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Gibrahayer Nicosia 20 December, 2005. The Armenian community of Cyprus has been reacting to the changes implemented by the Hokapartsoutiun of the Nareg Schools to introduce a Greek-base curriculum in the only remaining Armenian school in Cyprus. The talk of the town no doubt was Gibrahayer's article of last week, which was a wake-up call to many parents who are now actively campaigning against the decision and organising themselves to annul the decision which has changed the Armenian / English base curriculum of the school to Greek.
The decision that has been taken behind closed doors and gradually implemented not to cause a reaction, has been condemned by many.
Gibrahayer e-magazine ask the following to the parties concerned. If it was the Ministry of Education (extremely unlikely) implementing this decision for a Greek base education, would we not react?
The truth of the matter is that the Ministry would never advocate to change the Armenian base of our education. On the contrary, specially in the light of European sensitivities to minorities and the traditional friendly relations between Greek and Armenians in Cyprus.
What the Ottomans in Turkey and the communists in Soviet Union tried to implement in melting down Armenian national identity and language, we are willingly implementing ourselves.
This harakiri must stop and we all need to stop for a moment and think. Why is this decision being implemented now? What is the intention of those behind it? Is it the correct decision taken in view of the options before us? Is it the desire of the majority? Was the decision taken with the consent and knowledge of the majority? Is it for the benefit of our future generations?
We have always taken pride that the Armenian community of Cyprus - unlike many diaspora communities - is Armenian speaking. Are we endangering this reality with our actions?
Nicosia: The aunt of a Cypriot man kidnapped in Iraq four months ago appealed Wednesday for his release. "Set him free. Enough," Rita Medzadourian said. "We don't know if he's dead or alive. The kidnappers said he's alive but when the family asked to speak to him they refused."
Garo Jikerjian, 41, who holds both Cypriot and Lebanese citizenship, was kidnapped by gunmen in Baghdad in August. He worked for Geto Trading, a Cyprus-based company supplying food and alcoholic beverages to U.S. forces. Islam prohibits alcohol.
In September an Organization calling itself "Propagation of Virtue and Prohibition of Vice Group" posted a video on an Islamic Web site. It showed a man who identified himself as Garo Jikerjian, and a masked captor pointing a gun at his head. "He didn't hurt anyone," his aunt said. "How would they feel if it was their child?"
The family said it has not heard anything from the kidnappers for over a month. Avo Jikerjian, the younger brother of Garo, said the kidnappers initially asked for $1 million. "My uncle said we're a poor family and we don't have any money." Foreign contractors working in Iraq, especially those connected to contracts with the U.S. military, are a favourite target for kidnappers. Some of the abductions have been carried out solely for the ransom.
tatiana's corner by Tatiana Ferahian
GIBRAHAYER e-magazine

news in brief
• On December 13 His Holiness Aram I received interim MP Dr. Vahakn Atamyan at the Holy See of the Catholicosate of Cilicia in Antelias in the presence of Archbishop Varoujan Hergelian. His Holiness congratulated the Cypriot MP, advising him to represent the entire Armenian community of Cyprus, and cooperating with with all sides in raising issues related to the community in the Cyprus Parliament. Archbishop Hergelian and Dr. Atamyan were also His Holiness' guests for lunch.
• Yerkir reports that with an overwhelming vote on December 15, the Sejm of Lithuania adopted a resolution condemning the 1915 Armenian Genocide perpetrated in the Ottoman Empire. Lithuanian lawmakers qualified the Armenian massacres as genocide and called on Turkey to recognise that historic fact.
• President Kocharian and Defense Minister Serge Sarkisian visited several border military bases to inspect the condition of Armenia's armed force. During the three-day tour last week, Kocharian attended military exercises, watched the troops train, and spoke to servicemen and officers. He also visited army barracks, medical units, and several military posts located on border with Azerbaijan.
• According to the Armenian Law on «Commerce and Service», from January 1, 2006 the activity of street gas-filling stations will be stopped. This was announced by deputy mayor of Yerevan Arman Sahakyan who said that those who violate the law will be fined.
• Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk was greeted by eggs and tomatoes thrown by angry Turkish nationalists while making his way to a court hearing on December 15, which was postponed to February.
• VERCHIN JAM - alert from the Armenian Prelature of Cyprus. The Azerbaijani government has sent more than 200 soldiers to totally destroy the Armenian 400 year old Old Chougha's cemetery in Nakhichevan. Click here to view the video.

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A few years ago I (and a lot of other parents) witnessed a parent persistently advocating for a "Greek language base" education in Nareg, waking up early every morning, talking to parents and teachers, lobbying and collecting signatures to change things at Nareg.
I now gather his efforts have been "successful" to change the Armenian base education into Greek.
Is it true that he has been promoted to Hokapartsoutiun by the newly elected Armenian representative Dr.Atamian to help implement the changes you were referring to in last week's article?
What a shame !
H.D. - Nicosia
Dear Simon.
I want to congratulate you for your brave article, against a wrong policy decision that will affect the future of our community in a very negative way.
K.Y.- Nicosia
Dear Simon,
This is the continuation of last week's letter sent by my wife regarding the problems at NAREG school. As all women, she was very mild, so I thought I'd taken over from here.
To solve the problems we are facing with our education system set by a certain group of people, it takes someone with real backbone, something we rarely find in our community, because everybody is so busy looking after their own personal or political agenda.
I have never been a political person, or belonged to any party so what I am going to say has got nothing to do with politics. Being a small community we are friends or related to each other, but still this doesn't stop me to say what is right or what is wrong, and being the character I am I will try to hit the nail on the head, even though some people won't like it.
After all I don't butter up and never will.
We all know there are problems, even my dear friend Dr. Atamian, with whom I had a brief conversation one month ago, who in turn admitted there were problems and promised to arrange a meeting with all the complaining parents, the committee members and himself. He was going to come back to me with a fixed date, but didn't, and I am still waiting. So I contacted my friend Dr. Atamian through somebody else, but this time his answer was that he has no responsibility for this matter, and that we had to contact the school committee. At this point I would like to remind my friend Vahak that until one month ago he was the Chairman of the Hokapartsoutiun so he and his members have all the responsibility for this matter.
I have nothing against my children or any child to learn Greek or Armenian this is very important; but I am very much against the children not to learn proper and fluent English because by far this is the most important language in the world and will always be.
So now we contacted Mr. K. Haroutiunian a member of the committee and he gave us two reasons for this situation. For me neither of them make sense.
First reason was because Melkonian is now closed and the parents have nowhere to send there children so we have to prepare our children for Greek schools .
Well our representative my friend V.Atamian promised us that with his power and connections he is going to open Melkonian very soon so I cant see any problem there.
Secondly how can a committee member or members decide which school to send the children to when they haven't got children of their own attending to that school.
Why didn't Mr Haroutunian or most of the members send there children to Greek schools or to universities in Greece and they are forcing us to do so?
And as for the parents from Armenia that cannot afford school fees, let AGBU help them because that's the purpose of the Organization, not just dinner dances and food bazaars, or wait for MEI to re-open.
Coming to the second reason which was that we are not getting any jobs in the government positions. Well let me tell you that no matter how fluent you are in Greek because we are living in a Goumbarros republic you need a very strong Goumbarro in the government! I certainly don't.
My suggestion is that DR Atamian being a younger representative than the previous ones and hopefully with a different mentality to thank all the committee members that have no children or direct contact with the school for their services and tell them its about time they step down and give way to other people with more immediate contact with the daily problems, unless he wants to continue the same policy as the previous ones which is vote for me and I give you a post.
I hope not my dear friend Vahak because this has nothing to do with the political parties or with AGBU or with a club that all they do is Geyma Kebabs every Wednesday afternoon. This is about the future of our children.
Let the children learn Armenian, Greek and above all English (including Maths, Geography and Science in English) like we all did.
And my suggestion to all the parents who agree with my point of view and I know there are many of you as I have spoken to most of you to have the guts to come forward and sign a petition which I am going to prepare and hand it to the school Director. I don't know if I am hitting my head against a brick wall but at least I am trying to do something. Hope to hear from you very soon.
Best regards to everybody and have a happy and prosperous 2006.
Mardig Gostanian Nicosia
I am a parent in Limassol. I have already talked to teachers regarding the changes in the curriculum and they all know about it long before you wrote in Gibrahayer. Who and when authorised these changes without our knowledge and without our consent?
P.P - Limassol
Joghovourte ge hartsene. "Nakhendragan khosdoumnere yedk ... yerp bidi patsvi Melkoniane?"
New Year's wishes / Gibrahayer next issue
The next issue of Gibrahayer e-magazine will come out on Tuesday January 4, 2006.
We wish all our readers in Cyprus and abroad a Happy New Year. May it be healthy, prosperous and a happy one for us all.
Simon Aynedjian - Gibrahayer e-magazine - Tuesday December 20, 2005
GIBRAHAYER e-magazineThe APOEL Basketball team defeated Banvit of Turkish 100-66 at the Eleftheria (Freedom) Stadium last Thursday, erasing the -17 deficit of the first round in Constantinople, becoming the fourth consecutive Cyprus team to record a victory over a Turkish team in a period of four months. Anorthosis FC of occupied Famagusta defeated Trabzonspor in August, AEL Basketball team defeated Fener Bahce last month, the National Cyprus Tennis team defeated Turkey in Davis Cup in June and the APOEL Basketball team completed the spectacular four-in-a-row against Turkish teams last week.
And to think that Turkey still has the audacity to call the republic of Cyprus a "non-state" even though it "persists" losing to a non-state 160 times smaller in population.
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armenian music by Arek Dakessian in Beirut
DotEurovision, December 15: The Republic of Armenia hopes to make its debut at the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest. During the annual Armenian Music Awards, it was announced that the country has applied to be included in the 51st contest.
latest on Zaruhi Harutyunian
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gibrahayer calendar
Sunday 25 December, 2005 at 8:30 pm. Annual Dinner Dance organised AYMA. December 25, 2005. Cyprus Hilton - Nicosia. Featuring Hratch Kaydzagian and his band from Lebanon. Reservations a must. Entrance 20
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