Newsletter issue number 005 (May 2006)

Newsletter issue number 005 (May 2006)

Middle East Armenian Newsletter
Issue no. 5 20 May 2006

In this issue

First commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in Qatar

Interview with the outgoing Ambassador of Armenia Dr. Arshak Poladian

Giragos Kuyumjian calls for reforms starting from Kuwait

A pilgrimage to Sourp Magar Monastery

Pateil Tuysuzian: A piece from heaven

Iranian Armenian students in Kolkata visit their families

Sona Zeitlian's new book: Armenians in Egypt


First commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in Qatar

On 27th April 2006 for the first time in State of Qatar the Armenian community commemorated the Genocide and paid its respect to the 1.5 millions martyrs.

The event was organized by the Armenian National Council in Qatar. The orator of the day was Archbishop Sebouh Sarkissian, Prelate of the Dioceses of Tehran, who was present in Doha to take part of the “4th Doha Conference on Religions Dialogue”.

At the beginning of the event the community members lit 91 candles in remembrance to the souls of the forgotten in order to show their solidarity for the 91 years of fight against injustice.

After inviting the audience to one minute silence in respect to the souls of the 1.5 millon of martyrs, the master of ceremony Sarkis Kerkezian made the opening speech on behalf of the Armenian Council.

Read more about this event and view photos of Qatari Armenians at …



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Dear Azad-Hye subscriber

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.

Armenians in the Middle East live in one geographical area, but still they do not know much about each other. The lack of information is evident especially in small communities, where the degree of assimilation is very high.

We would like to encourage our readers in the Middle East (broadly speaking from Libya to Thailand) to send their comments, correspondence and contribution.

We are looking forward to hear from our compatriots.

We would like to ask Armenians living in other locations (in the West, motherland Armenia, Russia, etc) to send any kind of contribution related to the Middle East Armenians.

We should not forget that our forefathers who were rescued from the Genocide, have first settled in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, etc., the countries that form the Eastern Mediterranean basin.

As we commemorate the 91st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, we remember the path of pain and destruction that our forefathers walked from the Armenian highland and Anatolian cities to the Syrian desert and southern Mesopotamian marshes.


  • Interview with the outgoing Ambassador of Armenia Dr. Arshak Poladian


    Abu Dhabi, 17 May 2006

    Your Excellency, Could you please give us an idea about the progress of diplomatic ties between the Republic of Armenia and the United Arab Emirates?

    Diplomatic relations between Armenia and the UAE were established in 1998. Two years later Armenia opened an Embassy in Abu Dhabi. I came here first in April 2000. The official opening of the Embassy was on 23rd September 2000, with the presence of the Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian, members of the diplomatic missions accredited to the UAE, senior members of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a considerable number of Armenians.

    The opening of the Embassy was a significant event. Armenians from UAE, Qatar and Kuwait have come to witness it. There was great enthusiasm in the air.

    Six years have passed since then. We can say that the initial two years were the foundation years, the formation of the legal framework for our activities. Generally speaking the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are very important to us, not only for economic reasons but also due to the geopolitical proximity. Oman was the first country with whom we established diplomatic ties in 1992, followed by Kuwait in 1994 and the rest of the countries followed few years later (except Saudi Arabia).

    Read the rest of the interview and see the announcement of the Abu Dhabi Armenian Council here …

  • Giragos Kuyumjian calls for reforms starting from Kuwait


    Giragos Kuyumjian is one of the prominent members of the Kuwaiti Armenian community. He has been active in the last two decades, not only in the Armenian community, but also in the Arab press, where he has signed dozens of significant articles mostly on Armenian subjects (history, politics, literature, etc.).

    During the latest visit of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia, to Kuwait (November 2005), Kuyumjian wished to inform the Catholicos on the present situation of the Armenian community in Kuwait and the difficulties the members are facing, especially in the administrative domain. He prepared a letter in Armenian language and handed it over to His Holiness during the above visit.

    Although generally speaking the visit of Catholicos Aram I to Kuwait was considered – in terms of contacts with the Kuwaiti officials and the presentation of the Armenian subjects to the journalists – a successful one, nevertheless this success did not have any impact in resolving inner problems of Kuwaiti Armenians, some deeply rooted in the existing structure.

    Kuyumjian notices that the public figures in the Kuwaiti Armenian community are forming groups of influence, pursuing their own benefits, thus wasting the time of the other members and burdening the meetings with trivial issues.

    He believes that this and other negative aspects in the community could be corrected only with the direct intervention of Catholicos Aram.

    Kuyumjian refers to the malpractice of assigning people with no qualification to important positions in the community. He says that efficient individuals are being excluded from the public life and the stage is occupied with those who have moderate capabilities. As a result, community life quality is deteriorating. Same persons are being ?elected? to the same or similar positions, thus projecting the impression that there are no new talents.

    Read the message addressed to Catholicos Aram (in English and Armenian) …

  • A pilgrimage to Sourp Magar Monastery


    In 2001 a British journalist named Ben West visited Sourp Magar Monastery in the northern part of Cyprus (now occupied) and wrote in the travel section of the “Guardian”: “Sadly, Sourp Magar has been comprehensively vandalised, but it is still a beautiful spot with an unbelievable silence and the heady scent of pine trees”.

    In May 2005, Armenian news agencies reported that the Monastery was turned into a cafe with the intention also to build a hotel or a recreation center on the site. After actions by the Cypriot Government, international bodies expressed concern on this matter, notably the Vatican, which issued a severe response. The hotel “licence” was temporarily halted.

    In April 2006 Easter time, Sebouh Armenagian, a Cypriot Armenian based in Sharjah (UAE), visited Sourp Magar Monastery with the spiritual leaders of the community. Here are his notes:

    It was Armenian Easter. We met Hayr Paren in the Armenian Apostolic Church in Limassol (Saint Kevork). His face was familiar. He has stayed in Dubai (UAE ) for a couple of months in the past. After the Holy Mass we had a chat with him and remembered the old days in Dubai and Sharjah.

    View photo of Sourp Magar Monastery and read the remaining of the pilgrimage …

  • Pateil Tuysuzian: A piece from heaven


    The fast and lively melody of the “Hungarian Dances” by the 19th century composer Johannes Brahms drifts out from the Auditorium at Al Owais Cultural Foundation in Deira, Dubai (United Arab Emirates).

    Inside 16 years old
    Pateil Tuysuzian stands on the stage masterfully performing the Hungarian tune on her violin. She is young, talented, ambitious and above all enjoys to play her beloved instrument alongside musicians from thousand of miles away.

    Pateil is member of the “Emirates Youth Symphony Orchestra”, grade five violinists, one of the keen players, and hopes someday will become a professional musician.

    ?I love playing the violin? says the American School of Dubai pupil.

    ?I have been playing since I was 4 years old. I saw people learning how to play the instrument and I knew I wanted to become a violinist.?

    Pateil moved to the United Arab Emirates with her parents from Washington, United States eight years ago. Her parents are originally from Lebanon. She joined the orchestra at the end of 2001.

    Find out more about Pateil and her participation in the Martyr's Day commemoration …

  • Iranian Armenian students in Kolkata visit their families


    For the first time since their enrollment three years ago in the Armenian College and Philanthropic Academy (ACPa), a group of Iranian Armenian students (24 in number) headed home to spend summer vacations with parents, relatives and friends in Iran.

    The students were accompanied in their journey back with
    Ararad Yeghigian and ex-student of the Academy and the current representative in Iran, who arrived earlier to Kolkata specifically for this purpose. During his visit to the Academy Yeghigian had meetings with the administration of the school and examined closely the living conditions of the students. He was briefed on their future educational prospects. Following his tour Yeghigian pointed out that, although the Academy is facing different sorts of challenges, but recent developments have clrealy shown that the situation is changing positively toward a brighter future.

    Read the rest of the report (and the text of the press release in Armenian) …

  • Sona Zeitlian's new book: Armenians in Egypt


    The book is the first attempt to present in English the continuous presence of Armenians in Egypt from the Roman to Byzantine to modern times.

    Sona Zeitlian presented her book to the Egyptians as “a labor of love by a member of a grateful community that had seen much goodness in Egypt”.

    “Hraztan Sarkis Zeitlian Publications” announces the publication of a new book by Sona Zeitlian titled: “Armenians of Egypt: Contribution to Medieval and modern Egypt”

    The book is published in Los Angeles (2006) in English language and includes maps and illustrations. The publication was made possible by a grant from Alice and Arto Markarian. Number of pages: 268 pages.

    Read hear synopsis of the book



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