Newsletter issue number 009 (February 2007)

Newsletter issue number 009 (February 2007)

Middle East Armenian Newsletter
Issue no. 9 07 February 2007

In this issue

UAE Armenians remember Hrant Dink

Armenian community life in Ethiopia

A Cinderella in the world of today

Symposium on ?President Khalifa and the culture of tolerance?

Six Armenian children from Iraq arrive in Calcutta

Archbishop of Baghdad for Catholic Armenians appointed by Pope

Armenia Village Operation

The year of the Armenian language

Argentina declares Armenian Genocide Day

Annual pilgrimage to Saint John Armenian Church in Chinsurah

Event by the Kuwaiti Chapter of the Armenian Relief Society


UAE Armenians remember Hrant Dink
Hrant Dink is remembered in Sharjah

Dink 'had the courage to live in Turkey while we went all over'

By Mariam M. Al Serkal

Over a hundred Armenians gathered at their community church in Sharjah on Tuesday evening to pay their respects to the slain Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink who died of gun shot wounds last week.

Silvia Davidian who attended the service said Dink died for representing the Armenian cause. “This has affected me a lot because he was murdered for speaking out the truth.”

Approximately 2 000 Armenians living in the UAE expressed their shock over Dink's murder.

A large television was set up within the church courtyard that aired Dink's funeral procession in Turkey which coincided with an emotional speech by one of the community members. A short biography on Dink was also read out. White roses were laid and over a dozen candles were lit at the doorsteps of the church where a framed black and white photograph of smiling Dink was placed.

Read more …



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  • Armenian community life in Ethiopia

  • Archbishop Augustin visiting Genocide memorial in Addis Ababa

    On Sunday 24 December 2006 a prayer for world peace was offered in the Saint George (Kevork) Armenian Church in Addis Ababa with the participation of the Archbishops of the Ethiopian and Greek Orthodox Churches and priests from the Indian- Malabar and Ethiopian Evangelical Churches.

    In his sermon that followed the Holy Mass celebration, Rev. Father Myron Sarkissian, Pastor of the Armenian Church in Ethiopia, thanked the religious representatives and urged them to work closely for the purpose of establishing dialogue amongst the Orthodox Churches in Ethiopia, as a first step on the way of forming a Pan-Orthodox Church Council, under the chairmanship of the Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarch His Holiness Abouna Paulos. After the sermon, the clergymen read together the peace prayer which was prepared in English by Father Sarkissian.

    Read the rest of the article …

  • A Cinderella in the world of today

  • Hamig Garabedian

    By Carlos Jose Bourdjian

    She was the one who shared Emmy the award for ?Best female singer? in the fourth Armenian national music awards on December 15th 2006. Her video clip for the song ?Yerpek ches imana? (You?ll never know) was nominated in the category of ?Best Video Clip? of year 2006 directed by Hrach Keshishian who used recent computer animation techniques in the production. She performs pop rock and contemporary genres. Her famous duet ?Siro Ashkharh? (Love world) with Shushan Bedrossian topped the charts for several weeks. Our guest is singer and composer Hasmig Garabedian. I?m glad that she is my star for this week?s article. And why Cinderella? Don?t ask me she is just like that a contemporary Cinderella.

    How does it make you feel to hold the ?Best Female Singer of 2006? title and share it together with Emmy?

    Actually I was shocked when I heard Arthur Krikorian calling my name. Though there were only two nominations in this category but I figured that the award would go definitely to Emmy because she has been working hard for the past 10 years and especially last year; she had both an album and a concert of her own. Emmy is very talented and I am glad that her work was finally appreciated but was surprised to be a winner sharing the same award with her; I even didn?t prepare a speech or a thank you list. On this occasion I would like to thank the jury who voted for me and all my fans around the world for believing in me because to me the love of my people is the biggest award.

    Read the rest of the interview …

  • Symposium on ?President Khalifa and the culture of tolerance?

  • Archbishop Babian attending the Sypmosium in Abu Dhabi

    The Information office of Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, organized a symposium in Abu Dhabi on 23rd January 2006 under the title “President Khalifa and the culture of tolerance”.

    Several prominent, religious figures and diplomats took part in the event.

    As a speaker in the symposium, His Eminence Archbishop Goriun Babian, Catholicossal Representative for the Diocese of Kuwait and the Arab Gulf Countries referred to the existing freedom of worship and the culture of tolerance in the United Arab Emirates, a fact that provides many opportunities to the members of the Armenian Church in terms of preserving their national and religious identity and remaining faithful to their roots.

    Archbishop Babian highlighted the heritage of tolerance and interaction with the other religions as part of the legacy of the late President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (the father of today?s President Sheikh Khalifa), who had welcomed in Abu Dhabi the visit of two leaders of the Armenian Church: late Catholicos Karekin I (1994) and current Catholicos Aram I (1998). Archbishop Babian expressed gratitude for the deep understanding shown regarding the demand of the Armenians in Abu Dhabi and the generosity of the authorities by granting the right to build the Armenian Church and providing a piece of land and a sum of money for this purpose. He praised President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his role in spreading the culture of peace and religious dialogue amongst the people of the region.

    Read more about the above Symposium …

  • Six Armenian children from Iraq arrive in Calcutta

  • Students from Iraq arrive in Calcutta

    From January 14-21, with the blessings of His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, Very Rev. Fr. Oshagan Gulgulian, Manager of the Armenian College and Philanthropic Academy of Calcutta and parish priest of the Armenian community of India, traveled to Jordan and Iraq to secure the safe travel of six Armenian children from Baghdad to Calcutta (Kolkata), India, to enroll in the Armenian College.

    After arriving at Baghdad International Airport, due to ongoing security concerns, Fr. Oshagan was denied entry to the capital city of Iraq by the authorities and he was forced to return to Jordan. Nevertheless, the children were able to travel to Jordan through the combined efforts of Archbishop Avak Assadourian (Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Iraq), Fr. Oshagan and their parents.

    Upon their arrival in Jordan, Fr. Oshagan met the new students of the Armenian College and Philanthropic Academy and escorted them to Calcutta. The parents of the children have expressed their deep gratitude and appreciation to His Holiness Karekin II and the management and administrators of the Armenian College for providing this opportunity to their sons at this very difficult and dangerous time for Iraq.

    Read more about the ACPA…

  • Archbishop of Baghdad for Catholic Armenians appointed by Pope

  • Iraqi Armenian Catholic Church in Baghdad

    Pope Benedict XVI approved the canonical election of father Emmanuel Dabbaghian as Archbishop of Baghdad by the Synod of Bishops of the Armenian Catholic Church.

    The Vatican press office confirmed this news today.

    The bishop-elect, 73, is currently the vicar for Armenians in Georgia. His predecessor, Archbishop Paul Coussa, 89, retired in 2001.

    The bishop-elect is a native of Aleppo, Syria, and was ordained a priest in 1967 as a member of the Institute of the patriarchal clergy of Bzommar, Lebanon. He studied philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

    Until his election, Bishop-elect Dabbaghian was a parish priest in Tiflis, Georgia, and responsible for the Armenian-Catholic Seminary.

    Read more …

  • Armenia Village Operation

  • Armenian Village Operation

    Armenia Village Operation was established in Yerevan in 2005 with a mission to “end extreme poverty in rural Armenia through community development”.

    AVO in partnership with various private donors and organizations has successfully implemented 5 projects in 4 rural villages. Our projects helped hundreds of families with micro finance, running water, infrastructure and community development, with an end result of income generation for self sustainability.

    Read more about this organization (including some of its projects) …

  • The year of the Armenian language

  • The Year of the Armenian Language

    In line with a previously established tradition His Holiness Aram I proclaimed 2007 to be the “Year of the Armenian Language.” The Pontiff's Encyclical will be read during the Sunday Mass in the St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral on January 14 2007.

    In 2007 The Catholicosate of Cilicia and all its dioceses and institutions will focus on the Armenian language. Several events and initiatives organized by the Catholicosate its dioceses and Armenian schools in the Armenian communities throughout the Diaspora will bring under the spotlight the Armenian language its preservation and development and specially its correct usage by the new generations.

    The Catholicos' Encyclical will be read from the altars of all the churches in the dioceses of the Catholicosate of Cilicia during the next few weeks inviting the Armenian nation to reassess the unique importance of their mother language in Armenian life both in Armenia and the Diaspora.

    Read the Armenian text here …

  • Argentina declares Armenian Genocide Day

  • Logo of Hay Tad in South America

    Argentina declared 24th April Armenian Genocide Day after President Nestor Kirchner approved a draft bill for a “Day of action for the tolerance and the respect between the people” on 10 January 2007.

    Ankara's response was swift, in the form of a note from Prime Minister Erdogan to President Kirchner in which he maintained that Genocide Day was not in line with historical events.

    Following is the news item as appeared in the Turkish Daily News:

    Turkey condemns Argentina?s genocide bill

    Turkey has deplored and rejected the adoption by the Argentinean president of a bill marking April 24 as “The Action Day for Tolerance and Respect between Peoples for the Memory of Armenian Genocide,” saying that it was “unethical and far from seriousness.”

    In a written statement released on Saturday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry labeled the Argentinean move as being incompatible with historical facts, saying it was obvious that the bill was adopted for domestic political gains. “The political and legal responsibility of the unfair move belongs to the Argentinean government,” it added.

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an expressed Turkey's uneasiness over the bill in question via a letter he sent to Argentinean President Nestor Kirchner last month, the ministry also said. “The bill presented for the sake of 'tolerance and respect' between the peoples, is actually made up of unfair accusations and allegations that will spark hostility and hatred between the peoples,” it added.

    Read more about the Genocide Recognition in Argenitna …

  • Annual pilgrimage to Saint John Armenian Church in Chinsurah

  • Visit to Chinsurah Armenian Church

    Following years old tradition, on 14 January 2007 pilgrims visited the Saint John Armenian Church in Chinsurah, where Holy Mass was conducted on the Sunday following the date of the birth of Saint John the Baptist.

    The Armenian Church in Chinsurah, originally built in 1695 and dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, has a historical significance, being the second oldest Church in the Western Bengal and the first Armenian Church in the Far East.

    The celebrant of the Holy Mass was Very Rev. Father Oshagan Gulgulian, pastor of the Armenian community in India and the Manager of the Armenian College and Philanthropic Academy (ACPA) in Calcutta. The Mass was attended also by Deacon Tigran Baghumyan, the Administrator of ACPA.

    Read more … (includes Armenian text)

  • Event by the Kuwaiti Chapter of the Armenian Relief Society

  • Armenian Relief Society in Kuwait

    Armenian Relief Society?s (ARS) Central Executive Board member Tamar Der Bedrossian (from Lebanon) attended on 24th November 2006 a ceremony in Kuwait City dedicated to the Society?s centennial Fund. The event was the forerunning fund raising campaign for the Kuwaiti chapter, held in the Saint Vartan Armenian church in Salmiya (Kuwait City), under the patronage of Archbishop Goriun Babian, Catholicossal Representative of the Diocese of Kuwait and the Arabian Gulf countries.

    Der Bedrossian delivered a lecture in the presence of the active members of the Kuwaiti ARS chapter and a group of supporters. Shakeh Zarigian, Head of the Kuwaiti ARS chapter, welcomed the guest and described – in broad lines – the worldwide activities of the ARS, highlighting its enormous contribution to the well-being and development of the Armenian communities since 1910. She said that through the efforts of ARS the Armenian identity was preserved in the Diaspora communities. Considerable degree of social progress was recorded in communities where ARS maintained presence, including Armenia in most recent times.

    Read more (including Armenian text) …



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