The Republic of Armenia is 20 years old. Armenians everywhere are celebrating the emergence of the ancient state of Armenia on the modern political scene.
On this occasion we had an interview with His Excellency Vahagn Melikian, Ambassador of Armenia to the United Arab Emirates since 2006.
How the Government of Armenia is planning to mark the 20th anniversary in Armenia and abroad?
The Government of Armenia is planning to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Independence with huge splendor. Numerous activities and events are going to be held in Armenia and beyond its borders. On this special occasion an organizing committee, headed by Mr. Vigen Sargsyan, Deputy Chief of the Administration of President has been set up.
The events will have the motto of “Hayastane, du es”, which can be translated in two ways: as “Armenia, this is you” and “Armenia, you and me.”
In the framework of celebrations a military parade will be held at the Republic Square in Yerevan on September 21 at 11.00 a.m. The liturgy will start at 01.00 p.m. at St Grigor Lusavorich (St. Gregory the Illuminator) Church in Yerevan. An ?exclusively beautiful? concert will host the State Philharmonic Orchestra of Armenia, the State Academic Choir of Armenia, Armenian President?s Guard of Honor Orchestra, “Little Singers of Armenia? choir. 1.5 hour concert will feature works by famous Armenian composers, accompanied by laser and lighting show on the main buildings in the Republic Square.
All regions in Armenia will also host festive events and celebrations on this day.
The week of September 21 will be full of cultural events. Particularly, tours of Mariinsky symphonic orchestra, concert of Philharmonic Orchestra of the Galust Gyulbenkian Foundation will be held.
Armenian History Museum will open an exhibition of “Three Republics of Armenia” reflecting the three stages of the country respectively. The Central Bank of Armenia will release a silver coin with only 300 samples dedicated to the 20th Anniversary of Independence. A special postmark will also be released together with the catalogue of coins and stamps, which were released in the previous years.
The new unit of the Matenadaran Museum-Institute of ancient manuscripts will be opened within the frameworks of the events. It is triple of the size of the current building and is saturated with modern equipments.
A painting exhibition called ?Palette of Independence? will be opened at the Artists? Union of Armenia. The Ministry of Culture will organize a professional recording of the National Anthem with different performances in collaboration with the Union of Composers and Musicologists of Armenia.
?Hayk? documentary film studio and the Union of Cinematographers of Armenia will hold a documentary film festival entitled ?Independence Documented? in Yerevan and different regions as well.
The collections ?Armenian Film: Years of Independence?, ?20 Years of Independence in Photos? and ?Generation of Independence?, as well as a catalogue of the painting exhibition dedicated to the 20th Anniversary of independence will be published.
Competition for the essays is already held in public schools. The keynote of the essays was the persuasion that current generation is the creator of the future. The State University will also hold essay competitions on the theme of “I have dream.”
A new terminal of the ?Zvartnots? International airport and a new cycle track are also planned to be inaugurated.
A number of activities will also be held abroad. Among them will be organized receptions of diplomatic representatives, concerts, and exhibitions. Armenian President will participate at the events organized in Armenian Diaspora. Famous Armenian-French singer Charles Aznavour will give a special concert dedicated to the 20th Anniversary of Armenia?s independence at Olympia Hall.
The festivities will continue through autumn. After September 21, numerous events will be organized by state structures, various organizations, Diplomatic Missions of Armenia abroad and Armenian communities in different countries around the world.
What is message of the 20th Anniversary celebrations?
The message is quite obvious: despite all the difficulties, hardships, tragedies and losses we are still here, independent and strong, with definite vision of our future and upcoming new achievements. And it goes without saying that to reach the target and realize the dreams of our ancestors we have to be unified, hand to hand, shoulder to shoulder in Armenia, Artsakh and Diaspora. There?s no alternate way.
What is the Embassy in Abu Dhabi planning to do at this occasion?
The Embassy of Armenia in Abu Dhabi will also organize events dedicated to the 20th Anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Armenia. On September 21, at 19.30 we will host an official reception at the Crowne Plaza, Yas Island Hotel in Abu Dhabi. A painting exhibition of the famous artist Gabriel Manukyan (Gapo) will be organized the same evening along with performances of prominent pianist Vahagn Hayrapetyan, saxophonist Armen Hyusnunts and duduk player Vardan Grigoryan. Booklets, brochures, flyers, CDs and DVDs about Armenian culture, arts, tourism and economy will be distributed among the attendees.
An abundant and unprecedented Gala Ball will be organized in the evening of October 28, at Beach Rotana & Towers Hotel in Abu Dhabi. More than 40 topmost specially invited performers from Armenia; the State Jazz Band, famous singers Aramo, Emma Petrossyan, Arman Hovhannisyan, Inga and Anush Arshakyan Sisters, Zarouhi Babayan, dancers from Sofi Devoyan?s ?Soul and Dance Theatre?, violinist Varazdat Khachumyan will showcase their talent during the whole evening. The participants will taste famous dishes of Armenian cuisine, as well as fruits, chocolates, sweets and beverages specially to be brought from Armenia. The Embassy will publish a book about Armenian history, culture, religion, arts, traditions, customs, worldwide famous Armenian etc. The book will carry the title ?Armenia: From Centuries to Eternity? and will be dedicated to the 20th Anniversary of the Independence.
How can UAE and Gulf Armenians be part of the celebrations spirit? What can an individual do?
Each and every one of our brothers and sisters in the UAE and other Gulf Countries are cordially welcomed to join us in our celebrations. Moreover, I will very much encourage them to bring their foreign friends and associates to become part of our festivities. We have lots of things that we are proud of to show to the foreigners. This is really a unique opportunity to emphasize and prove that ?YES, we can also celebrate? and be proud despite so many hardships that we have faced throughout the history.
What can the Embassy do in the future to bring Armenians (citizens of Armenia and Diaspora Armenians) closer to the Embassy?
I?m sorry but this question sounds a bit strange to me, because from the first day that I stepped down on the soil of this friendly country I did, am doing and will do my utmost to bring all Armenians, no matter citizens or community representatives closer to the Embassy. I have announced that during all gatherings, meetings, round tables and in numerous formal or informal occasions.
The Embassy of Armenia in Abu Dhabi is their home, a part of their Motherland. Our doors are always open to all of our compatriots, brothers and sisters without any discrimination. This is our policy and it will never change.
Photo: Ambassador Melikian raising the Armenian tricolor in the new Embassy premises on 12 December 2007.
BRIEF TEXT IN ARMENIAN
Հայաստանի Հանրապետության Անկախության
20 ամյակին նվիրված միջոցառումներ
Արաբական Միացյալ Էմիրություններում ՀՀ դեսպանությունը նախատեսում է մեծ շուքով նշել Հայաստանի Հանրապետության Անկախության 20 ամյակը։
Ս.թ. սեպտեմբերի 21-ին երեկոյան ժամը 19.30-ին Աբու Դաբիի Crowne Plaza, Yas Island հյուրանոցում տեղի կունենա պաշտոնական ընդունելություն նվիրված ՀՀ Անկախության 20 ամյա հոբելյանին։ Ընդունելության ընթացքում կազմակերպվելու է Հայաստանից ժամանած հանրահայտ նկարիչ Գաբրիել Մանուկյանի կտավների ցուցահանդեսը, ելույթ են ունենալու հանրաճանաչ դաշնակահար Վահագն Հայրապետյանը, սաքսոֆոնահար Արմեն Հյուսնունցը և դուդուկահար Վարդան Գրիգորյանը։ Ընդունելությանը մատուցվելու է հայկական թարմ և չորացրած մրգերի, խորտիկների և խմիչքի լայն տեսականի։ Ներկաներին կբաժանվի նաև Հայաստանի պատմության, մշակույթի, զբոսաշրջության և տնտեսության վերաբերյալ զանազան տեղեկատվական փաթեթներ, գրքույկներ, տեսա- և խտասալիկներ։
Ս.թ. հոկտեմբերի 28-ին երեկոյան ժամը 20.00-ին Աբու Դաբիի Beach Rotana & Towers հյուրանոցում տեղի կունենա Գալա պարահանդես-ճաշկերույթ նվիրված ՀՀ Անկախության 20 ամյակին։ Այս առիթով իրենց մասնակցությունն են բերելու Հայաստանից հրավիրված ավելի քան 40 մշակութային գործիչներ՝ Պետական ջազային նվագախումբը, հանրահռչակ երգիչներ Արամոն, Էմմա Պետրոսյանը, Արման Հովհաննիսյանը, Ինգա և Անուշ Արշակյանները, Զարուհի Բաբայանը, Սոֆի Դևոյանի ?Հոգու և Պարի թատրոն?-ը, հայտնի ջութակահար Վարազդատ Խաչումյանը և ալոք։ Երեկոյի ընթացքում հյուրերին մատուցվելու է հայկական ավանդական խոհանոցի խորտիկներ, շոկոլադեղեն, քաղցրավենիք և մրգերի տեսականի։ 20 ամյա հոբելյանի առիթով ԱՄԷ-ում ՀՀ դեսպանությունը նախատեսում է հրատարակել Հայաստանի պատմության, մշակույթի, կրոնի, արվեստի, համաշխարհային համբավ ձեռք բերած մեր հայրենակիցների մասին պատմող նկարազարդ գիրք, որը կբաժանվի երեկոյի բոլոր մասնակիցներին։
Biographical notes about the artists taking part in the Embassy's official reception (21 September) and the Gala Ball (28 October):
Gabriel Manukyan (Gabo)
Artist born in Yerevan in 1957.
Studied at the Panos Terlemezian Arts School in Yerevan (1974-1978).
Graduated from Yerevan State Institute of Fine Arts Theatre in 1987.
Had group and individual exhibitions in many countries.
Composer, Arranger, Saxophonist, Flutist, Bandleader
Armen Hyusnunts was born in 1966. He finished the Piano Department of the Sayat-Nova Musical School and in 1984 entered the Yerevan State Conservatory after Komitas, the Saxophone Department.
In cooperation with Khachik Sahakyan, he created the ethnic jazz quintet Time Report Band.
In 1988 a world-famous musician Arto Tuncboyacian created Armenian Navy Band and invited Armen to play in the Band.
Musical director of the Armenian State Jazz Band since 2010.
One of the most famous and popular jazz musicians performing on today?s Armenian stage. At the end of 2004, Vahagn created ?Katuner? (Cats) band. The original members of the band were Vahagn Hayrapetyan (keyboards), Tigran Suchyan (trumpet), David Nalchajyan (alto saxophone), Artyom Manukyan (bass, cello) and Tigran Sanoyan (drums). Later, Ashot Haroutiunyan (trombone) joined the band.
Duduk, Zurna player
Vardan Grigoryan was born in 1971. He began his musical education at the age of 12 in one of Yerevan music schools. In 1986-1990 he studied at Yerevan Musical College after Romanos Melikyan at the Department of Folk Musical Instruments. After graduating from the college Vardan entered the Department of Folk Musical Instruments of Yerevan State Conservatory after Komitas. Since 1997 Vardan has been the soloist of the State Jazz Band of Armenia. In 1998 Armenian Navy Band was established under the leadership of Arto Tuncboyacian and since then Vardan performs there. Together with Armenian Navy Band and other bands he has participated in many European festivals.
State Jazz Band
The State Jazz Band of Armenia is the direct successor of the first jazz orchestra in the South Caucasus founded in 1938. In 1997 composer and arranger Armen Martirosyan became the reformed band?s new conductor and art director. Saxophonist Armen Hyusnunts became the musical director. Building on the glorious traditions, they were able to find their unique style based on Armenian national roots. The orchestra frequently performs both in Armenia and abroad. In 2001 the band recorded its first album “Mountain Dance”. In 2008 during the National Music Awards ceremony, the Armenian State Jazz Band was named Best Jazz Band of the year. The band has three solo albums: Mountain Dance, Armenia Big Band and Masisamba.
Other participants include singers Aramo, Emma Petrossyan, Arman Hovhannisyan, Inga and Anush Arshakyan Sisters and Zarouhi Babayan, violinist Varazdat Khachumyan and dancers from Sofi Devoyan?s “Soul and Dance Theatre”.