Armenian – Americans Were Deemed “White” Back in 1909


Four Ottoman-born Armenian men — Jacob Halladjian, Mkrtich Ekmekjian, Avak Mouradian, and Basar Bayentz, won a historic case in a circuit court in Boston on December 24, 1909. Judge Francis C. Lowell gave Armenians the juridical distinction of whiteness for the first time. There’s a great story published on the Ajam Media Collective about this historic decision. A very well research piece, which is also a pleasure to read, so make sure to check it out.


US embassy cables: Armenia Admits Selling Weapons to Iran

The latest WikiLeaks publication of a US embassy cable has revealed more details of Armenia’s role in transferring some 1000 RPG-22s and 260 PKM machine guns to Iran, a charge which Armenia had denied according to an earlier cable.

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WSJ: “Turkey and Armenia Pave Way for Historic Accords”

Turkey and Armenia could soon announce a deal aimed at reopening their border and restoring relations, the Wall Street Journal writes, citing “diplomats”, and saying the move could help “stabilize a region that’s increasingly important as a transit route for oil and gas”.

The WSJ also says the Turkish and Armenian governments have agreed on terms to open talks: opening and fixing borders, restoring diplomatic relations and setting up commissions to look at disputes, including one on the tense history between the two nations, according to the diplomats, all of whom declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the talks.

I’ve highlighted a couple of curious words in the paragraph above. I’d be really interested to know what the “fixing” borders and setting up “commissions” – not just one “commission” is all about. Sadly, my numerous attempts to get a response from the Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesperson failed today. Will try again tomorrow. Further on the WSJ writes:

Announcement of a Turkish-Armenian pact is also being influenced by Mr. Obama’s campaign promise to support a Congressional resolution that would recognize as genocide the Ottoman Empire’s 1915 killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians in what is now central and eastern Turkey. 

A Senior Turkish foreign-policy official said the U.S. is trying to facilitate the agreement with Armenia. 

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey said on Turkish television last week he would discuss Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian “genocide” and relations between Russia and Georgia with the U.S. president, among other issues.

One date under discussion for signing the deal with Armenia, diplomats say, is April 16. 

The full story at the Wall Street Journal, which by the way, has a comments section with only 2 comments at this point, is here.

Consul General Liloyan visits Los Angeles jail

inmatesThere are speculations about thousands of Armenian nationals imprisoned in US, although I haven’t been able to find any reliable data just yet.

The press release that was brought to my attention yesterday is interesting and somewhat funny in this regard: “On January 10, 2009 Consul General of Armenia in Los Angeles Armen Liloyan visited North County Correctional Facility to meet with Armenian inmates and to see their detention conditions.”

“Speaking to more than 30 present inmates, who expect their trial in
the jail, Consul General briefed them about the responsibilities of
the Consulate General in protecting the interests of the citizens of
Armenia abroad.”

Sadly, the press release doesn’t say anything about what those responsibilities are – would be quite useful to know if one day I finally decide to give up living in Armenia and move somewhere with ‘less cultural heritage’ and patriotic bull-shit, but decent living conditions.

The funny point in the press release comes after: “He also touched upon Armenia’s development perspectives and outlined the foreign policy challenges in the region.” Right! Like they care :D I mean, if those guys cared about Armenia’s development perspectives and foreign policy, they wouldn’t be in US and sitting in jail in the first place, right?

“The Armenian diplomat conveyed his New Year and Christmas greetings to the inmate community and encouraged them to remain faithful Armenians, full of hope and good expectations.”  OK – so now we find out that there is a whole inmate community!

And the final touches: “The meeting was followed by a dinner offering different recipes of Armenian cuisine and accompanied by live Armenian music.” Isn’t that sweet? :) Continue reading