off? I was talking to the president, one of my best friends, of Armenia’s most powerful and prestigious university student government a few weeks ago, and he said that there were no women in their group. He said they were trying to recruit women, but he also ended up confessing to having not selected a young woman (I think for a chair or something) because she seemed to them a “careerist.” Well, here is what Onnik Krikorian writes about some events organized in Yerevan about the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women: “Interestingly, one of the NGO’s senior members told me that their activities were severely restricted at Yerevan State University on the basis that they ran counter to what was allowed on campus.” Hm…

In a general note, why are Armenian women subjected to so much violence? And at the same time, the medieval “women are sensitive [and therefore not fit for certain things]” argument still exists in the Armenian popular culture.

Is that the reason that almost half of Armenia’s women, as Russian Regnum reports today, have been subjected to family violence? We bit them cuz they are sensitive, right? Is that the reason that macho Armenian brothers bit the crap out of their sisters to “make their sisters a good one”? And then it is OK for these sisters to be bitten up by their husbands since it is what they have seen. It seems like brothers have generally become an obstacle in Armenia for their sisters’ success in life, education and career.

We laugh at “Aghjka khosqereh asnavani chi” (“the testimony of a girl is not a proof” – a satire saying in a popular Armenian movie), but don’t realize that Armenia’s youth repeats that phrase, and they mean it, thousands of times a day in the streets. Will I offend someone if I say that in Armenia’s rural areas women are usually treated like animals? One will say you can see the similar in all over the United States, but unlike the latter, Armenia has fewer women in legislature than any other country in Europe.

Why compare Armenia with the world leader? Well, what about India, what about Sri Lanka and Bangladesh then? How come these countries have had women leaders and Armenia cannot? How come Karabakh can, and Armenia cannot?

I wonder if yesterday’s events in Armenia touched upon human trafficking. Let us pray for all Armenian women and girls, including…, who are subjected to sexual slavery in the UAE, Turkey, Israel and other countries…

Forestfree 2024

ForestFree 2024 is a 9.32 minute video that I did for my Ecological Crises class at the University of Colorado at Denver. Made in November of 2006, it tells the story of Armenia’s deforestation.

It is available at YouTube.com, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tkq6AIj0CPM, with not-the-best quality version to fit the YouTube upload criteria. I will be happy to send you a better quality version via post mail. Just send me an e-mail at [email protected]

This is my very first experience in making a movie. So please do not expect a professional work.

The photographs and the videos are from the Internet. Many photographs are by Onnik Krikorian and Hetq newpaper – they have given permission to use their materials. Other photographs are from Hayastan.com’s gallery and other sources. Some photographs had been already reproduced too many times without the original credit. I was not able to identify the photographer and contact them for permission. I will credit them if they contact me upon seeing the video.

In addition to the above mentioned sources, I would like to thank Armenian Forests NGO for letting me use their content; Lilit Tsaturyan from Russia for sharing the music that plays in the beginning and at the end of the video (although the music is recent, the author is unknown to me); www.armenica.org (for providing the clip about Armenia’s independence) and Mariam Nersisyan from Armenia (for sending the clip of children in Yerevan). Lilit and Mariam sent me the material long time ago, so they are not aware of the video yet. Special thank you to my friend Anna Hovhannisyan for sending a wonderful photo of Mount Ararat.

Most of the music is Armenian traditional remix. I have also included classic (non-Armenian) Carl Orff’s famous music. Could not find contacts for Ara Gevorkyan for copyright permission, but I remember him saying in Armenia that he doesn’t mind his work being used as long as people at least mention that the music is Armenian. After I posted the video on YouTube, an Azerbaijani viewer informed me that the remix duduk (very beginning and the end of the movie) is by Azerbaijani artist Alihan Samedov. I love that music and am going to keep it, although it may sound little bit ironic while I also talk about the war in the movie. But art is art, and I will keep politics out of it.

Some of the sources, both photographic and content-related, are listed below. Again, thank you all who helped with this project.

http://www.irandaily.ir/1383/2169/html/energy.htm

http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/9760/9760.ch01.html

http://www.mikepenn.com

http://armenianow.com/?action=viewArticle&…ID=&lng=eng

http://oneworld.blogsome.com/category/environment/

http://uk.oneworld.net/article/view/116563/1/

www.cia.gov Factbook on Armenia

http://www.adrc.or.jp/countryreport/ARM/20…R01-Armenia.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_accident

http://www.jamestown.org/edm/article.php?article_id=2370846

www.armenianforests.am Armenian Forests NGO official website

http://countrystudies.us/armenia/22.htm

http://hetq.am/eng/ecology/h-0903-forests.html

http://hetq.am/eng/ecology Articles concerning Armenia’s environment

http://mnp.am/index_eng.htm Ministry of Nature Protection of Armenia official website

http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/dec2005/2005-12-19-01.asp

http://www.solaren.com/ The official website of SolarEn, clean energy company

http://www.armenianow.com/?action=viewCate…079&lng=eng

http://www.nature-ic.am

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5275.htm#people

www.masis.am

Christian Democrats Win

The Christian Democratic Party of Netherlands, that had banned two Turkish members for denying the Armenian Genocide, won the Dutch elections.

Turkish denialists are sad and upset. The world, for them, is becoming more and more "Pro-Armenian."

Find out about the trouble that Armenian resident, Dutch blogger Myrthe went through to vote.

Intern'l Trafficking Ring Busted In Denver

On a welcoming move, Denver’s FBI has finally busted an International human trafficking ring that reportedly imported and tricked Korean women for sex slavery.

The news came from a report by Colorado’s CBS4Denver 5:00 p.m. issue on November 22, 2006, aired about 45 minutes ago, that is partially available at http://cbs4denver.com/seenon/local_story_326084954.html.

FBI declined to give particular information about the victims or the ongoing investigation when I called to check whether any of the victims were Armenian nationals. But a representative said he did not believe there were Armenian women involved.

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The photo I took a few minutes ago. Not sure if the Police is investigating trafficking, but a young Asian woman was involved

CBS said the ring was learned about through online services that offered Korean women. It is not actually a secret that many Denver “massage salons” offer sex services by Asian women. It is sort of “everybody knows it – but cannot verify” thing. A Mongolian friend of mine has told me reportedly that her compatriot females are offered in salons all around Denver.

Interestingly, in the past hour or so the local Police were questioning a young man in front of our apartment in a Denver suburb. After a young Asian girl came and some questions were answered, the man and some others were let to go. It seems like this questioning had something to do with the investigation.

Anyhow, it is not a secret at all that most women being trafficked to America are from Asian countries. There is not evidence that Armenian women are being trafficked to America, at least not to Denver, Colorado.

NOW listen to this. CBS reports that FBI had been tracking the traffickers for six months! They let these victims to suffer for a half year, although it would take some time to find out everything about the trade in Denver. The video report says investigators even went through the trash of the suspected organizers every day.

This is how women they tricked. They were told it was 18,000 dollars to get to America (to emigrate from Korea). When they arrived here, they were told they had to do prostitution to pay off the debt.

UPDATE: The organizers are known: Wai Kong and his wife Kit Chi Ho.

One Year After Loosing A Best Friend

On the first anniversary (Nov 22, 2006) of losing my friend Vika, I just tried to translate a poem I wrote in her memory on December 6, 2005 in Armenian. It doesn’t sound in English the way I feel and describe it in Armenian, so I have given up on translating the “Unanswered Prayer.”

I don’t know if they read my blog in Paradise, but I want to let Vika know that I love and miss her very much, and always will.

…Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the States. Enjoy life…

First Liar, Now Terrorist… Then What?

When Turkish professor Taner Akcam lectured in New York's Columbia University (CUNY) on the Armenian Genocide on November 1, 2006, a group of Turkish students distributed a "biography" of Prof. Akcam, calling the latter a communist terrorist.

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Seeing that "history" is not working to deny the Armenian Genocide, Turkish denialists have started a campaign to present Akcam, a scholar in exile, a communist to the American public forgetting that, as CUNY student Bedross writes, redophobia is already a history in the American culture. It is unfortunate that Turks will go everywhere to deny the Genocide, even to knock on McCarthy's door (McCarthy Sr., if you know what I mean).

Akcam is the first Turkish scholar to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide as such. The Genocide eliminated 2/3s of west Armenians and destroyed most of the material culture in Armenia between 1914-1916. Turkey rejects the word "genocide."

With my request, Bedross scanned the denialist flyer and sent it to me. Thanks, Bedross!

Teaching Peace To Russias Police

The holiday gift for the Moscow police is a Question-Answer book about Armenia, its people, culture and traditions.

The book intends to teach Russian police that Armenians are good people, and they, therefore, should be protected from hate killings that have amounted to 3000 in the last decade.

PanArmenian.net informs, “The book contains 201 answers to the questions Russian citizens may have when hearing about Armenia. Besides, it provides information about Armenian traditions, famous Armenian brandy and even anecdotes from the Armenian Radio. One chapter is dedicated to the Armenian-Russian relations.”

The most recent victim was a 15-year-old Armenian boy. The shocking part of the story is Armenia’s and Russia’s official ignorance to these hate crimes. Only a small group of Armenians, mostly bloggers, organized a protest in Yerevan. Check http://www.oneworld.am/blog/ for more information on this.

In the next couple of years Moscow police will be receiving hundreds of books about Azerbaijanis, Georgians, Gypsies, Kazakhs, Mongolians and many more – to learn that these people are good so that the Police protect them.

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