Vanessa Kachadurian Armenia’s 2013 Eurovision entry

March 3, 2013 – 18:03 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net – Dorians rock band frontman Gor Sujyan’s “Lonely Planet” was selected at a Saturday, March 2 national vote to be performed at Eurovision 2013 song contest in Malmö, Sweden.
The song is composed by Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, information that had been kept secret for a while.
The dates set for the two Eurovision semi-finals are 14 May and 16 May 2013, with the final taking place on the evening of 18 May 2013.
– See more at:

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Vanessa Kachadurian and Armenian Fund, November 22, 2012


Provisions for those left to struggle

From 1988 to 1994, the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh fought a defensive war in order to defend their homes, families and their historic homeland from Azerbaijani aggression. In the process, over 10,000 Armenians, mostly men, either lost their lives or were disabled, and their families were left with virtually no means to survive.

The Orphan Fund was created to assist the families of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives to secure the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia Fund USA is providing assistance to a total of 8,000 children. Each family receives a monthly payment of 2000 drams or approximately $5. While this is a small amount by Western standards, it helps provide for the basic needs such as clothing, food and school supplies.

Armenia Fund has arranged for monthly payments to be distributed to the orphans through the Armenian Central Bank. The funds are sent to the local post offices where they are handed over to the surviving parent or legal guardian. The Orphan Fund has been providing much needed assistance to families in Nagorno-Karabakh since 1999.

Funds are typically added to an investment bank, from which families are supported through interest. Large donations can be directly allocated to the orphans upon patron’s request.

Thanks to generous contributions by Hirair and Anna Hovnanian, the Armenians of France, the late Ms. Ohanessian and the late Lillian Terchoonian Trust, over $875,000 has been raised towards a target goal of $1.5 million.

“It is our sacred duty as Armenians to help our orphans so that they will be able to help themselves one day. Let us be very clear: this is not a matter of charity, but a duty.” — Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan


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Vanessa Kachadurian, Happy 21st Anniversary to Armenia

YEREVAN (Combined Sources) — The Republic of Armenia celebrated its 21st anniversary on September 21.

Many world leaders sent congratulatory messages to President Serge Sargisian, including US President Barack Obama.

Obama in his letter, said, “I extend my warmest wishes to you and the people of Armenia as you celebrate national day on September 21. As Armenia enters its 22nd year of independence, the relationship between our two countries and our peoples is strong and enduring. The United States is firmly committed to supporting Armenia’s continued economic development and democratization, and looks forward to enhancing our close partnership even further in the years to come. … We deeply appreciate Armenia’s contributions to international security efforts in Afghanistan and Kosovo, where brave Armenian soldiers serve with American forces in NATO missions.”

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a similar statement on the occasion. “This is a special occasion to honor the achievements of Armenians and those of Armenian descent,” she said. “In the United States, Armenian-Americans have enriched the fabric of our society, further strengthening the longstanding bonds of friendship between our two countries.”

“I had the opportunity to once again experience the warm hospitality of the Armenian people when I visited Yerevan this past June,” read the statement. “As I said then, America is committed to helping Armenia strengthen its democratic institutions, deepen its economic reforms, and foster a future of peace and prosperity.”

“As you celebrate 21 years of independence, know that the United States stands with Armenia as a partner and friend,” added Clinton.

During the June trip, Clinton praised the Armenian authorities’ handling of parliamentary elections held in May and their efforts to
improve the domestic business environment. In a further boost to Sargisian, she again endorsed official Yerevan’s view that Turkey should stop linking parliamentary ratification of US-brokered normalization agreements, signed with Armenia in 2009, to a resolution of the (Artsakh) Nagorno-Karabagh conflict.

Sargisian, for his part, reaffirmed his commitment to expanding relations with the United States “in all areas.” He told Clinton that US-Armenian ties have already have “reached the highest point in history.”

Sargisian referred to America as his country’s “traditional and sincere friend” when he met with a visiting U.S. congressman in Yerevan earlier this month.

US Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern congratulated Armenians on Independence Day.

“Armenia Independence Day today. Congratulations on 21 years of independence. fireworks tonite?” he wrote on Twitter.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), a member of the Armenian Caucus, in a statement said, “I rejoice with the dynamic Armenian community that I represent and proudly say Oorakh Angakhootyan Or. Congratulations to the people of Armenia, to Armenians in America and
around the world on this joyous day. The road to independence has not always been easy for this nation, but time has proven that Armenians are survivors — survivors of foreign domination and survivors of the first genocide of the 20th century. And to this day, Armenian-Americans continue to illustrate what a valuable asset they are to our society, breaking new ground economically,
socially and politically in California and across the nation.”

He continued, “Over the years, I have been privileged to work with many individuals in the Armenian community to end our government’s tragic failure to recognize the Armenian genocide, ensure the victims receive just compensation, and secure aid for Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh.

French President François Hollande issued a congratulatory note to his Armenian counterpart.

He said, in part, “I am delighted to send best wishes to you and Armenian people on the occasion of the national holiday. Armenia may
be proud of the road it passed after it gained independence, of the democratic progress and prosperity, whilst strengthening its positions in international arena. I stand ready to continue the mission started 20 years ago, aimed at establishment of French-Armenian relations in all the fields.”

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko congratulated Sargisian, saying, “Belarus gives a high assessment to its relations with Armenia, which are anchored in mutual respect and strategic cooperation. I am confident that the Armenian-Belarusian cooperation will develop in the future as well.”

Separately, Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said of Oman sent a congratulatory message to Sargisian. The Sultan congratulated and extended his sincere wishes to the president and people of Armenia, the Oman Observer reports.

Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah of Kuwait likewise sent a congratulatory letter to Sargisian.

( and contributed to this report.)

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Vanessa Kachadurian, Armenia’s Grape Export Business is growing

total of 3.2 times more grapes were exported from Armenia since the beginning of the year until Thursday, as compared with the same time period last year, Deputy Agriculture Minister Robert Makaryan said during a press conference on Friday.

Grape exports totaled 3,004 tons; apricots, 12,628 tons; peaches, 906 tons; cherries, 1,105 tons; and vegetables, 3,221 tons. As compared with 2011, apricot exports grew by 73 percent; peaches, 2.8 times; cherries, by 64 percent; and vegetables, by twofold.

To note, the directors of exporting companies had told that this year is successful in Armenia in terms

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Vanessa Kachadurian-Armenians in Jerusalem since 95 BC


Two Armenian patriarchs in vegetating states — one in Istanbul and the other in Jerusalem — do not augur well for the Armenian Church in general. Those two patriarchates are major hierarchical seats within the structure of the Armenian Church and they are both paralyzed by a tragic stroke of nature. But what is more trag- ic is the eerie silence reigning throughout the Armenian world about these two alarming situations. Both patriarchates are situat- ed in countries where there is no love lost for the Armenians.
In the case of Istanbul Patriarchate, the community proved to be ineffective in steering to a normal situation when it was revealed that Patriarch Mesrob Mutafian was incurably incapacitated. Two different proposals were submitted to the Turkish government: to elect a new patriarch or to elect a coadjutor patriarch to run the affairs of the Patriarchate. The authorities preferred the stalemate, which benefited Bishop Aram Ateshian, with a poor standing in the community but in a good position to contribute to Turkey’s politi- cal agenda.
In the case of the Jerusalem Patriarchate, the handwriting was on the wall. The aging Patriarch Torkom Manoogian had already failed more than once to defend the patriarchate’s interests in some real estate deals, and it was very obvious that he could further compro- mise the Patriarchate’s properties against the sharks vying for those valuable pieces of property.
Armenians have lived in Jerusalem from time immemorial. In 95 BC, Jerusalem became part of Tigranes II’s empire. But the Patriarchate was established in the seventh century (638 AD) when the Caliph Umar Ibn Khattab proclaimed Abraham I, senior bishop of the Armenian Church, as the patriarch of the Armenian Church and the leader of the Eastern Orthodox denominations (Assyrian, Coptic and Abyssinian) to neutralize the authority of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Sophronius. It is no coincidence that another Muslim ruler, namely Fatih Sultan Mohammed, helped the creation of the Istanbul Patriarchate, after he conquered that city in 1453, exactly with the same political motivation, i.e. to neutralize the power of the Byzantine church. Of course, Armenians benefited from these rivalries, but they gained the perpetual hostility of Greek Orthodox Church, even to this day. Incidentally, recent rapproche- ment between Israel and Cyprus (and by extension Greece) might further fuel the Greek Patriarchate’s churches rivalry with the Armenians in the Holy City.
But Armenians do not need foreign enemies. They are perfectly capable of destroying themselves and their institutions.
It is believed that after the 1948 partition, there were 16,000 Armenians living in Jerusalem. That number reached 25,000 at its peak. Today, their count is less than 1,000. One can rightfully ask if these people felt secure and enjoyed the prospects of prosperity in the “only democratic country in the Middle East,” why they would seek opportunities in far away lands.
The answer to this question appeared in one of the Israeli papers (Ha’aretz) by a reporter named Nir Hossan who wrote:
“Jerusalem’s Christian community increasingly feels under assault, and that is especially true for Christians living in Jewish neighborhoods. Priests in the Old City, especially Armenian priests who must often transit the Jewish Quarter, say they are spat on daily.”
Spitting may yet be the least offensive act against the Armenians, who are sitting on a gold mine, in terms of property they own. The creeping appetite of the Jewish settlers and developers will eventu- ally expropriate the Patriarchate of its real estate holdings, under the benevolent eyes of the Israeli authorities.
Yet, against these raging appetites, we have a comatose and mori- bund Patriarch and a divided Brotherhood unable to manage its affairs.
Although the smallest of the quarters in Jerusalem, along with Jewish, Christian and Muslim quarters, the Armenian Quarter cov- ers one-sixth of the Old City. But the Patriarchate also owns prop- erty outside the limits of the Old City, which it has notoriously mis- managed over the centuries.
Armenians have sporadically faced “Jerusalem crises” alarming the world Armenian community to run for rescue, but then, trans- parency and accountability are not in the lexicon of the Patriarchate.
The treasures and properties accumulated over the centuries are the gifts of the Armenian people entrusted to the Brotherhood, who are supposed to act only as the custodian of that wealth. But very few spiritual leaders have realized that role; most of them have acted as if they owned the holy places.
That is certainly not a criticism directed toward any particular patriarch or brotherhood.
A case in point was another historic crisis erupted in 1914, just before World War I and the Armenian Genocide. At that time the Jerusalem Patriarchate was under the tutelage of the Armenian National Central Council in Istanbul, which decided to dispatch a delegation headed by two prominent leaders to resolve the crisis. One of those leaders was Archbishop Malachia Ormanian, himself a historic figure as a former patriarch and maker of history through his masterful studies on the history of the Armenian Church and its theology. The other leader was Vahan Tekeyan, a world-class poet and a public figure of impeccable integrity.
As soon as the delegation arrived in Jerusalem, Archbishop Ormanian connived with the clergy of the Brotherhood to make the presence of Tekeyan irrelevant. Then the war started and every- thing fell into further disarray.
This is an endemic problem; every time a higher body tries to exercise some authority to put the house in order in Jerusalem, the clergy gang up and they declare their fierce independence, with an arrogance that “we know better.”
But that bravura is exercised only against Armenian authority, lay or spiritual. When it comes to any ruling authority, the brotherhood is docile and pliant. That is where we lose.
The Russian church in Jerusalem benefited tremendously from Moscow even during the Soviet period. But our clergy are loath to encourage any protective move by the Armenian government or even by the Supreme Spiritual head of the Armenian Church or any other entity.
This overreaction to any outside advice or help is protected by a law, which governs the holy places. That law was promulgated in 1852 through a decree by the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Majid, known as the Status Quo, which regulates the rights, privileges and the authority of different religions. The law has been exercised by the Ottoman, British Colonial, Jordanian and Israeli authorities.
On the one hand, it protects different religions and entities against encroachments by the ruling powers and on the other hand it leaves the destiny of a huge wealth in the hands of a beleaguered Brotherhood.
The last few years there was talk to convince the St. James Brotherhood to plan a smooth succession, as the Patriarch’s health was deteriorating. During the last year, a convocation of the Brotherhood was cancelled twice. Its major agenda was to elect a coadjutor patriarch.
This tricky succession requires an amendment to the Patriarchate’s by-laws, and one was prepared. However, the pro- crastination of the Patriarch led to the present impasse.
Today the Grand Sacristan of the Patriarchate, Archbishop Nourhan Manoukian, has assumed the responsibility of running day-to-day operation of the Patriarchate.
Unfortunately, the Patriarch’s recovery is not in the cards. There is a worldwide silence, which is very dangerous. The candidates who can succeed and stabilize the situation do not seem interested. On the other hand, candidates who are ready to ascend the throne and emulate the late Patriarch Yeghishe Derderian’s extravagant lifestyle are ready to seize the opportunity.
It is not only the material wealth of the Patriarchate that is at stake, but also its cultural and historic treasures. The attempted sale of 28 illuminated manuscripts at Sotheby’s in London some years ago is still a searing memory. Turkish and Israeli authori- ties also keep a watchful eye on the archives of the Istanbul Patriarchate transferred to Jerusalem for safe keeping during World War I. They contain incriminating documents about the Genocide.
Jerusalem is everybody’s concern and, yes, every Armenian’s busi- ness. The Brotherhood needs to reach out to the world Armenian community, over and beyond the Status Quo provisions and elect a worthy successor and also enlist the cooperation of real estate and financial experts to salvage our legacy in the Holy Land.
Let us pray for the good health of our ailing Patriarch but above all let us pray for the endangered future of the Jerusalem Patriarchate, which is in limbo.

additional information about Armenia’s historical roots in Jerusalem

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Vanessa Kachadurian 36 Armenian artists to be presented | ARMENPRESS Armenian News Agency

Works of 36 Armenian artists to be presented | ARMENPRESS Armenian News Agency.

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Vanessa Kachadurian – AGBU gives concert at Carnegie Hall

On December 3, 2011, the AGBU New York Special Events Committee (NYSEC), under the auspices of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Armenia to the United Nations, hosted its fourth annual AGBU Performing Artists in Concert, which showcased the talents of yet another group of outstanding young Armenian musicians. The sold-out event was held at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in midtown Manhattan.

Supporting students in the performing arts has always been a priority for AGBU. Besides sharing the many talents of the gifted artists who have benefitted from the organization’s scholarship assistance toward their musical aspirations, this year’s event also honored the 150th anniversary of the birth of the famous Norwegian Arctic explorer, scientist, Nobel laureate, diplomat, humanitarian, and friend to the Armenian people, Fridtjof Nansen (1861-1930).

In addition to his many other notable achievements as the League of Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees, Nansen played a significant role in providing humanitarian relief for Armenian refugees in the 1920’s. He drew up a political, industrial, and financial plan for creating a national home for the Armenians in Yerevan. Through the Nansen International Office for Refugees, these repatriation efforts later helped settle some 10,000 Armenian refugees in Yerevan, and an additional 40,000 in Syria and Lebanon. Historians believe that the modern state of Armenia owes its legal existence to arrangements supported by Nansen that were made following the First World War.

On this special occasion, nine performers, under the artistic direction of pianist Kariné Poghosyan, collaborated to prepare a distinguished repertoire of music, celebrating Armenian, Norwegian and other composers, including Arno Babajanian, Johann Sebastian Bach, Francois Borne, Edvard Grieg, Aram Khachaturian and Komitas Vardapet. The celebration of music saluted the impressive artistic achievements of the various performers in their respective fields, and featured performances by a string quartet, a piano duo from France, a classical saxophonist from Germany, as well as an emerging 14-year-old harpist. The musicians were all recipients of AGBU scholarships, which have allowed them to be educated at some of the world’s most well-respected and prestigious conservatories and universities, including the Manhattan School of Music and the world-renowned Juilliard School in New York.

Thanks to AGBU’s close circle of friends and the Armenian community at large, last year’s benefit performance allowed NYSEC to provide scholarship support to several students, some of whom were featured at the recent 2011 concert. AGBU is proud to help some of the best future musicians in the world reach their goals and showcase them through this annual concert. AGBU also appreciates the generosity of the evening’s donors who believe in supporting the performing arts, recognizing the talents of young Armenian artists, and helping in their advancement. Major benefactors included Dr. Paul Khoury and author Margaret Ajemian Ahnert. The 2011 benefit concert raised over $60,000 for the AGBU Performing Arts Fellowship Program.

The event was organized by the AGBU NYSEC Committee, chaired by Nila Festekjian and Sossy Setrakian. Members include Anita Anserian, Carol Aslanian, Betty Cherkezian, Melissa Demirjian, Maral Hajjar, Hilda Hartounian, Maral Jebejian, Vesna Markarian, Jennifer Oughourlian, and Vera Setrakian. Performing Artists in Concert contributors included graphic designer Alex Basmagian and coordinator Natalie Gabrelian of the AGBU Central Office.

The concert was attended by AGBU President Berge Setrakian and his wife Vera, as well as Ambassador Garen Nazarian, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Armenia to the United Nations, and his wife, Siranoush. Guests also included members of the AGBU Central Board of Directors and several UN dignitaries. “We are truly grateful to AGBU, its leadership, members and supporters for their continued commitment to preserving and promoting the Armenian identity and heritage through rich educational and cultural programs worldwide,” said Ambassador Nazarian. He continued, “By listening to Edvard Greig’s masterpieces we establish a special connection with the people and century-long humanitarian tradition of Norway as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of the prominent Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat and Nobel Laureate Fridtjof Nansen. This concert is one of the numerous cultural events and exhibitions organized by the Armenian diplomatic missions and the Armenian Diaspora in many world capitals and in my hometown of Yerevan, signifying the respect and veneration of the Armenian people and its government toward the fond memory and name of Nansen.

“This was one of the most monumental evenings of my entire performing life. The program that I had spent countless hours envisioning in my head came to life in such a beautiful way, with everyone truly giving their all to every note they played,” said Poghosyan. “I congratulate and thank all of my fellow performers for putting such committed effort into this evening. They are not only highly gifted artists, but also beautiful human beings and it was an honor working with them all.” This year’s talented and award-winning international group of AGBU performing artists included Hayrapet Arakelyan (saxophone), Ruth Boyajian (harp), Ani Bukujian (violin), Christian Erbslöh-Papazian (piano), Lilit Kurdiyan (cello), Aleksandr Nazaryan (viola), Cecee Pantikian (violin), Kariné Poghosyan (piano) and Ursula von Lerber (piano).

Violinist Ani Bukujian, originally from Los Angeles, expressed her enthusiasm for being a part of the 2011 concert, and her gratitude to AGBU. “It was an honor playing with the other artists, as well as getting to meet many of the people at the AGBU Central Office. I would also like to thank AGBU for offering me a scholarship toward my education at the Juilliard School. I am extremely grateful and happy to have met such kind-hearted people during tough times here in New York. Thank you, AGBU, for all your support.” Harpist Ruth Boyajian added, “My experience performing in the AGBU concert was incredible! I was so thankful for the scholarship, and it was an honor to be invited to perform in the annual concert with such gifted musicians. The generosity of AGBU has been a great encouragement to me, and I am so grateful for all of the wonderful experiences I have been given by the organization.”

This year’s concert not only welcomed to the stage AGBU’s US talents but, for the first time, opened its arms to embrace the European artists, who were truly appreciative of the artistic and cultural exchange. “The concert was an opportunity to say thank you to the people who have been helping me for years, to say thank you with my art. The feeling I got was a feeling of love, of trying to do the best for our nation,” expressed Hayrapet Arakelyan of Germany.”The Armenian culture, so strongly defended by AGBU, is finding an extraordinary exchange process. Our everyday spoken language may be German, French, or Bulgarian, but we all are proud to participate to keep alive our millennial Armenian heritage. We are proud to feel we belong to the AGBU family,” remarked piano duo Christian Erbslöh-Papazian and Ursula von Lerber of France.

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