Hrach Kalsahakian prepared the following reports and articles in Azad-Hye in March 2009. Click the link for each article.
Norair Kazandjian: a UAE Armenian star
Norair Kazandjian is a known name within the circles of the UAE Armenians. For many years he has been performing Armenian songs during social parties and gatherings.
One of his songs is dedicated to the Armenian Community of the UAE, which could be seen as an unofficial "anthem" (Click here to listen).
Born in the Mediterranean picturesque city of Lattakia on the Syrian Coast, he has been blessed with parents who deeply comprehend the value of music and arts. After High School he moves to Aleppo to study in the Medical University, but, in the meanwhile, discovers that the world of music is close to his heart. He manages to follow lessons on guitar, piano and reciting.
Al Jazeera reporter in Karabakh: To fight or not to fight
Under the series “People & Power”, Al Jazeera’s English section aired on 28 February 2009 an episode on Nagorno Karabakh, titled "To fight or not to fight"
Michael Andersen has traveled the Caucasus and visited locations in Armenia, Karabakh, Azerbaijan and Georgia to find out answers to many questions.
The war between Russia and Georgia in 2008 has raised the prospect of a new era of conflict in the Caucasus. For over 20 years Armenia and Azerbaijan have been quarreling over the status of Nagorno-Karabakh. The territory had a majority of Armenian population when it declared independence in 1991. The Armenians of Karabakh feared to face the destiny of the Armenians in Baku and Sumgait, who were murdered and escaped their homes. After a brutal civil war a fragile ceasefire was agreed in 1994. Ever since the Azeris continue to threaten the Armenians with full scale war. The oil revenues (which were high until recently) granted some confidence to the war rhetoric of the Azeris and provided them with the prospect of funding their future adventure.
Hrach Kalsahakian writes about the two Al Jazeera reports in detail.
Boghos Mardirossian: Hay Tad is the security problem, which the Armenian civilization had since its formation
On Friday, 06 March 2009 the Hay Tad Committee in Kuwait organized its first public event in Salmiya, Kuwait. Boghos Mardirossian delivered a lecture - presentation on the political situation in the Caucasus and its implications on Armenia.
In the first part of the lecture, Mardirossian made a brief introduction about the geographical location of the Caucasus and the different ethnicities residing there. He pointed out that many languages are spoken there. Caucasus is not mono- ethnic or single religion place. In The northern Caucasus, which is the southern part of Russian Federation there are many ethnic groups and mainly five autonomous republics within the Russian Federation.
In the past, the Caucasus struggle was between three Empires: Persian, Russian and Ottoman, but in the present time after, the collapse of the Soviet Union new players came into the Caucasus such as USA, EU and NATO. The presence of the new players in this region gave to it a specific international political and economical importance.
Hrach Kalsahakian sheds light on this important lecture by Boghos Mardirossian in Kuwait.
Araks Pashayan: The Armenian community of Damascus needs to modernize the traditional functions of its national organization
Hrach Kalsahakian writes about Araks Pashayan's article about the Armenian community in Damascus (including the decades-long differences inside the community).
In a lecture – presentation in Yerevan, Noravank Foundation’s researcher and specialist in Arab and Islamic affairs Araks Pashayan delivered an in-depth analysis of the Syrian Armenian societies with special refernce to Damascus Armenians.
After a historic narrative which covered the formation of the Armenian organized communities in the Syrian landscape (in the cities and towns of Damascus, Aleppo, Lattakia, Kessab, Kamishli and other smaller locations), Pashayan dealt with present day conditions and the existing challenges.
The number of Armenians in Damascus, according to Pashayan, does not exceed 5-6 thousands. The community is regarded by the state as a religious minority, working on a constitution ratified in 1863 by the then Ottoman government. The head of the Armenian Diocese at present is Bishop Armash Nalbandian.
Sheikha Lubna Al Qassimi visits Armenia
Hrach Kalsahakian reports about Sheikha Lubna Al Qassimi's visit to Armenia
Sheikha Lubna Al Qassimi, Foreign Trade Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) paid a two day official visit to Armenia (05-07 March 2009), leading a high-level trade and economic delegation, during which she visited the Technical Training Institute in Armenia and had separate meetings with her counterpart Nerses Yeritsian (Economy Minister), Edward Nalbandian (Foreign Minister), Tigran Sarkisyan (Prime Minister), Hovik Abrahamyan (Chairman of the National Assembly) and President Serzh Sargsyan.
Visit to the Technical Training Institute
Shaikha Lubna Al Qassimi visited on 05 March 2009 the Technical Training Institute in Yerevan. Accompanied by the Armenian Economy Minister, Nerses Yeritsian and members of the economic and UAE trade delegation, Shaikha Lubna was taken round the various sections of the institute. She was later briefed by Minister Yeritsian about Armenia's economy and its most promising sectors.
Katia Peltekian: I have warned my friends to avoid the fake Katia
Katia Peltekian's Facebook identity was stolen and used to circulate anti-Armenian ideas. Hrach Kalsahakian interviews Katia to find out the details about this cyber fraud.
You are known as a person who searches everyday for online Armenian news and posts them on Groong Armenian News Network. The least to say, this is a tiresome work. But is it also so rewarding?
It's been almost 10 years since I started compiling news about Armenia and Armenian issues printed in newspapers around the world. During that time, I've also translated into English numerous articles that were printed in the Arab world. Working on Groong takes 2-3 hours of my time every day (around April 24, it goes up to 4-5 hours), but it's been a very self-rewarding experience for several reasons. First, I have grown prouder of my Armenian heritage when I read and post news that inform of the contributions of Armenians to different cultures like India or Hong Kong, Singapore or Canada.
Second, it keeps me up-to-date on the Armenian Genocide issues since I'm into the media coverage of the Genocide not only in the present time, but also during the past century. What is even more interesting is that many times I locate articles printed in far-away countries or cities (such as Korea, Pakistan, Hong Kong and remote unknown towns and cities in Canada) denying the Genocide fact, and this has prompted me to write letters to the editors to correct the misinformation. It has been very rewarding when my letters did appear in such newspapers as the Korea Herald, South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), etc.
Minister Edward Nalbandian visits four Middle East Arab countries
Hrach Kalsahakian reports on Foreign Minister Nalbandian's visit to Middle East countries
Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian concluded a 6 day long visit to the Middle East which covered Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
The Minister had meetings with the top leadership of the above-mentioned countries, with the aim of reinforcing the close ties and cooperation between Armenia and the Arab world, presenting Armenia's policy and determining the ways of deepening cooperation.
Minister of Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian arrived in Egypt on 23 February 2009 at the invitation of the Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abou Elgheit.