Notes from the Armenian Blogosphere

A group of Armenian and Azerbaijani parliamentarians and intellectuals initiated a one-day “public diplomacy” trip visiting the Presidents and key officials in the disputed Karabakh region, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The action was designed to appeal to the publics in the conflict stricken region. Meanwhile, the Armenian bloggers were not impressed.
In an interview to Azerbaijani media, Siyavush Kerimi, one of the intellectuals visiting Karabakh as part of the Azerbaijani delegation, said after seeing the President of the Self-Declared Karabakh Republic: “I was reassured in my meeting with the leader of the separatists Bako Sahakian, that he is a short-sighted man and that Armenian’s don’t want to see the reality.”
Citing these words, Kornelij Glas comments with irony: “Here’s, for example, one of the people brought to Karabakh by the genius of Armenian diplomacy.” Continue reading “Notes from the Armenian Blogosphere”

The Obamameter, Armenians, Turks and blogs

As President Barack Obama’s 100 days in office went by the American analysts tried to find out how many of US President’s 514 campaign promises had been fulfilled, making use of the famous Obameter. Turns out Obama has fulfilled 27 of his campaign promises, broken 6, took a comprimise decision about 7 of them.

Continue reading “The Obamameter, Armenians, Turks and blogs”

Podcast: World Economic Crisis and the Telethon

Armenian bloggers become more and more concerned about the world economic crisis.

David_sand, for example, thinks that the consequences of the crisis in Armenia may even lead to mass disturbances.

If the financial crisis results in worsening the quality of life, which is already noticeable (although our politicians keep denying it,) or if the volumes of manufacturing and consuming get decreased because of crisis, even those political figures will have to persuade the people that the situation is even worse in the neighboring countries, or will go on denying the fact that the situation is getting even worse.

According to the blogger, denying that fact might lead to dangerous consequences, “People could get disappointed, and the expressions of that disappointment could be even worse than the events in March, 2008.”

However, some people even like the crisis. “The crisis is the best thing that has happened to me since I started working in the sphere of business,” writes Naysaykus, adding:

“The crisis has taught people to work by the sweat of their brow. For the first time in the whole post-Soviet history people started to understand the real value of money. Now there are just 2 employees in the company instead of 10 parasites, and their salaries have been significantly increased. That is, competent and hard-working people are paid better. Isn’t it good?”

The crisis has negatively affected Armenia, writes Korneliy Glas in his blog.

“Mining industry is in crisis. Lycos Company is getting closed. Despite that, the All Armenian Fund has managed to gather 35 million dram – twice as much as the last time. That’s the result of the crisis. Let’s admit that we are a strange nation.”

Ahousekeeper has also covered the telethon organized by Hayastan All Armenian Fund,

“35 million dollars have been gathered. To be honest, I didn’t expect to be gathered even as much as the last year. Whatever… yesterday I have heard a few times that “they eat all the money and people get nothing of it.”

“It turns out that dozens of schools, hospitals, clinics, apartment buildings in the disaster zone, roads and water pipelines have been constructed only for Serzh and the company”, the blogger complains.

Download the mp3 version of this post, including an interview with the media lawyer, blogger David Sandukhchyan, or listen to it online by clicking the player icon below.

Armenian bloggers stage a protest action in front of Georgian Embassy

Today a protest action was held before the Georgian Embassy: the 10 – 15 participants of the action solemnly buried Georgian democracy in response to Georgian attempts to scrap signs of Armenian heritage from the Armenian St. Norashen Church in Tbilisi.

The action was organized and staged by Armenian bloggers.
“Georgia has always been a friendly country to Armenia. However, the experience of the past five years showed but one thing: that country has been moving towards fascism. We do not care for the reasons being mere complexes or the bitterness of the defeat. We care for only one thing: crimes, cases of obvious hooliganism, are being committed, graves are being dug, historical monuments are being razed to the ground”, – the bloggers told Echannel at the event.
The action was staged in protest of the continuous efforts by Georgian priests to “georganize” Armenian churches in the territory of that country. The recent incident, which stirred bloggers’ discontent was related to the attempt by Georgian priest Tariel Sikinchelashvili to demolish the graves of Armenian Tamamshyan family placed in the backyard of St. Norashen church in the centre of Tbilisi.
The participants of the action also presented the Embassy with Armenian wine that bore the label Norashen. The Georgian ending ‘i’ was added to it.

Video and information via E-channel.

Podcast: The global crisis as seen on the blogging week

The 23rd issue of “Armenian Blogosphere” Radio Program is out and can be downloaded from here. The program brings comments by bloggers on the decline in global markets and shift in US and Russian policies in the Caucasus.
Athanatoi has detected warming of Russia-Turkey and Russia-Azerbaijan relations seeing dangers for Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh in this shift of Russian intersets. Mark Grigoryan on the other hand, has interviewed American co-chairman of OSCE Minsk Group – Mathew Bryza, and notes, that first time ever a co-chair speaks to an international media outlet and states, that the Karabakh conflict should be settled based on the principle of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. “This indicates a shift of US approach to the Karabakh conflict”, Mark Grigoryan thinks. Kornelij Glas comments on the fall of Russian stock indices and decline of oil prices below $89. Nazarian compares the US and Russian economies and sees no reason for Russian speculations about the downfall of US economy and perceptions on takeover of the US interests in the world by Russia.
Back to Armenian realities. Following the President’s address to the nation from the Parliament, Uzogh has found a fundamental difference between President Serge Sargsian and his predicessor – Robert Kocharyan. While “Kocharyan sees the state as a political system”, the blogger remarks, “Sargsyan sees it as an economic one”. Mark Grigoryan looks at the speech from another perspective – the President didn’t say anything about 1) Armenia-Turkey relations 2) Karabakh conflict 3) Georgia-Russia conflict 4) Events of March 1st. “So it turns out the president didn’t say anything on the most important issues?”, the journalist-blogger asks?
This podcast also features an interview with wonderful Armenian blogger and writer Byurie.

Armenian Bloggers initiate boycott of Vneshtorgbank

Armenian bloggers have initiated a boycott of VTB Bank Armenia and are inviting everyone to join the action. Better known as “Savings Bank of the Republic of Armenia” (Armsavingsbank) was founded

in 1923 and was the pillar of Soviet Banking system and law obedient Soviet citizens were encouraged to hold their savings there – which was one of the reasons, why after the collapse of the USSR and downfall of the Soviet Ruble it had huge depts to Armenian citizens. In fact it ows me, personally – about 2000 Soviet Rubles. In Kocharyan era the bank was sold to Armenian oligarch of Karabakh origin – Mika Baghdasaryan for a ridiculously small amount of money, to be soon resold to Russia’s Vneshtorgbank.
The couse of blogger discontent lies in the fact, that as part of it’s bid for acquiring the Azerbaijan’s AF-Bank, VTB have forced their Armenian subsidiary to close down their branch in Nagorno-Karabakh. Clearly – this is politics intruding into business, so bloggers are urging everybody to close their accounts at VTB.
Yet another cause of the action is the fact, that VTB is providing loans to the Armenian Copper Program (ACP), which plans to clear-cut over 1,500 acres of Teghut’s forest in order to establish an
open pit strip mining operation for copper and molybdenum ore.
The bloggers are urging everyone to also write letter to VTB indicating these two as reasons for their frustration with bank’s activities, as well as avoid making utility payments via VTB, which is so far one of the prime choices for making water, electricity and communication services payments in Armenia.
The Armenian Observer blog is joining the action and is urging everyone to do so as well.

Observers Top-Ten List of Armenian Blogs in Armenian

For strange and mysterious reasons, despite years of existence of a very lively Armenian blogging community, the predominant languages of Armenian bloggers have been Russian and English, rather then native Armenian. The picture has started to change over the recent month however, a range of blogs writing in Armenian have sprang up, and one can now get a variety and diversity of opinion and information reading only Armenian language Armenian blogs. Needless to say, that I’m very happy to see such a development, and want to present here a number of links to some really excellent Armenian Language Blogs. Read them, comment them, encourage them:

A Couple of Top Tens

The trip to Istanbul last week and the need to catch up with the lost time kept me away from blogging last week. However, reading through a whole week’s worth of accumulated blog posts proved a worthy task. At that, I want to announce, that I’ll be starting to post my list of most active and most interesting blogs every week. This is of course subjective and unreliable, and I’m doing it mostly for me, as well as “promoting” by hyperlinking, the blogs which I think are very active, and tell them I appreciate all the hard blogging they’re doing.

So, here’s come’s Observer’s Top Ten List of Active Armenian blogs.

  1. ArmenianHouse.org
  2. Oneworld Multimedia
  3. Happy Alone
  4. Aramazd
  5. Kornelij Glas
  6. ЖЖитейские записки
  7. Blogian
  8. Hyelog
  9. Дневник Больного Дизайнера
  10. Марк Григорян

My new rss client: the GreatNews feed reader also follows on what blogs I visit more often, so here’s another Top Ten of Blog’s I’ve Found Most Interesting This Week.

  1. ArmenianHouse.org
  2. aramazd
  3. Oneworld Multimedia
  4. A1plus
  5. The uncharted zone
  6. ALS Movement
  7. Blogian
  8. nazarian
  9. Kornelij Glas
  10. Մի օր…

With all due subjectivity :))))

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