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.

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 😀 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 “Consul General Liloyan visits Los Angeles jail”

George W Bush and the size-10, black, flying shoes

The 29-year-old journalist Muntazer al-Zaidy from “Al Badgadia” TV, threw his shoes at the US President George W. Bush at a press conference in Iraq. Even though the journalist missed his target, he did, however, become the center of attention throughout the world. The story of flying shoes along with the accompanying video circled around the Armenian blogosphere as well.
Reporter_arm was perhaps the first to react to the news.

Have you seen how a show is thrown at Bush in Baghdad, at a press conference? And Bush reacts with impressive agility, ducking down from the shoe thrown at him!

smbatgogyan shares additional details.
During a press conferenece the Iraqi journalist hurled his shoes at Bush, shouting “It is the farewell kiss, you dog!” Let me note, that ‘dog’ is one of the very serious insults in Iraq, they call ‘dog’ those people who they truly despise. At any rate, we can state the following:
1. The Iraqi journalist had only a pair of shoes (which is a pity, otherwise it might have been more exciting).
2. Bush has very good instinct when it comes to avoiding objects hurled at him.
aramanoogian is upset about the fact, that the journalist missed his target:

Bush was uninjured thanks to his natural instinct as a Texan who jumps back when shoeing a horse or dodges flying shoes from his wife Laura.
As for the reporter, he should be hung from the gallows for missing his target twice.
I wonder if at future news conferences they will issue slippers to the attendees?

armish1informs, that a rich businessman from Saudy Arabia has offered to pay a huge amount – 10 million dollars for the shoes hurled at Bush. Unfotunately, armish1says, the fate of the shoes in so far not known. The journalist, on the other hand, will definately be tried in court.
Download the Armenian language podcast of this entry from hereor listen to it online by clicking the player icon below.

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.

Isolated Armenia leans on Iran

BBC has a very interesting article on Armenia-Iran relations. A highly recommended read. Here are a couple of interesting points:

Iran does not have too many friends these days, but in a far corner of the Caucasus, on the edge of Europe, it is forming a special relationship.

The story further goes on to tell about Omid Mojahed, a 28-year-old student and entrepreneur, who has started tourism business working in the Iranian market, as well as a restaurant. Omid speaks about attractiveness of Armenia for Iranian tourists and businessmen, and the freedom enjoyed by them:

“In summer I think that 90% of tourists are Iranian. Armenia is so close by and has attractive things – cafes and nightclubs, and beautiful Lake Sevan.”
Omid has also just opened a Persian restaurant, catering for locals as well as Iranian expats, keen for some home cuisine.
Part of that freedom includes an increasingly liberalised economy, and that makes Armenia attractive to foreign investment.
The Armenian capital is hardly an international economic powerhouse, but there are signs that Iranian investors sense an opportunity.

Interestingly, The Armenian Economist has covered the unsatisfactory level of trade turnover between Armenia and Iran, given the huge potential.
The story also explores US discontent with warm Armenia-Iran relations, and explains the situation of blockade the country is in.
PS: My special thanks to Patrik for always sending very interesting info and links to my email address. Duly appreciated!

More Comments from Armenian Bloggers on US Congress Resolution 106

Armenian Bloggers kept following the developments around US Congress Resolution 106 last week. However, unlike the posts following immediately after the adoption of this House Committee resolution, the skeptical attitude prevailed this time. The main motive is that of blaming the United States and especially G. W. Bush in hypocrisy, while the most commonly sounded idea was, in various alterations and combinations that: Turks will remain Turks (with all the negative connotation attached to the name Turk accumulated in the course of the past 100+ years following the first mass killings of Armenians in the days of the Bloody Sultan – Sultan Hamid and passing on to the First Genocide of the 20th Century).
Here are again in more or less chronological order, extracts from some of the more prominent Armenian Bloggers in Armenian, English and Russian. At that – I have to draw special attention at the coverage of the developments by Onnik Krikoryan at his blog, as well as his first post at the Global Voices Online. He has undoubtedly provided the fullest coverage, bringing updates and opinions not only from the world news headlines, Armenian information sources, but also from blogospheres in US, Turkey and Armenia. As to the other Bloggers, we have seen once again, that if there is any single issue that can unite all Armenians – it is the Armenian Genocide and it is the pain, that lives in all of us down to the levels of subconscious and genome. On to the extracts now: Continue reading “More Comments from Armenian Bloggers on US Congress Resolution 106”

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