Newsletter issue number 003 (March 2006)

Newsletter issue number 003 (March 2006)


Middle East Armenian Newsletter
Issue no. 3 14 March 2006

In this issue

Abu Dhabi Armenian Community School celebrates its 25th anniversary

Armenian companies participate in Gulfood Exhibition in Dubai

Arousiak Sahakian (ethnographer) in the United Arab Emirates

Al Jazeera of Qatar and its viewpoint regarding the Armenians

The largest Armenian petition on the internet

Mashtots has now returned for a second visit to Alexandria

Avraam Russo, a Syrian Armenian who realizes fame in Russia


Abu Dhabi Armenian Community School celebrates its 25th anniversary

The Armenian Community School of Abu Dhabi celebrated its 25th Anniversary on Friday, March 10, 2006. The function took place at ?The Club? in Abu Dhabi and the hall was packed to capacity with students, teachers, former students, parents and friends – some of them from Sharjah and Dubai – who had come to participate in this memorable event (about 180 attendants altogether).

The first part of the program consisted of an exhibition of pictures, posters and handicraft prepared by the students of the school especially for this occasion. There was a 25th Anniversary commemorative book which was a compilation of two and half decades of school activities and achievements.

Two teachers, Mrs. Arous Ohannessian and Mrs. Tamar Der-Ohannessian (the principal of the school), were presented with beautiful framed plates etched with the school 25th Anniversary logo for their work of over 23 years at the school.

Photo: The dinitaries cutting the cake of the celebrations.
From left to right:
Vahe Toukmanian (Chairman of the Community Council)
Arous Hovhannessian (teacher)
Dr. Arshak Poladian (Ambassador)
Archbishop Gorun Babian (Catholicosal Vicar)
Tamar Der-Ohannessian (Principal)
Der Aram Deyirmendjian (Pastor)
Marat Melikian (3rd Secretary of the Embassy)

Find out more about this event and download the commemorative book …

?Additional Links

Dear Azad-Hye subscriber

As you are already aware, our website www.azad- has acquired a new look, with several interactive features included in this version.

Our aim is to introduce the activities of the Armenians in the Middle East, where some 400 thousands of our compatriots live.

Although our focus is the Middle East, but we still have a wider perspective and try to cover some pan-Armenian subjects.

It is very important to get to know other Armenians and to establish communication with them. You can do so by joining community gatherings and, if there are no Armenians around you or if your schedule is too busy, you can still communicate by serfing on the internet or reading electronic newsletters, like this one.

It would be highly appreciated if you try to cover the activities taking place in your community by sending few paragraphs describing an event or noting down comments. Such feedback will definitely help in forming a wider perspective about your community. Furthermore, it will improve community life.

Another way to get involved is to add community events on the Events Calendar in our website. It would be very much interesting to know what Armenian events are taking place in a particular day all around Middle Eastern communities.


  • Armenian companies participate in Gulfood Exhibition in Dubai


    For the third time Armenia participated in the Gulf Food, Hotel & Equipment Exhibition (Gulfood) at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, from 19-22 February 2006.

    Since 1987, Gulfood has been considered as the Middle East's and Africa's primary business platform for food, drink, foodservice and hospitality equipment. With over 1.800 participants from more than 60 countries, this year's exhibition witnessed a 15% increase in space. The region's food and beverage industry is one of the fastest growing worldwide, particularly since over 90% of the Gulf's food is imported.

    The Armenian stand, which occupied more than 100 square meters, was represented by 9 companies, covering various food producing domains. On display were fresh, frozen and dry-packaged fish products, new sugar free jams, tomato paste, natural fruit powder, bottled water, coffee and tea, as well as natural juices and preserves.

    Read report about the exhibition and details of the participating Armenian companies …

  • Arousiak Sahakian (ethnographer) in the United Arab Emirates


    Arousiak Sahakian, philologist, ethnographer and folklore researcher has been a guest in the United Arab Emirates during January and part of February 2006. Azad-Hye had the opportunity to conduct an interview with her on 14th January 2006.

    Who organized your trip to the United Arab Emirates?
    Initially I was invited by one of my old folklore dance students (Nvart Hovhannisian), who lives now in Sharjah (United Arab Emirates), but as you may realize, my trip needed to be arranged through official channels. For this I am obliged to Lorig Katrjian, the Principal of the weekly Armenian School in Sharjah, to whom I was introduced in Yerevan last summer.

    She happened to know a lot about my activities in Armenia and Diaspora, especially the two months of prolific presence in Aleppo, Syria in 1997, during which I gave series of lectures on folklore, mythology, customs, traditional crafts, songs and dances, etc.

    I even prepared a course in embroidery, although I am not an expert in it, but I could easily find a link with folklore and traditional crafts, especially in a location like Aleppo, where some of the oldest Western Armenian embroidery traditions are still alive.

    Photo: Arsouiak Sahakian (first from left) during a folklore dance session with the school children and teachers of the Abu Dhabi Armenian Community School.

    Read the rest of the interview …

  • Al Jazeera of Qatar and its viewpoint regarding the Armenians


    Qatari based “Al Jazeera” TV channel has international fame. It was the main source of information and TV clips during the Afghanistan and Iraq war. Al Jazeera TV could access many places were Western channels were not allowed to enter.

    Based on its fame and recognition in the Arab and Islamic word, Al Jazeera TV, backed by the Government of Qatar is planning now to introduce an English speaking channel with international appeal, like the Arabic or Islamic version of CNN.

    In the past, Al Jazeera TV was not noted for objectivity when dealing with Armenian subjects. It has promoted Turkish and Azerbaijani propaganda, maybe due to the ignorance of some of its journalists and reporters. There is a tendency to introduce the subjects from a viewpoint appealing to the majority of the audience, without double-checking the source of the information.

    Lately Al Jazeera TV is trying to produce less biased reports. Two months ago (January 2006) it aired a 10 minutes report on the Armenian Community in Damascus, highlighting the role of Armenian craftsmen in the recent history of the city and reporting how the Armenians are keeping their traditions.

    Read article of “Al Jazeera” correspondent during a recent visit to Yerevan …

  • The largest Armenian petition on the internet


    If you are against the debating of the Armenian Genocide with Genocide deniers and giving deniers equal air time, you are invited to sign the following:

    ?Petition Against the Armenian Genocide panel discussion on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)?

    To sign the petition click on the link:


    Find out more about the Petition …

  • Mashtots has now returned for a second visit to Alexandria


    Commemorating the 1,600th anniversary of the creation of the Armenian Alphabet the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Armenian Republic in Egypt, presented an exhibition of rare Armenian manuscripts in February.

    Inaugurated by Ambassador Taher Khalifa, Head of External Relations at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, and Rouben Karapetian, the Armenian Ambassador to Egypt, the exhibition was followed by a scientific conference entitled “Armenian-Egyptian Historical and Cultural Relations.”

    The exhibition offered a rare opportunity for visitors to see 19 Armenian manuscripts, eight originals and the rest facsimiles, from the Institute of Matenadaran, Yerevan.

    Read article of Eva Dadrian in Al Ahram Weekly of Egypt …

  • Avraam Russo, a Syrian Armenian who realizes fame in Russia


    In its 6th December 2001 issue, ?The Moscow Times? Russian leading English-language newspaper?s reporter Elvan Levent describes the new phenomenon of the Russian pop music with the following words: ?After 16 years of performing at clubs and restaurants in Britain, Syria, France and Cyprus, Avraam Russo is well on his way to becoming a confirmed pop star — in Russia. Russo, who speaks seven languages and can sing in 14, is a Syrian-born musician of Turkish descent. Now 31, he moved to Russia five years ago and is today on his way to the top of the local charts?.

    In the following year (2002), Avraam Russo won a Russian national premium award called ?Pesnya Goda? (the song of the year) for his famous hit ?Daleko Daleko? (Far away in Russian), originally taken from the Egyptian Arab famous singer Amr Diab?s song ?Tamalli Ma?ak? (2000).

    What is the story behind Avraam Russo? Is he really of Turkish descent?

    Quite the contrary. Russo?s real name is Apraham Ipjian (nicknamed Apo or Apig).

    Read on…



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