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July 31, 2009



1. Editorial: Open Music Festival embraces the best of Armenia's
spirit

2.** **Deadlock or Delay: Negotiation process on the Karabakh issue is
taking a break for an indefinite time

3. Summer Home: Internship programs offer adventure and discovery

**4.** **Fuller** Center**: Putting a roof over the heads of families
in ne**

5. Letter home: Diaspora Armenian discovers `home' is in history

6.** **S**tanding up to Barack and Company: **A**rmenia**, 3M
R**ealpolitik
and the integrity thing

7. Trendy tattoo: Armenians challenge stereotypes and paint bodies

8. Sport: Premier League resumes after Armenia clubs' fiasco in Europe




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


1. Editorial: Open Music Festival embraces the best of Armenia's spirit

Fingers hover above home keys poised to spell out commentary on another week
of bad news. Two presidents say their armies are ready for war. Negotiations
fail. The economy still fails. Hope falters over the things that usually,
and rightly, earn attention . . .

And then something wonderful happens.

Music rides the Yerevan night and pushes cynicism to a welcomed distant
place (at least for awhile), where cares of the big stuff are displaced by
Armenia's Little Singers' version of `In the Mood'.

The inaugural Open Music Festival couldn't have come at a better time in
Armenia's summer of discontent. In a week when our president hinted that
the
ice is still plenty thick between Armenia and Turkey, and in days when
`settlement' is outside the vocabulary of the Armenians or the Azeris,
there
is at least music.

Thursday night's opening gala was a reminder that sometimes a maestro's
score makes more sense than diplomacy `road maps'.

The National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia, earns its `National' title in
this series of 23 concerts to which it is host, as from now until late
September Yerevantsis and visitors to the capital will have occasions to
escape within the roofless walls of the Moscow Cinema amphitheater. The
orchestra reflects the best of what is right about Armenia - a reminder that
talent is unbound and culture has the capacity to hold a country together
when little else unifies it.

The dream of Principal Conductor Aram Gharabekian, OMF is realized through
the support of corporations whose leaders' politics may differ but whose
understanding of social responsibility shows their better side. It enjoys
the support, too, of Diaspora benefactors and of the United States Embassy.

The opening gala featured a child - 12-year old kanonist Narek Kazazyan
-
who performed like an adult and adults - two noted actors and two veteran
musicians - who performed like children. (The latter featured actors
Harutiun Movsisyan, Raphael Kontanjyan and classical soprano Araxia Davtyan
and jazzman/conductor Martin Vardazaryan who joined the orchestra `playing'
toy instruments for Haydn's `Toy Symphony'.)

Favored pop singer Aramo did a scat version of Bach's `Aria' that is
best
graded as `ambitious' and a new vocal composition by honored composer Eduard
Mirzoyan, while compelling, was a palliative on an otherwise festive menu
of music. The energy of the night, though, rode the 22-member Vahagn Dhol
Ensemble's beat on its opening fanfare. And when the drummers joined the
orchestra and the 44-member `Little Singers' and the audience of about
800
for Strauss' `Radetzky March', maestro Gharabekian had a choir of
professional children behind him, a choir of amateur clappers in front of
him, dhol beaters in between and his NCO family at his flanks.

The music of the late, great classical composer Aram Khachaturyan was played
on the same bill with the very present (and in the audience) great
jazz-fusion composer Tigran Mansuryan.

An Italian - Mario Stefano Pietro Dar Chi - played his native instrument,
the bandoneon. A German soundman - Guido Kacher - accepted the sizeable
challenge of turning concrete and open sky into an intimate hall. `Music
Diplomacy' anyone?

Let disharmonic reality return when the songs have been sung and played and
when the maestro who is bigger than the diminutive frame that holds him goes
off to dream again. Till this summer fades, at least there is music.

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


2. Deadlock or Delay: Negotiation process on the Karabakh issue is taking
a
break for an indefinite time**

Analysis by Aris Ghazinyan

On July 25-26 the new stage in the long epopee of efforts towards peaceful
settlement of the Karabakh issue launched on July 25-26 in Krakow. Co-chairs
of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Minsk Group
met
to discuss the renewal of Madrid principles on the Karabakh issue
settlement. A new document was submitted to the conflicting sides - Armenia
and Azerbaijan.

Apparently, the co-chairs will try to find a more distinct definition of the
concept `interim status' and concretize the dates and format of holding a
referendum.

The previous stage was completed on July 17-18 in Moscow, when presidents of
Armenia and Azerbaijan refused to sign the document titled `Just and
Balanced Basic Principles of Peaceful Conflict Settlement', known also as
`Madrid principles'.

It was launched yet in November 2007 in the Spanish capital where a list of
principles of compromise in the Karabakh issue settlement were handed to the
Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

During almost two years political analysts have been trying to `decode' the
content of those `Madrid principles', although almost everybody admitted
that they did not envisage Nagorno Karabakh's political independence.

And finally in June the answer to these speculations became known - the
principles were, after all, publicized.

President Sargsyan called it `a certain kind of assistance, since it wasn't
always that the sides informed the public about the issues discussed during
the negotiation process'.

Judging from the data that have been made public, the `Madrid principles'
suggested concession of 5 regions around Nagorno Karabakh to Azerbaijan and
granting the population of Nagorno Karabakh an `interim' status with a
perspective of defining a `final' legal status of Nagorno Karabakh by means
of a referendum.

Nothing was said, however, on what exactly that `interim status' means, what
the date and format of the referendum are; it was these issues that became
the stumbling block in Moscow.

On the rest of the points - guaranties of security and self-government, land
connection between Yerevan and Stepanakert, granting of rights to internally
relocated persons and refugees to return to their former places of residence
- the conflicting sides, most probably, were not in principal disagreement.

One way or another, the principles proposed by the mediators in Moscow were
not approved by the sides, and what had been a subject of heated discussions
and speculations over 2 years could have become an archive item of history.

In order to avoid that the mediators met in Krakow. It is hard to believe
they will succeed in finding a mutually acceptable solution.

The US Co-Chair of OSCE Minsk Group does not seem to believe that either. In
September Matthew Bryza will pay final visits to the region as a mediator.

There is hardly any doubt that in case of a real opportunity in signing some
kind of intermediate agreement between the conflicting sides, Bryza would
have gone to Azerbaijan as a US Ambassador.

It is quite possible that the negotiation process will be frozen for an
indefinite period of time.

The current situation looks like a period of pessimism on the part of
mediators, pessimism they have been feeling for five years (since 2002 till
November of 2007).

After negotiations in Paris and Key West in 2001 co-chairs did not hide
their optimism connected to the hopes of settlement of the issue in the
nearest future, just as the current mediators were not hiding theirs.

Bryza even made a statement that the issue can be settled `within the coming
months'.

Just as eight years ago Azerbaijan ended up refusing to recognize Nagorno
Karabakh's independence, today Armenia refused to recognize Nagorno Karabakh
as a part of Azerbaijan.

Hence, the only thing that can have principal influence on the negotiation
process is if Stepanakert joins the process. After all, Nagorno Karabakh is
not the object but the party of the conflict.

Most probably the mediators are considering that scenario as well just
because no other one can claim even minimum productivity.

In any case, all these questions will receive answers only in autumn, when
the co-chairs will submit their new proposal to the sides, on the one hand,
and on the other, the issue of Armenian-Turkish relations would be solved
one way or another in the spotlight of the Armenian president's
non-participation in the meeting of the two countries' national football
teams.

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

3. Summer Home: Internship programs offer adventure and discovery

Editor's note: Over the past two months, ArmeniaNow has enjoyed hosting
interns from the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) and the Armenian
Assembly of America (AAA). To encourage other youth to experience Armenia
as these have, we've asked Daniell Hartounian (AGBU) and Elizabeth Gemdjian
(AAA) to summarize the programs.

AGBU

The Armenian General Benevolent Union is known internationally for its
efforts in uniting the Diaspora and organizing affairs and events that
function as contributions toward sustaining Armenian pride among younger
generations. The organization has countless programs for Armenian youth,
including Armenia projects, athletics, scouting, culture, education,
Karabakh projects, mentorship, study abroad, summer camps, and Young
Professionals. In addition to these programs, AGBU also offers an
internship program aimed toward an older age group at the college level.

The program is offered in three different locations, the oldest of which is
New York, then Paris, and the most recent addition, Yerevan. Each location
comes with its own objectives and opportunities. Here in Yerevan, college
students are given the opportunity to learn and visit the Armenian capitol
while simultaneously gaining professional experience among the city's
businesses.

This summer, AGBU's YSIP invited a group of almost 30 college students to
Yerevan, where they are interning in areas that correspond to their academic
specializations and/or professional interests. Among the participants are
those who are working at hospitals, law firms, newspapers, orphanages, human
rights centers, universities, and more.

In addition to work, the interns participate in language courses, dance
classes, and attend history lectures, listening and learning more about
their heritage.

Aside from working five days a week and immersing in Yerevan's day-to-day
culture, the interns are given the opportunity to explore areas of Armenia
beyond and outside of Yerevan. Weekends are scheduled with cultural and
social activities, visiting popular places such as Lake Sevan and Karabakh,
as well as the historical churches of Garni, Geghart, and the Holy
Echmiadzin.

Aleen Tovmasian, one of the program's activities coordinator, says the
program functions as `an immediate integration into Armenian culture, an
opportunity for professional development, a path to the establishment of
meaningful relationships, and a road to personal growth. What each intern
takes out of this program will be unique; the opportunities are there to be
seized.'

For more information about the AGBU internship program visit www.agbu.org

AAA

The Armenian Assembly of America's Summer Internship Program gives its
college-aged participants the opportunity to experience life in Armenia not
only as visitors in their ancestral homeland, but also as members of
professional and social life in Yerevan in hopes of giving them the skills
necessary to be among the leaders of their generation.

The program has hosted 65 interns since its inception in 1999, placing
interns in a variety of fields and organizations, such as the government
ministries, hospitals, and non-governmental organizations. When interns are
not working, they meet with government officials and other prominent
individuals to learn about political, economic, and social workings in
Armenia, as well as the role of the Diaspora in the country.

Interns also take part in educational sightseeing trips around Armenia and
Karabakh on weekends in order to gain a fuller experience, understanding,
and appreciation of life in this country. 2009 interns visited the Geghard,
Khor Virap, and Noravank Monasteries, as well as Garni Temple, the ruins of
Ani, and Echmiadzin Cathedral, and other sites as well as traveled to
Karabakh.

AAA Country Director, Arpi Vartanian describes the program as `a unique
opportunity for Armenian-Americans to discover Armenia. A two-month stay in
Armenia, though short, provides great opportunities for interaction with
citizens of Armenia and other Diasporans. Participants gain a better
understanding of the issues facing our people today. They also gain a better
understanding of who they are, and what they can do to further strengthen
their Armenian communities.'

According to Vartanian, the internship program, though short-term, can have
lasting effects on its participants and their relationships with
Armenia. `They
come to Armenia because they want to discover Armenia and themselves. They
leave with a greater understanding of both=85. Some return to Armenia to be
part of this wonderful, growing democracy. Others may remain in the USA,
but, being more aware of themselves as Armenians, can greatly contribute to
strengthening their local communities. Both are critical to all of us as
Armenians of the world.'

To learn more about the Assembly internship program, visit www.aaainc.org



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**

4 . Fuller** Center**: Putting a roof over the heads of families in need**


By: Elizabeth Gemdjian

Armenian Assembly of America Intern / Special to ArmeniaNow

Building houses under the hot Armenian summer sun can be grueling. Doing so
without compensation is incomprehensible to many.

Yet this is exactly how some volunteers have chosen to spend their time in
Armenia.

The Fuller Center for Housing Armenia hosts teams of volunteers, or Global
Builders, who come to Armenia in two-week intervals to work with families
needing assistance and funding to complete their home-building and
renovation projects. Fuller Center offers families interest-free, (up to
$10,000) long-term loans (the loan have to be repaid in 7-10 years) as well
as volunteer labor. The family works alongside the volunteers and pays back
manageable loans, retaining an active role in bettering their standard of
living while also receiving much-needed assistance. Moreover, the family's
repayments fund projects for other families as part of a revolving fund that
makes for sustainable community development.

Programs like Fuller Center Armenia's are important in Armenia, where about
5 percent of families live without permanent shelter, and even more are in
need of better housing conditions. Since its founding in May 2008, Fuller
Center Armenia has helped provide housing for 50 families in different
Armenian provinces.

In June 2009, Fuller Center Armenia and the Armenian Apostolic Church
combined efforts in a partnership agreement based on eliminating poverty
housing in Armenia. The organization plans to build 37 more homes, with
funding for 20 houses coming from the US Eastern Diocese of the Armenian
Church, as part of His Holiness Karekin II's "Building on Faith" work
project, which was launched on July 21, 2009 in the Haytagh community in the
Armavir region.

While volunteers come at their own expense, even making a donation to
participate in Fuller Center's program, their reward is the difference they
make in the lives of the families they help.

According to Vasilia Anayiotos, a volunteer from Washington, D.C. who had
lived in Yerevan for three years, `I knew when I came back, I wanted do
something special to help out.' For Anayiotos, Fuller Center's projects
strengthen relations between Diaspora and local Armenians: `Armenians from
America come here and meet local Armenians and they all interact together.'

Recently, Fuller Center welcomed U.S. Ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, and a
U.S. Embassy team to join them in Haytagh, where they are working on a house
for a family of 4, the Arshakyans. Yovanovitch, who called housing a right,
praised Fuller Center's activities, saying `What is special about this
project is all of us working together and the family working to help
themselves.'

Volunteer Heather Skolnick from Queens, New York seconds Yovanovitch's view
on the project, adding that `the people of the community come together to
help with the building and make a partnership when they help each other. It
strengthens their community and brings people closer together.'

While Fuller Center Armenia's activities provide aid on a smaller scale,
their efforts are much-needed and spark the spirit of volunteerism and
social assistance in the country. Praising the work of the Fuller Center,
His Holiness Karekin II said `We understand that such efforts do not create
great changes in our lives, but they provide great relief and support to
individual families.'

Elizabeth, 22, is studying anthropology at Columbia University in New York
City, her home. She is in Armenia as part of the Armenian Assembly of
America internship program. She is first generation Armenian-American. Her
immediate family stems from Bulgaria, where her grandparents were moved
following the Armenian Genocide.

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


5. Letter home: Diaspora Armenian discovers `home' is in history

By Danielle Hartounian

AGBU summer intern



With my last two weeks here just around the corner, I am having a hard time
with the idea of letting go. Sure, I look forward to all of the
familiarities of home, but I cannot deny that I have not been missing them
much because I have established my own familiarities here in Yerevan.

Despite my feelings, I cannot help but contemplate how locals here become
offended when Diaspora come to this country and call it home. I understand
their perspective because I know very well that I am not a native here; I
stand out simply because of my natural demeanor, and that is just the way it
is. I have come to accept it, but I do not give up trying to assimilate
because I believe that demonstrates respect toward the country I am in and
the culture of its people.

Although this is true, none of us can forget the history we share, no matter
how different we are in the present.

When I visited the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, I was reminded of our
common past, which is precisely the reason as to why the hushed bitterness
between Armenia and the Diaspora must diminish.

The museum itself is definitely an experience to have as an Armenian, no
matter where you are from. Granted, the museum is open to all visitors, but
the experience itself has much more meaning for those of us who can trace
back our family lines to the times of the genocide. Not only does the
museum confirm and supply all factual information in an informative manner,
but it also manifests the emotional facet within the souls of those who
choose to visit it. Each room represents a phase of the genocide, complete
with photographs, artifacts, and written descriptions. The rooms begin to
the right of the entrance and continue through in a circular fashion to the
left of the entrance, ending the journey right at the beginning.

The most emotional part of the museum is at the center just outside the
entrance, where there is a large stone engraved with drawings that symbolize
the struggle between darkness and light.

The visitor's standpoint is imperative; standing on the inside looking out
toward the stone, the scene is architecturally composed so that the visitor
plays the role of a judge, viewing the circumstance in retrospect.

Standing there, I felt goose bumps as I reflected: how does this make me
feel personally as an individual and as an Armenian? How does this
contribute to my identity? What can I do about it? How will I become
influenced by this undeniable past?

Of course, none of these questions can be answered all at once. Some will
not be answered at all.

The objective is to evaluate the situation for and within yourself, and
realize that all we Armenians carry the same burden. We share this tragic
history that will never leave our hearts, even should we wish it. And this
unity, as unfortunate as it is, anchors us and provides for us a steadfast
security we know will never change because there is no chance of turning
back time and changing what happened. What we can do, though, is embrace
our heritage and take control about what we do about our past. It is up to
you, to me, to each Armenian, to decide what we take away from the story of
our people, and who we choose to become as a result of it. It does not
matter where we are from, where we live, or what dialect we speak. Whether
`home' for me is in Yerevan or Los Angeles, this past, this tragedy, will
remain in my heart, the same way it will in yours.

Danielle Hartounian, 19, is a student at Orange Coast College, in Southern
California, where she majors in English and minors in studio arts. She is a
participant of the Armenian General Benevolent Union's Yerevan Summer
Internship Program, during which she is interning at ArmeniaNow.com.

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

6. **S**tanding up to Barack and Company: **A**rmenia**, 3M R**ealpolitik
and the integrity thing**



By Raffi K. Hovannisian



It is often easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.
In
another time but at the same place, presidential contender Adlai Stevenson
was setting the scene generations later for President Obama and his
administration.

As unfair as it is to be held up as everyone's lighthouse of liberty and
justice, Barack Obama was elected president on his self-projection as that
very beacon. He and his world-power colleagues, for both principle and
posterity, must not allow themselves the comfort, however transient, to play
feel-good god in mockery of historical tragedy and in defiance of
contemporary imperatives to right the wrongs of the past.

Earlier this month, G8 leaders Obama, Sarkozy, and Medvedev issued a joint
declaration softly pre-imposing a superpower solution on Armenia and the
freedom-loving people of Artsakh, otherwise known as Mountainous
Karabagh. Years
before recognition of Kosovo and Abkhazia became current fashion and
counter-fashion, Karabagh was the first autonomous territory of the old USSR
to challenge Stalin's divide-and-conquer legacy and to raise the standard of
decolonization and liberation from its Soviet Azerbaijani yoke by means of
a
constitutional referendum on independence in December 1991.

Azerbaijan responded to this legitimate quest for self-determination with a
failed war of aggression, resulting as it did in tens of thousands of
casualties, more than a million refugees, countless lost birthrights,
collaterally damaged cultural heritage, and a new strategic balance on both
sides of the bitter divide, and so sued for ceasefire in May 1994.

Barack and company now wish for the Armenians, having suffered both an
unrequited genocide and the greatest ever of national dispossessions at the
hands of Ottoman Turkey nearly a century ago, to cede even more of their
ancestral patrimony and their newly-achieved sovereignty by calling on them
to withdraw unilaterally from «occupied» areas belonging to the Republic of
Mountainous Karabagh in exchange for some foggy-bottomed diplomatic
formulation about a future plebiscite.

Armenia says no, thank you.

If President Barack Obama and his distinguished new-age colleagues want to
demonstrate that the conscience of humanity has survived the second
millennium, that equity can still obtain in international affairs, and that
an even and comprehensive application of the law, not self-serving parochial
politics, rules this century, then they might wake up to a new mirror and
proclaim the following.

- Should Mountainous Karabagh or any of its constituent parts be
considered by anybody as occupied, then clearly the historical Armenian
heartlands of Shahumian, Getashen, Gardmank, and Nakhichevan must
immediately be acknowledged to be under Azerbaijani occupation. Worse
yet, official Baku is demolishing, with malice aforethought, the last
vestiges of Armenian Christian heritage in its jurisdiction, the most recent
documented crime of dastardly proportions having taken place in December
2005 upon the no-longer-existent medieval chapels, cross-stones, and divine
offerings at Jugha, Nakhichevan. Had the perpetrator been the Taliban - or
the victim a sacred Semitic cemetery - America, Europe, Russia, and all
of
world civilization would have been rightfully outraged and demanded remedial
action forthwith.

- If the rule of law is not a hoax or a decoy or an instrument of whim
and duress, then the Mighty Three must together - and simultaneously - recognize
Kosovo, Abkhazia, and Mountainous Karabagh as independent states fitting the
definitional requirements of the Montevideo Convention. All must be
recognized by all, or else none by none. The sui generis argument is
distinction without difference.

.

- The government of republican Turkey - the successor regime bearing the
rights and obligations of its genocidal predecessor - can no longer play
dog-and-tail tag with the United States, the European Union, and the Russian
Federation. Ankara's normally astute diplomacy has forgone the 18-year
opportunity since Armenia's declaration of sovereignty to establish official
relations with it without the positing by either side of any political
preconditions. It has, most unfortunately, done so from the very
beginning first by presenting preconditions of its own (including those
turning on Karabagh and «occupied» territories), then holding Armenia in an
unlawful blockade tantamount to an act of war, and finally speaking the
language of blackmail and double-down intrigue with Washington, Brussels,
and Moscow.

- Of course, the trinity of power all have talked the walk pursuant to
their own petty interests of the day. President Obama's double-speak on
genocide and its shameful denial, at Ankara in April followed by Buchenwald
in June, is a classic in point. But if Obama and friends are serious
about the new global order, then they might find the fortitude to remind
Turkey, as key partner and good neighbor, that it stands in occupation
of the ancient Armenian homeland and owes a debt of atonement and redemption
to the Armenian nation. And no crowning Bolshevik-Kemalist compact from
1921, a full generation before Molotov-Ribbentrop, can serve to rationalize
the great genocide, nor purport to regulate the relations and frontiers
between the modern Republics of Turkey and Armenia. That is their
sovereign duty mutually to resolve, but if anyone in Washington or elsewhere
requires guidance on crimes against humanity, ways and means of restitution,
and definitions of occupation, «the memory hole» of expedient forgetting can
be duly overcome in the US National Archives, its records on the Armenian
genocide, and most poignantly the provisions of President Woodrow Wilson's
arbitral award, issued under his seal in November 1920 and legally
controlling to this day, to Armenia and its people.

Now, who was taking that pledge to liberty and justice for all? It was us,
and Obama: «We must be ever-vigilant about the spread of evil in our own
time, that we must reject the false comfort that others' suffering is not
our problem, and commit ourselves to resisting those who would subjugate
others to serve their own interests.»



National Assembly Deputy **Raffi K. Hovannisian **is founder of Heritage
political party and **was independent Armenia's first **M**inister of
**F**oreign
**A**ffairs.**

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

7. Trendy tattoo: Armenians challenge stereotypes and paint bodies

By Siranuysh Gevorgyan

ArmeniaNow reporter

Summer comes, clothes go and the sun colors Armenian bodies.

Lately, there's an increasingly popular option for the latter, as the world
tattoo trend a decade old has reached Armenia.

Employees at tattoo salons assure that with each summer the number of
customers at Yerevan's tattoo parlors increases.

One of them, Gagik Mkrtchyan, master of tattoo making, says that during
recent months he manages to sleep only two-three hours a day.

`I even do not manage to serve all the clients registered for one day,' says
Mkrtchyan, who is the owner of `Tattoo Art Club' salon, one of the oldest
tattoo salons.

His salon was founded 10 years ago, and it was one of the first of its kind
in Yerevan. Mkrtchyan bought it five years ago. His clients include the
average fashion conscious and members of Armenia's showbiz community.
Showman Felix Khachatryan, hip-hop singer `Hay Tgha' (Armenian boy,) Hayko,
members of `32' Humor Club are clients as well as American-Armenian hip-hop
singer Apeh Jan, who had his latest tattoo here.

Mkrtchyan says that five years ago when he just started working, he barely
had five-six clients per month, and moreover he had to convince them to get
tattooed.

And now the situation is quite different and Mkrtchyan and his colleagues see
about 10 customers a day.

`The stereotype, which came from the Soviet period that only people who were
in jails wear tattoos is changed,' says Mkrtchyan. He mentions that the
number of girls who do tattoos also increased.

`Recently I made a tattoo, which looked like a piece of pizza on a girl's
body, and another girl preferred the piglet from `Winnie the Pooh' cartoon,'
Mkrtchyan says.

The least expensive tattoo at the salon is 10,000 drams (about $27), while,
the tattoo of a middle size (which has about 15 centimeters length) starts
at 30,000 (about $81). (Almost the same prices can be met at other tattoo
salons of the capital city.)

Shattered stereotypes aside, old attitudes still prevail.

Karen Sahakyan, 24, who got his sixth tattoo this summer, says that after
having each tattoo, he has an unpleasant conversation with his parents.

`My mom says that how can a boy like me who is well-educated and smart, wear
tattoos and simply look like a bandit,' Sahakyan says.

According to tattoo specialist Mkrtchyan, very often boys choose religious
symbols; renderings of Christ are widely popular.

`Very often most of them leave the salon with a quite different tattoo. Now
people perceive tattoo as something beautifying the human body, or an
expression of freedom. In a nutshell now they treat it more easily,'
Mkrtchyan says.

Syrian-Armenian Siro Kejejian, director of `Body Art' salon, which runs in
Armenia for four years, says that Armenian men did not change their
preferences that much.

`They (men) mainly ask for a cross, a tiger or wolf head, and ladies prefer
small flowers, some ornaments which will be seen only in case if they wear
swimming suits,' says Kejejian, whose salon is also full of customers,
mostly foreigners and Diaspora.

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

8. Sport: Premier League resumes after Armenia clubs' fiasco in Europe

By Suren Musayelyan

Soccer

The second part of the 28-round Premier League started last weekend. Before
that, all four Armenian clubs were eliminated from European club tournaments
in July.

Underperforming Ararat were a few minutes short of their first victory of
the season as they conceded a stoppage time second goal in Gyumri to end
their Round 15 Premier League game against local Shirak 2-2.

This was only Ararat's second point picked this season. Last year's
runner-up is bottom in the eight-club league, 8 points behind seventh-placed
Kilikia.

Elsewhere in Round 15, Gandzasar beat Mika 3-1 and Kilikia lost to Ulis 0-3.
The round's central game Pyunik v Banants is delayed and will be played on
August 19.

In Round 16 scheduled for the end of this week Ararat, Ulis, Banants and
Mika play Kilikia, Pyunik, Gandzasar and Shirak, respectively.

Pyunik are in the lead with 34 points, followed by Mika (32), Ulis (29) and
Banants (27).

Meanwhile, the Armenian Football Federation (www.ffa.am) has announced that
a friendly match between the national teams of Armenia and Moldova will be
held in Yerevan on August 12.

Armenia resume their World Cup 2010 qualifying campaign on September 5
against
Bosnia-Herzegovina in Yerevan.

Chess

Armenian grandmaster Zaven Andreasyan became a prize winner at Neidorf
Memorial, an international chess tournament that recently ended in Warsaw,
Poland. In Group B (a nine-round tournament among 98 participants)
Andreasyan gathered 6.5 points and shared 2nd-7th places (2nd according to
additional showings). Another Armenian grandmaster finished with half a
point less and shared the 8th-18th places (13th according to additional
showings).

Meanwhile, Gabriel Sargsyan shared the 3rd-7th place at Politiken Cup in
Copenhagen, Denmark. The Olympic champion scored 8 points and finished
6thaccording to additional showings. The tournament played in 10
rounds had
brought together 307 participants.

Karen Movsisyan shared 17th-23rd places at the international chess
tournament in Andorra (154 participants, 9 rounds). He scored 6 points.

(Sources: www.sportinfo.am; www.armchess.am)

Boxing

After his failed attempt to win the bantamweight title, Armenian boxer Vic
Darchinyan is scheduled to stage the defense of his titles in the super
flyweight division in October.

Darchinyan, known as `The Raging Bull', has reportedly decided to postpone
his move to the higher division and instead will stage the defense of his
three belts in IBF, WBC and WBA, that he united in last year's memorable
fight against Mexico's Cristian Mijares and then defended once before
unsuccessfully trying to unseat the reigning champion in a higher division.

His possible challenger will be South Africa's Simphiwe Nongqayi, according
to Allboxing.ru.

The date and venue of the fight is to be decided soon.



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