We received many encouraging comments regarding the Armenian Party in Dubai (11 October 2008, see photos below). Here are two of them:
Thank you very much. It was great event, I really enjoyed it, and thank you very much for the efforts and time you have put in to make this happen, highly appreciated. P. Barsoumian
Voluntary work is the backbone of our community life. Many members offer their time and energy to serve community objectives.
However, with sadness, we witness that the number of inactive members in community bodies is growing. In a committee of nine, it is common to see only one or two active members.
It has been customary in the UAE Armenian community to occupy seats for promoting personal image or for the satisfaction of the overstretched ego.
The problem is so alarming that the National Council prefers to keep silent. After all, it is a risky business to face the reality and find solutions for chronic issues.
Sebouh Armenagian's article helps us to define the real role of such inactive people. Read the article here.
Hey there, I see that Andre is popular in UAE also. I am Iranian-Armenian, I live in Dubai and I will be happy if someone gives me information about Armenian events and everything Armenian. I used to live in Armenia and now it is hard to live without Armenian friends. I will be happy if you give me information. Thanks and bye-bye.
Read the report on Andre's new CD:
– Council of the Armenian Community in Northern Emirates
We are writing to you for a permission to use the Pierre Keusseyan hall in Sharjah for community gathering purposes on Fridays after the Holly Mass.
We often hear from our Church and Community leaders of the need to attract more people to attend the Church service and become more involved in the community life, however, for a number of reasons this message does not get to the community. One of the reasons for the low attendance could be due to lack of activities provided after the Mass. Those attending the Mass leave immediately after the service whilst some youth stay behind with the hope to meet new people and catch up with the others in the courtyard when there is a huge empty hall which has a lot of potential and could be utilized for various purposes. Read more.
Few weeks ago we posted a detailed list of requirements for Armenian citizenship applicants.
We have prepared now the same list in Armenian language.
Click here to see the 11 requirements.
What is Parev Emirates?
The text of Parev Emirates project is ready now in Armenian language. See English and Armenian texts here.
Alice has lived most of her life in Abu Dhabi, where she has attended the Armenian weekly school for many years. Her mother Mrs. Arous has been a veteran teacher in the school, where she continues to take responsibilities.
We congratulate the married couple and their parents and relatives.
The Council of the Armenian Community of Abu Dhabi has the pleasure of informing you the following:
1. Abu Dhabi Armenian School:
The teachers and the principal cordially invite all the parents to accompany their children on the first day of school at 9:30 am to strengthen the bilateral ties between the parents and the school teachers and most importantly to listen to the welcome message of the School?s Principal.
On this occasion a small reception is organized as well.
2. Sunday School:
THE COUNCIL OF THE ARMENIAN COMMUNITY OF ABU DHABI
Original Announcement in Armenian and English (PDF format, 1 page)
By Nishan Basmajian
With great joy I read the National Council?s (Ազգային Վարչութիւն) circular where it was announced about Armenian language grammar course starting from 9 July 2007. It is with great sorrow that few months later we heard about the unannounced demise of this new born child. I advise my friends and colleagues to look again into the matter, reconsider their decision in this respect, analyze the causes of the failure of their first attempt and take modified and more practical steps to make things happen.
As I stated in my article dated 4 July 2007, “I had not entirely lost my hope, but frankly speaking, I was thinking that the YEAR OF THE ARMENIAN LANGUAGE was hardly going to be marked in our community. I am happy that my guess proved to be wrong. Of course the final evaluation will be based on the results that will be achieved from this course.”
The results achieved are not satisfactory today. But that shouldn't mean much. Remember the famous Armenian song: “Dzidzernage pouyn ge shine” (Ծիծեռնակը բոյն կը շինէ / the swallow builds its nest). It clearly highlights the determination of the Armenian people (symbolized here by the swallow): “Payts an tartsyal pouyn ge shine, yev ge shine yev gerke, amen mi shugh vor gbtsene ir hin pouyne ge hishe…” (Բայց ան դարձեալ բոյն կը շինէ, եւ կը շինէ եւ կ'երգէ, ամէն մի շիւղ որ կպցնէ իր հին բոյնը կը յիշէ. Read the whole poem in Armenian here). Once we lose determination then we lose everything.
A year ago, I congratulated the Council, but also WARNED it and the public: “As a word of precaution … I would like to underline a trait in our national character, according to which we are determined to be loyal to our VALUES. Therefore when we come face to face to new phenomena, especially like the idea of this serious and useful course, we either get excited (instantly) or look into the matter with bemusement and carry on with our normal life.”
More than one year have passed since the posting of this message and I am still in the view that “… there is a need in this case for marketing efforts in order to spread this idea, something that cannot be achieved solely by sending circulars. There are many ways to attract and invite our sisters and brothers to this beautiful idea and see how it will be materialized.” One of the ways is to invite a professional teacher of Armenian language (Հայերէնի ուսուցիչ) for few months with a fee.
I believe that media available in this community (e.g. Azad-Hye) will respond positively to this call and provide its share of marketing.
Awaiting to read the new announcement for the reopening of the grammar lessons.
Dear Family & Friends,
Jivan is an old Armenian-Persian name, which we feel suits this serious-looking baby with the impressive nose. Jivan is pronounced with an English J, and not Hivan or Khivan in Spanish, por favor.
(Juan Robles and Tanya Goudsouzian)
Photo: Tanya Goudsouzian with her two children
The Giragnorya Armenian School will start on 26 September 2008.
The lessons will continue every Friday 11:00am -12:30pm.
Location: The Ohannesian Armenian weekly school, Sharjah
Church Committee of the Saint Gregory Armenian Church in Sharjah
Announcement in Armenian (PDF format)
We would like to express our sincere condolences to the family and relatives of Maro Kalaydjian, who sadly passed away.
Memorial service will be held at the Armenian Church in Sharjah, on Friday 26 September 2008, following the Holy Mass.
Condolences will be accepted by Kalaydjian family after the service.
Announcement text by the Council of the Armenian Community (PDF format, in Armenian)
Details of the Holy Mass on 26 September 2008 (location, time, etc.) are available here.
ԲԱՑ ՆԱՄԱԿ ԲԱՑԱԿԱՅ ԸՆԹԵՐՑՈՂԻՍ ԿԱՄ “Les absents ont toujours Tort”
Սիրելի Բացակայ Ընթերցող,
Գիշերը տուն վերադարձայ հայու հպարտութեամբ լեցուած, լիցքաւորուած հայկականութեամբ, միտքս հարստացած պատմութեամբ, տրամադրութիւնս՝ բարձր։ Ներկայ եղած էի Հիւսիսային Էմիրութեանց Ազգային Վարչութեան կազմակերպած Հայաստանի Հանրապետութեան վերանկախացման 17րդ տարեդարձի տօնակատարութեան։ Դեսպան Վահագն Մելիքեան զիս իր յուշերով տարած էր 17 տարի առաջ, երբ հայ ժողովուրդը երկունքի մէջ էր, ծնելու համար այսօրուան վերանկախացած հանրապետութիւնը, իսկ Կորիւն Սրբազանը զիս տարած էր 130 տարի առաջ, երբ անմահն Րաֆֆին տեսիլքը կ՚ունենար Արարատի վրայ տեսնելու հայկական դրօշ:
Փորձեցի քնանալ։ Չկարողացայ։ Ուղեղս չէր քնանար: Բան մը զայն կը խայթէր։ Տրամադրութիւնս՝ գրեթէ քանդուած։
Not more then 40 Armenians attended the celebration of Armenian National Day, that's including the members of the Azakyin Vartchoutyoun, the priest and the speakers.
Well, it was a shame to see such an important date and the complete ignorance of the thousands of Armenians living in Dubai, Sharjah not to attend.
Almost NO Armenia Armenians were present!
The blame this time wasn't on the traffic, neither the construction happening around the compound.
I blame it mainly on the organizers.
First: No propaganda, no hard work, no people, sending a fax isn't enough.
Second: Azkayin Vartchoutyoun should realise why people are avoiding them; events attended by only dozens of people are becoming too regular.
Read more here
This is a project where UAE Armenians express their views about community and other issues.
Here is the view of our first contact:
*Photo taken from the new premises of the Embassy of Armenia in Abu Dhabi.
Under the Patronage of Archbishop Goriun Babian, Catholicosal Vicar For the diocese of Kuwait and the Arabian Gulf Countries.
Will take place on Monday, 22nd September 2008 at 7:00 p.m., at the Pierre Keusseyan community hall.
H. E. Vahagn Melikian, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the U.A.E. will be the day?s speaker.
All community members are invited to participate.
We would like to bring to your attention that road works are in progress in Sharjah and therefore you should plan your journey to this event in advance.
Council of the Armenian Community in the Northern Emirates
Note: Armenia became an independent state on 21 September 1991
Khalifa congratulates President of Armenia
President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan today sent a congratulatory cable to President Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia on his country's independence day (21 September).
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai also congratulated President Sargsyan.
Emirates News Agency
Besides the news taken from international sources and news agencies, UAE press highlighted the recent developments in the Armenian-Turkish relations with additional coverage by staff writers and syndicated articles.
Local English daily “Khaleej Times” published on 09 September 2008 an article by former Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian, where he concludes: “Beyond the emotional impact of President Gul?s visit to Yerevan, real improvement in Turkish-Armenian relations requires opening the two countries? closed border ? the last in Europe. Or, for a start, the existing railroad link between the two countries could be made operational. If this does not happen within the coming weeks and months, then Turkey will have demonstrated that all this was just a show. President Gul?s visit does mark a watershed ? either as a failure to make history, or as the beginning of a new era.” See full article here.
Another English daily “Gulf News” published on the same day (09 September 2008) a quick survey by reporter Abbas Al Lawati titled “Armenians in the UAE express cautious optimism“, where several Armenians living in the UAE expressed their personal views about the recent visit of the Turkish President to Armenia. All agreed that the Genocide should not be forgotten and that if Turkey is sincere in its approach, it should not avoid the historical aspect of its relations with Armenia, without underestimating the importance of upgrading the current relations for the benefit of both sides. See full article here.
In the same issue “Gulf News” devoted an editorial on the subject of the Armenian-Turkish relations, in which it tried to please both sides, as a result some of the sentences lacked clarity and were unbalanced. An example would be the following sentence: ” There is much to forgive on both sides.” The article was vulnerable also in regard of some historic facts such as the following sentence: “Before the First World War, historic Armenia was part of the Tsarist empire, but hundreds of thousands of Armenians lived in the neighbouring rival Ottoman Empire” (Note: Modern Armenia was best known in pre-WWI period as Russian or Eastern Armenia, while the other part of Armenia was referred to as Turkish or Ottoman or Western Armenia, both part of Historic Armenia or the Armenian Highland). Below is the full text of Gulf News editorial:
Brave start needs to become a solid process
Gulf News, United Arab Emirates
The historic visit to Armenia by Turkish President Abdullah Gul is a chance to start a new era between these two peoples who have had a poisonous relationship based on decades of hatred, fuelled by massacres and memories of persecution.
Before the First World War, historic Armenia was part of the Tsarist empire, but hundreds of thousands of Armenians lived in the neighbouring rival Ottoman Empire.
However, the cause of the present day hatred lies in the chaos in the Ottoman Empire as it lost the First World War, when the Armenians say that 1.5 million of them were massacred between 1915 and 1917 in an orchestrated attempt at genocide; while the Turks say that 500,000 Armenians were killed (as well as many Turks) in civil war as parts of the failing Ottoman Empire tried to succeed.
These accusations were frozen for decades as the Armenians lost their independence to the Soviet Union in 1920, and the Turks tried to cover up the killings. However, after Armenia's restored independence in 1991, all the hidden fury came back to the fore. It was fuelled by Turkish support for Azerbaijan (Azeris are Turkic in origin) in the war over the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh surrounded by Azerbaijan, during which Turkey blockaded Armenia and only stopped after peace was declared.
It is important that a new spirit is built between these two historic neighbours. The Turkish President has taken a brave step in starting the process, but his single visit has to turn into a solid process. This will require the Turks to persevere and the Armenians to respond, which will not be easy for either. There is much to forgive on both sides. Strong leadership in Turkey and Armenia is needed to overcome resistance from the more intransigent sections of their populations.