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SERZH SARGSYAN CONCLUDES OFFICIAL VISIT TO LEBANON

29 November, 2012 - Serzh Sargsyan concluded his official visit to the Republic of Lebanon with the Presidential Residence hosting an official farewell ceremony for the Armenian leader.
Before the ceremony, Serzh Sargsyan and his Lebanese counterpart Michel Suleiman summarized the results of the visit during the tête-à-tête meeting.
The leaders of the two states stressed the importance of high-level reciprocal visits, commended the negotiations held in the framework of the Armenian President's official visit and reached agreements which, according to the Presidents of Armenia and Lebanon, would give a boost to the development of the Armenian-Lebanese relations in all areas and will further strengthen friendship of the two nations, Armenian President's Press Service reports.

PRESIDENT OF ARMENIA VISITS CATHOLICOSATE OF CILICIA

During his three-day official visit to Lebanon, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan visited Antelias to meet with his Holiness Aram I, the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.
Before the meeting President Serzh Sargsyan and Mrs. Rita Sargsyan visited the St. Gregory the Illuminator Mother Cathedral and the chapel, which is being built next to the Cathedral in memory of the Armenian Genocide victims.
During a reception in Antelias, His Holiness Aram I awarded Serzh Sargsyan with the highest order of the Cilician Cross.
Addressing the participants of the meeting, President Sargsyan said “Armenia is strong with the Diaspora and the Diaspora is strong with Armenia,” underlining that it’s not just a slogan, it’s lifestyle. The President stressed we must realize this slogan with joint efforts.
Serzh Sargsyan hailed the devotion of the Armenian community of Lebanon and the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia to the national ideas and proves this with concrete actions.
The President stressed that the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia is not just a religions center; it has long been a powerful source of maintenance of the Armenian national identity. Serzh Sargsyan highly appreciated the activity of the Catholicosate led by His Holiness Aram I and expressed readiness to support it in all its endeavors.

ULTRA-NATIONALIST GROUP
TARGETS ARMENIANS IN TURKEY

Today's Zaman - 29 November 2012 - An ultra-right group mainly active in the social media has been targeting Armenian agencies, schools, churches, foundations and individuals in Turkey as part of an anti-Armenian hate campaign.
Reactions by social media users have mounted over provocative tweets from the Chairman of a group that calls itself the International Association to Fight Unfounded Armenian Allegations (ASİM-DER). He has recently been actively targeting Armenians and Turkish-Armenian institutions on Twitter, claiming that these groups are part of a conspiracy supported by the Armenian Diaspora against Turkey.
ASİM-DER Chairman Göksel Gülbey has been tweeting the names of Turkish-Armenian schools, churches and foundations, which civil society members say is tantamount to turning them into targets for ultra-nationalists in a country where prominent figures of Armenian descent as well as Christians involved in missionary activities have become targets of violence. The 2007 killings of three Bible publishers in Malatya, the 2007 murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink and the 2006 murder of an Italian priest in Trabzon are some of the painful examples of the ultra-nationalist threat.
The group, founded in 2002, has been actively holding conferences and organizing events to promote its cause, with its Chairman saying they had provisional and regional branches as well as a few chapters located abroad. But it came under the national media spotlight earlier this week, mostly due to the recent tweets.
According to Taraf columnist Markar Esayan, the campaign is part of a larger plan to create an anti-minority atmosphere. Esayan, in remarks to Today's Zaman, recalled Turkey's past experiences with the demonization of Turkish Armenians and said, “These Turkish-Armenian schools [whose addresses have been tweeted by Gülbey] were established under the control of the Ministry of Education. I have also studied in one of these schools and worked as a supervisor afterwards. On the one hand, too much importance shouldn't be attached to such campaigns, but on the other hand, those responsible [for provocative claims] should be held accountable for their claims,” he said, adding that prosecutors should act.
Rober Koptaş, editor-in-chief of the Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos, also asserted that ASİM-DER's presence is the product of a deeper and darker mentality than mere nationalism. Koptaş said: “Gülbey argues that the existence of Armenian institutions is proof of Turkey's freedom and tolerance. So, according to [Gülbey], the activities of Armenian institutions in Turkey are not acceptable as they pursue ‘demonic' goals. … This approach, which associates the Armenian ethnicity directly with hostility and malignity, is a threat to our national peace.”
Koptaş also noted that illegal structures nested within the state hierarchy in Turkey -- referred to as the “deep state” -- frequently resort to anti-minority campaigns to create chaos and achieve their shady goals. The involvement of such groups was also evident in the trial regarding Dink's murder. After a lengthy process, the court found that the killer and one man who was found guilty of inciting the shooter to undertake the murder had acted alone, although a large body of evidence indicated an organized-crime link. The judge who heard the case later told the media that he was also certain that the two hadn't acted alone, but accused the prosecution of failing to prove it properly.
“Turkey cannot afford a new wave of hostility against its Armenian citizens,” warned Koptaş.
ASİM-DER Chairman Gülbey denied the claims that his organization was “targeting” any groups. He said the lists he tweeted consisted of publicly disclosed address data about Turkish-Armenian institutions, saying there are too many in Turkey. “When we said in a press statement that there are 57 foundations, 21 schools and 15 associations, we were accused of lying and exaggerating numbers.” He said they had to share the names and address information to refute these claims.
In response to a question on whether he would feel responsible if an assault occurred on any of the organizations he publicly tweeted about, Gülbey didn't directly respond, but said he wondered if any Armenian organizations would be upset if he was attacked by an Armenian radical.
He also said they were “concerned” that these groups were associated with the Armenian Diaspora, admitting that his group's statements were only “allegations” with no solid proof.
Several rights groups are preparing to file a criminal complaint against ASİM-DER with prosecutors this week.

SPEAKER OF THE URUGUAY PARLIAMENT VISITS NAGORNO-KARABAKH REPUBLIC

Asbarez - The speaker of the Uruguay Parliament Jorge Orrico traveled to Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) and met with President Bako Sahagyan and other officials, reported Armenpress news agency.
Orrico was greeted in Stepanakert by a large crowd of residents who welcomed this first high-level foreign official to visit Artsakh outside of the OSCE Minsk Group officials, who are tasked with finding peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Uruguay Might be First to Recognize Artsakh
Uruguay Parliament foreign relations committee member Ruben Martinez Huelmo, in response to a journalist’s question about Uruguay being the first to recognize the independence of Artsakh, said: “I can honestly say, theoretically, YES,” reported the Stepanakert-based Aparaj newspaper.
He added that “this is political process and it must develop step by step.”
“Visiting Artsakh is not such a bold move, it merely a step. We are friend with the Armenian people. We must especially stress the role the ANC office plays in fostering Armenia-Uruguay relations,” added Huelmo.
During the meeting with Sahagyan and his staff, development of bi-lateral relations with Uruguay was discussed.
Sahagyan emphasized that Artsakh and Uruguay are friendly nations, which possess many shared characteristics including their history, their government philosophy. These characteristics, Sahagyan said, are beneficial for development of relations between the two countries.
President Sahagyan praised Uruguay’s role in the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, as well as that country’s balanced approach to the recognition of Artsakh and Karabakh-Azerbaijan conflict resolution process.
The two leaders emphasized the imperative for strengthening relations and the need for concrete steps to achieve this goal.
Participating in the meeting were Artsakh Parliament Speaker Ashot Ghoulyan, Artsakh’s Foreign Minister Karen Mirzoyan, Armenia’s Ambassador to Uruguay Vahagn Melikyan, Armenian National Assembly members, including ARF Dashnaktsoutiun bloc member Vahan Hovannesian and representatives of the Armenian National Committee of Uruguay.

 

 

 

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EXPLOSIONS ROCK THE ARMENIAN POPULATED DISTRICT OF JARAMANA IN DAMASCUS

YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 28, ARMENPRESS. Dozens of people died and were injured as a result of an explosion in the Armenian district of Jaramana in Damascus in the morning on November 28. There is no information whether there are Armenians within the casualties. The hospitals are full of the injured people.
Syrian SANA agency states that there were explosions in Nahda and Karyat districts, which caused not merely human casualties, but also heavily damaged the surrounding buildings, trade centres and vehicles.
The majority of the Jaramana district are Christians, including more than 400 Armenian families.
A member of the "Emergency Unit of Syrian-Armenians" Raffi Avetisyan says that during the last 20 months 40 Armenians have been killed and 66 injured. There are also 7 kidnapped Armenians, and two servicemen are missing.
There are more than 200 damaged houses.

 

DASHNAKTSOUTIUN AGAINST MASS EXODUS OF ARMENIANS FROM SYRIA

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaktsoutiun continues to believe that official Yerevan must not encourage a mass out-migration of ethnic Armenians from Syria despite worsening violence there, a senior representative of the pan-Armenian party said on Wednesday.
Giro Manoyan, the party’s Foreign Affairs spokesman, stood by his earlier arguments that their exodus would eliminate a key Armenian community in the Middle East. He also argued that the 80,000-strong Syrian Armenian community is “not a target” in the country’s bloody civil war.
“We have suffered some casualties because of the overall situation there, rather than targeted attacks,” Manoyan told a news conference.
More than 40 Syrian Armenians have been killed since the outbreak of the conflict in early 2011. The majority of them reportedly died in crossfire or bomb explosions.
“Most of the Syrian Armenian community remains in Syria,” said Manoyan. “Some say they have no money to leave the country or have nowhere to go. But that can be only one of the reasons. The main reason is that the Armenian community has properties and established livelihoods and does not want to flee at once.”
The Dashnaktsoutiun chapter in Syria for decades has been one of the main community organizations.
Armenia’s government has likewise not encouraged Syrian Armenians to leave the war-stricken country en masse. President Serzh Sargsyan stressed on November 3 that the government is “not calling on our Syrian Armenia brethren to leave Syria.”
“On the other hand, we are saying that if a person has nevertheless decided to emigrate from Syria it is preferable that they come to Armenia,” Sargsyan said, adding that Armenia and its worldwide Diaspora should help such people “take new roots in their homeland.”
According to immigration authorities in Yerevan, nearly 6,000 Syrian citizens of Armenian descent have taken refuge in their ancestral homeland to date. The Armenian government has taken a range of measures in recent months to facilitate their immigration and naturalization.
Some 150 Syrian Armenians arrived in the country on Tuesday on the latest Aleppo-Yerevan flight carried out by Syria’s national airline. The Syrian Air plane flew back to Aleppo with some 50 passengers on board.
Grigor Zopian, an Aleppo-based architect, and his wife Tigranuhi were among those passengers returning to Syria’s largest city, which has been the scene of heavy fighting since July. “The situation there is dangerous but we have to go back,” Zopian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) at Yerevan’s Zvartnots airport.
“We have been here for two months,” he said. “We have had a very good time and taken rest. We are now going back. If we see that things are very bad we will come back.”
Loren Badgalian-Vasil, a Syrian Armenian woman, was returning home with her child after spending two weeks in Armenia. She said a Syrian bank where she works is still operating and she therefore has to go back to work. “We just wanted to come here to have some rest, get [Armenian] citizenship and go back,” she explained.

 

ANC (HAY TAD) AUSTRALIA ADVOCATES FOR THE ALLOCATION OF $24 MILLION DOLLARS AID FOR ARMENIANS IN SYRIA

The Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia) has announced it is working with the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) in securing an aid package for Syrian-Armenians who have fled to the Republic of Armenia.
Australia has become the third-largest international donor of aid to victims with a current assistance package of $24.5 million.
On November 22, the Hon. Walt Secord MLC, Parliament of New South Wales, added his voice in support of the Syrian-Armenian community, and the efforts to deliver to them some of the Australian government’s assistance package.
Secord said: “I will note my concerns regarding the plight of Armenians in Syria as events continue to unfold. Just last month an important Armenian church in Aleppo was set ablaze and Armenians were kidnapped.”
“I know that members of the local Armenian community are worried about their loved ones in Syria. My thoughts are with them at this time.”
He added: “I support the Australian Government’s commitment through AusAID, pledging $24.5 million to help refugees in the region.”
“I also acknowledge efforts by the Armenian National Committee of Australia to extend that support to Syrian refugees who have fled to Armenia in their thousands.”
ANC Australia Executive Director, Vache Kahramanian stated: “The conflict in Syria is grave and we are engaged with the Australian government to ensure an allocation of the $24.5 million is provided to aid agencies in Armenia. Full details will be announced in due course.”

Delicious home made, Lahmajouns, Su beoregs, Falafel, Houmous, Mouhammara
Tahinopittes, Kete, Gourabie, Melomakarona, Lokhmades, Jams, Pickles, Organic Virgin olive oil, Hand Made Crafts, Aprons, Hand Towels and many more items will be on sale, with proceeds going to the many charities supported by The Armenian Relief Society (HOM) in Cyprus, Armenia and Artsakh.

►The Sourp Asdvadzadzin Children's choir will sing Christmas carols at 3:45pm.
►Talented singer Gore Melian will perform at 5 pm
►Members of the AYF Junior Chapter will sing Christmas carols
►the evening will be wrapped up at 6:00 pm by Gilbert Simon

Gibrahayer Calendar:

► Sunday 2 December at 12:00 - 8:00 pm - A day of fun, music and social get-together where Armenian food and crafts will be on sale all day. Organised by ARS (HOM) Cyprus "Sosse" Chapter at Homenetmen/AYMA. Join us!
► Wednesday 5 December at 8:00 pm - Literary Evening dedicated to Roupen Sevag organised by Hamazkayin's Cyprus "Oshagan" Chapter.
► Saturday 16 December - ARS (HOM) Cyprus "Sosse" Chapter will be taking part in the Stasikratous street Bazaar with its own Pavilion.
► Tuesday, 18 December at 7:00 pm - Nareg School Limassol – “Amanori Hantes”.
► Wednesday, 19 December at 5:30 pm - Nareg School Nicosia – “Amanori Hantes” for Kindergarten, Pre-primary, Primary 1st and 2nd forms.
► Thursday, 20 December at 5:00 pm - Nareg School Larnaca – “Amanori Hantes”.
► Friday, 21 December at 7:00 pm - Nareg School Nicosia – “Amanori Hantes” for Primary 3rd – 6th forms and gymnasium.
► Saturday 22 December 5:00 pm: Armenian Evangelical Church Service in Greek Evangelical Church, Larnaca, facing the American Academy. Speaker: Hrayr Jebejian.
► Sunday 23 December - Sourp Asdvadzadzin Choir concert - Details to follow.
► Tuesday 25 December at 9:00 pm - Homenetmen AYMA Ball. Details to follow.

► Tuesday 1 January at 4:00 pm - Gaghant Baba visits Homenetmen - AYMA.
► Saturday 16 February - Valentine's Party at Homenetmen - AYMA organised by Hamazkayin's Oshagan Cyprus Chapter.
► Sunday 10 March 2013 at 1:00 pm - Michink Dinner organised by ARS (HOM) Cyprus "Sosse" Chapter at Homenetmen/AYMA. Details to follow.

WELCOME TO TSO's KITCHEN
Call Tsoler on 96232320

www.facebook.com/pages/Tsos-Kitchen/279653325489091

 

 
Are you in The Zone?
Encourage your children to take up tennis this year at the Tennis Zone, the new tennis academy which has begun operating on the grounds of the Junior School since the beginning of September.
Tennis provides good clean fun, while keeping them fit and away from the computer screen. Not only is it a sport that will last them a lifetime, but for those willing to put in the work, it may also be a means towards a university scholarship.
The Tennis Zone welcomes players of all abilities from beginners to advanced from the age of 4 upwards.
Call 96-441027.
www.facebook.com/cyprustenniszone
 
 
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