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06 01 03 - GIBRAHAYER e-magazine The largest circulation Armenian online
Emails to the Editor-click here |Turkish writer Elif Shafak here |Articles by Professor Hovhannes Pilikian here |Tennis Champ Zaruhi Harutyunyan. How YOU can help here |Armenian language newspaper Artsagang in pdf here |
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Agence France Presse - January 2, 2006 NICOSIA - A Cypriot-Lebanese man taken hostage by gunmen in Iraq five months ago and threatened with death has been released, officials and family members said Sunday.
The Cypriot foreign ministry said it had been informed by the family of Garo Jikerjian, who is of Armenian origin and holds both Lebanese and Cypriot citizenship, that he was freed on December 31.
"This was the best Christmas present I could ever expect, it's like no other," said Jikerjian's aunt, Rita Metzadourian, who added that she had spoken to him briefly and that "he said he was okay."
"There will be a big celebration. This is a great good news story," she said in Nicosia.
The Cypriot foreign ministry said Jikerjian was expected to return to Cyprus in the next few days.
"The foreign ministry expresses its satisfaction at the happy conclusion of the five-month captivity of the Cypriot national," it said in a statement.
Jikerjian was kidnapped by gunmen in August in Baghdad's upscale Mansur district, where he was working for a Lebanese-owned but Cyprus-based importer of food and liquor for US-led coalition forces and the Iraqi army.
A group calling itself The Group for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice posted a video on the Internet on September 11 showing a man who identified himself as "Garo" sitting on the floor with his hands and feet bound and a hooded gunman pointing an automatic weapon at his head.
The group threatened to kill the hostage unless his company quit Iraq. Last month, his father issued an appeal for Jikerjian's release in a video message broadcast on Arab television. "I believe there was payment made. They wouldn't have released him
otherwise, but I don't know any of the details," Metzadourian said.
Militants had initially demanded 20,000 dollars for Jikerjian's release, but after his employer paid the ransom the amount jumped to two million dollars, Metzadourian said in September. Dozens of foreigners have been kidnapped by anti-US insurgents in
Iraq and some have been executed by their captors. Around 40 foreigners remain missing or reported kidnapped since a spate of abductions first blighted Iraq in April 2004.

tatiana's corner by Tatiana Ferahian

GIBRAHAYER e-magazine

news in brief
US visa has been denied to one of the leading Armenian political analysts Igor Muradyan on December 23. Explanation of this decision is unclear. - Read more at the emails section
The Hay Tad Committee of Tehran sent a complaint-call condemning the Azeris' regular vandalism at the Cemetery of Old Jugha (Nakhichevan) to mass media, foreign representations and embassies accredited in Iran.
The leader of the ARF Dashnaktsoutiun Hrant Markarian dismissed allegations that Armenians in the southern Georgian region of Javakheti want to break away from Georgia, saying they want autonomy to maintain their ethnic identity and culture.

your emails click here for all emails
Dear Simon:
Greetings from a snow-dusted England ..!
May I wish you - and the e-readers of Gibrahayer - Happy New Year & Merry Christmas.
Congratulations also on your e-publication, with its many interesting news items, opinions, sketches and readers' views. Gibrahayer serves as a bridge between Cyprus and the world.
With kind regards, harry:
dr harry hagopian
ecumenical, legal & political consultant

Dear Simon,
I want to thank you for your dedication and hard work in producing this newsletter which keeps us informed of the goings-on of our beloved Cyprus as well as the Armenian community not only of Cyprus, but the diaspora as well. You are truly doing a magnificent job of keeping all of us informed of news that otherwise we would not hear. Thank you, thank you, and thank you again.
I also wanted to let you know that our daughter has her first CD released, and we are very proud of this event. You can hear one of the songs on her website,
Finally, we wish you and yours a very Happy Holiday Season.
Aghavni (Megerditchian) Armoudian

.... Up until a couple of months ago there was a sarcophagus in the wall just outside on the porch. I was told it was the tomb of St Phoebe who was a member of the d'Ibelin family. I am not so sure about it being St Phoebe as the only St Phoebe I can find did not live in Cyprus. This tomb was recently torn out of the wall and smashed - obviously looking for treasure - see photos attached. You can see her face and also the two fishes symbols on the end - which is in fact the d'Ibelin crest - this was hidden all the time the tomb was incased into the wall and confirms the story that the person was from the d'ibelin family. The d'Ibelin family, (recent portrayed in the movie 'Kingdom of Heaven") was not Armenian though, thus it must have been a Latin church first. There were other tombstones in the forecourt too but they have also been recently removed.....

read the complete letter from Diana Bridger ( with pictures at,

What are our goals regarding education, how do we envisage the Armenian identity of our younger generation in years to come, what should be the emphasis and language orientation of our school and what are our new goals after the closure of Melkonian? It is obvious that as a result of a lack of public dialogue, the decision-makers are unaware of what a sizable proportion of the parents and community want. That is why it is important to bring together the concerned parties to determine where to go from here.

Dear fellow readers,
Allow me to quote an old wisdom: " The half of a child's education takes place in school; the other half at home ". As several readers and the editor have remarked, the current state of the Nareg schools is alarming. However, I think that the outlined issue is only one side of the coin with which several organisations and individuals have decided to exchange our Armenian heritage for their collective and personal profits.
more at:

Dear Editor,
May I use your newsletter to reply to Barrett Costanian? I will not wait for your reply. Since you give space to anyone who writes anything he/she wants, I take the liberty to reply. I will make my comments on his letter.

Dearest Simon,
I would like to enlighten the public (Hang on a minute my lad! Who are you? Barrrettt the Illuminator?) and Gibrahayer "Impartial" (no comment. How impartial can you get Simon. You are printing such a letter) newsletter readers, that the whole issue regarding NAREG is nonsense (Hallowww!!! Attention all parents who are concerned with this issue. You are just dealing with nonsense!!!) and lacking seriousness (and you lack seriousness!!! You shouldn't think about the future of your children, nor about their education), as some people who are really hurt and angry from other issues
more at:


MEDIA ALERT - “Look out! Ethnic espionage”: Igor Muradyan about the Armenian Assembly of America
I don't think that ethnic NGOs enjoy full independence in the US, but the point is that the Armenian Assembly of America is more than dependent. Even more, the Assembly is functionally dependent. The Assembly directors and employees don’t just look down on Armenia's political class and leaders, they look down on them with disdain.

more emails from our readers at :
from the pages of
GIBRAHAYER e-magazine

professor pilikian - visit Prof. Pilikian's blog with all his articles at
GIBRAHAYER e-magazine

I publish Prof. Pilikian's new article with some trepidation - his astonishing scholarly revelations about ancient Egypt's link with historical Armenia - a first! - explodes the rotten foundations of the accepted dogma on the origins of the Armenians as migrants from the Balkans - he proves the autochthonous nativity of the Armenian people on its vast historical land, of which the present day Armenian Republic is a minute fraction.
Simon Aynedjian - Gibrahayer e-magazine

Nakhichevan is a stamp-sized territory - hardly 5,500 sq km, with a population of 293,900 (in 1989). It has never been anything but part of Armenia, 'given' in 1922 by the Soviet lunatic Stalin to 'comrades' in Azerbaijan, with which it has no common borders … Just as the British Prime Minister Chamberlain was to 'give'… Czechoslovakia to Hitler presumably to stop, in fact to start the Second World War.
Such hollow diplomatic gifts were much prized by imperialist fools. Nakhichevan was famous with its ancient Armenian monuments, churches and cemeteries forested by stone-cross memorials, all of which the Azeri state tried to genocide systematically. As late as 1998, only protests from UNESCO could halt the 'final solution' of the state-organized cultural genocide. To-day, the genocide is complete - the last standing stones of the Armenian Soul are razed to the ground - a million and a half bits dumped into the river Arax winding its way nervously nearby.

you can read the complete article at

Professor Hovhanness I. Pilikian is an internationally acclaimed film producer, theater director, a classical music composer, a classical scholar and social scientist, fluent in many modern languages, including French, German, Arabic, Armenian and Chinese.
On December 23-25, the first Russian Boxing Tournament was held in Krasnodar dedicated to the memory of USSR champion, three-time champion of RSFSR, USSR master of sports Grigory Bakhtoyarov. Alexander Karakozian from Krasnodar took the 81 kg category, Armen Bedrosov and Gennady Rybalko (Tatulian) from Tuapse, Artavazd Margarian from Armenia and Arsen Martirosian from the Ukraine took second places in the 57 kg, 64 kg, 69 kg, and 75 kg, respectively, while Sergei Hovsepian from Stavropol took third place in the weight category of 91 kg.
Cyprus tennis sensation Marcos Baghdatis kicks off his 2006 calendar at the Exxon Mobil Open in Qatar. If he goes through the first rounds successfully, he plays world number one Roger Federer. You can view the men's singles draw at

In Cyprus this week
The Mail on Sunday - Euro MP Marios Matsakis spent New Year’s Eve in detention after being apprehended by Turkish Cypriot authorities at the Ledra Palace checkpoint, ending a thrill-packed year with a bang. Back in November, Matsakis had walked into the buffer zone to tear down a Turkish flag from a contested observation post. But his heroics earned him little praise, not least from authorities in the north, who warned he would be arrested on the spot if and when he crossed over again.
But the politician tried his luck anyway. Accompanied by Polish MEP Genowefa Grabowska, Matsakis was not allowed past the Turkish checkpoint when he refused to show his identity card. Ostensibly, the purpose of his visit was to offer Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat a cake and chocolates as a goodwill gesture in the spirit of the holidays.
After refusing to submit any documents, Matsakis was reportedly told to wait at the checkpoint while a Turkish Cypriot officer on duty there got clearance from his superiors. Minutes later, a group of plainclothes officers arrived on the scene, telling Matsakis to escort them.
He appeared in a court in the northern part of Nicosia. Matsakis did not resist in any way and was seen walking calmly alongside the Turkish Cypriot officers.

VERCHIN JAM: Euro MP Marios Matsakis was released on Monday afternoon after spending three days in custody and being tossed from a military court to a civil one. The occupation regime expect him to appear in court on Christmas Eve.

Turkish Cypriot papers say that Matsakis is being tried because he violated the military zone, climbed up the Turkish Cypriot outpost in Louroujina (Akincilar) and pulled down the Turkish flag on 1 November 2005. TC media say he was arrested, as there was an arrest warrant for him for ''removing the Turkish flag, insulting the flag, violating the military zone and entering TRNC territory without legal permission."
latest on Zaruhi Harutyunyan
GIBRAHAYER e-magazine

Dear Simon,

We would like to send our best wishes for a Happy & Prosperous New Year and a Merry Christmas to all our friends in Cyprus and abroad. A contribution of cyp 30 has been made to the Zaruhi Harutyunyan Fund, in lieu of Christmas cards.

John & Isgo Guevherian - Nicosia

Dear readers,
As Zaruhi Harutyunyan begins the 2006 calendar world tennis tour with an ITF tournaments in Bangladesh we received a generous anonymous contribution of 300.00. Moments ago, we also received another anonymous contribution for 50.00 for her passport and visa expenses to Bangladesh.
We urge our readers to follow this example and give Zaruhi this opportunity, who is Armenia's ONLY success in the world ladies tour.
With her kind of potential I am certain she will give back to her homeland what our homeland is unable to give to her right now.
Contributions can be made at the following account at: Laiki Bank Strovolos Industrial Area, Stavrou 96 I, 2034, Strovolos Account Number 101 - 08 - 037631. You can view her weblet at:
gibrahayer calendar
• Thursday 5 January, 2006 Christmas Eve at 5:00 pm Jamerkoutiun and Divine Liturgy.
• Friday 6 January, 2006 Christmas Day at 10:00 am Divine Liturgy.
• Saturday 7 January, 2006 Festive Dinner organised by the Limassol Armenian Club LHEM at Kkolas Restaurant - opposite Pizza Hut at Yermasoyias - 8:00 pm. under the patronage and presence of Limassol Mayor Demetris Kontides. Live Armenian music, featuring Armenian singer Vahe Kabakian from Lebanon. Entrance 8.00 for adults and 5.00 for children under 12 years old. For more information please call Abkar Megerditchian on 99588758.
more community events at:

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