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TOGUS

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ARTS

22[ew

Goyennment

Andranik Markarian is Armenia's latest Prime Minister

50

[ Noble Gause Levon Chilingirian's (pictured with his wife Susan Pattie) Armenia project

lnt[tilllil iltltnillMrllt June 2000, Volume I

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Mt0AItilt

No. 6

DTTRITETT$ 10 trom the Editop I

1 lettens

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24 GlobalPictune 26 lnmenia Bniets 28 EconomiG Ncws & lndicatons 30 Regional Bniets 52 $poPts 55 How I Got this $hot 56 AlMan[etPlace 60 Undenexposcd 62 Es$ay

GIIIEIXM

46 GOUER STORY

32lie

What',s in a lllame

Genocide at issue as a man tries to change his name in Canada

Bi0 Escape

On the road of immigration

Cover design Patrick Azadian, photo Max Sivaslian

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AIM JUNE

2OOO


Dig er,Dolde ond rnore

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Original, Most-\Tidely Circulated P-it:ogf alnong, States and Armenian Communitiesever! The Directorls 2000 edition features nationwtde uruted an uodated direaory and C.""arn#."i* ttrffi *Ji"a"ao i r.* Intemet_Web sites -white P,go' prg*;Jih; Raideitial v.u.* n ,rr. ,. Business to Business section, in addition Call to olderyour cogf todal The Armenian Directory Yellow Prgo,

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,UNI

International Initiative

Founded in 1990

Founding Editor Vailan 0s[anian Founding Publisher Michael l{ahabet Arm0nien lnternrllonal I[egazi[0

Max Sivaslian, 45, is a French-born

photographer

who has lived

207 South Brand Boulevard, Suite 203 Glendale, Calilornia 91204 USA Phone 818 246 7979

in

Karabakh and Armenia for the last eight years. His photos have appeared regularly in Nouvelles d'Armenie

Magazine, as

well as in

Fax 818 246 0088

E-mail aimagazine@aol.com Editor-Publisher

s!l0l

various

Hralch Tchlllukian

European publications. AIM's readers,

Photo Manager

too, have benefited from his vision.

Parll Lazarlrn

His photos of the prison for young men in Yerevan were memorable (AIM,

July

Art Dirmtor

Patrlcl Azadlen ksistant to the Editor Hrah Sa*is Ssrlissian

1998).

The cover story this month, reported and photographed by Max, is even

more heart wrenching. Max sent

Associate Editors

A. H. Algrandilan, Ysrovan Tooy HalDin, London

a

Contributing Edilors

note a month or so ago, saying that he

John Huohes,

tlatlh0u l(aranlan, Ronald Gri0or Suny, Tallne

lroslorllchian

had a special report on emigration from Armenia. This has become the horror story ofthe year, yet little solid information is available in terms of

Writers

Contributing

Fslir Corlry, l(rllton Kldd, Hralr Sartis Saddsslan Associate Publisher

T6nl

ilclldonian

Subscriptions Manager

numbers, patterns, trends, etc. Max's - to get on a bus and follow

sola Kn0danirn

initiative

Advertising Manager

a group of would-be emigrants - is captivating. His willingness to share his story with AIM's readers is appreciated. This story first appeared in Nouvelles d'Armenie Magazine, with whom AIM has a special arrangement. It is a tale you won't find elsewhere. AIM's ability to attract young and energetic talent from around the world is invaluable. It's what makes the magazine special. The photos of Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian's visit to Uruguay were provided by Diego Karamanukian, who works with the Armenian Radio of Uruguay, in

Montevideo. Diego (whom we've never met) sent an initial email written hesitatingly in Arm-Spanglish. After we responded in Arm-Spanglish (we live in Southern California, after all) AIM now has a new contributor. The initiative that moves these professionals to turn into correspondents is what enables AIM's budget (and coverage) to stretch intemationally. Attorney Harry Dickranian of Montreal, not only makes his language skills available (he translated Max's adventure from French to English) but he also offered the interesting human interest piece on Quebec's name change laws (see Connections in this issue.) The story is clearly more significant than a simple feature, and Harry picked up on the political signiflcance of this individual case.

It's

Harcullnian G[aa]ian

Senior Editor

hard being TIME-LIFE-NEWSWEEK-BUSINESSWEEK-UEXPRESS-

PEOPLE and a dozen other publications all rolled into one. We've got a long way to go. And I don't know if we'll ever get there, but it's sure fun trying.

/"-rWrrAIM JUNE

2OOO

Flmi Mothilarlan lnterns

farlna Ayodi$sian, Talino J. ilihranlan, Lovon Thomassian Yorovan BuEau 67 Koghbatsi street, No. Phone 533699

1

E-mail aimarm@arminco.com Coordinator

Anahll INrrllmssian Assistant

Anna Gevortlan Adverlising Manager

Goher Sahaklan Design and Production

Vahan Slepanlsn Contributors

&lash$ Emln, YcEyan; Sulan Pettc, London; EdiI Erlaian, Los Ano8hq Jand Samusller, Palm Sprin$; t a* ilrllaslsn, Rhods lsland; G8oroE 80[noulian, Lola xoundrtilan, ilow Yorlc My]iam Gaume, Parir; iloond ilooradlan, washington, 0G; vartan ilatiotslen, Bmn08 AiEt. PhotographeG

tkiihr

Khachatrlen, Zavon Xhachltlan, Routon tilanCasilan,

Yoltnn; Antoi[8

Agoldllan, Amlnoh J0hann6s, lllns ll.noullan, Prd$ Edm0nd Toratoplrn, London; l(arim Armcn, I0mil DiansiElen, 88fr Ekmlkll, Erlc ilar8fian, Ara Oshagan, Los fuEol8s; DlaC0 {anmanukian,

l$assachGelb; Hary

M0trtsvld6o; Gam Lashinian,

(o{Idalliar, tlru Yoft 8s1!s lta Zoblrn, Rhole ldand.

Emritus Gharlor llazarian Editor

lntarnatlonal Subscilption: tnd

lr!!din!

Adv!ilisin! Brprostnlalives

Pino 3511 (1426) Buenos Ai'es. Phone 54r1 4552 K00la Ave. Ea$ Kil aE NSW 2071 Phone 02 9251 2882; All'ed Markarian, PO. tJox 370, Hailis Park NSW 2150. Phore 029897 18,46: Vahe Kaleb P0. 8ox 250, Pon Melbou.ne. Vicloda 3207, Phore 013 9794 0009 CtEda Rami0 Haiimian, 3150 Sadelon Sl@1, St. Laurent, 0rcb€c H4B1E3, Phone 514 339 2517 H0n! Ione Jack [,!axian, Rlt4.42, 1 1/l BlockA,26 Kai Cheun0 8d., Kowloon Bay, Kowloon, Phore 852 795 9888 ltaly Pierc Balanian, Zadouhi Xabalia, P0. Box 55,669. Via [,lo,lacu, 61 A4/5, 80me, Phone 995 1235 Beirut, Lebanon, Phon€ (1)51@12 Ulllld Anb Emlntls Guliar Jonian, P0. Box 44564, Abu ohabi, UAE, Phone 971 2 644 7721, Fu 971 644 8191 Unltld l(00dom Misak ohanian, 1054 g€2 4621 Mill Hill Hd. Aclon, London Ws&iF, Phone 0181 3550

Colegio M8&ii[arista.

Auttnll.Varooi

VinE del

lskenderian.

'i8

Lriailr

wrlle lo Aiml We w€lcome all communication. Alth0uoh we read all letters and submissions, we are unable t0 acknowled0e everythino we receive due t0 limited statfing and resources. Letters t0 the Ediifi may be edited for publication.


tucked in the chapter entitled "The Blockade." He goes on to write, referring to "a poli-

stand up and say to us that ifyou like "free" market economy, western "civilized"

tical settlement" (meaning with Turkey and

lifestyle, then you better get used to the fact that capitalism demands Armenia to provide

Azerbaijan) that "Armenians have a head-inthe-sand attitude unfortunately." That is to say, without the blockade, transport routes would be shorter, trade would thrive and as a result growth rate would rise.

He ends with, "this is not a call for Armenia to reach an accommodation with its

neighbors. That is for Armenia to decide.

But this is a plea for Armenians and their friends to be realistic about the costs of maintaining the current situation." One is at a loss to understand andjudge such a disposition expressed openly, when all know what country or countries have imposed the blockade and for what reasons. He is hinting at accommodation - "Gobble

- gobble-up Meghri-Zangezw, well. Should not the good professor take a

Soul Searching

Plan" style

Let me commend you for your criticism of political parties for their so-called leadership

as

in

the Genocide commemorations. These groups get far too much attention in California and leaving such events to them merely rein-

forces the false impression that they truly represent the wider Armenian-American

the

Iftights of Vartan, that can mobilize

the

widest possible coalition of people to come together on such occasions.

The programs such as the St. Patrick's Cathedral and Times Square in New York or

the events this year in Massachusetts

are

much more news-worthy and emotionally meaningful. When will rhe community in California wake up to the fact that these political parties in the Diaspora are an anachronism that belongs to the past? Michael Haratunian New York City

Head in the Sand While the extensive

April Cover Story by the esteemed professor and former USAID and USDA consultant in Armenia very correctly describes the past and present

political and economic situations, his article also contains some short "advice" - not in the last section entitled "What to do," but

Reading AIM over the past few years has opened some wonderful doors for me. Firstly, it made your readers aware of the

AGBU's New York Summer Internship Program back in 1995. I had the pleasure of

in the hogram in

taking part

helped turn the Big Apple upside down. Secondly, in February 1999, your Cover

there, and find out why they have maintained a stranglehold for so Years?porondiion

mw

1996

and

Story, "Armenia's Invisible Children" prompted my friend Shant Petrossian and

Instead look at what we do on the East

It's the church together with atlied

Good Deeds

tour, this time to the republics of Turkey and

Ho Ho Kus, New Jersey

non-political organizations such as

reminds us that Armenia should avoid measures which would compromise her advantage as a source of low cost labor market. Thank you again for such a thought-provoking article. I look forward to similar articles in future issues. Khodam Rostomian, MD Glendale, Califumia

Azerbaijan and do some in-depth analysis

community. Coast.

"low labor cost" and "good quality labor force," in his closing remarks Beilock

Thought Provoking

I would like to congratulate you April issue.

on your

Prof. Richard Beilock analytical article was a refreshing approach to our existing problems in Armenia. It is so interesting to see that it takes a non-Armenian to outline our shortcomings the way they are without painting them to look better. The introduction tried to give the impression that it is not really that bad, in an attempt to prepare the readers about the upcoming "shocks" that

they

will be experiencing by reading

Beilock's article. I even think the titles of the two segments were misplaced. Maybe the warning segment should have been called "The Bad and the Good" and Beilock's article should have been entitled "On Armenia's Horizon." Because by reading Beilock's article at least three times, I was hard-pressed to find anything "good" about the current deadlock status of Armenia. In conclusion, I would like to share with your readers that it takes a non-Armenian to AIM JUNE

2OOO

me to make a24-minute documentary about the orphanage situation in Armenia for his Master's thesis last summer. This proved to be a truly unforgettable experience. We hope that screening the documentary in as many communities as possibte will further raise awareness and reaction. Thirdly, in the August/September 1999 issue, you featured the story of the remark-

able Englishman, David Dowell, who has been on over 30 trips to Armenia and Karabakh, shipping containers full of clothes and medical equipmenVsupplies to those in need.

After reading about him,

I

visited him

and was overwhelmed at how many supplies he had collected. With your article, awareness amongst the British-Armenian community will ensure that the containers will be even fuller from now on, Sylvie Keshishian

lnndon, United Kingdom

Correction ln Bytes, April 2000, Republic of Armenia's foreign debt should have been listed as 876 million dollars.


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Ihe Magazine

Thc I r,urth \{illefnirrrn S('.icl\ i\ rrr inilcptrrrlentll iurrdccl irnrl irLlrrrrrri'1.rcrl ltrhlrr'11!xrrt! inl(JIrlle(l irr rhc l,url,,,'. ,)i ii.\.lofrn!.rrl cortrrrrirlcrl l(, tlte rliss(.nrinrti()il ()l lflorrrrli!rr t,ut.lic I rrtlerpinnirrS rll,rur rrLrrk i\ lha lir]ri .L)n\i!ri(r. lhrL llrc \iirlit\ r)l .ril rn(lelct d.nt l)rt!\ is ltrrlrlirnlcnt.rl t0 a,lcrtroirrlii \r)aL't\ in \lrrr'nLr rnJ ilcrrrocr'rt ' irr'lililli"n' Iillcrnrlionrl Socirtr puhli'hc..\rnl.nirf in the I)iir.porr Tlrc hrrrrtlt Ilillftrriil!ll Ihcilirtcr'r'rregrrrtr'lillLo \lrrezineirrl:cll(,rll('.(,nlrihLLl.l,)llrcrr.lli()nrldill(j!lu. frIr5l..i. Pf,lrorl\ irnd Frit'l)!l' ()f lht- li\rlrlllr \lill.nnilrlll Socictt uh" llle lltiltlir.l(,rs rn(1 AInl'nlil J.\cl,)Prrr.rll ol.\rrlrrrirn\ arc conrrnillcd to llrc t.ll heirrg gr,'rth.rt,l thit)urh lll. prorn.tion \)l Lrl)eI di\'u'\iLrf rrn'l tlrc Ircc 1l()\ Lrl rrll()rllrrtli()r :rrr'rrrs rndr \r{lurl\ rn(l (n.!roi/rlion, llrcir liniLilirrl.(r\lrih!rir)rr\.q|1r,rl thc r(rL ()l1he l oilrlll \Jrllenniurrr i)rrL'!tor\ \lirlILrl \ullLhcr. ltrlli /i|/rlrif s(,cict\ dtr(l rn\LIc rh. irrlepcn.lcric,,l.\l\1.

SubscriptioI

inquiries can be made by phone, fax or email. lnclude Your complete address, phone/fax and email information.

Letters to the Editor

must include writer's name, address and daytime phone number, and should be sent via mail, fax or email. Letters may be edited for space and clarity.

0ther People's Mail

Have you written or received mail, traditional or othenruise, that is interesting, captivating and relevant to Armenia and its Diaspora? Send it to AlM. All mail will be edited to assure anonymity.

Special lmues Tourism in Armenia (AM

May 1999)

is a unique and informative guide to help

you navigate your trip to Armenia. Our extensive coverage and information on hotels, restaurants, nightlife and tourist destinations will assist in making your trip memorable ($3.90 plus S&H)

Back lssues

may be ordered by phone, fax or email, Remember to indicate the month and year of the issue. 0r if a speci{ic article is what you're looking for, AIM will tax/mail you a copy. All back issue orders must be prepaid, ($3.90 plus S&H)

l)IITEClC)RS 2000 Shahcn Hairapctiatt. Arltlett IIantprt. Zarcn Khanjian. \lichrcl Nrhabct' Alex Sarkissirrl. Bob Shamlian. Ralli Zinzirliarl. I}I.]NEIIA(]TOItS Srrkis Acopian.,\lbcrt rncl'lirrc BoYajian. l'he Cales.iian Iiarrtill lirtrnrlation' Ine' Ilirair Horrtattiart. Thc l.incv lrounrlation. I-ttttisc Manoosirln Sinrottc s t,rittR'l' Itf 's'l' E lls .AtrS'IRALIA Hero: & Katc Dilanchirn cA\,\l).\ Rrztris Ilakintian. Kourlicn Srrkissiart HONCi KONG Jrck Nlaxirn tjSA (lA,\rtlrnd & \ancl Arabirtr Klrachig Ilahal'tn. (icorgc & Irlort [)rttt.Liirn: Araric l\'I. Harourinian. (leorge & (irrce Kry. J0c &.lorcc sicln RI PaPkcn.larljigian

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Going, Going, Gone Emigration is a crisis in need of a solution, not a tragedy to be cried over The gap between life aspirations and the means to

fulfill them

must be bridged if Armenians are to quit leaving Armenia in droves (See page 32.) Nowhere in the world is everyone guaranteed to achieve the kind of life they expect for themselves and their children. But one can only live with the belief that it's possible.

There must be solid reason to have faith either in one's own abilities to reach the stars, or (as they did for 70 years) one must believe the government is going to bring that star down within human reach. [n Armenia, today, there is no faith in either. What there is, is cynicism, despair and social breakdown. The combined economic and political shocks of the last decade, and especially the last year, have taken their toll. The number of people in Yerevan who begin sentences with "Before October 27..." is a blatant indication that much more than eight politicians were lost during the shootings in Parliament, last fall. It was the final episode in a series of setbacks over which the people believe they have no

sometimes with language skills, sometimes without, butready to adapt, ready to toil for a goal. The consequences of emigration are complex, but not necessarily irreversible. There are the obvious political consequences. What happens to a country's political raison-d'efre when hundreds of thousands (out ofjust three or four million) leave? There are the economic consequences. Those leaving are not just part of the labor force, they are also consumers whose absence affects the quality of life of the country's remaining suppliers and servicers. There are the social consequences. Those who remain behind begin to wonder if they are not missing out, and if the outside isn't truly greener than the inside. Added to this is ttre diminishing faith in the government which is "allowing" this to happen. The government is in for even greater criticism. Accusations begin with calls for the govemment to prevent such an exodus.

control. Therefore, today, Armenians leaving the Republic of Armenia are making choices. They are choosing between the powerlessness and hopelessness at home and what they perceive to be the possibility of a peaceful, predictable life outside. Most of those migrating from Armenia do so not because they are unemployed, hungry and homeless. The most destitute of any country are unable to gather the resources and the know-how necessary to cross intemational borders and enter foreign lands. This is especially true these days when millions want out of the countries of the former Soviet Union. And where do they want to go? Not all, but many want to go West, of course. Yet, the peoples of the West, despite their dominant cultural influence in the world, despite their awesome centripetal force, despite their growing need for labor, refuse to make such permanent or temporary migration easy. Nevertheless, Armenians, among others, are choosing to risk leaving behind the familiar, for the promises of the great unknown in what may be one of the largest peacetime people movements in human history. And those involved in this displacement are the

middle class, the risk-taking, skilled or semi-skilled laborers,

It can't. Even if it

was not a signatory to intemational agreements allowing one's citizens to freely come and go as they choose, Armenia could not prevent those wishing to leave from doing so. Some (including those who leave) are holding the govemment responsible for the damage that massive emigration causes in a society. A few are even, irresponsibly, calling this another genocide. Distress at the reality of depopulation is no excuse for trivializing Armenia's own recent history and calling this a genocide. It isn't. It's a massive social and economic crisis. And it can be solved. The govemment needs a plan to turn the economy around and the political will to make it happen. The opposition needs to either come up with a plan of its own, or keep its mouth shut and work under the best plan that can be devised. The people need to be shown a program, explained its components, and brought around. The Diaspora needs the political will to help provide the resources to make such a plan turn into reality. It's a crisis. Crises have solutions. If those solutions are not r found, a crisis becomes a ragedy. It's not a tragedy yet.

Freedom is Indivisible Less freedom for the Jehovah's WitneSSeS means Armenians are sure they want freedom, but they're not sure if they want freedom for everyone. That's what the continuing arguments about all-encompassing religious freedom amount to. On the one hand, Armenia (and Armenians around the world) say that the government should be held to the highest standards of Western human rights and democratic principles. On the other hand, when a government official attests to the Council of Europe (See page 27) that Armenia will indeed assure freedom of religion to all and make provision for altemative military service, the complaints come pouring in. Oddly enough, in Armenia, the loudest protests came from the newspa-

l6

no

freedom for anyone

pers of the two traditional (Westem!) political parties. A7g of the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party and Erkir of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation - Dashnaktsutiun wrote at length deplor-

ing the government's

insistence

on making good on

the

Constitution's pledge of religious freedom.

The problem is that the group in question, the Jehovah's Witnesses, has made great inroads in Armenia over the last decade. They are estimated to have 15,000 followers. If this is cause for alarm for the Mother Church, there is no indication that equal and commensurate steps are being taken by them to provide similar ministry to those in Armenia who seek such spiritual solace and

AIM JUNE

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refuge. That Karekin tr, Catholicos of All Armenians, is still new on job and has not had sufficient time to tackle this challenge is true. And, that there simply are not enough capable, qualified, devoted priests in the Armenian Church is also true. But those decrying the state's commitment to respect individuals, freedom to worship are doing nothing to add to the resources ofthe Mother Church so that it may demonstrate that the national church can still be the home of the Armenian soul, even 1700 years later. On the contrary, by insisting on the closed, reactionary, authorthe

itarian approach (no sects allowed) they are making it more possible for devout Jehovah's Witnesses (as well as those who pretend to be) to claim intolerance and request asylum elsewhere. Thus, all the immediate responses simply lead to more trouble. The easiest position - and the one that happens to be the right thing to do - would be to allow each to worship according to their convictions. Together with that policy, there must be an active program to demonstrate why the traditional Church should be the church of choice. But first, there must be choice. .

Looking for a Spirit of Change Turkey's new President can do much to mend bridges All

announcements about Turkey's new President, Ahmet

Necdet Sezer (See page 30) were accompanied by a wide range of expectations. Chief among them was the repeated hope that the new president, a former head of the Constitutional Court, will push

for further democratization and

strengthen the rule of law. President Sezer, then, is expected to both represent, and lead, a "spirit of change." That will be difficult in a country which seems to allow its policies to be guided by its emotions. The Republic of Turkey is nearly 80 years old, yet it seems as paranoid today about the possibility that it will be dismembered as its predecessor, the Ottoman

Empire, was 100 years ago. It is worried about the Kurds in Anatolia, the Armenians in the Caucasus, the Europeans at its western doors, the Syrians to the southeast, Iran to the south, and of course, Greece. Ironically, despite its uncomfortable relations with most of those in its immediate neighborhood, Turkey sees itself as a bridge between Europe andAsia, between East and West, between Islam and Christendom, between the old and the new. For this to happen, President Sezer must make inroads in tuming Turkey into a useful and friendly neighbor, rather than a frighr ened and dangerous one. Only such a change in attitude will free

the Turkish leadership to design and implement the kind of legislation and institutional framework that will indeed turn Turkey into a member of the European Union (EU) and thus a connected member of a geographic and ideological community. There are many transformations that will have to take place. The EU expects that the state must be disentangled from the economy. The state must also be disentangled from the specifics of educational and religious practice. Finally, the state must be disentangled from imposing cultural and linguistic conditions that are, at heart, political. If Turkey is willing and able to distinguish between the fundamental and the expedient, then it can indeed build the necessary domestic and international bridges. Perhaps the smooth transfer of power from 'Baba' Suleiman Demirel to the more youthful, pragmatic Sezer will inspire the confidence that the Turkish leadership needs to make difficult, bold decisions. This will make Turkish society more democratic, and the Republic of Turkey a more egalitarian, predictable, reasonable neighbor and ally. Turkey's neighbors want this to happen. But if Turkey's president is able to lead with such psychological reforms, it will be doing so foremost, for the benefit of its own people. r

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AIM JUNE

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California 91204 USA


rr We will light without mercy against corruption, bribery, protectionism and the misappropriation of state property. t, -Andranik Markarian new Prime Minister of Armenia

Illnstead ol investing in development, the old managers ol our airlines built churches, country houses and swimming pools. ln place ol new planes, they bought yachts and cars. tt -Ruben Grigorian, Armenian

Airlines General Director

0ver 50 percent ol the wanted criminals 0n lnterpol's "Red Notioe" (www.interpol.int) Werg AfmenianS. The persons concerned are wanted by national jurisdictions and lnterpol's role is to assist the national police forces in identifying or locating those persons. The youngest among the 27 Armenian criminals (out of about 50) is 17 years old, the oldest 53. There is only one woman. Ten are wanted for murder; '10 for fraud, organized crime and for attempted murder and assault. Some on the "red notice" list are simply suspects, like the

seven

Armenians mentioned above. Others are convicted criminals. All have been listed by their countries and are wanted for extradition. The S8-year-old Slobodan Milosevic is also on the list, wanted lor "Crimes Against Humanity. The US has only one "wanted criminal:" 0sala Bin Laden. Azerbaijan and Turkey have none.

IIThere is nothing that people cannot accomplish. Anything can be done. lt's iust your attitude. ,,

s#

-Gayane Pogosian

Brd( F6rwâ&#x201A;Źrd

52, upon receiving a Masters Degree from

California Lutheran

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Relord

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Y.ham AH.Jrr

Pogosian, who is blind, was led to the stage by her guide dog

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ISThe new president said we will continue with the reforms. What does this mean? That we will continue looting and destroying Russia till the end? t, -Alexander SolzhenitsYn 81, Nobel laureate and former Russian dissident

ItKarabakh has its own legime.

r, -Murtuz Aleskerov

Speaker of Aaerbaijani Parliament,

to Baku's ANS TV

rl ln siding with Turkey, lstael has placed itself in the uncomlortable - and bitterly ironic - position colluding with a denier of genocide. tt

of

-Leora Eren Fruch The Jerusalem Post

tiThe archives should

be open and this subject should

be discussed openly. already done this. r,

To

some extent, Tutkey has

I(We, Zionists, have deep and candid sympathy -Sami

Selcuk

Turkey's Supreme Court of Appeals President,

on freedom of expression regarding

the issue of the Armenian Genocide

lor the fate ol the Armenian people... ln our uiew, a lree and prospsrous Armenia, lree and pr0sperous Arab land and lree and prosper0us Eretz lsrael are the three pillars 0n which will be built peace and calm in the Middle East.

t!

(rWe admit having committed violalions lor Robert Kocharian to be elected Presidenl,lir,

Shmuel TalkowskY Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann's secretary, 1918

Surrn,un member of Parliament and Yerkrapah,

Source: Speech of Yossi Sarid, lsrael's Minister of Education, in Jerusalem on April 24.

the Karabakh War Veterans' Union

l8

AIM.IUNE

2OOO


W Panailianou tllG Engat

sepremren,'s0

In September 1990, T?rline Voskeritchian wrote "Armenia's Greatest Film Maker Dies at 66; Unique ThlentWasted by Lack of Freedom'On July 20, 1990, after an extended struggle with diabetes, heart nouble, and cancer, Sergei Paradjanov, one ofthe Soviet Union's greatest film makers, died in Yerevan at the age

of66.

A native and long-time resident of Tbilisi, Georgia, Paradjanov was bom in

1924

to prosperous

Armenian parents who suffered the horrors of the Stalin years. Paradjanov enrolled at tlre Institute of Cinematography in Moscow where he worked with Ulaainian filmmaker Savchenko and pioneering Russian director Kuleshov. His diploma project in 1952 was Moldavian Fairy Tales, which set the course of Paradjanov's later great films of the 1960's and 1980's - Shadows of Forgottm Ancestors, Nran Guyne (The color of the Pomegranates), Thc Fortress of suram, and Ashugh Ghanb. Paradjanov drew the content of these four great films from "remote" regional cultures of Moldavia, Armeni4 Georgia and Azerbaijan. Shadows gamered more than 15 intemationat prizes and became one of the most illustrious examples of the regional cultural revival of the 1960's. Professional envy at the success of Sludows and the increasing interference of the govemment in the arts, hampered Paradjanov's efforts at making new films. Finally in 1968, he received sion to make Nran Guyne, which had as its subject the life of the 18ttr century Armenian ashugh Sayat Nova. Although the film was funded by the Armenian, Georgian and Azerbaijani film studios, the focus was unequivocally on Armenian culture. Nran Guyne wu completed 1969 and shown in Yerevan and other cities of the Caucasus. The authorities insisted on modifications. Paradjanov refused' The film was edited against Paradjanov's wishes and finally withdrawn from circulation. The authentic version of the film was either destoyed or shelved. His arrest came in 1974 after he refused to tesdry against a member of the Ukrainian national movement. The fifthteen year shetch between 1969 and 1984 silenced Paradjanov, wasted his exEaordinary talent, depleted his health, embittered his spiri! and put an end to the hopes of "cultural revival" which were associated with Shadows ar:d Nran Guyu. The relative freedoms brought by g-lasnost ani perestroika allowed Paradjanov to make two more masterpieces after his release from jail in 1984: The Fomess of Suratn andAshugh Gharib. Paradjanov's loyalties were always to the imagination and only derivatively to self-promotion, politics, or nation:alism. He flamboyantly crossed the long-established and often rigid artistic, national and sexual divides of social and political life. The price he paid for such transgressions was high, but the rewards which he gained were more abundant.

permis-

*qre*

n

AIM JUNE

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l9


NOTEBOOK

llouhanes $hinal Alway$ He would have been 85 years old this year, and he would probably have still been writing. Hovhanes Shiraz (1915-1984) is one of the most prolific of Armenia's 20ttr century writers. Not just prolific, also beloved, remembered, memorialized, recited, and honored. On the occasion of the 85th annivenary of his birttr, Shiraz's works and writings about his works were featured in an exhibition at the

National Library. Shiraz's friend, artist Samvel Muratian, said Shiraz is the deserving descendant of Gregory of Narelq Khachatur Abovian' Hovhannes Timanian and Vahan Terian. The poet, bom in Alexandropol (today's Gumri) was a toddler when his father was killed in a Tirkish attack. He was raised in an orphanage. His first poems appeared in 1932' in the well-circulated paper of the kninakan Textile factory. His first volume appeared in 1935. His last volume, Selected Works, will appear this year, under the sponsorship of the President of Armenia's National Assembly, Armen Khachatrian. The new edition of 2,000 copies is being published by Nor Dar. This is a far cry from the days when dozens of volumes werc published in tens of thou-

sandsofcopies.Hispoenyhasbeenranslatedto40languages.

r

Russian-Made Noise When Armenian Airlines leased an Airbus A-310 from the French Airbus Industrie in mid-1998 (AIM, September 1998) travelers and investors breathed a sigh of relief.

Several hundred voyagers could be transported on each flight, instead of the hundred plus that the aging Tupelov Russian crafts could carry. They could do so in comfort. And more importantly, at least the

airbus was allowed to fly into Westem European airports. This was important because beginning in 1999, Russian-made aircraft (which make up all of Armenia's small fleet) were no longer allowed to operate in European countries because the Tirpelovs did not meet the environmental regulations pertaining to noise and pollution. But Armenian Airlines' problems wercn't over. First, there were stories that they were unable to meet the monthly $235,000 payments, and the company would repossess the plane. Then, the plane was not operable because the engine needed repair. This has meant that for several

months there was no Airbus on Armenian Airlines routes.

Now the problem is getting more complicated. A letter from an administrator at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport has informed Armenian Airlines management that the Airlines was allowed only one flight by a Russian-type craft this calendar year, and that they had already flown 12 such flights in the first four months of the year. Observers say that complaints fiom Franltrrt and Paris airports are not far behind. Tourism to Armenia is increasing, say fiavel agents and hotel owners, and the smaller, older planes are not capable of handling the demard. Armenian Airlines found the funds and fixed theAirbus and it's just gone back into operation this month. Yet, Armenian Airlines has many more problems to resolve, including aretum to cold meals (although ttrey can be heated up if you ask.) And there are more frequently canceled flights, too. The two foreign carrien flying into Yerevan - British Mediterranean and Swiss

AIM JUNE

2OOO

Air -

arc none-toG.happy

either.

I


NOTEBOOK

20 Number of Armenians elected to the Lebanese parliament since 1943

Back llome

13.2 Average tenure of each Lebanese-Armenian Member of Parliament 20 Number of countries represented among the 200 students at AGBU's 74-yea*old Melkonian Educational Institute in Nicosia, Cyprus ,7

Number of Armenian families involved in the oil business since 1872: the Aramiants, Lianozovs, Mailovs. Melikovs,

Caspian

Mirzoevs. Mantashians and Tatevosians

Rouben Shugarian was the youngest ambassador in Washington wherr he arrived in 1993. Late last year, Shugarian. 37. Armenia's first ambassador to the US, returned to Yerevan and took up his new duties as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. What did he hnd to be ditfbrent, Llpon his return'l "Everything,', says Shu-earian. "When you're working in an embassy, it's not like you're in a difl'erent country. It's the same rhythm and mentality as here. But, especially in the US, the ternpo is diltbrent. very dill,erent. You have to decide and act on the spot a lot."' In his new position as Deputy Minister, Shugarian ntaintains contacts with US representatives, since his poffolio includes theAmericas, Turkey. [srael and Diasporan affairs, as well as the military-political departnrent and the political analysis department of the ministry. But keeping in touch with US representatives is not enough to make up for what he misses most about the US: Borders Books and

Music stores. There are none in Yerevan. and there's nothing he can do about that. But one thing he could do wits to maintain the level ol education his children had been enjoying. When Shugarian and his wife Lilit went to Washington, their sons Narek and Tigran were very young. Today, Narek is 10. Tigran is eight, and their baby brother Haik is one. (Armenian history in reverse chronological order, says Shugarian, about the historical figures after whorn his sons are named.) The public school they attend in Yerevan has a lull English language curiculum following those of the Waldorf Schools in the US. Shugari;n is one of several Armenian diplonrats who have completed a tour of duty abroad and are returning to apply their skills at home. I

1,339 Number of high schools in Armenia 47,975 Number of high school graduates in class of 2000

3s0 Age of one of the oldest Armenian Churches in the Diaspora - the St. Hovanes Garabed Church on the island of Crete (Creece) which continues to serve the tiny Armenian comrlunity on the island.

t7 Number of years after his death that writer Yeghishe Charents was mentioned in a speech by Anastas Mikoyan in Yerevan and thus 'rehabilitated'

, Number of times that writer Gurgen Mahari exiled by the Soviet authorities 40 Number of years that writer Kostan Zarian spent m exile before he returned to Armenia in 1960

Photos

Birthdays & Anniversaries (lelt to right): Shiraz with Saroyan Poslscript (left to right): The old and the new Where Are They Now: Shugarian at his desk

Source s : Al-M ostaq

AIM JUNE

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bal AI M

Research


NBtu fiouerlllnelll Furmud President Appointed Parliament Majority Leader as New Prime Minister By A.H. ALEXANDRIAN

new goYemment was installed in

::at

Armenia on May 20, headed by Prime

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Minister Andranik Markarian. parliarnentary Unity (Miasnutiun) bloc's

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leader.

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Markarian replaced Aram Sargsian, who was appointed premier after the October 27 assassination of his predecessor and brother Vazgen Sargsian. President Robert Kocharian t.lisrnissed Sargsian and Defense Minister Vaghalshak Harutiunian in early May. On the fir\t working day of his govemment, new Prime Minister Markarian emphasized the primacy of law over any other consicleration and asked his ministers to show discipline and responsibiiity in theirjobs. He said the new government progam, which was accepted by the National Assembly in enrly June, would not radicllly differ lrom the previous two govenrmenls' programs. Markarian vowed to fighr. without leniency, against corruption, nepotism and misappropriations of

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.talc ProPert). The 49-year-old Prime Minister explained at a press conference that tho new govemment has been forn'red after consultations with polit-

ical forces represented in the National

Assernbly. He said the list of ministerial candiclates he had proposed were ratitied by President Kocharian, adding that the President

exercised his constitutional right by appointing the Def'ense and Foreign ministers. Serge Sargsian and Vartan Oskanian respectively. ln eurly March. Markarian's Republican

Parly had asked the President to dismiss Serge Sargsian, who was National Security

Ministel when the October 27 shooting in the National Assernbly took place. However, the new Prime Minster explained that the demand to dismiss Sargsian hacl been hased on assertions made at the tinre by Gagik Jahangirian, the military prosecutor investigating the crime. Markarian said the prosecutor's slatemcnls "were unlbrtunately not sub\tantiated as they should have been." Prime Minister Markarian and new Def'ense Minister Sargsian expressecl readiness to work together on nortnal basis.

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I

Markarian underlined that the President, the Republican Party and the parliamentary group "stability," which is mostly made of businessmen, would assume responsibitity for the new government. He said the new cabinet would nor be transient. but would ensure close cooperation between the President, the

AIM JUNE

2OOO

National Assembly and the govemment.

The Premier also referred to

the

Karabakh conflict negotiations. He said President Kocharian had affirmed that there are no decisions concemiog a possible land swap with Azerbaijan. an issue recently exploited by the opposition. As for relations


with Russia, Markarian:said there are

no changes in this direction. The rcw govemment was installeil in &ebackground of Armenia's intemal political crisis. Since the assassination ol Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsi rul. Parliament Speaker Karen Demirchian aid six other officials on October 27, the politicalforces in drc county have been divided into

from ltottl

ffi

various camps, most notably, the Yerkrapah Union of War Veterans, with slpporters in ttre army. and those supporting the

president.

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ffih-

r

tnNrillgoutalty'

discord alnolt$ Ihsprusidnnl,ths

$usrm8ill,alld the parliamenl ol

is silailsriru l[B Iounfialioffiol 0ltr $Iil0[md. -Andranik Markarian Pf,mr. M,n, t-f ,-, Afm-,n,a

Lelt

President Rohert Kocharian introduces Prime Minister Andranik Markarian to the cabinet. Top, right Prime Minister Andranik Markarian. Bott0m, right: Cabinet ministers after the inaugural meeting of the new government, Defense Minister Serge'Sargsian in tfie center.

AIM.IUNE

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".'-j.

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Regional Goopenation The chairmen of the Armenian, Azerbaijani and Georgian parliaments met in Strasbourg,

the

auspices

" ";"

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a: - ,;3 !,'B

implied" that the settlement of the conflict might involve exchange of territories and asked for the parliamentarians' views on the issue. "We told him our view is that parts of Armenia's territory can not be traded for

Attempt to Fonge

France under

a

"i1 "l'i '.:",.,".' : "1r""4. a i10'

of

Armenian lands." said Dallakian.

the

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). The parliamentary leaders discussed the possibility ofestablishing a permanent interparliamentary group for the three South Caucasus states, which would pursue issues of mutual interest, such as release of POWs and cooperation in developing human rights laws. In a joint statement the chairmen said, "We made a decision to continue and intensify our cooperation, which we are sure

EU. Iranian officials concurred with Kocharian's

view that a security system should develop parallel with the settlement of regional conflicts. 'The lack of security guarantees results in serious obstacles to progress," said Kocharian.

promotes the establishment of an atmosphere

$tnengthening lies with $outh Amenica

of trust and friendly relations in the region." The first meeting of the parliamentary chairmen was held in March 1999, followed by a working meeting in Tbilisi last September. There are plans to hold two more such meetings in Yerevan and Baku.

On the sidelines of the CIS Collective Security Council summit in Minsk, President Robert Kocharian met with his Russian President Vladimir Putin (above). While no

details on the hourJong closed meeting at Meeting in Geneva on May 18, OSCE's Minsk Group cochairmen discussed possible

methodologies for the reconstruction of Karabakh and its regions, the resettlement of refugees and displaced persons. The three cochairs - US, Russia and France - invited the World Bank, the UN, the European Union and the Intemational Committee of the Red Cross to participate in their proposed mission to Karabakh to assess the economic conditions and ffiastructure of the unrecognized republic. Earlier, US cochairman Carey Cavanaugh visited Yerevan and Baku and held talks with

top officials. He also met with Karabakh President Arkady Ghukasian, who is in a Yerevan hospital, recovering from an assassination attempt. During a press conference in Yerevan, Cavanaugh said the Minsk Group is preparing a new proposal for the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. The Group's November 1998 proposal, suggesting that Azerbaijan and Karabakh create a "common state" was rejected by Baku. In another development, Victor Dallakian, a member of parliament and part of a delega-

tion of senior Armenian MPs who visited Washington last month, said they were urged

by US State

Department official Brady Kiesling "to stand by the president [Robert Kocharianl in the resolution of the NagomoKarabakh conflict."

Dallakian added that Kiesling "softly

Putin's residence were made public, upon his return to Yerevan, Kocharian said discussions focused on "bilateral issues, cooperation with the Russia within the framework Collective Security Council and economic issues." And added, "l believe that the results will be good. I am generally pleased with the meeting. It was important for us all." At the CIS summit the leaders clarilied the tasks and objectives of the Collective Security Council and discussed ways to improve collaboration among member states.

of

Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian paid official visits to Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. ln Sao Paulo, Oskanian held talks with the Vice President, Foreign Minister and other high ranking Brazilian officials. A number of bilateral agreements were signed for cooperation in tourism and trade, as well as cultural affairs. ln Montevideo, the Armenian delegation met with the hesident and Foreign Minister of Uruguay and the Chairman of the Senate's

Foreign Relations Committee.

Oskanian thanked the Senate for being among the fust in the intemational community to recognize the Armenian Genocide in 1965. The sides signed a bilateral cultural cooperation agreement. Oskanian, accompanied by his wife, placed a wreath on Montevideo's Hayastan Square, in the center of town. Just a month earlieq on pre-

senting his credentials

0fficials lliscuss Regional $ecunity After visiting Baku and Tbilisi,

Iran's

Deputy Foreign Minister Morteza Sarmadi (above, righQ met with President Robert Kocharian in Yerevan and discussed the framework for a security pact for the South Caucasus. In view of the various "security systems" proposed by different regional leaders, Sarmadi said "the countries of the region must be at the core of a security system in the initial stage of its formation," adding that "after the system grows and develops it can look beyond the region." While Washington-backed proposals exclude Iran from

the security equation, Kocharian's "3+3+2 system" would consist

proposed

of the

three

Souttr Caucasus states, plus immediate neighbors, Russia, Turkey, Iran plus the US and the

AIM JUNE

2OOO

to the President of

Uruguay, Armenia's Ambassador to Argentina and Uruguay, Ara Aivazian, had done the same. In Buenos Aires, on the eve of new changes in the political leadership inArmenia (his post in Andranik Markarian's cabinet was confirmed when the minister was in Argentina), Oskanian met President Fernando de la Rua, his Argentinian colleague, Adalberto Rodriguez Giavarini, other officials and legislators. He signed an agreement on agro-industrial cooperation with Argentina, as well as an exchange agreement between the cities of Buenos Aires and Yerevan. He also delivered two lectures at the National Institute of Foreign Service and the Argentinian Council for lntemational Relations, dealing with the situation of Armenia and the prospects ofpeace and stability in the Caucasus. "Oskanian's visit got a warm welcome from the Armenian community in Buenos Aires," says Vartan Matiossian, "Although far from

"".:


eliciting ttre same response

as in the

earlieryears

of the independent Republic, when his predecessors Raffi Hovannisian and Vahan Papazian

also made official visits to fugentina. In his meetings with ttre community, Oskanian recognized that the Daspora has reacted with "disil-

lusionment and angef' over the intemal strife and infighting in Yerevan and added that new means have to be developed to communicate with the Diaspora, address Diaspora concems and avoid any deepening of these feelings." Oskanian inaugurated the new headquarters

of the Armenian Embassy in Argentin4 a threefloor well-located building in the residential section of Buenos Aires. The building was purchased and donated by benefactor Edward Seferian. Since 1993, the embassy had been functioning in the offices generously made available by the Boghos Arzoumanian Foundation. The Foreign Minister also presided over the annual gala dinner organized by ttre embassy, headed by energetic arnbassador Ara Aivazian.

Iffi6ffiffiiffiffi$'ffirfrffi.' lntegnation $ay Anmenian

0Ilicials Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian told

visiting European Parliament Chairperson Ursula Schleicher in Yerevan that Turkey's blockade of Armenia is an obstacle to overall European integration, adding that Yerevan's

decadeJong efforts to normalize relations with neighboring Turkey have not been reciprocated by Ankara. "The blockade is causing additional tension and stimulating price increases," said Oskanian. He hoped that as Turkey readies to join the European Union, the European Parliament would press for the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations, including Turkey's adherence to a 1987 European Parliament decision that Ankara must acknowledge theArmenian Genocide as a condition to join the European Union. On her part, Schleicher said that "no new problems must arise along with Turkey's admission to the European Union, and Turkey must settle all its problems now."

Later in the month, President Robert Kocharian, while meeting a Canadian parliamentary delegation, explained that ArmenianTurkish bilateral relations have two dimensions: historical legacy and the present reality. He said the burdens of history should not be conditions for establishing normal rela-

tions

in

the present. Referring

to

the

Karabakh conflict between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, Kocharian added,'Relations between Armenia and Turkey must not be tied to our relations with a third country." AIM JUNE

2OOO


ffiffi*ffi$:ffi

Genenal Dno Rehunied in Anmenia

The remains o1'Drasdatnat Kanayan, popularly knonn as General Dro. were trartsl'erred fhttn Boston kl Artrtcnia antl reburied at the rnemorial declicated to the Bash Aparan battle on May 28. the anniversary o('the First Armenian Republic's declaration ol' indepcnclence. Tens of thousands of Armenians patlicipltted in the intertrlcnt ceremony, attencled by President Robert Koclrarian. Catholicos Garegin lI of All Amenians and Almenia's top officinls (abol'e). "Dro is one of the unique figules of thc Armenian hisiory." said President Kocharian in a mcssitge. "By burf ing the rerllrrins of Dro in his nalive lancl we impler.nent his will and perfburl our duty to a devoted son of our httrneland." Born in the village of lgdir in I 884. General l)ro was a ruilitary comnlander and promincnt mentber ol the Armcrlian Revolutionary Fecleration. ln the early 1900s, he was a key ligure in the Arnrenian emancipatoty struggle in the Cattcasus and tluring WWI he led an Armenian brigade of voluntecrs alongsiclc the Russian arn.ry. Following the declaration of thc tirst Arlncniarl

Rcpublic, General Dro was appointed Minister

of Wal and

Def'ense. However, when the fledging republic was taken over by the Cor.nmunists and the Recl Amy in 1921. Dro was cxiled to

Moscow. He later escaped to Romania. During Wortd War II he workecl on behall'ot'Alnrcnians lir'-

ing in Cerman-occupied countries in Europe. He trloved in 1950 and died there in 1956.

to

Boston

Earlier in May, like in all capitals of fonuer Sovict r-cpublics. -5-5th anniversiiry of WWII Victory was ntarked with a solenrrr ceremony at the Unknown Soldier's monurrerlt in Yercvan (right). Presiclent Kocharian, govetrment otficials and hundrecls of ivar veterans laid rvreaths and flowers at the merrttlrial in Victory Park.

the

26

AIM .IUNE ](XX)


number

Fneedom in Anmenia Guananteed

in

said the government would soon allow the last remaining unregistered religious group in Armenia, the Jehovah's Witnesses, to register as a legal entity.

Since Armenia's independence, the Jehovah's Witnesses have been refused registration due to their opposition to military service. Oskanian said, in accordance with CE requirements, the govemment is preparing a law for alternative military service. He assured the 4l-member democracy and human rights Council that the Armenian government is committed to freeing all detained conscientious objectors currently serving prison sentences. The Council's Political Affairs Committee, which on May 17 recommended Armenia's full membership in the Council (subject to a

ffififliffiE$.iffi

ffi

ffetibiiAi'

tCbl( of"tilfi t$,' Bdffiiibfiiifr Pnoblem ol lllP Resettlement

Volcic (Italy) noted-

The Armenian government reaffirmed its committed to religious freedom. Speaking at the meeting of the Council of Europe's (CE) Committee Ministers Strasbourg, France, Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian

of

of commitments), spoke favorably

about religious freedom in Armenia in general. But, a report prepared by rapporteur Demetrio

fl

"The l99l act on religion, amended in September 1997, is criticized by human rights

An Armenian delegation, headed by Deputy Chief of Armenia's Department of

organizations as discriminating against religions other than the Armenian Church... The

Migration and Refugees, Lialya Aslanian, participated in a seminar on Internally

'sects' (for example, Jehovah's Witnesses) are accused of exploiting the toughness of life in Armenia and destroying traditional social

institutions." Volcic reported "no problems concerning the traditional churches," but added, "The sect issue is an extremely sensitive one even in other European countries." In another development. a seminar on religious tolerance and ethnic minorities was held in Yerevan in late May, co-sponsored by OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and Armenia's Foreign Ministry. A number of issues related to tolerance towards ethnic and religious groups in Armenia were discussed. The seminar was held within the framework of an agreement signed between the Republic of Armenia and OSCE two yeas ago.

Displaced Persons (IDP) in Tbilisi. Held under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE),

and

13l-memberparliament still remain vacant and will be filled through partial elections on October 22,2000. Since its formation in May 1999, 17 members of the National Assembly have been altered due to resignations, ministerial appointrnents and deaths. These changes, in addition to the ongoing political crisis since last October, have led to redistribution of forces in the National Assembly. Most notably, it has broken the absolute majority of the largest Unity Alliance (Miasnutiun) bloc and created rifts among its constituent members, the Republican and the People's parties and the Yerkapah Union.

cooperation

with the

Brooklyn

border areas, and 10,000 due to economic difficulties. Unlike Georgia and Azerbaijan, Armenia is better prepared to deal with the

issue

of resettlement.

However, the main

obstacle in resolving IDP problems in Armenia is lack of financial resources. r:i::::r_: t'itt,:i:r:;r:1i;iili,itlLru;it,iitldi3J;tldflitilil]luif;,li*rlirltliiNiipair:tla:

i$dmffi 0diltinuC

Four new members of parliament - Yeghia Shamshian, Aramayis Aloyan, Yarazdat Zatikian and Hampartsum Avetisian were elected to the National Assembly during the May 2l partial legislative polls. Shamshian joined the 19member "Stability" bloc, the others remained independent. Four more seats in the

in

Institute for Internally Displaced Persons and the Norwegian Council for Refugee Affairs, the gathering was the first attempt in the region to deal with enormous IDP problems and their solution. According to Aslanian, there are 192,000 IDPs in Armenia - 100,000 are victims of natural disasters, including the 1988 earthquake, 72,000 are from the Armenian-Azerbaijani

lllational

lssemtly Gsmpcsition

Blocs

Sest6

Unity Allianre

- lt{issurxtiuk

Republican Party

,4.

People's Party

24

'StabiHty' 'Hayastan'

!*;,

-

Yerkrapah Union

Communist Party ARF

-

49

l2',', 18,rj,,l

Dashnaktsutiun

Right and Unity Country of Laws National Democratic Union

Non-Affiliated AIM JUNE

2OOO

11


ruffiffiffi & $ruffieffi&Yffiffiffi Wonld Banlr Pushes fon Pniuatization ol Enengy Secton

Eunope Links t0 the Pensian Gull uia Geongia and Anmenia

Thc Wortd Bank saicl its

5jll

million.

crcdit to Armcnia will be released onlv aftel thc govemnrcnt fulfills its comnritmcnt. namely the privatization of the count|y's clcctric power distributiotl netfbur-th tlanche SAC-3

.;*t f**i,.i

r

works. In lttc April. thc National Assembly suspencled

thc privatization of three lttain in Armcnir. Presidcnt

electlicity networks

Robert Kochalian si-uncd a law ratitying the exclusion tl'orn the state's 1998-2000 privatization proglatr. lnstead, new laws dealin-e u,ith energy sector privatizatiott are betng prepaled ancl u'ill be prcsented to the governltrent

I 'f',tl '

irrrtl intelrtirtional lirtittteiul orurtltizlli,,ltr.

\ :r- '''

[.

s.

w

t}!

ffla\:#

Ganmaken Relused Loan :/,

thc US Export hnporl Bank tulnecl down a S50 rnillion loln request by the General Motors Cirporation to finance the estltblishmcnt o['att assernbly linc in Anncnia. The cost of thc nerv plant is estrnriited at about 5350 million.

-^,

,'f

ar\

*:\ Y'\

,ji F+, Representatives of Armenian. Georsiarl ancl Iranian siate and corporate officials si-gned an agreement ainied at boosting cargo transportation througli the thrcc states, linking Europe (via the Black Sea) to the Persian Cull'. Arnienian statc transportatioll agcncy's

\

Artak Davtian said some 3.000 tons ol'goocls ale expccted to pass through the rotrtc by the year's encl. He explained that cargo oli-qinating tiom any'courrtry in Errrope wor,rld reach the port of Banclar Abbas in the Pcrsian Gulf within l-5 days. "There is no altertrative to this transportation route to Iran in terms of'speed." said Davtian, adcling that as the Iol ume of cargo increases, tariffs wor-rld be recluced, tttuch less than the Ttrrkish route whcl'c custorns duties are higher. Meanwhile. Iran's new ambassaclor in Yerevan. Mohamnrad-Farhad Koleini. disct-tssccl with Armenian ofTicials the possibilities ol'cooperation in dcveloping North-South tratts-I'RACECA, the European-spousorccl transportaportation routes within the fiamework of tion project linking Central Asia to Europe. While currently the unrcsolved Karabakh conflict is affecting Armenia's participation as a transit route in regional tran\P()rt pro.it-cts, Armenian authorities are preparing the legal groundwork firr eventr,ral lirll participation.

28

Citing "economic instabilitl'" in Arnrcrtia.

AI\,1 .ILINE 2(X)0

lMt Delegation in Yeneuan President Robert Kocl'rarian and a delega-

tion of International Monctary Fund (IMF). headecl by Thornas Wolf'. Deputy Directcir ol' European Department. cliscussecl Armcnia's currcnt econorrtic situatiott and the

IMF

country's economic indicrtors. While sharing

IMF ollicials' concerns, Kochariart explained hou, r'ecent intcrnal political devcloprnents in the cor-rntry have had an intpact ott the econonrv. He noted that the situation is under control and positive changes will bc in ptace by auturnn. Thcy also discussed the problent of corruption. Recently a new law came into firlce requiring all civil servants to publicly dcclare thcir incot-ne and assets.


llli6F'ii'p"iir-tffi iilCffi Tounism Exhibit

riiri!*riiiii':ri:r:l

Economic Prime Minister Andranik Markarian met

with the executives of Daimler-Chrysler Company and assured them his government's

efforts to create "favorable conditions" and

the orderly fulflllment of all agreements signed with the previous two govemments. Recently, the giant German-US carmaker opened a sales and service center in Yerevan. There are some 5,000 Mercedes vehicles in

Armenia, according

to the director of

Armenia Inter-Motor, the company's representative in the country. Earlieq DaimlerChrysler had expressed intentions to get involved in other areas of Armenia's industry including leasing, aviation, railroad and transport sectors.

Despite Armenia's intemal political hrmoil, Finance and Economy Minister [rvon Bar-

khudarian said the country's "economic grow,th is sustainable" and noted "a huge potential which is so farunused."Barkhudarian mentioned mining, electronics, jewelry, and computer software sectors as Armenia's export-based economy's main growth areas. "ln the first three months of the year, some4TVo of the country's exports went to EU countries, and CIS countries accounted for 25Vo, with Russia taking only llVo," Barkhudarian told Reuters, adding, "Of course it would be better to have a fulI political stability and a final settlement of the [Karabakh] conflict in the region for the large foreign investments which we hope to see." ,,il'rrlq5:r..ri. 1r*!:,:rir:*11tl'.);t,:3a;k?B:t!i$i*lrii|?A!ft

liiitll

First Ouarter 0f 2000 (compared with same period last year)

Country

Percentage

l(uaHrtan

+1s.0

%

Ukraine

+t0.4

%

[umia

+10,8

%

ffi ffin:0fi:ilfEffi^nIlpi-lEm0fillTrfl*rsfi*fiis:g*s*iier!ri4i;?$ii{r$1$s{r$*rj:*fi}f8r11r,*ir{H#d?*!*4ni#]. First Ouarter

Armenian and US unions of travel agencies (AATA andASTA) held the second annual tourism exhibit in Yerevan. Travel agencies from Armenia, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and India participated in the five-day exhibit, which was aimed at promoting tourism in Armenia and giving exposure to businesses, hotels and firms involved in the sector.

ol 2000

Country

Percentage

iluddEtm

0.1 %

Source: CIS Intergovemnental Statisaical Commiftee, Interfax.

AIM JUNE

2OOO


occupied by the Armenians," said Mehriban Vezir, NRM co-founder and co-chair of the

Union of Intelligentsia. The movement

is

made of representatives of public, political, women's and veterans' organizations.

Another group, the Organization for the of Karabakh, condemned President HeidarAliyev for stating last month that "it would be insane to resume military actions in Karabakh." The organization's statement added, "If Heidar Aliyev cannot

Liberation

liberate the occupied lands and calls the country's patriotic forces 'insane,' he should resign as president."

The Intemational Monetary Fund (IMD wamed Georgia over "widespread comrption" in the country's economic sphere. The IMF noted that in recent years very little has been done by the authorities to reduce poverty and create adequate tax collection mecha-

nisms. Low tax collection has resulted in a

He Pneaches?

Former Constitutional Court Chief

agreement has been signed between

large govemment debt.

Azerbaijan and Armenia, this move by the

In its report, the IMF said "Despite five consecutive years ofpositive output growth" the economy is hampered by existing "prob-

EU and WB was interpreted by Azerbaijan's Deputy Prime Minister as "demonstrating the [EU and WB's] conviction that an end

had been put to hostilities and that there

Justice Ahmet Necdet Sezer (above), 58, was

would be no fresh conflict between Azerbaijan

swom in as Turkey's 10th President for

and

a

seven-year term. Sezer, succeeding Suleyman Demirel, 76, told the 55O-member Turkish

Parliament that his first duty is "protecting human rights and the rule of law." At a time when Turkey is preparing to join the European Union, the new President added, "Protecting individuals' views and beliefs, and not exploiting their labor is my first duty." Paying his dues to the military establishment, Sezer said, "to strengthen our armed forces will be our duty in the future as it is today." He assured the military generals that "the principle of secularism will be protected without any concession and with determination." While the President of Turkey is largely a figurehead, observers believe Sezer will push

the country toward greater democracy and

Armenia."

uS mntany Aid

io

ffiiiifiil

In line with growing Georgian-US bilateral cooperation in the military sphere, this year Washington will provide an S2-foot coast guard boat to Georgia. ln the last three years, the US has allocated $23 million in aid to Georgia's border guards at the Black Sea naval base in Poti. Meanwhile, as Russia grudgingly prepares to withdraw its forces

tion of bridges and electrical power stations in Azerbaijani cities which had been damaged and deserted during the military phase

of the Karabakh conflict. Although no peace

"have undermined fiscal stability and discouraged investment and saving." The report noted that "economic activity remains significantly below potential." Georgia relies heavily on foreign financial assistance, including IMF loans, to cover its economic shortfalls. The IMF's four-year lending program to Georgia expired last month. Currently, there are no discussions about new loans. Meanwhile, unlike Armenia and Azer-

is expected to become a member of the World Trade Organization (\WO) in mid-June.

baijan, Georgia

from Georgia, Tbilisi has seen increased traf-

fic of western military officials. In recent months a US Coast Guard Commander, a NAIO Deputy Secretary, and representatives of the Turkish military have visited Georgia and held talks.

respect for human rights.

The European Union (EU) and the World Bank (WB) are flnancing reconstruc-

lems of govemance and comrption" which

Militant Gnoups in Azenbaiian Gall lon libenation o[ "0ccupied Tennitonies"

Since late April, Azerbaijani opposition parties have held a number of large demonstrations and small pickets in Baku demanding amendments to the country's existing election laws to ensure that the upcoming November parliamentary elections are democratic. Close

to 20,000 people participated in one recent march in mid-May. As a result, a dozen opposition leaders were detained and charged for

in the unsanctioned marches, including Musavat Party and Popular Front members. 'The opposition is not afraid of government pressure and we will continue to

participating

A new National Resistance Movement (NRM) was recently founded in Azerbaijan "aimed at liberating Azerbaijani territories AIM JUNE

Ilemocnatic Elections

2OOO


pursue our aim of free elections," Ali Kerimov of the Popular Front told one crowd. Meanwhile, the Council of Europe, which

Volga, and Far East districts. All 89 presidential representatives in the regions were dis-

is considering Azerbaijan's full membership,

missed and new representatives, directly

may delay its decision until the November elections. This may mean that Armenia's accession, too, will be delayed, since the organization has made it clear that the two

accountable to the president appointed. Acknowledging that reorganization of the Russian Federation was long overdue, regional govemors and political parties, including the Communist Party, welcomed Putin's action.

alluding to US efforts to prevent han from becoming an energy tansit route. He called for "strong and inviolable pacts" among the five lit-

ffiddfnmend$ fts'uuiih

tfltiffal $tat.I5'Sti['

Iunkey Aften Bow 0ven lnmenian Genocide

Haggle 0ven the legal $tatus ol tne Gaspian

the five states scheduled to take place in Tehran last October was postponed, Moscow said "time is ripe" for the Special Working Group to meet

will

be admitted together.

Northwest, North Caucasus, Siberia, Urals,

energy developments, is not in any hurry to resolve the issue. "The Caspian Sea @low) belongs to the five counfries bordering it " said hanian President Mohammad Khatami, 'No foreign power must be permitted to enter the zone,"

toral states. While a meeting of representatives of

and 'provide impetus to working up

the

Caspian Sea's new status." Disagreements

Following the public statements lastApril

of two Israeli ministers affirming the Armenian Genocide - which outraged Turkey and caused strains in bilateral diplomatic rela-

tions

-

Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy

(above), in a letter to his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem, reiterated Israel's official policy that the issue of the Armenian Genocide should be left to historians to sort out. Levy added that the two ministers'views do not reflect his govemment's official position. Earlier, as Turkey was not satisfied by a

similar explanation provided by Israel's Embassy inAnkara, Turkish cabinet ministers and senior military officials boycotted Israel's

'National Day" reception at the embassy. Turkey told Israeli officials that it expects no further statements from Israeli ministers over the issue, which would damage the close relations between the two states.

The flve littoral states of the Caspian Sea Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan

-

continue to disagree on the issue

of determining the legal status of the resourcerich sea. Recently, Moscow called upon the Special Working Group, which is to define the sea's stahrs, to speed up the talks "in order to achieve a compromise." While regular bilateral

talk

have been going on for some time, negoti-

ations among all five states as a group have been

Newly inaugurated Russian President Vladimir Putin placed Russia's 89 regions into seven administrative districts. The new configuration is comprised of the Central,

sporadic. The geosrategic and long-term impliofan agreement and the various interests

cations

of each state currently collide, making a final agreement unlikely in tlrc near future. han, which has been kept at bay in regional

AIM JUNE

2OOO

center on how the sea should be divided. Tehran has called for joint condominium-like use ofthe sea or dividing it into five equal 20 percent sectors. Moscow, on the other hand, has called for joint use of the sea's surface waters and depths, with figurative lines along

its floor. Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan reject both proposals, favoring a division of the sea into unequal, national sectors. But Russia rejects this idea. Nevertheless, while discussions continue and despite the absence of a final agreement, each littoral state has already started to explore and exploit resources within their "national sectors" and the Caspian has been, de facto, divided. 3l


COVER STORY

leauinu At'menia? AI Any Cosl, ful' $ome Text

& Photos by MAX SIVASLIAN e knew it, although hushed, and

a

almost taboo, numbers were being circulated. During the

picture for a country that cannot define a way out of this problem of those ready to leave. To pay any price. Even, maybe, with

needed along the way. I hide my identity as a joumalist, deciding to go along on the trip with

Armenia Diaspora Conference in

their lives...

plan to leave their country for good. We leave fromYerevan -22fravelers - at around 5 pm on a snowy Wednesday in March.

September 1999, the government recognized the significance of the emigration

issue. But the govemment's numbers were based on departures by air which amounted to approximately 600.000 since independence.

But there are those who leave using other

- unfortunately nltmerous means. All massive emigration brings with it

means

unscrupulous intermediaries often exploiting eager candidates - intermediaries who are frequently petty thieves. The stories of these three Armenians from Yerevan are followed by one of our journalists and reflect

these strangers, none of

whom tell me that they

Two drivers, a couple

Illt[tltt$DAY Four Turkish companies, with buses in central Yerevan, offer trips to

parked

Istanbul via Georgia. Together with a bunch of I don't know, I get on one of these busses belonging to the company Aybacki Tourism, run by a Turk who speaks Armenian. He says he supports 20 families thanks to the profits from these trips. The trips cost US $45. To silence customs officers, another $40 is

people

of

dozen anony-

mous passengers and soon we're in Gyumri. A hostess takes care of the border "formalities" between Armenia and Georgia: a simple written declaration to Armenian authorities indicating how much money we are carrying and jewelry. On the Georgian side, the hostess asks for $5 dollars per person. This is the cost of getting into Georgia. The road is covered with snow, it shines like a skating rink when it first opens. The bus stops three times every

.q*ff

_f

,'*flruH+

tr

v AIM JUNE

2OOO


few hundred meters from the border. Pay offs to border offlcials. I wonder?

body but is himself quite confused. He speaks

and Gago's are younger and each one affirms

of Cyprus as his final destination, once in

that it's for the children that they are doing this. A little later, Samo even admits "since my return from Russia, I am ashamed before my children, I can't even look them in the face. They want to study. There's nothing more normal than that. But me, I can't bring home any money. I decided to speed up my departure because I only had $500 left. I had to take some loans to take this trip. I didn't

Istanbul.

He mistakes the Greek and Turkish parts - with all the seri-

of the Island. He ask me

I]|URSDAY At sunrise, we are already at Batumi. Change of scenery. The city is green - full of

ffi8t#t

:ffilfd!|wl&luu

cedars, bamboo, eucalyptus, pine trees. Small white houses overlooking the Black Sea.

Superimposed on this postcard image is the strong smell of petrol. We reach the Georgian-Turkish border by day's end. The hostess again starts to collect money, except, this time she needs $25 dollars per person on the Georgian side. Nothing at all is given to the Turks.

The passengers slowly start getting acquainted. Hushed conversations. No one talks about what they're going to do "over there." Lucine and the others will start talking after we pass the border. Lucine is a former employee of the Philharmonic Orchestra. She is taking 80 bottles of Armenian Cognac to Trabizon. When we get off the bus, the customs officer will force her to leave behind half, which she can take back upon her return, he says.

I quickly notice Samuel. He talks to every-

H*rom

ffis

Whatmfm.'ffi0',m

,&,UEFl@;ltrc*mlu

almrtr@ymdUE

want to. But bonowing money is like a spiral. I had to leave right away."

Hasmig is traveling with her daughter. Tongue loosened, she tells us about living with her daughter and son in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. It's through her that Samuel says something that escapes me on this bus plod-

ding along the Black Sea: From Bulgaria we

ousness

in the world

- if I would

marry his

French passport! It's not the first time he asks and it won't be the last. He even offers $3,000 for such a marriage. Travelling with Samuel are his childhood friend and his business paftner Karen and Gagik. They call Gagik, Gago. A11 three are near their forties. Samuel's children are older now. Karen

wife so that he may get

a

-

AIM JUNE

2OOO

can go to Greece through the mountains. Her daughter, a frail young girl of 14, already made the trip to visit her aunt with her brother last summer. In a corner, Azia who says she is just taking a "return trip" to Istanbul,

draws cards with Hasmig on Rita's knees. Rita is a villager who was crying earlier and looked lost showing pictures of her family and having confronted the blue of the sea for the first time. Rita has left everything behind. A husband, a son who's already mar-


HAIGAZTAN UNIVERSITY WOMEil'S AUXILIARY ried and in Istanbul, without speaking

a

worcl ol Turkish. without contacts and with alrnost

r-ro

money.

On hel knees are Hasrnig's lortune teller's carcls that oren't smiling. Tliey draw cards seven tirnes befbre srniles appear on the f-aces of the three women. Hasmig will tind love in her 1il'e. a rich and radiant f uture. Azia. touched maybe by Rita. lrer blue eyes without hope, takes Rita under hel wing. They will be leaving the bus together in Istanbul.

Presents the West Coast Premiere of

Nouritza Matossian's

BLACK ANGEL LIFE OF ARSHILE GORKY THE The Overlook Press, New York

A very pretty 20-year'-old girl got off in Trabizon. Samo said. "plostitute." Two other older women got off in the same city. They admitted as much to Samo, who seems to question everyone and everyone seems to confide in him. They are prostitutes workin-g in this city for a f-ew years and they rely on an income of $600 a month.

IRIDAY Arrival in Istanbul at 9:00 arn lt's snowing or raining son'retl-ring in between. People exchange addresses. promisin-u to write. We hear "Brazil," "Greece," as linal destination points.

A

scene frurn Mayrig inspires the

memory of one passenger and he speaks with us tbur, Sarnri. Karen. Gago and me as we get off the bus. "Do you remember? When the father sees a friend on a hoat. and he is on the boardwalk in France and he cries out "where

are you going? The other

answers 'Venezuela'. But. why there'lAre you crazy?

'No, it's a nice name, like the name of a woman..." This emigr6, an en-Eineer by profession borrowed $2000 at the criminal rate

of l)Vc per

month. Of that amount. he had

already paid $1400 to a travel agency in Yerevan for a visa and transportation. A prohibitive amount that the agency justifies for its "facilities" in obtaining a visa and transportation. He drops the Schengen visa. He leaves for Spain, via Paris where he is obliged to stop. What we still don't know is hclw much this 'great escilpe' is part of his destiny, and ltow rnuch is econorttic 11.'L'grsity. My three cronies are now even more talk-

ative. We get

a room in a hotel,

the "Kumkapi". recommended by the lrostess on the bus. We are on the third lloor. My three

companions have little or no baggage, but Gago stops Samuel who is already up the stairs. "Wait. there's the elevator."

Samo responds. cynically. in Russian, "and it works?" It's a natural in this postSoviet world. in which not much works tainly not elevators.

-

cer-

Saturday, July 22r 2OAO SKIRBALL CULTURAL GENTER 2701 North Sepulveda Boulevard, Los Angeles, California

Presentation 6:30pm sharp Dinner under the stars 8:00pm Nouritza Matossian's "Black Angel - The Life of Arshile Gorky" and "The Artist and His Mother" poster will be available for purchase

For information call 310.476.60'11 or 323,876.2668 Donation $1OO Arshile Gorky "TheArtist and His Mothel' 1926-29 @2000 Estate of Arshile Gorky/Mists Rights Society (ARS), NewYork


COVER STORY There is hot water in the rooms. Almost a luxury! Samo tells me more about him and Karen. They had a successful business in Russia until the crash of 1998. Since then, it's been a period of uncertainty. They surely couldn't stay in Russia, given the problems with minorities, especially after the Chechen war began, with those from the Caucasus since no distinctions are made between Armenians, Georgians, and the rest. They are all often, and equally, harassed by the Russian police. We do a little tourism. It's a holiday and everything is closed. I take them to the Blue Mosque and they are impressed and stunned

by Istanbul. Samo knows

it

already, but not

the others. By looking at the rich villas on the

water overlooking the Marmara he says "these Turks... they aren't smart... but look at them, they know how to live! They have real leaders, too..." I ask Gago if everything is OK. He seems lost in thought. "No, I am not well my friend. Look where we are. How come we don't have these beautiful villas in Armenia? So far from home, to be reduced to this, to contemplate this here..." I show them around a little more. We eat and we get back to the hotel.

We sleep with the sound of the TV

as

though the programs in an unknown language would reassure them.

SAIllRDAY The snow falls in big flakes, like soft will take the metro in Aksaray. On

stones. We

the way, Gago calls his contact in Greece. They have to get to Ispala, the last city in Turkey before the border. He's not in, we decide to go to the bus station just the same. They look lost. The station is huge, with hundreds ofbuses. I start torealize how much of their journey is improvised. We ask about


COVER STORY obtaining a visa to Bulgaria, how to get there, after realizing that it's impossible to get to Greece, according to what these company reps tell us. It's the same Mahmudoglu, the

company with four representatives in Yerevan who can take care of visas to Bulgaria for $10. For $35 for the four of us, we take a bus to the border at Ipsala. We get

off six kilometers from the border. We eat quickly, and by chance, a car brings us to the customs office at the border. Once there, Gago tries reaching his friend one more time.

It's 5:00 pm. His friend doesn't have the money. He'Il try getting it tomorrow. We should call again at 10:00 am. They are hoping to get $800. I see a bus and Samo asks me to question the driver: can he take us

headquarters at the border at ll:15 am. The friend left his house 45 minutes ago, we leam during another telephone conversation. It's120 kilometers to get to where we are. ,He'll get here in an hour. We run to eat something. Scurrying around to flnd something to eat, we do quite well. It's cold, but we have dolmas in boxes, sausage. We are all happy. The friend, let's call him "Georges" has still not arrived, it's l:20 pm, Gago is getting irritated. The border is full of activity. Many people come to Turkey. The line stretches several hundred meters. We see Armenians from Greece; they tell Samuel they are headed back to Yerevan. About ten people were stopped with their bus at the border.

Innx-AnuExH Golden Bridges 20th Century Iranian-fumenian Painters By Alice Navasargian

even without a visa? The guide, hearing "Armenian" says, "Armenians? No. Problems, problems."

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ffiufrfimffitu, ffiyam[E ffiWMilI.

We retrace our steps, the three cronies on this straight road take the loss with humor. At Ipsala, 30000 kilometers from home, they take a very expensive room at $10 a person. I can sense that they are near the end of their cash and prefty much of their hope. In the room, despite three covers, the cold pierces my bones.

$UII|OAY IIORIilIIIO They too passed a glacial night. They said they got up at night to try a few exercises to warm up. Karen tells us about a dream he had last night in the piercing cold that brought him a glimmer of hope. "Someone gave me five red apples. These apples represent happiness. This can only be a good sign." We quickly leave this freezer and try to get breakfast. The Greek friend finally gives an appointment for 2:00 pm. No busses, we take a taxi. It's $10 more and a few extra kilometers. We are at police

SUilDAY AITIRNOOTU Gago calls Georges. It seems

the Greek customs aren't letting him through. We will have to meet on the Greek side. We ask the

police chief for a leave just for Gago. His passport is stamped and he is in a taxi on his way because crossing by foot is not allowed. Gago is lost, he has never traveled outside Armenia. Can't even buy a loaf of bread on his own. We are worried, but can only wait. Ten minutes later, Gago comes back. Without anything, of course. The Greeks didn't let him pass. They actually put him back in the taxi and sent him away. The three ask

me to go instead. They place their fragile hopes in me. They, alone, here, their money over there. I had already explained their story to the police chief in English. I wait, more than an hour to find a taxi, but the Turks let me pass just the same. Many drivers refused to take me. Only the Greeks take on travelers between borders. Once in Greece, the police are more than suspicious. I explain that I am a joumalist, the police understand. I find "Georges": a little man with thinning hair in a red car. He is with a nephew, a young 20-year-old. He didn't have the time to change the money into dollars. He

gives me 17.000 drachma (approximately $500). I insist that he change the money but they can only exchange $100 worth. Georges is Greek from Armenia. He speaks Armenian fluently. He tells me "they are crvy, these three! Without papers, without anything, they get on the road! What are they going to do?" Acop stops a car going back to Turkey. The driver is a Karabakhtsi living in Uzbekistan! Back to the Turkish border, with Gago, we put our papers in order.

They're in heaven, I have their friend's

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COVER STORY money, all is suddenly going well... "For the three of us, you understand our escape, it's now better. We can even laugh now!" They realize that there was no way into Greece. It

will have to be Bulgaria. "No question of rcturning back toArmenia" decides Samo. The others follow.

He tGlls m0 'thGy attB Gnazy, these thnee! lr'llithout

papsr$, without anyftirg, IhGy gct on thc r0ad! ll[nrt anG thsy uoing ts ds?'

passed the border without trouble.

They are happy. It's cold but not so bad. Samo tells me that at Djergali, we can cross the border by foot. Barely passed the border, in front of the cops. Samo asks taxis if they know how to get to Greece. They don't, but one of them drives us to Sviligrad, l5 kilometers

have

SUIuIAY EUEllIIlllE We take a taxi to Ipsala, and fiom there to Kechan. Later to Edirn6. We get there around 7:00 pm. At the Edirn6 station, we ask to get a visa for Bulgaria. We learn that the Bulgarian Consulate charges $60 for transit visas. We then look for hotel rooms: $40 for the four of us. We lind a room. The hotel clerk resists providing heating, and the promise of hol u uter rernains just a prornise.

First step: Visas Then, go to Plovdiv to flnd Hasmig and the possibility of getting to Greece across the mountains. They actually tried calling her a few times but there was no answer. And then, once in Bulgaria, there are many Hayastantsis there, and they would know how and in what direction... Yesterday, the boss of the company advised our troop to ask fbr a transit visa for Romania. Samo opens an atlas to find the capital of Romania: "Gago write on your hand, to remember, the capital of Romania is Bucharest.

tlll0tllIAY At 7:00 am,

Bu-ca-rest..."

-

Samo turns on the TV a reflex, even if he understands nothing. Goal of the day: to get to the other side.

By noon, the visa fbr

Romania

vta

Bulgaria is done, without ditficulty.

An hour later we are in

Bulgaria, We

from the border. From there. we bus to Djirgali. Samo

to take a

changed lhe confusing plans again.

tt|lOTllDAY ATTTRIIOON At the end of the cab ride, we

see the

Creek border and the barbed wire fence. We are at Sviligrad. We take a bus to Haskov. It's colder there. Samo stops a cab to ask about

getting to Djirgali and crossing the border. The driver offers to take us 40 kilometers to a small town called Irdjala. From there, another taxi to our destination and our point of passage: Chronograd. Over 100 kilometers in taxis for only $16. At Chronograd we ask the same question: How do we get to the other side'? The driver takes us into the mountains. He stops before a


been deported

from Poland.

ln the Netherlands, an Armenian family

countries" have established visa regimes. For instance, currently there are an e$ima}',

was expelled back to Armenia.

ed 40-50,000 citizens of Armenia living in

neighboring Georgia, sam* 200 Armenians were stranded in the port ei$iof

tfie local Bulgarian-Armenian

ln

Poti as their request to immigrate to Belgiu*r

via Bulgaria was denied. Eventually,,,lhey returned

to Armenia.

After Russia, Eastern Europe is a popular destination for tens of thousands of citizens of Armenia. Until early this year, they did not flesd entry visas for mo$t Eastcm European

states, such

as Bulgaria and

Poland.

tl$wewL duerto their pending membership in the European Union,

most of these "open

AIM JUNE

2OOO

Bulgaria, that is about three times more than community, which numbers 1 2-14,000.

Most citizens

of

Armenia use Eastern

European countries as a "gateway" to their :ultimate destination - the US. ll unsucces&: ful, second choice is Western Europe, such as France, Germany or Belgium. Nevertheless, due to growing restrictions and difficulties to obtain visas to the US and Western Europe, the majority of them end up staying in Eastern Europe.


COVER STORY concrete shelter and tells us to wait 20 minutes. He is going to get someone who can help us. He hasn't yet mentioned money. We wait. 15 minutes, an eternity. We could get killed on the spot here, without a sound and lost forever. The driver arrives with a second car and a young man. The driver leaves with $15. The negotiations begin. He wants $350 per person to take us to the other side of the border to the first Greek village. Samo negotiates: I am separate, I am

French. He tries for $200 for the ttree of them. For that price, he proposed taking us to the other side of the barbed wire fence, but would not guide us to the town closest to the border. We would have to do the remaining 35 kilometers. At one point, I take Samo aside, I don't know what's being negotiated but I tell him that all of this seems dangerous.

Finally, they agree: $200 to the border. We get into the car. A few kilometers later he drops us off and asks us to wait. He leaves to "there is no danger..." He takes our see baggage with him! We are on the side of the

if

road, in the woods, our feet

in the snow.

He

,,[&,,

,

to do is go straight at the first light.

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has left us with this advice: don't be seen. He returns 30 minutes later. He drives us to a village he says isjust at the border. He alerts the

rest of us that he won't be taking us across but one of his friends will. Luckily, there's a full moon. He leaves us in the hands of another driver. We take back our luggage. The mountains are lit by the sky. Gago translates: we pass the border and after that, there is only 35 kilometers. The tle mountain behind us is Greece. All we have

lir

The trouble is that little doesn't seem so little. I advise them to get as much information as possible. It's 9:30 pm. We are in the middle of a Bulgarian mountain we don't quite know where. We start walking behind the guide. Absolute silence is required. He shows us the border station at the bottom of a valley. The guide stops more frequently the closer we get to the valley. We are finally before a wall with barbed wires. We push them aside and go through with difficulty. Samo had already paid the driver. The guide

tells us to keep going up and stay on the right until we reach the top of the hill. At first light and upon the first peak you will see it. A short walk of 35 kilometers. Not more. With only the moonlight to guide us. But it's our only chance. We can see clearly, but the path is covered with snow. And, it's powdery. We are in Greece. I ask to take pictures. They are afraid of the flash.

They're worried we'll be discovered and remember the guide's advice. But it's obvious that there isn't a soul in this lost corner


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COVER STORY of the world. We continue climbing for an hour. At one point Samo says right, Gago says left. Until then we were following a path. Samo wants to leave it and we are in soft snow in the woods, still climbing. There is a small stream. Karen wants to keep going

stop for more than 10 minutes for fear of fteezing on the spot. Besides, stopping actually frightens us. The cold, a hurt ankle, a busted shoe - any of these would be catastrophic, and we would die of exposure. The

up. But for Gago, we should follow

moonlight.

sky is covered at the moment, hiding the

the

stream. "Rivers go to the sea" he comments. The truth is, we're lost. Gago realizes suddenly that '1ife is more important than money. I always knew we should have better prepared this trip. It's Samo who wanted to leave sooner. Depleting his reserves and borrowing to make the trip..." Samo. He has a life, a woman back there,

like the others. A house in Russia and

an

aparfinent near Yerevan. He could have sold them. Sold? "But I tried to sell my house in Russia! I even tried to give it away for a passport. And, I would still give it away to anyone who would offer me his papers. We are equipped like city folks. We slip

on the snow, our sweaters don't keep

us

warm, our shoes are soaked. I cover my shoes

with socks and other material. It's the only way to continue. We are finally going down after three hours of walking and complete disagreement regarding the

right direction.

ffi

Gago screams out at the moon. The reflections of a man who is walking solely to stay awake: "One day the government will have to account for this white genocide."

hffie ffiBh: They're anxious but we can see some lights and we go toward them. We follow wolves' prints in the snow. It's less deep where they've already passed.

We're sure we're on the right track. We pass a river, and 200 meters beyond there is another barbed wire. We are all surprised. No question

of

going back. Samo decides to

leave the trail. For the rest of the night we are

somewhere in the mountains known as "Rodopi", according to a term in the region and we are literally headed in the wrong direction. It's suddenly very cold. We can't

TUISIAY Sunrise, finally. We are actually in a sort

of no man's land and we realize just how lost we are... We are before the barracks of some lumberjack. The letters on the sign are far from being Greek and we can see barbed wire. We think once again that we are on the right path. We start climbing again. From the position of the sun, I can tell we are still in Bulgaria. I had kept them from lighting a flre in the evening. I was afraid we would be incapable of tracing our steps. But now we're exhausted.

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COVER STORY At the summit, new disappointment. No border and only mountains going on forever. Gago can't take it anymore. Karen cries out "I told you we should have taken the other route." Gago wants to stop completely. Below us, we see a car and some cows. Another flicker of hope. Gago wants to lead us to those villagers.

We go down first. It tums out they're lumberjacks. We tell the others to come down.

They tell us that we are in fact still in Bulgaria. That Greece is 30 kilometers away. They light a fire and some soldiers arrive, having been informed by the workers. Samo asks the lumberjacks if ttrey'd help us! The soldiers take us to their station. We have to walk about an hour to a station at Orlita. They are understanding and otherwise agreeable. The officer, once at the station,

tells us that it's not the first time he has stoppedArmenians. He says he releases them

and the Armenians return - one week, two days, three months later. At the end of the day, back on our feet with army coffee, we are taken to Monchigrad.

In the truck, there are three other a brother and sister from

Armenians,

Yerevan and another from Leninakan. In their case, a guide took them to the border

very far from Greek territory and somewhere in the Bulgarian mountains. The

for $200 per person. But then, he

guide let us through real barbed wire delimiting the zone toward a completely fictional border. Before the commissar, we are to give

asked

for even more money, otherwise he threatened to abandon them. They gave him

their rings and a gold chain, and they passed the border where a car was supposed to be waiting to take them to Athens. Without any cars on the other side, the police picked them up, put them injail for 10 days and here they were back

in Bulgaria. At the police station, they kept us for 24 hours, in a cell with four others in 6 square meters. Crouched on a bed, with one cover each and freezing cold.

our depositions. We pay $50 bail to

be

freed. Otherwise, whatever the verdict, it's l0 days of prison. A policeman, a Russian interpreter, takes our depositions. We are accused of having "violated the forbidden zone at the limits of the Bulgarian border." We sign the indictment and await the judgment. Nine women arrive, Ukrainians. And one man that I had seen at the station.

Their stories resemble ours. But for them, it was almost worse. Their guide abandoned them in the mountains. Samo listens and translates: They passed through three

nrDilts0AY Awake at 7:00 am. We swallow some-

deep rivers and almost froze to death. In

thing that passes for breaKast. We wait to be brought to justice. I am also before the Court. A clerk comes up and asks to see my camera and wants my film. I resist, symbolically. The film he wants is untouched. The ones I've

the early morning, they said they were waiting death when a border patrol found them. The girls told Samo that the soldiers had found four bodies, frozen in the night, also in the forbidden zone. It seems it's

shot are hidden.

quite frequent here.

lt turns out we were in the "forbidden zone" between Bulgaria and Greece, but

-Translated by Harry Dickranian

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CONNECTIONS

UUhal$ ln

il [[ame?

Genocide at Issue in Man's Effort to Change Name from Vineyard Worker to Guardian By HARRY DICKBANIAN

n Quebec, changing your last name

is

often difficult and costly. Even spouses can't legally or easily adopt each other's names. A name change can be requested at the Registrar of Civil Status. But a request for a change has to be supported with serious reasons. Even then, it can be denied.

And the Registrar of Civil Status had denied the case of the Petitioner, Bagban. But on April 25,2000, in a case heard in Quebec Superior Court, the judgment of the Registrar was reversed. In his original application, Bagban, born in Istanbul, had argued that he wanted his surname changed to reflect the registered name on his birth certificate from the Armenian Catholic Church and "not the one imposed by the Turkish govemment." But the Registrar refused to change the sumame from "Bagban" to "Bahaban The request was refused on the fundamental principle in Quebec law relating to the stability of names. In exercising his discretion, the Registrar stated that he was not satisfied with the reasons invoked and explained that the law requires serious, valid and important reasons to change a name. Bagban answered that the seriousness of his request was based upon the fact that the Bahaban surname has been carried by his family for many generations. It was only in 1930 that the Turkish Government passed a law whereby all non-Turkish minorities were forced to change their names into Turkish. The purpose of the new law was to obliterate ethnic identities. Thus many thousands of ethnic families lost their connections with their roots. According to Bagban, all of his relatives who fled Turkey before the coercive law was enacted had preserved the traditional family name. His family was the only one who was stuck with the "Bagban" name. In appealing to the Quebec Superior Court, Bagban added to his testimony an expert's report by noted genocide scholar, Professor Frank Chalk, on the treatment by the Turkish government of the Armenian Community and a second expert's report on the meaning and significance of theArmenian name "Bahaban"


CONNECTIONS "Bagban." The Judge reviewed the meaning of the word Bahaban as a noun in Armenian that means "guardian, overseer, superintendent, attendant, preserver, keeper." But, the word as opposed to the Turkish

presence is to be consigned, as far as possible,

to oblivion. The imposition of Turkish family names on Armenian families was part of a consistent policy of Turkicizing the Armenian population of that land. In his "Foreword to Faik Okte's book, The Tragedy of the Turkish Capital Tax (London: Croom Helm, 1988), David Brown observes that Following the

"Bagban" coresponds to a Turkish noun meaning "vineyard worker" or "gardener." According to the Judge, "by imposing the Turkish Bagban to Armenians denies them not only the right to bear the Armenian surname Bahaban, their ancestral designation but also diminishes their status." The judg-

obligatory adoption

Turkish citizen

Lagac6 con-

lization which conffibuted major innovations to westem architecture, among other achieve-

ments, are according

to Foss, presented

ambiguously, without clear identification of their builders, or as examples of the influence of the superiority of Turkish architecture. In all this, a clear line is evident: the Armenian

"yev ay1 e ntt let c.l a h'ilarious and engagi ng monologue written and performed in armenian by vahe be rbe r i an

l une 27 to august 15, at tickets:

every tuesday night

at

surnames

by every

1935, pressure was

Turkish sounding surnames. Thus Istanbul

denied this ethnic group its identity."

In the judgement, Judge

of

brought to bear upon the minorities to adopt

ment elaborates "This change of a family name was part of an assimilation process that

firmed and cited hofessor Chalk's report stating: "The Turkish govemment has been systematically changing names of villages to make them more Turkish. Any name which does not have a meaning in Turkish, or does not sound Turkish, whatever its origin, is replaced by a banal name assigned by a bureau in Ankara, with no respect to local conditions or traditions." According to Professor Chalk, as cited in the judgment: "The treatment of Armenian monuments, the relics of a once great civi-

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Jews, Greeks and Armenians were forced to give up their traditional sumames and adopt new ones. The judgment went on to cite Professor Chaulk who added: "in orderto appropriately gauge the feeling engendered among the Armenian population by that development, one must bear in mind that this policy originated and was consistently applied by governments of Turkey that has refused to acknowledge the genocide of l9l5 directed against the Armenian people." Within the backdrop of a seemingly innocuous name change, this judgment of the

Quebec Superior Court

is the first ever


CONNECTIONS Canadian

judicial

acknowledgment and

recognition of the effects on the survivors. The only other case in Quebec and in Canada mentioning the genocide was the ASALA related case, The Queen vs. Balian and Gharakhanian of the Ontario Court of Appeal in 1988, following a trial which found the two guilty of violence against Turkish representatives. In that case, the court considered it unnecessary to "delve into the historic details of the events which gave rise to the grievances" relating to the Turkish Government's "alleged attempted Genocide against Armenians and seizure

of lands."

ln the Quebec Superior Court, Judge Lagac1 further cited Professor Chalk, adding that: "successive Turkish governments implemented the policy of erasing any memory of the Armenian people - except as bandits and

- from Turkish history. Thus those who survived the planned annihilation of

traitors

roughly one million Armenians from 1915 to 1918, the members of the Armenian community in Turkey, were required after 1935 to bear Turkish names which properly symbolized, for them, the effort to eradicate the history of their ancestors and the victory ofthose who supported that process. This development represented the triumph of integral nationalism in Turkey and buried another 65 years the chance of forward looking Turkish leaders to develop in their country any form of modern, inclusive civic nationalism which recognized the existence and rights of minorities such as the Armenians." According to Judge Lagac6, "since the Petitioner is now a Canadian citizen, he called upon democracy in his adopted country to change his name, from one which signifies for him oppression against his ethnic commu-

nity from the original "Bahabanian" line of which he is a member."

Citing precedent from the

Supreme

Court of Canada, the Judge confirmed that Canada is not a closed homogenous society. "It is enriched by the presence and contributions of its citizens belonging to different races, nationalities and ethnic

origins. The multicultural character of Canadian society is recognized in our Charter of Rights. Our judges must be particularly sensitive to the need not only to be equitable, but also to be equitable

toward Canadians of any race, religion, r nationality and ethnic origin." Harry Dikranian is an attorney practicing in Montreal, Canada.

SAVE 4Ao/o-700/o EVERYDAY


ARTS

A [llohle Gau$E Violinist Levon Chilingirian Crusades for Armenia's Musicians By HRATGH TCHILINGIRIAN

ith all the pomp

and regalia of royal ritual, Queen Elizabeth II,

by the Grace of God, of

the United Kingdom of Great Britain

and Northem heland, Canada, and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, has bestowed upon vio-

linist Levon Chilingirian, 52, the title of Officer

of the

Order

of the British

Empire

(OBE) for his "contribution to music" during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in February. OBE, established by King George V in 1917, is awarded to British subjects for their "outstanding work." Chilingirian is not the first Armenian to be so honored. Among former recipients are Sarkis Kurkjian (deceased) for services to the Armenian community of Britain, to George

Kurkjian for services to the City of London, to Haro Bedelian, a civil engineer, for his work supervising the building of the Channel Tunnel, and to Professor Eileen Vartan

Barker for her contribution to education. Chilingirian was commended as a "key figure in the music world." Bom in Nicosra Cyprus, Chilingirian was raised in a family of musicians, including his parents His church choirmaster and composer grandfather (after whom he is named) published the firct three-voice Divine Lihugy in 1898 in Smyma and inftoduced the organ in the Armenian Church for the first time in 1907. Chilingirian's great uncle, Vahan Bedelian was choirmaster, music teacher and a well-known violinist in Cyprus. "He taught the violin to everyArmenianchild including myself, when I was five years old," remembers Chilingirian. He emigrated to london with his parents at the age

of 12. "When I fimed

18,

I had to make up my

mind, either to go to the university to study economics orto go to music conservatory." He took the enEance exams for both, but the prestigious Royal College of Music gave him a scholarship.

"My violin

teacher said since they have so

much faith in you, you can't say no. So, I decided to

follow

a career

in music."

Since then Chilingirian's career

has

soared. He has played on the world's most

distinguished stages.

Museum in Yerevan. He has brought together

Lrvon Chilingirian is the founder of the renowned Chilingirian Quartet. Since its first

a distinguished panel of judges, including French violinist Philippe Griffin, composer

concert at Cpmbridge University in 1972, the Quartet has traveled to more than 50 countries and is kept busy with a schedule of 80-100 concerts a year around the world. For the last 12 yean, the Chilingirian Quartet has been a resident quartet at the Royal College of Music, one of the best music schools in Europe and Chilingirian's alma mater. In addition to his busy schedule with *re Quartet, Chilingidan has also been active in the Armenian music world. He helped local

musicians and producers with the Autumn Chamber Festivals held in Yerevan several years ago. He spearheaded several aid concerts

in [,ondon for earthquake relief to Armenia, featuring world famous musicians including

flutist Kim Kashkashian and Mvislav

Rosnopovich.

These days, he is busy with the First National Violin Competition for young musicians (ages 15-28), which will take place early this month at the Aram Khachaturian Home-

AIM JUNE

2OOO

Edward Mirzoyan, pianist

Svetlana Navasartian, and the Artistic Director of the

National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia (NCOA), Aram Gharabegian. In the final round of the competition, the

finalist (in addition to receiving a $1,500

will play with the NCOA. "I believe, playing Mozart, playing it well, is the most difflcult thing to do," explains Chilingirian based on his experience. "I suggested that whoever is the finalist, should play Mozart with the NCOA. This would be different from other competitions, because he says, "normally, the flnalists do not play with an established orchestra at the end." Over the years, Chilingirian has established close personal and professional relations with Armenian composers. He has had the "privilege of meeting composerAram Khachaturian, a year or so before his death," and has come to prize),

know closely the "next generation" of Armenian composers, such as Mirzoyan,


ARTS Alexander Harutiunian, Amo Babajanian, Ghazaros Sarian and Tigran Mansourian. But Chilingirian is concemed about the current

state of classical music and musicians in Armenia. He is careful about stating his opinions. "My observations are those of someone at a distance, even though I have been to Armenia many times and have frequent contacts wittr musicians there. I could be wrong, but my personal vieq having discussed the issue with my colleagues there, is that the situation is very critical an dangerous." He says the majority of music teachers have left Armenia. 'Those who remained, some of the best ones, are advanced in age." Chilingirian recalls that during Soviet times, Armenia had one of the best and most advanced music schools. And, arguably, "the most spoiled artists because state authorities treated them like Olympic athletes. Winning competitions was everything." While confirming that there are still very good classical music teachers and students still in Armenia, they are without jobs. Chilingirian laments, "They don't know what to do. Even those who are very good musicians do not play anymore." "If we do not restore these schools, help the teachers and the students, especially in terms of finances, then Armenia is in danger of being completely cut off from artistic creativity," he says with concern.

What can be done? "I believe, we, the Diaspora, should create opportunities in Armenia as much as possible. We need to find ways for musicians inArmenia to work, to teach and continue developing their talents." Chilingirian's personal efforts in this direction have focused on the organization of the Violin Competition and two other major projects for next year. He is already thinking about organizing a large Chamber Music Festival in Yerevan, which will bring togetherlocal and intemational talent. "Our aim is to expand the project beyond competition and invite bothArmenian and nonArmenian musicians to come to Armenia and play with local musicians. We will invite important musicians from around the world to come see Armenia and to play and be inroduced to the talent there," he explains. Chilingirian is also thinking about organizing a Cello Competition next year in Yerevan. He says the Armenian community in Britain has shown great interest and willingness to help these projects financially. 'lMe want to open opportunities for musicians in Armenia to be invited and play at other

make it in tlre music industry. They need to see how much effort it takes to be successfirl." While networking with others and making friends are very important,'Most importang" he says'1s to play well, to play chamber music well." Still, given the current socio-economic difficulties in the country, chances of Armenian

musicians traveling

to Europe or

North

America and not wanting to retum to Armenia

is very high. 'That's always true," grants Chilingirian, "But at least if possibilities are

tools, helpful hints and plenty of support. "We brought a few young musicians to [,ondon and

ficult for the kids to leave their families at a very young age and live in a foreign country. Secondly, every day and every year that they live in a foreign country makes it harder for them to return to their motherland." Chilingirian believes that the hard-to-find financial resources can be put to better use inArmenia than spent on a few students studying abroad. '"The money spent on just one student studying in t ondon, I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said that we could run an entire conservatory in Armenia with the same amount," he observes.

public relations," laughs

Chilingirian.

"Classical music has become just like advertising cars, chocolate or laundry detergent. These PR people tell us about 'packaging,' 'selling angles,'and so on Today, it is not enough to play excellent, beautiful Beethoven. They say, fine, forget that you are an excellent player, can you play or present Beethoven in a way that's different from everyone else? Can you play 16 Beethoven quartets in one night?" Chilingirian views the Diaspora's role as crucial in the process of bettering Armenia's

musical environment. "As

Diaspora

Armenians, if we don't make Armenia strong, we will lose something, too. It is important that

our musicians and students are happy in Armenia and feel that they are really worth something. Any nation that grows without

will

void in its collective life. Fortunately, Armenia didn't and doesn't music

see a major

have this void." But, he adds, "We have to make sure that both the Diaspora and the govemment of Armenia appreciate the arts and finance it. This sphere of our national life should not be neglected." He realizes ttrat the task of strengthening Armenia's music "industry" is a huge task. "I know it is difficult " he admits, 'but if we have a wider circle of musicians in the Diaspora thinking about the problems and their solution, I believe more opportunities can be created for

musicians

in

Armenia." Already,

a

few

recently graduated cello player Alexander Chaushian, who lives in London. Like Chilingirian at the beginning of his career,

Armenia should also have the opportunity to go around the world to see how difficult it is to

Chaushian was sponsored by theYoungConcert Artists, a New York-based organization that pro-

But,

nity, have helped youngArmenian musicians to come to London to study. They provided contacts, a home environment, invaluable leaming

might choose to return." Indeed, the world of classical music has changed enormously, especially in the last decade. Being a top musician is not enough any more. "Nowadays, not only must you have an agent, but the agent keeps reminding the musician that we need to hire someone for

wouldkeepthemin the field." Chilingirian adds, "Musicians in

and something that

In the past

helped them. Everything went well," he explains, but notes two problems that has made them rethink this approach. "First, it's very dif-

Armenia-bom young musicians have been very successfirl in the West. One such musician is

Europe or elsewhere," says Chilingirian. 'kr this way, they could have work

The pride is justified.

Chilingirian and his wife, anthopologist Susan Pattie, and several others in the British commu-

created in Armenia, where they can work or teach, and at the same time have the opportunity to travel for performances, then they

in

festivals

vides exposure to young and promising artists in the US.'"The future is very bright for such musicians," affirms Chitingirian with pride.

AIM JUNE

2OOO

He says with limited tunds and high 'The question is: to help one student study abroad or help 100-120 students in Armenia?" When financial resources are limitdemand,

"We have to think well and decide of spending these resources." Chilingirian believes that successful Diaspora musicians can create new channels ofcooperation and opportunities for musicians in Armenia. He says Diaspora musicians and music industry professionals should visit Armenia more frequently and work with their ed, he says,

the most efficient way

counterparts there. "Perhaps, many professional musicians think it's a sacrifice for them to do

it, but they have to do it, they can make the time if they want to," he adds emphatically. Inde€d, in the last few years, this '1nbound'assistance fend has become prevalent among Diaspora organization and individuals helping Armenia. Unlike in the early 1990s, more attention is being given to locally administered programs in Armenia than bringing individuals out of Armenia for further training or specialization. While appreciating the value of

ravel, living and leaming abroad, the advocates of "Armenia-based" programs say their energy and resources are better spent in the country, where a larger number of people benefit directly, while at the same time, much-needed local infrastucture is developed. 'True, there are many diffrculties in Armenia, many more important priorities perhaps, but let's not forget that art and music are very important for people's soul," says Chilingirian.


rit,

".,iirl,r,:rj:i;*;;l;j:l:!riri:l

.

I,f,::lir:liiia'"

2.-

r.

0lympiG Reuuands As the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney near, Armenian athletes preparing for competition have more than medals to look forward

to. Armenia's Ministry for Youth, Culture and Sport announced that the government would provide flnancial rewards to winners: $40,000 for gold medalists, $30,000 for silver, and $20,000 for bronze. The coaches of winning athletes would also benefit, as they would receive equivalent of45 percent of the prize money.

Photo: Brandon Paulson, left, from Anoka, Minnesota covers his eyes as Armenia's Armen Nazaryan, right, is proclaimed the winner in men's 0lympic Greco-Roman wrestling, Tuesday July 23, 1996 in Atlanta. Nazaryan won the 52k9. weight class.

Mouing 0n lVorld number three tennis player Andre Agassi, 30, lost at the French Open to Karol Kucera of Slovakia (2-6,7-5 6-1, 6-0) during the second round of the toumament in Paris. Last year Agassi made history when he became only the fifth person and the first American in six decades to win all four major tennis toumaments: Wimbledon in 1992, the US Operi in 1994, the Australian in 1995, and the French Open in 1999. Agassi is currently preparing for his first time participation in the upcoming Queen's grass court event in England.

Right Top-seeded Andre A$assi ol the U$ leaves the central court after his defeat. Below: New Yorkers read "Defending Champion Andre Agassi, Hobbled by Sore Big Toe" at Jimes Square. Photo: Harry Koundakjian, l't

*,::? tt;,ll /i*

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t,

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AIM.IUNE

2OOO


Ihe Rex ol Nonth Amenica Twenty-nine-year old Rex Kalamian

does something that most basketball fans only dream about: He works in the NBA as the assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers. Born and raised

in Los Angeles, Rex grew up with

lir

tle contact with the Armenian community. This all changed in 1988 when he received a call from AGBU after his picture was seen in a local paper describing his exploits in a recent East LA College basketball game (in his 1988-89 season, Rex led the South Coast Conference in the three-point field goal percentage). AGBU invited Rex to play basketball on their team, which he continues to do. Kalamian even played in the Pan-Armenian games last September in Yerevan. Out of 16 teams from around the world in

this division, Rex's AGBU Valley men's team came out on top. Rex became the basketball coach for East Los Angeles College during

the

1990-1991 season. While still for East LA, he sought an

coaching

internship with the coaching staff of the LA Clippers at a time when the Clippers were actually in the playoffs. Initially he began as an assistant to the scouting department, collecting team statistics on game nights only. Through his persistence and determination, however, he was hired in 1995 as a full-time Video Coordinator. For the past several seasons his responsibilities have consisted of watching opponent team films, doing advance scouting and preparing both players and coaches for upcoming games. Rex also has some bench expe-

rience under his belt, having worked under ex-coach Bill Fitch inthe 19971998 season.

Rex plans on staying in the NBA. Despite his team's recent track record, he remains loyal to the Clippers. Rex points out that with so few coaching

opportunities available in the NBA, he feels extremely fortunate to be where he is. In the future, Rex hopes to become a head coach. -Levon Thomassian Photo: Rex Kalamian (left) with Eric Piakaowski of the Los Angeles Clippers

AIM JUNE

2OOO


ARr\IENr,AN

\7oMEN oF THE Srncn

Medea Abrahamian

Hasmik

Heghineh Adamian

Azniv Hrachia Lucy Ishkanian

Satenik Adamian

Kim Kashkashian

Yevgineh Adamian

Aida Kavafian

Anahid Ajemian Maro Ajemian

Ani Kavafian

Lucine Amara

Yevgineh Khachikian

Karen Kondazian

Zabel Aram

Sylva Koscina

Kay Armen

Aline Kutan

Arous Aserian

Siroon Mangurian

Tania Ashot

Nvart Mari

Astghig

Olga Maysourian

Angela Atabegian

Goharineh Melkoumian

Cathy Berberian

Shushanik Mildonian

Louisa Bozabalian

Anna Navasardian

Ellada Chakoyan

Nadezhda Papaian

Cher

fuousiak Papazian

Lili Chookasian

Hasmik Papian

Hayganoush Danielian

Dora Serviarian Kuhn

Isabella Danzas

Clara Shahbazian

Anita Daraian

Datevig Sazandarian

Zarothi Doloukhanian

Medaxia Simonian

Zarolhi Elmassian

Siranoush

Kallen Esperian

Sylvi Vartan

fulene Frances

Hagint Vartanian

Gohar Galajian

Ruzanna Vartanian

Vergineh Garagashian

Vartouhi Varteressian

Yeranouhi Garagashian

Vartuhi

Gohar Gasparian

Arous Voskanian

Olga Goulazian

Lucineh Zakarian

Maria Guleghina

Rose

Zulalian

This bilingual coffee-able book presenr the life stories of more than sixty Armeruan women of sound and sage in Armenia and Daspora (circa 184G1999), with short biographies, and their dramatic penonalities. The album contains 300 pages, including more than 280 photographs, both in sepia and full color. Hard cover 10.25" x 12.75".

www.ali c enava s argian. I would like to

order

co

m

copy(ie$ of "Armenian Women of the Stage" at $79 (tJS) eadi, including shipping & handling.

Neup

Checks payable to: Edith Navasargian

Aoonrss

P.O.Box 11535 Glendale, CA91206 Phone 818.957.8519 Fax 818.957.5372 Email ednavas@aol.com

Cnv/Srrx/Zw TsrrpuoNr

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#ffiY Yffi6ffi

ffiffi$37

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ffi "; ffi iffi Bffi ffi ffi tr^*$b-e_%" W ffi {f if %/ fu %"."$ &*&%"roBu-B .#q'

By Zaven Khachikian

.ie

;i.s* I

:si

,

ti::r

,,;}* â&#x201A;Ź.

On a beautiful clear day, I took a shot otMt. Ararat early in the mornins frorn the ancienl hilltop

of the Erebuni ruins.

I was captil'atccl by the beauty ol-thc site and clear skics above. In the mcantirne. Arshak (he calls himself Arshak. I don't know i.vhat his real natnc is) was taking pictures. too. As soon as he finished, hc ran to the nluseurr's open field and began ttr exercise. Erercise? Herc'/ Why,I askecl him. haclhe chosen this site thousancls olyears olcl'l "You have to imagine youfself aS

of this a.ncient land and imagine yourself as king Arshak. This lan<t wirh its captivating narural bear-rty. its rivers ancl firlcsts. its mountains and treasures, all hclong to me. ErebLrni is MY fortress. these standing walls olancieut luins is MY tentplc. N{t. Aralat is MY tnountain. the Annenian people are MY pcopJc. and the photographet' (that's me. hc says ) is MY palacc photographer ancl the Armenians in LA are MY sub.iects who have left the country to aloicl tax laws!" All this hcatrty and wealth scclns to be his alonc. Hc is diminutive hut physically and nrentlLlly strong. He belict,cs that the wooclen colutnns of his home ancl the filrtress of Erebouni create an energy ficld wliich gives hinr stren-eth and his inner u,ot'ld is in pcrpetlral harnrony u'ith his ancient land. -Zauen Khachikian is a Yerevan-based photographer whose work has appeared tn a part

vari0us international publicati0ns including AlVl

AIM .lUNt,t 2000

-5-5

__


lnmenia

and

Anmenian-lmenicans

Children's Magazines By Cobblestone Publishing Gompany

The respected Cobblestone Publishing Company is

Ghristianity in Armenia, Third lssue $15.00 The third series issued on the occasion of the 1700th anniversary of Christianity in Armenia features Armenian Educational Centers in the Diaspora. Features Antelias, the Nercissian School in Tbilisi, the Holy Cross Churchin Rostov upon Don, the Mekhitarian Monastery in Venice, the St. James Monastery in Jerusalem and the Lazarian Seminary in Moscow.

responsible lor nearly half a dozen children's magazines. Faces and Cobblestone are each quarterlies, and during the last yeal each has had one special issue on Armenians and Armenia. Beautiful

visuals (including photographs and illustrations) make the magazines attractive and accessible to elementary and middle school students. 48 pages each.

$10.00 for both Faces and Cobblestone.

Postcands by Assadoun

Armenia

Mafired Sons ol $8.00 Three stamps issued to commemorate Karen Demirchian, with the National Assembly and the flag as background, Vazgen Sargsian with a military parade and the flag as background; and a third features all eight slain officials.

Ghildnen's Gonstnuction Cutes Made in the Republic of Armenia 11 pieces of hand-cut and shaped wooden pieces embellished with Armenian manuscript designs make for a beautiful and satisfying first toy for the youngest child, as well as the budding architect, Older children will enjoy the special designs and the traditional motifs.

Assadour, born in Lebanon in 1943, is a graphic artist whose "game of opposites is eternal and infinite... He is the master of contradictions, of innuendos, of ambiguities, of paradox." This set of 16 postcards, produced by ANMF, elegantly designed and printed rs a unrque way to communicate with those for

whom things Armenian don't need to be limited by traditional designs. Pack of Sixteen

4x6 full-color postcards

$20.00

Fnagile llneams Armenia Photography by Antoine Agoudjian More than 150 black and white photos

from 1989 to '1 998 depict various

$45.00 Avai I able excl u sively th ro ugh Al M.

moments of joy and pain in the lives of Armenians after the earthquake. "The same things Antoine Agoudjian saw in Armenia, but he did it with a talented and watchful eye, as an artist devoting his sensibility to his art, with love. He took his time so he would not miss anything. Thanks to him, I went back, saw again and took a new measure of all that my eyes had only brushed past and skimmed through. Visiting in black and white this old colorful country." -Charles Aznavour Paperback - 80

pages

$28.00 1999, Actes Sud, France, ISBN 2-7427-2316-1


The Gycle ol

lile on Gompact

llut ol $tone

Disc

Songs for the Soul

Armenia

Performed by Parik Nazarian

Photography and Text by Robert Kurkjian and Matthew Karanian

Each of these songs is a page of life, a mirror of a time, a link to our

history. lnherited from ordinary people who expressed their feelings and deeds through song, these bittersweet pieces sung with the occasional accompaniment ol duduk, dhol and shvi, depict the disparity of birth and death, the pain of loss and the joy of birth, yearning and sorrow, genocide and displacement followed by rebifth, love and ioy and war and vengeance. In these songs, the beauty of love is symbolized by the seed of a pomegranate, the vigor of life by a blade of wheat.

-

Afisakh

150 vivid full color images made during the years 1995 through 1999 capturing moments in time, peoples' expressions and beautiful landscapes. "Three thousand years ago, among rock-strewn steppes, an ancient people chiseled a homeland. They created a society, and built a nation. These Armenians carved an enduring civilization - out of stone," say Kurkiian & Karanian. Deluxe Hard Cover Edition

-

184 pages

1 CD, accompanied by a 2O-page full color booklet with Armenian text, English translations and related photos

$49.e5

$15.00

1999, Stone Garden Productions, Washington DC lsBN 0-9672120-0-6

1999 Garni

I

Wall ol $ilence

The Unspoken Fate of the Armenians Produced and Directed by Dorothee Fotma Humanist Broadcasting Fnd, The Netherlands An unprecedented documentary on the Armenian Genocide. The film presents the lives and scholarship of two historians - Turkish Scholar Taner Akcam and Armenian professor Vahakn Dadrian. "Turkey can never become a democracy if it does not face its history," says Akcam, "We have to research violence in our past in order to know and understand our present. Gontemporary Turks are not guilty, but they have a responsibility toward history." Video Documentary - 54 Minutes - VHS NTSC $25.00

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1

U N I filltltlllllUl't DIlllltRI

MoNurrv BTEFrNGS oN CruucAL Issurs Started inl999,AIM's monthly dinners, featuring fistinguished speakers, have turned into the gathering place for the "new" Armenian. Dinner

is followed by a short briefing by AIM on the news

events and

developments of the month. The featured speaker makes a, presentation on a contemporary topic with significance

in the

new millennium. Presentations are followed by a dialogue with the audience.

P0tlil(I H.E. AunessADoR

ffidnudoy luly

ll

looo

Hnnny Glrn,toRE (nurrnrn) VrgIrrNc AnunNm AND THE Ceucesus

Gilmore, the first US Ambassador to Armenia, arrived in Yerevan

in t992.

During the first three difficult years of independence, Giknore provided critical assistance in Armenia's nation-building process. Five years after completing his tour

of duty, he follows Armenia's growth and remains interested in its development.

Bl|Illllll & lAtI ilondoy rusurt I 1000 Menr

GnneCOS

Rnr,,rENrANs rr.r

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Mark Geragos, a Los Angeles area attorney, has defended Susan McDougal, Mourad Topalian, and now, defends one of the three young fumenians being charged in the case of the youth violence in front of Hoover High School in

Glendale. Geragos, the son of prominent criminal attorney Paul Geragos, has strong

opinions about the justice system and Armenian involvement in the system from defendant to prosecutor to victim.

Ar

Dinner 7:30 pm. Briefrng 8:00 pm. Speaker 8:30 pm.

BnnNDvrEtur/

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Donation $28 for AIM subscribers, $32.00 for non-subscribers.

Street

Glendale, California

For reservations and information call

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Faith in Sibenia

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At thc Nutional Ecclcsiastical Asscnthly

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in Ejrnratsin in October" a de legatc liorrt Sitrcril

approachcd Alcltbishop Vatchc Hovscpian

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Dioccsc ol' thc At'nrcttirttt North At't'tct'ica. Thcil chtrrclt board * as building a chulch irr Kir.ov. Russian Siberia. R. A. Movsisian cxpllirrccl. The comrnunity had comc together t'itisctl \\'e -stern

Church

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thc funds ancl built the church. A llrgc br.ick

structurc. lbllowing traditional Artlcniatt

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chr,rrcl'r architectulal design. There uits orrc' problenr. 'Ihey hacl run out of ntonel' belirrc

tlt.' tl,rtttc wit: colttplclcd. Anothcl \10.o(x) woulcl tkr it. thcy said. Archbishop Vatche Hovse'pian agreecl to help. He rcturnccl to Los Angele-s. Calilbrnia and engugt-d attonrcv Walter Krrahian in the projcct. antl on his ncxt trip tn Elntiatsin in Mrrch. took ltrl0.0(X) r.vith hinr. JLrst in time. with wintcr ovcr'. constrLrction coukl begin -

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$chool's Out

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When the last bell rings

in late May or

early June, graduating high school seniors (and

all other students, too) hit the

streets of for a full day (and night) of singing, dancing, activities and fun (top, left and above). It's called "Last Bell" and each year the range of activities and fun depends on the abilities and imagination of that year's class. This year was no exception. Last Bell came early - at the end of May, and hot weather Yerevan

came late

-

not until mid-June.

Wth the wide use of credit cards, Traveler's Checks seem to be on their way out around the world. In Yerevan, they never made it in.

Instead,

it

was cash-based tourism, until

recently. Now, hotels accept credit cards, and even an automatic teller machine or two can

be found around town. This one, left, is in Opera Square and its affiliated with HSBC (formerly Midland) Bank in central Yerevan. The bank itself, with its own AIM, is located

in Republic Square (left, bottom), adjacent to Hotel Armenia. An AIM in Yerevan. Absolutely. And it works the same way. You insert your credit card or

AIM

card, and cash (Armenian Drams) comes out of the wall. And a printed record of the transaction, too. In Armenian

(and English.)

AIM JUNE

2OOO


ESSAY

Coming andGoing By JOHN HUGHES

I I I I !

am to leave for Armenia in two days. To *o nu,t-*ay arouno tne worto to a ptace ,nu, doesn t even seem lorergn anymurc.

l'm totd I nave an alrllne tlcKet, I nave not seen rI yet. Anu my

,norgn

passport and visa are somewhere between my mailbox and the Armenian Consulate in Los Angeles. I'm not exactly sure where I'll be staying once I get off the Plane at Zvartnots Airpon. Nor do I know how long I'll be there. Maybe a week. Maybe three. I haven't washed my clothes yet, nor put the newspaper on hold, nor stopped the mail, nor paid the landlord. And I promised the old lady next door I'd cut up some firewood for her before I go. Haven't done that yet either. Instead, this is what I am doing: I am making a list of my friends in Armenia and Karabakh and writ-

Institute, for export sales. I'll take him some samples of American products. But the gift he'1l like most is the book of Irish poetry. His emails always end with a quote from an Irish poet that says something about the

"fourth chamber of life." Which strikes me funny, since Hayk is still in the first chamber

of his life by most standards. I'll probably also take him a Gloria Estefan compact disc. When I was living there, he'd come to my flat and repeatedly play "Mi Tierra." I figured it was the only flat in the Republic with an American who couldn't speak Armenian,

compartment just right to fit the lO-inch knife that a former KGB officer gave me the night we were using his pistol to open beer bottles in Stepanakert. Anyway, I'11 take a mag-lite to Yegishe - he calls it a "torch" - because the one I gave him for Christmas has probably worn out by now, especially since I taught him how to make shadow puppets. Tigran. He's 10. His mother is Astghik, which means "little star." His grandfather, Big Tigran, is an artist, and so is his aunt, Arpi. Before, I gave Tigran some art supplies, but

then wondered if that put too much pressure on him. So this time

I'll

take him a Pokemon T-shirt, since I'm guessing that by now the craze has swept - like Legos a few years ago to Yerevan.

ing beside each name the gift I hope to find to take to them. Except each time I write down a name,

I

military doctor in Karabakh who gave me a Russian officer's attach6 bag that has a

There will be a scarf for Anahit, and a foun-

tain pen for Hrant and

start thinking about

a

met that person, goes my mind, traveling ahead of me,

bottle of Jack Daniel's

needing only memory as a passport. Violetta. That's Hayk's

my father and sent a bottle of Armenian brandy to my dad in Alabama. Aram will get (another)

how

I

and

off

for "Uncle"

mother; Hrant's wife. She and her sister-in-

I

full of food when

get there. Not that it's special that I'm

arriving. They just always seem to be cooking. So I'm taking Violetta a garlic peeler one of those rubber tube-like instruments that husks the garlic with one quick wipe between the palms. Violetta uses a lot of garlic and I'm thinking she's going to really be impressed with the ingenuity of her new gizmo.

Hayk. He recently tumed 27, graduated from American University of Armenia with a business major and is researching ways to

package herbs from the Hydroponics

as

Crystal Gayle or Kenny Rogers cassette. And

law Hasmik, will fill the house

Hovanes,

who is the same age

with anArmenian who couldn't speak Spanish, listening to a Cuban, in a

sharing time

building designed by Russians. Very global. Gayana is a tennis player. Her emails say she is awaiting my arrival so she can beat me 6-0. I learned Russian curse words playing against her at Hrazdan Tennis Center. I'll take her some tennis balls. You can buy them in Yerevan, if you can afford to spend a month's salary for a can of three. And she's probably right about the results of our upcoming match. I don't know if I'11 see Yegishe. He's a

AIM.IUNE

2OOO

I've got to get something for Mayis's baby, but I can't remember if it's a girl or a boy, though I remember very much standing with Mayis in an Ararat valley field when he said to me: "Can you hear the silence?"

Right now I hear Southern California traffic and am looking at the sun glisten off the ocean. But in a few days, perhaps I'11 stand with May is and others who have linked that place to this one for me and

raise a glass toward Ararat, then

one

toward the Pacific and say a toast that was first said to me: "Like this vodka, may our I friendship be clear..."


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Profile for Armenian International Magazine

The Big Escape - June 2000  

Armenian International Magazine | The Big Escape - June 2000

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Armenian International Magazine | The Big Escape - June 2000

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