Archive for April, 2006

Exhibition at Prkutyun. Center of Disabled children NGO

April 28, 2006

This was the second exhibition at which I was present organized by  Prkutyun NGO. Now I’m very happy to let you know that they have set up their own site and the whole information about this center you can find there in detailed. 

After finishing auxiliary schools, children or young people with mental disabilities do not have a relevant environment where they could freely communicate with their coevals and even the society. Such children or adults do not have an opportunity of free communication; that is why many of them stay at home. As a result, their psychological complex deepens, and they find themselves in the streets, becoming beggars or tramps. Very often coevals of children or young people with disabilities encourage them to commit different crimes benefiting from their legal irresponsibility.
Because of this very reason "Prkutyun"
Center of
Disabled Children NGO established the Diurnal Center of Life Organization (DCLO) for mentally retarded children and young people for organization of daylight life. This happened in 1999 thanks to Shengavit municipality which granted a 700 sq. meter territory for it. It is attended annually by 24-26 children and young people who graduated from the auxiliary school and have not found yet their daily occupation. The center’s activities create such conditions where mentally retarded children are not ignored in the educational sphere, where they can learn and put into practice everyday life skills. Besides, the Center makes parents confident that their children are paid attention to, understood, loved and respected, that is, a child is in a friendly environment, and not alienated.

I’ve known this center for several years and with the youth NGO Servce For Peace, where I’m a volunteer and responsible, I participated in several seminars and workshops held to show the mentally retarded children’s role in society.  What I particularly want to  mention is the meticulous care and devotion with which  the pedagogies, defectologists, psychologist and the President of the NGO Arpine Abrahamyan treat these children. Another thing worth mentioning is that Since November 1, 2005 a charitable dentist’s room has been functioning in the “Prkutyun” Center of
Disabled Children and rendering service to disabled children and their families who are registered at the Center, as well as to members of families – beneficiaries of poverty allowance system of Shengavit district. Twice a year the NGO organizes charitable concerts with participation of well-known performers. Some of these children also become the participants of those concerts and the enthusiasm with which they perform their play prevails over the audience. This is another event for them as the most part of those families are deprived from such undertakings because of enduring social problems.

Indian students protest-their friend’s soul demands justice

April 23, 2006

When I read  Onnik’s post at Oneworld Multimedia, I got totally shocked. I rushed to change TV channels with hope to find  some information. But I really did find nothing. This is what I read. 

Apparently, an Indian student fell from a dormitory window and the pathetic Armenian emergency services took 45 minutes to arrive. A few Indian students have been taken in for questioning by police and have not been heard from for the past six hours. Later, the new Rector of Yerevan’s Medical
University literally gave them “the finger” when they complained. Indian students are now demanding justice and the removal of the Rector from her position.

For having the image of what had happened in reality read Nanyaar?’s post, who is an Indian blogger currently studying in Medical
University and who is also friend of the died Indian student, as well as Hetq Online’s contributor Hasmik Hovhannisyan’s article.

Today (April 20, 2006) at around 13:00 pm, a third year student at the Medical University, 21- year-old Prashant Anchalia fell out of a sixth floor window in Building #7 of the Zeytun Student Dormitory. How and why he fell are not yet clear. The students who rushed to him found him lying on the ground covered with blood, screaming in pain. They called an ambulance and their dean's office. Dean Anna Sarkisyan arrived fifteen minutes later. Although she is a doctor, she made no attempt to provide emergency aid to the student, and even forbade the other students to touch him or take him to hospital in a taxi, rather than wait for the ambulance, which was slow to arrive. Instead, she ordered them to wait for the police to get there. The Police arrived and took some witnesses to the Kanaker Police Station for questioning. The ambulance arrived some 45-50 minutes after the call. According to the students, it was in very poor condition and had no medical equipment, not even an oxygen mask. On the way to the hospital, Prashant Anchalia died. The students went to the Medical
University and asked to meet with the rector, seeking an explanation for why their friend had been treated so negligently. The response of the newly- appointed rector, Gohar Kialyan, came as a shock. Out of the blue, she referred to Indian girls as prostitutes, and showed the students the middle fingers of both her hands, a gesture whose meaning is well known to even five-year old kids.
Astonished by her behavior, the students decided to seek help in higher places.


Another trip and more “Wow”s

April 18, 2006

This was the best Easter I could ever have!!  

It was still drizzling  early in the morning, but that couldn’t get on our way to start the trip. Our group consisted of about 50 students from different universities. Having taken part in the previous trips many students were familiar to me, among them my 3 coursemates and my professor-friend.  Our direction was Khor-Virap-Areni-Noravanq, Syunik region.I guess almost everyone has visited Khor Virab, the church which is located on the border of
Turkey and from the hill you can see the Mother river Araks. Whenever a foreigner comes to
Armenia the first historical sight to show him is whether Garni-Geghard or Khor Virab.  




April 15, 2006

How I like this holiday!! This is my favorite celebration and I do all the works connected with it with such pleasure that I never complain that I’m tired, unlike New Year preparations.  

I don’t want to go in details how and where this tradition comes from, moreover that there are several different dimensions. I hope you all know it’s origin. Just to mention in two words: Easter is one of the important Christian holydays. In Armenian it’s called “Zatik”, which means "Harutyan ton" (Resurrection holiday). Easter is in remembrance of the last days of Christ and his Crucifixion. 48 days before Easter people usually fast and the idea of Lent is for people to give up certain pleasures and perhaps make some sacrifices in remembrance of suffering of Christ. Sometimes egg symbolizes the tomb from which Christ rose after his death, sometimes it symbolizes the whole world. The continual rebirth of physical life on earth symbolizes the eternity of spiritual life. This day people attend church services, mainly those who fast. 

Easter is a happy time, at least for me. Everyone is in a mess and busy trying to do all the necessary and demanded traditions connected mainly with food. That day it’s a usual thing to see your neighbors coming out from another neighbor’s house with  saucepans in his hands all filled with  water of different colors. Thus, sometimes the whole block ( if they are in good terms) uses the same saucepans for dyeing the eggs. That's cool.. right..! 

My Easter basket  Children are roaming with eggs in their hands and pockets and “fighting” with each other. The one who cracks the other's egg owns it. In order to gather more eggs, sometimes children cheat and make mock eggs from stone, wood or paraffin. 

Armenia the meals associated with Easter are fish, rice, verdures. Fish is usually whether fried or boiled. My mom usually cooks fish not in water but she steams it and fish doesn’t lose its real taste. I advise you make it the same way, it’s much tastier.  Rice is usually made with raisins and dried fruits and is served with fried lavish (Armenian national thin bread). Fried verdures are the necessary components of traditional table. We call them “Panjar” or “Jingyal”. I wonder whether there are other nations who eat almost all kinds of verdures. I always say that if you leave an Armenian in some deserted area, he will survive only by eating verdures. In fact, I also like verdures. They are served whether fried with eggs or in  pastry, which is more common in Kharabakh and is called “Jingyalov huts”. It’s very tasty!!
Eggs are eaten rolled in lavash with lots of verdures mainly tarragon, which is also an Armenian verdure with mild menthol taste. Red wine is the main beverage on Easter table. 

This year Easter falls on April 16, but the congratulations and feast celebrations begin on April 15 starting from 5pm. When people meet each other one of them says: "Qristos haryav i merelots" (Christ has arisen from dead), and the other responds: "Orhnyal e harutyune Qristosi" (Let his Resurrection be blessed).  

Then the whole family gathers to have dinner. At my place not only my family, but our relatives and friends, in total of about 20 people, gather as well. It  became a custom to celebrate Easter at our place, and reasons for that are different. One of them is that my mom is very good at cooking, and I decorate the table in a way that no one else can do (…let me show off a little..) But the main one is that the doors of our house are always open for good people and the hospitality with which they are treated every time attracts them to gather at our place again and again… 

I wish everyone Happy Easter…!! Enjoy the joyous moments of this day…!! 

-Քրիստոս հարյավ ի մեռելոց-Օրհնյալ է հարությունը Քրիստոսի


April 12, 2006

It was 6 th of April and hoping to present something to my mom I entered the glass-ware shop called “Limex Ross”. But I quite forgot that I wanted to buy some vase or so when I saw a huge bunch of bamboos having an intense longing for plants. I asked the shop assistant to help me. That was a young girl with very dull personality, very short (shorter then me, huh) and plump. So with a wide smile on my face I asked her how long the bamboos would last. She said something , but as it was very noisy in the shop (obviously the shop had received a new consignment of goods and everything was in a mess) I misheard and said: “I'm sorry?”, still keeping the smile. Then she rose her voice and said “aseci inchqan paheS…” (“I said as long as you keep them”) and looked at me in such a manner as if I had borrowed money from her and refuse giving back. For a moment my smile disappeared, I just looked at her resisting myself not to utter anything, turned around and left the shop.

I’ve always wondered why people here have so bad manners. On the way home I was pondering whether I said or did something wrong. I guess no, I was very courtesy, I talked distinctly, then what did I do wrong?? Oh, yes, I smiled, this was my great mistake. People here do not like when you smile, they take you for a mad or in cases like this one, girls like this seller think they are it and consider themselves to be higher than you. Although I am for elimination of various barriers of socioeconomic groups, but perhaps I should had reminded her that she is just a seller and I doubt greatly that she’s even intelligent and perhaps she’s just a remote relative of one of the owners of the shop and only thanks to him she works there. But, no, I would rather hold back, let the shop owners thank her for losing customers. I got the gist, I smiled and didn’t receive a smile back.


April 7, 2006

As I see I’m the only person who hasn’t posted the banner “Break the silence of 91 years, recognize the Armenian genocide”. Before someone tries to condemn me for it I want to say that I’m for it and totally support it. Just as you know and I guess that’s not a secret and I’m not shy to say that I can’t work out things difficult than copy and paste or so. Whenever I try to do something more than I know I need lot of time. And that is what I usually lack. No, it’s not that I’m always busy, just along with it I have some health problems, which I discovered still in December though I didn’t know about it before that. And   I hope you know how the medical system works in
Armenia: If you are a little bit ill, the doctors will do their best to treat you in a way that you become an invalid after. Later they declare that you have a special type of  disease unknown to humanity. Now I’m taking another course of treatment and hope to recover soon. Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to say, I will write more detailed on medical system later, having my example as well as my brother’s  and being well aware of how they “treat people” or rather how they torture them and rob money.

 For now I’m even forbidden to sit at the computer, having also problems with eye sight, and that’s not easy to do. Now I turn out to be a real “hilot”, as we use to say in
Armenia 🙂

 ….But there is always a rainbow after rain… 😉

“We lost with dignity”…

April 6, 2006

I totally forgot to let you know how the Armenian youth korfball team played at The 1st Youth Championship in Holland.

  They took two cups. You wonder? Don't you believe me? No, I'm not kidding, see such things also happen. Just they took one cup for holding the last place, which was predicted, and the other one for playing a fair game without any fault. Now you can really wonder. We all knew that these kids couldn't have any possible chance to win those teams which practice Korfball for many years, who take part in many competitions. Since there are no many Armenian youth  teams who can compete with each other and that's why they lack practice. But the fact that it was the only team which played a fair game suggests itself that they know the game theoretically and that they did their best.

What is done couldn't be undone. But they don't go into a tailspin and when I talked to some of them they assured me to practice more. This was a step forward and we'll do our best to win places closer to the first one during  next competitions-said Astghik,one of the players laughing.

Common Moral Principles

April 5, 2006

These are common moral principles recognized by the world’s major cultures  which I found and copied out from  some different books about religions and connected sciences. Interestingly they resemble so much, but still there is animosity between people regarding their religion and belief. Such attitude exists even in Christianity when people divide it into Orthodox, Protestant, Catholic, Baptist, Apostolic and so on. I will never understand those people who usually ask whether you read Apostolic or say Orthodox Bible. Bible is one and the shape of the cross on it doesn’t change the content of the book.  I have my personal stand point about religions, though it coincides with that of many other people. History proovs that these divisions are invented by politics and serve to their own benefit. It’s a quite political issue, through which they put in action their plans, and which also serves as a splendid means to cover their dirty machinations.I can go on discussing this, but more importantly I’d like to sharewith you what I found .Evil can be overcome by good:                                                                                                                            

“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”  (Christianity).
“The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one that is better , then lo, he between whom and you there was enmity shall become as though he were a bosom friend” (Islam).
“Conquer anger by love. Conquer evil by good. Conquer the stingy by giving. Conquer the liar by truth” (Buddhism).
“I treat those who are good with goodness, and I also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained” (Daoism).

What we give out will return to us:

“Ashes fly back in the face of him who throws them” (African proverb).
“Whatever a man sows, so shall he reap” (Christianity).
“Whatever affliction may visit you is for what your own hands have earned” (Islam).
“The imprudent man is consumed by his own deeds, like one burnt by fire” (Buddhism).

Responsibility for our problems in our life begins with our self:

“In practice of archery we have something resembling the principle in a moral man’s life. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of the failure within himself” (Confucianism).
“Man should discover his own reality and not thwart himself. For he has his self as his only friend or as his only enemy” (Hinduism).
“Why do you see the speck that is in your brothers eye and but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” Christianity).

As we see these cultures are almost similar and it’s not always necessary to blame religions when people have contempt and kill each other. Religions shape civilization through promoting moral values and transmitting them from one generation to the next. Each religious tradition emphasizes certain ideals that have broad appeal. It is possible to cherish and uphold the ideals of one’s own tradition, while acknowledging the admirable ideals of others and learning from them.One way to create a moral common ground for a harmonious world culture is to view each religion as having something to offer to the entire world. The following list of ideals promoting by various traditions offers a starting point for such an enterprise:

Buddhism-self-discipline, compassion
Christianity–faith, sacrificial love
Confucianism–personal integrity, family responsibilities, ethical social order
Hinduism–Understanding and development of the inner self
Islam–obedience to God, harmony among races
Judaism – ethical monotheism, divine guidance
Taoism–balance among  the vital forces of nature

These are the principles, the values to be followed, especially now, when we are in  Lent period. But unfortunately today people, mainly the younger ones, fast with the hope to lose weight and the achievement of harmony between the spiritual and physical world is withdrawn to the second place. Yet, people must be able to establish  harmony between human beings and natural world, inner harmony, sincerity, nonviolence, respect for life and each other. Isn’t this the only way to achieve Peace? Yet, much water will flow…

1st of April, April Fools’ Day?!

April 2, 2006

Yesterday early in the morning my little brother said that there was something on my cheek. After having looked in the mirror I realized that he was joking. “It’s written there that today is April Fools’ Day and that your brother has just played a prank”, he said giggling. Later my coursemate told me that our dean had met our expectations and that he had changed the  professor who we didn’t want to teach us. I wanted to believe it but I couldn’t. It was too much to be true, they never do what students ask. Then my elder brother called me and said that I had to be at home as I had some urgent things to do. For a moment I believed him, but that very moment I was doing the most urgent thing I had planned for yesterday.

Anyway,  April Fool's Day fun was limited on this, because when I came home and turned on TV not to get bored while doing ironing, I found nothing but more tedious programs which were despondently trying to divert people. For instance that guy Samvel Bagdasaryan as usual was parodying some politicians and other known people ( I hold back saying famous people). And as usual you feel like  laughing at least once after he has uttered a monologue lasting some 5 minutes. Yet the real parodist must make people laugh at his every single word as is the case with Russian parodists ( not all of them, but anyway). Incidentally they don't only parody politicians, which is getting bored in Armenia, but they also create their own situations and scenarios.

Later our electricity was turned down and we learnt that there were malfunctions with electric power station. And I had to postpone this log to today.

Although now 1st of April is accepted as a state holiday, still there are enormous steps to be done to reach the level, when this holiday will be celebrated throughout  Armenia as it befits one. I think this holiday must be celebrated everywhere, not only by children but by elders as well. Why not to change this day into a day of fun, real fun, where there won’t be things to worry about or burdens to carry?  Let people play silly but harmless jokes on each other and let they laugh. Let's enjoy ourselves and let's make merry!!