Page 1



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42 Publishers'Note Letters Month in Revieuv Economy lntemational

4 5 7 21



Marnukian into " exile" in

baFh ev Arme nian rea I i ty.

Technology Profile

Books Viewpoint

AlM, March 1991

32 38 41


Gover Design by Vahe Fattal

A Note fiom the Publisherc

/NNI Rrblished by Alll,


EXECUTIVE EDITOB: Charles Nazarian tANAGll{G EDITORS: Vartan Oskanian; Raffi Shoubookian




Harut Sassounian


Minas Kojaian (Nirrcsia)


Avakian (NY)

Kevork lmizian (Boston); Ara Kalaydiian (Boston); Kerorian (L.A.) ll{TL-SECTlOll EDITOR: Jqseph Kechidrian 4E! E!!TOB: Neery Melkonian (Santa Fe) STAFF WRITEB: Tony HalFin (L.A.)


OOIITRBIT?ORSE Vtck€nBeberian, lst*fianJrbastian, Gerad Libaridian, Moorad Mooradian, Arto Payaslian, Ann€n Aroyan, Gilda Kupelian, Linda Kirishian, Chrihoptrer Atamian, Lisette Poole, Yvette Harpootian, Vid<en Batikian

CORRESFo]IDEIITS l-cAngElcs JanetSaruelan


ZankuAnnenian Detroits Snnn Payaslian Khalchik Kechian;

Lmdon: Ani Manoukian Paris:

CIrcuHirn dircctor lhomas YeEdan and departnent G*siants Siilva Tcfielddnn (left) and Seta Kouzouian help smooth the flow ol subscription ins and outs

Vl,eima: Sebouh Baghdoyan Amsterdanr: Arsen Nazarian Tokyo: Sonia KatchianAmmat: Ara Voskian Syrhey: Haig l-epediian Buenos AirreSamSarkissian YEREVAII BUBEAU: Papken Gadachik (Chiefl: Souren Keghamian, Kouken Khajagian. DikranKhznulian, Hratch YerknaHian, Hrair Zorian


PIIOTOGBAPHY: l.os Angeloc: Michael Agyan,

lust completed a major expansion of its Glendale, Califomia, headquarters to accommodate rapidly growing editorial, advertising, circulation and production

Jacob Demiriian

operations. These moves were prompted by AIM's transition to a monthly schedule as well as the steady growth of AIM subscribers and advertisers. We appreciate the increasing number of subscription orders arriving each day by mail and through our toll-free



l8m-736-3246number. The healthiest aspect of our free enterprise system is the invesflnent of income into a bigger and better product. This principle applies to magazines, too. AIM has great plans for improvement. Heading the list is better delivery of AIM. It is a United States Postal Service law that any new publication be delivered by a third-class mail for some period until it meets certain requirements for a second-class status. We ask for your tolerance (for few more months) for any inconveniences that may result from ttre delays caused by ttre third+lass mail delivery. However, we are happy to inform that we are already in the process of changing our U.S. Postal Service status from Third Class to Second Class, which will insure more rapid and consistent delivery of AIM to your home each month. We thank all of you for making a dream come true!

New Yorlc Tonv Savino Bodon:

Lena SanentS, Ari Stamatiou Karekin Kefelian

ADVERTISING DEPARTf,EIIT: Maher Abouzeid lDirecto0; Ani Stepanian; Victoria Manjikian; Tzoghig Elmastian


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Copyright@1 990 byA[r,t, tnc. Rtt rights reierved. AIM may notbe reproduced in any manner, eitherinwholeorin pari, without written permission from the publisher. The editors

are not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or art

unless a stamped, selFaddressed envelope is erclosed. Opinions expressed in signed artides do not necessarily represent the views of the editors.


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AlM, March 1990

(Translated) It is with great pleasure that I received a copy of AIM magazine. I congratulate your editors for focusing so thoroughly on the breadth and depth of the immense problems of our nation. Vahe Gabrache Geneva, Switzerland Fcd fie


the Contlict

We were fascinated to see your exceptional and insighrful magazine. It is superb both in contents and form. It seems to us that AIM may serve as the best gift from Diasporan Armenians to the Armenians in Armenia (who, unfortunately, at present cannot afford to subscribe to it) and it will make the bonds between them tighter. Erna Shirinian Hasmik Martirosian Yerevan, Armenia

Kapriel Armutlu have been lauding your wonderful magazine. We who care about Armenian issues as well as the greater community of thoughtful readers have been enriched by the arrival of your magazine. On these pages I find articles of the caliber of thoughtful and independent thinking which compares to that in any magazine currently on the newsstands of the world. This level of quality and presentation puts you in a class far above any publication now serving Armenians. I wish you well. I will do my utmost to make my friends and acquaintances aware

of AIM. Rev. Dr. Vahan H. Tootikian

Southfield, Michigan


want to congratulate you for the excellent work you are doing through AIM. I passed some copies of your November issue to friends and colleagues in Beirut, and all are excited with the work you are doing. Best of success. Keep it up.

izes the Armenian quality for integrity in joumalism.

Varujan Vosganian


The Armenian community in Romania will be profiled in AIM later this year.

AIM is the single publication which seems to write about the interests of my family. It is read by young and old, from cover to cover, including advertisements. Thank you for giving my son this opportunity. AIM will have a significant role in fighting against the "white massacre."

I wish you long life. Rita Kuyumjian M.D. St. Mary's Hospital Center Montreal, Canada

Hunchaks, then the natural question becomes: are these political movements so ideologically and intellectually shallow that they have to resort to athletics (and such) in order to find their recruits?

I wish to add my voice to those who

I received the first two numbers of your publication which produced upon us a special impression because of its content and graphical presentation. The majority of our community members are English speakers, so that the two copies you sent us would be read by many Armenians. The Armenian community in Romania is one of the oldest in the Diaspora, from the l0th Century after Christ. We are convinced that the publishing of AIM magazine is the most representative event of the Armenian press in the Diaspora. Hoping that we would collaborate in the future, we ask you to receive our brotherly feelings. Armenians Union of Romania Bucharest, Romania

those sub-organizations are used to de-

velop future Dashnaks, Ramgavars and


V. Jebejian

Bible Socien in Lebanon Beirut, Lebanon We hope and pray that AIM will be with us for a long, long time, since it symbol-

Vatche Baghdikian Upper Saddle River, New Jersey

lnterview with ARF Leader The depth of Hrair Maroukhian's intelligence, commitment to his people, and

trust in democratic principles

through clearly in your interview with him. However, one point raised by him and

not questioned in your interview caused me great discomfort and anger. Mr. Maroukhian indicated that the ARF has plans to establish in Armenia (as they have in the Diaspora) cultural, relief, student and athletic organizations affiliated with the political party. Undoubr edly, the Ramgavar and Hunchak move-


Inurent, Quebec, Canada

Disaster and Recoveryl I am writing to compliment your staff on your January issue. I found the lead article, "Disaster & Recovery" by Tony Halpin, not only exceptional in depth of coverage but written with admirable clarity and careful attention to supporting detail. I also found the entire issue to be very professionally edited; it was a pleasure to read, and read it I did, from cover

to cover. Lionel S. Galstaun Danbury, Connecticut

Your article on "Where Did Your Money Go?" in the January issue was well-written and very informative. It addressed a concem that,

I am sure, most

donors share.

That said, allow me to point out two clarifications conceming the Armenian Missionary Association of America: The

AMAA's Bibles for Armenia program is not funded by the earthquake relief money, and the AMAA has spent an additional $600,000 or so on a variety of items that were badly needed in Armenia. Rev. Movses B. Janbazian AMM Executive Director Paramus, New Jersey


Ishkhan Jinbashian's review of Law-

rence Terzian's book, "Perseverance: Ara

Baliozian and the Armenian Cause," in the January issue of AIM was derisive and demeaning. I have read the book and I found it to be masterfully written and

superbly illustrated. I strongly disagree with Jinbashian and I hope that the subscribers as well as the non-subscribers who received complimentary copies of AIM will buy the book and judge for themselves. I am sure they will

agree with me

in my admiration


Terzian, Samerjan and Baliozian. Alice Sultanian Rolling Meadows, I llinois

ments have similar plans. Why is it so hard to see that this is the exact idiotic policy that has caused such divisions and tribulations in the Armenian people in the Diaspora.

AIM is brave but foolish in publishing Mr. Jinbashian's hate review of Lawrence Terzian's enlightening study of Ara

Why do our political parties find it necessary to extend themselves to areas of culture, education and athletics? If

I agree with E. G. Avedissian who said that "Perseverance" might as well be entitled, "All you ever wanted to know about

AlM, March 1991


Ara Baliozian but were afraid to ask." Sona Tashjian Belmar, New Jersey

In spite of the hatchet job on "Perseverance" (Book Review, January) I am an admirer and promoter of AIM. I do hope the circulation increases substantially, for you have a good editorial policy. Fortunately, the book is selling well. All reviews, except AIM's, I am happy to say, have been overwhelmingly favorable. Lawrence Terzian Tuckerton, New Jersey

As an admirer of AIM's intemational editorial policy, I was shocked, as any knowing reader would be, by the diatribe against "Perseverance." It is arrogantly sophisticated in its precise language:

cleverly derisive, prejudicial

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subtle appropriation of ideas from the book, used without acknowledgment, as


very specious retorts have already been cited by Terzian as those advanced by Baliozian's detractors.

Dr. Thomas G. Lee, Ph.D.

Nazeli Bagdasarian Racine, Wisconsin

l{eighborly relations This letter is in response to


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Sassounian's article, "Armenia Should Not Trade with Turkey until..." (Nov. 1990). I

Jack H. Sarkisian, M.D.

Zarie L. Shahgaldian, M.D.

efforts to normalize Armenia's relations

General Practice

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fully support President Ter-Petrosyan's with Turkey.

Once again, we have adventurist and

iresponsible elements among Armenians who clamor for the "return" of our "lost" lands. The recent flare-up in Karabagh has caused Armenia enough damage. Now we have individuals demanding the


of the "Westem" territories



At this juncture, we Armenians risk losing what is left of Historical Armenia by our attitudes and actions toward neigh-

boring countries. When will we learn that by asking for what we don't have we will end up losing what we do have. Viken H. Evereklian Havertown, P e nnsylvania


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AlM, March 1991



After weeks of fervent debate and upon the prompting of President Levon Ter Pet-

Hrair Balian, an accredited

rosyan, the Armenian Parlia-

urged the intemational body's Commission on Human Rights to find a just and viable solution to the self-determination rights of the Armenians in

Non-Governmental Observer

to the United Nations,

ment on February 25 approved a law that allows the establishment of a multi-party system in the republic. Earlier, Parliament had enacted legislation


that would ban political parties whose leadership and main outside the operations country, citing an unfair advantage in financial resources that such parties enjoy against home-based Armenian organi-

Making his appeal at the February 20 meeting of the


zations. Furthermore, the law forbids political parties to engage in profit-making un-

commission in Geneva, Balian

has noted that indifference toward the Karabagh issue on the part of the UN, as well as the lack of public outcry from the West, had paved the way for the recent violent Soviet

The Armenian delegation to the symposium


dertakings and restricts the parties' revenues to membership dues.

Armenian Govemment minis-

tions, and legal developments

ters and politicians joined

presented papers and swopped ideas at the Los Angeles Air-

industrialists, academics, and professionals from five countries to brainstorm plans for

port Hilton meeting


February 2l-23.

revitalizing Armenia's econ-

Deputy President Gagik

omy. Symposium-91, organized by the Armenian Engineers

Harutunian, Foreign Economic

and Scientists of America, aimed to develop a blueprint for rebuilding the country. The AESA is to publish the pro-


present an action plan next month to the Armenian govemment. ceedings and

International experts in

health, agriculture, energy,

Prime Minister Hrand Bagratyan were among 16 highranking Armenian politicians and officials who took part. Work is already under way for the Second World Congress of Armenian Scientists and Engineers to be held in Yerevan in

October. I

Meanwhile, under intensifying

for legitimacy,

Central Committee


the the

Armenian Communist Party repealed its landmark 1928 decision that had proclaimed an unswerving crusade against

all forms of ideological dissent, opposition political

Most addresses to the February 20 gathering expressed faith in the democratic path of Some 30,000 people rallied on Liberty Square to commemo-

rate the third anniversary of


Karabagh Movement.


Parliament re-

the present Armenian Government and called for continued solidarity for the process of in-



presidential order, the Armenian Parliament passed several

signed to frustrate the privatization process in Armenia and to obstruct the economic ba-

retaliatory pieces of legislation, including a measure that would allow personal cash withdrawals of up to 3,000 rubles in the case of a family

future of the USSR. Instead,

sis of Armenia's eventual independence, was imposed on

funeral, and up to 1,500 rubles

for a

passed a resolution to hold its own republican referendum on September 2l , whereby it will determine its final stance on the question of cessation from

the republic. Included in Mr. Gorbachev's directive was a meas'ure that would limit cash

For the record.., A photo ol Mtzkhet Cathedral in the article'Caucasus Neighbors' (AlM February 1991) was mistakenly described as the religious cenler of Armenians in Georgia. lt is the religous center of Georgians.


a call by President

Mikhail Gorbachev to participate in a March 17 Union referendum of Soviet republics that would in effect decide the

the Armenian Parliament




human rights groups and reporters "free access to areas




With the overwhelming


port of the Russian, European, and African representatives

the World Council

of of

Churches, Archbishop Aram Keshishian, prelate of Lebanon, has been elected chairman

of the organization's powerful executive body. Keshishian is the youngest chairman ever elected to the eight-year term. At the end of its 7th World Assembly on February 20,the

World Council of Churches issued a strong appeel on behalf of Armenians living in Karabagh, urging all parties involved ", take immediate measures to safeguard legiti-

mate religious, cultural and

movements and parties.

On March

in Lithuania

other Baltic states. Balian has also appealed for Moscow to allow observers of intergovernmental organizations,

Relations Minister Yesayi Stepanian, and First Deputy

economic policy, communica-



In early February, a presiden-

tial order from Moscow,


withdrawals from personal bank accounts to 300 rubles per month. Reacting to the

AlM, Mardr 1991


national interests, including the right of self-determination of the Armenian people of Kara-

bagh." The statement


brought about by the efforts of the delegates from the Cilician See of Lebanon. The Assembly also received

a cable from Catholicos I asking for the


Council's support to stop Azeri authorities from confiscating

the historic monasteries of Amaras and Gandzasar in



of Armenia's tormented recent history, capImages

tured by


Armineh Johannes, are gaining attention at the offices of the French newspaper Le Monde. Her exhibition includes pictures of the fighting in Karabagh and of the sufferings of earthquake survivors, taken during two trips to Armenia in 1989 and 1990.

Armineh sneaked into

Stepanakert with a borrowed Soviet passport to record life under siege in Karabagh, finding both beauty and horror.

"I have never been to a place where the air was so pure. The mountains were green and so peaceful. Of course at night

A scene from the seminar "The best solution for Armenia is to maintain a relationship within the framework of the Soviet Union," Ronald

Suny, professor


Modem Armenian Studies at the Uni-


of Michigan, told


San Francisco seminar on the future of the Soviet Caucasus. The conference brought together American historians and political scientists to discuss prospects for Armenia. Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Suny said the U.S.S.R. faced four possible futures: it could break up either completely or partially, create a new confederation, or retum

to the strict controls of


Brezhnev era. Curtis Struble, a U.S. State Department official, said the U.S. supported greater contacts

The Armenian in lraq


has not


caped from the air attacks launched by coalition forces. As of Feb. 17, two Arme-

nian soldiers

in the Iraqi

Armed Forces were killed in

added that formal relations still had to go through the central authorities.

In a cemetery in Spitak on the first anniversary of the

"Let's face it, Moscow


still in control of the Soviet Union," he told the February 23 seminar. Former Zoryan Institute director Gerald Libaridian, now research director for the Pre-

sidium of the Armenian Parliament, argued that the Karabagh issue was a question of

self-determination and not




Also in Musul, the famous Armenian cathedral and the

munication with Basra, where a sizable number of Armenians live, was cut off.

surrounding complex were



have received

several direct hits, and sustained extensive damage. The St. Mary's Church inBaghdad also has sustained

The Armenian community

was reported to be lacking first-aid and medical equipment.

interview with Le Monde. earthquake, she found women crying and screaming for lost children. "I also started to cry. Someone asked me who I was; when I told them my name, a woman who had lost three girls began

crying to her


'Armineh, Armineh. I've

found my Armineh again!' It was very upsetting." An Iranian-Armenian who has lived in France for 10

years, Armineh had


words for the French-Armenians she has met in Paris. "I don't consider them Ar-

menian any more; they have Armenian names, they take part in some festivals, but in the main they wanted to integrate. The heart is no longer there."

The exhibition runs until

3l at Le Monde, 15 rue Falguiere, Paris-l5. Daily except March

Sunday 9 a.m.-6.30 p.m.



bombs fell next to it. Bishop Avak Asadourian, primate of the Armenian Church in Iraq who has been on a peace-seeking mission in Europe and the U.S. since Jan. 13, was due to leave for Amman from New

York March



the other in the northern city

of Musul.

Kalashnikovs but mainly hunt-

ing rifles," she recalled in

There were no reports of Armenian civilian injuries or casualties, although all com-

air raids, one in Baghdad and

the fighters. They had some

with individual republics but

heavy damage after four


there was shooting all around, you didn't sleep, I went with

Armineh Johannes at her exhibition al Le ilonde offlces


A U.S. Federal District Court Judge recently ruled against allowing the release of certain State Department docu-

1982 publication of a State Department Bulletin "Note"

which questioned the history

of the Armenian


The August 1982 issue of the Department of State Bulletin contained an article en-

ments relating to U.S. policy on the Armenian Genocide, but at the same time issued a precedent-setting finding that

titled "Armenian Terrorism A hofile," and accompanying

"U.S. policy recognizes the Turkish genocide of the Ar-

the article was a "Note" that read: "Because the historical


The ruling was issued on a suit filed against the U.S.

State Department in 1986 by Van Krikorian, an attomey and currently Government and Le-

gal Affairs Director at


Armenian Assembly of America. Krikorian's suit sought the release of State Department documents associated with the

AlM, March 1991

record of, the l9l5 events in Asia Minor is ambiguous, the Department

of State does not

endorse allegations that the

Turkish government committed a genocide against the Armenian people. Armenian terrorists use this allegation to justify in part their continuing attacks on Turkish diplomats and installations." f

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t's a story ofpower, passion, and problems, with hopefully a flourishing business as a happy ending. Joint ventures have taken on almost magical qualities, seen by many as a modern alchemy capable

of turning


leaden economy into gold.

If the aim is simple-to do business-the trick is in trying to set that business up. Just how do you breathe capitalist life into the corpse of a command economy? For Armenia the benefits of foreign investment are obvious. With Westem money will come modern know-how, the latest technology, jobs, wealth creation, and a chance for better living standards. The more

ll"#Hy"lfllL:T,"XX{ claim to independence.

By TONY I{ALPIN aspora is seen as a unique asset by the Republic. There are plenty of problems. The ruble means nothing outside the Soviet Union and not much more inside; you have a lin-20 chance of getting a telephone call

connected between Armenia and the United States, while transporting goods can tax the most creative minds. Finding out who really has the power to make decisions can drive you crazy all

by itself.

Some are easier to fix than others. Telephone links between Armenia, the


In truth, too, the govem-

ment knows there is no choice if it is to escape the

collapsing Soviet economy.

For business, there are the attractions of a cheap, well-educated labor force,

the opportunity for some bargain deals, a seller's

0l|rr[! 0!

market in Armenia, and the potential to penetrate the entire Soviet market in the

longer term.

The desire to help the homeland also acts as an incentive to Diaspora Armenians, just as the large and influential Di10

* Chicage-based Armentoy, which expects production worth 55 million rubles

this year and has just clinched foreign

orders valued at $800,000. * Italy's clothing giant Benetton, which sealed an $8 million deal with Armenia's Ministry of Light Industry to produce three million items of clothing a year for sale in the Soviet Union. * The Califomia building company

Techport International, which plans six

U.S., and France will be

joint ventures with a total investment of


$100 million.



]iff3 ffiU'.,l:X,'X; 180 international

and 500 internal lines. The

impact on business life should be dramatic. A building boom is likely to be sparked once permission is granted for foreigners to own prop-

erty in the republic,


law currently being discussed by the Armenian Parliament. Industry, Western-style, is slowly taking root in Armenia and some entrepreneurs even see profits on the horizon. Among those who have grasped opportu-

nities are: AlM, March 1991

* Noyac International in Britain. Man-

aging director Vartan Ouzounian signed a joint venture with the government to export barrels of Armenian brandy, bottle it in England, and market the drink worldwide. It expects to sell 150,000 bottles in the first year, rising to 500,000 in the third. So what does it take to create a successful joint venture in Armenia? The

buzzwords are money, authority, and determination-<all

it the MAD


Money: an asset or hurdle?

Money is at the core of any joint venture. You have it, Armenia wants it, and

both sides hope that a partnership will create more. It's also your principal hurdle.

Four out of five joint ventures in the

IIADE lN ARMENIA. Cheap labor and good ideas can bag markets and profits Soviet Union got no further than registering an intent to do business. Few of the 20Vo that are running are making money. The number doing business in Armenia has just reached double figures. "The key weakness was that the ruble is not convertible," said lawyer Brian Zimbler, a Soviet specialist with the San Francisco law firm Graham and James who negotiated Armentoy's joint venture

This has a dramatic effect on both pro-

duction and profit. "The last 74 years have been really about how not to do things," says Armentoy partner Lou Novak, of San Francisco's

Galoob Toys. "The Russian accounting system is very primitive and does not address the Westem system of generally

accepted accounting principles. "We need to do more on really understanding our costs, the valuation of raw agreement. materials and labor. Understanding what product Yerevan woman at work on an Armentoy > !

the items should cost

and how


With a

Heghoyan put in $200,000. Armentoy's chairman Rouben Terzian initially thought he would need to invest only $50,000 "and be done with it." To

nian partners has topped $7 million. Not all joint ventures in Armenia are on such a big scale-one currently operating involves l0 American Cadillacs, hired out for weddings and escorts, another a pizzeria at Yerevan University. But without resources to sustain a venture in the short term, and to smooth out unforeseen difficuities, the chances of success seem limited.

gaining hard currency and make a retum. Zimbler identifies


Make products or services with export

potential; Make goods which replace imports in return for partial payment in hard currency by Soviet cus-

tomers; Make goods

for rubles and


a barter agreement in

advance to gain another product for export.

A fourth long-term option is to become part of the local econ-

omy and hope your investment

rubles, British Micro chairman Minas


to recoup investments


How much you need to invest depends largely on the scope of the planned enterprise, the risk you are willing to take, and what the Armenian partner has to offer. For a 30Vo share in the British-Armenian joint venture Micrograf Intemational, which now has a turnover of 100 million

date, the combined investment of the venfure's two American and one Arme-

ruble, ventures must have a strategy for


worth something.


Io that cost." !

competition when the currency is finally

will of


put the

Who's the boss? Authority, and who really has it, is a question that 'keeps foreign investors awake at night. The continuing struggle for power between the Kremlin and the republics creates an atmosphere of legal and political uncertainty. One victim of Soviet fears about future relations with Armenia was a $200 million joint venture with the French multinational company Pechiney. The Soviet Metallurgy Ministry's Non Iron Metal Group pulled out of the plan to extend and modemize the Kanaz aluminum factory near Yerevan, according to Pechiney. The ministry was to have

Benetton recently announced a joint venture to manufacture clothes in Armenia, using local materials, selling in local currency and reinvesting the

profit in the factory

Woll Street lournol, Jonuory 30, l99l

Itlr finthouDIoBr

IPm0r fir

hmuffirlt hll,uuttmhlirr lurum0r Ounlloruffir

cilIDllt 6lt1till Iltttlt 0lilt cltttitt (IIIUtT (III ITO??IIC (ITTIt 0tD I0tt ?lilDIil lllir0r t0I,ltt il0??!It fiIIti The above Benetton stores are owned and operated by Ascent Enterprlses, lnc. Pasadena, California

8t8 577 9217






=t:-;i.' lE

}* A FRUITFUL PARTNERSHIP. Barrels of Armenian cognac (left) at the Yerevan distillery, made lrom the country's grapes, are being exported to Britain in a joint venture deal between the Armenian Government and England's Noyac lnternational. The partnership is giving the world a taste of Armenia and conquering new markels.

provided l5c/,

of the money under


1988 agreement. "Moscow was not going to put itsell in debt to see technology and equipmcnt used in country that could soon be independent," one French ofTiciat said. Moscow's 500-day plan tbr a swift conversion to the free market is dead and instead the KGB has nc!\ powers to "inspcct" businesses and seize financial-

records. The bloody crackdown on the

Baltic republics, under cover of rounding up draft dodgers, also chilled enthusiasm among Westemers for doing business in the Soviet Union generally. But a similar Kremlin crackdown on Armenian independence is less likely, according to Nikola Schahgaldian, a senior political scientist at the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica. California. "People there are armed, so that means a much higher price in bloodshed which

"Red Tape" Helps Armentoy rmentoy's new board game should find an eager market among Moscow shoppers and foreigners familiar with Soviet life; it's called Red Tape. "It's really based on our experience in the Soviet Union," says Rouben Terzian, chairman of what is probably Armenia's best-known joint venture. The humor disguises serious success.

Those shoppers regularly

besiege Moscow's Detsky Mir children's store for the chunky 65-ruble Animal and Flex toy vehicles in Armentoy's own leased shop. It also sells in the Ukraine and Georgia.

The company won its first foreign orders, worth $800,m0, at the Nuremberg Fair in Germany last month, the toy

world's biggest gathering. Children in

the Soviet central govemment at this stage

is not ready to pay. "Getting 25,000 Armenian conscripts is not important enough to have a major national and inter-

national crisis." he said.


be playing with




Armenian-made toys.

to expand

ing decisions through the tortuous

Galoob Toys brought its manufacturing and distribution knowledge to the venture.

The partner in Armenia is Ani Scien-

tific. of the USSR

Ministry of Electronics, whose 5,000 workers make electronic com-


i't }/i

ponents. Part


factory. The venture has not been without its prob-

1991. Production, begun last June, is

expected to hit one million items this year for its range of 12 toys.


The Chicago company Breslow, Morri-

AlM, March 1991


former defense facility now houses the toy


son, Terzian and Associates, is the


largest toy design group. San Francisco's


workforce from 225 to 750 in




Armentoy plans

littlc accident that most

govemment ministries. since they at least claim authority and are skilled at push-

Britain, Europe and Scandinavia, Poland, Iran, Turkey, and l-ebanon will soon


tive joint ventures in Armenia are with


Hong Kong because the quality in Armenian was too low. The little motors that drive the batlery-


operated toys are also

imported. I



"Select your Armenian partner carefully," advised Terzian, in Chicago. "You need someone who is strong. persistent, caring and dependable." Novak admitted to "pleasant surprise" at the ability of the Soviet partner, Ani Scientific, to deliver on promises of hard culrency for machinery, and on supplies

Tokyo Firm Strengthens Ties With Yerevan TOKYO

ne man's love of Armenian culture is leading to growing

of raw material. Los Angeles businessman Vahan Gre-

gor, whose Pulstron company has been struggling in vain for a year to secure a joint venture in food manufacturing, found no shortage of would-be partners

in Armenia. "They are all serious but some simply are not qualified; they don't know the ramifications of what it takes to do a joint venture," he said. "What is lacking is a clear-cut set of govemment rules and regulations regard-

ing business."

The Soviet decroe

The Soviet decree establishing joint ventures was passed in January 1987 but has been subject to continual revision. The situation is so fluid that it can change literally by the week. Some reforms have favored Yerevan

by transfening powers from central authorities to the republics. On January l,

for instance, Moscow authorized

republics to approve and registerjoint ventures on their own, thus removing a major bureaucratic obstacle. Other decrees have increased the difficulties. Strict licensing rules were adopted in March 1989 requiring export and import licenses for many key commodities. This made it harder to strike the barter deals seen by many as a way to extract

hard currency profits. Last November President Mikhail Gor-

So you wanna

be a ruble millionaire with a joint yenture in Armenia? Here are seven steps to success :l.iri:]il:





economic ties between the republic and Japan. Kazuro Imai's import/export company in Tokyo began doing business with Armenia through his Moscow office in 1985. Next month he will open a Yerevan office.

He signed a joint venture deal with Armenia's SPA Transistor Company in November, and


working with


Hrazdanmash Company in Razdan to produce television screens and monitors at the former defense factory. Also in November, Imai and Co., SPA, and the Armenian Industry Association agreed to establish an association to promote business and cultural contacts between Armenia and Japan. SPA's president has already visited the

Ministry of Trade and Industry in Tokyo, the control tower of Japan's economy.

Imai is involved in a second-hand car

hotel, business school, and computer rental center in Armenia, as well as arranging exhibitions of Armenian art service, a



cognac bottles ber to set up Japan-Armenia associations in Tokyo and Yerevan to promote technical, economic, and financial co-operation. One political obstacle is the dispute over Japan's Northern Islands, occupied by the Soviet Union since World War Two. The Japanese Government has discouraged trade until they are retumed but President Gorbachev's visit to Tokyo next month, the frst by a Soviet leader, may lead to a solution. Imai has studied Armenian culture in

depth and plans to publish a history of the Armenian Church. He believes Japa-

He believes a good market exists for Armenian jewelry, cognac, and medici-

nese industry could benefit from the creativity of Armenian engineers and

nal herbs, but has had trouble convincing companies of the need for better design and packaging to suit the sophisticated


of Japanese consumers. Imai signed an agreement with the republic's Supreme Council in Septemtastes

Another Japanese company, Juki, had It has ceased making sewing machines in Armenia and did not respond to interview requests. (Research by Sonin Katchim in Tokyo) less success.




Economy Ghief Views Joint Venture Future With Optimism Yesayi Stepanian is Minister of Foreign Economic Relations for Armenia, with responsibility for joint ventures in the republic. He outlined the Government's views and policies in an exclusive interview with NM in Los Angeles. many joint ventures are registered in Annenia and how many of those are odually running? STEPANIAN.' First of all the Armenian Govemment has passed a new law for Armenia, which is different from the Soviet Union, for registering joint ventures. Not only joint ventures but laws also for subsidiaries of foreign companies and representations of foreign companies. After this new law, we started re-registering all the joint ventures, subsidiaries and representations formed under the former union laws. One week before I left Armenia I got a report that there are 35 registered joint ventures currently in Armenia and another 35 in the process of being registered for joint ventures. I don't have an exact figure for how many are in operation but I think there are around ten. It could be a little more or less.

AIM: How

What has been the principal problem that joint ventures have reported to you in Wing to set up business in Armenia? The inconvertibility of the ruble. There is no specific exchange rate between the ruble and the dollar. As it stands today there are several tiers of exchange rate, a commercial one, a tourist one, etc.

It is very difficult for

any businessman to plan in advance how much capital he is going to put in, or what he is going to do with the profits. This is of course detrimental to the government, too. Because the govemment subsidizes a lot of industries, due to the uncertainties of the exchange rates it might allocate resources inefficiently. This helps the joint venture, but hurts the govemment. The ruble should be freely floated. There could be restrictions on the amount you can change, but there should not generally be any uncertainties about the exchange rate. What is the Armenian Government doing to make it easiar




Until the new law all the registrations were done in Moscow, so the businessman planning to do business in Armenia had to go to Moscow. Now they can be registered in Armenia. The Armenian Govemment doesn't differentiate between joint ventures, subsidiaries, or representations. They will be feated as similar items.

This is also an important factor that is different from the Union laws. It is very easy to open a representation in Armenia for any foreign firm. lVhat powers does Armenia lack to assist joint ventures that it feels it must have from the central government? If Armenia could have the convertibility of the ruble within its power regardless of Moscow's interference, it would be very helpful to facilitate joint ventures. That's the major obstacle Armenia is facing.

But isn't it still true that only Moscow can grant the power to

open a bank account? No, any joint venture can have its own account in Armenia. It


doesn't have to go through Moscow.

Whal ubout taxatian levels and customs on imports and exports? On taxation, we are not paying too much attention to the Union law. Joint ventures don't pay tax on their profits for two years, and as the deadline approaches we will consider it. I think we have the power to levy our own taxes and we will apply it. The Supreme Soviet of Armenia will decide how much to tax joint ventures. As far as customs goes, there is one customs law because the boundaries are still controlled by the central government. However, the Union has a special law giving discounts on taxes for imports to Armenia's earthquake zone.

Why are joint ventures altractive to Armenia? We expect that high technology companies will come to Armenia. The people, too, will be introduced to Western ways of doing business. They will also facilitate the export of products from Armenia. We have a partner at the other end and when we try to export to Europe and the U.S. we will have somebody to represent us. It would be extremely difficult for Armenia to try to penetrate these countries

by itself.

Do you agree thal il seems easier to make joint ventures with the government than with other groups. Is this desirable? I personally advocate that most of the joint ventures be done iunong private companies and not with the govemment. My ministry must give the OK to any govemment entity planning to do a joint venture. If a private company from Armenia is doing a joint venture with another company, it doesn't have to get the permission of the ministry. The foreign companies want to deal with big enterprises in Armenia and these are controlled by the govemment, so that is why most joint ventures are between foreigners and the government.

Will you apply the same laws to Turkish There will not be any bias.


Are you concerned that Turkey could penetrate Armenia since it is much more powerful? At this stage we are not concerned. If

something like that develops we will start contemplating the issue. There is already a joint venture wilh Turkey in the service sector, conceming the operation of ships for the transport of goods.

AlM, March 199'l



bachev indicated that powers over these licenses would be passed to the republics, but it is not yet clear if the central

authorities have ceded this right, says Zimbler. "There is a scramble for power and a scramble to control these key assets. It is difficult for you as a foreign company or individual to go in and get recognition, at least from Moscow, that you are entitled to do something new and innovative with respect to trade or barters," he says. "It may be if you go to Yerevan they will tell you they now have the independent authority to conduct trade. One should assess the risks of being caught in a conflict between the central govemment in Moscow and the local authorities." Certainly Yerevan believes it has those rights but investors complain frequently that they don't know who really has the authority to make decisions. One crucial grey area involves the right

to open a foreign currency bank account

in Armenia. The Govemment says inves-

tors can do this without reference to

,T,{E LA'T,I)

orrr%,s or

Moscow, but lawyers like Zimbler believe central permission is still required. The nuts and bolts of a joint venture are hammered out in a comprehensive Ictter of Intent, defining in minute detail the rights and responsibilities of each partner.

The document, running often to 40 pages or more, spells out the nature and

of the business, management powers, levels of investment, division of profits and powers to extract them, rights to import materials and export goods, even who gets what if the partners fall out or property

the venture fails. Foreign investors can hold majority or minority stakes. Lawyer Vartkes Yeghiayan, of Glendale, Califomia, has negotiated several deals between the Armenian Government and foreign investors. He recently opened

with Amtenia

With Offices in Yerovan and Loc Angeles

1007 S. Central Ave Suite 208

Glendale California 91204 (818) 242-74OO Fax (8181 242-0114 AlM, March 1991

a law olTice in Yerevan. itself a joint venturc with the Ministry ol Justice. to assi


"The l'irst shock people get is to lind



Techport International has taken two

busincss with you," he said. Thc rcsponsibilities of some .ioint ventures can sccm odd to Westcrncrs, par-

years to rcach the registration stage after

State s.

to bc very patient," says vice-prcsident John Mosstaghimi. "You ncccl lots of

ticularly I'rom the Unitcd

Yeghiayan rccalls one deal involving


garrnent l.actory which includcd a clinic and a schrxrl. "The agreenrcnt was 50% of the wholc thing: it was rcally likc taking on a wholc

PROUDLY ANNOUNCE The complctian of their

nu$s production fac iliO, inc orporating the Honeywell Bull Flcxible Production Line in 80,0(n sq. fi.of


YEREUAN With regional headquarters in


villagc." he


C-'ertainly. vcnturcs must cover workers'

social security. hcalth, and pension payments, which can adcl up lo 2OVct to wagc costs. C)ther strange aspccts include a requirc

ment lirr a reservc l'und equal to 25%, ol thc capital investcd. lo covcr a venture's ohligations if it goes hankrupt. Thc grxxl news in all this is that venturcs gct a tax holiday 0n thcir l-irst tw<r ycirrs' prol'its befbrc a 3Oo/o ra.le kicks in. Unhappily, Moscow authorities are also

For Jurther dttuils contuo

drawing up lists ol-acccptable profit margins in cach industry. Companies

K. MELIKIAN Abelian 6/1 Yerevan 375078 ARMENIA Tel: (8852) 350131 Fax: (8852) 3501 21

which rnake more than double lhose margins lircc taxcs ()l' up to 9Oo/o on 1hc cxcess. [{ow long tlocs all this paperwork takc']

Anything lrom 60 days to lirrever,


British-Armenian Coalition Gives Birth to Dvin Gomputers LONDON ersonal computers named after *te ancient Armenian capital of

Dvin should soon be rolling off ths new production line of the British.Armenian



Micrograf Intemational.


They axe the result of a collaboration

between British Micro. whose chairman


an Armenian, Minas Heghoyan, and

-{rs Soviet Ministry of Computer Techsslogy in Yerevan, which has made **ainframe computers for 17 years.

The Wadord, Englard-based company modsmized the Yerevan factory and the joial venture has just installed a $1.5 million Honeywell Bull production line, eaprblc of tuming out 250,000 personal computers a year. The line is still being tested and is unlikely Io mn at full capacity for some time because components must be bought

with hard curency from the Far East. Thougft it wants to export, initial production will be for Armenian and Soviet markets. Government ministries, with their hard currency reserves, will be prime

cording to Yeghiayan. who adds that 90 days is "rcalistic." Annentoy's l'actory was up and running within I'ive nronths. By contrast,

customers for the lBM-compatible machines, which will be sold fcr a mix of rubles and dollars. British Micro was one of the first to set up a joint venture in the Soviet Union, in November 1988, following a friendship struck up two years earlier between Heghoyan and the then prime minister of Armenia. Like other oprating joint ventures, it benefited from the influence the govemment partner could wield in Soviet bureaucracy. "The senior personnel there have got very

powerful contacts with the Kremlin. Geaing bits of paper signed is like second nature to them and &at was extremely helpful," said Heghoyan. The computer factory has about 120 workers, with plans to recruit up to 200 more. They eam between zl{il and 2,000 rubles a month. But &e joint venture emplcys a total of 1,2fi) people in a variety of activities. These include selling waste material to Europe, modernizing factories bought

AlM, March 1991

ninc visits to Armenia. "Things go very slowly thcrc, you have money and cllirrt, patiencc antl pcrscverancc." Once your deal is signed and regis-

tered, and your lbreign bank account opened. you arc rcady to do business. Now you l'ind out how determincd you are lo succeetl. Problems arise with transport, in Ar menia and 1o thc outsidc world, supplics ol'raw materials, changing workers' hab-

its, even powcr cuts caused by


rcpublic's fucl shortagc. From the expericnces of'those working lirre ign parlner must be constantly involved to tackle these op-

in Armenia, the

crational headachcs. This usually rncans cmploying Western managcrs on site, as Armentoy has

lfi) in its vcnturcs initially,

donc. Tcchport expecls to havc up to

Amcrican staff

scaling back 1o about 20 manilgers once

local workers arc trainccl. "1'heir rcsponsivcncss to take direc-

from the Armenian Govemment, and a plan to build holiday homes in Yerevan and the Sevtm area for Diaspora Armenians. Branch offices in Kiev and Moscow sell computer-aided design systems. "We gave the tuticles of association very wide powers, from chemieal$ to comput-

ers, from building materials to metals," Heghoyan said. "Under one joint venture there are 50 or 60 different operations, some as branch offices, some of them parmerships with a number of co-operatives." Heghoyan invested about $200,000 for a 30olo share. Workers tmd director* will get some of the ministry's 707o share when privatization laws come into play. Turnover in 1990 was more than 100 million rubles with profits of around 30 percent, much of which is used to buy other companies outright from the Armenian Government. "The assels of the company are getting enorrnous, There's no way I can change that to dollars but that !ryasn'l my wish. I warted to help build up Armenia and get things going," Heghoyan said. "I don't need to make any further in-

vestment with my company. The joint venture itself now has enough capital to do viaually anything it likes." r

tion and actually follow or absorb



knowledge that we were trying to fansplant was very disappointing," said No-

and bring


ing once a quarter, and the Armenians it Westem-style. "But we are

program{ot a one- month

could run

profit. That's wrong, maybe even hostile." "Yes invest, but the time is not right. The

The San Mat@, Californiq company, which has no Armenian directors nor any previons involvement in the country, is negotiating six joint ventures. The largest is a 5G50 partnership with the Armenian Courcil of Ministers for a gypsum factory in Yerevan to produce quake-resistant lightweight building panels.

"We are going to innoduce the,m to Califomia-style building," said ompany vice-hesident John Mosstaghimi. The parrrership began when Arrrenian officials visited San Francisco and saw how well its buildings had witlrstood the 1989 earthquake in comparison to the deyastation at horne. Two years of talks followed that first


conditions are not yet in

says Gregor. are all being

on, and it's my

Rouben Tezian of Armentoy

in 12 months time they will be in place. hope that

"Go for it, if you have

who should be more flexible," said Zim-

persistence, energy, it hap pen," says Terzian. "But you can't go in half-heartedly and walk away after two or three



"Armenia is a gateway into the Soviet Union. They are open-minded and have had exposure to the West before. This is a good place to start," said Mosstaghimi "Armenia is a heaven for business to

"We are successfirl in what we are doing but on a daily basis there are obstacles. Some of them are very serious but you overcome them."

opemte in. The only thing that has stopped

Tokyo and Lorf,on mntrlbuhd to this

important. Over time one will be

and passion to make

dealing wirh local authorities

people is that the very first thought they


woth $100 million.


of going in and making a quick

Earthguakes Gontinents Apart Spawn $lOO Million Trade Partnership arthquakes 12,(m miles apart brought Armenia md America's Techpo,rt kternational together. Their relationship could soon be


., 'The answer is 'no, not yet'. You have got to have r patience, a 20-yeat

ported that knowledge, have a board meet-

were difficult, the long-term outlook in Armenia was much brighter. "Cennal controls will probably be less


said Heghoyan.

"We may have had a naive belief that over a period of time we could have im-

becoming more and more convinced that the only way to run this is to have one if not as many as three Western people there." Teruia\ his partner, takes a more sanguine view. "You have to sit down and explain and once they understand they are very adaptable. You have to explain." Some, like Micrograf and Armentoy, rely at least partly on importing components they can not get in sufficient numbers or quality in the Soviet Union. This can restrict production because of the nonconvertibility of the ruble. Money, Authority, Determination. Pull it all together and, with luck, out of the MADness you'll have a profitable business operating on free-market lines to the benefit of the partners and Armenia. Almost everyone interviewed for this story agreed that, if the present prospects

is 'can I

make money there

meeting. Work should begin on the fac-

tory this year, with poduction n 1992. lVith associated mining wort and a light metal factory, employment should total 800 people, paid in a mixture of




Yeteyan, Parls,



be open in two years. "We think many business people would like to go there and wort but they need Ottrer projecB involvs a reramic tiles factory, and mining for marble and granite in northern Armenia All told, fte company and the government


will invest

$100 million, pnoviding 2,fi)0 jobs, he said.

Mosstaghimi is "very optimistic" abwt

in Armenia. There &

rubles and dollars to encourage initiative. The government will provide the in-

doing business

frastructure, land, and property, while Techport will bring ttre technotogy and management. Each side is committing the equivalent of $20 million to the joint venture, named Zvarhots-Techport. Some 40% of the panels will be exported to provide hard currency and profits fm both paffiers. The rest will be used for local construction, particularly in the

Taiwan or Kmq and wckers are rell,, educated. Armenia is also a good bose fm entering the Iarger Soviet market But Armenia's drive for independence from Moscow had created fears about unrest in the counfiy, and mde it bEd to know where real authority lay"You don't need independence withort any money. You need factories aild to have factories you need calm and stability," he said.

earthquake zone.

Techport also plans a $10 million business center, with office and hotel accornrnodatiorL safellitâ&#x201A;Ź cornmunications, and shops, in parmemhip with an Arme-

nian-Russian joint venture. Armenia's version of the Moscow Trade Center could

substantial labor savings, beter even th*m


"Of course, they want independence btrt ttre people we are involved wift at leaEt

say it is going to be calm. They know that otherwise we woqd,oot *" *"p,.:* ":t'' l:

AlM, March 1991

One of Yercvan's supermarkets during business hours

Shortages Push Armenia to Brink of Economic Grisis

Food Imports Dwindle; Warehouses Are Almost Empty By SOUBEII GEGHATIAI



uring February and March, severe shortages of food and other con-

sumer goods have pushed the Armenian Republic one step closer to economic catastrophe. Already facing a cavalcade of political woes, the government has been hustling for remedies, if only temporary, in order to ease rampant popular discontent. For a country that still remains dependent upon Moscow for a whopping60Vo of is food supplies, discrepancies created by central economic and political reforms have had a progressively crippling effect, thus further complicating the Armenian effort toward a free market economy and a subsequent measure of economic independence.

April 1990 had marked the beginning of the current food crisis, when imports of food supplies had suddenly come to a grinding halt for two months. Armenia produces 80,000 tons of meat and meat products per year, while it actually con-

sumes 146,0(X) tons. The difference, in the form of subsidies, had until last year been provided by Moscow. But having

failed to

fulfill its food plan, Moscow

shipped 53,500 tons of meat products to Armenia in 1990, considerably short of the projected 66,000 tons. The imbalance was of major significance to a coun[ry with a population of 3.5 million. With the highest per capita consumption of butter in the Soviet Union, Arme-

nia relies almost entirely on imports for

its butter supplies, since it produces only 3(X) tons of the 46,fi[ tons it consumes annually. In 1990, butter shipments from Moscow fell 5,Q00 tons short, while 2,000 tons headed for the republic were seized in Azerbaijan during the rail blockade of Armenia.

Meat and butter shortages reached an alarming low in December 199O, as all stocks were exhausted, and the Republic entered l99l with its warehouses almost empty. The situation rcmained unchanged in January, when the Armenian govemment moved to reduce butter rations from 800 to 200 grams per capita. Foreseeing a crisis in the Soviet consumer market, the Armenian govemment

had as early as in 1989 worked out a rading program with various Soviet republics, and consequently imported 20,m0 tons of foodstuffs in exchange for goods manufactured in Armenia. As for trade relations with Moscow, Armenia enjoys a favorable balance of 3fi) million rubles, which it plans to utilize for the import of food supplies. Armenia exports shoes,

tive measures on the part of Moscow. Fur-

thermore, Moscow continues to default in its subsidy obligations. tn the first three months of l9l, it was expected to suP ply 1,000 tons of milk powder, among other foodstuffs, to Armenia, but in January it exported only 200 tons, forcing the Armenian govemment to spend 1.5 million dollars from the state budget to cover the demand. Creative market practices have mushin Armenia for some time, but have barely made an imPact on the


nation's economy. The "HaiCoop," for instance, is a private organization that buys food products from local farmen and sells them in its own shops at considera-

bly high prices. It also operates small

stockings, electric motors and other goods

to Kazakhstan in exchange for grain and meat. Kazakhstan, however, had failed to provide its Armenian trade partner with 5,0(X) tons of meat last year. Armenia's total trade surplus with Soviet republics currently stands at 400 million rubles. All efforts by the Armenian govemment of enlivening inter-republican economic ties and tradhg abroad have thus far been frustrated by an array of restricAlM, Mardr 1991

factories of alcoholic drinks, refreshments and canned foods, and imports non-food, big-ticket items from other republics. Its role, however, is quite minor in the general scheme of the economy. On a morc fundamental level, Anne,lria has been paving the way for the restom-

tion o1'privatc propcrty and a liee markel economy. In Junuary 1990, thc Supremc

Council of' thc Republic


Armenia passed thc "Agricultural Farms and Collectivc Farms" act, which el'f'cctively cstablishcd thc grounds for the devclopment ol a scll-sufl-icicnt national cconomy. Presiclcnt Mikhail Gorbachev's January 22 ordcr to rcplace 50- and l(Xlrublc bills,

howevcr, came as a tough blow to the

republic's economic


Arrncnia's prime minister, Mr. Vazgen Manoukian, and the chairman of the economic committce, Mr. Hrant Bagratyan, have declarcd the prcsidential dircctive a strike to thc Arrnenian policy


prir alization and to lhr vcry economit. basis fbr independcnce. Many Armenian cilizens, wary ol statc

banks. hacl kcpt (heir

,or,n*, lt

home: purchase and sell

now that thc right to real estatc had been legitimized by the Armcnian government, a great llow of cash was about to be unlcashed when Mr.

Gorbachev's order actually rendcred this purchasing power worthless. In retaliation. the Armenian govemment ruled that cash sums of lO,0O0-and not I ,000 rubles as dccreed by Moscow-would be subject to chccks as to their sources. In addition, television appeals hintcd people to stretch a hclping hand to those possessing large capitals.

Although these cfforts have proven grcatly beneficial to prcscrving a substan tial pool of monctary sums in Armcnia, the ultimatc ef'fccts ol' the presidential ordcr will not ha known for some time.

Family of Six Struggles to Suruive 1 massive relugce problem, an oppresA ,,u. -,-rneiory orrecrrve trom

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families throughout Armenia have had to bear the brunt of the nation's lloundering economy.

The plight of the Mandabunians,


working class family in Yerevan, has become all too typical. Oleg is employed at the city's jewelry factory as a coordinat-

ing worker; his wife. Gnarik, teaches Armenian language and literature at a Yerevan high school. Their combined monthly income


of 620 rubles is barely

for a family with


Tha Mandabunian lamily

schoolchildren-Marlena, 11; Liana, 10, and Hasmik, 8*to survive. For the majority o[ people in Yerevan, food and other necessities are obtained with ration cards. And the cards are often

sion of the popular ltalian Fiat-last year. The official price of a Zhiguli is 9,100 rubles, trut the ciu comes with a tag of up

worthless since the shops are either empty or, whenever fumished with meager supplies, attract unending queues in which

cards, which do not allow for more than

only the "adroit" can hope to get their hands on rice, butter, cheese, meat or canned products. The Mandabunians still

to 60,000 rubles on the trlack market. Gas

is also mainly obtained through ration 50 liters per month. Since this official allowance is only enough for commuting to work, OIeg is forced to tum to the black market for additional supplies of gas (l1.5 rubles per liter versus the official price

have food cards dating from previous

of 40


The Mandabunians find ir impossible to carry on in Yerevan without their par-

On payday, Oleg buys a month's worrh

of food supplies*l0 kilos of meat (15-20 rubles a kilo), a few kilos of fruit (7-8 rubles a kilo), about 40 kilos of potatoes (1.5-3 rubles a kilo), carrots and other

vegetables, if available. Thus the family's monthly income is almost completely

exhausted in a single day of shopping. Some 25-30 more rubles are paid for the state-provided apartment. Transportation presents similar difficulties. Oleg is considered lucky to have his own car. His father, who lives in Moscow, had bought him a Zhiguli*a Soviet ver)1


ents' financial help. And though President Gorbachev's order on the replacement of 50- and 100-ruble trills has not directly affected the Mandabunyans as they do not possess any of these bills in "dangerous" quantities, they neverthelcss strongly disapprove of the order as an obvious scheme to disrupt the process of privatization and gradual economic independence for the Armenian Republic. "lf I were to sell my car today," Oleg added, "I would have to

lose most

o[ the sale amount in

dance with the presidential


order." r

AlM. March 1991

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eaders of the Armenian International Magazine are being offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a magnificient and top quality handwoven Khatchkar

rug to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Genocide. The central pattern of the rug is a Khatchkar (ancient Armenian cross omately carved out of stone, that still adorns historic Armenian churches and shrines). The rug features three borders and a dark frame. The two narrow borders repeat the symbol of Mt. Ararat and the main border features the traditional domes of the Armenian church, interspersed with names of Armenian cities that were ravaged in the Genocide. Also inscribed are the artist's initials, as well as dates and incidents relating to the tragic event.

How to order a Khatchkar Rug? A limited number of these KhatchkarRugs are available for a special purchase price of US$ 630 if ordered before June 30, 1991. After this date, the price wil be US $730. These prices include shipping and handling to anywhere in the US or Canada. For other countries additional charges apply. Please use the coupon below for your order, or contact Moses Karakouzian at3304 Yorba Linda Blvd., Suite 375 Fullerton, CA 92631 - Tel: (702) 736 6357 for additional information. Speciftcations of the Hand-made Khalchlear Rug Size:


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HUNOHAKIANS Founded More thnn A Century Ago to Liberate Armeninns from Ottoman Rule, the Social Democratic Hunclnkian Party Is Now Involved In Strengthening the New Republic of Armenin Wiil, this issitr Ailt &buts a gybs on


plttbl prties in tllc aruAqiat q*r ot tlcir touding.

irg wtth tle thre

pendence could only be achieved through

a revolution, while the Ottoman Empire was at war and vulnerable. After Ottoman Armenia was liberated, Russian and Persian Armenia would be freed and socialism established. Eventually oppres-

he Social

Democratic Hunchakian Party (SDHP),

sion would be eliminated throughout the world with the triumph of world social-

the oldest surviving Armenian political organization, was the first Marxist party and the second Armenian political party

ism. The party was to be organized in a centralized manner and through propaganda, agitation, and terror (against Turks and

to be founded (the Armenagans were the frst). ft organized and fought wherever Armenians were found-on historic Armenian soil divided among the Russian and Ottoman Empires, as well as in Persia, and in the three other continents of the

Armenian diaspora. Interestingly, it played a big role in the spread of socialism in the Middle East in general as the first socialist party active in the Ottoman Empire and in Persia. It was the fust to translate the Communist Manifesto into Armenian. It played the leading role in the Ar-

ABAil ARKUI{ SpediltoAlf,


Armenian traitors) would obtain the participation of the masses in an initial revolution. European intervention could not be relied upon but could be benefitted from. After 1889, the party had members in the Ottoman Empire, and local members

partisan bands to fight such oppressors. When the feudal lords were unable to destroy these bands through their own forces, they called in the local govemment, who sent policemen and soldiers against the partisans. T\e fedayees, as members of these bands were called, would also ob. tain revenue and weapons by robbing govemment resources. They attempted to cooperate with local Muslims in fighting op pressors along class lines, but this strat-

egy had limited success. The most visible of the pafty's activities in the Ottoman Empire were the dem-

onsrations it organized. They were intended to weaken the authority of the Ottoman govemment and gain the adherence of more Armenians. Despite the fact that in its theoretical writings the party preached avoiding the pitfall of placing

its hopes on European intervention, in practice most demonstrations werc primar-

ily intended to obtain European publicity and pressure for Ottoman

reforms. The

lrbanon and past Eure. pean accords and declarations concerning Otto man Armenians werc ap

menian revolutionary movement in the early twentieth century, and

parently too much to

even today is one of the three traditional political parties shaping the structure of the Armenian Diaspora.


Disappointed that the European powers did not attempt to enforce Ottoman reforms after earlier

The SDHP was founded in 1887 in

protest and clashes in

Garin (Erzerum),

Geneva, Switzerland,


and socialist groups,


(leltto right): NarDdq hro, Klanad,

and the Balkan libera-

tion movements. The immediate objective of the party was the liberation of Ottoman Amenia-where the majority of Armenians lived-from Turkish rule, while

worked to raise the national consciousness of Armenians. Those working as teachers in Armenian schools, in addition to Armenian history and culture, secretly

the long-term objective was to establish a

taught their students to defend themselves

socialist order. Thus, both national, political and economic oppression would be eliminated for Armenians and other peoples living in historic Armenia. Inde-


party organized the first

seven Russian-

Armenians influenced by European ideologies, Russian populist


of the Balkan states,

and resist local oppressors like Kurdish and Turkish feudal lords, bandits, usurers and corrupt government officials. Hunchakian members organized armed

AlM, March 1991

Armenian political demonstration to take place in the Ottoman capital of

Constantinople on July 27, l&90, At the end of 1892 and the beginning of 1893, in many cities of Armenia Minor and westem Anatolia, placards were posted calling on Ottoman Muslims, with the support of tndian Muslims and the British, to revolt against their sultan as a disgrace to Islam. Aside from European publicity and the raising of Armenian consciousness, these actions led to many arests, the hanging


of some revolutionaries, local fights, and even a few small-scale massacres of Ar-

Armenian reforms or independence was


On October 17, 1895, as a result of European pressure, the sultan signed the reform plans. The Hunchakians considered this a great victory. Unfortunately,


rebellion in mountainous Sasoon against oppressive Kurdish tribes and corrupt officials was encouraged by the Hunchakians with the carrot of European intervention and reforms

as a frst


towards independence. The failure of local Kurdish attacks led in 1894 to govemment troops crushing Armenian resistance and massacring several thousand Armenians in revenge. This led to a Eu-

ropean investigation, and on May ll, 1895, the European powers did indeed submit a reform plan to the sultan. When Sultan AMul-Hamid procrasti-

nated in signing the plan, the party organized the September 30, 1895, Bab-il


demonstration in Constantinople to demand their enforcement and to protest the Sasoon massacres. Clashes occurred with

the police and soldiers, leaving 100 Armenians dead. Elsewhere in the city mobs of Muslims, apparently forewarned, beat and killed Armenians for over a week. Hunchakians had also been sent into Cilicia to organize a great revolt which would result in European intervention and

Armenian independence. Due both to local caution and govemment precautions, only the city of 7.eitl'lri, sensing the danger from Ottoman troops amassing in the area, agreed finally to revolt, and fought from October 12,1895, to February 1896. European consuls intervened to arrange an armistice and amnesty for all the fight-

ers, but nothing tangible


terms of


not only were the reforms never implemented, but the govemment organized a series of massacres in much of the empire in which several hundred thousand Armenians lost their lives; Hunchakians participated in defense efforts throughout

the empire.

The schism

The lack of tangible results and the

for the parq/'s actions led to a split in 1896. A group of enonnous costs paid

nationalists futilely blamed socialism for the absence of resolute European intervention. They blamed one of their founding fathers, Avedis Nazarbekian, editor of the Hunchak, the party organ, for con-

tinually inciting revolution. The split in the party tended to divide the Russian Armenians, more inclined toward socialim, from the more conservative Ottoman Armenians. By 1898 the faction of nationalists formally formed a separate party, the Reformed Hunchakian Party. The SDHP itself in 1896 decided to abandon the policy of public demonstrations to work on arming, organizing and educating the people further, keeping socialism as its long-term objective. The following period was largely taken up with ideological battles, further schisms, and attempts at reunion with

various factions. Violence and even murder took place. Rivalry was also intense with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARD, a party which took advantage of the weakened state of the Hunchakians to expand its membership in Ottoman Armenia and begin activities similar to those of the SDHP. The SDHP was always an opponent


the Ottoman Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), the dominant party of Young Turks, even before the Ottoman constitutional revolution of 1908. The Hunchakians shifted from legal to rev(> lutionary activity against the Ottoman govemment when the CLJP took power in

l9l3 through a coup. The SDHP, in collusion with other Ottoman groups, attempted to assassinate CUP leaders. The assassins were betrayed, and though the

of the pafty was against illegal revolutionary activity, the plot served as a pretext for the govemment to arrest local members as well. Twenty SDHP members were hanged on June 15, 1915, and their deaths are commemorated even today by the party and other Armenians. Party members participated during the genocide in whatever attempts at defense were possible throughout the Ottoman Empire. The SDHP was also active in Cilicia during the brief return there of Armenians after World War I, and in the battles during which Turkish Nationalists expelled or killed the Armenians. more cautious Ottoman branch

Operations ln lran, Gaucarur Meanwhile, in the 1890s the SDHP in kanian territory at first limited themselves to sending aid and expeditions into Ottoman Armenia. Later it actively supported liberal and leftist hanians in the constitutional revolution of l9OG191l with men and arms to provide a better staging area for the liberation of other Armenians, as well as to improve conditions for th Iranian people as a whole. The SDHP facilitated the entry of Georgian, Iranian, and Russian social democrats into Iran. In the Caucasus, despite ideological similarities the party's focus on liberat-

ing Ottoman Armenia was the


obstacle to the SDHP dissolving itself in the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party. Here even more than in the Ottoman Empire, strikes and the organization of industrial workers were undertaken. The Hunchakians dso fought the Russian government's assimilatory policies, going so far as to attempt to assassinate the Russian viceroy in Tiflis in 1903. They participated in the Armeno-Tatar battles of 1905. The party supported in principle the so.

vietization of Armenia, with many of its own members leaving the party to become Soviet leaders. AlM, March 1991




1924 to


support Soviet Armenia and the spread of

Marxism throughout the world, wherever Armenians lived, through legal means, while pursuing the liberation of Turkish Armenia.

As a diasporan party the SDHP had to resist on the one hand Soviet pressures for dissolution into the Comintern, and attacks within the diasporan branches of the Committee for Assistance to Armenia and other bodies established by Soviet Ar-

menia. After the sovietization of much of Eastern Europe, the SDHP's activities were curtailed there, too. One group of members left the party in the 1930s over its unwillingness to openly break with the Soviet Union as an oppressive state.

Glrght ln the Gold On the other hand, as a result of the world-wide Cold War, the party lost a great deal of membership due to political harassment from the right in the United States, [cbanon and elsewhere. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation, its major political opponent in the Diaspora, sided with the anti-Soviet powen. Thus,

continued struggles

in [.ebanon, includ-

ing the deaths of several hundred Armenians who fought each other along political lines in the 1958 lrbanese Civil War, ended up with the ARF in a dominant position with govemment and U.S. sup. port. The SDHP did find an ally in the capitalist Armenian Democratic Liberals, who sup,ported Soviet Armenia for prag-

matic reasons. The world-wide rivalry intensified after the ARF in 1956 gained


in a political sense over the

Catholicosate of Sis (Antelias). The gravity of the 50ttr anniversary of






The lunglng of fle Menty SDHP menrberc on June 1 5, 1 91 5. (ffi.!e

an Armenian Genocide largely unrecognized by the world in 1965 led to cooperation between the political parties during commemorations. This continued on a larger scale during the 6(hh anniversary commemorations in 1975. The l-cbanese Civil War, which began the same year, encouraged cooperation irmong the three

main Armenian political parties for the self-defense of the lrbanese Armenian community. It also led to emigration to the United States and Canada, among other places, allowing for the reconstitution of active SDHP branches. The halt of the Cold War and the changes in the Soviet Union adminstrated by Mikhail Gorbachev eliminated some






AlM, March 1991

of the



b, DenH Halriir)

sons for hostility among the parties, too. SDHP branches in the U.S.S.R. were


dissolved. Despite these changes, SDHP Central Committee member Hagop Berberian recently stated that SDHP ideology remains unchanged as a combination of socialism and democracy. Many of the changes that have taken place in the Soviet Union are attempts to introduce democracy to socialism, believes Hagopian. Though the implementation of socialism in the USSR may have not succeeded in the past, that does not invalidate the ide-

ology iself. Today, the party openly condemns Stalin as an exploitative ruler and declares




li-mited it-

avoid injuring the interests of the Ar-

a newspaper being published since last October. Berberian is quite worried about

menian people liv-


ing under the So-

menia today due to the threats from its

self to criticism on a private level to

viet regime. Ex-



neighbors and the potential for political anarchy in


Committee member Harry Diramarian: "Our patriotism was so geat that we have been misunderstood and




"We are frightened a great deal, especially those of us who have had a taste of the l-ebanese Civil War," he


names." Cooperation was largely cultural. The SDHP takes


a similarly suppor-

Armenia's own ter-

tive position vis-avis the Armenian

"Today, even ritory is in danger," tlagop Bâ&#x201A;Źrteria, rrenrber ol SDIIP Centd

Cofimitbe govemment today. It supported the first Armenian Republic in 1918, despite its disagreements with the regime; it supported Soviet Armenia, and now it supports the new democratic republic. The party has begun organizing in the Republic of Armenia, with a regional Executive Body having been established and

points out


Apoyan, member of the SDHP Executive Body of the Westem United States and editor of the party newspaper Masis. The SDHP representatives feel that the Armenian political parties of the Diaspora have many experienced diplomats who could provide useful advice to the new leaders of the Armenian republic in this

AlM, March 1991

transitional phase. On the other hand, "these leaders work without listening in many matters," Diramarian notes. "Perhaps it is their youthful energy." The party feels that it is still too early for independence, considering political and economic factors. It would take at least l0 yezrs or more, according to Berberian. The SDHP also feels that the Karabagh Autonornous Region (Artsakh) should, as a frst step, be transferred form

Azerbaijani to direct Soviet control and then be placed under Armenian rule when

feasible. However, according to Diramarian, plans for future action are being left to Artsakh Armenians, since they are the most familiar with the political situation there and the repercussions any ac-

tions would have. The party can only provide assistance. The party is not in favor of the Armenian govemment's attempts to establish economic relations with Turkey, feeling that a Pan-Turkic threat still exists and that such relations are injurious to a direct solution of the Armenian Cause. On the other hand, Berberian feels that only time would tell whether Armenian territory in Georgia must be ceded for the sake of good neighborly relations with the Georgian republic. I

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Saddam's Missiles:

Better Luck Next Time?

By Dr. REBEOCA GBAIT Sp..rd lo


Qaddam Hussein's modified Scud misL)siles hit Israel and Saudi Arabia on the second night of the Gulf war. Six weeks later, when the U.S. laid out the conditions for the ceasefire, a halt to the Scud launches was near the top of the list. Iraq's missile attacks were the most spectacu-

lar-and sometimes, the only-military moves made by Saddam. While his air fell apart and fled, the ground forces withered under intensive bombing, Saddam was still able to defy the allied forces

determining whether missile proliferation continues. First comes politics. Part of Orc

reason that kaq, India, Brazil and other nations have invested in missile programs is to prove their scientific autonomy. Ironically, the defeat of Iraq and the

victories of Western nations may be a gnawing reason for forging ahead with independent research and development of missile, chemical and nuclear capabilities. Next is the inexorable pull of technology. Better missiles, with longer ranges, accurate guidance, more powerfril warheads, might have wreaked havoc with the coalition forces. The technologies that would make the difference are becoming more widely available on the world market. However, now the third factor weighs in. The Scuds have proven that missiles

are a unique strategic and political problem,

of drawing attention that far surpasses their low level capable

Ushering a New World Order in the lliddle East By Dr. JOSEPII KEClllGlllAX Sp.chl io



fter l00,mQ air sorties and a rplatively antiseitic ground war, allied

noops liberated Kuwalt on February 27, 1991. Saddam Hussein\ illegal invasion and occupation of Kuwait was rcvened as an armada of gadgetry, led by "smart" bombs, devastated Iraq's Soviet-built

defense installations. Much



country's civilian infrastructure was desroyed and it will be another decade beforc kaq recovers. For its put, Baghdad thoroughly loorcd Kuwait and, in an ironic twist of Arab values, torched more than 5fl) oil wells before capiolating. It will be some time before Kuwait is rebuilt but that is the only certainty looming over

of usefulness as battle-


weapons. Both

pilots on the line and diplomats in several


iins theirnily

ol ndk rts

air forces with an occasional salvo of Scud

missiles right up until the end of the war. None of the millions who watched the war via satellite will soon forget the sight of Israelis, fuabs, and Westemers wearing gas masks in fear that the next Scud would carry chemical weapons. Those who lived for those six weeks within the 5OO km range of the modified Scuds were lucky that Iraq had not mastered the technical problems of chemical warheads for the longer-range missiles. We may not be so lucky the next time. After the war, haq will be depleted of missiles and mobile launchers, as well as much of its capability to manufacture more lethal warheads. There is a good chance that the Gulf war will prompt other nations in the Middle East to improve their missile capabilities. Or, the tables could be turned, and Middle East states could decide that they should put their money into aircraft or other weapons-including missile defenses. Intuitively, the argument could go either way at this point in time.

Three factors

will be very influential in

capital cities expended lots of time dealing with ttrc Scud pnoblem. If many nations agree that missiles are an unusually destabilizing threat, their prestige value may seem a lot less attractive. The international community has been chastened by kaq's flagrant attitudes. Tighter export conftols are one way to capitalize on curent opinion and discourage missile proliferation. Last autumn, Germany stengthened its export laws and added more staff to the undermanned offices which process export license ap plications. Before the invasion of Kuwait, fugentina cancelled its conEoversial



missile program, which had

been linked to the initial Iraqi tests of a 2OOO-km rocket in December f989. President Carlos Menem made clear that Argentina was embarrassed by the reports of the link with lraq's missiles. Missiles will remain a true temptation for several countries who already have advanced programs. But the aftermath of the war may have created a chance to control these weapons of teror. It will take more than luck to minimize the threat

in the future.

AlM, March 1991


the horizon. The Iraqi defeat affected relations be-

tween Washington and Moscow. It also polarized tlrc Arab and Muslim worlds. Not surprisingly, the military rout occurrcd because the Soviet Union chose not to share satellite information wi0r its Arab ally. Moscow observed all allied moves west of Kuwait and, in the course of six months could have tipped the Iraqis on the incoming onslaught. Baghdad, ex-

pecting a large amphibious anack, had positioned most of its forces to face the Persian Gulf. Why the Soviets chose not to share this information with Iraq may be explained by their perceptions of the emerging new world order as well as their expectations from the U.S. Severely challenged at home, Gorbachev and his allies weighed costs and benefits and opted for closer economic ties with the West. They also extricated a subtle silence from the

West on developments

in the Baltic


In the Arab world, kaq's defeat further polarized the street, where antiWestem sentiments smoldered under a hu-

miliating avalanche. It will only be a matter of time before conservative leaders face the music, unless they move forcefully on the much touted reform track. t-ed by Kuwait, all Persian Gulf conservative monarchies have now a unique opportunity to usher true democratic institutions, encourage popular participation, and initiate genuine economic

reforms throughout the Middle East by investing within the region. Whether this oppornrnity will be seized is difficult to ascertain, but its viability may largely depend on how the victorious allies want to be perceived in the Arab and Muslim worlds for the balance of the century and beyond.

Victory against Saddam Hussein has also set a unique precedent. For the fust

time since World War II, the United Nations was called upon to affix its imprimatur to right a perceived wrong. How it responds to other regional crises will either enhance its credibility or set in motion its permanent demise. In this way, at least, Saddam Hussein's brutality may in fact bring a dose of hope for other peoples with irredentist claims. Not only will the UN's potential successes rest on

East-West cooperation but also on the willingness of its member states to accept an intemational dictat. That is the legacy of the new order where law and force seem to travel together.



Leadership Gollapse in the Soviet Union?



exercise decision-making

authority over its own territory regardless of Moscow's concems. For example, the Russian republic, the Ukaine, Belorussia, and Kazakhstan seek to form a quad-

lateral economic coordination group to bypass Moscow's economii dictates. Others want to join. In February, Kirghiz President Askar Akayev told joumalists that his republic was ready; consultations elsewhere may further erode Moscow's hold. Gorbachev also faces a loss of authority over security issues within the repub.

lics. Recently, Russia and the Ukraine completed a bilateral treaty which, for the first time, demanded that they become nuclear-free zones-a prospect that would have serious ramifications on Soviet national security perceptions. Of greater concem are thousands ofnuclear and conventional weapons housed throughout the republics. What would happen to these weapons in case of nationalist uprisings or civil war? An order signed by Minister of Defense Dimitri Yazov indicates the seriousness of the matter: locals who serve in the Soviet military will no longer

be allowed to guard weapons storage facilities for fear that they may sympathize with nationalists. What do these actions mean for the Soviet empire? One likely scenaxio sug-

will continue to splinter between tlre

gests that the country


center and the pe-

fr f there is one single event that Western analysts will point to as Soviet

tions from their su-

riphery as well as a breakaway of regional administra-

SDdd to AlI

President Mikhail Gorbachev's downfall,


a coalition with Russian Republic Supreme

process, whether


it might very well be his rcjection of

govemments. This

Soviet chairman and noted liberal Boris Yeltsin in September 1990. Soviet con-

spans months or years, appears to be


servatives apparently forced Gorbachev to

heading towards vio-

reject this coalition which raises some very important questions: Who is in charge in the Soviet Union? Can Gorbachev, whose reform program is in jeopardy due to nationalist forces on the

plosion and civil war. Such an outcome would have

lence, possible im-

important ramifications upon the Soviet Union's neighbors.

Soviet periphery, possibly keep control? How likely is a civil war and what are its ramifications for the Soviet Union's neighbors? Gorbachev may be no longer in charge

as hardliners rule over him. tn fact, he may have accepted the role of a marionette. A bloody crackdown in the Baltics, tough speeches by KGB and military officials, delays in arms control negotiations, and the departure of liberal advisors/associates from Gorbachev's leadership circle- only to be replaced with a tough, new breed of conservative forces, including Soviet Vice President Gennadii Yanayev, Minister of the Inte-

rior Boris Pugo, and Prime


For example,


how nationality

groups,. which share

Valentin Pavlov-all point to a collapse of authority and a retreat from perestroika and new political thinking. According to Soviet Presidential Advisor Marshal Sergei Akhromeyev, Gorbachev is not making "sufficient use" of his powers. Others have been less diplomatic in their criticisms. Gorbachev faces equally daunting challenges from the Soviet republics. Each of the 15 republics has declared its sovereignty away from Moscow and is now at-

AlM, March 1991

common affiliation across Soviet borders, behave in such a situation? It is possible that these groups might break away from both the Soviet Union and other countries to form their own state. Depending on the successes or failures of Soviet policies, by 2fiD, a map of the largest landmass on earttr might indeed look drasti-

cally different from its



Tlwdore Kansik is an adjunct ptot+ sor et Uonterey lnstitute of lntilEbml

Sludhs, Calltomla


lnSearch of a Standad Amenian Keyboatd By B.H. LOLA KOt IIDAKJ1AN SecblbAf ith the proliferation of personal computers, most companies, schools and newspapers have dropped traditional rypewriters and typesetting methods and are now employing wordprocessors and desktop publishing

software progrirms.

It has long been known

that the two leaders in the Personal Computer world are the IBM (with its innumerable clones) and the Apple Macintosh. Although these machines were long ago incompatible, it is now possible to transfer files and information between the two, either via a

network, or in the case of the Mac II

series, via the Apple File Exchange folder

or the SuperDrive.

speak Western or Eastem Armenian, it will affect the way you place some of the

crucial consonants. Knowing that there are more letters in the Armenian alphabet and different punctuation marks, how will it affect the placement of "t" and the "t" or of the ligature for that matter?


Both the Macintosh and IBM (the latter in a lesser way) allow you to use combinations with the Option, Command and Control keys to extend the keyboard. Keep in mind that it is impractical to use the numeric pad or the Latin punctuation

mark keys, because they will not allow you to build an Armenian electronic dictionary.

T\e quality of the printed text depends frst on the quality of the electronic font, and then the printer. Some Armenian

It is quite unfortunate that there is no standard Armenian keyboard, not even one for the typewriter. Thus, for anyone experimenting with the design of a new Armenian font the question of the keyboard comes up. One is forced to invent one's own electronic keyboard, or copy and/or modify another's keyboard. This is true of the IBM as well as the Macintosh environment. The available Armenian layouts are usually based on the old Royal or Olympia typewriter keyboards. For Armenian wordprocessing on the IBM and its compatibles, one must use an Armenian or Armenian-English program, independent of other software ap-

plications. In the case of the Macintosh, however, just another font, and one is able to inix any number of fonts and/or languages in a document, along with graphics and pictures, ruizg any wordprocessor or desktop publishing proSram. The latter is crucial for multi-lingual users, specialists such as Armenologists and editors who want to employ real publishing tasks on a FC. Another advantage

with the Macintosh is that it has a WYSI\I/'fG (What You See Is What You Get) screen, allowing anyone to work on a document and see its final form simultaneously.

But what about Armenian files? It may come as no surprise to many that there are Armenian wordprocessors in existence

in Armenia and the Diaspora. With

the release of the three low-cost Macintoshes, there will be a serious decision to make

before purchasing your next personal computer, especially if you have Armenian typing in mind. Either way, the minimum cost will be around U.S. $1,000. But how would you type in Armenian on a keyboard manufactured with the Latin alphabet user in mind? Do you get another keyboard made, or stick little plas-

tic labels on your old keyboard? Can you type a paragraph in English, then switch to Armenian, then add a quote in yet another language such as French or Greek - all in the same document? Do these fonts have to be "resident" or are the fonts independent of your printer? What about desktop publishing in Arme-

screen fonts reproduce well at 10 or 12 points (text size) on a dot-matrix printer, but for larger point sizes, in the case of

Once you have bought a PC and have decided on the applications you want to run, you will find that you have a choice


headlines and advertisements, one prefen

Now, let's imagine that a competition to design a new Armenian font is announced. After consulting an Armenian typography book, such as Teodik's "Tip ou Tar" (Type and [rtter), you begin planning your typeface; then, you begin planning the keyboard setup. Will you be placing the letters homophonically, ac-

higher quality PostScript fonts, especially with the use of a laser printer (300 dots per inch or greater). There are fewer PostScript than screenfonts for the Armenian

of commercial Armenian programs and

cording to the Latin alphabet? 32



alphabet. Another point to consider in the quality of the fonts is whether or not they are kemed, as those are the only types of fonts that can be used in desktop pub.

lishing softwares. AlM, March 1991

fonts from which to choose. In the case of the IBM and its compatibles, there is a California-based developer, BYTEC, which distributes an Armenian and English wordprocessor, Hye

Writer, with built-in fonts that can be printed on a Hewlett-Packard LaserJet II. BYTEC acknowledges the keyboard problem, saying in its brochure that their

keyboard "... setting of Armenian characters is done exactly the same as most frequently used typewriters." (Our emphasis).

Dr. J.J.S. Weitenberg at Leiden University, Holland, and his associates have created a font which is used on an Apricot PC with a Toshiba P1351 printer. Dr.

Weitenberg used this font to write a Dutch-Armenian dictionary; he and hof. Michael E. Stone of Hebrew University, Jerusalem, have cooperated on an Armenian research database project in ASCII form, which can be converted into the Macintosh format. Armenian fonts were designed for the Macintosh as soon as the Macintosh and

the LaserWriter were released by Apple Computers. Some of the earliest Macintosh Armenian fonts and the first Macintosh Armenian database were created in 1985 by Dr. Ari Topouzkhanian, a scientist who lives near Lyon, France. His fonts, named Ani, Aram, Arax and Ararat, were created with the Fontastic program, a software which creates screenfonts. The frst two of the above-mentioned resemble the'llurpq and the Fntnnqhn fonts used in traditional publishing. Two other early screenfonts for the Macintosh designed in the U.S. are Erevan ar,d Etchmiadzin, created in 1987 by S. Michael Price. Unfortunately, none of these are kerned fonts, as they were created prior to the desktop

publishing era. Fortunately, others have created kemed screen and PostScript fonts: among others, Father U. Zarretti




developed fonts which resemble the

rFnlnpqfrp andtrnurpqlp of old manuscripts; hof. Van Damme in Fribourg, Switzerland, has developed PostScript fonts; Dr. Tom Samuelian, who created the PostScript font Ararat, said that he uses a homophonic keyboard based on the

Westem Armenian pronunciation. He originally created his font for personal use and later used it to typeset his two-volume textbook "A Course in Modern Western Armenian," in conjunction with the traditional typeface Helvetica. Some of the commercially available fonts for the Macintosh in the AmericanCanadian market are George Keverian's Hay-Type. Currently at version 2.1, they contain the screenfonts Aghtamar, Ani and Ardashes, and the PostScript fonts AniBold ard AniBold ltalic. Mr. Keverian, who is based in Massachusetts, used a keyboard setup based on one of the many Armenian typewriters, making his fonts popular with experienced Armenian typists. Mr. Keverian, in a telephone interview, said that he had created his PostScript

fonts using the software Fontographer, and that they are based on the Compugraphic

llpurilhur0 , ql-nq. and tnpp


Lines, Fonts & Circles, a company based in Glendale, Califomia, has just released six Armenian fonts for the Macintosh. Aesthetically based

ATmSCI (Armenian Standard

of the Linguistics Institute, and by G.W. Markarov at the Yerevan Polytechnic Institute. The resulting standard has been approved by the Armenian State Committee of Terminology (Annal of Armenian Linguistics, Nov.

Compugraphic and typefaces, these are kemed,

on the




What about the naming of the fonts? "Ararat" has been used as a name for different typefaces far too many times;

PostScript fonts, compatible with Adobe Type Manager, a program which removes the "screen jaggies." One of the advantages ofthese PS fonts

hardly any of the raditional type names are being used.

is their

speed, because the QWERTY-type keyboard has

There is also the question of the electronic font number assignment; some of the older programs print a font accord-

only four letters accessed by the Option key. It also has disadvantages: The Armenian punctuation marks are accessed with the Shift key; use ofLatin punctuation keys for some of the Armenian letters cannot permit the

ing to their designated number, but luckily advanced desktop publishing programs select a font by its name alone. Apple

Computer once had pre-ap-

built-up of an auxiliary diction-

ary for Armenian; and

proved numbers for Armenian fonts to be used by Apple Soft-

one needs to use the Adobe TyPe Manager for best screen results.

ware developers. Should Armenian fonts be ccpyrighted or registered with such organizations as the In-

& Circles plans to release Armenian fonts for the IBM in February, the latter to be compatible with the highly popular program Word for WinLines, Fonts

temational Typeface Corporation (ITC) so that they may then be licensed to electronic font distributors such as Adobe or Agfa-Compugraphic? Again, which Armenian Apple software developer will take care of that? A standard Armenian key-


The Association Intemationale Des Etudes Arm6niennes, a Leiden-based research group whose membership includes intemationally renowned Armenologists, uses a "translator" as a solution to the key-

board setup problem. For

of Inter-

change Codes) by Professor R.L. Urutyan

board and byte assignments

would not only



a mere U.S. copy of this program to convert Macintosh files that were written using the different keyboard

wordprocessing and desktop publishing but also allow sorting in Armenian alphabetical order, electronic mailings of

setups. Dr. Michael Stone, of the association,

Armenian texts intemationally

$30, one can get

through networks, file-transfers among Armenian writers


admits that this is only a tem-

and Armenologists without the

porary solution, but one that is

of a translator, and the creation and sharing of Armenian databases and CD-ROMs. In the future the Armenian


vital for himself and his colleagues, until an official standard keyboard layout is designed.

The question, then, is, who develop the standard Ar-


Armenian Post-

menian keyboard? Armenia, by

Cieorge Keverian

Scrlpt lonts by

virtue of being the motherland and possessing far more academies and higher education institutions than the Diaspora, is of course the natural choice, and they are working on it. Current work is being done at the Linguistics Institute of Yerevan on byte assignment tables,

keyboard layouts and Optical Character Readers; progress has been made on the AlM, March 1991

Typography Institution will provide us also with a guide-

book of all available typefaces, both old ones and newly designed electronic creations, as well as develop an elaborate up-to-date typographic and computer vocabulary. Lole Koudd<ilan is a H<top pttilislw tltto SrP atn woil<s in l&lw Yor*




anily gnduad fiom @lumbia UnlvqsttY wtth a


&Eta in Armenian Sfitdbs


How or when did these explorations entcr

your work

il0llt0il1 t00il tilil ilOI As events in the Miiltle East continue to nake hedlines, an artist who comes tron that part of the global village would have plenty to oller us through her work* a.-Frcp*.tive on rssugg relatd to expriencing war, conlronting the prplexities ol lile in a diaspn, and being a womah in maledoninatd socidies. ' .^_Bom_in *iryt, .Lefulngn, *ta Manoukian's pintings have been exhibited since 1.976 in.tlp tliddle.East, Annania, Ew^ope and nbw in tfre unlted states. cunentty an instructor of art in La cresent4, cdlitornia, where she resides, llanoukian'has grduated lron the Adeny of Fine Arts in Rome and has studid at Barkins cotlqe of rxhnology in Londdn. she is the author of two books on the art of Lertnese

children during the civil war. llanoukian's most recent works are on display with those ol llissak Tenian at the S_heny Frunkin Gallery in Santa Monica, Cafitomia. The exhibit, entiild,Two lrom Beirut," runs llarch &April 6.


lYhot does the


shape or the

horizontal-vertical element compositions




In the late '60s and early '70s, after my retum from Italy in 1967 and before the eruption of the Lebanese civil war in 1974, I was preoccupied in dealing with the big philosophical questions concerning life-who are we, where do we come from, and where are we heading? Those kinds ofquestions. It was a period ofselfindulgence. This decadent existence was also present throughout the country. There was an overall atmosphere of stagnation. Despite constant attempts to resist that life, a great boredom overcame me and I began to paint obsessively large canvases that

depicted white wrinkled sheets in big empty spaces. To answer your question, those compositions were horizontal, and in retrospect they represented an enormous burden that I was carrying.

Which was what, and how did you cope with it?

It was the predominance of personal explorations which later, during and after the war, came to include others. But before that occurred I went through a major depression, which I overcame only when I began to integrate metaphysical contemplations to explain the world. To this day I remember the experience of a huge light I saw for two days. It was through a



essence represent?

spiritual process that I healed myself and

MANOaKIAN: The fusion of primordial

got out of the isolation of the previous four years. I began to love people in ways

signs and everyday realities. One symbolizes the spiritua[metaphysical, and the

other socio-political dimensions.

I wasn't capable of before. It enabled me to redefine my relation to the socio-po-

Are they, then, the meeting of two oppo-

litical environment, which later helped me endure the war. Anyway, that is also when I began to incorporate people and bright

sile notions as well? Yes, as in life-death, masculine-feminine, intellectual-sensual, etc.


colors in my paintings.

realiflt, aren't fusions of opposites

Yet then and now the figures in your composilions, even though they share a space, are in a void. To whal do you attribute thal?

such as the spiritual and the socio-political contradictory? Not at all. Wherever one is spiritually that's where one is as a socio-political

being. When ego


Yes, that feeling


is stressed, however, one becomes destructive because there is no unity or harmony. That is when one may be alive but dead at the same time.

war is a rlpened version

of conlllcts registered in my work"

Your most recent work introduces the So which is which in your compositions? The horizontal is the ego. It can also signify other problems such as: violence, political turmoil, neglect or abuse of nature. It is when decadence prevails. . .

What is the significance of objects likt the chaits, columns and minors which you incorporate in some of the paintings? They are baroque in design, which is

derived from organicfliving forms, but

isolation did not

circle; what specific meaning do yoa afroch to thol universal symbol?

everything about that land: the people, the

For me the circle represents our "center," meaning to be in harmony with one's self. Its juxtaposition with the horizontal male figure symbolizes a loss of that center.

city, its walls and colors.... Even with that kind of attachment to a place, I painted figures suspended in environments, their feet did not touch the ground they were

Why the ahsence of the feminine figure

supposedly on. Today, having experienced yet another diaspora because of my move to the United States, I am not certain

in your compositions?

I left her out primarily to avoid


or anecdotal interpretations. . . to stay with the bare essence of what I am orying to

their appropriation expresses decay or

resolve, which goes beyond problems

death of the natural.

related to gender conflicts.



completely disappear. Even in solitude, however, the figures are connected in some mysterious way. In the past, I had attributed that to my being an Armenian, not having a place to call homeland, and the desire to have roots. Of course, Beirut was a substitute for that place and I loved

AlM, March 1991

anymore that

it is national

exile which

causes me to continue depicting that element. It could be the overall predicament

of post-modern societies that I am portraying. Especially, in the context of re-

cent developments in global affairs, I am questioning whether anyone has roots; how we ever had roots; what does having roots mean . .

Italy in the '60s was an excifing place both artistically and politically. What kind of eflects tlid it have on you and

how did it feel to return to Lebanon af' terward? Overall the retum to a Third World environment took some adjustment, especially for a woman artist in a male dominant

in comparison, art was in Italy and was integral to the political climate. In fact, I entered politics through the realm of Italian cinsociety. Yes, everywhere

ema with Pasolini, Fellini, etc. So I expe-

rienced a major void.

In painting, for

example (other than children's art, which for me were more genuine depictions of everyday realities), artists were still working in the tradition of arabesque, impressionist and abstract genres. The constraints


encountered, in both my socio-political and my artistic environments, led me to leave for the U.S. in 1986.

Whal was the nature of your involve' ment wilh chiWren and their art? Besides teaching at the university I gave art lessons to children and have produced two books on their work. One of them, in 1976, embodied the works of children from a poor Muslim community located between the east and west zones. I used to visit them three times a week, gathering the children from the streets and conducting art lessons in an abandoned school. The proceeds from the sale of the books went to buy food and other goods for the community. The book published in 1982 brought together works by children from mixed ethnic and economic backgrounds.

"Holy Week," &0"x72" acrYlic Do you consider the extent of your in' volvement in the war, vis-a-vis the chil' dren, an existential or political one? I cannot separate the two. I wasn't al-

lowed to fight and I couldn't remain inactive, protected by the four walls of

I did similar visits to mental institutions and hospitals. It is true that

my studio.

the war provided me with yet another aspect of painting, but it was to personalize and understand experiences of others. That is why I do not comprehend how an

artist like Robert Longo can take a photographic image of Beirut and pretend to have captured the devastation by depicting corpses and rubble. I find that to be a very superficial relation. Those of us who experienced the war could not approach art from that simplistic angle. The physical destruction of Lebanon was one manifestation of the larger, more complex, destruction.

At one point you implicd thal the war was inevitable. As iI it liheraled you and the country, in general, from the experi'

"Dlfierent Story," 68"x68" acryllc

ence of boredom, void and decodence which you perceive as another torm ot death . . Yes, but it should not mean that the country did not worsen due to the war. AlM, March 1991

The war is a ripened version of conflicts registered in my work.

How did your move to the United Sutes affect your work ? Gradually, the figures whose feet were not on solid ground began to acquire the horizontal-vertical "T" shape. My distancing from the war helped develop this clearer imagery. That is probably due to daily life being relatively simpler in this country, which is allowing me to concentrate on fewer issues and take them further. What did it take tor you to adiust to this land and culture? Well, anytime a Person encounters a trauma there is a displacement and fracturing of the ego. In my case it was due to the exile predicament. There was a lot of old baggage, memories and mouming over what's left behind that needed to be put in perspective. It is difficult to be ego-

less with a shattered ego. So, initially I perceived the natural environment that sunounded me in this country as thoms. Eventually I overcame that. I had to find the humane in this society to begin to love it and be one with it, so that I could paint again. I did not find the humane in ahe

material abundance. in the McDonalds 35


Wilson Ave. Suite 202 'The RIsks lnvolved," 70"x70" acrylic or in the plush highways. I found it when began to see poetry in graffiti.


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There is an element of kitsch in your Baroque appropriation. How do loa explain that? It comes from the environments that I have come in contact with both in Lebanon and this country. Back there Baroque had a more popular base. It was a sign of

acquiring modernity and it suggested upward mobility. Integral to this process was the disintegration of traditions in which one could find elements of lifedeath and comic-tragic.

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You mean the infiltrotion of Western synwere

thetic productslcustonts which

prefened over the nataral indigenous ones?

Yes! In an absurd way, however, there is also beauty in the dynamics of a society

in transition which attracts me to the kitsch. In this country it can be seen in the faux fumiture, fashions and architectural designs made for consumption by the rising middle class. It reminds me of the fake happiness of the horizontal figure, who is in a suit and tie and carrying a briefcase. The tigures you paint, are they specific people or a generic type? They are both. Much like in Renaissance

AlM, March 1991

paintings, for example, where there were certain ways of depicting figures such as saints or Christ. I am exploring a representational mode.

Also, as


Renaissance art

in general

there is sabtlc social criticism in your

work. . . Yes, it is to reveal rather than deny or dismiss; and it is based on concern, not


You once told me that those who come


contact wilh your work and don't

know you are often surpriscd n find out that the painter h a woman. What do

you make of sach response?

It could mean several things. One is that preconceived notions of what's feminine and what's masculine in a work of art are challenged. Another consideration might be that my work lacks a certain sexuality which often gives away a male or female gaze. This absence could be the result of my cultural heritage, because if one looks at centuries-old Armenian art, be it music, dance, literature or manuscript illumination, it is often very sensual, but sexuality is concealed or it appears in metaphors only. ArM Art Editor tleery klkonian is a wrlter and ldepeNent cuntor ln Santa Fe, New


Seta Manoukian, "Just Assumed It Was", acrylic on canvas,48"x72"



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Missak Terzian, "Hurricane", oil on canvas, 72" x 60"

workshop Ell Kodjayan at his workshop

)titCh Glamour Stitch ,


.r. _ o,

:smaKers to the Esther ond Eli Are Dressmakers tne Stars rtars

of Hollywood Stage


Spcclal lo Altl


irstie Alley, Kurt Russell, Valerie

Bertinelli, Peter Falk, Lynn Redgrave, Leonard Nimoy... Look down the list of actors and actresses for whom Esther Tahanian has pattemed costumes and you would think she's an outspoken matron in her 50s who knows the bust or waist size of every

celebrity in town. But Esther is a shy, talented 33-year-old who works quietly as the head draper of the Center Theatre in Los Anseles^ Angeles, supplier of wardrobes for the Mark Taper Forum, Ahmanson and other theater and

Group Costume Shoo Grouo Shop

film productions nationwide. The shop has only two full-time employees making costumes-Esther and


"Eli" Kodjayan, a 6l-year-old

veteran in men's tailoring who has out-

fitted the likes of Charlton Heston and Burt Lancaster. Fantasy, peasant and costumes with an art form are Esther's realm, while traditional suits go to Eli, says CTG

Costume Shop Director Toni Lovaglia. Some days the pair work alone in a cavernous room the size of a hotel banquet hall, Esther at one end of the workroom and Eli at the other, with dozens of industrial sewing machines, mannequins, steam irons and large high tables in the middle. Esther works silently at her table constructing dress patterns or stitching special dresses that the shop will add to its huge inventory of 40,000 rental cos-

tumes. Across the room, haired,

Eli, a white-

jowly amateur actor whose every


started as a tailor's apprentice in Lebanon nearly 50 years ago and operated his own

l*,:rmmm.':,f#ffft:"' is by


Even though he



tailors during full production, EIi would

;*:1'f:Jli,'*r:lm.m['*,'i'r::i1: | "You have to understand the meaning of |

I lh::tilU',*t1"?il",li;,i"#:.ff":"i;

punctualed by a heavy conversarion is punctuated conversation heavy dose of hand movements and a dash of of I humor, can be heard singing, or sighing, sighing, ] puts I or muttering amaaan, anwn annn as he puts together a suit or man's costume. costume. I When the shop is in full swing making making I costumes for a stage play or feature film, film, I Esther and Bli are joined by a wardrobe wardrobe I designer he or she decides how each each I - look and leaves costume will leaves it to Esther Esther and Eli to translate sketches into the real real ] thing and a small army of free-lance free-lance I - who sew whatever whatever they're given I stitchers, they're given by the head draper and master tailor. tailor. I ItjustsohappensthatasidefromEsther Itjust so happens that aside from Esther I and Eli, many of the stitchers are Arme- | nian. But that's no co-

sewing, but a costume has its own life." Eli can say that; he's been making cos-

tumes for the last 12 years. He joined CTG in 1978 upon the suggestion of an Armenian who was the shop's workroom supervisor at the time. In the ensuing years

he produced men's costumes for such plays as Zoot Suir, which premiered at the Mark Taper and went on to Broadway. A Christmas Carol at the Taper and Pygmalion at the Ahmanson. He left CTG


several years in the mid-1980s to work with costume designers on an independent basis. Even though he's back at CTG, he continues to take on exffa tai-

incidence, Lovaglia

says. "The only stitchI can rely on are Armenians. At that skill ers


I'm really de-

pendent and apprecia-

tive of them,"



In addition, there's a certain work ethic that sets Armenian employees apart from the rest, Lovaglia says: "I find

them very warm and

loyal and eager to it work for me.


They make


workplace enjoyable." So friendly is the work-

room staff that when


got married

nearly five years ago,


costume designer

Esther Tahanlan working lor an upcomlng productlon

AlM, March 1991

I until it hung with just the right folds. She also figured out where to hide the zipper, which was no small feat. Esther yearns for that kind of challenge. Having to make a copy

of a Marilyn

Monroe dress for the rental department is, in her words, "boring." For a time she collaborated with a fashion designer and

Elaborate turn-of-the-century gowns constructed for the Mark Taper Forum productlon

ol "Undlscovered Country"

loring jobs. Yet, at 61, he often thinks of retiring, which makes Lovaglia worry because "there's nobody obvious



ranks to take his place." Lovaglia credits Esther's success to her training in Armenia as a commercial

pattemmaker. That, combined with the fact that she's dam good at her craft have

kept Esther in her job as CTG's head draper since 1982. Shows that she has worked on, to name a few, include the Ahmanson Theatre productions of Cat on

a Hot Tin Roof and Les Liaisons Dangereuses, as well as Heidi Chronicles,

which just ended its run at the Doolittle Theatre last December. Esther came to work at the CTG Costume Shop thanks to her older sister, who had been a stitcher there for two months when Esther arrived in the United States


1979. Three years later Esther had

proven her skills to the point where she was hired as head draper. Lovaglia says Esther is very creative: "We have actors who need to get on stage

fast and who need to be able to move freely in a big, bulky period costume. Esther can handle those needs." Esther says, "They leave it to me to create a

costume that's a quick change. Sometimes I build the padding and corset into the dress for quick removal. The difficult part is not letting all that show." Indeed, Esther seems to know all the

techniques, and what techniques she doesn't know she invents. For example, no matter how closely an expert seamstress sews the hem of a chiffon dress, it can still unravel. Esther's solution: sew the hem three times and cut the surplus as close to the stitches as possible. Tricks like that please designers so much that they sign their sketches to Esther with inscriptions like: "For Esther. Thank you for your genius. Laura." That note was for a silk velvet gown that was difficult to drape because it was gathered at the small of the back with an omament. But Esther put some fabric on a mannequin and twisted and tugged at it

styled dresses for actresses on the side, but now with a husband and two young children she has only enough time for her CTG job. Although they are based at the CTG Costume Shop, located about l0 minutes east of downtown Los Angeles, Esther and Eli sometimes go to the Mark Taper Forum or Ahmanson Theatre to take actors' measurements or to check the fit of garments they are making. Occasionally, they even go to a star's home, but Esther and Eli don't say much except to talk about which stars are nice and which aren't so nice. And yet, although Esther keeps her eye to the needle, she does have a few stories to tell about temperamental stars. Once a wardrobe designer asked Esther to make a countrystyle scoop-neck blouse with a small slit and tie in the front for a certain actress. During a fitting session with the designer and Esther, the actress gave it one look in the mirror and ripped apart the blouse, saying, "It's not open enough." The designer's mouth dropped wide open, relates Esther, who didn't make a sound during the episode because it was the designer's decision to make the blouse that way. "She was the only actress to do that. Others discuss it with their designer," Esther says. Ask Eli for a similar story, and he responds, Amaaaan, aman.



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Word of Mouth The Cilician Armenian Ordeal By Paren Kazanjian Hye Intentions Inc., Boston, Mass. tg9g, pp. 5ll. 167 photos, $35.00

demands of the Kemalists. All too frequently, historians and analysts who write about this period take one or another point of view, hoping to blind the reader to the arguments of opponents. Neither the study of history nor Armenian sensibilities are served by this tendency and certainly the products of self-confessed Turcophileshistorians who announce with pride that they see great virtues in the Anatolian peasant, for example-are so biased as commentaries that they often do not even refer to the fate of Armenians. In a curious way Paren Kazanjian's

compilation succeeds where others fail, and it succeeds almost by accident. In the first place these personal memories of Armenians uprooted during the massacres all come from the same place: Marash, in

Cilicia. The book is therefore a sort of blitzkrieg on local historical memory. It means that experiences can be cross-referenced in relation to place and time, and

even the most diligent and chauvinistic Turkish scholar would be hard put to find

any inconsistencies.

In the second place, there is a genuineness about these oral histories which cannot fail to persuade the reader. Occasionally, a good upstanding-yes, even

author had any contact with the English was when he was serving with a German Army unit in 1917. To his great joy his unit was overcome by British forces; in other words "uncle" had come and this must assuredly spell the beginning of a new existence for Armenians. But the British unit consisted of lndian Army soldiers, and the great rush of welcome with which Mr. Aintablian sped to greet his deliverer met with total rejec-

tion. Summoning what little English he knew at the time, the author tried to persuade a mystified and startled Indian

soldier who was aiming his rifle at him, that he was not a Turk but an Armenian. It only gradually became clear that the soldier had never heard of Armenians, and such communication as was possible between the two of them amounted to a situation in which they talked past each other (pp. 50/51). To what extent is the present generation of Armenians resident in the U.S. aware of its nation's past and identified with it? Mr. Kazanjian is far from pleased with what he sees. "I have been particularly struck," he says in his introduction, "by the cavalier attitude of some members of the new Ar-


moral-Turk will


emerge in these pages; Turks who

have been called upon to accept as the awful truth the extent of the savage treat-

did not succumb to the general practice of taking bribes and

RevlowEd lor AIM



I rf I I

li #iliL::':,':'",':'X,l

menian holocaust will tell more of that reign of tenor than, pardon me, the laden shelves of scholarly or more recondite tomes purporting to fathom the toxic Turkish plague that tore apart the Armenians during that era of some 30 years in which that nation was systematically reduced...." So writes Paren Kazanjian, translatorcompiler of these memoirs of Armenians from Cilicia who by endurance. initiative and sometimes sheer luck, managed to escape the fate of their co-citizens at the hands of the Turks.


can sympathize with his point of view. Too often the ordeal of Armenians remains interred within a heap of other issues, such as German motives for allying themselves with the Ottoman Turks in World War I, or the infighting of Brit-

actually now and again defied ordinances from local velis, (and by inference from Talaat's


tations...." Since the idea for this book was born in


they could to help the persecuted Ar-

the author's mind during internment in an Armenian refugee

menians. See for example the comments

about Ramez Bey made by Elmasd Santoorian (p. aa8). Though few and far

between and need-

to which their

parents and grandparents had been subjected during the massacres and depor-

Ministry of the Inte-

rior), doing


seem upset that they

in Syria over 60 years ago, and


since the oral histo-

Author Paren Kazaniian

ing to be counterbalanced with what is an unending story of Armenian martyrology, these examples help to create a feeling of authenticity which the author feels is of-

ten lacking in "scholarly or more recondite tomes." One memoir which struck me most

forcibly is that written by Alexander

Aintablian. The slogan "Keran Goko" was common currency in his family. It means "Uncle is coming." "Uncle," as the au-

ries collected all

those long years ago were augmented by further interviews conducted 30 and 40 years later in the U.S., one can see that there is a continuous and urgent endeavor on the part of the author to keep this traumatic memory of Armenian national history alive. Yet, "members of this generation are reluctant to acknowledge that


is any other sort of life than


rrur they rr*J ^"" are excomfortable, secure existence

periencing in America."

should to these tO lnese pages slloulu

help lletP

ish, French, Italian and Greek politicians,

thor explains, meant the English, for it

each anxious to gain maximum advantage from the decaying empire of the Or tomans, or the speed with which all parties accommodated themselves to the

was felt by many Armenians that when


the day of deliverance from oppression occurred, it would be the English who would orchestrate it. The first time the

Gerry Graber is a Calitornia-based British historian and novelist who has published three books on the Nazis

AlM, March


Exposure EXpOSUTe

redress this









Left Behind by Armenians in Deportation, Churches in Historic Armenia Are Being Converted to Mosques

By Armen Aroyan Spoclsl to AIU

Photos by author except where noted

ost nations traditionally concen-

trate their best efforts toward constructing their places of worship. Similarly, Armenian architects, masons and craftsmen have taken great pride in building and preserving their churches throughout the Ottoman Empire, considering the fact that direct written permission in the form of the firman from the ruling sultans was extremely difficult to obtain. Always located in a prominent location in the town or village, Armenian churches in what is now eastern and southeastem Turkey are of great value today. To local

St. Mary's Church (Sourp Asdvadzadzin) in Aintab (Gazaantap) is most probably the grandest house of worship throughout Anatolla left behind by deported Armenians. lt was designed by Sarkis Bey Balian, of the royal lamily of architects, in response to a request by Patriarch Nerses ol lstanbul, a native ol Aintab. The late Catholicos Papken Guleserian of the see of cilicia describes in his memoirs how he followed as a young acolyte its lounding ceremonies in 1876 with keen interest and admiration. The construction ol the magniticent building, with a helght ol over 1(X) feet, took 20 years and was completed in 1894 wlth a total cost of some 10,(XX) Ottoman gold pieces ($44,OOO at that time). Contributing to this superb accomplishment were Nlgoghos Agha Nazaretian, general administrator; usta sarkis Kadehjian, chiel architect, and the Guldalian

lamlly ol masons.

St. Mary's was used as prison for some 50 years, as shown by these 1964 photos; (at right) prisoners gazing The church early in this century.

Turkish or Kurdish residents, they are considered

part of the architectural heritage left behind by the Armenians who inhabited the entire area

until the massacres during World War I to which locals now allude as "the problems of that time." During my four trips to the area in as many years, I would ask local residents to guide me to any AlM, March 1991

of their historical buildings, and generally I would be led to the town church. It would be either left abandoned with its hand-carved decorative stones sometimes recycled to other structures, or converted to a mosque, used as a movie theater, factory or storage space. Publications of Armenian compatriotic unions have adequate pictorial records of hundreds of their churches in Historical Armenia. Remnants of such structures abound in Kharpert, Arapkir, Moush, Marash and elsewhere. In converting churches to mosques some

St. Mary's Church (Sourp Asdvadzadzin) is left intact in Nizip, near Aintab. The base

ol an incomplete minaret is visible on left side ol photo. The Armenlan Protestant Church, over the toothills ol Musa Dagh ln Bitias, was built in 1881, durlng the pastorshlp ol Rev. Hall ilanug Nlgoghosian. The plane ltee (chlnar or sossr) to the teft was planted during the tounding ceremonies. ln 1915, the pastor ol the church, Fev. Harutiun Nohkudian (later changed to Serian), was deported with Of famllles lrom Bitlas, while Rev. Dikran Antreassian, in exile from his Pastorate an Zeytun, wes one ol the fearless leaders ol the self{efense ol Musa Ler immortallzed in Franz Werlel's novel. Antreassian later returned to pastor this church intermittently during the '2Os and '30s. Rev. Garabed Tilklan, now a resident of Encino, Californla' fondly remembers the lmpresslve ordinatlon ceremonaes in this church in 1936 ot lts last pastor, Rev. Aram Hadidlan, a native of Aantab. The Church ol Holy Wisdom (Sourp So' phia) in Darson (Tarsus), birthplace ol the Apostle St. Paul. Presently converted, the church is where the first Armenian King ol Cilicia, Levon l,,was crowned in 1199 by the archbishop..of Mainz representing Pope Celestine lll and anointed by Catholi-

cos Krikor Apirat.' problems arise for the Turkish architect. Since Armenian altars face east, the building must be turned sideways, figuratively, for Islamic worship, as mosque mihrabs or altars are required to face south, toward Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, the major Armenian entranceway becomes a side entrance and is sometimes partially closed up with cement blocks. A church side entrance on the north side becomes the Muslim main entrance. Also, in adding on one or two minarets, many times little attempt is made to match the Armenian stonework. Much cruder masonry skills sometimes result in painted bricks that do not conform to the existing architecture.

I have found several enlightened Turks who disapprove of the conversion of these churches; for them, tacking on minarets is a cheap way to create a mosque. Calling it cultural genocide, they feel there alAdana's Yagh Jami Mosque was lormerly Sourp Yeghia Church

AlM, March 1991

ready exists a sufficient number of mosques, which are sparsely attended. They prefer to see Armenian churches re-


to thcir original condilions


maintained as museums. Along the same vein. the conversion of St. Mary's Church was successl'ully prevented in Urfa (his-

torical Edessa) by descenclants ol assimilateci local Armenians. Thc church's origins date back to the Apostle Thadcleus, who u,as instrumental in converting Armenians to Christianity. With the present revival

of Muslim fundamentalism. however. odds will be against thc preservation of Armenian churche.. Ae cordinc l() recellt ncu swire reports, Turkey has 62.000 mosques. and about 1,500 new ones are being built everv vcar. some ol them on the remnants

of Armenian


L;ndcr international law. one might expect cornpensation b1, Turks lbr the properties they have confiscated. However. their excuse is that the churches are con-

sidered abandoned properties-enve/i melruke, in Ottorllan terminology. Convenicntly. no rncntion is ntade of Armenians being .fltrccd to leavc their homes

The mother church in Kars Bazar (Kadirli), near Sis, was converted to a mosque but left unused, in a state of disrepair

of Urfa's Armenian Protestant Church, now

Side view

Furlurleh Mosque. Rev. Hagop the founding


pastor of the church, in an 1877

tour ol Switzerland and

t FJ


approval, the pastor had to draw the plans, employ the


workers and supervise the


stone cutters until the edifice was completed in 1880. Rev. Ephraim K. Jernazian, whose

memoirs recently

'-? *


many collecied 25,000 marks (1,000 marks was donated by Kaiser Wilhelm l) lor its construction. After a year of government formalities to obtain


under the title "Judgment Unto Truth," was the last pastor belore the linal exodus of Armenians from Urla in 192'1.


.* n-''

and churches. With


breaking out in the world, it is hoped lhat Unircd Narions organizations would attempt to stem. or possibly reverse, this


conversion process. The original church had a belfry


Armenian dome and recent minaret on church roof in Urfa (Shanliurfa) I

i.r.**otY.-' L t.*"

fltr AlM, March 1991


A* .{J 'i."^tc


- J"



*;**"1 \, \

'@ i l



Next Stopt Everest

Having conquered summits in the Soviet Union, Armenian mountaineers seek new challenges By GURGEiI KHAZHAKIAII All, YeEven


he first recorded event of modem

Armenian mountaineering back



1829, when Khachatour

Abovian, considered to be the father of the Armenian Renaissance, climbed Mount Ararat (5,165 m.) along with Professor Friedrich Parrot. For a country that has been blessed with a panoply of mountains such as Armenia, its history of mountaineering has for the most part been erratic and uncommitted. The main reason, according to Grigor Tatoulian, a veteran mountain climber and founder of the Yerevan Polytechnic Institute's Mountaineering Club, is the Armenian national character: a fierce individualism that has proven far more conducive to solo rather than group sports.

started with the establishment of several mountaineering clubs in Armenia. Members of these clubs have subsequently climbed all the highest and the majority of the mostcomplex (first-class of complexity as determined by international classification) peaks in the U.S.S.R., including the 7,650-meterPamir, the Elbrus, the Kazbek, and the Ushba, one of the most complicated peaks inthe world. Mountains withinArmenia, on the otherhand, have thus farbeen neglected by professional Armenian mountain climbers, whose numbers still remain unimpressive. This year, however, a full-fledged revival of Armenian mountaineering seems to be in the offing, thanks to the vision and efforts of people such as Gagik Khachatrian. During a recent interview, Khachatrian unveiled an ambitious plan that, if realized, would place

Armenian mountain climbers at the very forefront of international mountaineering. "For us, moun-

taineering is of great significance because it is a sur-



Khachatrian com-


also mented. teaches people the

way of achieving something remarkable by teamwork and the pooling


resources." Khachatrian is a man of many



physicist by profession, he is an expe-

rienced mountaineer in his own


and heads both the

Federation of

Elbrus, 1990, left to right: Grigor Tatoulian, a colleague lrom Georgia, Alexander Mayilian, Hayk Tonoyan Since the time of Abovian, Armenian mountaineering has marked only occasional

flashes of excellence. In 1935, Vahram Darian, among other Armenians, climbed Mount Elbrus in the Caucasus range-the highest peak in Europe (5,633 m.). And in the 1970s, a promising movement was

Mountaineering of the Republic of Ar-

An Armenian mountaineer scales


Soviet peak that would be conducted via


truck journey

through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, culminating with.ascents to the Himalayas, stretching from India to Nepal. Armenian mountaineers from the republic, as well as Armenian sportsmen from both the intemal and extemal Diasporas, would take part in the expedition. Chief among the organizors' problems is that of attaining entry visas to Nepal. However, Alexander Aghababian, another

mountaineering veteran involved in the

project, has expressed optimism. "We have contacted the world-renowned Russian mountaineer Sergey Bershov, who has climbed the 8,000-meter summits of the Himalayas and is one of the first Soviet sportsmen to have climbed Everest (8,848 m.)," Aghababian said. "And he has promised us to help make an arrangement with Nepalese officials." The lack of hard currency is another potential obstacle. The Federation of Mountaineering projects an expedition budget of nearly $60,000, which it hopes to raise through Armenian and other international corporate sponsors. Moreover, it plans to make adocumentary film-afield in which it has had considerable experience--of the

menia and the Rescue Teams Association of Armenia (which has played a vital role in the aftermath of the 1 988 earthquake); he is also a deputy in Ar-


menia's Parliament.

tunity to attempt," said Alex Mailian, who has climbed three of the four 7,000-meter peaks in the U.S.S.R. "We have got to suc-

Khachatrian's project, scheduled for 1992, entails a massive mountain-climbing



so-called Aryan Way Expedition

AlM, Mard 1991

"The Aryan Way project is certainly


unique and perhaps the first and last expedition of its kind that we may have the oppor-


I 45


w *1,""H #::'fi:iffiT:l ,;l ;i:,['ff-'?il,x" ;:,,T,:

The Western world knows comparatively little about the Man with the Moustache. His name has been heard all around the planet. His picture has been seen by millions. But how did he become so powerful? The dictator to the east was bom in relative obscurity. He struggled to survive when he was growing up. He wasn't a very good student and became a revolutionary as a young

man. He lived in tough times and had to fight for everything. Perhaps that's what made him so ruthless. "Ruthless" is a word even his countrymen would use to describe their nation's absolute ruler. He was reputed to have personally murdered (if not actually executed) his political enemies. He was certainly responsible for the horrible deaths of many thousands of his own people. Political dissent is not tolerated in his country. His secret police have managed to terrorize everyone. Telephones are assumed to be tapped. Journalists have been arrested as spies.

Ethnic unrest is a national embarrassment. Jews have been especially ill-treated there. And although that nation shares no borders with Israel, their relationship has been among the worst in history. People there were always very devout. Historically, spiritual leaders have held great power in that country. Houses of worship are among the most prominent buildings in the capital city. But the government is officially secular, and

the men of the cloth could not rule the Man with the Moustache.

This shadowy figure, rarely seen personally by anyone other than close allies, rose to power through brute force and sinister manipulation. Although he used the army to get what he wanted, he always climbed the rungs of the politi-

cal ladder. That country's system of govemment purports to be designed in the best interest of all the people. More accurately, the legislature has served primarily as a rubber stamp to endorse the irrefutable decisions of the nation's leader. An inner circle of advisors from the ruling political party always had more clout than so-called representatives of the people.

It's never clear to outsiders what the rules are. Legal documents are more of a convenience than anything else. Secret tribunals and summary executions are more in keeping with that country's traditions. In any case, the final decisions are made by the Man with the Moustache. This head of state fostered an enorrnous personality cult. His image was enshrined in cities and buildings, institutions and monuments. He was made to be all things to all peoplemilitary leader, father figure, diplomat, scientist, laborer, lord. His country's economy has never been very healthy. They have grudgingly imported food and technology from the West. But they haven't had much to offer in exchange (although they do produce a lot of oil). Much of the problem is directly related to their large military budget. America once treated the Man with the Moustache as an ally. The U.S. supported him to fight a mutual enemy. But he was not above making secret deals. He was quite a horse trader. No one was sure on whose side he was . And when that war ended, he quickly lost his place of friendship. He suddenly was "worse than Hitler." Under his leadership, a neighboring independent nation was taken over by force. He declared the smaller country a part of his own, using the excuse that he was asked to "liberate" the vanquished state. In fact, the invaders imposed their nationality on the conquered land. They replaced local currency with their own money. They brutally murdered resistance fighters. Many reported unspeakable acts of torture and barbarism. The reason for the invasion was not too clear. Some say it was simply a power grab. Others believe that it was to control an important natural resource. Perhaps the real motive was to acquire access to the world's waterways. There were Congressional investigations. There were newspaper editorials. There were summit meetings. World leaders tried to exert their influence. Even the most respected international body couldn't pursuade the dictator to remove his troops. But in the end, when naked aggression was committed by the Man with the Moustache, no war was declared. Eventually, Stalin died. Lithuania remains occupied. T-erry Phillips, contri\lting ryriter to Alll, is a correspondent for NBC radio and the Mutual Broadcasting System

AlM, March 1991



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Armenian International Magazine | At Venture - March 1991