Archive | February, 2012

A new kind of Armenian-Turkish reconciliation (by Jennifer Manoukian)

24 Feb

A new kind of Armenian-Turkish reconciliation

In October 2011, the newly renovated Sourp Giragos Armenian Apostolic Church reopened in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakir. Among the hundreds gathered to celebrate its first mass in over ninety years were local men and women who had chosen the occasion to be baptized into the Armenian Apostolic Church. Raised as Sunni Muslims, these men and women were the children and grandchildren of Armenians who had converted to Islam to escape persecution in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire.

Living in a society that glorified cultural homogeneity and in a country that still bore the scars of its Ottoman past, the first generation of converts often kept their Armenian heritage hidden from their children. They integrated into the communities around them and adopted, at least outwardly, a new language, religion, culture, and identity.

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Armenians in Syria (by Nanore Barsoumian)

22 Feb

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Armenians in Syria 

ALEPPO, Syria (A.W.)—Two suicide car bombs targeting Syrian regional military and security headquarters shook Aleppo on Feb. 10, claiming 28 victims, among them army conscript Viken Hairabedian. The explosion was one of the worst instances of violence to hit the country since the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al Assad began in March 2011. Hairabedian’s death shocked the Syrian-Armenian community, which has thus far maintained an official line of neutrality, although unofficially many support the Assad government. As the most recent attack demonstrated, violence is moving closer to major cities like Aleppo and Damascus where thousands of Armenians call home.

viken 300x225 Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Armenians in Syria

The Armenian Weekly reached out to Syrian-Armenians to shed light on the challenges facing Syrian Christians, in general, and Armenians, specifically.)

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Hezbollah: Terrorism or Resistance? By Kevork Elmassian

21 Feb

 Hezbollah: Terrorism or Resistance? 




A research about Terrorism and Resistance needs careful examination of each term, both terms need conceptualization to draw lines of differences between both terms. After the process of conceptualization an application is needed on Hezbollah the “Party of God” to decide whether Hezbollah is a terrorist organization or a legitimate resistance.

The terms terrorism and resistance have been debated in the media and are major source of uncertainty amongst academics and the general public[1]. Defining these terms are embedded in the people and nations philosophy, experience, culture, etc[2]  and the distinction between terrorism, guerilla warfare, and terrorism is often blurry. During my research about terrorism, I found innumerable definitions. However, Brian Jenkins a world renowned expert on terrorism gave a simplistic definition of terrorism by saying “Terrorism is violence or the threat of violence calculated to create an atmosphere of fear and alarm – in a word, to terrorize – and thereby bring about some social or political change.” [3]

Walter Laqueur an American historian and political commentator added to Jenkins’s definition the requirement of targeting “innocent people”. The Federal Bureau of Investigation also defined terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a Government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”[4].

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The Impact of Armenian-Turkish Bilateral Projects and Initiatives on Young People

1 Feb

The Impact of Armenian-Turkish Bilateral Projects and Initiatives on Young People (by Grigor Yeritsyan)

The role of civil society actors in Armenian-Turkish relations grew over the past years and that is obvious. But do these projects and initiatives reach their goals? Do they change opinions and break stereotypes of people, who live in societies full of prejudices and negative attitudes towards each other? Are they successful or there is no need to spend money on such kind of initiatives until there is a political will? This survey will try to give an answer and find out if CS programs and initiatives are really useful and if they break stereotypes of young Armenians and Turks about each other. The Web survey was conducted in Armenia and Turkey from December 15, 2011 to January 15, 2012.