‘My Way’ Center for Autistic Children Celebrates Expansion

There had been plans and revisions, deadlines missed and newly defined. The second building of the My Way Socio-Rehabilitation Day Care Center for people with autism was to be reconstructed, its spacious classrooms and facilities would provide the framework for vocational education of young adults. Through training programs led by professionally qualified instructors and assistants, the students would acquire skills in a variety of fields, which would enable them to find meaningful employment and thus the means to carry out independent lives.
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Armenia’s Cultural Ambassadors Celebrate with Music

It was the 28th anniversary of independence for the Republic of Armenia and the 150th birthday of national composer and musician Komitas Vardapet. To celebrate, the Little Singers of Armenia, a world class children’s choir, travelled to Lithuania and Germany, performing in some of Europe’s most famous concert halls. In Lithuania they appeared at the 700-year-old castle on Trakai island, at the Church of St. Francis in Kaunas and in the Culture House in Vilnius. The church of St. Catherine in Vilnius hosted a gala concert, attended by representatives of the diplomatic corps, statesmen and cultural figures. At the conclusion, they joined with the Lithuanian choirs Azholukas and Ugniale to perform Erebuni-Yerevan composed by E. Hovhannisyan.Read Further...

Ecumenical Commemoration of Genocide Victims

The Armenian Genocide was not only Armenian; what unfolded in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 and continued for years was a genocide perpetrated by the Young Turk regime against Christian communities. The Promotional Society for the Ecumenical Monuments for Genocide Victims of the Ottoman Empire (FÖGG) has always stressed this fact, which its Altars of Remembrance in the Evangelical Luisenkirchhof in Berlin bear witness to.Read Further...

Armenians in Berlin

“Berlin ist eine Reise wert” – that’s a saying every German knows and few would disagree with; yes, it is always worth it to take a trip to Berlin. I realized this once again last week when I went for a few days, just to visit friends I hadn’t seen for a long time. Among them, Bea Ehlers-Kerbekian, an Armenian actress and teacher who invited me to join her at the Academy of Arts, in the beautiful Pariser Platz, to attend a book reading on August 29.
It was the premiere of the novel, Hier sind Löwen (There are Lions Here) by Katerina Poladjan, who was born in Moscow and has lived in Germany since 1979.Read Further...

Goethe, Poetry and Truth Honored at Weimar Ceremony

If today’s cultural context is besieged by “deliberate attempts to mislead” and to cut off meaningful discussion, if it is a context in which unfounded opinions enjoy the freedom of unfettered movement, then it is necessary to juxtapose with such “hideous developments” an understanding of Truth and Fiction.
Thus Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, President of the Goethe-Institut, presented the motto of this year’s award ceremony of the German cultural institution. Dichtung und Wahrheit is the title of one of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s major works, and it symbolizes the idea behind the selection of the three winners of the Goethe Medal, presented in Weimar on August 28, the 270th birthday of the national poet.
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Dogan Akhanlı Receives Goethe Medal for Cultural Exchange

If there is one name that calls to mind the conflict-laden relationship between Germany and Turkey, it is Dogan Akhanlı. The Turkish-born German writer has lived in the Federal Republic since 1992, after he fled political persecution in his homeland, and received asylum, then citizenship. Since then, several of his books have been published in German translations, and have received literary prizes.
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Yerevan Music Students Win in Rimini

Everyone was amazed at the excellence displayed by the young musicians from Armenia. They participated in the International Artistic Days Italia, a festival and contest held in Rimini from June 24-27. The youngsters from Yerevan won several prizes in the competition, four first prizes and seven second prizes, to be precise.Read Further...

Armenian artists in Belgrade

The site was the National Gallery in Belgrade, Serbia and the exhibit featured young talents from many countries.
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Armenian Artists in Research and Dialogue

BERLIN, August 8, 2019 — Websites and blogs are generally the voice of an individual. This one speaks for a family, three generations, all of them artists of renown. The Galentz Research Center, launched by third generation artist Archi Galentz, is a blog platform — in Armenian, English and Russian — and a meeting place for persons active in the cultural realm. Especially those interested in Armenian visual art and its history are welcome visitors. Read Further...

Özdemir Receives Wallenberg Medal

Raoul Wallenberg was a Swedish diplomat who saved the lives of Jews and others during World War II in Nazi-occupied Hungary. A foundation named after the humanitarian, who was detained and disappeared in January 1945, promotes educational programs and organizes public awareness campaigns focused on the values of solidarity and civic courage embodied in the activities of Wallenburg and other Saviors of the Holocaust.
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Teaching Genocide: Where There’s a Political Will, There’s a Way

The resolution passed in Berlin in 2016 recognizing the Armenian genocide was a watershed. Not only did the Bundestag (Parliament) take the final step in acknowledging that what occurred in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 was a genocide, but it outlined provisions for educating the population on this crucial chapter in modern history. … What has occurred since then? At public events commemorating the victims of the genocide on April 24 each year, speakers have lamented the fact that very little has changed. Read Further...

Artists Launch Creative Fundraising in Istanbul

People with autism require very special care, and there are precious few facilities providing adequate facilities and personnel to deal with their needs. Armenia is fortunate to have one such establishment; however, being the only one, not only nationally but in the entire Transcaucasus region, it is limited in resources to meet the actual needs of the community. Located in Yerevan, “My Way” Socio-Rehabilitation Day Care Center for Children and Teenagers with Autism provides education, care and therapy for youngsters all day every day during the week and for free. Read Further...

Levon I and the Kingdom of Cilicia

Eight hundred years ago Levon I, a king who left an indelible mark on Armenian history and culture, with respect to relations with other powers, temporal and religious, died. The German city of Halle marked the anniversary with a series of special events, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the cultural agreement signed between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Armenia.Read Further...

Three Artists Exhibit in Netherlands, Germany

Two years ago, a group of six young Armenian artists came to Wiesbaden, Germany to exhibit their works at the Haus der Heimat.Now, two of the six have returned, this time with a new colleague, for a show in the Netherlands and a brief visit again to Wiesbaden. Read Further...

Vigil and Commemoration in Berlin

A central feature of the events organized every year by the Armenian community on April 24 is the demand that Turkey acknowledge the genocide. The AGA, a Working Group for Recognition, held a vigil on April 27 in front of the Turkish Embassy in Berlin, precisely to raise this demand. Participants in the vigil held up a banner with the text, “Armenians, Aramaeans, Assyrians, Greeks Speak with One Voice against the Turkish Genocide.Read Further...

Old Yerevan and Young Voices Clash

It was a bitter cold evening in January 2019. The noise emanating from the construction site in the center of Yerevan during the day must have been deafening: heavy pounding of steam shovels against the ground, whirring of earth moving machinery, and workers’ voices seeking to make themselves heard above the fray. That evening, without forewarning, came the sound of something massive, crumbling, smashing down onto the earth, while brown-grey clouds of dust and dirt rose up from the ground, obfuscating the view. The wall had come down and by a stroke of fortune none of the people inside were hurt.Read Further...

Young Talents Honor the Memory of Genocide Victims in Berlin

The date was, as always, April 24, and the venue had not changed: the French Cathedral in Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin. But the organizers were many, the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia, the Diocese of the Armenian Church in Germany and the Central Council of Armenians in Germany, in cooperation with the Armenian Church and Cultural Community as well as the Armenian Community, both of Berlin; and Kammerton, a music initiative.Read Further...

Young Musicians Prepare for a Better Future

During a trip to Armenia in early April, my husband and I were able to witness this once again, as we visited four music schools that our small foundation has been associated with.
Gyumri, the cultural capital of Armenia and its second largest city, has more than one music school, and boasts a long tradition of musicians, composers and graphic artists. At the Octet School, destroyed in the 1988 earthquake and rebuilt in 2013 thanks to the efforts of Ian Gillan and his Deep Purple music ensemble, together with the Mardigian Foundation and the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR), we met Manya Hovhannisian, the new director, who told us there are 224 students receiving instruction there this year. In fact, they were in the last stages of preparation for a concert of instrumental and vocal music.Read Further...

Armenian-German Relations Move Forward: Mirzoyan in Berlin

BERLIN, MARCH 28, 2019 — Following Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s recent state visit to Germany, the process of intensifying contacts between Yerevan and Berlin continues apace. On the invitation of German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the President of the Armenian Parliament Ararat Mirzoyan began a five-day visit to Germany on March 17. In the capital he was received by the President of the Bundestag (Parliament) Wolfgang Schäuble, and was scheduled to meet with parliamentarians, including Petra Pau, Bundestag Vice-President, and Johannes Kars, head of the German-South Caucasus Friendship Group.Read Further...

Scholars in Venice Conduct a Journey through Armenian Art

Venice has a long history of relations with Armenia, which most people associate with the Mekhitarist monastery on the island of San Lazzaro, with its imposing church and magnificent library. But Venice also hosts an important center of Armenian studies, at the Ca’ Foscari university, which has a Chair for Medieval Art History and for Armenian Language and Literature. On February 21-22, the university, in collaboration with the Center for Studies and Documentation of Armenian Art and the Association Internationales des Études Arméniennes, hosted an international conference on “Armenian Art: Critical History and New Perspectives.”
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Symposium: Life After Babylon

People of Jewish or Armenian heritage know that they share a painful history, one that deprived them of statehood and forced them into life in the diaspora over centuries.
In view of this shared, but differentiated experience, the European Center for Jewish Music (EZJM) and the German-Armenian Society (DAG) joined to organized a symposium at the Cultural Center in Hannover, from February 24-27.Read Further...

Memoirs of an Armenian in Germany

Lisa Berkian-Abrahamian has always lived with books; she has worked as a librarian, a newspaper editor, translator and author. Born in Armenia, she came to Germany in 1992 to live with her husband, Ara J. Berkian, and after his untimely death in 1994, remained here, carrying on his work and her own. In September 2014 she published a book in Armenian on her husband, which is not only a complete appreciation of Berkian as doctor, engineer, architect and writer, but also contains important material and letters from his archives, pertaining to German-Armenian relations.Read Further...

Pashinyan Visits Germany

When Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his wife Annas Hakobyan paid an official visit to Germany last week, their first stop was not the capital city but Cologne. This may have come as a surprise to some, but there were good reasons for it. As Pashinyan explained to a gathering of members of the Armenian community on January 31, “Cologne is the capital of the Armenians of Germany, and it was not accidental that we started the official visit here.” The meeting took place at the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, which is the seat of the church in Germany. Read Further...

Rediscovering Armenian Heritage in Turkey after Hrant Dink

“The question of whether after such a complete elimination, after the almost total expulsion and forced expatriation of survivors in the successor state, the Republic of Turkey, an existence as an Armenian, subjectively and objectively, is at all possible, has been my concern as a human rights activist for decades.” This is how Tessa Hofmann, genocide researcher and chairwoman of the Arbeitsgruppe Anerkennung e.V (AGA: Working Group for Recognition; Against Genocide, for Understanding among Peoples), opened a commemorative event in Berlin on January 19, the 12th anniversary of the murder of Hrant Dink.Read Further...

Justice for 1.5 Million plus 1

On January 19, Germans, Turks, Armenians, Kurds, Greeks and others gathered in several German cities to render homage to the memory of Hrant Dink, on the 12th anniversary of his death. In Frankfurt, a demonstration took place at a central location near the historic St. Catherine’s Church. Members of the Soykırım Karsıtları Dernegi (SKD), the Society against Genocide, organized the vigil which gathered a hundred people. Under the slogan, “Justice for 1.5 million victims of genocide, justice for Hrant Dink,“ the demonstrators carried photos of the murdered AGOS journalist as well as other activists currently jailed in Turkey. Candles and flowers lay on the ground among the photos and texts.Read Further...

A Happy Musical New Year for Dilijan Students

Students at the State Art College of Dilijan are ringing in the New Year with music, and with brand new instruments, thanks to the initiative of the Foundation for Armenian Relief (FAR). FAR, established in 1988 as a relief effort after the earthquake, has continued to raise funds for economic, social and educational programs in Armenia and cooperates with other foundations on specific projects. One of them focuses on music education.
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