Poland Welcomes Promising Armenian Vocalist

“Incredible Lusine Arakelyan gave a great New Year’s concert at the Warsaw concert hall in front of 1,200 guests. Her beautiful voice and great musical experience are unforgettable. The audience gave her several standing ovations. The orchestra conductor also praised her voice and performance.” This is how singer and music critic Kristina Sulzichka put it in a review of the event.Read Further...

Architecture as Witness to Genocide

For almost a decade, a photographic exhibition on the “Nakba,” the expulsion of the Palestinians from their lands in 1947-48, has been travelling around Germany, and in virtually every site, the organizers from the Association of Refugee Children in Lebanon have run up against opposition. Pro-Zionist groups have mobilized to have the exhibition rooms — often in universities — cancelled, arguing that the exhibition is anti-Israel, or even anti-Semitic. The reason? According to official Israeli historiography, there were no expulsions, killings or seizure of Palestinian lands. Some say the Palestinians as a people never existed, or if they did, not in that geographical location.Read Further...

Music for the Republican Army

If last year Armenians celebrated the silver anniversary of independence, the year 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Army of the Republic of Armenia. And to kick off a series of cultural celebrations, two Armenian associations in Germany organized a concert on January 28 in Frankfurt featuring guitarist and singer-songwriter Ruben Hakhvedyan. The renowned musician from Yerevan was joined on the stage by cellist Levon Arakelyan and accordionist Gevorg Movsisyan.Read Further...

State Prize Awarded to ‘Aghet’ Director

Films are not only for entertainment, but may have the power to change political reality. This is certainly the case with “Aghet” by director Eric Friedler. First released in 2010 and widely covered on German television, the documentary on the Armenian Genocide paved the way for the Genocide recognition resolution passed by the Bundestag (Parliament) on June 2, 2016. For Green Party leader and parliamentarian Cem Özdemir, who delivered the laudation at a ceremony awarding Friedler the State Prize of the Republic of Armenia in Berlin on December 14, the director was “a very central forerunner” on the way to the resolution.Read Further...

Art Inspires Artists

If you have ever visited any of the world’s greatest art museums, like the Uffizi in Florence, the Pergamon in Berlin or the National Museum in Cairo, you have probably encountered young art students squatting on the floor or leaning against a pillar, with sketchpad and pencil in hand. Rapt in total concentration, they are carefully reproducing in their own strokes the contours of a Raphael Madonna, or the regal profile of an Assyrian leader or a floral motif on papyrus. Read Further...

Portraits of the Artists as Young Men

WIESBADEN, Germany — That the fine arts are alive and well in Armenia is displayed in an exciting exhibition of works by young Armenians that has opened in Wiesbaden, Germany. The show, entitled “Melody of Color: Armenian Art,” held its vernissage on November 25, and will run for a month. Not only will 65 art works be on exhibit during that time, but several workshops will also be held, to help youngsters venture into the magic world of art. Four of the six exhibiting artists have travelled to Germany for the occasion and have shared their experiences with a large number of visitors.Read Further...

Politics, Polemics and Reading Pleasure in Frankfurt

For an author, a visit to the annual Frankfurt Book Fair can be a humbling experience. When you enter the massive fairgrounds, where over 7,000 exhibitors (among them your own publishers) from one hundred countries have come to put on proud display their latest productions — about 400,000 (!) new titles — it tends to put things into proportion, so to speak, and you ask yourself what, if any, place your own modest achievements might find in this immense literary universe. If you happen to be working on a new book, the challenge is overwhelming.
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Friendship Between the Rhine and the Arax

Germans celebrated national unity on October 3, not only in Dresden but also in Yerevan. Most appropriately at the center of the festivities was the presentation of a new publication detailing the history of German-Armenian relations. Entitled Between the Rhine and the Arax: 900 Years of German-Armenian Relations, the volume published by TIGRAN METS in Yerevan, is the Armenian translation of a work issued in German in 1988, by Enno Meyer and Ara J. Berkian. Lisa Berkian-Abrahamian fulfilled her late husband’s desire by translating it into Armenian.Read Further...

Jailed Writer, Linguist Nisanyan Receives Saroyan Medal from Armenian Diaspora Ministry

On September 23, the Cezayir complex in Istanbul hosted the ceremony awarding Istanbul-based Armenian intellectual, philologist, writer and publicist Sevan Nisanyan’s family the William Saroyan Medal of the Diaspora Ministry. Renowned political, public and cultural figures were invited, including Turkish lawmaker Selina Dogan with her husband Erdal Dogan, President of “Anadolu Kültür” foundation Osman Kavala, Ufuk Uras, Armenian representative of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Arsen Avagyan.  The event was moderated by journalist Hrant Gasparian.Read Further...

Little Singers, Great Promise

What better way to celebrate 25 years of independence? The Armenian Ambassador to Germany Ashot Smbatyan chose to focus on the achievements of the present and the hopes for the future, by inviting guests to a concert of the Little Singers of Armenia. Performing in the Berlin Philharmonic hall, a group of 40 youngsters, mainly girls, under the direction of founder and conductor Tigran Hekekyan, presented a program of works illustrating the entire span of centuries of Armenian music, as well as pieces from the international repertoire.
Starting, appropriately, with Glorious Light by Mesrop Mashtots from the fifth century, and two pieces by Komitas, the choir sang both sacred and secular music, from David Halajian, Vahram Sargsyan, Tatul Altunyan and Robert Petrosyan, to David MacIntyre, Claude Debussy, Sergey Pleshak, Richard Adler/Jerry Ross and Joe Garland. A beloved German folk song, performed impeccably in the original, enchanted the listeners.Read Further...

A Special Light Shines through Art

When artist Hakob Hovhannisyan returned to Armenia in 2008, after having lived and worked for years in St. Petersburg, he started looking for a place near his native Gumri to set up his studio. Among the many locations he surveyed was Gusanagyugh, a small village about 20 kilometers outside Gumri.Read Further...

Armenians Celebrate to Help Artsakh Victims

For Nathanial Ullmann, a journalist for the largest regional newspaper in Germany, the response of participants at a concert in Bochum on July 8 showed just “how different German and Armenian culture are.” He explained: “Whereas Germans at an elevated cultural event sit there in silent wonder, Armenians sing, dance and clap in happy enthusiasm.” And that is the case, even if the occasion might be a sad one.Read Further...

Artistic Journeys through National Destinies

This is a most rare art exhibition. Not focused on one artist or even a school, it presents the works of distinct individuals joined through family ties, whose creative endeavors trace out a multifaceted cultural itinerary across vast geographical expanses through decades of turbulent political and social developments. The show that opened in Berlin on May 14, entitled “Four Life Paths: Two Artist Couples in the Armenian Tradition,” is indeed something very special. The works displayed are by four artists whose lives span a century, from before the First World War to the present. Two are Genocide survivors from Western Armenia, who made their way across the Middle East to Yerevan, whereas the other two were born and raised in Armenia, studied and worked there and in Russia. Through their personal and artistic histories, one encounters life in the diaspora, struggles in the Soviet period and the challenges of the independent Republic of Armenia.Read Further...

German-Armenian Ties Live On In Music

When Bernhard Scheidt passed away in October last year, those closest to him thought long and hard about the most appropriate way to execute his estate. The German pianist and conductor, born in 1929 in Wiesbaden, had led a long and rich life in music, excelling as a student at the Detmold College of Music, and continuing with extensive studies under authorities like Theodore W. Adorno, whose seminar in Philosophy he attended at Frankfurt University. He studied Musicology with Gennrich und Schmitz, and Music Psychology with Prof. Albert Wellek. He was also a philologist, having studied Classical Philology with the leading authority Prof. Thierfelder at the Mainz University, and delivering a final paper on Cicero’s Somnium Scipionis.Read Further...

Sharing the Gift of Music

Students at the Anahit Tsitsikyan Music School in Yerevan celebrated the donation of new instruments in the most appropriate fashion possible: by playing them in concert for a capacity audience of friends and family. On April 25, guests gathered in the recital hall, which had been fully renovated in 2014, by the US Embassy’s organization Helping Hands and the Fuller Center for Housing Armenia. Read Further...

Khachkar Dedicated in Berlin

Among the events in the German capital commemorating the 101st anniversary of the Armenian genocide was a special ceremony to dedicate a khachkar in memory of the victims. On the invitation of the German-Armenian Society (DAG) and the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia, a large crowd gathered on April 23 at the St. Hedwig's Cathedral for the unveiling of the impressive large stone cross. Read Further...

Let The Trumpets Sound!

YEREVAN — “The world is changing, and so are human values. Only music remains a constant spiritual island.” These wise words are those of Diana Hovhannisyan, director of the Anahit Tsitsikian Music School, in Yerevan. In a message to readers of the school’s home page she points to the responsibility of parents and teachers in guaranteeing that the younger generation preserve “timeless human values”.Read Further...

Traces of Germany in Armenian History and Culture

What do we know about the footprints left since the Middle Ages in Armenia, footprints made by German emperors, bishops, researchers, artists, farmers and mountain climbers? This is the question that Armenian historian Azat Ordukhanyan delved into during a discussion with German author Heide Rieck on March12 in the Bochum University. Read Further...

Paruyr Sevak, Patriot and World Citizen

“Can poetry open the hearts of people, even at a distance?“ This is a question that Azad Ordukanyan, President of the Armenian Academic Society in Bochum, Germany, had included in a letter written to Armenian Ambassador Ashot Smbatyan, inviting him to open an event in Berlin featuring the poetry of Paruyr Sevak.Read Further...

Germans Celebrate Paruyr Sevak

The saying goes that “there is no more beautiful woman than the Armenian language.” If that is the case, German author Jochen Mangelsen writes, then the two women who have just published a new German translation of poems by Paruyr Sevak “have tackled a really audacious task.”

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Armenian Trees Planted in Germany to Bear Fruits of Friendship and Reconciliation

BOCHUM, Germany — Exactly one year ago, as Germans celebrated Pentacost, a massive storm “Ela,” swept through the industrial heartland of the Ruhr, destroying thousands of trees. As Azat Ordukhanyan, Chairman of the Armenian Academic Society 1860, witnessed the devastation in Bochum, he was reminded of the 1988 earthquake that struck his native land in his student days in Yerevan. Germany — both east and west — had at the time joined many other nations worldwide to provide relief, and in a spirit of gratitude and compassion, he decided to organize a donation of 155 trees from Armenia to plant in Bochum. It was to celebrate the 155th anniversary of the founding (in Leipzig) of his Armenian Academic Society that he chose that number.
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ACF Releases Second Edition of Armenian Orphan Rug Book

On May 20 at 7 p.m. at the Winchester Public Library, the Armenian Cultural Foundation (ACF) will present an illustrated talk on President Calvin Coolidge and the Armenian Orphan Rug by Dr. Hagop Martin Deranian. The first edition, released in October 2013, coincided with an exhibition planned under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution. However, the exhibition was cancelled because the White House refused to lend the rug to the Smithsonian.Read Further...

‘Our Medium is Art, the Book, the Violin…’

Armenian Cultural Autumn Concludes in Bochum – What do Germans know about Armenians? The answer will vary from city to city and from one social layer to another. But surely overall it can be said, they do not know enough...Read Further...

A Fairy Tale — But True...

BERLIN — How can a film about the Genocide be good? How can one shape the representation of such a crime against humanity into a work of art? And how can one do that without reducing the magnitude of the horror or sacrificing historical veracity? The Turkish-German filmmaker Fatih Akin has succeeded with his work, “The Cut,” now playing in movie theatres across Germany.
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Armenians Make a Strong Showing at Frankfurt Bookfair

FRANKFURT, Germany — Frankfurt plays host to the most important and the oldest book fair in the world. This year 7,400 exhibitors from more than 100 countries joined to present their most recent publications and other cultural products.Read Further...

Armenian Embassy Hosts Book Launch in BerlinBy Muriel Mirak-Weissbach


A new little book written by an Armenian and about Armenians has been attracting public attention in the United States. This is the volume by Dr. Hagop Martin Deranian, which tells the story of an oriental rug, woven by Armenian orphan girls in Ghazir, Lebanon and sent in 1925 to Calvin Coolidge…
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The Play’s the Thing... Dissent, Denial and Artistic Freedom

KONSTANZ, Germany — At one point in Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet,” the young prince stages a pantomime play, which features a murder scene: Gonzago is poisoned and the murderer gets his wife. Hamlet’s strategy is a masterpiece of psychological insight: he knows that his uncle Claudius, the king, who will be among the audience, will be overcome by guilt when he witnesses the scene, because he had killed Hamlet’s father, and then married his widow. Hamlet explains:Read Further...

A Cultural Capital of the Diaspora in Berlin

BERLIN — When you walk into the spacious locale of Archi Galentz’s atelier in the Wedding district of Berlin, and move from one room to the next, you see paintings, drawings and objets d’art displayed, perhaps all created by one person in a solo exhibition, or perhaps the work of a large number of artists, as is currently the case in a show centered on the theme of “The Nude as a Guest.” Though the themes and the exhibitors change, one feature remains constant: a generously scripted phrase in German painted in elegant cursive letters on the wall just above the entrance door...Read Further...

Rediscovering Franz Werfel: Potsdam Conference Analyzes Life of Brave Humanitarian

POTSDAM, Germany — Among the required reading for most Armenians is the novel The Forty Days of Musa Dagh by Franz Werfel, and the author is thus known among Armenians mainly — if not exclusively — for this monumental work.Read Further...

Gutenberg Museum Displays Armenian Book Treasures

MAINZ, Germany — The relationship of Armenians to their language is very special, actually unique. To my knowledge, Armenia is the only country that offers the foreign visitor a monument composed of giant letters of the alphabet, standing as stone sculptures in a vast field outside Yerevan. And Mesrob Mashtots (360-440), the genius who invented the alphabet as a perfect phonetic system in the year 405 AD, is not only honored as a great intellectual but is revered as a canonized saint. Read Further...

German-Turkish-Armenian Project
Dramatizes Search for Identity

Her name is Sabiha, the same name as the favorite adopted daughter of Kemal Mustafa (Atatürk), who as a female pilot was a symbol for her nation. But this Sabiha is German, and lives with her immigrant mother, whom she calls Anne – “mother” in Turkish. This Sabiha, we learn from her best friend (actually soul mate), also named Anne, is 150 per cent German, and only learns Turkish when she attends university. She soon feels drawn to Turkish nationalist circles, and even participates in nationalist demonstrations, honoring Talaat Pasha, for example.
But who is Sabiha really? Is she German? Is she Turkish? Or is she, perhaps, something else? Could she be Armenian? Read Further...