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New York Metro Mary Papazian to speak at Vartanantz event

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the armenian reporter

Number 25

Eastern U.S. Edition

January 26, 2008

"A man died, but a nation awakened"

Hrant Dink is remembered in New York

by Florence Avakian

New York ­ A huge photograph of Hrant Dink's reflective face gazed down on close to 500 attendees during the event held on Sunday afternoon, January 21, in the Haik and Alice Kavookjian Auditorium of the St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral complex, marking the passage of one year since the assassination of the courageous Agos A choir's-eye view of New York's St. Vartan Cathedral, during the Jan. 20 editor-in-chief in Turkey. Following an opening prayer by memorial service marking the anniversary of Hrant Dink's murder. Hasmig Archbishop Yeghishe Gizirian, wel- Meikhanedjian conducted the cathedral choir, accompanied by Florence Avakian coming remarks were made by direc- on the organ. Photo: Harry L. Koundakjian. tor of the Diocese's Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center, rachel of thousands of Turks and Arme- culled from Dink's prolific writGoshgarian, who reminded the nians in Istanbul marching behind ings. Participating in the presenaudience of Dink's unceasing efforts the casket, carrying signs which tation was a group of young Arto bring dialogue and reconciliation read, "We are all Hrant Dink. We menians, including Sossi essajanian, Natalie Gabrielian, Mher between the Turkish and Armenian are all Armenian." peoples and nations. "He was the A powerful and prophetic mo- Janian, Arousiag Markarian, most vocal member of the Armenian ment occurred when Dink's weep- and Arev turbendian. Recounting key events in Hrant community in Istanbul," she noted." ing wife, Rakel, released a white Dr. Herand Markarian, whose dove which alighted on the casket Dink's life, Dr. Markarian listed background includes being a scien- and remained there throughout the his birth in Malatya, his emigratist, playwright, poet, community long route from the Agos offices to tion to Bolis at age eight, and his activist, and director of the Hamaz- the Armenian cathedral, and then early education in Bolis' Armenian kayan Theatre, presented an audio- the cemetery. Throughout the film Evangelical School and the Holy visual display of "Hrant Dink's Life were heard the soulful strains of Cross Seminary. Achieving a B.A. in and Accomplishments" titled "Sun- "Giligia," "Dele yaman," and Nerses Zoology from Istanbul University, Dink continued his studies in phiset to Sunrise." Shnorhali's "Nor dzaghig." Not a sound was heard in the Interspersed throughout the losophy, then served in the Turkish vast hall as the film unfolded the film were readings in Armenian Naval Infantry. Among his numerous accomhighly emotional funeral of the and English, detailing the injusslain journalist, showing hundreds tices done to Armenians in Turkey, plishments was being director of the Tuzla Armenian Children's Camp, which the Turkish authorities eventually confiscated. Bravely, Dink then mounted an exhibit of this camp with an accompanying book. In 1990, he began writing in the Turkish-Armenian paper Marmara under the pen name "Chootag" (violin). In 1996, he started his own paper: Agos (meaning furrow, the planting of seeds). Through that paper, "He started to educate the Turks about their history, and teach the Armenian youth about their tongue, which is fading," Markarian declared. In 2001, Agos had its publication suspended by the Turkish government for acknowledging the Armenian Genocide. And at the 2002 Human Rights Conference in Shanli Urfa, Dink declared, "I am a citizen of Turkey, but I am not a Turk." Charged with "anti-Turkishness" he received a six month suspended sentence, then appealed to the International Court of Human Rights. In 2006, he was acquitted of the Urfa charges. Shortly thereafter, he was again charged with "denigrating Turkishness" for acknowledging the Genocide. He participated in the diaspora conference in Yerevan, and visited the United States in November 2006. The last issue of Agos edited by Dink was published on January 19, 2007 ­ the day of his assassination. Concluding his inspirational presentation, Dr. Markarian quoted Sartre. "Freedom is achieved Continued on page B3 m

Ancient and modern sounds mix

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St. Nersess Seminary weekly extension course open to public

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FAR is taking young professionals to Armenia

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California The Dip

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Hye Katch Do: More than just kicking and punching

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A community of artists comes together to put on Baron Garbis

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William Saroyan turns 100

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The Sarkisyans join presidential hopeful John Edwards in Los Angeles

by Lory tatoulian

LoS ANGeLeS7 ­ The parents of the late Nataline Sarkisyan, koko and Hilda, and their son, Bedig, have joined presidential hopeful John edwards on his campaign trail to support his commitment to healthcare reform. Nataline, 17, a leukemia patient, died on December 20, 2007. Her Mary Allukian insurance company, Cigna, had de(1909­2008), on nied her a liver transplant, which her 98th birthday her doctors believed could have last year. saved her life. The Sarkisyan family is now advocating for healthcare reform and has made sharing Nataline's story with as many Americans as possible a personal mission. The Sarkisyans joined John Edwards at his first campaign rally in Hew Hampshire, and are continuing to tour with him through the NewtoN, Mass.7 ­ Mary (NaAs Mrs. Allukian would relate, primary season. habedian) Allukian, of Newton, a a turning point in her family's On January 17, the Sarkisyans Koko and Hilda Sarkisyan, holding a picture of their late daughter Nataline and Genocide survivor who was a mem- life came when she was about made an appearance with Mr. Ed- the flags of Armenia and the United States. Photo: Steve Artinian. ber of a remarkably long-lived fam- eight years old. One evening wards on the rooftop of the Service Employees International Union of- vide coverage for all Americans. Uni- more who are terrified of losing ily, and who very nearly saw her there came a knock at the door fice in downtown Los Angeles. versal healthcare, which every other their coverage of health-insurance own centenary, died on January 3. of the family home, and Mary opened it to find the Turkish During a 20-minute speech, Mr. industrialized nation offers, has be- premiums. We need a change and She was 98. She was born in Aintab on Feb- police. They asked her where her Edwards presented a litany of is- come the fulcrum of his campaign. it will not happen unless we have a sues he seeks to address if he is "We are going to fight for uni- president who is willing to take on ruary 12, 1909, the third child of father was, and she replied, "In elected president, including global versal healthcare, and mandate it the drug companies, the insurance Benjamin and Lucy (Touzjian) Na- the next room." Like so many habedian. Her older siblings were other men in the city, her father warming and an end to the war for every man, woman, and child companies, their lobbyists." in Iraq. The candidate also lashed in this country, because we so desThe former senator from North Sarkis and Lydia (Bakerjian) Sula- was taken away and killed, in the out at Governor Arnold Schwar- perately need it," Mr. Edwards told Carolina also pointed out that un- hian (both now deceased), and her events that marked the start of zenegger for proposed budget some one thousand supporters. like his rivals, Senators Hillary younger siblings were Ethel Rou- the genocidal campaign against cuts in education. "We have 47 million people with- Clinton and Barack obama, he bian (now deceased) and Theodore Armenian citizens. (Toros) Nahabedian, still living and Mr. Edwards advocted a universal out health coverage in this counContinued on page B11 m 96 years old. Continued on page B8 m healthcare program that would pro- try," he said. "And we have millions

Mary Allukian, 98, dies in Watertown


The Armenian Reporter | January 26, 2008


Dr. Mary Papazian to speak at New York Vartanantz event on Jan. 31

New York7 ­ The distinctively Armenian feast day dedicated to St. Vartan the warrior and his companions will arrive early this year: on Thursday, January 31. In New York, Vartanantz will be observed with a celebration in the saint's eponymous institution, St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral. An evening Divine Liturgy will begin at 6:00 p.m. at the cathedral, located at 630 Second Avenue (on the corner of 34th Street) in Manhattan. Maestro Khoren Mekanejian will lead the St. Vartan Cathedral Choir for the occasion. Following the service, a dinner and program will take place in Haik and Alice Kavookjian Auditorium, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The event is being sponsored by the Eastern Diocese and the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Knights and Daughters of Vartan. The program will feature an engaging keynote address by Dr. Mary Papazian, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at New York's Lehman College. Her husband, Dr. Dennis Papazian, chair of the Knights of Vartan MidAtlantic Interlodge, will serve as Master of Cermonies. A dramatic program will also be presented by the Holy Martyrs Arousiak Papazian Theatrical Group. For information on the January 31 Vartanantz event, call the Diocesan Center at (212) 686-0710. f

Fr. Mesrob Lakissian begins the home blessing ceremony. Pictured: (back row) Dn. Shant Kazanjian, Mrs. and Amb. Armen Martirossian; (front row) Abp. Choloyan, Fr. Lakissian, and Bp. Tanielian.

Abp. Choloyan presides over the Prelacy's annual Armenian Christmas reception

New York7 ­ On Sunday eve- the good wishes expressed by the ning, January 6, Archbishop Osha- attendees, and reciprocated with gan Choloyan, Prelate of the East- prayers for a healthy New Year. ern Prelacy, greeted a large number Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor of of friends from the tri-state area St. Illuminator's Cathedral in New at his annual Christmas reception. York City, conducted the traditionThe event at the Prelacy headquar- al home blessing ceremony, asters in New York City was hosted sisted by Fr. Nareg Terterian, of St. by the Prelacy Ladies Guild. Sarkis Church in Douglaston, N.Y., Archbishop Choloyan received Fr. Hovnan Bozoian, of Sts. Vartanantz Church in Ridgefield, N.J., and Archdeacon Shant Kazanjian, director of the Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC). Armenia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Armen Martirossian, and his wife joined the many guests in expressing their good wishes to the Prelate and the vicar, Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian. f

Dr. Mary Papazian will be the keynote speaker for the Jan. 31 Vartanantz celebration at New York's St. Vartan Cathedral.

Abp. Barsamian visits the Hovnanian School

New MiLFord, N.J.7 ­ Wel- faculty, and students from Kindercoming visitors is always a special garten through 5th grade received pleasure for the students of the Archbishop Barsamian and his enHovnanian School, and on January tourage in the school's multi-pur15 they had a chance to welcome pose room. The Home Blessing Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Pri- ceremony, traditionally conducted mate of the New York-based East- after Christmas and Easter, was ern Diocese, who came to confer the centerpiece of the visit. blessings in the aftermath of ArThe Primate spoke to the stumenian Christmas. dents about the meaning of Christ"I was very happy to see Srpazan mas and the importance of prayer, Hayr visiting us and blessing the congratulated the students for school," said Hovnanian School their achievements, and offered 2nd grader Shant Keshishian. each a token of his appreciation. Accompanying the archbishop on After the blessing, the students his visit were Fr. Vazken Karayan, offered an amusing and soulful pastor of Union City's Holy Cross program in Armenian, with 5th Church; Fr. Papken Anoushian, pas- graders serving as presenters. The tor of Tenafly's St. Thomas Church; Fr. program included performances, Shnork Souin, pastor of Livingston's recitations, and readings of a play St. Mary Church; and deacons Sebouh about Christmas. The evident Oscherichian and Artur Petrosyan. spontaneity and enthusiasm of the School founders Vahakn and students was much remarked by Hasmig Hovnanian, together with the guests at the PTO-hosted recepmembers of the board, the PTO, tion which concluded the visit. f

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Abp. Khajag Barsamian, accompanied by Fr. Karayan and Fr. Anoushian, as well as Dn. Oscherichian, during the Home Blessing ceremony.

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The Armenian Reporter | January 26, 2008



"A man died, but a nation awakened"

n Continued from page B1 by Struggle," he declared, and thoughtfully added: "A man died, but a nation awakened." Keynote speaker Carla Garapedian, director of the acclaimed film Screamers and a former BBC anchor, had interviewed Hrant Dink in Istanbul for her documentary. She commented that though Dink was courageous, he also recognized his frailty, calling himself a "vulnerable pigeon" after he witnessed two seagulls tearing apart a helpless pigeon. Why didn't Dink leave Turkey? "He thought as a newspaper editor he had power, and thus could survive," Garapedian said. "He was constantly testing the boundaries of his power. He stood up to the bully." And Dink himself had once said: "I have considered leaving this country at times.... But leaving a `boiling hell' to run to a `heaven' is not for me. I wanted to turn this hell into heaven." Calling herself a "proud American," Garapedian referred to the denial of the Genocide by the current and previous American administrations as an "affront," and added that the candidates running for the U.S. presidency should honestly list their positions on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, as well as the ongoing one in Darfur. Closing the day of remembrance, Archbishop Yeghishe Gizirian spoke on behalf of Diocesan Primate Archbishop Khajag Barsamian. Archbishop Gizirian stated that Hrant Dink was a man "blessed with great attributes. He was a soldier who died in his efforts to have the Genocide recognized. One day, he will celebrate when that resolution is passed. His important legacy will always be in our hearts and souls." Earlier in the day, Archbishop Gizirian had celebrated the Divine Liturgy in St. Vartan Cathedral,

A "vulnerable pigeon"

Abp. Yeghishe Gizirian with Dr. Herand Markarian and the youthful voices who read from Dink's writings as part of the retrospective multi-media program on his life. Photos: Harry Koundakjian.

Memorial program keynote speaker Carla Garapedian, director of Screamers, recounts her experiences interviewing Hrant Dink for her film.

Seated in the front row at New York's Diocesan Center during the screening a a special tribute to Dink are (from left) Abp. Yeghishe Gizirian, Fr. Arnak Kasparian, Fr. Mardiros Chevian, Dr. Herand Markarian, and Zohrab Center director Rachel Goshgarian.

with Hasmig Meikhanedjian directing the choir. Attending clergy included Fr. Martiros Chevian, dean of St. Vartan Cathedral, and Fr. Arnak kasparian.

The Hrant Dink day of remem- American Support Educational Cultural Center, Hamazkayin Arbrance was sponsored by several Center, Constantinople Armenian menian Educational and Cultural community organizations, in- Relief Society, Diocesan Gomi- Society (N.Y. Chapter), Knights of cluding the Armenian General das Choir, Esayan-Getronagan Vartan, Tekeyan Cultural AssociaBenevolent Union, the Armenian Alumni, Forest Hills Armenian tion, and Tibrevank Alumni. f


The Armenian Reporter | January 26, 2008


Ancient and modern sounds mix to conjure a concert of "living memory"

by Anoush ter taulian

BrookLYN, N.Y.7 ­ The "Living Memory" concert, an evening of Armenian and Persian music and art, played to a cheering full house at the Brooklyn Lyceum on January 14. The concert, part of the "In a Circle" series, was a collaborative project that featured the Brooklyn Rider string ensemble working with fellow musician Kayhan Kalhor, master of the Persian kamancheh, and with visual artist Kevork Mourad. The opening group, Zulal ­ the award-winning a cappella trio of Anais Tekerian, Yeraz Markarian, and Teni Apelian, who sing ancient and contemporary Armenian folk music as well as their own compositions ­ captivated the audience with songs that described romantic escapades in rural life, such as Yaruks khorodig eh ("My sweetheart is cute; so what if he's short?"). Their songs also gave insight into the problems of village women. When introducing Lachin oo manan ("Lachin and her spinning wheel") Teni Apelian said: "This song comments on the quality of some men. It describes how when Lachin gives birth to twins her suitor arrives at her house empty-handed because en route to her house he has eaten the two rolls of bread he meant as gifts." The audience enjoyed the storytelling songs and immediately connected with Zulal's ethereal, intricately woven sounds. Jay Skrob, a Korean-American attending the event, commented, "The Armenian women's voices had incredible harmonies and their Some mention of his gripping had connected through Yo-Yo Ma's story, either in the program or as "Silk Road Project." During his performance, Kayhan a narrative, would have been helpful informing the diverse audience, sat cross-legged on a rug, his bow and would certainly have been a feverishly flying over the strings, his fingers delicately plucking, to welcome addition to the event. Kevork Mourad, a Syrian-Arme- elicit the instrument's haunting nian artist, accompanied Brook- sounds. His keynote song, "Silent lyn Riders's Komitas songs with City" (also the title of his forthcomlive drawings that were rehearsed ing CD) was named for a bombedbut looked improvisational. The out Kurdish city, but according to audience saw Kevork's hand on the artist, it speaks universally to a large screen on stage, sponta- all cities destroyed by human or neously producing lyrical lines natural agencies. Kayhan introduced another song, synchronized with the music that turned into dancers and moun- "Ascending Bird," by saying: "A bird tains, creating an Armenian com- from the Khorazon region of Iran munity and the landscape they tries three times to fly to the sun, lived in. Abstract splotches and each time going higher and highsmudges of paint created fields, er. It is a metaphor for losing the lakes, and whirling veils, trans- physical body and attaining tranforming imagination into physi- scendence." The diverse audience responded cal reality. To bring the songs to artistic life to the emotionally-charged music. Kayhan Kalhor, master of the Persian kamancheh, or spike fiddle, and Mourad also used projections and Datevik Hovanesian, the great Arpercussionist Shane Shanahan, during the Jan. 14 "Living Memory" concert at animation. For example, in the menian jazz singer, thought the the Brooklyn Lyceum. Photo: Amber Darragh. song Chinares, a tree is used as a combination of musicians and the metaphor for the beauty of height special way they were braided totechnique emulated drum-like vo- cording]. Now we are honored and expansion. Before its eyes, gether was "fabulous." Sarah Kamalvand, an Armenian cal percussion, which I had never to play his music in which I hear the audience saw the tree growheard before." some of the pain that represents ing, and a group of people putting who moved here a month ago from The Brooklyn Rider string quar- the tragedy of his people and his their hands on the tree to receive Tehran, appreciated the musicians efforts to preserve ancient Armetet members ­ Jonathan Gandels- own personal tragedy. In Brooklyn, its power. nian and Persian sounds when so man and Colin Jacobsen (on vio- our home which we love, there is a many of the traditional forms of lin), Nicholas Cords (on viola), and great representation of our multi- Emotionally-charged art and architecture are being neEric Jacobsen (on cello) ­ who are cultural world, and we would like music glected or destroyed. dedicated to making connections to share this Armenian and Persian The Brooklyn Rider ensemble is between folk, world, and classical music with as many people as pos- The third part of the concert feamusic, all have a parent who is a sible. We also feel our art is more tured Kayhan Kalhor, the classical exploring the possibility of taking musician. For instance, Jonathan's powerful when we work together Persian musician and composer this eclectic show on the road, to who plays the Persian kamancheh, a share it with other Armenian comfather studied in Russia with Hen- with artists and musicians." righ Talian, a famous viola player. Despite the obvious admiration spike fiddle which is a predecessor munities ­ and also with people Jonathan said: "I have heard for Komitas on display through- of the Western violin. He was ac- who are not (yet) familiar with the Komitas's music performed by an out the evening, one shortcoming companied by the Brooklyn Rider wonders of Armenian music. The Armenian choir, a little girl, and of the concert was the absence of players and Shane Shanahan on group is also launching a new webby Komitas himself [via a rare re- information on Komitas himself. percussion. All of these musicians site, f

The Armenian Reporter | January 26, 2008



St. Nersess Seminary weekly spring extension course open to public

Fr. Daniel Findikyan will lead St. Nersess Seminary's spring extension course ­ open to the general public and free of charge, on the school's New Rochelle campus.

New roCHeLLe, N.Y.7 ­ As part of its Extension Program, St. Nersess Armenian Seminary has opened one of its regular graduate courses to the public this spring. "History and Theology of the Liturgical Year" will be taught by Fr. Daniel Findikyan, dean of the seminary and its Professor of Liturgical Studies. The 15-session course is devoted to the origins, development, and theology of the church year. Fr. Findikyan will devote special attention to the feasts, fasts, and saints of the Armenian Church, and how

they are distinctive compared to those of other churches. According to Fr. Findikyan, those attending the classes will learn the fascinating answers to such questions as: Why do the Armenians celebrate Christmas on January 6, distinct from the rest of the Christian world? What hidden code is buried deep within the sequence of Bible passages during Great Lent -only in the Armenian Church? And, What is real origin of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross? (It's not what people have been led to believe.)

Classes opened on Wednesday, January 23, but they will continue every Wednesday thereafter through May, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., on the seminary's New Rochelle campus. All classes are open to the public and free of charge (though donations will be gratefully accepted). St. Nersess Seminary is located at 150 Stratton Road, in New Rochelle. For information on the spring extension course, contact the seminary at (914) 636-2003, or via e-mail at [email protected] f edu.

"Krieger Essay Contest" is announced for New York-area high school and college students to explore meaning of genocide

New York7 ­ The Armenian rights perspectives, focusing on both Carrying on an uncle's American Society for Studies on current and past genocides. Submis- work Stress and Genocide (AASSSG) has sions should be in English, typewritannounced that it is accepting sub- ten, double-spaced, and 1,000-2,000 The benefactor of the Kreiger esmissions for the 13th annual Krieg- words in length. The judges will ac- say contest is Dr. Edmund L. Gerer Essay Contest, which will bestow cept no more than one entry per year gerian, who resolved to establish cash awards to one high school from an individual, and only one en- this award in memory of his late uncle, Fr. Krikor Guerguerian, and one college-level student for try from a given family. their responses to this year's essay (Prospective entrants are advised a.k.a. "Krieger." Born in 1911 in theme: "What the `Legacy of Geno- to obtain more detailed informa- Gurin, Sebastia, Fr. Guerguerian cide' means to me." tion through the contact numbers was the 10th child of a prosperous Armenian Catholic family, whose The contest is open to students listed below.) enrolled in high school (grades The deadline for submissions is ancestors originated in Gargar, a 10 to 12) or as undergraduates in February 28, 2008. Winners will fortress-city dating from the time a college or university. Applicants receive personal notifications by of the Crusaders. He survived one also must be residents of New York, April 1, and awards will be given of the forced death marches, which New Jersey, or Connecticut. in April, at Fordham University in ended in Syria. He witnessed the murder of his parents as a child, A prize of $100 will be awarded New York City. to the winning high school entry, The January 5 edition of the Ar- was taken as an orphan to Damasand a prize of $200 to the winning menian Reporter listed three other cus, and then moved to Lebanon college entry. student essay contests revolving in 1916. Krieger's own near death experiEssays must be original and unpub- around Armenian themes, which lished, and must include social, psy- are currently being sponsored by ences compelled him to devote his life to gathering documentary evichological, philosophical or human organizations across the country. dence on the Ottoman Genocide of the Armenians. In the early 1940s, Fr. Guerguerian met with Kurd Mustafa Kemal in Cairo, Egypt. Kemal was one of the judges on the War Crime Tribunals convened by the Ottoman government in 1918 and 1919. Since the documents were written in Ottoman, he spent months painstakingly teaching himself Ottoman. He then traveled around the world combing through archives and collections in the United States, Great Britain, France, Italy, Egypt, Israel, and Lebanon. He collected hundreds of documents in Ottoman, authenticated by seals of government agencies and therefore representing incontrovertible evidence of these events as genocide. Krieger had completed about 80 percent of his work when he died in 1988. Today, his nephew continues his uncle's work. The Armenian American Society for Studies on Stress and Genocide (AASSSG) was founded in 1988 by Dr. Anie Kalayjian to advance the understanding of the inter-generational effects of traumatic experiences. In 1995, AASSSG established the annual essay contest as part of its activities. Submitters to the Krieger contest should include a cover letter indicating their name, address, age, year of study, the name of their school/college, their major field of study, and any career objectives. Submissions should be mail to Dr. Anie Kalayjian, 139 Cedar Street, Cliffside Park, N.J., 07010-1003. For information, contact Dr. Kalayjian by phone at (201) 941-2266, via e-mail at [email protected], or on the web at www. f

ARS's Mother and Child Health Center in Akhurian enters into an agreement with the University of Nice

wAtertowN, Mass.7 ­ The Nice to bring new ideas and trainArmenian Relief Society's Mother ing to our staff at the ARS Mother and Child Health Center in Akhuri- and Child Health Center," said ARS's an, Armenia, has signed a coopera- Central Executive Board chair Hastive agreement with the University mig Derderian. "We are especially of Nice to formalize the two parties' thankful for the participation of Dr. recent efforts to work together on Ararat for helping bring about this health care and medical-technical cooperative agreement." projects. The cooperative agreement will The ARS Mother and Child Health include exchange programs beCenter and the French university tween professionals and students established informal relations in in the fields of obstetrics, pediatSeptember 2006, when the univer- rics, and radiology; nurses in the sity donated a CAT Scan machine areas of hygiene and hospital-acto the Health Center. That machine quired infections; and biomedical -- one of only a few in Armenia -- engineers in the area of medical has greatly benefited the residents equipment maintenance, as well of the 1988 earthquake zone, who as training sessions at the Health previously had to travel to Yerevan Center in the areas of neonatology for CAT Scan tests. and obstetrics. Instrumental in arranging for the In addition to the exchange proCAT scan donation and the signing grams and training sessions, collabof the cooperation agreement was orative programs will be initiated Dr. Samson O.Z. Ararat, president involving pediatrics, infectious disof the S.O.S. Armenia Association eases, laboratories, radiology, and of Cote d'Azur, France. medical equipment maintenance. "We are very pleased with the The Health Center's general diformalization of our developing rector Dr. Sevak Avagyan said he relationship with the University of looks forward to the cooperation

Equipment (and a little occupant) in the Health Center's neonatal birthing wing.

agreement's increasing implementation in 2008. Already under the cooperative agreement, university biomedical engineers have provided advice to the Health Center staff in the operation of the CAT Scan machine.

The Mother and Child Health over 2,700 babies. Center opened in 1997 to serve The Armenian Relief Society has families living in the Akhurian re- entities in 23 countries and will celgion. Since its opening, the center ebrate its centennial anniversary in has expanded to include a birthing 2010. For more information about wing ­ which opened in April 2005 its programs, log onto its website, f and has seen the healthy births of

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The Armenian Reporter | January 26, 2008


Fund for Armenian Relief is organizing its 12th annual Young Professionals Trip to Armenia

New York7 ­ The Fund for Armenian Relief has announced that its 12th annual "Young Professionals Trip to Armenia" will run from May 31 to June 12, 2008. The twoweek trip to Armenia will include tours of the entire country, with overnight stays in Yerevan, Gyumri, Sanahin, Lake Sevan, and Goris. Participants will visit FAR's humanitarian and development projects, meet with high-ranking officials in Armenia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and have an audience with Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II at Holy Etchmiadzin. The FAR trip is an opportunity for young professionals between the ages of 23 and 40 to travel to Armenia as a group. Participants in the Young Professionals Trip will do more than see the country's scenic wonders; they will learn about Armenia's place in the world, and engage its government and religious leaders in official state visits. Space is limited, so interested parties should contact Arto Vorperian at (212) 889-5150, or by emailing [email protected], in order to be notified when the application is posted online.

"I never left home"

Natalie Gabrelian was one of the 12 participants in last year's FAR The 2007 FAR Young Professionals with project director Arto Vorperian in front of the Arch of Yegishe Charents. excursion, who provided the images for the accompanying photo The Armenia that greeted her essay. Natalie had visited Armenia was in many ways different from 26 years earlier, as a child, and al- what she had remembered; but ways nurished a dream to return. also exhilarating, and emotionally But as she writes: "Whether it was moving. By the trip's conclusion, school, work, family or community she could reflect: "Upon my return responsibilities, there had always I was asked if I was ever homesick. been ­ and seemed there would al- `How could I be?' I replied; `I never ways be ­ a reason holding me back left home!' I returned to the States from fulfilling my promise. Year af- with a heart full of a rekindled love ter year I had heard so many rave for my heritage and culture, a suitabout their experience on the FAR case full of souvenirs, and a photo Young Professionals trip, and year memory stick full of, well, memoafter year I had been filled with ries. They say a picture is worth a jealous regret. So when the oppor- thousand words, but my 726 shots tunity presented itself, I realized it of Armenia are priceless." was now or never. I decided I was For general information on FAR, done excusing myself from making log onto its website, www.FARusa. f the pilgrimage back to Armenia." org.

On the grounds of the Gandzasar Monastery in Martakert.

Karabakhuh mern eh! ("Karabakh is ours!")

by Natalie Gabrelian

I was 12 years old the first time I raised a fist and shouted those words in protest at the onset of the war with Azerbaijan in 1988. After years of political activism and a long hot bus ride through the Lachin (now Berdzor) Corridor, I was welcomed into independent Artsakh by a humble yet overpowering signpost that exclaimed, "Azad Artsakhuh Voghchunum Eh Dzez." As we drove down the Pan Armenian Highway uniting Armenia (Goris) and Karabakh (Stepanakert), much like the pavement beneath us, this Americanborn Armenian's dream of unity with a distant but relative land was now a reality.

Natalie Gabrelian took part in FAR's 2007 Young Professionals Trip to Armenia. The above is an extract from a longer essay recounting her experiences on the trip. Natalie Gabrielian in Armenia.

During the two days spent here, I couldn't find a shred of physical evidence in its beautifully mountainous terrain or in the bright vitality of its people to explain why this region would ever be considered a "black garden." We had the honor of dining and dancing with decorated soldiers from the first tank division of Karabakh's Defense Army, and bearing witness to a wedding ceremony at the Tatik and Papik monument in Stepanakert, meeting with the mayor of the province of Askeran, visiting regional homes that are part of FAR's reconstructive efforts through a grant from USAID, seeing the rocket missile that wounded but could not destroy the 13th-century monastery of Gandzasar in Martakert, and paying homage to memorial monuments and the Ghazanchetsots Cathedral of Shushi. I've never felt more Armenian than in Karabakh. The ethnic pride that courses through the locals' veins, that accents their every spoken word, is an extremely

contagious energy ­ and without a doubt, Armenians from aFAR, like myself, are most susceptible to this "infection." But it was time to return to Armenia, so after filling our hearts with this love, filling our lungs with the fresh Karabagh air, and filling the tour bus with gas, we headed off to Goris. As if the journey along the tortuously winding dirt roads to the remote majestic Tatev Monastery perched atop the mountains wasn't deathdefying enough, the daredevils of the group decided to cross wooden construction planks in the niches of the church complex currently under renovation, all resulting in a more religious experience, as you can be sure we were praying and calling to God to get us safely across (and avoid the 10 foot drop). Safe and sound, we tied ribbons on the tree of wishes at the stone memorial along the road. Later that evening, the group felt right at home enjoying dinner and the warm hospitality at a local family's f bed-and-breakfast.

The Armenian Reporter | January 26, 2008



The Dip: Gastronomical Learnings of French-Dipped Sandwiches for Make Benefit Our Glorious Community

by: Lucie davidian

HoLLYwood, Calif.7 ­ If you had asked me a couple of years ago who ken davitian was I would probably answered "one of my long lost relatives that I don't know about." Never would I have imagined that he would be the Armenian American actor rolling around naked on the floor with the guy from the Ali G Show, Sacha Baron Cohen. Well, he's not my relative and when I walked into his Hollywood restaurant called The dip a week ago, thanks to his recent fame I knew exactly who he was. Ken greeted me with a very firm handshake and a kiss to each cheek and no sooner than I had sat down, he asked me what I wanted to eat while motioning to the waiter to come over and take our order. Since I couldn't decide, he ordered several items from their menu; I kept telling him that I wouldn't be able to eat that much, "don't worry, take only one bite" he said "I want you to get a good taste of our menu." On my drive to meet him that day I couldn't figure out what questions I would ask him only because I'll admit, I was a bit more curious about his career than the food I was going to taste. Born in East L.A. to Armenian parents, Ken's passion for acting began at an early age. His mother's family survived the Genocide of 1915 and moved to Los Angeles where his mother was born and raised while his father, a Russian Armenian, was a solider in the Russian army and moved to Boston as a young man. Ken credits his ability since childhood of making fun of his relatives accents in helping solidify his most famous role to date, the role of Borat's agent Azamat Bagatov in the film Borat:Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Ken's grandmother was an actress herself and belonged to the Mamoulian Theatre Group, after graduating high school Ken majored in Theatre Arts in college. His first role was in Albert Brooks' directorial debut That's Life, however his scene was left on the cutting room floor; since then he has appeared in several films such as A Man Apart, S.W.A.T., This Girl's Life and T.V. shows such as E.R., Six Feet Under and The Shield. While auditioning for roles Ken took on several jobs, as many struggling actors do to survive. He worked as a car salesman, a telemarketer as well as taking part in his families waste management company. He insists that everything he did was to help get his foot in the studio doors and in that time, he married his wife of thirty years Ellen and had two sons Robert and Aaron. As he begins to tell me about his very interesting audition for the Borat film, the food begins to arrive at a very rapid pace. The first item was the Chili Cheeseburger, a delicious, juicy burger with just enough of their homemade chili. In the time it took me to take a couple of bites, the Lamb Sandwich arrived, followed by the Chili Cheese Fries, the Pastrami Sandwich and The Dip's famous Chinese Chicken Salad. Shocked is an understatement as to how I felt, I just wondered how my poor stomach was going to feel, and the possible punishment I would receive for abusing it as I was about to. I continued my "feast" by trying the Lamb sandwich next, the sandwich is comprised of thinly sliced pieces of lamb meat squeezed be-

Pastrami Sandwich.

Ken Davitian plies patrons with food. Photos: Lucie Davidian.

Lamb Sandwich with Au Jus.

Chinese Chicken Salad.

Chili Cheese Fries.

tween bread and dipped into the Au Jus. Jus is a French term meaning "with its own juice," referring to the natural juices that the beef, lamb or any meat gives off during the cooking process. This is what The Dip is all about, sandwiches such as Pastrami, Roast Beef, Pork and Chicken served in a French roll and are dipped in Au Jus. The menu has a great variety of sandwiches, there are breakfast items like Omelet wraps and sandwiches as well as burgers, fries, salads and some interesting items like the Chili Cheese Fritos and the fried Hot Dog, which Ken insisted I try. The Hot Dog was good, it was the first time I had eaten a fried hot dog, the texture was interesting, and the crunchiness of the outside versus the soft juicy inside was unique. The Chinese Chicken salad was delicious, it's made with shredded chicken, lettuce, almonds, Sherman Oaks location. water chestnuts, and mandarin oranges. I took as many bites of all I listened to Ken explain the fortune the food that I could, pretty soon I that starring in Borat has brought knew that I had to stop, I was hop- for him, I can see in his warm face ing to save room for their desserts and smile that he is where he has but unfortunately I had passed my long dreamed to be. He has been limit of consumption. The desserts able to get that role that has helped sounded just as good, they have him take his career to the next level; two that stood out, the Chocolate he has starred in several T.V. shows Hand dipped Banana and the choc- and has completed several film projolate hand dipped Cheesecake. ects since, such as Get Smart, starKen and his family opened The ring Steve Carell, Bill Murray and Dip in 2003, there are two loca- Ann Hathaway. He is set to star in tions, first was the location in Sher- the upcoming film Not Forgotten, man Oaks and the most recent one as well as Soul Man, with Samuel L. opened at the Hollywood Highland Jackson and Bernie Mac. Center. The idea for the restaurants In his most recent film, Davitian was to establish a business while plays the character of Xerxes in the taking on small roles in featured comedy Meet the Spartans a spoof films and television appearances. As of the film 300, set for release on

February 1st of 2008. Ken's journey as an actor has been a long one; his charming personality, comedic ability and absolute dedication and love for the craft has helped his career take off and hopefully he will have a long road ahead of him doing what he does best. His restaurant The Dip, is a great place in Los Angeles to get a French Dipped sandwich, the meat is tender and juicy and the some of the unique menu items help it be the adventurous place that it is. Meeting and hearing the experiences of individuals like Ken make me realize how important it is for us as a community to really try and support each other. It has to go beyond just

rhetoric, it has to be a legitimate effort on our behalves, so I encourage you to go experience the sandwiches at The Dip and to also buy a ticket to the next movie with Ken Davitian, he won't be completely f naked, I promise.

Sherman Oaks: 14333 Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 (818) 501-1850 Hollywood: Hollywood & Highland Center, 6801 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood, CA 90028 (323) 871-0888



The Armenian Reporter | January 26, 2008


New Aharonian scholarships are available for Armenian women in the fields of science, engineering, and mathematics

wAtertowN, Mass.7 ­ New opportunities are now available under the Lucy Kasparian Aharonian scholarship program, administered by the Armenian International Women's Association in association with the Boston Section of the Society of Women Engineers. Beginning in 2008, juniors and seniors in the fields of science, mathematics, or engineering (including architecture) can be awarded up to $6,000. Graduate students in the same fields can be granted up to $10,000. These opportunities are in addition to the $1,000 award under the program that was initiated last year. The scholarship program was established in 2007 in memory of the late Lucy Kasparian Aharonian by the Aharonian family.

Long career in software engineering

Lucy Kasparian Aharonian was born in Lynn, Mass., the daughter of the late Malcolm Kasparian, Sr. and Charlotte (Zarohian) Kasparian. She died of complications from pancreatic cancer on November 5, 2006. Starting a long history of furthering her education, after attending elementary and secondary schools in Saugus, Mrs. Kasparian graduated cum laude from Salem State College, and earned her Masters degree in Mathematics from Clark University, where she was a teaching fellow. In her mid-50s, she earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Boston University. Her career in software engineering was put on hold when she started raising a family, but resumed when her children were in school.

She worked for Raytheon, MITRE Application deadline is Corporation, and GTE, and was also April 8 an independent consultant. She had been an active member of the AIWA is currently accepting applications for its various scholarship Society of Women Engineers. Mrs. Aharonian taught on a part- awards, ranging in value from $500 time basis and spoke with convic- to $10,000, for the 2008-2009 acation about the learning and educa- demic year. The scholarships are tion process. She was proud that she awarded to women of Armenian had taught at the elementary, sec- descent, both undergraduate (juondary, junior college, and college nior and senior year) and gradulevels, as well as in the continuing ate students, based on academic education and crafts training fields. achievement and financial need. In later years, Mrs. Aharonian The deadline for applications April 8, had a second career as a basket art- 2008. Winners are announced at ist and operated her own studio at the association's annual meeting in Art/Space in Maynard, Mass. She May. Further information and applicaresearched and adapted several styles of baskets and particularly tion forms are available from the excelled in making Nantucket AIWA website: AIWA Lightship baskets. She was also a is located at 65 Main St., #3A, Wafounding member of the Basketry tertown, Mass. Contact it by teleGuild of the Lexington (Mass.) Arts phone at (617) 926-0171, or via ef mail at [email protected] and Crafts Society.

The late Lucy Kasparian Aharonian, inspiration for the scholarship program in her name administered by the Armenian International Women's Association in association with the Boston Section of the Society of Women Engineers.

Mary Allukian, 98, dies in Watertown

m Story starts on page B1 Mary's mother, then pregnant, with five children under the age of 12 in her care, found herself unable to feed the children and placed Mary in an orphanage, where (Mrs. Allukian would recall) she cried constantly. Out of pity, the orphanage returned Mary to her mother, saying she would die if kept there, and also began giving her a gold coin once a month to feed the children. At age 18, living in Aleppo with her family, Mary's mother arranged to have the girl married to Myron Allukian, an Aintabsi visiting from the U.S. They were married on January 28, 1928, and settled in Watertown, Mass., for several years, where they had their first children Doris and Myron, Jr. The family then moved to the South

Douglaston church is sponsoring a lecture series on critical thinking

End in Boston, over Myrons store, and her passion for reading. She douGLAStoN, N.Y.7 ­ "Criti- ington. His scholarly interests the Standard Meat Market. loved dancing, music, and flowers. cal Thinking for Creative Living" is range from the "Family, PersonalThe couple was married for 66 She especially admired her moth- the title of a series of lectures to ity, and Ethnicity in Psychology" years, until Myron's death in 1994 er ­ one of 13 children and a high be held on three separate Sundays to "Globalization, Education, and -- 10 days short of his own 102nd school graduate, who Mary re- -- February 10, March 30, and April Genocide in Sociology." Elize Kiregian, who has her B.A. birthday; Mary was 85 at the time. garded as quite ahead of her time. 20 ­ with each lecture starting at For the next 10 years she lived Mary herself never finished high 1:15 P.M. at the St. Sarkis Church of from Columbia University and her M.A. from Hunter College, is a alone. On the Thanksgiving week- school, because of the Genocide; Douglaston. The lecturers will be Samvel Jesh- doctoral candidate at St. John Uniend 2003, she almost died of a heart but five of her six grandchildren versity in modern world history. attack; but after several months of are college graduates, with one maridian and Elize Kiregian. Mr. Jeshmaridian, who holds Since 1980 she has been teaching recuperation, she returned to her still in school. home, and lived there up until she She is survived by her children, doctorates in psychology and so- courses in the social sciences and died, while sleeping, on January 3. Doris Maranjian and Dr. Myron Al- ciology, teaches psychology and the humanities at the Technical CaOn April 20 of last year, Mary was lukian, Jr.; and by her six grand- health courses at the Borough of reer College and also at LaGuardia recognized as a Genocide survivor children: Myron III, Kristin, Alison, Manhattan Community College. Community College. Critical thinkat a commemoration at the Massa- Jason, Alexandra, and Nathan; as He is also a psychotherapist, a re- ing is one of her special topics of searcher, and a contributing writer interest. chusetts State House, and received well as by her brother Theodore. The St. Sarkis Church Education a proclamation from Governor A funeral service was held at to the New World Encyclopedia. In Deval Patrick. A family event cel- Watertown's Armenian Memorial the 1990s, Mr. Jeshmaridian taught Committee is sponsoring the lecebrating her 98th birthday was also Church on January 5, with a burial at St. Francis College, Brooklyn, tures, which are open to the public featured in an article in the April 21, at Newton Cemetery. Expressions and at Fordham University. He has at large. For information, contact 2007 edition of the Reporter. of sympathy may be made in Mrs. also served as a Kennan Scholar Dr. Arthur Kubikian at (718) 786Her loved ones recalled Mary as Allukian's memory to the Arme- with the Woodrow Wilson Center 3842, or the church office at (718) f for International Scholars in Wash- 224-2275. f a woman known for her cooking nian Memorial Church.

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The Armenian Reporter | January 26, 2008



Hye Katch Do: More than just kicking and punching

by razmig Sarkissian

Five young Armenians had to push themselves beyond their breaking points, doing push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, and squats, all in the snow-covered grounds of AYF Camp, during the second weekend of December. "I've never been so tired in my life," said 15-year-old Hrag Tarpinian. Drills like sprinting up the steep "Suicide Hill" and doing jumping jacks at the summit without even the chance to catch a breath had the young Armenians digging deep inside them to find something that would keep them motivated. "Every muscle in my body was telling me to give up," said 15-yearold Jack Gulesserian, "but I knew I couldn't. I had come too far to quit." They were hot and sweaty, but cold and shivering at the same time as they were instructed to sprint up and down the icy, slippery stairway leading up to the dining lodge of AYF Camp, which is nestled in California's Angeles National Forest. After repeated sprints, and slips, the exhausted teenagers were told that they had to wheelbarrow back and forth in the snow... with bare hands. "I didn't think it [wheelbarrowing] would be that bad because the distance looked so short," explained 15-year-old Maral Aghvinian, "but the moment my hands hit the snow, I saw them turn blue, and that's when all five of us started yelling our hearts out." It was an impressive sight for all who were watching. The five students from Hye Katch Do Armenian Martial Arts Academy were pushing through the pain, and pushing through their exhaustion, all for a goal they had been working toward for years: getting a black belt. The students ­ Nareg Ashekian, Jack Gulesserian, Hrag Tarpinian, Maral Aghvinian, and Vatche Gulesserian ­ had dedicated much time and energy to Hye Katch Do and were now ready to take their black-belt test. They were put through various trials for the duration of the weekend to show they had the skills, the attitude, and, most importantly, the heart to become black belts. One of the most physically and mentally challenging tasks of the weekend was the five-mile run. The teens had been dreading this part of the test the most. The first two miles seemed to be the most difficult for them because the distance of the run and the lower amount of oxygen in the mountainous elevation of AYF Camp had them all psyched out. "I felt really nervous," said 13-yearold Vatche Gulesserian, "partly because I'm one of the youngest in the group." A caravan of cars filled with parents and other supporters constantly followed the self-named "Future Five" throughout their almost entirely uphill run, giving words of encouragement and blasting Armenian music. "I don't know what happened," said 13-year-old Nareg Ashekian, "but when I heard that Armenian music, it just energized me and kept me pumped up." Others had running companions who helped keep them motivated. Students from Hye Katch Do's Black Belt Club ran the last mile with the mentally and physically exhausted teens, giving them much-needed support. In the end, Vatche Gulesserian exceeded everyone's, including his own, expectations by finishing third. The teens were exhausted but overjoyed as they all stood at the finish line, relieved to finally be done with the run. "I just ran five miles!" exclaimed Hrag Tarpinian with a huge smile. "I'm so happy right now!" In between the testing, the "Future Five" were able to relax with their friends from the Black Belt Club, who were there to encourage them throughout the test. The time spent with their friends was a good way to keep their minds relaxed, and their morale up. As a final test, the "Future Five" were instructed to fight against From left: The each other, to showcase their "Future Five": 1.800.ACS.2345 martial-arts skills and condition- Maral Aghvinian, Hrag Tarpinian, ing. The five students took turns partnering up with each other, and Jack Gulesserian, fought various forms of combat Nareg Ashekian, such as point fighting, continuous and Vatche fighting, and mixed martial arts. Gulesserian. For an entire hour, the students Photos: Vatche fought each other with all the en- Markarian. ergy they could muster, trying to impress the judges: Renshi Mihran Aghvinian; his longtime friend and training partner from Germany, Shihan Michael Boldt; and his first-generation black belts Sensei This space contributed as a public service. Vicken Joukadarian, Sensei Vatche Back row, from Markarian, Sensei Jeanette Jawlaleft: Sempei Hovig kian, and Sensei Hovig Kaloustian. Zeithlian, Sensei When the students were instructHovig Kaloustian ed to stop fighting, the judges went , Sensei Vicken into deliberation. As they did so, Joukadarian, the five students, along with their Renshi Mihran parents and Black Belt Club memAghvinian, Shihan bers, anxiously waited in silence. At Michael Boldt, last, the judges announced that all Sensei Vatche five of the students had passed. It Markarian, and was an emotional moment for not Sensei Jeanette only the students and their teachJawlakian. ers, but for everyone in the room. Front row: The The passion that the five students "Future Five." had exhibited in their efforts to obtain their black belts was felt emphatically by everyone. Renshi ways been proud of his Armenian in Southern California. Renshi Mihran takes the process as a Mihran went on to proudly bestow heritage. "I decided to establish Mihran, Sensei Vicken Joukadar- metaphor for one of his main inthe black belts on his students, and, an Armenian style of martial art ian, and Sensei Vatche Markarian structional goals. "I want to work after many tears of happiness from so that I could teach others about dedicate their time and energy to on the character of the Armenians," all around, the judges gave the new our Armenian culture, as other teach these students throughout he explained. "I think we [Armenians] are a very strong nationalblack belts congratulatory kicks styles taught me about their own the week. ity, and we have only one weakness: and punches, a common tradition cultures." jealousy. In our history, we have As for deciding the name of his Goals and ideology of Hye Katch Do. style, Renshi Mihran chose the Renshi Mihran explained why he always been held back by traitors, The birth of Hye Katch name Hye Katch Do because he no- went so hard on the five students who have risen because of this jealticed that "we grow up learning that during their black-belt test by us- ousy. However, I know that when Do we're Armenian; that we're brave." ing the katana, a sword used by the we are under pressure and we work Hye Katch Do, meaning "The Way He added the Japanese word Do, ancient samurai, as an example. together without jealousy, we can of the Brave Armenian," is a school meaning "the way of," to show that The katana is one of the toughest do unbelievable things." and style of Armenian martial arts his style focuses more on physical, and sharpest swords in the world, Renshi Mihran dreams of one day founded by Renshi Mihran Aghvin- mental, and spiritual self-improve- mainly because during its prepara- spreading Hye Katch Do as an orgaian. Renshi (meaning "wise mas- ment rather than combat alone. · 1.800.ACS.2345 tion the steel is heated repeatedly nization all over the world, with all ter" in Japanese) Mihran founded "In 1989, in an Armenian com- in a furnace and then pounded of his students working toward a Hye Katch Do in 1989, in an Ar- munity in Hamburg, Germany, the with a hammer. This causes the healthy mind, a healthy body, and a menian community center in Ham- community center asked if I would steel to break down and become benevolent spirit. burg, Germany. When he moved be able to teach the young kids my stronger and more compact. "My "My students learn so much more to America in 1999, he brought style of martial arts," recalled Ren- goal with the future black belts," than kicking and punching," RenHye Katch Do along with him, and shi Mihran happily, "and at that elaborated Renshi Mihran, "was shi Mihran continued. "There are founded dojos (training places) in moment Hye Katch Do was born, to put them under so much pres- so many forms of fighting, be it the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, because I had begun teaching Ar- sure that they would become more physical fighting, or fighting for and Montebello, California. resilient, and forget themselves. I something you believe in, like so menian kids." Renshi Mihran began his long Since Hye Katch Do's launch, the wanted to make those five people many young Armenians do for the relationship with martial arts in school has grown and expanded function as one, and in doing so Armenian cause. There's so much 1970. Between that year and 1989, beyond everyone's expectations, build a strong, sharp group, like knowledge that I try to give to my he studied a wide range of martial thanks to the hard work of Ren- the katana." students, and so much I learn from arts including judo, kung fu, kick- shi Mihran and all of the friends In addition to making the steel them as well. And that's what I see boxing, and kadgamala karate, and and family who supported him. harder, the elaborate process of Hye Katch Do as: a school for life went on to become an instructor. Today Hye Katch Do has over 200 forging the katana removes all ­ not only for fighting but also for f Being exposed to so many martial students throughout its chapters impurities from the metal. Renshi knowledge." This space contributed as a public service. art disciplines and styles helped Renshi Mihran develop a set of unique capabilities, which he says are usually lacking in students who focus on a single martial art. Renshi Mihran's growth as a martial art practitioner enabled him to diversify. "I felt motivated and confident enough to start my own style of martial arts," he said. Along with every style that Renshi Mihran studied, he learned of their respective national backgrounds, cultures, and individual heroes. When the time came to found his own style of martial arts, he envisioned it as a distinctly Armenian system. "We [Armenians] have a very rich 1.800.ACS.2345 culture ­ possibly richer than the cultures I studied while training," said Renshi Mihran, who has al-

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The Armenian Reporter | January 26, 2008


A community of artists comes together to put on a show

by Adrineh Gregorian

SHerMAN oAkS, Calif.7 ­ Among the many hats Vahe Berberian wears in the creative world is his recent feat as writer and director of Baron Garbis. The play in Armenian opened to sold-out performances last weekend (see Arts & Culture page C18) for a nineweek run at the Whitefire Theater in Sherman Oaks, California. The story, though fictionalized, is one that all Diasporan-Armenians have experienced and can relate to. "Aside from the fact that the opening weekend gave us a wonderful high, it also built confidence with the group," said Berberian, referring to the positive audience response. "Until the opening of the play, we knew we had a powerful piece, but we had no idea how the audience was going to react to it." "Now we know and that gave a new strength to the company. Also, I am very pleased that the audience was able to get the nuances of the play, especially the humor, and laugh and cry at the same time," added Berberian. The play is more than a piece of entertainment for the Armenian community. It's a chance for the audience to step back and consider how a simple relationship between father and son gives can be insightful into the journey of a people. Not only will the audience be able to relate to the relationships on stage, they can also see the evolution of the Armenians. One thing that remains constant is the deeprooted bond between each other. These bonds that have lasted decades, war, continental lines, and transcend generational gaps are the impetus and the spirit that is captured in the production of Bar- on Garbis (the character) alive on stage whom we all know and miss." on Garbis. The production coordinator for Many of the cast and crew have been `bonded' together since the Baron Garbis, Christina Shirindays when they collaborated with yan, has collaborated with Berbethe Experimental Theatre Compa- rian on many projects in the fine ny in Beirut. Now they bring their art world and is making her debut synergy to the stage in Southern in theater world with this play. "This was my first time working California. "The experience of the cast and in theater so I went in knowing it crew getting together and focusing would be an adventure to bring on a project and finally bringing it Baron Garbis to life," says Shirinyan. to the stage has been amazing," says "Beacuse it's a live show, it is a conBerberian. "Sartre says `Friendship tinuous adventure, and this is the develops when people act together.' beauty of the process." As for the excitement of opening We have been friends for a long time, but acting together (meaning weekend Shirinyan says, "we were working on a project together) has all confident in the strength of play brought us even closer and turned and our excitement was reaffirmed by the overwhelming response of the group into a tight family." "For me the process was exciting the audience." Producer Hrair S. Sarkissian's yet a bit challenging to be on stage again after 20 years of hiatus," says father, Sarkis Sarkissian, has colAra Madzounian, who plays Baron laborated with Berberian and MadGarbis' son, Jirair. "It is hard to put zounian back in Beirut, circa 1970s. into words an actor goes through Sarkissian's current partnership the opening night before going on with the latter two is a continuastage. It is a mixture of apprehen- tion of something more that what sion, uncontrolled enthusiasm, appears on stage, it substantiates sciousness. I think this is a significant the eagerness to set foot on stage the endless symbiotic relationship step forward for Armenian theatre and hopefully a beginning for more and utter your first words... and to within our community. "Initially I saw my role as the per- open, honest and sincere depictions hope that all goes well without any son putting the pieces outside of of our lives," added Sarkissian. obvious glitch. "For the following weeks, my wish as the content together, but the more Sarkissian says it's been a privian actor is to perform in-front of ca- I hung out around the actors dur- lege to work with Berberian on this pacity audience," added Madzounian. ing the rehearsals, the more I be- project. "I've tried to get Baron Assistant Director and Stage came emotionally vested as well," Garbis to be as close to Vahe's vision Manager, Salpi Yardemian, has says Sarkissian. as possible, with as little stress on been assisting Vahe and the cast, "From the first time when Vahe Vahe as possible," he says. "You'll with everything that they may have told me that he has started to write have to ask Vahe if I succeeded, on needed. Yardemian says that Baron this play, I thought this will be a hit," both fronts." Garbis represents, "the generation says Sarkissian. "And the fact that By opening night, Sarkissian had who struggled for the impossible, there really is very little Armenian seen the play dozens of times and but paved the way in which we con- work out there that is of quality was jealous of the audience because tinue to live." doesn't hurt. I believe our commu- they were seeing it for the first time. "Working on Baron Garbis has nity will greatly appreciate the solid "With such an amazing response, all been most rewarding not only piece of work that Baron Garbis is." the hard work becomes worthwhile, for the creativity and the cama"It is very courageous of Vahe to and we all have an opportunity raderie that we all share," says have brought up such an issue into to breathe, until next weekend," Yardemian. "But also to bring Bar- the Armenian modern day con- Sarkissian added.

Ara Baghdoyan, on the floor, plays Baron Garbis and his son Jirair, is played by Ara Madzounian. Photo: Helena Gregorian.

The two alternating casts allows the audience to experience the play in a new light. Ara Baghdoyan, Ara Madzounian, and Christopher Bedian perform on Thursdays and Saturdays. And, Maurice kouyoumdjian, Sako Berberian, and roupen karakouzian perform on Fridays and Sundays. "Baron Garbis will be playing every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm through f March 16.

connect: Whitefire Theater 13500 Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 818.990.2324

William Saroyan turns 100

Centennial events to be held across the globe

by tania ketenjian

SAN FrANCiSCo7 ­ As this year marks the centennial of William Saroyan's birth, events are happening around the globe to mark the importance of his legacy, not only for the Armenian community but the literary world as a whole. From Japan and Russia to Fresno and Boston, communities and institutions are in the planning stages of events to commemorate the powerful work of a man who dedicated his life to the written word. One of the main reasons why Saroyan's work continues to resonate is the strength of the William Saroyan Foundation, which the author and his siblings, Henry and Cosette, set up in 1966. When Cosette died in 1990, the house that she and Saroyan co-owned, along with all of Saroyan's assets, became the possessions of the foundation, in accordance with Saroyan's will. The author had also appointed Robert Setrakian as the next director of the foundation, entrusting him with the task of bringing together all of his works, which had been scattered around the world. Setrakian did just that. In 1997, all of Saroyan's literary papers were placed in the Special Collections of the Stanford University Library and designated as the William Saroyan Archive. Four years ago, Setrakian stepped ting that on his head, getting up on down as president and CEO and the table, and dancing." appointed Haig Mardikian as the There was surely a celebratory new head of the William Saroyan side to Saroyan, and, in line with Foundation, which is located in that, this year there will be many San Francisco. As Mardikian states, events to bring to life his work "It's a wonderful foundation and I and spirit. According to Mardikian, have to really take off my hat to "The primary activities will be at Robert and the early trustees. They Stanford, where they will be awarddid a tremendous job of ensuring ing their biennial Saroyan Literary that the literary legacy of Saroyan Prize in early September. Along would be protected and furthered. with the ceremonies, they are planFrom the nuts and bolts side, there ning a musical concert." is a lot that needs to be done to Mardikian continues: "The most maintain an author's legacy, and extensive activity will be in Fresno, it's now the duty of the foundation under the chairmanship of Larry to make sure that it is protected Balakian. All of those events can be and more people are made aware found at www.saroyancentennial. of his work." org. We have been in touch with Mardikian knew Saroyan in his Archbishop Barsamian in New York childhood. Mardikian's father had City and they are planning to do a come to San Francisco from Istan- panel discussion with author Peter bul in 1922 and begun working at a Balakian. The Armenian Dramatic local speakeasy as a dishwasher. He Arts Alliance is going to be presentlater opened a restaurant in that ing a Saroyan Prize for Playwritvery speakeasy and called it Omar ing during an event in Los AngeKhayyam's (after the well-known ancient Persian poet who was famous for the line "Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you may die.") Omar Khayyam's became very popular and was often frequented by Saroyan. Mardikian's father and Saroyan quickly became friends. The former would invite Saroyan to the family's summer house in the Napa Valley. Mardikian remembers a birthday party at which Saroyan was present. "It was the summer and I was turning about 8 or 9," Mardikian recalls. "We were celebrating my birthday at the family's ranch house and one of my gifts was an Indian chief's headdress. I have a distinct memory of Saroyan putles. Here in Berkeley, a publishing company called Hayday Press will be producing a 600-page book on Saroyan which will include some of his writings and will be available for purchase in August. Finally, there will be a centennial dinner in early Fall in San Francisco." These events are in addition to those planned in Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere. There are many reasons why Saroyan's work maintains its strength after so many years. Some attribute it to his beautiful style, others believe it's the voice he offers to the voiceless. But Mardikian has another insight. "What overlays all of it and what I think is the foundation for his lasting appeal is his optimism," he says. "He's not looking at the world through rose-colored glasses and he admits that there are hard things in life. But through that he believes that living is a great experience and that, even with all the challenges, life is still such a magical thing. That is Saroyan's unique flame that burns through all his writing. There's real power in his optimism." As for Mardikian's position at the William Saroyan Foundation, he states, "I have always found throughout my business career that doing community work has been extremely rewarding and it has always been an interest of mine to do something connected to my heritage. I feel very blessed to have been asked to be associated with the William Saroyan Foundation and the association has been a great pleasure, a true labor of love that I deeply appreciate. I am hopeful that we will continue to do the good work of the people that f came before us."


The Armenian Reporter | January 26, 2008



The Sarkisyans join presidential hopeful John Edwards in Los Angeles

m Story starts on page B1 is proud to announce that he is the only candidate that has "never accepted a dime" from a Washington lobbyist or special-interest group. He proclaimed, "I don't want to be their president, I want to be your president." During the campaign rallies, the Sarkisyans have had the chance to share the candidate's stage and speak about the tragic loss of their daughter with voters across the nation. In Los Angeles, the Sarkisyans stood right behind Mr. Edwards, holding miniature American and Armenian flags and pictures of their daughter. Even though the family did not speak at the Los Angeles rally, Mr. Edwards introduced them as a family that underwent the horrible experience of having their insurance company abandon them at the most critical time. "Nataline's dad had worked his entire life to support his family," Mr. Edwards said. "He had paid his Presidential hopeful John Edwards in Los Angeles, with Nataline Sarkisyan's parents at his side. Photo: Steve Artinian. insurance premiums exactly the way he was supposed to, and when communities pressured the insur- wards said. "We are going to stand Law School and has been actively he needed the insurance company ance company into endorsing a up and we are going to fight. This campaigning with her father, spoke is a perfect example of why we so to the Armenian Reporter. "My fato do their part and pay for the liver liver transplant for Nataline. "The problem is that [Cigna] desperately need a president who ther has been talking about healthtransplant operation, they stepped caved in when it was too late, be- will fight for you." care from the beginning of this aside and said no." Mr. Edwards' daughter, Catha- campaign," she said. The Democratic candidate ex- cause she died a few hours later," Catharine mentioned that the plained to the audience how Mr. Edwards told the crowd, which rine edwards, was also present at the campaign rally. As the former Sarkisyan family contacted her the medical and Armenian listened in hushed silence. "Anybody who says to me I'm sup- senator was leaving the rally and father when they heard him talk communities intervened and protested in front of Cigna Insurance posed to sit at a table and negotiate shaking hands with supporters, about expanding healthcare covoffices in Glendale, and how the with those people, never!" Mr. Ed- Catharine, who attends Harvard erage to all Americans. Catharine said her father wants to mandate a Patient's Bill of Rights, so that patients and doctors will be the sole decision-makers when it comes to medical care. "We are so happy to have [the Sarkisyan family] come out and tell their story," Catharine added. "It's very powerful, and we are very lucky to have their support. Unfortunately, they know first-hand how important it is to make these changes in healthcare policy. The reason we really love having them here is because they are spreading their message about what really can happen. It helps prevent this from happening to another child. Hopefully there will not be more situations like Nataline's, until we get the policy changed." Gary o'Brian, a John Edwards supporter who attended the rally, said he feels that the candidate really understands the suffering of the poor and the middle class. "John Edwards brought the [Sarkisyan] family as evidence, because this family suffered a great loss and their child would have been saved if their healthcare provider gave the care they needed," Mr. O'Brian said. "And you can talk and talk about it as a politician, but when you have parents here, standing with a picture of their child, with something that happened so recently, I think it really drives the message home to the people that are listening, and you realize just how high the f stakes are."

Calendar of Events

New York

FeBruArY 2 - "Poon Pareghentan" - Celebration of International Cuisine 3. Saint Sarkis Armenian Church, 38-65 234 Street, Douglaston NY. at 8:00 PM. "The Chefs are Back" ...Enjoy a Special Evening of Tasting Gourmet Cooking and Dancing to the Tunes of D.J. Allen. Cooking done by over 50 different cooks, cooking one or more specialty dishes representing the fare of 15 countries and probably five continents. A repeat past years acclaimed and sold out events. Eat, dance and be merry. Paid reservations: $50.00 per person, includes wine. For information and reservations please call: Louiza 516-248-2955. FeBruArY 10 ­ "CRITICAL THINKING, CREATIVE LIVING"- Part 1 , Lecturers Samvel Jeshmaridian PhD, Elize Kiregian MA, , SUNDAY, 1:15 p.m., St. Sarkis Armenian Church, 38-65 234th Street, Douglaston, NY 11363. For information contact Dr. Arthur Kubikian, (718) 786-3842 or Church office (718) 224-2275. MAY 3 - HMADS GALA DINNER DANCE at Cold Spring Country Club featuring Varoujan Vartanian and his Band. Cocktails 7:30 pm. Dinner 9:00 pm. Donation $ 130. For reservations please call, school office: (718) 225-4826 or Negdar Arukian (718) 4234813. MAY 30 - Save the date. Shushi Dance Ensemble's gala dinner-dance in celebration of its 15th anniversary. Details to follow. Work of Hrant Dink (19542007) ­ Organized by ANCANY & NJ Featuring - Ms. Melis Erdur, Mr. Khatchig Mouradian, Prof. Dennis Papazian, Prof. Henry Theriault. Friday, 8:00pm. At Wilson Auditorium, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Hackensack, NJ. For information please call ANCA-NJ (201) 945-0011 or ANCA-NY (718) 651-4687. MAY 31 -- Celebrating 90th Anniversary of The First Republic of Armenia Organized by ARF DRO Gomideh of New Jersey featuring Sayat Nova Dance Group of Boston and Nersik Ispirian from Los Angeles with a traditional Armenian instrumental ensemble at Felician College, Lodi, NJ. Save the date. More details to follow. oCtoBer 25 - Gala celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America under the jurisdiction of the Great House of Cilicia and the 110th anniversary of the establishment of the Armenian Church in America. Marriott at Glenpointe, Teaneck, New Jersey. Details to follow. AGAu ALuMNi SCHoLArSHiPS AVAiLABLe The AGAU Alumni scholarship applications are available for NJHS 2008 Graduates. For application please call President Irene Khorozian (201) 2624625. FeBruArY 17 ­ Holy Divine Liturgy & Service of Ordination. Sunday, at 10 a.m. Banquet to follow Sunday Services. Please call (617) 924-7562 for reservations and more information. MArCH 29 - Armenian Sisters' Academy, 25th Anniversary Gala Weston Hotel, Waltham. APriL 20 - NEW ENGLAND PREMIERE OF HRANT MARKARIAN'S MUSICAL THE GEORGETOWN BOYS. Presented by Hamazkayin of New Jersey Youth Theater Group. Commemorating the 93rd anniversary of Armenian Martyrs' Day sponsored by the Armenian Genocide Commemorative Committee of Merrimack Valley. 3:00 p.m., North Andover Middle School, corner of Main Street and Route 125, North Andover, MA. Donation: $20 adults; $10 students; children under 5 are free. Refreshments to follow. For reservations, call Sossy Jeknavorian, (978)256-2583 or Tom Vartabedian, (978)3731654. ArMeNiAN HeritAGe tour 2008 Finest fully escorted tours to Armenia flying with AIR FRANCE from Washington, DC and New York with the following itinerary: MAY 23 - JuNe 5, 2008 staying at Marriott Armenia Hotel - From $2,530 +tax per person based on double occupancy. JuLY 8 - JuLY 22, 2008 staying at Marriott Armenia Hotel - From $2,730 + tax per person based on double occupancy. oCtoBer 3 - oCtoBer 16, 2008 at Marriott Armenia Hotel - From $2,430 + tax per person based on double occupancy. Optional excursion: Karabagh tour -- 3 days and 2 nights $ 300 Visiting sites: Yerevan City tour, museums, Khor Virap, Noravank, Areni, Haghpat, Sanahin, Lake Sevan, Dilijan, Echmiadzin Cathedral, Sardarabad, Tsaghkadzor, Garni & Geghart, and many more. For information: Please contact Maro Asatoorian, ACAA representative (301) 3401011. E-mail: [email protected] or visit our website: W/ AGBU YOUNG PROFESSIONALS of NO. CA. ­ Friday - Club Night @ ELEMENT. 10pm ­ 2am. $25 advance/$30 at door. Saturday ­ Winter Gala Dinner & Dance @ Merchant's Exchange Ballroom. 6:30-7:30pm Cocktails. 7:30pm ­ 1am ­ Dinner and Dancing. $130 advance only. Sunday ­ Farewell Brunch @ Anzu in Hotel Nikko. 11am ­ 2pm. $45. Discounted package available for only $190. Weekend proceeds to support AGBU Hye Geen Pregnant Women's Centers in Vanadzor and Gyumri. More tix & schedule info at or email [email protected]



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FeBruArY 16 - The Service of the Calling to Priesthood Ordination of Deacon Nishan Baljian, His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate presiding. St. Stephens Armenian Apostolic Church in New Jersey Watertown, MA. Saturday, at 6 FeBruArY 15 ­ PUBLIC FO- p.m. Please call (617) 924-7562 RUM. Assessing the Life and for more information.


The Armenian Reporter | January 26, 2008


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