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Zaruhi Harutyunyan, playing a category A tournament in Roehampton - U.K. beat Clara Duarte no. 38 ITF ranked junior in the world 6-2 6-1.


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ON KILLING OF ARMENIANS BY OTTOMANS - Monday 19 December - Turkey has threatened to denounce France's colonial past at international meetings, in retaliation for French plans to prosecute people who deny that the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks was Genocide.
Turkey rejects the term Genocide to describe the killings of Armenians more than 90 years ago. Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed and experts say it was the first Genocide of the 20th century.
France considers the killings a Genocide. The lower house of the French Parliament is to debate a proposal that would punish anyone denying that the slaughter was Genocide with one year in prison and a
£37,700 fine.
The issue threatens to further harm Turkish-French relations, already tense over French President Nicolas Sarkozy's opposition to Turkey's bid to join the EU.
Turkey has threatened to withdraw its Ambassador to France if the bill is passed, while Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the country should investigate alleged French abuses in Algeria and Rwanda instead.
France had troops in Rwanda in 1994, and Rwandan President Paul Kagame has accused the country of doing little to stop the country's Genocide.
Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Sunday that Ankara would bring up the issue of "French colonialism" and "start talking about truths everywhere in the world". His words were carried by the state-run Anadolu agency.
Meanwhile, France's Foreign Ministry said on Monday that Foreign Minister Alain Juppe would meet a delegation from Turkey's Parliament on Tuesday to discuss the draft law.
Volkan Bozkir, head of the foreign affairs committee, and opposition figure Osman Koruturk are leading the delegation that is lobbying French legislators against the bill.
Turks have called for a boycott of French goods and companies in retaliation for the draft law.
Turkish government officials say trade rules and a customs union agreement between Turkey and the EU forbid an official boycott of France, an important economic partner.
Turkey's Economy Minister said, however, that a joint Turkish-French economic co-operation meeting scheduled for January could be cancelled if the bill is passed.


A delegation consisting of businesspeople, TOBB President Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu (2nd L) and TÜSİAD Chairwoman Ümit Boyner (L) held a meeting at the Turkish Consulate in Paris on Monday.

20 December 2011 / TODAYSZAMAN.COM - A French hotel cancelled a reservation made by a Turkish delegation, who is currently in Paris to lobby against a bill that aims to penalize denial of alleged Armenian Genocide in France, for a hall to call a meeting on Monday at the very last minute without citing any reason, Turkish media reported on Tuesday.
A delegation consisting of businesspeople, led by Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) President Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu and Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (TÜSİAD) Chairwoman Ümit Boyner is also scheduled to engage in contacts with French business people with the aim of convincing them to increase pressure on French officials regarding the bill. They were planning to stay in the Intercontinental Paris Le Grande Hotel and they also made a reservation for a conference hall in the hotel for Monday evening last week in addition to room bookings. The delegation was planning to have a meeting with nearly 200 people and voice their opposition to the bill. However, the hotel cancelled the reservation for the conference hall at the very last minute and told the delegation that the hall was not available although they had earlier reserved it for the Turkish group, TOBB Chairman Hisarcıkoğlu said.
He said upon the hotel's move, they also cancelled their room reservations and booked rooms at the Paris Hilton Hotel. The venue of the meeting was also changed to the Turkish Consulate.
According to Turkish media, the hotel did not want to host the Turkish delegation's meeting under pressure from the Armenian community in France. Hisarcıklıoğlu also said the hotel administration most likely changed its mind fearing pressure over hosting the meeting.
The French Parliament is set to vote on Thursday on a piece of legislation that could make denying the 1915 events that took place in Turkey as Genocide punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros. The Turkish reaction escalated over the week from mild suggestion to the French to reconsider the voting, to outright warnings that France will be facing severe consequences, including the withdrawal of the Turkish Ambassador from Paris. Turkey has been lobbying with full force to counter the bill, as multiple delegations from the ruling party, opposition lawmakers, Turkish business people and civil society organizations embark on a Paris trip to warn French officials of the possible damage the denial bill could cause.
Armenian groups say up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed during World War I in a systematic Genocide campaign perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire. Turkey categorically rejects the charges, saying the death toll is inflated and that Turks were also killed as Armenians revolted against the Ottoman Empire in collaboration with Russian forces for an independent state in eastern Anatolia.
Ankara believes the new French drive to placate the Armenian lobby in France by passing the controversial bill is closely linked with the upcoming presidential elections.


The Cyprus Mail - Nicosia - 21 December 2010 - Minister of Foreign Affairs Erato Kozakou Marcoullis met her US counterpart Hillary Clinton yesterday in Washington during her visit to America.
During the 45-minute meeting, the two ministers discussed the Cyprus problem, the upcoming Cyprus presidency of the EU in the second half of 2012 and its implications and the Turkish threats concerning the exploratory drillings for hydrocarbons in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Marcoullis said that she stressed to Clinton the potential crucial strategic role of Cyprus in promoting peace and prosperity in the through the exploitation of the island’s hydrocarbon reserves and subsequent cooperation with neighbouring countries.
“We thanked the US government for its position of principle in supporting the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus with regard to the exploration and exploitation of resources in its EEZ,” Marcoullis said.
The Foreign Affairs Minister informed Clinton of the developments in the peace talks, highlighting Cyprus’ willingness for a solution and stressing the non-cooperative attitude of the Turkish side in backtracking from the agreed solution framework.

CO-OPERATION AT THE HIGHLEST LEVEL - Azerbaijan discussed military cooperation with Turkey and the U.S. Azerbaijani Defense Minister Safar Abiyev received the Head of Turkish General Staff Plans and Principles Department Mehmet Emin Alpman, the Defense Ministry told Trend on Monday.
The sides exchanged views on the development of Azerbaijani-Turkish military cooperation at the highest level, as well as military and political situation in the region. On Monday, Abiyev also met with the head of U.S. Transportation Command, William Fraser.
They discussed the situation in the region, the current situation and prospects of development of military-political relations between Azerbaijan and the U.S. They exchanged views on anti-terrorism operations and settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.


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News in Brief by Sevag Devletian
  • The entire state machinery is focused on preparing Cyprus for the Presidency of the EU in July, government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said yesterday, after President Demetris Christofias chaired a third meeting at the presidential palace on Cyprus’ preparations for the six-month rotating EU Presidency in the second half of 2012.
  • A French bill that would make it a crime to deny that the mass killing of Armenians in 1915 was Genocide is drawing criticism from Turkey. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at France Saturday, during a news conference in Ankara with the chairman of Libya's National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil. Mr. Erdogan denied that the Ottoman Empire committed Genocide and said France needed to look at what he called its own `dirty and bloody history'' in Algeria and Rwanda. French lawmakers are set to consider the bill next Thursday. It proposes a one-year prison sentence and a $58,500 fine for denying the killings constitute Genocide.
  • The religious leaders of Turkey's national minorities met, at the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople last Thursday, to discuss the country's new Constitution. The participants discussed the state's guaranteeing of the freedom of religion and conscience, within the citizenship concept, in Turkey's new Constitution. The attendees decided that the report, which will be prepared after four such meetings, be taken to the Turkish Parliament and to discuss it with members of the country's Constitutional Commission. The next meeting will be held at the Greek Patriarchate of Constantinople.
  • Turkish Education Minister Omer Dincer has promised to alter clauses in Turkish history books that are antagonistic toward Armenians and Syriac Christians, according to Erol Dora, a deputy of Syriac origin from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). Dora met Dincer on December 12 to request the alteration of the clauses in question. Dincer showed close interest in the subject, Dora said, adding that he had told the Minister that the clauses against Armenians and Syriacs in school history books ran counter to the European declarations on children's and human rights, as well as United Nations resolutions.
  • Member for Smithfield in the Australian NSW Legislative Assembly, Andrew Rohan, declared in a Parliamentary statement that as a result of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turkish government, the modern state of Armenia remains landlocked. Rohan, who was elected to Parliament in the March 2011 election, rose in the House to describe the impact the Armenian Genocide continues to have on the Republic of Armenia. He said: "Turkey, the successor state and beneficiary of the Ottoman perpetrators of the Armenian, Hellenic and Assyrian Genocides, currently maintains an economic blockade of Armenia which endangers the socio-economic viability, security and sustainability of a people subjected to Genocide less than a century ago." He continued: "I raise these issues today because Australia and the international community must support a just resolution of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides; and I raise these issues today because Australia and the international community must acknowledge the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh's right to self determination."
KOHAR with Stars of Armenia DVD Concert Preview - click here

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Community calendar at a glance:
  • Wednesday 21 December, 2011. 5:30 pm. - Nicosia Nareg School "Amanori Hantes" (Primary:forms 3–6 and Gymnasium).
  • Thursday 22 December, 2011. 5:00 p.m. - Limassol Nareg School "Amanori Hantes".
  • Sunday 25 December at 9:00 pm – Homenetmen - AYMA Christmas Ball at Lemon Park.
  • Sunday 1 January 2012 – Santa will be visiting Homenetmen - AYMA. Details to follow.
  • Thursday 5 January 2012 (Christmas Eve) at 5:00 pm - Jamerkoutiun and Sourp Badarak.
  • Thursday 5 January 2012 at 8:30 pm - Barahantes jointly organised by Homenmen and AGBU at Semeli Hotel. Entrance 35 euros.
  • Friday 6 January 2012 (Christmas Day) at 9:00 am - Jamerkoutiun, Sourp Badarak, Chrorhnek and Karoz.
  • Saturday 21 January 2012 - Homenetmen AYMA presents "Taline & Friends". Details to follow.
  • Friday 27 January 2012 - "Beast on the Moon" theatre (in Greek) at Rialto Theatre in Limassol. You can receive your tickets from the Office of The Armenian Representative at 15 euros by calling 22-454540.

  • Saturday 11 February 2012 - Kravadz Or by Hamazkayin Cultural and Educational Association's "Oshagan" Cyprus Chapter.
  • Sunday 4 March 2012 - Michink event of The Armenian Relief Society Cyprus "Sosse" Chapter at Homenetmen - AYMA.
  • Sunday 11 March 2012 - Kravadz Or - Office of the Armenian Representative.
  • Saturday 31 March 2012 - Armenian Relief Society (HOM) "Sosse" Cyprus Chapter's Easter Fund-Raiser. Details to follow.
  • Saturday 5 May 2012 - Kravadz Or by Hamazkayin Cultural and Educational Association's "Oshagan" Cyprus Chapter.
  • Saturday 12 May 2012 - Kravadz Or by Hamazkayin Cultural and Educational Association's "Oshagan" Cyprus Chapter.

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  • Two bedrooms (with possibility for a third) upstairs house - Latsia tel. 99-487052
  • Two Bedroom Apartment - 1 Democritos Street, Flat 5 - Ayios Dhometios - Tel. 22493560 (mornings only)

Sona Gargaloyan (soprano) and Vartan Gargaloyan (saxophone) on Christmas Eve

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Gibrahay Sports by Sevag Devletian
  • After six wins in six International Seniors events, Gibrahay former Davis Cup star Haig Ashdjian's name shines in the top 40 players of the WORLD + 60 Tennis rankings. He now holds 260 points and is ranked number 36 in the world, his best win coming in the Aldiana Championships where he defeated the world number 26 Paul Schulte 1-6, 6-2, 6-2. In the same category - at the other end of the continent - Haig Bedrossian (formerly of Cyprus) is ranked 359, having played two events. In September he was a semi finalist at a Grade 3 event, the Pacific Southwest Championships in the United States.
  • Agnessa Hovanissyan from Limassol won the Cyprus 2011 karate championships in both KATA & KUMITE categories. She is pictured below with her coach Petros Mavrovounotis Black Belt 5 Dan JKA and 5 Dan WKF.
  • On Friday AGBU Ararat face SPE Strovolou in the Cyprus Futsal 1st Division.
  • AGBU Ararat have announced the signing of 23 year-old Brazilian Cesar Pereira from Paris Metropole.
  • Homenmen suffered a 1-5 defeat against Aetos Galatas in the Cyprus Futsal 3rd Division.

Direct to Yerevan

Armenian Sports by Sevag Devletian
  • FOOTBALL: London’s Arsenal FC scout Steve Rowley has reportedly instructed Gunners' chief Arsene Wenger to take a look at Armenian international midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The 22-year-old currently plays in Ukraine for Shakhtar. Mkhitaryan joined Shakhtar in 2010 from city rivals Metalurg in a 5.4m British Pound move, and has since established himself as one of the best players in the Ukrainian domestic league. Arsenal are tracking the midfielder and have been interested in Mkhitaryan for several months, with the Gunners reportedly looking at the midfielder after Cesc Fabregas departed for Barcelona. Shakhtar would command an 8m British Pound transfer fee for the Armenian, should they decide to part with the player.
  • CHESS: The Armenian women’s chess team took a good start at the Turkey-hosted World Championship defeating Greece 4-0 in the 1st round. In the next round, the Armenian team will play against Georgians, who scored a 4-0 victory over South Africa.
  • TENNIS: David Nalbandian of Argentina has withdrawn from Copa Peugeot tennis tournament due to renewed pains in the right knee. Nalbandian beat Spanish Juan Carlos Ferrero on December 16 but the injury prevented him from facing Marcos Baghdatis (Cyprus) in the second match.
  • CHESS: Armenian grandmaster Hrant Melkumyan ranked first out of the 370 chess players gathered in Warsaw, Poland, for European Blitz Chess Championship 2011.
  • JUDO: The Armenian female judokas dropped out of the China-hosted IJF Grand Prix Qingdao 2011. Gayane Harutyunyan (-48 kg) lost to Bo Kyeong Jeong (Korea), with Belgium’s Charline Van Snick scoring the 1st place. Janna Stankevich (-57 kg) was beaten by Concepcion Bellorin, with Korea’s winning the Jan-Di Kim.
  • FOOTBALL: Armenian National Team star and Shakhtar Donetsk FC midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been named Armenia’s best football player of 2011. FC Krasnodar forward Yura Movsisyan came 2nd, followed by goalkeeper of Armenian national team and FC Khimki Roman Berezovsky, taking the 3rd place. Armenia coach Vardan Minasyan was named the best coach. Award ceremony was held on December 15, with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan participating.
  • WEIGHTLIFTING: The Armenian Weightlifting team will include more than 20 athletes at 2012 London Olympic Games. From April 6-12 the Armenian weightlifters will participate in 2012 European Championships to be held in Antalya, Turkey. The team, however, will not put up its strongest composition, since the leading athletes will be training for the Olympics.
  • FOOTBALL: Impuls FC midfielder Zaven Badoyan has signed a 4-year contract with Baralussian football team BATE FC. Badoyan had been participating in BATE team practice sessions in Spain, where he positively impressed the coaches.
  • CHESS: Armenian grandmaster Levon Aronian scored 9 points at London Chess Classic to share 5-6th places with India’s Viswanathan Anand. Russia’s Vladimir Kramnik won the tournament with 16 points, followed by Hikaru Nakamura (U.S.) and Norway’s Magnus Carlsen with 15 and 14 points respectively.

Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s US Eastern affiliate is building a hospital in Martuni

Yerevan, December 15, 2011 – Armenia Fund USA, the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s
US Eastern Region affiliate, is building a hospital in Martuni, Artsakh, with co-financing
from the Armenian Medial Fund USA (New York) and the government of Artsakh.
With Martuni’s existing hospital, built in 1965, having fallen into disrepair and no longer
capable of offering adequate healthcare, the construction of a new hospital had become a
critical necessity in recent years.
The future hospital, consisting of a two-story structure with a total area of 2,470 square meters, will be a state-of-the art facility, fully equipped to provide a broad range of modern health services.
The basement of the new hospital will house various storage and service rooms; the first floor will comprise a reception hall, an emergency room, an intensive-care unit, and polyclinic, diagnostic, infectious disease, and administrative departments; and the second floor will include departments of surgery, therapy, and gynecology. The hospital’s electric substation, heating and airconditioning systems will allow to run the hospital more efficiently. The hospital complex will also feature a sizeable courtyard for the patients’ recreation.
With the basement and the first floor already built, currently crews are constructing the second floor. Dr. Grisha Gasparyan, the hospital’s executive director, said that the facility will be able to serve close to 1,000 stationery and 1,400 ambulatory patients yearly, and up to 23 inpatients a day. Dr. Gasparyan added that the hospital will admit patients from nearby villages as well.
“The new Martuni Hospital is the second medical facility to be built in Artsakh through the efforts of the Armenian community of the Eastern United States,” said Ara Vardanyan, executive director of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund. “The first such facility was the
Stepanakert Polyclinic, which, ever since its construction nine years ago, has played an
invaluable role in the health maintenance of the local population. We are extremely
gratified that the future Martuni Hospital will in turn benefit the communities of Martuni and
surrounding areas.”
In addition to supporting such far-reaching projects as the Martuni Hospital, the fund’s US Eastern Region affiliate has spearheaded the HyeBridge Telehealth program, in
partnership with the Yerevan State Medical University. A telemedicine initiative, HyeBridge uses Internet-based videoconferencing and a dedicated website to deliver improved healthcare to a number of medical facilities in underserved communities throughout Armenia and Artsakh.
Martuni is the site of several major development projects financed by the Hayastan All- Armenian Fund. Currently the city’s water-distribution network is being reconstructed, with funds raised through Telethon 2010. The project’s first phase has already been
completed, and currently construction bids are being accepted for the second and third


Maria Titizian - 16 December, 2011
This past week has been particularly trying. Here is how it all unfolded…
And now as we're approaching the holiday season, shops in Yerevan have already put up Christmas decorations, Yerevan city officials are getting their crews to put the final touches on their Christmas decorations, stores are advertising Christmas specials, and it would seem that it was business and Christmas as usual.

A YouTube clip began circulating on Facebook about the Gyumri Hotel Palace built by the mayor of the city, Vardan Ghukasyan - a known thug, scandal-plagued swindler, and all-time low-life (see Gyumri is a city where 6,500 families are still in need of permanent housing, and where the remnants of the earthquake 23 years ago still haunts its citizens both psychologically and physically. The hotel is a testament to vulgarity, to opulence in a city and region where severe poverty is dangerously on the rise, where people do not have the basic amenities for a decent and dignified life. It is a monument to tastelessness and the blatant abuse of public power. I wonder, are the roads leading to and around the hotel paved? Are there proper sidewalks or street lamps? Where and how did Ghukasyan “earn” the money to build this mini-Versailles?

This was followed by “parliamentarians” from the ruling coalition (Republican Party of Armenia) blatantly and shamelessly “voting” on behalf of their absent colleagues in a desperate bid to garner enough votes in the National Assembly to pass the government’s 2012 budget ( While they have the overriding majority in parliament, they still had to resort to flagrantly reprehensible activity to ensure the minimum number of votes. Caught in the act of pressing buttons in place of their colleagues, and seeing the camera filming them, they simply smiled and continued.
Why do they express absolutely zero remorse for their unethical actions? Why do we tolerate their presence in an institution that has been charged with legislative power in the country? How can we call ourselves a democracy when the very institutions of democracy are trampled upon and, as a result, are rendered worthless? Is it perhaps because a few weeks earlier, a public official (the regional governor of Syunik, Suren Khatchatryan) physically attacked Sylva Hambartsumyan, a businesswoman in the Marriott Hotel in the heart of Yerevan, and all criminal charges were dropped because she didn’t receive any serious physical injuries and refused a “medical treatment voucher” since he had simply “slapped” her ( You see, those who hold the levers of power in this country are above the law.
Of course, there was the now-common news about yet another young woman, Mariam Gevorgyan, severely beaten, abused, and tortured by her “husband” and “mother”-in-law ( How can a husband call himself a man when he burns his wife with an iron? How can a woman deign to call herself a “mother” when she beats another woman’s child so mercilessly?
And on the heels of all of this came the news that Nareg Harutounian, an Armenian American philanthropist, was arrested, tried and convicted without any due process on trumped up tax-evasion charges (Note: Harutounian was later released). Who was behind this travesty and why?
To top it all off, we’re having a very cold winter and to be honest, I am mad. Not angry, mad—bordering on the insane.
All of this was compressed and presented to us in the span of one week, seven days, a little blip in the entirety of our lives. How do you begin to understand such injustice, such appalling abuse of power, such degradation? I wish I had the answer, but I don’t. All I have is madness. And what am I supposed to do with that?
And now as we’re approaching the holiday season, shops in Yerevan have already put up Christmas decorations, Yerevan city officials are getting their crews to put the final touches on their Christmas decorations, stores are advertising Christmas specials, and it would seem that it was business and Christmas as usual.
But it’s not. If I had a magic wand to ensure that my wishes could come true, this would be my Christmas wish list for the Armenian nation:
That we raise our voices in protest against all kinds of social injustice.
That we demand accountability from our elected officials.
That we condemn any kind of violence, gender-based or otherwise.
That we accept responsibility for the collective ills that plague us.
That we no longer tolerate an undignified life for any one of our citizens.
That we celebrate our diversity as opposed to creating further division amongst ourselves.
That we replace indifference with compassion.
That we inspire ordinary people to become extraordinary heroes.
I don’t know that any of these wishes will come true in my lifetime. I would like to believe that we will learn how to become a nation, one with pride and intelligence, a nation that knows where it wants to go and how it wants to live and what kind of life it can provide for its people. Why should a single child go hungry and be in need of a decent education or equal opportunities? Why should we not be able to share in the resources of this country that belong to each and every one of us? Why should the law not be applied equally amongst all? Why can’t we build a country where people want to stay and live and prosper and love?
After all, what does it really take to empower a country with barely three million people? It requires having a vision, employing the vast amount of knowledge we have at our disposal. It requires having compassion and dedication and tolerance. We no longer need lofty proclamations or empty words and promises. We need to take action, all of us, regardless of where or how we live. If we could map a common vision for our future and act upon it, that would be the greatest gift of all.

Development project overlooking Larnaca Salt Lake, by three young Armenian professionals of our community. Click here .

You can read the latest issue of Gibrahayer e-magazine and all of last year's issue here

Yervant Khachatryan in Cyprus

click here for all images of the event organised by The Armenian Prelature of Cyprus and the "Oshagan" Cyprus Chapter of the Hamazkayin Cultural and Educational Association.

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