Wednesday, April 26, 2006

SCHOOL FOR YOUNG LEADERS, ARMENIA

Another opportunity - this one is open to Armenian Diasporans and Armenians living in Armenia.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Center for Organizing Youth Activities with the financial assistance of the Ministry of Culture and Youth Affairs of RA is implementing a project of “School for Young Leaders”.

The aim of the School is to assist the youth in the development of knowledge, worldviews, value system and especially the leadership skills. The students will be taught the Basics of Leadership; Rhetoric; Political Propaganda Skills; Value System vs. Politics; Alternative Ways of Armenia’s Development, etc. The teaching staff consists of highly qualified professionals, including prominent social and political figures.

The School is open to persons aged from 19 to 35 from Armenia and Diaspora. The education at the School is free of charge. The start date is May 15. The courses take place in Yerevan twice a week at evening hours.

The full course length is one year which is divided into four stages. A certificate is given at the end of each stage. The best graduates of the School are going to be involved in the projects, implemented by the Ministry, have opportunities of participating in international seminars or other programs and trainings at the state offices.

To apply to the first group of 2006-2007 academic year please fill out free application and recommendation forms. The application and recommendation forms are available at the following addresses 22 Saryan St., 16-th floor; 8 Tumanyan St., Room N 526, or can be downloaded from the following link: www.armyouthcenter.am/schoolforyoungleaders.

Application deadline is May 02, 2006, 15:00.

For more information call us 01053 81 98, 010 54 73 66 or e-mail schoolforyoungleaders@yahoo.com

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Yeritac NGO hosts 1st International Youth Conference on National Democracies to be held in Yerevan, Armenia



3-7 JULY, 2006
YEREVAN, ARMENIA

YERITAC Armenian Youth NGO is organizing a scientific youth conference entitled “National Democracies or Nations against Democracies ?” which will take place in Yerevan, Armenia, on July 3-7, 2006.

Abstract: The contradiction between democracy and national culture is an important issue faced by transformational societies worldwide. Post-soviet Armenia is one of the countries especially sharply fronting this contradiction. The scientific approach and conceptualization of the ongoing processes and their comparison to other societies’ experience seem to be important to overcome the difficulties of the process of democratization in the country.

Purpose: The purpose of 1st International Youth Conference on National Democracies is to bring together young scholars, students, activists, etc. both from advanced democracies and transitional countries, who are enrolled in democracy studies and national studies to make an opportunity to discuss the possible issues of transitional democracies as to argue on the sharper aspects and find possible solutions.

Eligibility: Participants with following criteria are acceptable:
• aged 18-27,
• undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students of social sciences and humanities,
• involvement in youth organizations, movements dealing with the issues of democracy is a plus
• participants from all over the world are welcome to the event
• good communication and writing skills in English.
Selection will be done based on gender and geographical proportional distribution.

Conference fee: $350 for foreign participants (includes hotel accommodation in double and triple rooms, nutrition, cultural trips, and participation fee). Travel, visa and insurance costs are not covered. 50% discounts are available for participants from Yerevan.

Scholarships: Limited number of scholarships is available for representatives from developing countries. Depending on country and on motivation participants can receive up to 40% discounts.
For those participants, who will the services of the Official Carrier of the Conference - Austrian Airlines to travel to Armenia, there is a tariff-reduction possible between 10 % and 20 % depending on the class of booking, etc. This reduction is only applicable for Conference participants with confirmed registration.
Conference Details: The Conference will consist of scientific, cultural and entertainment parts. Scientific part includes paper presentations, meetings with speakers and workshop discussions. Cultural part includes cultural trips and discussions on National culture. Entertainment will be organized on each evening of the conference.

Application procedure:
1. Fill in the attached Application form and send it to conference@yeritac-am.org
2. Write 1-page long abstract on one of the following titles:
a. National Culture and Democracy, describing your vision of the possible conflict between democratic and local culture.
b. Youth and Democracy, describing your vision of youth participation in the processes of democratization and adaptation of local cultures.
c. Education and Democracy, describing your vision of democratic education and education leading to democracy.
d. Nationalism, Cosmopolitism and Democracy describing of how you understand these three ideologies in the framework of contemporary societies.
Participants’ personal approach to the specified issues is highly acceptable, however the abstract should be based on existing theoretical framework of the abovementioned issues (like revision of literature).

Deadlines:
Deadline for applications is May 20, 2006. Successful applicants will be informed by May 27, 2006.

Outcome: Participants will have the following benefits from the Conference:
1. Opportunity to express their ideas, discuss with others and learn more about democracies and national cultures
2. Prepare and make a public presentation
3. Best papers will be published in a special publication of selected works, which will be distributed throughout of universities and scientific organizations.
4. Opportunity to discover Armenia – a country on the crossroads of Europe and Asia (where silky road once passed), with interesting culture and new democracy.
5. Make contacts with persons with same interests from throughout the world
6. Organize interesting and productive summer rest.

For details - please visit Yeritac NGO Website
or contact YERITAC YNGO - info@yeritac-am.org

Silencing the Armenian Genocide

UNTIL WHEN WILL THE SILENCING CONTINUE?

* On April 24th, a group of Armenian Americans organized a yellow ribbon campaign at the Armenian Genocide Memorial. They handed out yellow ribbons to people going to the monument and the people tied them on to the ropes.

Maral at The Armenian Affairs interviewed Harut Sassounian. Here is an excerpt from the interview.

“ Armenian Affairs: Who are the organizers of this campaign, we know that they call themselves "Armenian Americans", what are their names?

Harut Sassounian: In terms of the organizers, they are a small group of Armenian Americans who live in Yerevan and their friends in Armenia.


AA: Was Ambassador Evans "Officially Recalled"?

Sassounian: Ambassador Evans was officially notified by the State Dept. that he is being recalled.

AA: Is there any significance for the "Yellow" color? Is it a symbol or a sign for something?
Sassounian: Yellow ribbon is a well known symbol in the United States. Every American, especially American officials at the State Dept. would understand very well the meaning of this yellow ribbon campaign. It is a tribute for a fallen soldier or missing person. It is a tribute and a silent protest on behalf of Ambassador Evans.

So dear friend, if you are going to march on Monday April 24, 2006... make sure you won't forget tying the Yellow Ribbon in Support of this campaign. Below is the Press-Release of the Campaign.”



* The Yellow Ribbon Campaign, Genocide Memorial.

“In the end, we will remember not the words
of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Cilicia.com posts Press Release on Yellow Ribbon Campaign.

Yellow Ribbon Campaign

PRESS RELEASE

During the last few years we have witnessed several disturbing examples of diplomats and representatives who have publicly denied the Armenian Genocide.

• In 2002 Israeli Ambassador to Armenia Rivka Cohen made a statement disassociating the Armenian Genocide from the Jewish Holocaust, thereby questioning the fact of the Armenian Genocide.
• In 2004, the United Kingdom Ambassador to Armenia, Thorda Abbott Watt, twice denied the Armenian Genocide during her tenure, causing outrage among Armenians both in Armenia and the Diaspora.

The third instance differs from the previous two examples in that the Ambassador of one of our ally nations was punished by that same country for speaking the truth;

• Last year U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Marshall Evans held meetings with Armenian Diaspora communities in the United States. During these meetings, Ambassador Evans had the courage to call for an end to word games, expressed his conviction for calling things by their name and called for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Following these statements, several punishments by the U.S. State Department ensued: initially the Ambassador was forced to publicly “take back” his words and to apologize. Now, and most hurtful to us is the fact that Ambassador Evans is being recalled for speaking out the whole truth about the Armenian Genocide.

Such disrespectful actions against the Armenian nation will continue if we do not put an end to such diplomatic denial by these nations.

The Yellow Ribbon Campaign has been organized to shatter the silence surrounding the Armenian Genocide.

Why a Yellow Ribbon Campaign? Because the color yellow signifies hope for the future. With this campaign we appeal to the world, specifically to the nations we consider our friends, to end such insensitive policies and silence towards the pain of an entire nation.

In this regard, we would like to remember the poignant words spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends... a time comes when silence is betrayal.”

We call out to the Armenian nation to join this campaign.

Organized by Armenian-Americans in
Armenia and Friends

* Ambassador John Evans has been recalled as the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia for his words and recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
He is losing his job and will not be allowed to serve as a diplomat.
There is word that he plans on writing a book of his Memoirs.

* President Bush’s statement on April 24, 2006.
“Today, we remember one of the horrible tragedies of the 20th century -- the mass killings and forced exile of as many as 1.5 million Armenians in the final days of the Ottoman Empire in 1915. This was a tragedy for all humanity and one that we and the world must never forget.”
http://www.usa.am/news/2006/april/news042406.html


Merriam & Webster Online www.m-w.com

And this is how President Bush has turned his back on Armenia once again as Voch Me Ban explains.

NOT MUCH SILENCE IN THE ARMENIAN BLOGOSPHERE.

Armenian Affairs coverage of April 24th .

Hye Log .

While Ara Manoogian at Martuni or Bust!!! writes a letter regarding Amb. Evans’ recall.

As One World shows us that it’s not only the Armenian students gathered at the Genocide Memorial on April 24th.

Notes From Hairenik

iararat

Hakob Gevorgyan writes on the April 24th activities in Montebello, CA and urges the purchase of Made in Armenia products

And Glendale Chick gives us some coverage from Los Angeles and Washington D.C.

Friday, April 21, 2006

International Students protest death of Indian YSU student

“We want justice!” voiced the international students gathered in front of the National Assembly yesterday, April 20th. I had actually made it to the protest by the night time to try to see what was going on. There were two-three hundred students when I had arrived.

As the students explained to me, an Indian student from the medical school at Yerevan State University had fallen out of the building. There are many different versions of the story going on. According to the students I spoke to, he was still living after having fallen from the 6th floor and his friends had called the ambulance for help. The ambulance came 45 minutes later and without being properly equipped to help save this student’s life. The student passed away soon after.

Armenia Liberty currently has the news in Armenian.

According to the article, he was between 20-22 years, even though according to the students I talked to, he was 19 years old, either way, he was still young.

I find this article and peoples’ attitudes towards these students’ protests problematic primarily because they were not just Indian students gathered in front of the National Assembly to protest this tragedy. In fact, if one looks in the pictures from this event in most of these news stories, there are many other students from various countries. The people I talked to yesterday included not just Indians but Syrians, Nepalese, Iranians and Chinese students. I guess this goes to show how these people feel there is no need to differentiate among these different groups of people. Even more discrimination and ignorance which continues to show the ignorance on behalf of Armenians if you ask me.

What is even more disappointing is the behavior and attitude of Rector Gohar Kjalyan in response to these students’ protests. The students had all gathered together after learning of their friend’s death to protest to the Rector. The Rector gave them the middle finger and told them to- well, I think you know what I mean. Posted on the fence of the National Assembly were posters claiming “Shame on Rector”.

Discrimination and racism on many different levels- not just on behalf of the hospital and emergency services but on behalf of the news sources as well. Quite a sad and tragic story.

A1+ also reported this news in English.

Another article that actually distinguishes the protestors as “International students” and not simply “Indian students” can be found at ArmInfo.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Բամբիռի համերգը

CSN և Բամբիռների համատեղ աշխատանքը՝ Ճամբարուկում կազմակերպված համերգը, հաջող անցավ։ Դրա մասին է վկայում հանդիսատեսի աշխուժությունը։ Մարդիկ “rock” բառը լսելիս կա՛մ խոժոռում են դեմքը, կա՛մ հարցական հայացքով նայում վրադ, այդ օրը «տժում էին» հայկական ռոկի՝ Բամբիռների, ներքո։

Հավաքվել էին ատարբեր տարիքի մարդիկ։ Եկածները անտեղյակ էին համերգի բնույթից, բայց քիչ անց, համերգի սկսվելուց հետո, չափսոսացին իրենց կորցրած ժամանակը։ Համերգի ժամանակ երգում և պարում էին նաև դահլիճում հավաքված երեխաները։

Հույսերն արդարացված էին , Բամբիռները ձեռք բերեցին նոր հանդիսատես, իսկ CSN–ը «զարգացրեց» ճամբարակը։

-- Անուշ

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Bambir Rocks in Tchambarak





On Wednesday, April 12th, Bambir rocked in Tchambarak. There is simply no other way to put it! They played in the City Council packed with an audience of students, who danced and rocked along with the boys. Surely, it was a concert that these students will never forget.






Tchambarak is a city located only a couple of hours away from Yerevan, but when one goes there it seems as though it is light years away from civilization. Not much gets out to this city and it really is broken away from so many things.

Formerly known as Krasnoselsk or in Armenian called Karmir, it is a city which was known during the Soviet times for its huge Molokan population. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union practically the entire population of Molokans fled from Karmir. During the war with Azerbaijan over Nagorno Karabakh, the city itself was bombed and raided many times. As Zinaidah Mkrtchyan the principal of Tchambarak School No. 2 explained they fought to defend the city themselves.


( Krasnoselsk Music School. CSI has held a few series of music masters classes and music concerts here.)

As a part of Civil Society Institute's Civil Society Network program sponsored by USAID and in collaboration with three other Armenian NGOs, Bambir was invited to perform a rock concert at the City Council. While flyers and posters about the event were handed out way in advance, Armine (the program assistant for this program at CSI) wanted to call and ensure that the information had gotten to them. For four days straight she tried calling to confirm plans for the concert, but to no avail as the communication lines were down this entire time. So we went out to Tchambarak fearing that hardly anybody would show up to the concert because it was not quite publicized. Yet when we arrived to Tchambarak and met up with School No. 2 principal Ms. Mkrtchyan, she informed us that the entire school would be in attendance for the concert.

And sure enough, after meeting with her we headed to the City Council in which we saw the auditorium packed with students ranging from five to fifteen years old. Apparently, even though the phone lines were down and were not able to confirm the plans, everybody had already heard about the concert. As the principal explained, when something happens in Tchambarak everybody hears about it. And if they hadn’t heard about the concert happening by word of mouth, then they probably heard Bambir’s music blasting from the auditorium in the center of the city that day.





Standing on the side and observing the children, I noticed some of the younger kids were jamming to the music while the older ones wanted to show themselves as “cool” and did not want to “let loose.” I myself am particularly a fan of Bambir and try to go to as many of their concerts as I can. Thus, my feet couldn’t help but move when I started to hear Nareg singing “jan gyullum jan jan…” I realized as I was dancing, all of the kids were looking at me, knowing that I was surely a foreigner. That didn’t bother me of course and I continued dancing and enjoyed myself while listening and taking some of these pictures. Then, these cute young girls approached me and pulled my arms to the front to dance with them. I was a bit embarrassed at first but realized that these girls would not dance unless I was dancing in the front with them. Well, that got the party started and sure enough we got some more dancers to the front. And it was not only the girls who were beginning to dance but the boys too. I think usually the boys are a bit more conservative when it comes to these types of activities and worry about what their friends what might think if they started dancing. At that point though, it seemed as though their feet really couldn’t help but move either and they started pretending like they were playing the guitar like Arman and Nareg and were shortly jamming to Bambir’s music as well.

After the concert, we left in our huge bus which they probably don’t see come into Tchambarak very often. It was rather sad to leave all of those children after having such a good time with them and then realizing that they would be back to their everyday normal lives in this city so broken away from everything else.

Yet this concert was not a one time deal of course. The goal of the Civil Society Network is to initiate development of the civil societies in Tavush and Gegharkunik marzes. CSI along with a network of other Armenian NGOs is organizing forums, monitoring trainings, advocacy trainings, photo exhibitions, music and photo master classes as well as musical concerts, like this one with Bambir. One of the elements of the Civil Society Network is to incorporate this cultural component in which the hope is that these sorts of music concerts and photo exhibitions will bring into these communities new and different activities and to a certain extent bring some energy into these cities and villages which are rather broken away from everything. In addition, these cultural events are an informal way in which the community can gather together and begin to gain this sense of community.

While sitting in the bus as we left Tchambarak, the kids waved goodbye to us and I couldn’t help but feel sad and happy at the same time. On the one hand, these kids were given a taste of fun and danced and were able to enjoy this rock concert for this one day. In fact, as we were leaving the kids said that this was the best concert they had ever seen in Tchambarak. Yet on the other hand, there is not much cultural and artistic events happening there and it’s sad to know that they are not able to enjoy these kinds of events so much. As my friend was explaining to me, it’s like they were teased with this delicious candy and then it’s gone. Wouldn’t it have been better if they didn’t get to taste that candy, that way they wouldn’t miss it and not know what they are missing out on?

Really it’s a mixed bag. Either way, I try to remain a bit optimistic and think that these kids were able to enjoy themselves for this day – got signatures from Armenia’s most famous rock band and will not forget about that day that Bambir rocked in Tchambarak.





Tuesday, April 04, 2006

ArmYouth Blog's new location!

Ahhh after finally getting frustrated with some of the limitations of Wordpress, I have decided to move ArmYouth Blog onto Blogspot - which now allows for more ability to change the template itself.

Of course, the first banner I added was the Armenian Genocide wrist band banner. As you can see, Maral at The Armenian Affairs Blog had emailed many of us to include this banner on their website. Should you also be interested to include it, please email me (tamarpalandjian@yahoo.com ) and I will forward you the information.

It seems as though many other Armenian bloggers such as Armenian Affairs, Inch es asum?! , Myrthe's "Life as I see it", Martuni or Bust!!! and Voch Me Ban had already caught onto the fact that this from the very start. I, unfortunately, was a bit slower in figuring these capabilities out sooo here it goes with Blogspot! happy reading...

Monday, April 03, 2006

Another blog brought to you by Armenian civil society

Stepan Danielyan, President of Collaboration for Democracy Center NGO, has established a new blog for Human Rights in Armenia website called "Nor Darperak" in Armenian or "New Dimension" in English. After speaking to him, he suggested that the HRA website needs to have a way to communicate and interact with the people regarding certain topics.
As he explains in the heading, it is "providing a new dimension from civil society".
In its first blog post, HRA Blog introduces itself and provides a brief statement….

"Միայն ճիշտ գնահատականները կարող են մեզ միավորել ու դրդել գործողությունների։Մեր կայքում մենք փորձելու ենք քննարկումներ կազմակերպել հասարակական հնչեղություն ունեցող իրադարձությունների մասին :"

"Only correct evaluations are able to unite us and force us to act. On our site we are seeking to organize discussions about events of significant social importance."

To view this new blog, visit hrablog.wordpress.com .