Newsletter issue number 010 (February 2007)

Newsletter issue number 010 (February 2007)


Middle East Armenian Newsletter
Issue no. 10 24 February 2007

In this issue

Elections in the Gulf Armenian communities

'Saint Armenia' in the Louvres

Syrian National Symphony Orchestra to perform in Abu Dhabi

Taline ? the guest in every Armenian home

Simply he does not fit in today?s Pop ?

Armenian party leaders meet in Paris

Boghos Mardirossian interviewed by Kuwaiti Al Siyasa daily

The Armenians in East Jerusalem and Haifa

Website of the Embassy of Armenia in Egypt

Zvartnots choir performs in Damascus

Yerjanik Avetisian wins the women's title at Dubai Shooting Championship


Elections in the Gulf Armenian communities
Members of the Elected Legislative Council in Sharjah-Dubah

On Friday 16 February 2007, Armenians in GCC countries (in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah-Dubai and Kuwait City) had elections for the Legislative Council (Temagan).

This was the fourth successive elections since the establishment of the Prelacy of Kuwait and Arabian Gulf Countries in 1994 (based in Kuwait City). Armenians have resided in the region since the 1950s (the Armenian Church and School in Kuwait date back to the 1960s, while the Abu Dhabi and Sharjah weekly schools were found in 1980-1981).

This year?s elections had a very strange character. According to the Constitution (Ganonakroutyoun) the number of the available seats was 18 (9 in Kuwait, 5 in Sharjah-Dubai and 4 in Abu Dhabi). On the other hand the number of the candidates was a matching 18. Thus, the elections turned out to be a sort of referendum or a meaningless competition for higher voting score amongst the candidates.

In recent times we noticed an influx of new comers to Sharjah-Dubai. It is estimated that hundreds of young (and young in heart) Armenian professionals from around the world are seeking their chance in the UAE, taking advantage of the current economic development in the country.

Read more …



Dear Azad-Hye subscriber

Our aim is to introduce to the wider public the activities of the Armenians in the Middle East, where more than half a million of our compatriots live, in some places even before the 1915 Genocide.

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

In order to communication with the wider Arab population (who knows little about the Armenians as a nation, but has experienced Armenian presence and neighborhood for decades), we established our Arabic version at

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  • 'Saint Armenia' in the Louvres

  • At the Louvres

    Presidents Jacques Chirac and Robert Kocharian inaugurated exposition “Saint Armenia” (Armenia Sacra) dedicated to the Armenian Christian culture (from the 4-18th centuries), which is being exhibited in the Louvres for the first time.

    The two Presidents made a tour of the exposition and examined some 200 pieces dislayed there.

    Chirac was accompanied by Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, Minister of Culture.

    Chirac had the opportunity to admire some 30 Khachkar pieces, the oldest one dating to the 9th century. The guests had a long stop in front of a piece taught to be part of the Noah's Ark, discovered in the 17th century on the top of Mount Ararat.

    Read the rest of the article …

  • Syrian National Symphony Orchestra to perform in Abu Dhabi

  • Misak Baghbudarian

    Placido Domingo, the world-renowned tenor, will be performing at a specially created desert village in Al Khatim, between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain (United Arab Emirates) on 26 February 2007, according to organisers.

    Domingo will be performing in the UAE as part of the upcoming Education Without Borders (EWB) conference to be held at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi from 25 till 27 February 2007.

    Domingo's performance will be the main cultural event during the conference. He will be accompanied by the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of condutor Misak Baghbudarian.

    Baghboudarian's two sisters are playing also in the Orchestra (Dzovag on violin and Karoun on cello).

    Read the rest of the interview …

  • Taline ? the guest in every Armenian home

  • Taline

    Interview by Sylvia Bourdjian-Matta

    Ask any child to sing a song then immediately will start with “Hink Pokrig Patigner khaghalu katzin…”.

    Every Armenian household owns a CD or DVD of Taline for their children?s sake. I have known some kids who ate their food only while watching Taline singing. Families with cars definitely own Taline?s CDs so that their children stay entertained while driving.

    Through her songs Taline was able to enter in to every Armenian home and capture the attention of the children indirectly teaching them songs and lullabies. Through her DVDs, she introduces the children to the Armenian alphabet and emphasizes the importance of keeping the Armenian language and heritage. Your child will certainly enjoy and watch her highly educational and entertaining DVDs over and over again.

    I had the chance to contact Taline and ask her the following questions:

    Read the interview …

  • Simply he does not fit in today?s Pop ?

  • Dikran Bedrossian

    By Carlos Jose Bourdjian

    A very interesting character. He only minds his own business, very quiet and conservative, but once you know him he?ll become an almost open book especially after trusting you. He was awarded with the ?Best album of 2006? for his album ?Um? (To whom) in the 4th Armenian national music awards on 15 December 2006. He won a special award from Elvina Magarian at the Meridian club hit awards in December 2005. He has only one album but you may find his name in hundred of CDs as a sound engineer. Big names like Shushan Bedrossian, Aram Asadrian and Hayko trust him only to mix their songs. He is very romantic, sensitive, charming, a father of two kids and a wonderful husband. Our star is Dikran Bedrossian.

    Congratulations for winning the award ?Best album of 2006?, how does it make you feel?

    This award means a lot to me, because the album itself is a very special work. Each track of it took a lot of time and hard work till it was finalized and recorded. I?m happy that it was finally appreciated, and I have to admit that I was utterly shocked when my name was announced that evening, especially that there were big names among the nominees, like Nune Yesaian and Arsen Safarian.

    Read the rest of the interview …

  • Armenian party leaders meet in Paris

  • Three party leaders

    The topic of the dicussion was adopting common national platform

    Leaders of the international governing bodies of the ARF Dashnaktsoutiun, the ADL Ramgavar and the SDHP Hunchak Party met in Paris on 5 Febraury 2007 to discuss national issues and a new quality of cooperation to consolidate efforts around various pan- Armenian issues such as Hay Tad and the recognition of the Genocide, lobbying for Armenia as well as issues of security related to the Armenian community of Lebanon.

    Read more about this important meeting …

  • Boghos Mardirossian interviewed by Kuwaiti Al Siyasa daily

  • Boghos Mardirossian

    In an interview with Kuwaiti newspaper “Al Siyasa” (16 February 2007 / see PDF format file in Arabic below), a prominent International relations expert Boghos Mardirossian residing in Kuwat, has said “Russian- Iranian alliance is not that strong and it could be broken and weakened in front of serious test by western world.”

    Mr. Mardirossian has analyzed in depth the strength of Iran-Russia relation. He stated “Russia and Iran have fought many wars in the past and only improved their relations after Islamic regime came to power in 1979 having a common enemy the USA in their foreign policy agenda. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia continued to retain good relations with Iran's Islamic regime”.

    Mardirossian has explained Armenia's strategic importance in the Iran-Russia relations. “Armenia is the natural and most important bridge of Russia ? Iran alliance. Russia and Iran will not let anti-Russian- Iranian, pro-USA government come to power in Armenia during next year's presidential election. Armenia will pay big price, willing or not, if it takes Georgia's way of dealing with Russia. Already Russia has controlled Armenia's strategic energy sector in return to the payment of Armenia's loans to the ex- Soviet Union.”

    Read more about this interview …

  • The Armenians in East Jerusalem and Haifa

  • Armenian bazar in Haifa

    By Hayg Panoyan

    Protest condemning the murder of Hrant Dink On Tuesday, 23rd of January 2007 at 11:00am, on the same day when Hrant Dink was being buried in Istanbul, members of the Armenian community in Jerusalem, Haifa and Jaffa gathered in front of the Turkish consulate in East Jerusalem, condemning the murder of Hrant Dink.

    The event organized by the Hay Tad Committee of Jerusalem, brought forward more than 100 protestorsm who carried banners written “Hrant Dink:the Genocide continues”, “We are all Hrant Dink, we are all Armenians”, etc. The protestors chanted Armenian nationalistic songs. The protest lasted for an hour which was documented and photographed by various reporters. A letter of condemnation was handed by the Hay Tad Committee to the consulate.

    Read about other activities such as the traditional bazar …

  • Website of the Embassy of Armenia in Egypt

  • Website of the Embassy in Egypt

    The official website of the Embassy of Armenia in Egypt has been launched on 1st February 2007.

    The address is: http://www.arme

    The website aims at highlighting the Armenian- Egyptian bilateral relations, the activities of the Embassy in political, economic, scientific and cultural domains, as well as plethora of consular services and related issues.

    A special section of the website is devoted to the Armenian community in Egypt, its past history and present-day situation.

    The website is unique in its kind, as it is the only electronic presence of an Armenian diplomatic mission in the Middle East. It is worth mentioning that there are 4 Armenian Embassies functioning in the Arab capitals (Beirut, Damascus, Cairo and Abu Dhabi) and one Consulate in Aleppo.

    Read more about this website …

  • Zvartnots choir performs in Damascus

  • Syria's First Lady attending the event

    By Sylvia Bourdjian-Matta

    On 4 February 2007 the ?Aleppo Choir ? Zvartnotz? performed a concert in the Damascus Opera House, conducted by Artun Kalemkerian, accompanied by pianist Ruzan Barsoumian.

    The 1st lady of Syria Asmaa Al-Assad, who was the guest of honour, warmly welcomed the group and highly praised their performance (see photos).

    The concert started with an Armenian song ?My land? followed by ?Song of unity?, which was performed twice due to the beautiful interpretation by the singers. The concert ended with the songs ?Fi sabil al-majd – For Glory? and ?Suria ya habibati ? My dear Syria?. The program also included Arabic patriotic songs with new musical arrangements. According to Kalemkerian the program was prepared in 4 months time including those songs that had new arrangements. ?We hope the audience liked them? he added.

    Read more about this event (with additional photos) …

  • Yerjanik Avetisian wins the women's title at Dubai Shooting Championship

  • Yerjanik Avetisian

    By Alaric Gomes, Staff Reporter

    Dubai: Overnight leader Yerjanik Avetisian fumbled a bit, but held her nerves to clinch the top spot in the women's skeet at the Dubai Shooting Championships yesterday.

    At the impressive Jebel Ali International Shooting Club range, victory did not come easy for the stocky Russian as she slipped up a bit on the penultimate station missing a target.

    However, she did enough to recoup and hold her nerve in the shoot-off against Germany's Christine Brinker.

    Read more about this athletic event …



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