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ArmenianNow - 07/31/2009

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  • ArmenianNow - 07/31/2009

    Administration Address: 26 Parpetsi St., No 9
    Phone: +(374 1) 532422
    Email: [email protected]
    Technical Assistance: (For technical assistance please contact Babken
    Email: [email protected]

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

    July 31, 2009

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

    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
    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
    ice is still plenty thick between Armenia and Turkey, and in days when
    `settlement' is outside the vocabulary of the Armenians or the Azeris,
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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

    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

    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

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

    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.


    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

    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

    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

    For more information about the AGBU internship program visit


    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

    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

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

    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

    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

    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

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

    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.
    another time but at the same place, presidential contender Adlai Stevenson
    was setting the scene generations later for President Obama and his

    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
    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
    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

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

    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 Lazarian, 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
    Lazarian, 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. Lazarian 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.

    Lazarian 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

    And now the situation is quite different and Lazarian 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 Lazarian. 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,'
    Lazarian 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 Lazarian, 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,'
    Lazarian 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.

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

    By Suren Musayelyan


    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

    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 ( 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
    Bosnia-Herzegovina in Yerevan.


    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

    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.



    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

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

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    From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress