155 Bäume aus Jerewan symbolisieren den diesjährigen Armenischen Frühling in Bochum. Auf der Schmechtingwiese legt Oberbürgermeisterin Dr. Ottilie Scholz am 18. April um 11:30 Uhr den Grundstein für einen deutsch-armenischen Freundschaftsgarten, bereits eine Woche zuvor entstand parallel dazu in der armenischen Hauptstadt Jerewan ein ganz ähnlicher Garten. Beide Anlagen stehen unter der Schirmherrschaft von Bundestagspräsident Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert.
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First Turkish Film to Show Armenian Genocide Harshly Received Before Release

German-Turkish director Fatih Akin's latest film,
'The Cut' raises furor in Turkey, draws threats from nationalists.

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Archaeological Finds Shed Light on Urartu Civilization

Excavations in the area of Yerevan, capital of the Republic of Armenia, have unearthed new evidence of the pre-Christian Kingdom of Van or Urartu.
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Gumri Octet School Launches Musical Renaissance

By Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
Special to the Mirror-Spectator

GUMRI — Armenians in Gumri celebrated the 22nd anniversary of independence appropriately with music. On September 20, a day before the official festivities took place in Yerevan and other cities, leading national figures joined by international guests officiated over the open- ing of the brand new Octet music school, which had been destroyed in the 1988 earth- quake. Read further...

Vorstellung der Mirak-Weißbach-Stiftung

Am 7 September 2013 wurden die Mirak-Weißbach-Stiftung und das Projekt „Ein Blüthner-Flügel für Gjumri“ im Lepsiushaus, Potsdam vorgestellt. Auszüge der Rede der Mitbegründerin der Stiftung. Read further...

Mirak-Weißbach-Stiftung unterstützt Musikschule in Armenien

Die “Mirak-Weißbach-Stiftung” wurde offiziell am 1. August 2012 als rechtsfähige Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts registriert und als gemeinnützige Einrichtung anerkannt, so dass alle Zuwendungen von der Steuer abzugsfähig sind.Read further...

German-Turkish-Armenian Project Dramatizes Search for Identity

For a review of Doğan Akhanlı’s new play, “Annes Schweigen” (Anne’s Silence), see, scroll down to pages 14 and 17. The play will be performed in Cologne, Germany (Köln) on January 17, 18, and 19 at 19:00, Theater am Bauturm. Read my Article here...

Hrant-Dink Gedenkwoche

Im Januar veranstaltet das Hrant Dink Forum Köln erneut Gedenkveranstaltungen zum 6. Todestag des ermordeten Journalisten und Menschenrechtlers:
Am 17., 18. und 19. Januar jeweils um 20 Uhr wird das Theaterstück „Annes Schweigen“ des Kölner Autors Doğan Akhanlı im Theater im Bauturm gezeigt; (mit Bea Ehlers-Kerbekian, Regie: Ron Rosenberg), mit anschl. Diskussionenen, u.a. mit Günter Wallraff, Muriel Mirak-Weißbach und Osman Okkan. Mehr Infos unter:
Der Autor und Journalist Hasan Cemal, Enkel des für den Völkermord an den Armeniern mitverantwortlichen Cemal Pascha, stellt am 21. Januar 2013 um 19 Uhr in der Großen Aula der Universität Köln sein Buch „1915 – Ermeni Soykırım“ / 1915 – Genozid an den Armeniern“ vor. Hasan Cemal ist am 18.1.2013 um 19 Uhr an der Humboldt-Universität in Berlin zu Gast.

Rettung für das Theater der Bach-, Luther- und Telemannstadt Eisenach!

The Eisenach Theater, founded in 1879, represents a cultural asset for the entire Thuringia region, with its vast repertoire of music, theater, and puppet theater. Now, in the context of dwindling resources for cultural budgets, the theatre is threatened with closure. Intellectuals, artists, citizens, and friends of the German cultural tradition have joined forces to protest the threatened closure. The petition they are circulating has already won massive support, and needs more.

Middle East Crisis and the Fate of Christians

In the continuing tensions between Israel and the Palestinian population in the Occupied Territories, one aspect that is often overlooked relates to the fate of the Christians in the region. As a result of the occupation policy of Israel, the Christian population—which has inhabited the region since the time of Christ—has been dwindling, driven out by the forces of political repression and economic depression. The American television channel CBS presented a feature on this crisis as part of its ‘’60 Minutes“ program. The report includes statements by the Israeli Ambassador in the U.S. A Palestinian professor of sociology at the University of Bethlehem, Bernhard Sabella, provided a follow-up commentary on the program.
Christians of the Holy Land:

Commentary of CBS Report by Professor of Sociology at Bethlehem University, Prof. Bernhard Sabella

Dante’s Divine Comedy Accused of Antisemitism, Homophobia and Racism

Outrageous but true: a would-be human rights organization has protested the masterpiece of Dante Alighieri, accusing the poet of anti-Semitism, homophobia, and racism. Read further...

Armenia Celebrates 500 Years of Printing

2012 marks a half millennium after the printing of the first Armenian book in Venice. From there, books in the Armenian language were published in Madras, Lvov, Rome, Milan, Paris, Nor Julfa, Amsterdam, and then in major cities in Russia and Armenia. To commemorate the event, Yerevan has been named World Book Capital, and exhibits will be take place there as well as in leading cities in Europe and the United States, presenting illustrated manuscripts and other antique volumes.

New Play on 1915 Debut

New Play on 1915 Debut
“Deported – a dream play,” by Joyce Van Dyke, will hold its premiere performance at the Modern Theatre in Boston on March 8, 2012. Written by a descendant of Armenians who survived the genocide, the play “is the true story of two women survivors and their friendship,” one of them the author’s grandmother. “But the play spins outward from there, spanning a century and weaving a dream-tissue of characters from different cultures and time periods who meet in the impossible dialogue of a dream. The play’s last act is a futuristic dream of the 21st century beyond the centenary of the genocide. The language and events are highly theatrical, poetic, and emotionally intense, with a surprising amount of humor.”
From: About the Development of the Play, by Joyce Van Dyke

Palestinian Membership in UNESCO Challenges Israeli Cultural Theft Policy

With the Palestinians being welcomed as members of UNESCO, a new chapter has opened in the strained relations between Israeli authorities and the Palestinians over historical and religious treasures in the occupied territories. While Israeli military operations have damaged or destroyed many sites, in Nablus and Bethlehem, for example, Israel’s official archaeological and tourism policy attempts to lay claim to many others – especially in Jerusalem, which it claims as the eternal and undivided capital of Israel.

Shakespeare Unites Youth from Shanghai to Ramallah

At the Shakespeare festival in Essen, Germany, youth from theatre schools in Shanghai, Sibiu (Rumania), Ramallah, New York, and Essen joined from October 29 to November 8, to perform Shakespeare’s Midsummernight’s Dream (Sommernachtstraum). The individual groups performed the piece in their own languages separately, then presented a multi-lingual international production together at the Folkwang University of the Arts (Folkwang Universität der Künste).

Service in Armenian Church in Turkey

On June 18, the Surp Giragos Church in Diyarbakır hosted a service attended by the local mayor, diaspora Armenians, professors, historians, and clergy. The church, one of the largest in the Middle East, was restored through the efforts of Armenians from Istanbul and the diaspora, as well as the Diyabakır Sur Municipality and the Turkish Culture Ministry. A larger service is scheduled for October.

UNESCO Falsifies Historical Record

An exhibit at the Paris UNESCO House, from June 15-24, featuring Armenian Khachkars (cross stones), provoked a scandal after UNESCO representatives removed references to place names, including a large map. Since many of the Khachkars presented in photographs at the exhibit are located outside Armenia, in present-day Azarbaijan and Turkey, they bear testimony to the presence of Armenian life and civilization in these geographical areas which were once part of historic Armenia. No explanations were given for the removal of the place names and map.
The exhibit is an event organized at a high level, sponsored by the Republic of Armenia’s Ministry of Culture, and attended by diplomats, historians, and art experts.
An open letter of protest to UNESCO was sent by the Collectif VAN (Vigilance Armenienne contre le Negationnisme) whose representatives were present at the inauguration of the exhibit.

New Honors for West-Eastern Divan Orchestra

The youth orchestra made up of Israeli, Palestinian, and other Arab musicians received the Dresden Peace Prize.[tt_news]=485&tx_ttnews[backPid]=10&cHash=5692f1755f

Armenian National Library Honors Turkish Author

Ragib Zarakolu, a writer and human rights activist, received the “Hakob Maghapart” medal in Yerevan, for his campaign for recognition of the genocide against the Armenians in 1915.

Bethlehem to be Named World Heritage Site?

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Armenian Church to hold Services in Turkey

The Surp Giragos Armenian Church, restored in a joint effort of diaspora Armenians and the Diyarbakir Metropolitan Municipality, will be open to hold the Divine Liturgy.
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Who Are the Oldest Wine-Makers?

Who Are the Oldest Wine-Makers?
Armenians, known for their excellent cognac and wine, may have been among the earliest producers, according to archaeologists who discovered a 6,000-year-old wine making facility.
Read the article
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Armenian contributions to Ottoman music tradition

Classical music in the Ottoman empire benefited greatly from the contribution of Armenian musicians and composers, as documented in two new books on the subject.

Conference on Armenia in Prague

The event, organized by the Jewish Cultural Center in Prague, focussed on Armenia’s Christian heritage. Read the article

Music for independence

As part of the process of building the infrastructure for a future state, Palestinian musicians have launched the Palestine National Orchestra.
“Debut Concert for Palestine National Orchestra in Ramallah,” Classical Music News, January 3, 2011.

Armenian contribution to architecture Armenian contribution to architecture

Thousands of magnificent churches in historic Armenia testify to its rich architectural tradition. Recently an exhibit opened in Istanbul documenting the contribution of Armenian architects to that city.
“Istanbul’s Armenian architects remembered in exhibition,” Anatolia News Agency, December 9, 2010

Music Can Promote Peace between Armenians and Turks

An exciting experiment was launched a decade ago by director Daniel Barenboim and the late Palestinian intellectual Edward Said to bring together young Israeli, Palestinian, and other Arab musicians in the West-Eastern Divan orchestra. Read further...

Akdamar rite spurs search for Armenian legacy in Turkey's East

Akdamar rite spurs search for Armenian legacy in Turkey's East
The historic religious ceremony held Sept. 19 at an Armenian church in eastern Turkey will have long-lasting effects, according to Armenians who anticipate more churches being restored and more people reclaiming their ethnic identities. “Families from all corners of Turkey are coming to us in search of the roots of their families. Members of my own family have changed their identity cards to be listed as Christian,” sayd Archbishop Aram Ateşyan”. Read Further...

Arab-Israeli Youth Win Prize for Peace

The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra received the Westphalia Peace Prize in Münster, Germany.
“German Peace Prize for Barenboim,” Deutsche Welle, October 30, 2010