Year in Review: 2014


By Alin K. Gregorian

Mirror-Spectator Staff

 

JANUARY

  • A petition by Dogu Perinçek, president of the Workers’ Party of Turkey, challenged his arrest for the denial of the Armenian Genocide in Switzerland.

 

  • California Assemblyman Mike Gatto introduced a resolution in the California Assembly asking for the US to recognize Nagorno Karabagh as an independent republic. Three organizations expressed support for the legislation, including the Armenian National Committee of America, the Unified Young Armenians and the Armenian Council of America. The California State Assembly on May 5 passed Joint Resolution 32 to recognize the Nagorno Karabagh Republic as a sovereign state. The bill makes California the most populous government entity to call for Artsakh’s recognition.

 

  • The family of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, including his son, Bilal, were embroiled in a corruption trial, including dealings with a Saudi Arabian businessman, Yasin al-Qaidi, who is said to have ties with al-Qaeda, according to US authorities.

 

  • More suspects were arrested in January in the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in Istanbul. The suspects, arrested in Trabzon, were considered to be key suspects and arrest orders for them were issued after they failed to attend an initial hearing.

 

  • The Zoryan Institute published the long-awaited English translation of The Armenian Genocide: Evidence from the German Foreign Office Archives 1915-1916, compiled and edited by Wolfgang Gust. The book contains telegrams, letters and reports form German consular officials in the Ottoman Empire to the Foreign Office in Berlin which describe in graphic and shocking detail the unfolding Genocide.

 

  • Armenian music lovers lost two great talents at the end of December and beginning of January. Conductor Aram Gharabekian died at age 58. Born in Iran and educated in the US and Germany, he was the conductor of Armenia’s National Chamber Orchestra. Prof. Vahe Berberian was a noted cellist and musicologist. He was born in Athens, Greece, to renowned composer Hampartzoum Berberian, and his wife, Serpouhi. He was a professor of music at Clarion University of Pennsylvania for 33 years prior to his retirement. He was 83.

 

  • Dilijan Chamber Music paid tribute to the music of Tigran Mansourian. A glowing review in the Los Angeles Times, called Mansourian “a stellar international figure.”

 

  • Rachel Kaprielian, a former state representative from Watertown, was named by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick as the state’s new secretary of labor and workforce development. She was most recently head of the state’s Registry of Motor Vehicles.

 

  • On the seventh anniversary of the death of Hrant Dink, more than 10,000 people gathered in Istanbul on January 19 in Taksim Square.

 

  • An Armenian soldier was killed on the Karabagh border after an attempted incursion into Artsakh by Azeri military forces.

 

  • An Armenian-American soldier, Marine Capt. Matthew P. Manoukian, credited for saving the lives of fellow comrades, received a posthumous Navy Cross for heroic actions while deployed in Afghanistan. Manoukian and Staff Sgt. Sky R. Mote, were credited with saving the lives of the other soldiers in the battalion and dying in the process.

 

  • The names of the members of Armenia’s Olympic team were released: they are Sergey Mikayelyan, Artur Yeghoyan, Katya Galstyan and Arman Serebrakian.

 

  • David of Sassoun: An Armenian Epic, retold by poet and writer David Kherdian and illustrated by Nonny Hagrogian, was released this month. Written in the ninth century, the story is composed of a series of individual legendary tales that have been coordinated into a unified narrative, consisting of four cycles, linked together through genealogical succession.

 

  • Armenians participated in the unrest in Kiev, Ukraine, in the Maidan protests.

 

  • A new Genocide memoir appeared, titled Defying Fate, the fifth volume of the Genocide Library, published in Los Angeles. The book is the memoirs of the late Aram and Dirouhi Avedian, who were survivors of the Armenian Genocide.

 

  • According to the Guardian newspaper, actress Meg Ryan will make her directorial debut with the film “Ithaca,” based on William Saroyan’s novel, The Human Comedy. She is reportedly going to star in the movie along with Sam Shepard and Melanie Griffith. Her frequent co-star, Tom Hanks, will reportedly serve as executive producer. The story is about a teenage telegram delivery boy in America during World War II witnessing the impact of the conflict on those to whom he delivers messages.

 

  • During an official visit to the Czech Republic on January 30, Armenian President Serge Sargisian met with his Czech counterpart, Milos Zeman, who said that the killings of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey constituted a Genocide.

 

  • The California State Assembly voted unanimously on January 29 to pass Assembly member Adrin Nazarian’s bill, AB 659, encouraging schools to use oral histories when teaching about the Armenian Genocide.

 

 

FEBRUARY

  • Armenia launched its first tablet, called ArmTab. The Ministry of Education plans to distribute the ArmTab in schools starting in 2015.

 

PHOTO ONLY

Armenian Chess Grandmaster Levon Aronian dined with French-Armenian singing legend Charles Aznavour in Zurich. Aronian defeated world champion Magnus Carlsen in the Zurich Challenge tournament.

 

  • TCA benefactor Eleanor Dickranian died on February 16, at age 101. She and her husband, Arshag, had founded the school that bore her husband’s name, in Los Angeles. She was born in 1912 in California and married Dickranian in 1932.
  • The plight of Syrians and Syrian-Armenians was a major topic in the Middle East, Europe and the US. In Washington, a panel discussion hosted by the Heritage Foundation titled “Marked for Destruction: The Plight of Syria’s Christians with Syrian Christian Leaders,” featured several members of Syrian clergy as well as Armenian Church leaders from Syria. The discussion was co-hosted by the Westminster Institute and Barnabas Aid Fund.

 

  • The Turkish government returned 42 acres of land in Istanbul to the Armenian community about 40 years after it was seized. The land is located across from the Surp Pirgic Armenian Hospital and is now under the control of its foundation.

 

  • The Yad Vashem Museum-Institute in Israel posthumously awarded Haroutyoun Khachatryan, a military physician during World War II, the Righteous Among the Nations Award on February 4. Israel’s ambassador to Armenia, Shmuel Meirom and honorary consul of Israel in Armenia, Ashot Shakhmuradyan, handed the medal to the honoree’s granddaughter, singer Anna Khachatryan. Haroutyoun Khachatryan was honored for saving Jewish lives in the war.

 

  • Bishop Armash Nalbandian, Primate of the Armenian Church of Damascus, paid an official visit to California, along with other Syrian Christian leaders, to meet with Armenian-American and government leaders to discuss the plight of Syria’s Christian minority.

 

  • Archi Galentz keeps his family tradition of art alive in Berlin. Galentz is a painter who also has a gallery in the city’s Wedding District.
  • Astrophysicist and member of Armenia’s National Academy of Sciences Grigor Gurzadyan died on February 22. He was born in 1922 in Baghdad to parents who had fled the Armenian Genocide in 19015. The family eventually moved to Armenia and he became a student of Viktor Hambartsumian. He eventually headed the Garni Astronomy Laboratory of the Byurakan Observatory and later held senior positions at Yerevan State University and Yerevan Polytechnic Institute in the field of astrophysics.

 

  • The French government paid tribute to the life of French-Armenian Resistance leader during World War II, Misak Manouchian, on the 70th anniversary of his execution by the Nazis. Attending the ceremony were French government officials as well as the most famous French-Armenian, Charles Aznavour.
  • A Montreal exhibit organized by the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre and the Local Armenian community at the Federation CJA Lobby, remembered and honored the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide.

 

  • The Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), paid tribute to the legacy of the late Patriarch of Jerusalem Torkom Manoogian.

 

  • Dr. Hagop Martin Deranian spoke about the Armenian Orphan Rug at the Armenian Museum of America.

 

  • The new director of the Armenian Communities Department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Portugal, Dr. Razmik Panossian, spoke at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research headquarters in Belmont, Mass. Despite the inclement weather, the lecture hall was full to bursting as Panossian laid out his vision for the Armenian community.

 

MARCH

  • For an all-too-brief week, Edgar Martirosyan became the most famous Armenian-American in Southern California, eclipsing the Kardashians. Martirosyan, from the Burbank-based Big Mama’s & Papa’s chain, delivered pizzas live to the stage of the Academy Awards, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. Hungry A-listers such as Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Jared Leto and Jennifer Lawrence eagerly took slices as Martirosyan walked between the aisles.

 

  • The Armenian National Institute, the Armenian Genocide Museum of America and Armenian Assembly of America, in cooperation with the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin and the Armenian Genocide-Museum Institute in Armenia, announced the release of a major exhibit consisting of 20 panels with more than 150 historic photographs documenting the role of the Armenian Church during the Armenian Genocide.

 

  • Relics from the Armenian Genocide were unveiled during a conference focusing on the heroes and survivors of the Genocide, at the Ararat-Eskijian Museum in Mission Hills, Calif., on March 22. Among those was a dress belonging to an orphan from Hadjian. The permanent home of the dress is the Bethel College Library in Mishawaka, Ind. It was located by filmmaker Bared Maronian.

 

  • After a long struggle, the Governor’s Council in Boston rejected Joseph Berman, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s pick for a seat on the Superior Court in a tied vote. His rejection, in part, stemmed from his support for the Anti-Defamation League, and the latter’s ambiguous position on the Armenian Genocide.

 

  • Members of Congress released statements and made statements on the 26th anniversary of the anti-Armenian pogroms in Sumgait, Kirovabad and Baku, Azerbaijan.

 

  •  European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton visited New Julfa and Isfahan, Iran, where she met with Archimandrite Anania Gujanian and toured Armenian churches there.

 

  • The Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA) printed the English-language translation of works by Zabel Yessayan. The two books are Gardens of Silihdar, in which the author looks back at her childhood in Istanbul, and My Soul in Exile, a novel.

 

  • The city of Kessab in Syria came under attack by Muslim extremist groups, many of which seem to easily cross the border into Turkey and back. Meanwhile, Turkey shot down a Syrian military jet. Several Armenian lawmakers paid an official visit to Syria. The US State Department spokesperson on March 28 said the US government is “deeply troubled” by the fighting and violence that is causing the local Armenian population in Kessab to flee. More than 600 Armenian families had left Kessab after armed extremists penetrated by across the Turkish border and seized control of the town. A demonstration took place outside the UN office in Yerevan, with the demand for an end to the persecution of Armenians and other minorities by illegal armed units.

 

  • Teacher Lisa Apovian, left, received the coveted Sontag Prize in Urban Education, given out annually to educators who strive for the educational welfare of a community. Apovian is a third-grade teacher at Parthum School in Lawrence.

 

  • The Tekeyan Cultural Association Mher Megerdchian Theatrical Group hosted the “Big Bad Armo Show” in New York City February 28 and March 1. Created by award-winning writer Lory Tatoulian, the show introduced East Coast audiences to a world of new characters and hilarious comedy.

 

  • Prof. Richard Frye, a pioneer in the field of Armenian studies, died on March 27. Frye was the seminal figure in the establishment of Iranian Studies in the United States also. Frye studied under Armenologist Robert P. Blake at Harvard and was also an early and lifelong advocate of Armenian studies and was the catalyst for the establishment of the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research. He was 94.

 

  • The Socially Relevant Film Festival made its debut in March in New York, featuring more than 55 films from 18 countries. The festival was founded by writer and actress Nora Armani and featured three Armenian-themed documentaries and features, including “Orphans of the Genocide” by Bared Maronian.

 

  • German-Armenian Archeologist Hourig Sourouzian was among the team that unveiled two colossal statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep II in Egypt’s famed temple city of Luxor.

 

  • On March 29, pianist Artun Miskciyan gave a recital at the Steinway Gallery in Detroit, at a program sponsored by the Tekeyan Cultural Association to honor Margaret Benian for her contributions to the community as an accomplished pianist.

 

  • The TCA Arshag Dickranian School raised $20,000 for the school at a dinner dance at the school’s Walter and Laurel Karabian Hall.

APRIL

  • Umit Kurt, a PhD candidate in the Department of History at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., spoke at a lecture on the seizure of Armenian properties in Aintab on April 10. A group of organizations, including the Tekeyan Cultural Association, Greater New York Chapter, hosted the lecture at St. Leon Church in Fairlawn, N.J.

 

  • The Armenian community in Massachusetts was saddened by the death of the Very Rev. Raphael Andonian, the longtime pastor of Holy Cross Armenian Catholic Church. Andonian, a member of the Mekhitarist Order in Venice, had led the church since 1993, died after a short battle with cancer. He was buried on the grounds of St. Lazarus, in Venice.

 

  • Senators Robert Menendez and Mark Kirk introduced a new Armenian Genocide resolution in the Senate on April 3. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved it on April 10.

 

  • Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargisian resigned after serving six years. He was the former chairman of the country’s Central Bank. He was soon named as the new ambassador to the US, replacing Tatul Markarian. He met with President Obama in June.  He met with former executive director of the TCA Central Board of Directors Kevork Marashlian and his wife, Vartiter, at the Armenian Embassy.

 

  • Nazar Nazarian hosted a reception to bid adieu to Armenia’s popular ambassador to the United Nations, Garen Nazarian, at Anahid Armenian Kitchen in Paterson, NJ. He was also honored by a slew of Armenian-American organizations.

 

  • A plethora of commemorative events took place this month. In Boston, an emotional program paid tribute to survivors and victims of the Armenian Genocide, as well as the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing the previous year which had forced the cancellation of last year’s event. Outgoing Gov. Deval Patrick paid tribute to the state’s Armenian community, thanking them for supporting him when he was faltering in his first campaign. The speaker was famed attorney Mark Geragos and the honoree was architect Donald Tellalian, who had designed the Armenian Heritage Park in Boston. In Washington, the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, the Embassy of Armenia and the office of Nagorno Karabagh Republic and Armenian-American organizations hosted a program on Capitol Hill, featuring keynote speaker Ragip Zarakolu, a Turkish author, human rights activist and publisher. Harvard University hosted a program featuring filmmaker Carla Garapedian, on Sunday, April 27. The program was organized by Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and the Harvard Foundation. In Armenia, President Serge Sargisian headed the official delegation that paid tribute to the victims of the Armenian Genocide. As always, Times Square saw thousands of Armenians and their supporters come together.

 

  • Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on April 23 issued a message lamenting the “shared pain” of the Armenians and Turks. The US and several other allies praised Erdogan for the positive step, while most Armenians around the world expressed skepticism for the timing as well as the muddled message.

 

  • The Armenian community worldwide lost one of its top photographers, longtime Associated Press staffer Harry Koundakjian. Koundakjian, the former photo editor for AP in the Middle East and New York City, died at age 83 in Manhattan following complications after open heart surgery. His wife and daughter survive him.

 

  • Armenian music lost two greats, Lucy Ishkanian Tankian and Konstantin Orbelian. The former was a prominent pianist and benefactor of the arts. She helped gifted students from the Komitas Conservatory in Yerevan to study at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. She was 80 and died in New York City. Orbelian was a pianist, composer and head of the state Estrada Orchestra of Armenia. He had composed many classical compositions, as well.

 

  • The London TCA chapter held a reception in honor of Armenia’s Ambassador to the UK Dr. Armen Sarkissian. From left, Garo Boyadjian, Bishop Vahan Hovhannisian, Ambassador Armen Sarkissian, Vasken Kassemdjian and Vartan Ouzounian.

 

  • More than 700 people attended a ground blessing at the site for the proposed Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial on April 27.

 

  • Two students form the Arshag Dickranian School won in the city-side Earth Day Poster Contest titled “Green Cities.” They were fifth-grade student Julianna Mkrtchyan and ninth-grader Ani Sarafian.

 

 

MAY

  • Archbishop Khajag Barsamian was reelected as Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern).

 

  • The White House, after receiving a letter from more than 30 members of Congress, agreed to exhibit the Orphan Rug. The rug, woven by orphans of the Armenian Genocide in 1920, was presented to President Calvin Coolidge in 1925 as a symbol of gratitude for Armenian aid and generosity. The rug was eventually displayed in December. In a related development, the Armenian Cultural Foundation released the second edition of President Calvin Coolidge and the Armenian Orphan Rug by Dr. Hagop Martin Deranian. The German translation of the book, Armenische Waisenteppich, was published in France, thanks to the efforts of Mirror-Spectator correspondent Muriel Mirak-Weissbach, who had read about the book and the rug in the newspaper. The launch of the German version took place in Berlin, hosted by Armenia’s ambassador to Germany, Vahan Hovhannisyan.

 

  • Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II traveled to Rome to meet with Pope Francis.

 

  • The only known manuscript of General Andranik Ozanian, the national hero who died in 1927, found a permanent home at the National History Museum in Yerevan.

 

  • A gala hosted by the University of Southern California-based Shoah Foundation honored President Barack Obama for his commitment to human rights. The Ambassadors for Humanity Gala featured many guests, including foundation founder Steven Spielberg. Also present were Armenian Genocide survivor Yevgine Salibian and her granddaughter Talin Bahadarian, filmmaker Carla Garapedian and reality television star Kim Kardashian.

 

  • The Tekeyan Centre Fund in Yerevan hosted a Tekeyan Olympiad, or contest of knowledge, for students from Armenia and Karabagh. British Ambassador to Armenia Kathy Leach handed out the prizes.

 

  • During a visit to Armenia, French President Francois Hollande said that the recognition of the Armenian Genocide is necessary.
  • A divine liturgy was celebrated for the first time in the Turkish-occupied side of Cyprus, at the Armenian Church of Virgin Mary on May 11.

 

  • An Armenian Genocide monument was unveiled in Lowell, Mass. After three years, the unique memorial was placed at City Hall Plaza. It was designed by Daniel Varoujan Hejinian.

 

  • The Anti-Defamation League issued another statement saying it wanted to clarify that it recognizes the Armenian Genocide. The statement preceded the appearance of ADL director Abraham Foxman at Suffolk University Law School, which had been facing a backlash from students and community activists.

 

  • On May 9-12, several meetings were held between the Central Board of Directors of the Tekeyan Cultural Association of United States and Canada, the Trustees of TCA London Trust and the Trustees of YCA Yerevan Foundation, and the representatives of the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party of Armenia. The groups agreed on the purchase of a new TCA building in Yerevan. Pictured are, from left, Nar Khatchadourian, Silva Aharonian, Hagop Vartivarian, Roupen Mirzakhanian, Vartan Ouzounian, Krikor Hampartsumian and Hagop Avedian.The purchase of the building was finalized on September 22.

 

  • Many of Boston’s top chefs came together on May 21 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston for the Chefs Party for Our Park fundraiser, helping the Armenian Heritage Park. The program raised $95,000 for the upkeep of the park.
  • Scholar, fundraiser extraordinaire and all around story teller Dr. Vartan Gregorian received the Dean’s Medal at Tufts University for his contributions to philanthropy and scholarship.

 

  • ADL and Tekeyan’s Hagop Vartivarian received the Movses Khorenatsi Medal from President Serge Sargisian of Armenia on May 28 for his contributions to Armenian and Armenian culture.

 

JUNE

 

  • Azerbaijan started a series of attacks on Armenia. In June, two soldiers were killed on the country’s border with Nakhijevan. Two soldiers, Andranik Yeghoyan and Boris Gasparyan, were killed.

 

  • Aleppo was continuously bombed, with the Armenian neighborhood of Nor Kyough declared a disaster zone. Several Armenians died in the spring.

 

  • In Mosul, the fundamentalist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) attacked Holy Echmiadzin Armenian Church in Mosul, Iraq. This month and the next, Christians, including Armenians, fled the city en masse, after ISIS issued a choice: either convert to Islam, pay a tax or face death.

 

  • Armenia named a new ambassador to the United Nations, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, who was feted on June 17 by members of the TCA Greater New York Chapter.

 

  • Nazalie “Nellie” Nazarian died on June 12, surrounded by her family, at age 102. She was the last Armenian Genocide survivor in Merrimack Valley.

 

  • TCA of US and Canada held its 33rd convention in June in New Jersey. Participating were delegates from New York, New Jersey, Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Montreal, Toronto, Pasadena/Glendale and Los Angeles Chapters. At the event’s grand banquet, the TCA paid tribute to member Hagop Vartivarian.

 

  • The House Foreign Affairs Committee passed the Turkey Christian Churches Accountability Act. Introduced by its chair, Ed Royce, and Ranking Member Eliot Engel, the bill requires that the Secretary of State, on an annual basis, “submit … a report on the status and return of stolen, confiscated or otherwise unreturned Christian Churches, places of worship and other properties” in Turkey and northern Cyprus until the year 2021.

 

  • Russia-based Armenian businessman Levon Hayrapetian was arrested in Russia, on suspicion of having ties with an organized criminal group. Several Karabagh lawmakers lobbied for his release, protesting his innocence.

 

JULY

President Serge Sargisian completed a tour of South America, visiting Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. While in Argentina, he took part in the groundbreaking ceremony of the Armenian Genocide Museum in Buenos Aires on July 8.

  • The once-hoped-for Armenian Genocide Museum officially came to a full stop on July 15, when the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit unanimously upheld a 2011 trial judge’s order awarding the property intended for the museum toe the Cafesjian Family Foundation. The panels’ decision rejected competing claims by the Armenian Assembly of America, which had sought a new trial. The court voiced dismay over what it called the “morass of litigation” that has entangled museum plans.

 

  • Writer and professor Gary Goshgarian, a 1964 graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, received the Robert H. Goddard Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement for his career as an accomplished novelist.

 

  • The film “The Cut” by Turkish-German director Fatih Akin was released in Germany. The feature film is about an Armenian man during the Genocide.

 

AUGUST

  • Aram Arkun, a former associate editor of the Armenian Mirror-Spectator, came back to the newspaper after his move to the Boston area. Arkun is a scholar specializing in modern Armenian history and has published a number of articles on the Armenians of Cilicia. Later, in November, Arkun was also named as the new TCA executive director.

 

  • About 18 soldiers were killed in renewed tensions in Nagorno Karabagh, of which five were Armenian.

 

  • KOHAR Symphony Orchestra and Choir conductor Sebouh Apkarian died at his home after a brief illness.

 

  • Longtime ADL and Tekeyan member Yervant Babayan died in Los Angeles at age 101.

 

  • An Armenian border village resident arrested by Azerbaijani security forces after crossing into Azerbaijan in disputed circumstances died under suspicious circumstances. In addition, Azerbaijan shot down an Armenian helicopter. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe urged Armenia and Azerbaijan to honor their 20-year-old truce.

 

  • Armenia offered aid to Iraqi Yezidis under attack by ISIS.

 

  • The Ebola virus has one Armenian-American enemy: Chris Garabedian, CEO of Sarepta Therapeutics in Cambridge, Mass. The company is working on a cure for the deadly virus.

 

  • Armenia’s Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian attended the inauguration ceremony for Turkey’s new president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan on August 28. He handed Erdogan a letter from President Serge Sargisian, inviting him to Yerevan on April 24, 2015.

 

SEPTEMBER

 

  • Hermes debuted its limited edition Armenian Alphabet silk scarf, to make the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Protestant-France-Armenian Solidarity Charity Association. Designed by Karen Petrossian, the scarf honors Mesrop Mashtots, the creator of the Armenian alphabet.
  • The Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents met along with US Secretary of State John Kerry, on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Newport, Wales.

 

  • On September 12, a European Union regional parliament, for the first time ever, adopted a motion supporting the self-determination of Nagorno Karabagh. The Basque Parliament praises the strong determination of the people there for their choice for democracy, despite obstacles.

 

  • The Detroit chapter of the TCA held an evening of poetry, attracting a capacity audience. The highlight of the evening was the introduction of two books of select poems written by Vahan Tekeyan and translated by Gerald Papasian and John Papasian and edited by Edmond Azadian and Gerald Papasian. Among those reciting poems were Nora Azadian, Vahan Tekeyan’s one-time student, and artist Airea Matthews, a poet.

 

  • Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia announced at the Armenia-Diaspora Conference in Yerevan that his office was initiating legal claims against Turkey to regain ownership of the historic headquarters of the catholicosate, in Sis, now part of Turkey.

 

  • The Armenian Genocide monument and the Holy Martyrs Church in Deir Zor were substantially damaged after an attack by ISIS. US officials and Armenians around the world condemned the attack.

 

  • President Serge Sargisian delivered a talk on September 24 at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly in New York City, in which he made a stand for recognition of the Armenian Genocide and lost his cool with Turkey dragging its feet on ratifying the protocols for normalization with Armenia. In his fiery talk, at one point, he said, “To hell with your ratification.”

 

  • Edmond Azadian delivered several lectures in North America about the two books of Vahan Tekeyan poems he had edited, including in Los Angeles, New Jersey, Fresno and Toronto.

 

OCTOBER

 

  • Vice President Joseph Biden issued an apology to Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for remarks suggesting that Turkey helped facilitate the rise of ISIS, at a talk at Harvard.

 

  • On October 10, Armenia officially joined the Eurasian Customs Union, backed by Russia, after it turned down a potential Association agreement with the European Union.

 

  • Holy Trinity Church of Cheltenham, Penn., celebrated its 80th anniversary.

 

  • Two new centers of learning opened in Armenia. The Dilijan International School came together through the efforts of Ruben Vardanian and other investors, including Nubar Afeyan. In Yerevan, the Khoren and Shooshanig Avedisian School and Community Center opened, thanks to the efforts of Edward Avedisian and his family

 

  • The 14th anniversary of Sponsor a Teacher Program was celebrated in Armenia and Karabagh. For the past 14 years, the project has raised more than $604,000 and reached out to more than 5,000 teachers and staff.
  • Benefactress Laurel Dickranian Karabian died after a battle with cancer. She was 60. She was born in Beverly Hills to Archie and Eleanor Dickranian. She and her family were supporters of the school that bore her father’s name.

 

  • The annual Armenian Heritage Park Lecture focused on human rights journalism. The program featured journalists Ray Suarez, Thomas Mucha and Stephen Kurkjian. Also speaking was Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Dr. Carolann Najarian and Courtney Radsch .

 

  • Boston’s former mayor — the longest serving in the history of the city — Thomas Menino, died after a battle with cancer. Menino died on October 30, at age 71. He was a supporter of the Armenian Heritage Park in Boston and attended its opening, along with Gov. Deval Patrick, Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian and Armenia’s Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian.

 

  • The Armenia Tree Project celebrated its 20th anniversary with a grand banquet in Boston on November 8 that raised $450,000. The event, held at Boston’s John Joseph Moakly US Courthouse, was attended by more than 500 people.

 

  • The annual Hayastan All Armenia Fund Telethon raised $12 million on Thanksgiving Day.

 

  • Former Primate of Brazil Archbishop Datev Gharibian died on November 26. He was 77.

 

  • Jack Hadjinian was elected the first Armenian-American mayor o the city of Montebello, Calif.

 

  • The rags-to-riches story of Movses Gulesian, an immigrant to Massachusetts who had fled Marash, Turkey, in the late 19th century, became even more entwined with the history of the city he loved. ON November 22, a time capsule was removed from a lion statute that ornaments Boston’s Old State House and its contents were made public. Among the items that were put back into the lion as another time capsule were an essay written by Donald Tellalian, the architect of the Boston Heritage Park and the designer of its statue, on how Gulesian paid for the Lion and Unicorn statues to be erected in front of the Old State House. Other items to be put in the new time capsule are tickets from the April 20, 2012 Fenway Park Centennial Boston Red Sox game.

 

  • The Society for Armenian Studies, a primarily American association of scholars and supporters of Armenology, celebrated its 40th anniversary with an international conference in Yerevan in October and a conference in Washington in November.

 

DECEMBER

  • The Patriarch of Jerusalem Nourhan Manougian issued a blunt and public missive criticizing Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II. The Supreme Spiritual Council in Holy Echmiadzin, under the presidency of the Catholicos, issued a public response, saying that the former’s behavior was unacceptable and diminished the church, especially as the Armenian people were heading toward the centennial of the commemoration of the Genocide. The AGBU also issued a statement of support for Catholicos Karekin II, expressing its support for the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and encouraging cordial ties between the patriarchate and Echmiadzin.

 

  • Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin, who used to be an outspoken advocate of Israel’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide, has decided not to renew his signature on an annual petition calling for Israel to officially recognize the mass killings as genocide.

 

  • A library dedicated to the late Ara Kalaydjian, the former editor of the Armenian Mirror-Spectator as well as Sion, the monthly publication of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, at St. James Armenian Church in Watertown. Much of the library’s collection was donated by his wife, Shoushan, combined with the parish’s collection and books dedicated by his brother, Alex Kalaydjian, who will serve as librarian.

 

  • Agos newspaper in Turkey published a story by journalist Murat Bardakci in which he said that a Turkish Historical Society official removed “dispatch registers” kept after the deportation law was issued in 1915 from the Ottoman archives and hid them in the archives of another institution.

 

  • The government of Switzerland announced that it would appeal the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights of December 2013, which had overturned the conviction of Turkish national Dogu Perinçek for denying the Armenian Genocide. Amal Clooney, according to journalist Harut Sassounian, will represent Armenia in the Perinçek v. Switzerland case and will be joined by two Armenian government representatives, Gevorg Kostanyann and Emil Babayan.

 

  • A giant in the field of medicine, Dr. Edgar M. Housepian, died in New York. Housepian had been a professor of clinical neurological surgery at Columbia University and founder of Fund for Armenian Relief. He was 86.

 

  • Publisher and human rights activist Ragip Zarakolu was honored for his courage in Berlin.