$12.5 Million Raised During the 2017 Telethon

A total of $12,505,456 has been raised in donations and pledges at the 20th annual Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s Telethon 2017 held in Los Angeles, California, on Thanksgiving Day, November 23.

The theme was “Fruitful Artsakh” and the result will be very fruitful.

The telethon, which started at 10 am, local time, lasted for 12 hours and was broadcast live on Armenian TV channels, including the Public Television and online on the official website of Armenia Fund. The telethon was aired in Southern, Central and Northern California, Las Vegas, and other areas. The donations will be used to drill deep-water wells, install new irrigation water networks and solar power stations in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).

Earlier, the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s annual Pan-European Phoneton, held by the Fund’s French affiliate on November 15-19, raised 1.23 million Euros in donations and pledges. The large-scale fundraising campaign mobilized the Armenian communities of France, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Lebanon, Iran and other places. The Phoneton is held traditionally ahead of the Telethon, and this year President of Artsakh Bako Sahakian was in France to participate in the event.

For a quarter of a century, the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund has raised about $350 million, channeled into more than one thousand projects that contributed to contributed to strengthening Armenia’s independence and improving the quality of life of more than ten thousand residents of Armenian and Artsakh.

The first phase of this year’s project will cover 4000 acres and will include 70 pre-selected hardworking farmers who are willing to learn and adopt modern drip irrigation technologies, according to Maria Mihranian, President of Armenia Fund.

If all 250,000 acres of available lands in Artsakh start producing, the country’s economy will add an estimated $300 million to some $600 million annually.

Five master of ceremonies ran the program including Araxia Karapetyan, Paul Chaderjian, Datevik Ekizian, Hrant Tokatian, and Ardak Herikyan. Appearing on the program were Armenia Fund President Maria Mihranian, Board Member Mark Geragos, Executive Director from Armenia Ara Vardanyan, West Coast Director Sarkis Kotanjian, and others.

His Holiness Karekin II, His Holiness Aram, as well as Primate of Artsakh Archbishop Barkev Martirossian, the Primate of the Western Diocese Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Prelate of the Western Prelacy, Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, and others, also Armenian Political Parties, and organizations. Almost all the Armenian schools donated money and appeared on television.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Councilman Paul Krikorian, Congressman Adam Schiff, Congresswoman Tulsi Hubbard, have all spoken in favor of donating money.

Posted in News

Armenia and European Union Concluded Enhanced and Comprehensive Partnership Agreement

The EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was signed on November 24 in the margins of the Eastern Partnership Summit.

The ceremony became one of the focal points of the EU’s Eastern Partnership summit that brought together the leaders of six Eastern European and South Caucasus nations in the Belgian capital.

“The agreement we have signed today (Nov 24) will have a real impact on people’s lives, a positive one, both in Armenia and in the European Union,” EU High Representative/Vice-President, Federica Mogherini said at the ceremony of signing if a Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with Armenia. “It will allow us to strengthen our cooperation on security matters, in particular through increasing resilience; to improve the investment climate; stimulating growth and jobs; and to find environmentally friendly solutions to help communities prosper and businesses grow,” Mogherini said.

“It has been a long-term objective of ours to have an ambitious agreement in place that better reflects the priorities of our partnership with Armenia, to address the challenges we face and to make the most of the opportunities available to us through even stronger cooperation,” she added.

The Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement will strengthen political dialogue and set a solid basis for the continuation of economic and social reforms. Some of the concrete ways in which the new agreement is expected to bring added value to citizens both in Europe and Armenia are:

A better investment climate: A better regulatory environment will improve the business climate and investment opportunities for Armenian and EU companies, encouraging Armenian companies to sell more goods and services to the EU and the EU companies to open subsidiaries in Armenia, which will contribute to economic growth and job creation.

A more empowered civil society: an independent civil society composed of Armenian and EU organizations will be set up to monitor the implementation of the agreement.

A safer living environment: The EU and Armenia will increase their cooperation in preventing and fighting crime, including terrorism.

Fairer and more transparent procurement procedures: Clearer rules on publication of tenders and review procedures will help to prevent corruption and discrimination.

Improved product safety and consumer protection: Armenia will seek to reduce differences with regard to EU standards to further protect the health and safety of consumers.

A cleaner, healthier environment: The EU will support Armenia’s adoption of EU environmental standards as well as its development of clean sources of energy.

“Through this agreement, the EU-Armenia partnership will continue to be anchored and based on our shared common principles and strong commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law,” Mogherini stated.

Posted in News

New Vatican Stamp Depicts Pope Francis in Front of the Armenian Genocide Memorial

The Vatican issued stamps last month commemorating the Pope’s 2016 trips. Designed by Daniela Longo, one of the stamps depicts Pope Francis in front of the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan. Pope Francis visited Tsitsernakaberd Memorial on June 25, 2016 accompanied by Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II.

Within the framework of a three-day visit to Armenia, Pope Francis denounced the “ideologically twisted, planned genocide of Armenians starting in 1915.”

The stamp series commemorate the Pope’s 2016 trips to Mexico, Poland, Greece, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Sweden.

Posted in News

$42 Million “The Vineyards” at California Armenian Home to be Unveiled in December

The $42 million retirement community built upon a 65-year legacy of care and compassion is currently the largest privately funded project of its kind under construction on the Central Valley.

FRESNO, CA — the Board of Directors of the California Armenian Home announced that its $42 million expansion project. The Vineyards, is nearing completion.

Core construction is finished and final amenities will be installed through the end of the year. The retirement community is currently the largest privately funded construction project of its kind in California’s Central Valley, and the newest hospitality-inspired continuing care community to be built in the Fresno/Clovis region.

The Armenian community rallied together over six decades ago to ensure that a senior living community was available for all those in need with the construction of the California Armenian Home. That giving spirit continues today with The Vineyards, where the generous contribution of the S Barre Paul and Sue Garabedian Trust serves as a foundation for the multitude of donors that continues to grow through philanthropy and volunteerism, which is grounded in a commitment of senior care for all cultures.

The Vineyards at the California Armenian Home sits adjacent to its flagship community within the lush 40 acre grounds originally donated and built by the local Armenian community in 1952.

The expansion spans over 174,000 square feet of maintenance and worry-free independent living, assisted living and memory care accommodations, offering a continuum of senior living life style and care for residents. The Santa Barbara style architecture features spacious residences that have been designed to maximize the light and warmth of the maturely-grown, park-like setting and offer every amenity imaginable.

The luxury living community will soon be unveiled for seniors over the 60 with the first residents expected to move in during January 2018.

The community features 12 resort-style independent living villas with two care garages, 60 spacious independent living apartments, and 50 assisted living and 36 memory care apartments – all of which provide for a continuum of care with no buy-in requirement.

Posted in News

Armenia and Brazil Sign Trade Agreement

Armenia and Brazil have signed a memorandum by foreign minister Edward Nalbandian and visiting Brazilian foreign minister Aloysio Nunes Ferreira.

Nalbandian noted that during the meeting, the sides stressed the importance of political dialogue as well. According to him, ten documents have been signed between Armenia and Brazil so far, seven of them were signed within the last two years.

Nalbandian said also that this year Armenia and Brazil celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. “This is an excellent occasion for assessing interstate relations for a quarter of a century and discussing what should be done to deepen bilateral relations further,” Nalbandian said.

“Mr. Nunes Ferreira was the initiator of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the Brazilian Senate. Mr. Nunes visited the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial to remember the victims of the Armenian Genocide,” Nalbandian added.

In turn Aloysio Nunes Ferreira noted that over the past 25 years, Armenia and Brazil have established ties in many areas. “We have a common opinion on many issues,” Ferreira added.

The Armenia Diaspora of Brazil plays an important role in strengthening the ties between the countries, Ferreira said.

Posted in News

Armenian Assembly Calls for Congressional Hearings on Turkish Interference in U.S Democratic Institutions

WASHINGTON, D.C — Amid reports that Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert Mueller will be filing new indictments after probing a potential quid pro quo scheme, whereby then National Security Adviser Michael Flynn would be paid $15 million to secretly carry out Turkey’s bidding, the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) calls for thorough public Congressional hearings to fully expose these matters.

Flynn was already paid $530,000 last year for work the Justice Department says benefited the government of Turkey, and did not register as foreign agent at the time.

The Assembly has repeatedly highlighted Turkey’s attempts to gain surreptitious influence over U.S officials and media to the detriment of U.S national security, and has urged investigations therein.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee member, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), in a June 2017 op-ed in The Hill titled “Did Turkey’s Payments to Michael Flynn Delay Our Military Operations Against ISIS?” stated that “questions regarding Turkey, however, reveal most clearly how personal considerations may have overridden our national interests.” In addition, the Assembly has also highlighted Azerbaijan’s attempts to undermine western democratic values and institutions through the billions it has spent in the “Laundromat scheme” to buy silence. Investigations are now bearing fruit. The Assembly has also urged with some success those Representatives who joined the Turkish and Azeri Caucuses to withdraw.

“The latest news regarding secret payments to Michael Flynn to carry out Turkey’s bidding are just the tip of the iceberg,” stated Assembly Co-Chairs, Anthony Barsamian and Van Krikorian. “Illegal Turkish and Azerbaijani money has been flowing into D.C and we have an obligation to immediately stop these corrupting practices. Beyond thorough investigations and indictments, exposure through public hearings and legislative reform to increase reporting and penalties are necessary to stop officials who can be bought by the Erdogans and Aliyevs of the world from hijacking the American government,” they added. “Members ought not to associate themselves with such corrupt and authoritarian regimes. Given Turkey’s treatment of Christians, dangerously rogue behavior, denial of the Armenian Genocide, and support for Azerbaijan’s ISIS-style beheadings and other attacks, it is well past time for Member of Congress to withdraw their membership from the Turkish and Azeri Congressional Caucus.”

Posted in News

Close to $1 Million Collected at the Diocesan 90th Anniversary Banquet

HOLLYWOOD – Some 600 people attended the banquet in honor of His Holiness Karekin II and the 90th anniversary of the Western Diocese at the Taglyan Cultural Center in Hollywood on October 29. His Excellency, Mr. Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, was present and extended heartwarming remarks about Armenians and the Armenian community of Los Angeles. Also present was Senator Anthony Portantino, as well as Mary Hovagimian, representative of Congressman Adam Schiff.

There were several philanthropists and community leaders, who were mentioned by His Holiness in his speech: They were: His Excellency Grigor Hovhannisyan, Armenia’s Ambassador to the United States, Abp. Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, Abp. Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese. Also, Mr. and Mrs. Vatche and Tamar Manoukian, Mr. and Mrs. Sinan and Angel Sinanian, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph and Karine Kanimian, Mr. and Mrs. Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian, Drs. Petros and Karine Taglyan, Mr. and Mrs. Bedros and Anna Oruncakciel, Mr. and Mrs. Antranig and Virginia Zorayan, Mr. and Mrs. Armen and Nora Hampar, Mr. and Mrs. Zaven and Sonia Akian, Mr. and Mrs. Ray and Ani Hartoonian and Mr. John Tajirian.

His Eminence Abp. Hovnan Derderian introduced His Holiness who delivered his speech. “At this milestone in the life of the Diocese, we have come from the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin to offer you and to all our people in America our pontifical and blessings. Today we value the path that was passed by our people who found refuge in the welcoming land of America. It is a path of faith, hope, optimism, and progress. Your fathers settled in America as immigrants deprived of their ancestral homeland. Despite all the pain, suffering and uncertainty, they overcame hardship and misfortune and secured well being for themselves and for their children, they laid the foundations of an ecclesiastical and national life, always bearing the love of the homeland and Holy Etchmiadzin in their hearts.” He added: “The sons and daughters of our nation made a substantive impact and succeeded in the fields of science, culture, arts, industry, and others, in this great and powerful country. The names of many of them are still well known here in America as well as beyond its borders. William Saroyan, Arshile Gorky, Alex Manoogian, Rouben Mamoulian, Levon-Zaven Surmelian, Varaztad Kazanjian, Asatour Sarafian, Kirk Kerkorian, and others; added their own noble and glorious mark to the history of this mighty land, increasing the honor and high esteem that our nation had been enjoying.”

Speaking about America, he asserted: “Both in Armenia and in liberated Artsakh, our people are building a new life. The empowerment of the homeland is also an empowerment for the Diaspora and is an assurance of the realization of our people’s aspiration and bright future. Our sacred homeland, through the vision of which Armenian life was vitalized for centuries in all corners of the world, needs the support of its sons and daughters. You know that Armenia and Artsakh continue to remain under blockade as well as face the challenge of protecting the borders and bordering towns. there are economic problems, social challenges, and emigration.

Overcoming these issues is imperative for securing the progress and prosperity of our homeland. The shortcomings cannot be a reason to turn our back on our Homeland.”

His Holiness conveyed his paternal love and appreciation to the Primate of the Diocese, His Eminence Abp. Hovnan Derderian, to all the clergy of the Diocese, to the Diocesan Council and its chairman Mr. Joseph Kanimian, and to all our faithful.

At the end of the program, His Holiness bestowed the High Pontifical order of “Knight of Holy Etchmiadzin”, upon Mr. Gerald Turpanjian. Through the kind financial support Mr. and Mrs. Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian, a seminary-high school is operating on the grounds of the historic monastery of Harich the students of which offered beautiful songs during this evening.

The Turpanjian Foundation supports the development of various rural villages, and it specifically funds educational and cultural projects. Through these and many other philanthropic initiatives the name of Turpanjian family is being immortalized and preserved amongst the other noble benefactors of the Holy Church.

The Banquet was sponsored by Drs. Petros and Karine Taglyan. The program booklet contained information about Holy Etchmiadzin and the Western Diocese. Many philanthropists had made large sums of donations on this occasion and close to $1 million was collected.

Posted in News

U.S Members of Congress Support Armenia Fund’s Telethon 2017 Fruitful Artsakh

U.S Congressman Adam Schiff offers his best wishes to Armenia Fund Telethon 2017: Fruitful Artsakh, which will be held on Thursday, November 23, starting at 10 am.

The 12 hour live telethon will be aired on several stations. Also, the 12 live webcast at www.armeniafund.org.

A longtime, leading voice for Armenian-Americans and a dear friend to Armenia and Artsakh, the Congressman urges the community to join the efforts of Armenia Fund in helping bolster the agricultural sector and creating new jobs. “Since its inception, the Armenia Fund has raised millions of dollars for more than a thousand infrastructure development and humanitarian relief projects in Armenia and Artsakh. This year’s telethon — Fruitful Artsakh — will immensely benefit the farmers in Artsakh. The proceeds will be vitally important for bringing irrigation to the farmers, installing drip irrigation system, which will pave the way for farmers to grow food, vegetables, and other high-profit crops, which will generate US $3000 in acre, a life changing and significant improvement,” he said in a video message on Facebook.

Another U.S official Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard highlighted the importance of Armenia Fund’s efforts to bring drip irrigation to Artsakh’s farmers. “Over $350 million has been raised through Armenia Fund telethons, which have funded over a thousand vital efforts for humanitarian relief, social infrastructure and community development projects in Armenia and Artsakh. Currently only seven percent of the 250 thousand acres available agricultural lands in Artsakh is being irrigated and meeting its potential,” she highlighted.

Posted in News

Mark Samuelian Became the First Armenian-American Elected Official in Miami-Dade County History

MIAMI BEACH, FL — On Tuesday, November 7th, Mark Samuelian won his race for the Miami Beach City Commission. With all the precincts reporting, Samuelian received 7,535 votes out of a total of 11,111 votes cast, or 67.82%. He is the first Armenian-American to hold public office in Miami-Dade County.

In a wild race that once had five people vying for the Group II seat, Mark Samuelian stayed above the fray throughout the campaign. He ran a clean, professional, and solid grassroots campaign, and he kept working until the very end, despite his opponents’ woes.

Surrounded by family, friends, and supporters at the Betsy Hotel in South Beach. Samuelian shared the big news to a long and celebratory applause. In his victory speech, he outlined his governing principles and campaign priorities.

Posted in News

His Holiness Catholicos All Armenians Karekin II Pays Historic Visit to Mexico

His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, paid a historic Pontifical First Visit to Mexico on Monday October 30, 2017.

His Holiness was accompanied by His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, His Eminence, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America. His Grace Bishop Arshak Khachatryan, Chancellor of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the Very Rev. Fr. Sasoon Dz. V. Zumrookhdian, the Vicar of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Mexico, the Very Rev. Fr. Karekin Hambardzumiyan, the Dean of the Gevorkian Seminary, the Rev. Fr. Adam Makaryan, Diocesan Benefactor Mr. Sinan Dinanian and Diocesan council chair Joseph Kanimian, Esq. Mr. Asadour Sarafian and Dr. Vardan Mateodian, His Holiness’ translator.

Also accompanying His Holiness were member of the Television and Media Department of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin Mania Ghazaryan, Suren Ter-Grigoryan and the Western Diocese Aram Mousounian. “On behalf of the Armenian people, we have come to express our solidarity and condolences to the people of Mexico whose hearts were shattered as a result of the September earthquakes”, said His Holiness.

His Holiness also met with members of the Armenian-Mexican community, the descendants of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide (1915-1923) perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire, which left one and a half million dead.

The Pontiff and his delegation also visited the Memory and Tolerance Museum of Mexico City, where His Holiness expressed confidence that the Mexican people will overcome “all the catastrophes”, in reference to the earthquakes of September 7th and 19, which left 471 dead. “This corner in the museum shows the sheer horror experienced by the Armenian people from 1915 to 1923. However, the Armenian Genocide corner of the Memory and Tolerance Museum demonstrates the resilience of the people. Please accept my genuine gratitude for creating this little corner,” said Karekin II, saying that education is the best way to prevent the recurrence of genocide.

As a token of his gratitude and commendation, the Catholicos of All Armenians presented the Museum with a silver cross.

Dr. Jose Sarukhan, former director of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), said the presence of the Armenian Catholicos is “an exceptional date” for Mexico and for the descendants of the Armenian diaspora.

Son of Armenian parents, Dr. Sarukhan, highlighted the invaluable role that His Holiness Karekin II played in his homeland during the 1988 earthquake that left 25,000 dead.

The Undersecretary of Population, Migration and Religious Affairs of the Secretary of the Interior of Mexico, Humberto Roque, told that the Pontiff’s visit “is of great importance” for the country. “We have a very prominent Armenian community in Mexico and we are grateful for His Holiness’ visit,” said Roque.

The Catholicos of All Armenians also presided over an ecumenical service in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico in memory of the victims of the earthquakes with the participation of Monsignor Franco Coppola, Apostolic Nuncio of Mexico, His Eminence Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, Archbishop of Mexico City, His Eminence Bishop George Saad Abi Younes, Eparch of the Maronite Diocese of Mexico, Rev. Father Edgar Valtierra, Pastor Daniel Conrad of the Lutheran Church, Fr. Antonio Sanchez — Melkie Greek Catholic Church, Bishop Ignacio Saaman of the Orthodox Church of Antioch, Pastor Samuel Murillo of the Methodist Church, Archbishop Antonio Alejo of the Orthodox Church of America, Monsignor Dr. Enrique Glennie Graue, Rector of the Basilica of Guadalupe and Bishop Carlos Briseno, President of the Ecumenical Commission of Mexico.

His Holiness and his delegation also visited the Basilica of Guadalupe, the largest Catholic Church in Mexico. The Pontiff of the Armenian Apostolic Church also met with the Mayor of Mexico City, Miguel Angel Mancera, and participated in a religious ceremony in the Cathedral.

In the evening, His Excellency Ara Aivazian, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to Mexico hosted a His Holiness at the Armenian Embassy. On behalf of the Armenian community, made up of 3,000 people, Ambassador Aivazian presented His Holiness an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Posted in News