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  • Your Neutrality is Killing Us | CIVILNET
    one soldier is killed and another wounded Armenia s Defense Ministry has launched an investigation into the Azerbaijani military raid that took the lives of four officers The Nagorno Karabakh Defense Army extends its condolences to the families of the deceased soldiers Armenia s armed forces retaliate successfully quell the aggressor s gunfire And so it goes We ve become desensitized to the news from the front lines They ve become a normal part of our day But I lie They haven t They never will because once you see the birthdate next to the name of the dead soldier 1995 1996 1997 something inside you snaps It doesn t break you not yet You can still hang on a little more because you are made of the strong earth from which you sprang You can hang on because you are as rugged as the mountains that stretch across the landscape of your conscience But In less than 48 hours three peaceful civilians all women are killed by Azerbaijani gunfire and four young soldiers die on the Line of Contact If this isn t a declaration of war what is Sometimes the news of tensions and fighting on the border makes international headlines and we re buoyed by the fact that the world hasn t forgotten this isolated corner of humanity Often those charged with negotiating for a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict issue a statement They call on both sides to refrain from actions that will escalate the situation further Their carefully crafted statements ooze of neutrality They blame both sides call for a de escalation of aggression By not calling out the aggressor they render their words useless and become impotent to ensure the de escalation they seem to want so desperately The 18 year old

    Original URL path: http://civilnet.am/2015/09/26/your-neutrality-is-killing-us-voices-maria-titizian/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Armenian Art, Cultural Diplomacy and Censorship at the Beijing Biennale | CIVILNET
    media sculpture in iron polyester thread and plaster 2012 Dimensions 80x80x80cm Photo credits Domenico Nicolo Image courtesy of the artist Armenians have long known the crucial importance of memory its influence on the present moment and the lasting effect that traumatic memories have on individuals families and communities Memory is something intangible but very important Memory is also very dynamic and changes over time as we forget certain details or accentuate others explains Anna K Gargarian I was trying to reconcile how memory which can be seen as unreliable at times is so important for shaping who we are The question of how our past memories either lived or told by others helps us define and project our own identity is a recurring theme throughout the Dreamscapes exhibit Ararat Minasyan one of the Beijing Biennale participating artists focuses precisely on those questions of identity His diptych installation The Battle of Sardarapat refers to the historical victory of the Armenian villagers against the Ottoman Turkish soldiers in the Armavir province This battle embodies the artist s vision of national identity Ararat Minasyan Battle of Sardarapat diptych installation acrylic on paper 2010 Dimensions 73x206cm framed Image courtesy of the artist Karén Mirzoyan s work although very different from Ararat Minasyan s also asks the important question of what remains after war and death and what future we can build on traumatic memories The photos presented at the Beijing Biennale are the final chapter of a three part photo story about Armenians who fought in the Nagorno Karabakh war In Chapter 3 The Future the children of the fallen soldiers are portrayed in the exact place of their father s death The eerie photographs present not only the future of those children who grew up without fathers but also the continuation of life on the lands of Nagorno Karabakh Those fields mountains and villages were the scenes of the horrors of a lengthy bloody war and yet they appear as peaceful landscapes places to live dream labour and grow Artur Hagopyan 21 car mechanic His father Artavazd died in this field on the road to Aghdam June 12 1993 mirzOyan Karabagh War Series Chapter 3 The Future Photography print 2010 Dimensions 163 x 108 8 cm Image courtesy of the artist Caption Melena Avagimyan age 16 student Her father Samvel died on this place in the Askeran mountains at the age 24 mirzOyan Karabagh War Series Chapter 3 The Future Photography print 2010 Dimensions 163 x 108 8 cm Image courtesy of the artist Despite the quality of the Dreamscapes artwork selection and the close collaboration between the biennale organizers and the Armenian team over the last year some of content of the Armenian special exhibit seems to have stirred a controversy in China According to our information the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been putting pressure on the Biennale organizers to remove sensitive words like massacre Armenian genocide mass atrocities from both the catalogue of the biennale and the exhibition itself

    Original URL path: http://civilnet.am/2015/09/22/armenian-art-cultural-diplomacy-and-censorship-at-the-beijing-biennale/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Starting Over in the Homeland: Syrian-Armenian Entrepreneurship at its Best | CIVILNET
    will be as she opened her little boutique only three months ago She says that no one has helped her with any of this I pay rent for my home I pay rent for this store we have had no help from the state we ve done all this by ourselves she notes as a look of sadness quickly passes over her otherwise twinkling eyes The rent here in the underpass is cheaper she says almost ashamed thinking about what she used to have back in Syria compared to this cramped space she occupies today But Lena is hopeful We can t cover our expenses just yet we re a small business it will take time she smiles and points to a wall where she sells undershirts made in Armenia See these are all Armenian made she says proudly Bedros Kirazian The smell of spices from the store next to Lena s lures us in Bedros Kirazian originally from Aleppo moved to Armenia with his family three years ago He s been operating his store which was slightly larger than the others at Aleppo Market here at the underpass for the past eight months He was the first Syrian Armenia to set up shop near the metro station He s thankful for the chance to work and make an income Thank God we re working he says We have new products that weren t available before here we have three kinds of zehter dozens of spices pepper paste tomato paste olives he says pointing to the products lined along shelves mounted on the wall of his store He imports the products from different places Syria Dubai Lebanon He seems content but there s a certain nervous energy about the uncertainty of having to start all over again in a new country whose laws and customs are unfamiliar I had a small table at Vernissage for several months I built up a clientele and when I opened this store they followed me here So I m doing OK he says The other tenants in Aleppo Market are still struggling according to Bedros Those who have just opened are finding it difficult Thank God I m doing well he says Bedros was clear about his needs and expectations I am renting my home renting this store I pay my taxes supplies everything he says All we want is some advertising We ve spoken to many journalists and told them the same thing we need a sign for the Aleppo Market at the entrance so people know we re here Kevork Sukiassian Sporting a large scissor tattoo on his forearm Syrian Armenian hairdresser Kevork Sukiassian has also been in Armenia for the last three years I ve had good days here It s a beautiful city I love my country my homeland and especially because I can work in my field Kevork says as he cuts the hair of a young client Kevork started apprenticing as a hairdresser at the age of 13

    Original URL path: http://civilnet.am/2015/06/12/starting-over-in-the-homeland-syrian-armenian-entrepreneurship-at-its-best/ (2016-02-10)
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  • April 25 | CIVILNET
    the world will be taken down Exhibitions that had been held at some of the most prestigious museums and institutions will be dismantled and packed away Conferences that had been organized televised and live streamed will conclude their proceedings published and uploaded The academics panelists experts who had delivered their speeches will leave the podiums the audience will go back to their lives and the conference halls will be empty The demonstrations candlelight vigils and marches will come to an end The articles that were written will be read and then deleted from computer screens The purple forget me not the symbol designed to mark the centenary that had been made into pins posters t shirts bumper stickers mugs bracelets necklaces phone covers umbrellas and hats will be discarded Books about the Genocide by descendants of survivors will be published poems will be written feature films will be screened plays will be performed as will rock concerts and symphonies in the heart of Yerevan The millions if not billions of dollars earmarked and raised for the commemoration on every continent of the globe will be spent April 25 will come I promise And 100 is just a number It is not an end it must be a beginning to something You see the 1 5 million will still be dead towns and villages in historic Armenia will still be missing their native children wealth and prosperity will still be lost justice will continue to be elusive Turkey will still continue to deny and we will still need to fight the good fight And after the marches end after the conferences are over after the signs are taken down after the world who had come to Yerevan has packed up and gone we will be here The land and its people

    Original URL path: http://civilnet.am/2015/04/01/april-25/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Մեկ բառի կարևորությունը. Հասան Ջեմալը, Ցեղասպանությունը և «ավազակախումբը» | CIVILNET
    նչ անել երբ նա 1 5 միլիոն հայերի կորուստը համեմատում է մի քանի տասնյակ թուրք դիվանագետների կորստի հետ Մենք բարկանում եք Շատ ենք բարկանում Դուք դրան նայում եք եթե մեկն ասեր Գիտե ք իմ պապը սպանել է ձեր պապին և ես ցավում եմ Ես հասկանում եմ ձեր վիշտը ես կիսում եմ ձեր վիշտը Իսկ հետո Արդյո ք դա Հասան Ջեմալի պատմության ավարտն է կամ նրա պատասխանատվության սահմանագիծը Ես մի բան գիտեմ երբ գրեթե մեկ դար ժխտումից հետո Ցեղասպանության գլխավոր կազմակերպիչներից մեկի թոռն ընդունում է որ կատարվածը ցեղապսանություն էր կցանկանայի լսել թե նա անձամբ ինչ է ասում այդ մասին Ես կհուսայի միգուցե միամտաբար որ նրա ձայնը կմիանա Թուրքիայի մյուս թեկուզ փոքրաթիվ ձայներին այդ երկրի ներսում երկխոսություն սկսելու համար Ի նչ կստանանք մենք Ցեղասպանության մասին խոսել ցանկացող այդ ձայների բացակայությունից Սակայն մենք չենք ցանկանում լսել դա Մենք հավատում ենք որ նրա ձեռքերը ևս արյունոտ են քանի որ նա Ջեմալ Փաշայի թոռն է Մենք ցանկանում ենք նրան քարկոծել հայհոյել քանի որ նա ներողություն չի խնդրում երբ խոսում է իր պապի մասին կամ քանի որ նա ցավում է իր դիվանագետ ընկերների կորստի համար Դե եկեք նրան հայհոյենք ու քարկոծենք խաչենք նրան ձեռի հետ նաև նրա երեխաներին այնպես ինչպես նրա պապն է արել մեզ Այս 100 տարվա ցավի ընթացքում թերևս մենք էլ ենք կորցրել մեր մարդկությունը Անպատասխան հարցեր Մենք ցանկանում ենք լռեցնե լ Թուրքիայից եկող ցանկացած ձայն որը կփորձի ճանաչել անցյալի ոճրագործությունները Մեզ համար ընդունելի է միայն որ Ցեղասպանությունը ճանաչեն գիտնական ու գրող ինչպես օրինակ Թաներ Աքչամն ու Օրհան Փամուկը բայց ոչ երբեք Ջեմալ Փաշայի թո ռը Մենք գիտե նք ինչ էին անում Աքչամի կամ Փամուկի պապերը երբ մեր պապերին կոտորում էին Ընդունելի է արդյոք որ գիտնականը կամ գրողը ցանկանում են ճանաչել Ցեղասպանությունը ոչ թե այն պատճառով որ խղճի խայթ են զգում հայ ժողովրդի հետ կատարվածի համար այլ քանի որ կարծում են դա կարևոր է Թուրքիայի թուրք հանրության իրենց երկրում ժողովրդավարության ու արդարության հաստատման համար Արդյոք գիտե նք թե ինչ են իսկապես կարծում Աքչամի կամ Փամուկի նման մարդիկ Նեմեսիսի կամ ԱՍԱԼԱ ի կամ փոխհատուցումների մասին Բնավ չարդարացնելով ավազակ բառի օգտագործումը արդյոք մեզ հայերիս համար անընդունելի է այն ամենը ինչ կասեր Ջեմալ փաշայի թոռը Ավելին ինչ կարող են Աքչամի կամ Փամուկի նման մարդիկ երբ նրանք այսքան քիչ են Արդյոք եթե Հասան Ջեմալը շարունակեր ժխտել Ցեղասպանությունը դա որևէ կերպ կնպաստե ր Թուրքիայում ըմբռնման և ճանաչման գործընթացին Եվ այժմ երբ նրան պիտակավորեցինք որպես զանգվածային մարդասպանի ներողություն չխնդրող թոռան ինչի հասանք Մենք շարունակում ենք հուզական արձագանքնել մի բանի որը քաղաքական հարց է արդարության հարց է և Թուրքիայի կառավարության պատասխանատվության հարց է Արդյոք այսպե ս ենք մենք ծրագրում արդարության հասնել մեր ազգի նկատմամբ իրականացված ոճիրի համար ճչալո վ աղաղակելո վ միմյանց թուրքական պետական քաղաքականության իրագործման մեջ մեղադրելո վ Հասան Ջեմալը Նեմեսիսի անդամներին ավազակախումբ անվանեց ՍիվիլՆեթի լրագրող Ալին Օզինյանը հանրային քննարկման հաջորդ օրը նրա հետ հարցազրույցում անդրադարձավ ավազակ բառի օգտագործմանը Նա ասաց Հասան Ջեմալին որ չեթե ավազակ բառի օգտագործումը վիրավորական և ցավոտ էր հայ ժողովրդի համար Նա ցանկացավ իմանալ ինչու Հասան Ջեմալն օգտագործեց այդ բառը Ջեմալը պատասխանեց Չգիտեմ Օգտագործեցի պահի տակ Միգուցե պետք է ասեի խումբ կամ կազմակերպություն Կարծում եմ իմ

    Original URL path: http://civilnet.am/2014/12/16/voices-maria-titizian-hasan-cemal/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Poverty in Armenia Remains High | CIVILNET
    that figure was 12 6 percent and 2 7 percent of the population was deemed to be in extreme poverty in 2013 while that figure was 1 6 percent in 2008 Financial reporter Haik Gevorgyan finds this trend disturbing According to the report the population s income is comprised of salaries benefits and pensions remittances from relatives living abroad etc Expenditures from the state budget for 2010 2013 registered strong increases salaries have grown so too have remittances however poverty has decreased only minimally Following the crisis the wealthier segment of society has gotten wealthier and the poor segment has only received a very minimal portion of that increase Gevorgyan says and adds that this trend is conditioned by the monopolization of the economy The country s structure of governance which has deep roots in Armenia could not have produced a different result The economy is becoming more oligarchic business is becoming more concentrated in the hands of a few and the income from those businesses is also being concentrated says Gevorgyan and underscores that if the principles of democracy liberal market policies rule of law and equality before the law were applied then even the poor segment of Armenian society could have hoped to improve their situation The report states that the key factor behind the increase in the poverty rate for 2008 2013 was the deep recession Armenia s economy suffered in 2009 The economy in 2010 had a modest growth at 2 2 percent as compared with the previous year followed by further growth at 4 7 percent in 2011 7 2 percent in 2012 and 3 5 percent in 2013 The 2013 results show that the average monthly real consumption of the entire population increased by 4 4 as compared to 2008 however Gevorgyan argues that

    Original URL path: http://civilnet.am/2014/11/19/poverty-armenia-remains-high/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Armenia’s Conundrum: EU or EEU? | CIVILNET
    will Armenia gain By joining the Eurasian Economic Union which was signed on May 29 2014 by the presidents of Russia Kazakhstan and Belarus on October 9 2014 a treaty to enlarge the EEU to include Armenia was signed Armenia will potentially have access to an economic market of 170 million people with a gross domestic product of 3 trillion USD Armenia will have to lift some internal customs barriers and harmonize its trade legislation and regulations in order to comply with the common market of the Union It remains unclear what the potential economic benefits will be It is expected that the Union will go into effect in January 2015 Putting economic benefits or disadvantages aside when a country decides to join a treaty or a group of nations with common markets or values the hope is that it would enhance the country s potential A quick purview of global indices on press freedoms democracy corruption and rule of law place European countries as leaders in those spheres while Russia Kazakhstan and Belarus lag far behind In those indices Armenia fares better than all three of the EEU countries If Armenia s parliament ratifies the accession treaty which it will most likely do it will mean that as a state we have opted to join a group of nations who do not place these values high on their national agendas The World Press Freedom Index 2014 published by Reporters Without Borders measures the level of freedom of information in 180 countries It looks at the degree of freedom that journalists and news organizations enjoy and how this is respected by their respective governments The Index looks at six general criteria pluralism media independence environment and self censorship legislative framework transparency and infrastructure and gives a score between 0 and 100 In this index Armenia was well ahead of the three countries of the EEU Armenia ranked 78th while Russia ranked 148th Belarus 157th and Kazakhstan 161st Not surprisingly European countries lead the list in press freedoms Finland Netherland Norway Luxembourg and Andorra The Democracy Index compiled by the Economic Intelligence Unit measures the state of democracy in 167 countries The Index is based on 60 indicators grouped into five categories electoral process and pluralism civil liberties functioning of a government political participation and political culture The Index also categorizes countries as one of four regime types full democracies flawed democracies hybrid democracies and authoritarian regimes Once again while presenting with a dismal score and categorized as a hybrid democracy Armenia leads the countries of the EEU who are all considered to have authoritarian regimes out of 167 countries Armenia is ranked 116th Russia is ranked at 125th Kazakhstan 140th and Belarus 142nd The countries leading the Democracy Index are Norway Sweden Iceland Denmark and New Zealand The Corruption Perceptions Index compiled by Transparency International measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in 177 countries and territories Once again Armenia while continuing to battle corruption on every level is

    Original URL path: http://civilnet.am/2014/11/19/armenia-conundrum-eu-eeu/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Opposition Mobilizes Thousands but can it Deliver? | CIVILNET
    political forces have their own vision and agenda for the country ideology for the most part is absent Therefore their decision to join forces didn t necessarily stem from a unified vision but rather it was motivated by their desire to dismantle the stranglehold that the Republican Party has on the country s levers of power and governance The triumvirate s position on foreign policy for example is radically different from one another This was glaringly apparent when Armenia s first President Levon Ter Petrosyan announced during the demonstration that Armenia s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union was irreversible and a reality that the country must reconcile itself with while leader of the Heritage Party Raffi Hovhannisian didn t mince his words when he said that they were diametrically opposed to it In his speech Ter Petrosyan declared Is it difficult for some people to understand that if Armenia suffered a tenth of the losses that Ukraine suffered it would mean that Armenia would be simply wiped off the world map Even the West understood Armenia s decision to join the Eurasian Economic Union editor Meanwhile a handful of people here do not want to reconcile themselves with this reality and they attempted to artificially instil anti Russian sentiments in our country without thinking about the consequences and without understanding that there is no soil for that in our country He went on to say that Armenia should try and benefit from the Eurasian Economic Union which he compared to the European Union and establish a prosperous country Immediately following his speech it was Raffi Hovhannisian turn at the podium We had agreed that we weren t going to speak about this issue Armenia s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union editor but because Levon Ter Petrosyan did so now I must respond Hovhannisian said and reiterated that his party is opposed to Armenia s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union and that Serzh Sargsyan as an illegitimate official with his very signature is leading Armenia in the wrong direction He went on to say that no one should interpret this statement as being anti Russian in a response to Ter Petrosyan s allegations of fostering anti Russian atmosphere in the country He did stress that a sovereign independent and democratic Armenia must develop relations equally with all global players Hovannisian also called for a sit in to begin immediately following the demonstration However when leader of the Prosperous Armenia party Gagik Tsarukyan spoke he said there would be no such thing Tsarukyan underscored that the three opposition parties had to work together that there could be no actions undertaken independent from one another and that their mission was to finish what they had begun And if the authorities continue to ignore and deny the justified demands of the nationwide movement then we the three political forces along with other similar minded political powers and with an even wider united popular movement with hundreds of thousands standing in the

    Original URL path: http://civilnet.am/2014/10/25/opposition-mobilizes-thousands-but-can-it-deliver/ (2016-02-10)
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