The Year in Review: 2010


JANUARY

• One of the “leftovers of the sword,” Fethiye Cetin, 60, a prominent civil rights attorney in Turkey, had her sense of identity shattered when she learned from her grandmother that she was one of thousands of Armenian children who were kidnapped and adopted by Turkish families during the period of the Armenian Genocide. Having thought of herself as a Turkish Muslim, she was astounded to discover that she was, in fact, an Armenian. When her grandmother died, in 2004, Cetin had her obituary published in Agos, the Turkish-Armenian newspaper in Istanbul, in the hope that she might hear from some of her Armenian relatives. Eventually, she was able to locate some of her extended family in New York.

• A concert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on January 22 honored linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky and featured music by Armenian composer, Edward Manukyan from Southern California. His compositions performed on the occasion featured works based on Chomsky’s speeches and writings. Chomsky, a linguist who is known worldwide for his theory of generative grammar, has also distinguished himself in recent decades as a champion of human rights.

• Armenia stood ready to assist Haiti in the wake of the devastating earthquake that took place early in January, offering to send a 52-man rescue team composed of rescuers, translators, doctors and a dog, especially trained to locate survivors or bodies. The experience of the Spitak earthquake in 1988 has sensitized Armenia to the needs of earthquake victims both during the crisis and in the aftermath of the quake.

• Armenia’s Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian cast doubt on the future of a rapprochement after Turkey accused Armenian’s Constitutional Court of trying to rewrite the text of the deal with a court ruling. Turkish ally Azerbaijan has raised strong objections to the attempts to reconcile relations between Turkey and Armenia. Turkey responded to its ally’s criticisms by demanding that Armenia make concessions to Azerbaijan over the breakaway region of Nagorno Karabagh.

• In Watertown, Mass., on January 24, the Friends of Hrant Dink marked the third anniversary of the assassination of Dink, the Turkish-Armenian editor of Agos newspaper in Istanbul, with a memorial luncheon after church services at St. James Armenian Church. Dr. Taner Akçam, director of the Armenian Studies program at Clark University in Worcester, paid tribute to Dink, saying that when the border between Armenia and Turkey opens, the first crossing should be named Hrant Dink Gate.

FEBRUARY

• Dr. Kevork Kherlopian, an Armenologist, died after a long illness, at the age of 82. He received his education at the Emmanuel Armenian School in Aleppo, Syria and later received a degree in the history of Armenian philosophy. He was the author of more than 200 research papers on Armenological and religious issues. He received the St. Sahak and St. Mesrop Order from Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin I and a medal from Yerevan State University.

Dr. Edgar Housepian

• Thousands turned out to honor Dr. Edgar Housepian for his dedication to healthcare. His work has had a major impact on neurological research in the United States and changed the medical landscape of Armenia. The occasion also marked the 20th anniversary of the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR), which Housepian helped found in the aftermath of the 1988 earthquake. On behalf of Armenian President Serge Sargisian, Armenia’s ambassador to the US presented the Mkhitar Heratzi Medal to Housepian.

• Armenian refugees from Iraq face difficulties in adapting to life in Armenia. Armenians, amongst other Christians, face increasing dangers in Iraq, including kidnapping and assassination. However, settling in Armenia has not been easy for many families. Very few speak Armenian and job opportunities for them are limited. Many are not certain that they wish to stay in Armenia or to apply for citizenship.

• Dr. Pierre Vahe Haig died at the age of 93. Born in Beirut, in 1917, he came to the United States in the early 1920s. He displayed unusual academic talents and graduated from the University of California with a degree in medicine. He also served in the Medical Corps of the US army during World War II. He became a specialist in the field of radiology and became a professor of radiology at the University of California. He was also chief physician in radiation oncology at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. He was a member of AGBU and contributed to the Armenian Genocide activities of the Armenian National Committee of America.

• Armenian President Serge Sargisian met with British Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace. Their discussion covered Armenian-British relations, Armenia’s integration into European structures and efforts to normalize relations with Turkey. Sargisian also attended a fundraising dinner organized at Windsor Palace by Prince Charles and Armen Sarkisian, a London- based former prime minister of Armenia. The proceeds from the occasion were dedicated to the restoration of old buildings in Yerevan.

•A conference titled: “International Conference and Student Workshop on the Armenian Diaspora,” held at Boston University, highlighted a younger generation of scholars. The conference offered a broad perspective on the Armenian Diaspora. The vigor and variety of the presenters and their topics, as well as the relative youth of most of the participants would seem to bode well for the future of Armenian studies, a field that has often struggled to attract committed students.

• The White House responded to a plea from the Armenian Democratic Liberal (ADL) Party that President Barack Obama honor his pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide. The response, written by Philip M. Gordon, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, skirted the use of the word “genocide’ and stated only that that the US views the signing of the Armenia-Turkey protocols as “a very positive step forward.” The ADL letter, signed by Edmond Azadian and Papken Megerian, co-chairs, urged Obama, “to confront Turkish leaders with the historic truth.”

• A screening of “William Saroyan: The Man, the Writer,” in Dallas, Texas, helped his fans and readers to understand the man and his works. Paul Kalinian and his daughter, Dr. Susie Kalinian, the director and producer of the film, respectively, answered questions from the audience. In 1991, Saroyan was honored both in the United States and the USSR with commemorative stamps, a symbol of friendship between the two superpowers. Saroyan was the first and only person to be jointly honored by stamps from both countries.

MARCH

• An Armenian-Jewish coalition, called the Coalition to Recognize the Armenian Genocide was formed in Boston. Cochaired by Lexington resident and Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) member Laura Boghosian, and Rabbi Howard L. Jaffe of Lexington’s Temple Isaiah, the group has held dialogues and discussion groups, which have been aimed primarily at providing education about Armenian issues to the Jewish community. Some mainstream Jewish organizations such as the Anti- Defamation League have continued to deny the Armenian Genocide. In May 2008 during the Shoah (Holocaust) commemoration, Temple Isaiah invited Armenian community members and Armenian historian, Richard Hovannisian, to speak about the parallels between the Holocaust and the Genocide.

•The CBS weekly news program “60 Minutes” became the first US news organization to profile the mass graves of Armenians at Deir Zor. In a segment titled “The Battle over History” about the Armenian Genocide and the legacy of its denial by the Turkish state, the program included an on-site investigation of Armenian mass graves in the Deir Zor desert, which was accompanied by poet and author, Peter Balakian. Dr. Rouben Adalian, director of the Armenian National Institute, praised the program for its timely and refreshingly pro-Armenian stance.

• Five years after the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) first filed a lawsuit challenging the teaching of the Armenian Genocide in Massachusetts schools, First Amendment attorney Harvey Silverglate argued before the US First Circuit of Appeals to overturn the decision by US District Court Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf’s dismissal of the case. Wolf’s ruling largely focused on the argument that curricula represent protected government speech.

• The House Foreign Affairs Committee voted, on March 4, to approve the sending of House Resolution 252, which recognizes the Armenian Genocide, to the House for a floor vote. Forces outside the legislative body, including the White House and State Department, bowing to pressure from Turkey, pressed their colleagues in the house not to bring the bill to the floor. The Obama administration made an appeal against the resolution and vowed to prevent the vote. Turkey immediately withdrew its ambassador to the US, following the Committee’s vote, vowing it would not send him back until it got a “clear sign” on the fate of the resolution.

• Armenia’s leaders thanked Sweden’s parliament for adopting a resolution that recognizes the Armenian Genocide. In its usual knee-jerk reaction to such votes, Turkey immediately withdrew its ambassador to Sweden.

• An updated edition of the film “Ravished Armenia,” which includes recently-discovered archival footage, was screened at the Glendale Central Library. Directed by veteran filmmaker Oscar Apfel, the film garnered a lot of attention in 1919, when it was first shown and was used to help raise money for Near East Relief. However, for many years, “Ravished Armenia” was thought to be a lost film. A portion of the film was rediscovered, and Richard D. Kloian of the Armenian Genocide Resource Center produced and enhanced a 24-minute version, to which he added an introduction, subtitles, music and a slideshow of production stills to create an important document. The film is based on the book of the same title by Aurora Mardiganian, who was a Genocide survivor.

• The Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA) honored the artist, Daniel Varoujan Hejinian, with an exhibit titled “A Journey through the Years.” Hejinian’s series of billboards honoring the Armenian Genocide were included in the exhibit. His work appears in private collections and museum collections throughout the world.

• During a visit to Armenia, Hagop Vartivarian, co-chair of the Armenian Democratic Liberty (ADL) Party, interviewed Prime Minster Tigran Sargisian. Sargisian demonstrated his objective and perspicacious assessments of the issues facing Armenia and the diaspora. The interviews covered political, financial and foreign policy issues. Sargisian expressed the hope that relations between Armenia and the diaspora would strengthen.

April

• US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton assured Turkey that the White House opposed a congressional resolution that recognizes the Armenian Genocide. Turkey expressed special concern that President Obama not use the word “genocide” in the traditional April 24 speech.

• Tony Torosian, an astute observer of trial courts, died at age 75. Torosian was well known to lawyers and judges for his interest in court proceedings at every level. US District Court Judge Mark Wolf mourned his passing and those who knew him called him a one-man news service.

• Peter Bilezikian, a Genocide survivor, died at age 97. He was an electrician, plumber and business owner, but also a self-educated philosopher and historian. Bilezikian was born in Marash and arrived in the United States in 1921-22.

• President Barack Obama met with Armenian President Serge Sargisian at a nuclear security summit in Washington, DC. Obama encouraged Sargisian and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to advance the rapprochement between their two countries. Sargisian visited the tomb of President Woodrow Wilson and met with Genocide survivors during his visit.

• The Armenian Mirror-Spectator published a special issue to honor the 95th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Community leaders, including Marc Mamigonian, academic affairs director of NAASR, the Very Rev. Raphael Andonian of Holy Cross Armenian Catholic Church in Belmont, Mass., Aram Hamparian, executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) and Brian Ardouny, executive director of the Armenian Assembly, expressed their views on the meaning of the commemoration. Hayk Demoyan, director of the Genocide Museum in Yerevan, expressed his goal — to unite Armenian communities throughout the world to commemorate the 100th anniversary in 2015.

• In Boston, the annual State House commemoration of the Armenian Genocide featured documentary filmmaker and journalist Carla Garapedian and Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-CA), a member of the House Caucus on Armenian Issues, who, for years, has supported the passing of the Armenian Genocide resolution in Congress. The day of commemoration was marred by President Barack Obama’s failure to use the word “genocide” in his traditional April 24 speech. By contrast, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick attended a Genocide program at St. James Armenian Church in Watertown and presented a proclamation naming April 24 Armenian Martyrs Day. Armenia also marked the anniversary of the Genocide, with thousands of people making their way to the Tsitsernakabert memorial on a hill above Yerevan. The catholicos said a special mass in memory of the Genocide’s victims and President Serge Sargisian and other top government officials attended the ceremony.

State Sen. Steven Tolman, Speaker Robert DeLeo, state Rep. Peter Koutoujian and Rep. Adam Schiff

MAY

• Armenia announced that it was suspending the ratification by the parliament of the protocols on normalizing relations with Turkey. The countries had signed an accord in 2009 but final approval stalled in both countries over the issue of recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Sargisian, however, stressed that although he was suspending ratification, he would not withdraw Yerevan’s signature.

•The actress Mia Farrow came to Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Greater Boston in Cambridge to talk about her work in the Sudan with genocide victims.

• Turkish journalist Nedim Sener faced three trials for his book about the assassination of Turkish-Armenian editor Hrant Dink. Reporters Without Borders issued a statement expressing its hope that Turkish courts would dismiss all three charges brought against the writer. If convicted, Sener faces a possible combined sentence of 32 years in prison.

Nedim Sener

• Seven Armenians were chosen to receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honor from the National Ethic Coalition of Organizations. The medalists were Kevork D. Atinizian, Adrienne G. Alexanian, Sarkis Bedevian, Annie Totah, Vartkes Yeghiayan, Bedros S. Oruncakciel and Carole Black.

• The Tekeyan Cultural Association (TCA) Board of Administrators celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Sponsor a Teacher in Armenia and Karabagh program, organized fundraising in seven chapters and established an endowment fund of $50,000.

• French-Armenian filmmaker Serge Avedikian won the Best Short Film prize at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival. Titled “Chiennes d’Histoire” (“Barking Island”), the animated short film depicts Constantinople with streets overrun with stray dogs. Avedikian, who received the prize from short film jury president, Atom Egoyan, said that he makes films so that the story between his grandfather and his children is not broken.

• The Bancroft Library at the University of California Berkeley received a gift of hundreds of books’ drawings, correspondence and other personal communications to and from Armenian- American author and playwright William Saroyan.

JUNE

• Israel deported Gaza aid activists but chose not to prosecute the nearly 700 persons who were part of a flotilla to bring aid to Gaza. Many of those aboard were Turkish citizens and the move by Israel strained relations between the two countries. An earlier attack by the Israelis on the flotilla killed nine activists and wounded 50 others.

• A panel on Turkish democracy, held at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government featured a three-person panel, Dani Rodrik, a prominent Turkish economist, his wife, Pinar Dogan and Gerald Knaus, founding chair of the European Stability Initiative. Dogan is the daughter of Cetin Dogan, a retired four-star general, arrested in Turkey with several others who have been indicted for their alleged part in the Ergenokan, the alleged plot to overthrow Turkey’s government, currently led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a member of the AKP (Justice and Development Party), which has strong Islamic roots.

• Samuel “Sam” Azadian, an active member of the Armenian- American community and official for many years in the New York City government died at 85. He was an important public figure during a period of history many well determine to have been the “golden age” of Armenian-Americans, at least on the East Coast. Azadian coordinated the preparations on behalf of New York City for the New York Marathon for many years and in 1985 became one of the founders of the annual Time Square commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.

• Composer Dikran Tchouhadjian’s opera-buffo “Garine” made its debut on the European stage. The production, mounted in Paris, featured an all-French cast and a new libretto, revised by Gerald Papasian, which stresses Armenian themes.

• Boston’s Armenian Heritage Park will pay homage to all immigrants. After years of planning, work is scheduled to begin on the park. Architect Donald J. Tellalian designed the sculpture. The park is a gift to the city from the Armenian Heritage Foundation, formed six years ago, to develop a parcel along the mile-long Rose Kennedy Greenway into a symbol of gratitude to a country that gave their forbears refuge from the Armenian Genocide.

• Four Armenian soldiers were killed in Karabagh when Azerbaijan staged a major provocation aimed at foiling the peace process over Nagorno-Karabagh. An Azeri reconnaissance group infiltrated the Martakert district of the republic and unsuccessfully attempted to advance into its territory.

JULY

• US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Armenia and Azerbaijan to end their longstanding territorial dispute although there were no signs of a diplomatic progress. The dispute between the two countries has long threatened to escalate to warfare and has caused diplomatic problems beyond their borders. Clinton visited both nations to make her point with top officials.

• A new Armenian Assembly office opened in Yerevan. President Serge Sargisian and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II jointed other top officials at the marquee opening. Armenian Assembly Board of Trustees Treasurer Edele Hovnanian and Life Trustee Member Siran Sahakian presided over the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

• Archbishop Khajag Barsamian was reelected to a sixth term as Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), thus becoming the second-longest serving Primate of the Diocese.

AUGUST

• Entrepreneur and philanthropist Charles Mosesian died in Watertown, Mass. at the age of 97. Born in Kharpert in 1912, his family managed to survive the Armenian Genocide. He came to the United States in 1928 and within a few years had opened the Euphrates Bakery, where he made traditional Armenian bread. He parlayed that humble beginning into a very successful business empire, with many holdings. In later years, philanthropy played a large part in Mosesian’s life, and he established the Mosesian Family Foundation and Trust. He gave the lead donation to start the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown.

• Helen Mardigian, a benefactress and supporter of many organizations in the Armenian community, died at age 88 in Royal Oaks, Mich. She devoted her life to promoting the Armenian Church as well as Armenian culture. She and her husband, Edward, made many contributions to benevolent causes in the United State as well as Holy Echmiadzin in Armenia and the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Helen Mardigian

• Dr. Bruce Boghosian of Tufts University was appointed president of the American University of Armenia (AUA) in Yerevan. He is chairman of the Math Department at Tufts. He took an extended leave of absence from Tufts to assume his new position in Armenia. Some of his goals for AUA include adding to the curricula of the undergraduate program, adding a doctoral program, expanding the fields of study and making it more of a regional university.

• In Boston, the First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the June 2009 ruling by US District Court Judge Mark L. Wolff that the challenge against the Massachusetts Department of Education curriculum guide on the Armenian Genocide could not go forward. Harvey Silverglate, lead attorney, had argued that Turkish sources should be included in the teaching of the Armenian Genocide. Retired Supreme Court Justice David Souter authored the Appeal Court’s opinion.

SEPTEMBER

• Nancy Kolligian stepped down as chairman of the board of the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) after nine years. She taught Spanish in the Melrose, Mass. Public schools prior to joining the family business, Distributor Corporation of New England, in 1986. Kolligian took over the NAASR leadership from Manoog Young. Raffi Yeghiayan succeeded her at NAASR.

• The Mother See of the Armenian Apostolic Church decided to boycott the liturgy at the Surp Khatch Church on Akhtamar due to Ankara’s refusal to restore a cross on its dome. The mass at the 10th- century church was the first to be held there in nearly a century. Originally, the Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II had decided to send two representatives to the event. However, in the wake of the Turkish government’s decision not to allow the cross, the catholicos changed his mind.

• One thousand members of Boston’s Armenian community attended the groundbreaking and blessing of the Armenian Heritage Park on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II came to the groundbreaking to offer a blessing for the souls of the martyrs of the Armenian Genocide. Among those who attended the ceremony were former Gov. Michael Dukakis, former state Representatives Rachel Kaprielian and Warren Tolman, state Representatives Jon Hecht and Aaron Michlewitz and state Senators Steven Tolman and Anthony Petrucelli. On stage were Gov. Deval Patrick, state Rep. Peter Koutoujian and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.

OCTOBER

• Kerry Kennedy was the featured speaker in Boston at the inaugural lecture in the human rights series sponsored by the K. George and Carolann Najarian Fund. The annual lecture series is an endowed public program of the Armenian Heritage Foundation. Kennedy, the daughter of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, is a veteran campaigner for human rights.

Kerry Kennedy

• Armenia’s Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian, accompanied by his wife and an official delegation arrived in Boston to visit the Armenian Heritage Park . He later attended a reception at the Sheraton Commander Hotel in Cambridge, hosted by Nishan Atinizian, which drew many members of the local Armenian community. He also visited the Fletcher School of Diplomacy at Tufts University where he discussed Armenian foreign policy with students.

• The Armenian Apostolic Church expressed outrage about a Muslim religious service held in an Armenian holy site in eastern Turkey, calling it a serious blow to efforts to improve Turkish- Armenian relations. The church in Ani is among the few surviving examples of the ancient Armenian civilization in what is now eastern Turkey.

• The world’s largest Armenian non-profit organization, the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), concluded its 86th annual assembly in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The gathering honored Eduardo Eurnekian for his many contributions to Armenian philanthropic causes and his efforts to better the lives of Armenian people.

• A new branch of the Armenagan-RAG (Armenian Democratic Liberal) party was formed in Martuni, Armenia. A delegation from Philadelphia, including Anahid and Papken Megerian, opened the chapter officially. Another branch opened in Vanadzor in November.

• On October 17, the parishioners of Sts. Vartanantz Church of Chelmsford, Mass. gathered to celebrate the centennial of the church’s Women’s Guild. The group was instrumental in the building of the parish’s first house of worship in the early part of the 20th century.

• Friends and benefactors of the American University of Armenia gathered on October 26 for a dinner to mark the official presidential transition. The dinner, held in Pasadena. Calif., paid tribute to President Emeritus D. Haroutune Armenian and his wife, Sona, and welcomed new president, Bruce Boghosian, and his wife, Laura.

NOVEMBER

• The first week of November saw the publication of a personal essay by former Mirror-Spectator assistant editor Daphne Abeel, on her two-week journey to Turkey. During her trip, Abeel met with journalists and writers, including Hasan Cemal.

• The death of a young mother, Zaruhi Petrosyan, in Armenia, at the hands of her husband and mother in law in the town of Masis, created enough anger that it forced a new look at the issue of domestic violence in Armenia. Petrosyan, 20, was allegedly routinely beaten by her husband, Yanis Sarkisov, and his mother, according to the victim’s sister.

• Reporter Aram Arkun visited Beirut, where he interviewed Baydzig Kalaydjian, the editor of the Armenian Democratic Liberal party organ there at length. Zartonk has a storied past, its first editor being the poet Vahan Tekeyan. Kalaydjian began writing for the daily in 1990 as a correspondent.

• Three boys allegedly kidnapped by their fathers were found healthy and safe in the Dutch city, The Hague. Two brothers, John Silah and George Silah, allegedly kidnapped their sons from their former wives in Los Angeles in July 2008, when they were supposed to have the boys for a vacation. The FBI and Interpol had joined forces in the case and succeeded in reuniting the boys with their mothers. The fathers were taken into custody.

• An Armenian man was arrested after he allegedly provided nuclear-bomb-grade uranium to two smugglers who were caught in Georgia, trying to sell it on the black market. The Armenian national security service said Garik Dadayan, who served several months in 2005 for a previous attempt to smuggle highly-enriched uranium, had been arrested after information was received from Georgian investigators.

• The Armenian Army was hit continuously by scandals involving misbehaver by superiors toward underlings and fellow soldiers inflicting violence on each other. As a result, many young soldiers either committed suicide or were killed by fellow soldiers. The government promised to investigate and create a healthier situation for soldiers.

• President Serge Sargisian said Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh “will deal a devastating and final” blow to Azerbaijan if that nation attacked. Sargisian was responding to fresh threats by Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, at the heels of military exercises in Karabagh.

• Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate, Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), was one of 20 American church leaders to meet with President Barack Obama in a special White House meeting on November 1. The heads of 16 Christian denominations met with the president to honor the centennial of the establishment of the worldwide ecumenical movement.

• Journalists from the Diaspora gathered in Armenia for the fifth Pan-Armenian Conference of Journalists.

• The Armenian Cultural Foundation (ACF) paid tribute to writer Hakob Karapents, on November 21, marking the 85th anniversary of his birth. Karapents was born in Tabriz, Iran and moved to the US in 1989. The program was co-sponsored by the Amaras Art Alliance, Armenian Society of Boston, Hamazkayin Boston Chapter, the Armenian Independent Broadcasting of Boston and the Armenian Cultural Committee of Greater Boston.

• Armenian Chess Grandmaster Levon Aronian was the joint winner of the Tal Memorial Tournament in Moscow, along with Sergey Karjakin of Russia.

• Young singer Vladimir Arzumanyan, 12, of Armenia, won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest with his song, Mama.

• The president of Cyprus, Dimitris Christofias, and chairman of the Parliament, Marios Garoyan, called for the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

• For the first time in living memory, the Armenian Church in Jerusalem elected a coadjutor patriarch whose primary mission will be to assist the incumbent guardian of the keys of St. James, Archbishop Torkom Manoogian, in the administration of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The measure was proposed by the ailing patriarch himself. The participants of the St. James Brotherhood agreed to the measure.

• Sonia Bogosian, 88, a philanthropist and the sister of the late Edward Boghosian, who founded the Armenian Reporter International newspaper, died at her home in Paramus, NJ.

• The Hayastan All Armenian Fund raised a record-breaking $20.8 million in pledges in its 13th annual telethon, held on Thanksgiving Day.

• Educator, poet and author Zareh Melkonian was honored by the Los Angeles Chapter of the Tekeyan Cultural Association (TCA), in commemoration of his 70 years of service to the Armenian communities in Lebanon and the US.

• The TCA held its 32nd convention in Montreal. Delegates from TCA chapters assembled in that city to hear about the course of the organization and its programs. The members of the assembly were pleased with what they heard. The Dickran Semsarian Most Active Chapter Award went to the New Jersey chapter. The chapter will host the convention next year.

• The TCA Mher Megerdchian Theatrical Group Performed Hagop Baronian’s play, “Shoghokort,” or the flatterer, in Oradell, NJ. In addition, the TCA hosted a tribute to veteran comic actor Krikor Satamian. From left, Hagop Vartivarian, Krikor Satamian and Sarkis Paskalian.

• During the same week, Abaka newspaper, the ADL’s tri-lingual party organ based in Montreal, celebrated its 35th anniversary, and ADL convened its 82nd Annual Convention.

DECEMBER

• Actor/director Gerald Papasian presented the opera buffa “Garine” on December 13 in New York City. The opera by Dickran Tchouhadjian was presented in a new adaptation by Papasian in Paris and Marseille earlier in the year to great critical acclaim. Papasian intends to bring the opera to the US. The fundraiser for the promotion of Armenian music and theater classics was hosted by Pemart and the Centre de Recherche Dikran Tchouhadjian, under the joint auspices of Archbishop Khajag Barsamian and Armenia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Garen Nazarian, as well as the Tekeyan Cultural Association.

• WikiLeaks released thousands of leaked State Department cables, shedding light on the US attitudes toward many countries, including Armenia. One of the documents showed that the US accused Armenia of selling arms from Russia to Iran. In a letter sent in December 2008, then-US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte allegedly pressed Sargisian to take wide-ranging measures to “ensure that such transfers do not occur in the future.” Armenian authorities did not comment on the report.

• Other WikiLeaks documents showed that Azerbaijan asked the US to press the Armenian government to make as many concessions as possible in the resolution of the Nagorno Karabagh stalemate. President Ilham Aliyev also advocated for isolating Iran.

• Armenians protested the visit to Lebanon of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

• The Armenian Mirror-Spectator celebrated its 78th anniversary with a fundraiser at the Taj Hotel, hosted by Kevork and Jacqueline Atinizian and their family, honoring sports broadcaster Tim Kurkjian and Improper Bostonian publisher Wendy Semonian-Eppich. The event raised $72,000. (See coverage in the PDF version of this issue.)

• Visionary documentarian J. Michael Hagopian, who won two Emmys and made about 70 documentaries on the Armenian Genocide, died in Los Angeles at age 97. A survivor of the Armenian Genocide, Hagopian filmed nearly 400 interviews with survivors and witnesses around the world.

• The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco reversed a ruling which had disallowed the heirs of Armenians killed in the Genocide from seeking payment from companies that sold their relatives life insurance. The 2-1 ruling revived a lawsuit filed by heirs against three German insurers.

• The 2010 Sponsor a Teacher fund donations began with Mirror-Spectator reporter Aram Arkun going to a school in Karabagh to distribute funds to staff and teachers.

Aram Arkun gives money from the Sponsor a Teacher Program to a staff member.

• The mayor of Yerevan, Gagik Beglarian, resigned in disgrace after allegedly attacking the protocol point-person of President Serge Sargisian over a perceived slight. The mayor’s wife, reportedly was insulted when she was shooed away from a seat she had taken next to Sargisian during a recital by Placido Domingo, to a seat further down the row.