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YEREVAN (ARF Parliamentary Bloc)--Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaktsoutiun parliamentary president and Bureau member Vahan Hovanessian urged his fellow legislators Monday to carefully think about and comprehensively define the role of the soon-to-be-created Diaspora Ministry.
Hovannesian said that parliament should carefully assess the needs and problems of the Diaspora and the role this ministry will play in addressing these issues.
Earlier this month, the government moved to set up a new ministry that will be in charge of Armenia's relations with the Diaspora. On Monday, parliament approved the creation of the ministry and will have to send a decision to the government on the new structure's mission and responsibilities.
Armenia's relations with the Diaspora have until now been coordinated by a special department existing within the Foreign Ministry in Yerevan.
“Our agenda item is the organisation of the Diaspora and the preservation of the Armenian identity. We need to create favourable conditions for this. Our main objective is to strengthen the bond between Armenia and our brethren in the Diaspora,” said Hovannesian.
The ARF Dashnaktsoutiun bloc leader urged parliament to draw a distinction between the current and welcome trend of repatriation and the haphazard relocation of people to Armenia in the early part of the Communist rule.
“We have complex realities to deal with vis-a-vis our compatriots in the Diaspora, some of whom are forced, by the internal situation of their native countries, to repatriate to Armenia,” explained Hovannesian bringing the example of the wave of Armenians from Iraq and Iran settling in Armenia.
Hovannesian said that parliament needed to clearly delineate the function of the proposed ministry and asked whether it was the responsibility of this ministry to find employment for the newly repatriated Armenians and what role the ministry would play in the acculturation and acclimation processes of these newly settled compatriots.
He proposed that the newly-formed structure be called “Diaspora Relations and Repatriation” Ministry, as opposed to “Diaspora Issue” as has been proposed.
Hovannesian urged his fellow lawmakers to also take into consideration the pivotal role the Diaspora has played in preserving the concept of statehood and understand that the current Armenian republic would not exist without the Diaspora's role during Armenia's Communist rule.
He compared the Diaspora-Armenia relations to the Israeli model, where national interests are at the forefront for both entities.
Debates on the formation of the new ministry will continue in Parliament.


Gibrahayer - Nicosia - Armenian Cypriot writer Nouritza Matossian's "Heart of Two Nations" has been chosen for screening at the Golden Apricot Film Festival. The documentary is about assassinated Armenian journalist Hrant Dink and his interviews with Nouritza Matossian.
The Golden Apricot Film festival will take place in Yerevan between 13-21 July in Yerevan.
Nouritza Matossian is a writer, actress, broadcaster and human rights activist. She writes on the arts, contemporary music, history and Armenia.
Matossian published the first biography and critical study of the Greek composer Iannis Xenakis, the source book on his life, architecture and music based on ten years' collaboration with him. She later adapted it into a 50-minute documentary for BBC2, entitled Something Rich and Strange.
Matossian's 1998 book Black Angel, A Life of Arshile Gorky was written after twenty years' research. Ararat, the award-winning film by Atom Egoyan and Miramax, was partly inspired by Black Angel. She acted as consultant to Egoyan who modelled the female lead role Ani on her. Matossian also wrote and performs a solo show on Gorky's life from the viewpoint of his four beloved women with images and music. It has been produced worldwide over 80 times at venues including the Barbican, Tate Modern, London, New York, Los Angeles, the Edinburgh Festival, Cyprus, Paris, Lebanon, Iran, Romania and Georgia. In Armenia she performed it simultaneously in two languages.
Matossian broadcasts on the BBC and contributes to several newspapers and magazines, including The Independent, The Guardian, The Economist, and The Observer. She was Honorary Cultural Attache for the Armenian Embassy in London from 1991-2000.
She spent her childhood in Cyprus with her Armenian family. Educated in England, she graduated with Honours in Philosophy (B.Phil) from Bedford College, University of London, then studied music, theatre and mime in Dartington and Paris; she has a command of nine languages.

Gibrahayer e-mag subscriber Daniel Sagherian writes from the United States

How enormous is May 28 for Armenians? How significant it is to have a Homeland, albeit partial, for survival?
In the 1970's, during my high-school years, a student was expelled because of having revolutionary ideas; because from the podium addressing the students, he had described April 24 as "the death", and May 28 as "the rising" of the Armenian people (very similar to our Lord Jesus Christ's ordeal). I will withhold his name, but he was too brave to even mention in "my" school that something far good had happened to Armenians on May 28.
Now that I am this old, and now that I have nothing to lose, I can openly talk / write about it. A millennium or two from now, if there still be an Armenian Republic on this Earth, the price Armenians paid on April 24 will be far less compared to the glory of May 28.
Don't rebel, but just think objectively, of how people can survive, and have their own faith and culture nowadays, without a Hayrenik. Just look around, and attest to so many other peoples, who numerically outnumber us, but have so much less chances of survival as a nation compared to us...
Come to think about it, Armenians were dissoluted loooooong before April 24. We already had lost too much long ago; our geographic opponents had already gained tooooo much in power and demographic distribution. A visit to the area will tell you of our odds at survival there: The winds of widespread religiosity has taken over
the whole Greater Middle East. We already were foreigners, a minority, powerless, "gharibs" singing for the "groongs" long before April 24.
And then comes May 28, which Ataturk even claimed that he helped and
consented for its creation...
And then comes May 28, which Madeleine Albright, (a survivor herself), once claimed that Armenians should hold This Republic's survival above all other claims ( of course she politically deleted the words "for now"...).
Against all the odds, one will realize that modern-day Armenia remains our only chance at survival. It is from the mouths of Vazken Shoushanians, from the mouths of orphaned survivors of the Genocide, from the mouths of those who lost everything to this Genocide, who merely survived by carrying water-tanks over their shoulders..." That come it may, let everything be lost in the diaspora, let the whole diaspora fade away, but nothing bad happen on that land that we call Hayrenik...".
This was what survivors wanted wandering the alleys of Aleppo... This is the last wish a massacred Armenian may have: A HAYRENIK..... This is the only revenge an Armenian may have to Genocide-perpetrators : A LIVING HAYRENIK, that he is alive, that he lives, against all odds...
Yes, May 28 is THAT IMPORTANT for our survival.
Yes, if put to the test of history, for millenia to come, the benefits of May 28 far outweigh the losses of April 24.
Even if that causes the expulsion of that student from that school in the 1970's.

ESTEEMED TURKISH QUARTET TO PERFORM IN YEREVAN TOMORROW - 17.06.2008 - The esteemed Bosphorus Quartet from Istanbul, Turkey will perform at Komitas Chamber Music Hall in Yerevan at 19:00 on June 18, 2008. The concert is part of a cultural exchange between Armenia and Turkey made possible by Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF), in cooperation with the United States Agency for International Development and the Komitas State Quartet NCSO. As part of the exchange, the Yerevan Komitas State Quartet performed in Istanbul on June 13, 2008.
The Bosphorus Quartet will perform pieces by European, Turkish, and Armenian composers: Debussy's "Quartet", Shostakovich's "String Quartet No. 8", Selman Ada's "Kleine Jazz Suite", Serdar Yalca's"Together and Stringed Songs" and, as an encore, Komitas/Aslamazyan's "Habrban."
The two concerts will continue the 2002 musical exchange between the Komitas State Quartet and their Turkish counterparts. "This project intends to forge a musical bridge between Armenia and Turkey, celebrating the artists of each country while establishing a practise of cultural cooperation," says Gevorg Ter-Gabrielyan, Country Director of Eurasia Partnership Foundation in Armenia. "EPF believes that supporting cross-border grass-roots initiatives between Armenian and Turkish civil society activists, businessmen, journalists, and artists will accelerate the normalisation of relations between the two countries."
The Komitas Chamber Music Hall is located at 1 Isahakyan Street. Concert tickets are available free of charge from the Box Office of the Komitas Chamber Music Hall, as well as from the management of the Komitas Quartet, by phone at (091) 43-24-80.
The concert is part of Eurasia Partnership Foundation's Armenia-Turkey Initiative, which promotes improved dialogue and cooperation between representatives of the non-government, government and private sectors in Armenia and their Turkish counterparts.

BBC NEWS - A Turkish publisher has been sentenced to five months in prison for publishing a book by a British author about the mass killing of Armenians in 1915.
Ragip Zarakolu was found guilty of "insulting the institutions of the Turkish republic" under Article 301 of Turkey's penal code.
The controversial law was recently reformed under pressure from the EU to ensure freedom of speech in Turkey.
This is the first high-profile verdict to be handed down since then.
Mr Zarakolu's sentence seems to confirm campaigners' fears that changes to the law were merely cosmetic, says the BBC's Sarah Rainsford in Istanbul.
In April it became a crime to insult the Turkish nation, rather than Turkishness. But insulting the Turkish nation can still be punished by up to two years in jail.

Sensitive issue
Mr Zarakolu was brought to trial for publishing a book by British author George Jerjian on the mass killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire in 1915.
Passing sentence, the judge told Mr Zarakolu he had insulted the Turkish republic and its founders. His own defence - that he had the right to criticise - was rejected.
Outside the court, Mr Zarakolu said that such rulings had silenced many writers in Turkey but that he would continue to challenge the restrictions.
"I was partly waiting for this result. But it is a struggle for the truth and it will go on. I do not accept myself as convicted. This is a conviction for official history and for denialism," he said.
The justice ministry recently revealed that 1,700 people were tried under Article 301 in 2006 alone.


Asbarez dot com - With the Senate Foreign Relations Committee set to consider U.S. Ambassador to Armenia nominee Marie Yovanovitch at a confirmation hearing on Thursday, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama restated his commitment to U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of America.
In a June 16 letter to ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian, Sen. Obama wrote "I share your view that the United States must recognise the events of 1915 to 1923, carried out by the Ottoman Empire, as genocide... We must recognise this tragic reality. The Bush Administration's refusal to do so is inexcusable, and I will continue to speak out in an effort to move the Administration to change its position."

GIBRAHAYER e-magazine
The above video clip of the revolutionary song "Kini Lits" is on Youtube, featuring singer Sahag Sahagian from Armenia, who took part in the May 28 Fiesta in Cyprus.
To view video click on above image or on

dispatch from Bolis...

BOLIS, JUNE 16 - NOYAN TAPAN. The recent surgery and subsequent health concerns have led to the de facto retirement of the Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople Mesrob Mutafyan, who has been patriarch since 1998.
Mutafyan, 52, underwent a thyroid operation several months ago. In the period immediately after the surgery, the patriarchate announced that Mutafyan required a lengthy period of recuperation, as he was suffering from extreme fatigue.
However, it became clear soon that it was not simply fatigue that afflicted the patriarch.
As a result of the patriarch's illness, many official activities of the patriarch have been suspended, as has the publication of the patriarchate's bulletin, Lraper.
The patriarchate's Archbishop Aram Ateshian and Archbishop Shahan Svazlian are taking over Mutafyan's functions on a day-to- day basis. Ateshian represented the patriarchate at the meeting of Pope Benedict XVI and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II in the Vatican last month.
Various neurologists examining the patriarch suggested that he is suffering from a neurological disorder, yet did not specify the illness.

News in Brief by Sevag Devletian
Armenian president and his Azeri counterpart met in St. Petersburg, Russia to discuss the Karabakh peace process. They said the talks were ‘constructive’ and agreed to continue negotiations based on the so-called ‘Madrid document’ proposed to the sides last year.
About 400 families applied to the Artsakh Investment Fund for mortgage loans to finance buying, building and improving homes. The program was launched by the government in January 2008 to help advance population’s living conditions.
Eddie Kouyoumdjian 39, of Glendora, has been appointed general manager of the Exposition Park. He has served as deputy director of communications for the Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger since 2007 and previously held the position of deputy director of advance from 2004 to 2006.
Former Commander of a Shushi special battalion Lebanese born 41-year-old retired lieutenant-colonel Zhirayr Sefilian was released on June 9 from Vardashen prison. Sefilian was under custody for one and a half years and was jailed in late 2006 under part 1 of Article 235 of Armenia’s Criminal Code (illegal arms possession). But originally he had also been charged with making public calls for a forcible overthrow of government.


..there is always something new on Gibrahayer DOT com

Article of the week - Levon Ter Petrosyan - Traitor Vs. Pro-opposition figure
AzadHye Poll on Levon Ter Petrosyan - Go to Polls on
4Greek Press - Invitation - Christos Zacharakis presents his book at the Journalist's House.

Letters to the Editor
I would like to thank Gibrahayer e-magazine for suggesting and supporting my presentation of my trip to Cilicia and Historic Armenia. Also many thanks to the Armenian National Committee and Hye Tad members for organising the event.
You all volunteered hours to make this event a success and am very happy I had the opportunity to work with you.
Lastly, thanks for all those who attended and supported this event.
I highly encourage you all to set your fears aside and visit our occupied historic
I will be forwarding the link to my pictures to Gibrahayer, hopefully within a month.
Many thanks again and special regards to all.
Linda Aintablian - United States

Hi Simon,
Can you please post the following e-mail on Gibrahayer ?
After my presentation of my trip to "Cilicia and Historic Armenia", some people asked me when the next tour is and how they can visit Cilicia and Historic Armenia. I just found out that the next trip is scheduled for September 2008. Everyone meets in Bolis and the tour starts from Bolis and ends at Bolis. For more information, please contact me at AinLin at juno dot com
Best regards,
Linda Aintablian - United States
GIBRAHAYER e-magazine

BINGO Night is back at AYMA every Wednesday at 9pm
Come and win super prizes in a family environment.
If you want to begin the night with delicious specialities
please call Hamo on 22499889 for dinner arrangements

... and the HAY TAD WINNING TICKETS are...

GIBRAHAYER e-magazine
Ticket number 1106 wins 2 tickets to any European destination
Ticket number 211 wins a Sony Vaio Laptop
Ticket number 34 wins the Rolex Watch
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Sports Alerts by Sevag Devletian
GIBRAHAYER e-magazineFormer Cyprus Davis Cup star Haig Ashdjian of Larnaca won the +55 International seniors event at Omilos Athinon in Greece. In the Finals he recovered from a first set white-wash to overcome Greek champion Demetris Yanakopoulos 0-6, 6-1,6-1.
Members of the Armenian Federation of Kick-Boxing won 12 gold and one silver medal in an international competition in Krasnodar.
Armenia's football championship is in its tenth week. On June 12, Banants defeated Ararat
3-0, Mika defeated Gandzasar 2-1, Cilicia was defeated by Ulis 0-3 and Shirak defeated Pyunik 0-1. Ararat lead the
championship with 21 points followed by Mika Ashtarak with 19 points, while Pyunik Yerevan are third with 16 points.
The Chess Club Championship of Armenia
started last Saturday in Yerevan with the participation of six teams.
In the Paralimni Junior Tournament Edmond Aynedjian defeated Athos Stouppenos 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 and faces seed number three Kyriacos Theodorou on Thursday afternoon.
gibrahay calendar

Wednesday and every Wednesday at 9:00pm - BINGO Night is back at AYMA. Come and win super prizes in a family environment. If you want to begin the night with the delicious specialities of Hamo, please call him on 22499889 for dinner arrangements.
Saturday and every Saturday - Marie Louise (vocals) and Armen (guitar) perform at The Golden Bay Hotel Bar from 7:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Wednesday 18 June at 6:30 pm - Nareg Graduation ceremony at The Nareg Amphitheatre in Nicosia.
Thursday 19 June 2008 at 7:00 pm - Turkey, Armenia and the Defence of Free Expression: Participating: Fethiye Cetin, author of My Grandmother which describes her discovery of her Muslim grandmother's true Armenian Christian identity, translator and writer Maureen Freely, Armenian writer and filmmaker Nouritza Matossian, and Ragip Zarakolu, one of Turkey's best-known dissident publishers. The event will be chaired by Lisa Appignanesi, President of English PEN. This event is made possible through the generous support of Amnesty International. At Nash Room of The Institute of Contemporary Art - London.
Tuesday 24 June at 6:00 pm - Traditional reception to all Armenian graduates on the island at the residence of the Armenian MP Vartkes Mahdessian.
Saturday 28 June at 8:30 pm - Pancyprian Youth Boat Party organised by the Youth Committee of the Armenian MP. Departure from Nicosia from Armenian Prelature at 7:30 pm. Food, first drink and bus service. All inclusive 20 euros
Sign up until June 20, 2008 with Araxi Chilingirian - 99541688 - Nicosia, Kevork Keoshkerian - 99817806 - Nicosia, Vani Bohdjalian - 99524746 - Larnaca, Diran Kassabian - 99246397 - Limassol. Open invitation to all between the ages of 16-40.
Saturday, June 28, at 06:00pm - Armenian Evangelical Church service in Greek Evangelical church, 20 Gladstonos street, Nicosia. Speaker: Hrayr Jebejian. All are welcome
16 July - 3 August - The Armenian Blue Cross of Macedonia and Thrace (Armenian Relief Society - HOM Greece) like every year is organising a Summer Camp for Armenian Youth. Participation is open for juniors between the ages of 8-16, and is set for 300 euros. Sign up with Armenian Relief Society "Sosse" Cyprus Chapter Committee members by June 28, by calling Lilly Hovsepian 99354552 and Isgo Guevherian 22494536. A special rate for 15 passengers has been arranged and will be given out on a first come, first serve basis
13 - 27 July in Yerevan - Hamazkayin Forum for Armenian students will take place in Yerevan. Cyprus participants should contact Raffi Mahdessian on 99441588
18 – 25 July in Aghavnatsor - "Hayasdanaknatsoutiun" - ARF Dashnaktsoutiun's Badanegan Panarmenian Summer Camp at Aghavnatsor Homes (55 km from Yerevan) Price 280 dollars. Eight-Day educational program filled with excursions, discussions, games. Open to youth from 14-18 years old. For additional information contact Levon Sarian on 99409988 – sarian at cytanet dot com dot cy


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