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Gibrahayer April 25, 2005, Nicosia: Armenians in Cyprus commemorated the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide with a series of events that were organised by a Central Body comprised of all Armenian Cypriot political parties and organisations.
The weekend of events started on Saturday April 23 with a picture exhibition and leaflet distribution at Eleftheria Square (Nicosia), Limassol and Larnaca and continued with a march on Armenia street that ended at Sourp Asdvadzadzin Church where a memorial service was held. Speaker of the evening was Dr.Antranik Ashdjian. Messages from The European Armenian Federation and The European Armenian Congress were also read by Sebouh Momdjian and Yeran Kouyoumdjian.
Holy Mass on Sunday April 24 was attended by representatives of the Cyprus Government and political parties who later joined the Armenian community in a memorial service in front of the Genocide Memorial in a wreath-laying ceremony.
Minister of Finance Makis Keravnos delivered a speech on behalf of Cyprus president Tassos Papadopoulos, while Armenian representative Bedros Kalaydjian carried the sentiments and political will of the community for recognition of the Armenian Genocide and the realisation of the aspirations of the Armenian people.
Keravnos later planted a tree in the yard of the Genocide Monument, marking the 90th anniversary of the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in Cyprus.
All TV channels and Cypriot printed and electronic media gave extensive coverage of the events.
Finally a separate commemoration gathering was organised last minute by The Melkonian on April 23, at the same time when the Armenian community was holding a peaceful march on Armenia street, meters away from Melkonian school.
Unfortunately a conscious effort was made by some "leaders" to exclude the participation of the Melkonian students, scouts and some community members from the march.


When you open the above link, click on Slide show to view images
- Melkonian teachers are served redundancy letters
- Legal case dismissed by California court
Gibrahayer April 24, 2005. Nicosia: Two more nails were served on the Melkonian coffin last week, when the Melkonian staff received their redundancy letters.
A few members of the staff have been promised they will be re-hired to run an office, necessary for the daily administration of what will be left of Melkonian.
Unconfirmed reports talk of redundancy money from the government, plus a bonus from the AGBU.
A Melkonian graduate's characterisation of the events leading to the closure of Melkonian is included in an email that was sent to Gibrahayer. She wanted to keep her anonymity.
"I find myself now, on board this sinking ship, this magnificent, once glorious sinking ship, which has been taken over by ruthless pirates who have looted, pillaged it and now have set it on course to hit the rocks. And we are on it, to watch it all..."
... In principal, I agree with a lot of the things some of them say. I and a lot of people agree that there was nepotism, there was wasting of funds, but why was it let to come to this state by AGBU and why did certain people take advantage of this situation and tried to turn it round to the course they would like MEI to take, only to find it all fell apart around them.

Legal case dismissed by California court
As reported in last week's issue, Judge Manuel Real dismissed the case brought by Patriarch Moutafian of Constantinople against the AGBU with regard to the latter's failure to honour the conditions of Melkonian brothers will.
Although the California based lawyers intend to appeal, the legal battle for saving Melkonian is widely perceived as lost.
The AGBU and their local administrators at the Melkonian have refused to give permission to Melkonian Alumni and Hamazkayin Oshakan Cyprus to organise Music Master Vahan Bedelian's book launch and cultural evening at the Melkonian at a time when the organisers of the event were doing their best to include world renowned violinist and one of Bedelian's prominent students, Levon Chilingirian, in the programme.
Levon Chilingirian - of the high profile Chilingirian Quartet - had expressed his desire to participate in his uncle's evening. writes about the refusal of the Melkonian to give permission for the evening. "This was a man who gave a lifetime of service to Armenian music, who taught generations of students to love and appreciate music, Armenian music, the man who wrote the music to Yeghegetsin Haygagan. Obviously there is no place for his memory at the Melkonian any more.
By Leo Leonidou, Cyprus Mail, Cyprus - April 22 2005

All demolition work at the Armenian Cemetery near the Ledra Palace Hotel in Nicosia has been stopped after the Ministry of the Interior took out an injunction to stop the work.
The Armenian Prelature last week started digging up graves, as part of their plans to put remains together in a new communal pit in the new Armenian Cemetery in Deftera, on the outskirts of the capital.
Bedros Kalaydjian, parliamentary representative of the Armenian community in the House of Representatives, said "the demolition was carried out by unprofessional people, which was hurtful to the memory of the deceased."
He went on to say that the cemetery "was declared a heritage site by the Interior Ministry last June, meaning no work could be done without their permission. But the Church committee started work without having the required permit from the Ministry's Town Planning Committee. The Church were not aware of the cemetery's status as a heritage site
and were not aware of the need to secure a permit. There was uproar in the Armenian community because demolition started without their knowledge. It is only fair and democratic that the community are kept informed of what is going on."
A meeting took place on Wednesday evening between the Prelature, Kalaydjian and Green Party leader, George Perdikis, to discuss the matter, where the Prelature agreed to stop the work. "I am very satisfied that work has been stopped," said Perdikis. "The Prelature admitted that they were in the wrong and we will now keep a close eye on future developments.
"At Wednesday's meeting, the Church Council decided to send out circulars to members of the Armenian community, inviting them to the Prelature for an open discussion on the matter in a couple of weeks," Kalaydjian said. "Nothing further will happen until then."
It is believed the Prelature was planning to make the land available for redevelopment after work finished, but Kalaydjian said "there is no clear future master plan. The cemetery's future will be discussed with the public."
The cemetery contains the remains of Armenians who lived and worked in Nicosia from the 18th century until 1931.
There are approximately 2,500 Armenians living in Cyprus, in addition to the 500 non-Cypriot Armenians that work on the island.


A lot of our e-magazine subscribers have been sending stories of their memories of Vahan Bedelian. We have decided to share them with you in this special section. Feel free to send your stories to

As abundantly repeated in Antranig Daguessian’s book, Mr Bedelian had devoted his entire life to the propagation of classical as well as popular music and songs into all the communities of Cyprus. Moreover, for him music was the top of all arts and even no other discipline could match it. This is the reason why almost all the anecdotes he recounted to transmit his love of music, were all related to his passion. Probably no student or acquaintance hasn’t heard at least once, if not several times, the following four anecdotes.
• One early morning when the milkman arrived at Beethoven’s home, he was astonished to see the great composer not sleeping but still working. Mr Bedelian, in a grave voice and solemnly declare : Yev Beethoven gashkhader, yah ! (and Beethoven was still working ! ! ! ! ).
This was surely a dig to the students of musical talent who didn’t cultivate it.
• In 1919 the famous Polish pianist and composer Paderevsky became President of the Council of the Polish Republic. When people heard the news they said « What a decadence ! » (of course Bedelian’s version was in Armenian : « Inch angoom ! ».
• Talented musicians have personal ways of expressing situations. Mr Bedelian was no exception. In the 1950s he had created an orchestra composed mainly of teenagers, girls and boys, who sometime in the past or at the present were his students. The rehearsals took place at Mr Bedelian’s home, every Sunday after Mass at the Armenian Church on Victoria Street (Nicosia). Unfortunately, the teenagers were not inclined to spend a part of their Sunday afternoon playing a musical instrument and therefore there was a lack of presence and serious work. These attitudes affected more and more the efficiency of the rehearsals. One day, Mr Bedelian in a desperate mood declared : « Lets play this score beautifully, the best we can, as the orchestra of the Titanic before sinking ! ». Obviously it was the last rehearsal and the orchestra was dissolved.
• Mr Bedelian had an old golden pocket watch. Suddenly it started advancing about an hour every few hours. Evidently, it no more displayed the correct time. However, miraculously, or probably because he had noted the time it advanced per hour, he managed to be always on time regarding his overloaded and complicated daily schedules. Because nobody was able or inclined to repair it, tired of this unpractical situation, he bought a modern wristwatch. When people asked him whether he was satisfied with his new wristwatch, he replied : « It is advancing 2 minutes per day. This is really disturbing me ! »

K. KEVORKIAN(s) - France
This corner is reserved for local artist Tatiana Ferahian's comic strips which are amalgamations of Armenian-Cypriot social commentaries, painted with her usual wry and ironic humour, to stimulate and encourage awareness and interest toward our community's everyday happenings.
A brave Washingtonian "participated " in a Turkish counter demonstration.
Here is his testimony.
Hi Simon,
The United States District Court Central District of California: Decision is against Mutafian. Here is the decision:
" A Hearing was held April 4, 2005, at which the Court denied Petitioner's (Mutafian's) Motion to Remand, and Denied Respondent's (AGBU's) Motion to Transfer, but took Respondent's Motion to Dismiss under submission. After further review of all papers filed by both parties on the Motion to Dismiss, the Court now grants Defendant's Motion to Dismiss the Petition without leave to Amend, and signs the proposed order submitted by Respond."
Rita Mahdessian - Yeghyayian - California
I would like to thank Gibrahayer subscribers for sending the following interesting links.
Simon Aynedjian

The Times/UK - 22 April 05,,1-3-1579656,00.html
Cyprus House commemorates Armenian genocide
Cyprus News Agency April 21 2005

Rattling the Cage: Playing politics with genocide

Armenian articles in the Guardian at
Hello Simon:
Thanks for keeping us Armenian Cypriots abroad informed of the news back home through Gibrahayer; it is very much appreciated. Just wanted to let you know of an interesting article that appeared today in the Times newspaper. Though rare to find much written in the British press about Armenians or Cyprus, this one did, and hopefully more articles will appear in the coming days; re: 24 April 2005 commemoration - 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. To find the article go to and in the top left hand search box type 'Armenian' and go. The title is 'Mothers threw their children in the lake rather then left the Turks have them'. Best of regards - Ben Tahmizian - UK
Unfortunately, the indifference and negligence exhibited towards our national values and heritage is becoming widespread and contagious, from fatherland to Diaspora, from educational institutions to ecclesiastic
establishments. Everywhere the trend is the same.
The last victim of this indifference was our old Armenian Cemetery situated near the Green Line in the heart of Nicosia.
On April 16, 2005 the bulldozers invaded this calm historic Armenian sanctuary and within hours they destroyed 300 years of history. The cemetery was established in 1700 and served until 1930. Hundreds of people had been laid to rest. The tombs, the tombstones and graves in an unbecoming manner were destroyed. The graves opened and remains of our ancestors were scattered around. Part of our history in Cyprus was put
to death. It was open sacrilege.
There was no priest to conduct the religious rite as stipulated by the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church for the removal of remains.
Only handful of Armenians was present there, protesting and scorning.
Thanks to the president of the Republic and the competent minister's intervention, further sacrilege was halted
We the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party Chapter in Cyprus strongly condemn this sacrilege and demands that due respect should be given to them.
We also demand from the Armenian Prelature, and the competent bodies of the Prelature to account for their action with a public statement.
Social Democrat Hunchakian Party's Cyprus Chapter
Visit learnarmenian home page to see the photos of Genocide Commemoration on April 24, 2005, in Yerevan, Tsitsernakaberd
Dear Simon,
As noted by Professor Peter Balakian, prominent U.S. scholar and author of "Black Dog of Fate", the driving force behind the renewed awareness of Turkey's Greek holocaust transcends nationality and ideology: "this is not about ethnic conflict, Greek vs. Turk or Armenian vs. Turk, this is about universal moral issues and universal human rights issues . . . Clearly, denying genocide paves the way for future genocide, for it suggests to the world that governments can commit mass murder with impunity."
Hi all,
I am proud to announce a new website created by my cousin Araz in Montreal. Please check it out at
You can also check out the following article on Araz and her project.
Haig Boyadjian
Dear fellow Armenian brothers and sisters.
I agree 100% that had we, the Armenian community of Cyprus, taken action a
bit earlier, this atrocious act of desecration would not have taken place. Unfortunately, I was not informed about it and any attempts that were made to find out what would happen to the Armenian cemetery were never satisfactorily answered. I am sure I am not the only one in this position.
From what I have understood, we, the people, need to put a stop to the remaining excavation of the cemetery. We will need to show a strong force against anybody who doesn’t see anything wrong with the demolition of the oldest Armenian cemetery in Cyprus.
My question to everyone reading this e-mail is a simple one;
Who can I count on to show a strong force against what has happened when the time comes for a petition to be signed or a gathering to be organized to show the people of Cyprus that not every Armenian is comfortable with the digging up of the resting places of our ancestors?
Thanking you in advance,
Antranik Paroian - - 99 355 994
I just got very exciting news! My CD, "A Mother's Love" has been nominated for "Best Classical Vocal Album" by the Armenian Music Awards.
They are giving fans the opportunity to vote for their favourites and I'm counting on you!
Please take a moment and click on this link which will take you directly to the page where my CD appears, and vote!
Wish me luck, and thanks so much for your help,
Helene Zindarsian :)
ARTSAGANG You can now read the Armenian community's 24- page monthly Armenian publication (April 2005 issue number 122) in front of your computer in pdf format at
Artsagang April 2005
Artsagang's Greek and English sections can be read at
Greek- English Artsagang April 2005

Khmpakragan: Ayskan Charik
Articles: Hamayn Hayoutiune Ge Nshe Bahanchadiroutian 90ameage - Vahan Aynedjian
Spyourki nor ouje Yevrobahayoutiune - Dr.Antranik Ashdjian
Nor Dzaghgaplour - Massis Der Partogh
Hachort Ore - Simon Aynedjian
Sections: Hay gyank, Desaged, Gibrahay, Mshagouyt
Poems: Hagop Sargavak Tenjoukian, H.Anmah
Please note that firewalls and storage limitations may sometimes disrupt smooth delivery of our e-magazine to you. Please adjust your settings accordingly to ensure you receive Gibrahayer. Alternately, you can read the last five issues by going to the Archives section of the above link.
• Governor Schwarzenegger proclaims April 24 "Day of remembrance of the Armenian Genocide
•Hundreds of marchers who started in Fresno reached Sacramento on Thursday. They marched to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide in Turkey. After traveling 215 miles (350 kilometers) in 19 days, the marchers joined several state lawmakers at the capitol. The Armenians' March for Humanity began in Fresno on April 2nd.
• Up to 2,500 Turkish students receiving education in Baku higher schools marched downtown Baku on Friday protesting against the recent burning of the Turkish flag by Armenians in Greece.
• President Robert Kocharian, Catholicos Garegin II, high ranking Armenian officials and hundred of thousands of Armenian citizens visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial on Sunday to pay their tribute to the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide
• 1,500 torches were lit late on April 23 on the Republican Square in central Yerevan in commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
• "Germany apologises to the Armenian people", official representative of the Social Democratic Party of Germany Gernot Erler stated. In his words, the political forces of Bundestag have already coordinated the principal items of the resolution calling Turkey to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. He also noted that the resolution contains an item stating that Germany being an ally to Turkey during the First World War bears a deal of responsibility for the Armenian Genocide.
• Ignoring calls from a record two hundred and ten U.S. legislators, President Bush failed, once again, to honour his pledge to properly characterise the Armenian Genocide as a "genocide" in his annual April 24th remarks.
• On April 19th, the Polish Parliament voted a resolution which officially acknowledges the Armenian Genocide. With this resolution, Poland became the ninth State of the European Union to do so, after Cyprus, Greece, Belgium, Sweden, Italy,France, Slovakia and the Netherlands.
• Yossi Sarid, a member of the Israeli Knesset, urged Turkey to assume the responsibility for the Armenian Genocide.
• "UN is not reluctant to discuss the issue of qualifying the events of 1915-1923 as genocide but the issue has not been raised officially," Juan Mendez, UN Secretary General's special adviser on genocide prevention said last week.
• President Robert Kocharian, visiting Paris, met with French National Assembly President Jean Louis Debre and Senate President Christian Poncelet on Thursday.
• European Union foreign ministers meeting their Turkish counterpart in Luxembourg this week will insist on Ankara's recognition of the 1915 Armenian genocide, French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said Monday.
•ARARAT Vs APOK University of Cyprus. Second Round of the Quarter Finals of the Cyprus Futsal Cup. Result: 10-1
• 23 April, 2005 Results of The Pancyprian Tennis Championships at the Limassol Sporting Club. Seniors Finals. +35 Category Simon Aynedjian bt Marios Petrou 2-0, +45 Category Simon Aynedjian bt Haig Ashdjian 2-0. All results at
• April 26, 2005 at 11:30 am - Cyprus National Tennis Center - Makedonitissa - Nicosia. Development Tennis Tournament. Yannos Kouyoumdjian & Edmond Aynedjian participating in the Under Eight Category.
• Alex Topalian (75 Kg Category) and Krikor Ohanian (90Kg + Category) are competing in the Cyprus Body Building Grand Prix taking place on Wednesday April 27, 2005 at the Nicosia Conference Centre (Philoxenia Hotel) Pre-judging at 3.30 pm and the evening show 8.30 pm
• International Seniors Cup at The Larnaca Tennis Club, organised by The Cyprus Tennis Federation. May 7-14, 2005 with the participation of ten countries.
• Macedonia International Senior Tennis Championships in Thessaloniki - Greece. 14-21 May 2005. Acropolis Cup by BNP Paribas in Athens - Greece from June 1 - 12, 2005. Representing Cyprus in both events are Haig Ashdjian and Simon Aynedjian. The 2005 ITF calendar can be viewed at

g i b r a h a y c a l e n d a r
• Friday 29 April, 2005 at 8:00 pm at Utudjian Hall of the Armenian Prelature. Kinetzon on the occasion of the publishing of the book on Sermons delivered by Zareh Srpazan.
• Saturday 30 April 2005 at 4:00 pm. Preparation of Harissa and Aghorhnek at the Sourp Asdvadzadzin Church yard. 7:00 pm Hsgoum
• Sunday May 1, 2005. Holy Mass and Madagh on the Name Day of Sourp Magar Monastery at Sour Asdvadzadzin Church, in Nicosia.
• Saturday May 1, 2005. 12:00 Inauguration ceremony of a statue of Zareh Srpazan at the yard of Sourp Asdvadzadzin Church, in Nicosia. on the occasion of the first anniversary of his passing away.
•Performance dedicated to the 90th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and the 70th anniversary of the death of Gomitas Vartabed by the Children's Choir of Sourp Stepanos Sunday School under Rev. Mashdots Ashkarian at the Larnaca Municipality Hall on Sunday May 8, 2005 at 4:00 pm.
• Yervant Odian's "Ser ou Dzidzagh" on Sunday May 8, 2005 at 8:30 pm at PASIDY by The "Timag" Theatre Company of Hamazkayin Cultural and Educational Association "Oshakan" Cyprus Chapter.
• Armenian musical duo of Jean Davidian and Marie Louise Kouyoumdjian perform at the Palm Beach Hotel in Larnaca every Saturday. Marie Louise sings at Champs Club every Friday.
• Dinner in honour of Armenian Relief Society (HOM) Central Executive Board Chairperson Maro Minassian (USA) organised by the Cyprus "Sosse" Chapter, on Wednesday 4 May, 2005 at 8:30 pm at Laiki Sporting Club.
• Lecture by Peter Balakian on Friday May 20, 2005 at 8:30 pm at Intercollege organised by The Hamazkayin Cultural and Educational Association Cyprus "Oshakan" Chapter, in co-operation with Intercollege Research Center.
•The Melkonian Alumni and the Oshakan Cyprus Chapter of the Hamazkayin Cultural and Educational Association are co-organising a Book-Launch and a cultural evening dedicated to Vahan Bedelian on Wednesday 25 May 2005 at The Nareg School Hall, with the participation of Bedelian's prominent student Levon Chilingirian.
• Saturday May 28th, 2005. 87th anniversary Celebrations of the Independence of Armenia organised by AYMA / HMEM.
• AYF Badanegan Mioutian get-togethers take place on Saturday at 3:30 pm at AYMA. Contact Vartoog Karageulian on 24-659245.
• AYMA/HMEM Chicco Football practices take place every Friday from 7:00 - 8:30 pm for children starting from the age of 7. Contact Krikor Mahdessian on 99650897.
• AYMA/HMEM Table Tennis practices take place every Saturday from 5:30 pm under the guidance of ex-Cyprus Champion Sirvart Costanian. Classes for all ages.
• AYF meetings every Wednesday at 9:00 pm at AYMA.
• For more details of the next Bible Study Class organised by the Armenian Prelature at the Vahram Utudjian Hall of The Armenian Prelature call Father Momik Habeshian direct on 99 307966 or at the Prelature Office on 22 493560 email
• Armenian Radio Hour on The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation via real audio on . Broadcast 17:00-18:00 local Cyprus time (14:00-15:00 GMT)
• The Armenian Prelature announces that the next permit for the Armenian Cemetery visitation at Ayios Dhometios on the Green line, is on Sunday 8 May and Sunday 22 May 2005.
• Every Wednesday from 7-8 pm (Cyprus time + 2 GMT) on CyBC's Trito, Puzant Nadjarian presents the "History of the Blue". Internet edition on


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