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California Courier Online, August 3, 2006

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  • California Courier Online, August 3, 2006

    California Courier Online, August 3, 2006

    1 - Commentary
    Turkish Troops Shouldn't Take Part
    In Peacekeeping Force in Lebanon
    By Harut Sassounian
    Publisher, The California Courier
    2 - Garo H. Armen Named Recipient of Sabin
    Vaccine Institute's Humanitarian Award
    3 - Amirian Brothers Host Aug. 5 Mixer
    For Special Needs Children in Gavar
    4 - Primate Relieves
    Deacon Babajanyan
    From All Duties
    5 - Iran's Teymourian to Play For
    English Premiere League Team
    6 - Chief Steve Simonian Honored
    By L.A. County Supervisors
    ************************************** ************************************
    1 - Commentary
    Turkish Troops Shouldn't Take Part
    In Peacekeeping Force in Lebanon

    By Harut Sassounian
    Publisher, The California Courier

    In the past three weeks, hundreds of innocent men, women and children have
    been killed and thousands injured on both sides of the Lebanese-Israeli border.
    While the bulk of the blame for the fighting falls on the warring parties, the
    United States, as the only superpower, has its share of responsibility in
    this bloody affair.

    The disastrous situation in the Middle East is about to get even worse,
    thanks to officials in Washington who have other agendas than bringing peace to the
    region. David Ignatius revealed in his July 21 article in the Washington Post
    that the Bush administration was considering the deployment of a
    multinational "stabilization force" in southern Lebanon, composed of troopsfrom Turkey
    and several other countries. Unlike a traditional United Nations peacekeeping
    force, this would be a robust peace-enforcement unit that would be ready to
    shoot it out with Hezbollah fighters or anyone else in their way.

    The United States and Britain, with their forces bogged down in Iraq and
    Afghanistan, and unwelcome in Lebanon due to their tendentious approach to the
    Middle East conflict, are looking for others to die in place of their own
    soldiers. The Turkish Daily News quoted a Washington analyst stating that sending
    Turkish troops to Lebanon "involves a major risk of serious casualties while
    doing somebody else's work."

    Turkish leaders, on the other hand, despite the obvious dangers posed by such
    an engagement, are eager to send thousands of their soldiers to the South of
    Lebanon, not to bring peace, but to extend their country's influence far
    beyond their borders. Turks know that, up until a century ago, most neighboring
    countries were a part of the Ottoman Empire. Unfortunately for the Turks and
    their Washington cohorts, the population of these countries also remembers that
    infamous Empire, but not so fondly. In addition to Armenians, the ancestorsof
    the inhabitants of today's Lebanon, be they Syrians, Lebanese, Palestiniansor
    Kurds suffered untold deprivations and outright massacres under the repressive
    Ottoman regime.

    Of particular concern is the appearance of Turkish troops in a country witha
    sizable Armenian population, the direct descendants of the 1.5 million
    Armenians massacred and expelled during the 1915 Genocide. In the 1970's and 80's
    there were scores of attacks by young Lebanese Armenians against Turkish
    diplomats in Lebanon and elsewhere. Bringing thousands of Turkish troops inthe
    proximity of a large Armenian community for the first time since 1915 contains all
    the ingredients of a bloody clash in the making. In the process of trying to
    quell one conflict, the Bush administration is sowing the seeds of future new

    In addition, most Arabs do not look too kindly at the strategic alliance
    between Israel and Turkey. These two countries along with the United States
    conduct periodic joint military exercises.

    Another complicating factor is that the Turkish soldiers and people in
    southern Lebanon belong to two different, often rival Islamic sects. The Turks are
    Sunni, while the Hezbollah fighters and their followers are Shia.

    Fortunately, not everyone in Turkey is as eager as Prime Minister Recep Tayyp
    Erdogan to send Turkish soldiers to southern Lebanon. Several opposition
    leaders were quoted as saying that Turkey should not enter "such a swamp."

    An international force is probably necessary to maintain the peace on the
    Lebanese-Israeli border, but does it have to include a Turkish contingent? There
    are plenty of other countries that could send troops to Lebanon without
    risking a confrontation with the local population. If the United States andIsrael
    are so enamored with Turkish soldiers, they can station them on the Israeli,
    rather than the Lebanese side of the border!

    As there are several Armenians in the Lebanese cabinet and parliament, they
    should ask their government to reject the participation of Turkish troops in
    the proposed multinational force. Such a force cannot be sent without the
    approval of the Lebanese authorities. When Turkey offered to contribute troops to
    the coalition in Iraq, the Iraqi government, despite pressure from Washington,
    refused to accept them, in order to avoid clashes between Turkish soldiers and
    Iraqi Kurds.

    It is simply unacceptable that in the pursuit of their political agendas, the
    neo-cons in Washington encourage sending Turkish troops to Lebanon. The
    international community should not allow such irresponsible action that would
    perpetuate the conflict in the Middle East rather than bring peace and stability to
    the region.
    ****************************************** ********************************
    2 - Garo H. Armen Named Recipient of Sabin
    Vaccine Institute's Humanitarian Award
    NEW YORK, NY (Science Letter) - Antigenics Inc., Chairman and CEO Garo H.
    Armen was named the 2006 recipient of the Sabin Vaccine Institute's Humanitarian
    The Albert B. Sabin Annual Awards recognize extraordinary figures in
    biotechnology, medical research and medical reporting, and were celebrated at a gala,
    themed "Celebrating Hope for a Healthier World," in New York City.
    "In each case, these extraordinary individuals didn't settle for high
    achievement in just one area, but they broadened their horizons and multiplied their
    effect," said H. R. Shepherd, DSc, chairman of the Sabin Vaccine Institute.
    "They each found new ways to further medical science, reaching out to help a
    greater cross-section of humanity."
    Armen cofounded Antigenics in 1994 with Pramod K. Srivastava, PhD. Armen is
    also the founder and chairman of the Children of Armenia Fund, a charitable
    organization established in 2000 that is dedicated to the positive development of
    the children and youth of Armenia.
    >From mid-2002 through 2004, Armen also served as chairman of the board of
    directors of the pharmaceutical company Elan Corp. He received a PhD in physical
    chemistry from the Graduate Center, City University of New York.
    ************************************************** ***********************
    3 - Amirian Brothers Host Aug. 5 Mixer
    For Special Needs Children in Gavar
    GLENDALE - A wine & cheese mixer will be held Aug. 5 in Glendale, 4 to 7
    p.m., to acquaint guests about the Gavar Special School for children in Armenia.
    Jason and Tera Sprague, current Peace Corps volunteers living in Gavar will
    give a short presentation about the school which was built in 1976. The event
    is hosted by brothers Robert and Avo Amirian, of Glendale.
    With continued help and support, Gavar Special School hopes to become a
    model school for the education and integration of special needs children
    throughout Armenia. However, this change and improvement needs a broad base of
    involvement from many people.
    Special needs children in rural Armenia with physical and mental handicaps
    gain access to education through the Gavar Special School, located in the
    Gegharkunik region of Armenia, the poorest of the regions in Armenia. Thisvery
    rural area, with Lake Sevan at its center, accounts for approximately 40% of
    Armenia's land. The region has been affected by the Karabagh conflict with
    Azerbaijan, taking in thousands of refugees. Special needs children, in particular,
    face hardship.
    Due to social stigma, families with physically or mentally handicapped
    children frequently hide these children away. Subsequently, a large percentage of
    these children receive no education or social interaction. In Gegharkunik
    alone, there are an estimated 650 special needs children of which only 20% are
    attending any school.
    Gavar Special School has partnered with the Orion Philanthropic Center of
    Newport Beach, Calif., which gives donors the ability to give a tax deductible
    donation to the school.
    A documentary film illustrating the challenges, successes, needs and vision
    for special education in Gegharkunik through Gavar Special School has been
    produced in Armenian and English with the help of St. James Catholic Churchin
    Cazenovia, New York and Mano Handian of Pasadena, Calif. This DVD is free to. To
    request a copy, visit
    The improvement of Gavar Special School has two branches. The first branch
    is improvement of the physical structure of the school and its grounds. The
    second branch is improvement of teaching methods to shift from an outdated
    education style to a western model.
    Assistance from individuals such as, civic groups, Armenian Diaspora
    organizations and international aid organizations, has helped change and improvements
    begin to be realized.
    Information and RSVP can be given by calling Robert Amirian at 818.482.5516.
    ************************************ **************************************
    4 -. Primate Relieves
    Deacon Babajanyan
    From All Duties

    BURBANK, Calif. - Western Diocese Primate, Archbishop Hovnan Derderian has
    relieved Deacon Arman Babajanyan from all duties and privileges associated with
    the Diaconate, the Western Diocese announced in a statement released last week.

    The Western Diocese announcement explains that the Armenia-born Babajanyan,
    had evaded military service in the homeland and "had forged the seal of the
    Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, as well as the signature" of Primate Derderian.

    "In light of the=80¦dishonorable acts on the past of Mr. Babajanyan which brings
    shame to the Diaconate," the Western Diocese statement noted, the Primate has
    relieved Babajanyan from his duties.

    ********'******************************** *********************************

    5 - Iran's Teymourian to Play For

    English Premiere League Team
    Deutsche Presse-Agentur
    TEHRAN, Iran - Midfielder Andranik Teymourian - the only Christian on an
    otherwise Muslim national team - is moving to English Premier League club Bolton
    Wanderers, the ISNA news agency reported Wednesday.
    The 23-year old Iranian-Armenian, widely known as Ando, will leave the Abu
    Moslem club in Mashad, northeastern Iran, and play in England next season, ISNA
    Ando was among his side's best at this year's World Cup, where Iran lost two
    games and drew one, dropping out in the group stage.
    ISNA said Abu Moslem president Nasser Shafaq confirmed the transfer and said
    that the Bolton manager would come to Iran next week to finalize the contact.
    After Karim Baqeri, who played for Charlton Athletic in the 2000- 2001
    season, Ando would be the second Iranian to play in the Premier League.
    He was the second Iranian-Armenian to play for Iran in a World Cup final
    In 1978, defender Andranik Eskandarian played at the World Cup in Argentina.
    He was signed by New York Cosmos to play with football legends such as Franz
    Beckenbauer and Pele.
    ******************************************** ******************************
    6 - Chief Steve Simonian Honored by L.A. County Supervisors
    LOS ANGELES - Retiring as Chief of the Bureau of Investigations for the L.A.
    County District Attorney's Office, Steve Simonian received a scroll from the
    L.A. County presented by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich at the Board of
    Supervisors meeting on July 25.
    Chief Simonian began his career as a police officer for the City of
    Montebello in 1966, moving up the ranks until his appointment to Chief of Police in
    1989. He retired from the Montebello Police Department in 1998 and continued his
    outstanding record of public service in the City of La Habra where he
    currently serves as Mayor.
    In 2000, Simonian was selected by District Attorney Steve Cooley to serve as
    the Chief of the Bureau of Investigations for the Los Angeles County District
    Attorney's Office. In 2006, he received a lifetime achievement award from the
    Peace Officers Association of Los Angeles County, the Association of Los
    Angeles Deputy Sheriffs Lifetime Achievement Award, and an honorary membership in
    the Shomrin Society.
    ***************************************** *********************************
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