BBC: Russia will turn back its clocks for the last time on Sunday to permanently adopt winter hours. It will also increase its time zones from nine to 11, from the Pacific to the borders of the European Union. For the last three years, Russia experimented with keeping permanent summer time, but it proved to be highly unpopular with many Russians. The Soviet Union introduced Daylight Saving Time in 1981. [more inside]
From Ianyan Magazine and elsewhere comes: The Legend of Ali Baba: The Incredible True Story of Armenian Genocide Survivor and World Wrestling Champ Harry Ekizian [more inside]
The late 19th century Armenian-Russian painter Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky created some truly spectacular paintings of seascapes that capture the beautiful, shimmering essence of the tumultuous waters. The marine artist gained recognition for his impeccable ability to recreate the expressive quality of oceans with over half of his 6,000+ paintings from his lifetime being devoted to the subject.
A Lost Map On The Tramway In Istanbul
In Turkey, there lives a mysterious minority known as the “secret Armenians.” They have been hiding in the open for nearly a century. Outwardly, they are Turks or Kurds, but the secret Armenians are actually descendants of the survivors of the 1915 Genocide, who stayed behind in Eastern Anatolia after forcibly converting to Islam. Some are now devout Muslims, others are Alevis –generally considered an offshoot of Shia Islam, even though that would be an inaccurate description by some accounts–, and a few secretly remain Christian, especially in the area of Sassoun, where still there are mountain villages with secret Armenian populations. Even though Armenian Gypsies wouldn’t strictly qualify as Secret Armenians, they share many traits with the latter, including reluctance or fear to reveal their identity even to fellow Armenians.[more inside]
Have you experienced the sublimely calm and gorgeously unfolding melodic beauty of Djivan Gasparyan's music? Here's Shepherd's Song, A Cool Wind Is Blowing, I Will Not Be Sad In This World, Ojakhum and Eshkhemed. [more inside]
Georgian-born Armenian, Sergei Parajanov (1924-1990) was a controversial director in the Soviet era. At first he followed the state mandated style of Socialist Realism, but in 1964 he broke out into his own style with Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (YT), a dream-like film that combines expressionistic camera techniques, ethnography, and the logic of folktales. The film won almost every, award in sight on the 1964 film festival circuit, but it was also of the restrictive Soviet approach to the arts. The film was banned by authorities, but Parajanov did not return to realism, and instead paid tribute to the Armenian troubadour Sayat-Nova ("King of Songs" in Persian). The Color of Pomegranates (1968) is a film that sought to portray Sayat-Nova through images inspired by his life and poetry. [more inside]
The paintings are the work of none other than Jack Kevorkian, the late Armenian-American pathologist, philosopher, assisted suicide advocate, and convicted felon otherwise known as Dr. Death. They are strikingly well executed. Unlike the works of other improbable painters — Adolf Hitler’s multicolored bouquets and elegant nudes or Winston Churchill’s pastoral sceneries — Kevorkian’s canvases are markedly obvious and gruesomely, almost risibly, literal. And the man in the coma, the man on fire, and the man with the brains by his side look a lot like the auteur himself.
In 2004, Gurgen Margaryan (from Armenia) and Ramil Safarov (from Azerbaijan) were in Budapest attending a NATO-sponsored language training. While Margaryan was sleeping, Safarov hacked him to death with an axe. Safarov, who never denied his culpability and stated he only committed the crime because Margaryan was Armenian, was sentenced to life in prison in 2006. [more inside]
78 78s - In Search Of Lost Time - is a streaming mix of beautiful 78s from around the world, collected and curated by Ian Nagoski. "I started sifting through boxes of junky old 78s that no one else wanted about 15 years ago, and almost right away, I made a rule: Anything that wasn't in English, buy it." [more inside]
A husband and wife ambassador team leave soon for Armenia. The UK has found a solution to the challenge of "trailing" foreign service spouses. [more inside]
Soviet era arcade remains full functionally in Armenia. While Funspot is impressive, check out this working arcade in Gyumri, Armenia. [more inside]
"Armenia is a tiny, poor country in the Caucasus, with a population of just over 3m. It has a long history of bloodshed and oppression; when it appears in the news it is usually because of its entanglement in some labyrinthine regional feud. And it excels at the ancient, cerebral game of chess." (via)
A devastating document is met with silence in Turkey. "According to a long-hidden document that belonged to the interior minister of the Ottoman Empire, 972,000 Ottoman Armenians disappeared from official population records from 1915 through 1916." [more inside]
On February 19, Armenia hosted a presidential election. The winner with 52% of the vote was (as expected), current Prime Minister and BFF to the current president, Serge Sargsyan. The runner-up with 21.5% of the vote was former president (taken out by the current president in 1997), Levon Ter-Petrossian. The elections were flawed, lots of people protested over the past week, the protests have gotten violent, LTP is under house arrest and the government has issued a 20 day state of emergency. At least 3 (including a police officer) have been killed. [more inside]
19th Anniversary of Spitak Earthquake At 11:41am on December 7, 1988, a 7 point scale earthquake shook the Soviet Republic of Armenia. A massive Soviet-wide aid campaign began. Aid workers from outside of the Soviet Union were allowed in, for the first time in Soviet history. Many argue that the 50,000+ deaths were in part due to poor construction of the Soviet era buildings. Any hope for reconstruction fell apart with the collapse of the Soviet Union though. 19 years later, many people are still living in "temporary" housing, called "Domiks" , estimates are around 3000-5000 people still homeless after 19 years. A child of the earthquake remembers. ABC News coverage and Time Magazine coverage.
Turkish MPs back attacks in Iraq. [BBC] The vote was taken in defiance of pressure from the US and Iraq, which have called on Turkey for restraint. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the motion does not mean a military operation is imminent. But he said Turkey needed to be able to respond to a recent rise in bomb attacks blamed on PKK rebels from Iraq [Previously]. Also, [SeaTimes] Flourishing Kurdistan raises specter of war. Needless to say, this is giving the Bush Administration a four alarm Turkish headache on two fronts.
Genocide: An inconvenient truth "The Armenian genocide bill has been attacked by both the right and the left -- and it may make matters worse. But it's necessary." [Cookie.]
Hrant Dink, Armenian Newspaper Editor, Murdered in Istanbul an ethnic Armenian newspaper editor that was sentenced to 6 months in jail for "insulting Turkishness" by discussing the Armenian Genocide in Turkey was shot dead while leaving his newspaper office today.
Green by Necessity : Armenia is blazing a trail in the move to cleaner fuels -- but not by choice.
Armenian Genocide Plagues Ankara 90 Years On This weekend, Armenians commemorated the 90th anniversary of the genocide of 1915. But Turkey has yet to recognize the crime -- the first genocide of the 20th century. By refusing to use the word "genocide," Turkey could complicate its efforts to join the European Union.
Armenian Holocaust - This was discussed earlier this year. I ran across this very well done flash site and was amazed at how presentation can affect one's views on a subject. Although aware of the story, it seems more real presented this way.
Armenian holocaust You accuse Turkey of what they did to the Armenians--all a part of history--and you lose out. Thus, the Unite;d States has yet to cite Turkey, our needed ally, of what is known to have taken place, despite the many protests from the Armenian community in America.