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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

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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.
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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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