Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!!!

I’ve just finished my rounds and am on my way over to my Mother-in-Law’s house to welcome in 2007.

I hope that 2007 will be better than 2006 and though things are not getting better in this part of the world economically at the rate the government claims, people seem to be adjusting their lives to live within their means and resources.

I noticed from the houses I visited tonight that there was enough food on the table for the celebration, but not in supper excess as it had been in the past. I take this as a good sign and a confirming factor that Armenians know how to survive under the most unfavorable conditions.

Anyway, Happy New Year to all and to all a good night.


Last night I learned that Saddam was hung. I was saddened by the news.

The friend that told me what happened was also saddened by the news and asked when will they hang President Bush for all the people he is responsible for killing? All the U.S. soldiers who have died because of his orders and the tens of thousands of innocent people in the world who have died because of Bush deserve justice, right?

I wonder if they will one day hang Kocharian for all the suffering and death he has caused? The recently adopted constitution of Armenia forgives the President of anything he has done during his time in office. Didn’t Iraq have a similar constitution before it was invaded by the Americans? I guess once your overthrown by America, all bets are off and the only laws that apply are those dictated by Washington.

The hanging of Saddam was wrong. I’m not going to defend him for what he did to his people, but if such a punishment can be handed down to him, then all the world leaders should be accountable of what they have done during their time in power and given equal sentences. Why isn’t Mikhail Gobachev on trial for all of the crimes he committed instead of being paid exorbitant fees to lecture at universities all over the world?

Hand-To-Hand will have bigger impact than expected

Yesterday was a very long day, starting with my waking before sunrise to ready for a trip to Southern Kashatagh (Lachin), which we departed Martuni at 8 a.m.

Our 130 kilometer drive, which took us all within 2 kilometers the Iranian boarder finally ended 4 hours later in the village of Haykazyan, a village that wrote about on September 4, 2006 (see: Nine Years with No Electricity)

When we pulled up to the village, which is right off a very well made asphalt road (was built by the Azerbaijani government before the war and has not been maintained in anyway), we came across some people who were receiving a delivery of food goods. We asked where we could find Pasha (a man featured in the hetq story)? Pasha had left for Yerevan that morning to attend the 40th day of his father’s death and was not due back until he 6th of January. The man tell us all this was the elected Mayor of Haykazyan. He invited us into his home.

We entered the home of Armen Chumoyan, and engineer by education, a freedom fighter by choice and someone who participated in liberating the village during the war, loosing his best friend at the bridge only a kilometer away from where he lives.

The village did not fall under the “resettlement” program the NKR government had in the 1990’s and of the 60 families who had relocated there, many had liberated the land themselves and what “house” they have, they built with their own resources. Today of the 16 remaining families registered in the village, only 9 families physically stay in the village, the other 7 have temporarily relocated to a neighboring village where there is electricity.

Haykazyan village has been waiting for electricity for 9 years. The government keeps promising they will have it by New Years, but until now 8 New Years have passed and the electricity is 6 kilometers away. There are 5 villages in the area who need electricity and though there with work is foreseen to be done and supposedly the funds have been alocatd, as of right now there is no crew working on finishing the 15 kilometers of poles and wire to electrify the 5 villages.

We sat down to a cup of tea with the Mayor and asked about the how many children and families there are in his village and the neighboring village of Hale (anther village mentioned in the hetq story). As his wife prepared a list of the children, which totaled 26 who are under the age of 16 years old, Armen gave me the history of the village.

I asked Armen what the village needed from the Diaspora and the first thing he said was that they didn’t need for them to give money to the villagers as that would only last a few days. He said what they need is business partners in projects that will give them the ability to sustain themselves. The village had already with their collective resources built a lake to raise fish, they have a very strong stream that could generate electricity and the soil is very strong and whatever you plant grows. He told of his 40 kilo (88 pound) squash that he took to a farming fair a couple of years back. He also mentioned the tobacco they had grown a number of years back for an Armenian tobacco company, but it was not successful as when they were drying the leaves, which he said were the size of the table we were sitting at, they didn’t have a drying house and bad weather destroyed most of the crop. They just broke even on that venture.

I told Armen of our Hand-To-Hand project and how it was intended to wake up the native population of Artsakh as to what is going on in Kashatagh, more than to really “help” the people in his village. He understood and agreed with our methodology and also agreed for us to give money to the people.

Armen then asked me if I could tell him how much we intend to give to each family? When I told him $130 each, he asked if I could consider a suggestion? He said that if we give $130, it will buy the villagers a few sacks of flour and once that is gone, then what? He said that what the villagers all want and need is electricity. He said that in Yerevan there are gasoline powered generators that sell for about $100. He said that instead of giving each family $130, give each one a generator, wire, light bulbs and gasoline. He told me to consider this.

I told Armen that our plan is to return to Haykazyan on January 6th with Santa and 16 helpers to deliver presents to the children and also bring aid to each family, but before we announce our intentions, I want to visit with a few of the families and get them to tell their story on video unrehearsed and so people can’t say they were paid to say what we want them to say. Armen agreed and took me on a tour of the village while I had the video camera running.

Armen first showed me their lake, which not only has fish, but wild Ducks and Beavers living in it.

We walked over to a random house and found the family of 5 just finishing up their laundry. The woman of the house spoke honestly and didn’t hold back the truth of what is going on in their village. She said that right now what they need most is electricity, the rest they will create for themselves.

The second house we went to was Pasha’s house, the family of 11 children. The wife was home feeding her soon to be 1-year-old (his birthday is on January 6th as well as his sister’s who will be 9 years old). She told of her families condition and of her 6-year-old son who is not attending school because they can’t afford proper clothes for him. Her house which when I talk about houses in the village of Haykazyan, I’m not talking about the standard 2 room with a kitchen house that the government has been giving to people who settle at a cost of $3,500, I’m talking about 4 walls and a roof that these families built for themselves with their own resources. The room that all 13 family members live in is wall to wall beds and mats on the floor. It’s no bigger than the rooms each family in the village has. Pasha’s wife said that living in the dark especially in winter and already for 9 years is unbearable. She said that if they only had electricity, then life would change for the better. She said that she does not see things improving and is living in a hopeless state. Since they have moved to the village, they lost 2 of their children, meaning if there was access to proper medical services, they could have had 13 children today.

We then headed to the school, on the way we stopped off at the school directors house so he could give us a tour of the school. When we arrived unannounced, we found the director is grungy clothes doing work around their house readying for New Years. As he went to change, we spoke with his wife, who is also a teacher.

This woman of I would say is 40 something told of the hard life they have had for the last 8 years. She mentioned all the promises the government has made to them over the years, most important the promise of electricity that seems to never come. While the video camera was rolling, she mentioned the lack of access to medical help and then her eyes filled with tears as she told of her 19-year-old daughter who was in her second year of her university education who fell ill in the village and by the time they were able to get her to a medical facility over 30 kilometers away, it was too late, she had died. This happened 3 years ago. She then apologized for letting her emotions get the best of her. She said that they have been planning on purchasing a generator so they could have light at night and to power a television to see what is going on in the world, but every month, something comes up and they have to keep putting it off.

The director of the school finished changing his clothes and we took a walk to the school.

The school, which again for the most part was built by the resources of the villagers provides an education to 45 children of the neighboring villages. It has a staff of 14, which are paid for by the government (thank goodness they do at least that much). The lack books and in winter, the mini wood burning stoves (less than half the size of a small stove) don’t heat the rooms very well. The walls are infested with mold, which I’m sure is not good for the children. Nonetheless, the children are receiving an education.

We returned to the Mayor’s house, which like I said before is just a room with 4 walls and a roof, and sat for a meal of macaroni and meat. Since they were ready for New Years, they put out some of the things they would eat on New Years like sour-cream and fruit. A bottle of vodka was drank, as we toasted success to our up coming work, which will include the gift of 16 generators (since this is clearly what the village want and need now). We of course drank the 3rd toast to all of those who gave their lives for our defense and right so we could live on our land.

When I returned to Martuni, I started to recruit our “employees” to give the aid. Though a random picking of people would be ideal, for this first round, I want to get a good mix of people who will best be suited to spread the word as to what is going on in our liberated territories. Of the 5 people who I have so far “hired,” none of them knew what was going on. Three of the people have lost their husbands, children and father, the other two are war veterans, who one lost a leg and the other was engaged in battle not far from Haykazyan where he lost a close friend when their tank was hit. The other 11 people will not be difficult to find, since the work we need from them will be helping their fellow citizen and also to celebrate to birth of Christ.

Armen told me that he will have the villagers catch fish from the stream, they will slaughter a pig and with the bread, drinks and fixings we bring, we will all sit down to a great feast together when we come. It’s going to be a huge party!!!

Our next project I think will be 15 kilometers of electrical lines, that is if the government beats us to it (which I don’t have a problem with). I’m going to get a guesstimate of how much it will cost and together we are going to bring electricity to 5 villages where some very worthy people are holding down the fort for us all.

Right now I’m in the process of arranging to have 16 generators delivered from Yerevan. I have 5 days to locate them, send the money over and receive them. It’s not going to be a miracle, but will be one of those down to the last minute deals.

For those of you who wish to participate in helping out our people who are living in Lachin and are facing very unfavorable living conditions and want to get your tax-deductible contribution in before the end of the year, you still can with a credit-card securely via Paypal by clicking on the donation button below. You can send your tax-deductible investments to a brighter and more secure Armenian nation that you can write off in 2007, since we wont get it until after New Years to:

The Shahan Natalie Family Foundation, Inc.
3727 W Magnolia Blvd., Suite 215
Burbank, CA 91505

And a big thank you to someone living in Glendale, CA who via Paypal made a $10 donation. Your heart filled contribution is appreciated.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Working against all odds

Last nights return to Martuni following my visit to Yerevan on Christmas to deliver the New York Life settlement to my relatives who living under less than favorable conditions really got me thinking. Road conditions were really bad, so the almost 9 hours ride gave me lots of time to think.

What got me thinking was seeing my relatives living under very compromising conditions. Why is it that my blood-relatives who live in the homeland along with the majority of their fellow countrymen are facing such hard times?

When the Soviet Union fell, Armenia had a very good chance to develop into the most stable and prosperous former Soviet republic according to Western experts. We had the basic infrastructure any modern country needs. We had factories (some were of course obsolete, but many were not), educational institutions, a transportation system that used our own natural resources (electricity), a telecommunication system and most important, a population who for the most part were united. This unity was confirmed a few years later with the first victory the Armenian people had against their Turkic-Azeri neighbors who had many times before tried to wipe them out. So with all that, why did things not pan out and Armenia finds itself 16 years later in shambles? Why are my relatives and most people in Armenia living under less than favorable conditions and why are so many things working against them?

Yes we had a war, are facing threats and blockade on our boarders from two sides. We have less than stable neighbors to the North and South, one who is kind of controlled and the other who is being threatened by the U.S.

On the other hand, we are supposedly experiencing double-digit economic growth and have been for a number of years. Minimum wage has gone up, pensions, the salary of school teachers and government workers have also doubled in the last few years.

A few years back, one could get by with the $100 a month they were getting from their relative who moved to Los Angeles in hopes for a better life. Today, if one can pay their electricity, gas, water and telephone with the 36,200 dram that $100 converts to (20,000 dram less than what it was worth 2 years ago) they are not living beyond their means too much. That means one only need to figure out how to pay for food, transportation and other expected and unexpected expenses that arise during the month. Of course the job that you have which pay 20,000 a month helps, but what you have to pay to get to work and related expenses to your job like the need for presentable clothes and your share for the coffee and sweats in many cases is a wash. So what’s the point of working and what about people who don’t have money coming each month from Los?

Then we have the 10 richest people in Armenia list which includes many government officials who can’t explain and deny they have the wealth which the list claims they do. These are the same people who brag about the double-digit growth and often talk of how well off people are.

Bottom line is that something is just not right here. While I was writing this log, my wife asked me the question of when will the average person in Armenia and Artsakh who has a job and follows the rules put down by the government be able to live a semi-normal life? Normal salary, heated house, hot water, paved roads, a variety of foods, access to a good education and the other basic things that those in West take for granted.

Though this log is already quite long, I want to note that my dreams lately have been featuring visits with people who no longer walk among the living, people who have had heart to heart talks with me just months before their death. The one that seems to be visiting the most is Vartkes Barsam, a man who did so much for Armenia and Artsakh and did all this not for name recognition, but for the sake of helping those less fortunate.

The last time I saw Vartkes was in April of this year. During my 4 hour visit, this man of little words and many actions told me things that I had never heard come out of his mouth. He spoke of his work, the things he had done for Armenia/Artsakh and his impression of the government, who he made a point of not being social with. The one thing he said that has stuck in head is all the money he arranged to be sent for relief efforts starting with the earthquake, throughout the Artsakh war and up to his death a few months ago, the donation of a hotel and business center he had built to the AUA. He said that when they were sending money in the early days, government officials were living it up, acquiring new and very expensive cars. He asked them where the cars had come from, suspecting the acquisitions were made with the money he had send and was told that they received them as gifts. He said that he felt with the hardship the country was facing, a leader who really is interested in serving their people would sell those cars and help the people.

In closing I would say that I understand most of the problems we face today and what is preventing the common working stiff in Armenia from living a life with the basic amenities we really do take for granted in the West. Of course it’s not an easy fix, but is doable and the sooner we all embark on that road towards social, economic and spiritual and bite the bitter bullet what no one wants to even talk about, the better off we will all be.

I invite all of you to think long and hard as to what YOU will do to be a part of a prosperous Armenia and put an end to the suffering our people are facing.

In a few days, Santa and his helpers will be visiting families in Lachin who are facing the worst imaginable conditions that anyone in all of Armenia are facing. These are people who are facing starvation and even death due to government policies. Though financial assistants is really only a band-aid, our helping them directly sends a message to the government responsible for their hardship that we know what is going on and by making up for their deficiencies gives us a voice to demand the restoration of the services they are obligated to provide to the people they were elected to serve.

For those of you ready to take up the call of helping out a fellow human, you can read about our program Hand-To-Hand and see if the methods we are using makes sense to you and if it does and you would like to give, you may make a tax-deductible contribution to this program by sending a check to:

The Shahan Natalie Family Foundation, Inc.
3727 W Magnolia Blvd., Suite 215
Burbank, CA 91505

You can also make your donation with a credit-card via Paypal by clicking on the donation button below.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

New York Life Insurance Settlement Helps the Victims of 21st Century White Genocide

Who would ever think that the Hamidian massacres of 1895 of the Armenians by the Turkish government that claimed 11 of my family members would help out my blood-relatives living in Armenia today, who are facing hard times.

When my Grandfather’s Uncle Mahdessi Arakel Hovaguim De Hagopian took out a policy with New York Life Insurance (NYL), prior to 1895, who would think that the payment would be made 111 years later and would help his brother’s decedents who are facing a white genocide in Armenia today.

When my mother filed papers to claim monies owed by NYL, she was not sure what the outcome would be. Once she received the check for $3,618.47, it was quickly decided by those descendents living outside of Armenia that the less than $10 we were each entitled to would be put to better use by helping out our family who are taking care of our interests in Armenia just by living there and are facing hard times right now.

I received the money and delivered it today while our family in California were gathered together celebrating Christmas at our eldest living relatives house. As I sat to a meal with our second eldest living relative in Yerevan, we drank an emotionally filled toast to Uncle Mahdessi, who we were sure would be happy to know that the insurance policy he took out over 111 years ago was paid and the money went to help his family who were facing hard time in the homeland.

Merry Christmas to all.

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!!!

For those of you who celebrate Christmas on December 25th, I wish you the best and hope that Santa was good to you and there was little coal in your stocking (though here in Armenia coal in the stocking is a good and useful thing to heat with).

During this time of giving, I want to remind our readers that by the 6th of January we have set a goal of collecting $5,000 for the people of Lachin who due to corruption are facing starvation and some even death. These people have been written about in the Armenian press since summer and are in desperate need of our help. We will make our first visit to a random village that we know people are in need of on Armenian Xmas.

For those of you who are interested, and not that a tax write off should be a determining factor, but if you out get a check out in the next few days to our non-profit NGO, you can write it off on your 2006 taxes.

The program that we have put together is called Hand-To-Hand and is intended to help the poorest of the poor in Armenia, at the same time to teach the natives about charity, empowerment and accountability.

Every family who will receive financial aid will receive it from a person who is “hired” by us to deliver your aid. By doing this we empower them to help out a fellow Armenian who is in worse shape than they are in most cases. At the same time we make our “employee” a witness to what is going on in Lachin, a place that many of our “employees” have made a sacrifice to secure with a personal injury, loss of a family member or friend. This is further empowerment with knowledge that they will without a doubt take back with them and spread to word to all their family and friends of what is really going on in Lachin.

Anyway, for those of you who want to participate and are in Armenia on the 6th of January, I invite you all to join us in Lachin. If you e-mail me at, I can hook you up with the others in Yerevan who will be meeting us there so you can drive in together.

For those of you who have not yet made your donation and agree with this initiative, please read over the project and than make your donation. Though we have not received any $5, I do encourage those also. It’s not about how much you give, it’s about getting involved.

Please mail your tax-deductible contributions to:

The Shahan Natalie Family Foundation, Inc.
3727 W. Magnolia Blvd., Suite 215
Burbank, CA 91505 USA

Or you can click on the donation button below and make your donation securely via Paypal.

Oh and just a quick update of where things stand in terms of funds collected. We have officially hit the half-way point thanks to the nice people at a jewelry store my mom frequents. She went in for a new watchstrap and when she was going to pay the jeweler told her it’s on the house and to decide how much the strap is worth and to give it to charity. So in a sense, we got a donation from a jeweler for $50, which brings us up to $2,500.

I also know that there were donations sent from Chicagoland, but I’m guessing due to the holiday, mail delivery is slow right now.

One other donation we are waiting for is again thanks to my mom, who the same day she go the donation from the jeweler, went to buy a car-charger for her cell phone and the young Armenian who was working at the cell-phone store understood my mom to be Armenian (he was also) and the conversation lead to her recent donation from the jeweler. The conversation ended with this young man tell my mom to stop by on the 24th to pick up a donation from him since he didn’t have any cash with him right then.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Tears, Joy As As Jailed Soldiers Freed

RFE/RL Armenia Report - 12/22/2006

By Ruzanna Stepanian

The saga of three Armenian army conscripts jailed for life on what human rights groups consider trumped-up charges had a dramatic finale on Friday as they walked free after being unexpectedly acquitted by Armenia's top appeals court.

In an unprecedented blow to military prosecutors, the Court of Cassation ruled that Razmik Sargsian, Musa Serobian and Araik Zalian were unjustly convicted by two lower courts of murdering two fellow soldiers in Nagorno-Karabakh three years ago. The panel of five judges declared the extremely controversial guilty verdicts null and void and ordered the prosecutors to re-investigate the crime.

The three young men were not present in the courtroom and were set free two hours after the announcement of the sensational verdict. Looking wan and bemused, they were mobbed by parents and other relatives outside Yerevan's Nubarashen prison.

`It was totally unexpected. I feel like I was born again.' said Sargsian. `Are we free? I can't believe it,' he added, giggling.

The acquittal, which followed a brief court hearing, took the family members and defense lawyers by surprise. The latter had already been preparing to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Armenian courts rarely make decisions going against the will of law-enforcement authorities, especially on criminal cases handled by military prosecutors.

The verdict sparked scenes of joy and disbelief in the court, with the defendants' mothers dashing to the judges to kiss their hands. Sargsian's mother Julietta briefly passed out as she heard the presiding judge, Mher Khachatrian, declare that her son, who nearly died of a hunger strike last year, is innocent.

`I didn't expect justice,' she told RFE/RL afterwards, weeping and breathing heavily. `I feared there will be another life sentence.'

`We had little hope and it became reality,' cried Marine Seropian. `May the kids of the judge who's has read this verdict have long lives.'

`This is not just our victory,' said Zaruhi Postanjian, one of the attorneys. `This is a victory for the non-government organizations and individuals that have campaigned for these boys.'

The extraordinary case stems from the mysterious murder in December 2003 of two soldiers from a military unit stationed in Karabakh's northern Mardakert district. Military prosecutors have claimed all along that that Sargsian, Serobian and Zalian brutally murdered their comrades following a brawl over a food parcel that was delivered to one of the servicemen.

The accusations are essentially based on Sargsian's pre-trial testimony in which he admitted to this version of events. He subsequently retracted the testimony, saying that he incriminated himself and his comrades under brutal torture. The 21-year-old is now said to be in poor health, reportedly suffering from a brain tumor and tuberculosis.

This did not prevent a court in Stepanakert from sentencing all three soldiers to 15 years in prison in April 2005. They protested their innocence throughout the trial and appealed the verdict only to have the Court of Appeals in Yerevan toughen it to life imprisonment in May this year.

Both trials have been denounced as a travesty of justice by local and international human rights organizations. In a September 12 open letter, the New York-based Human Rights Watch found the torture allegations `credible' and urged the Court of Cassation to give the men a fair trial. A similar statement was issued by the Vienna-based International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights three days later.

The three defense attorneys suspect that both murders were committed by Captain Ivan Grigorian, the Karabakh Armenian commander of the army unit where the dead soldiers served. According to their version of events, he beat one of the soldiers to death and killed the other after the latter refused to `confess' to the crime.

The commander of the Karabakh army, Lieutenant-General Seyran Ohanian, only lent more credence to these suspicions in early 2004 when he wrote to Armenia's then chief military prosecutor, Gagik Jahangirian, and asked him not to bring charges against the `war hero.' Ohanian argued that the officer had greatly contributed to the Armenian military victory over Azerbaijan. Grigorian was never questioned during the ensued high-profile trials.

Jahangirian, who now holds another senior position in the Office of the Prosecutor-General, was also present in the courtroom, calmly enduring, at times with a smile, insults shouted at him by the defendants' relatives. `Nothing has changed in my beliefs,' he told RFE/RL moments before the men were cleared of the grave accusations. `The murders were committed by those three individuals.'

But Greta Mnatsakanian, the mother of one of the slain soldiers, Hovsep Mkrtumian, strongly disagreed, saying that she believes the real perpetrators of the gruesome killings were never brought to justice. `Why did my boy meet such a fate?' she angrily asked Jahangirian. `What did he do? Why is nobody punished for such crimes?'

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Desert Nights Viewed 139,714 on Google

Our documentary "Desert Nights" since posting it on Google has averaged a little under 20,000 views a month. I didn’t realize that it was so popular and was thinking that maybe a few thousand people have seen it, but not 139,714.

Anyway, for those of you who are interested in seeing it, you can do so by clicking on the screen below and then when you done watching, you can click on the link below to take you to a petition that is intended to take a solid step to put a stop to this heinous crime. Please read it, sign it if you agree with it and pass the word on to everyone you know to do the same.

You can also visit the site of the NGO I work for that has a plan for an office in Yerevan to deal with legal issues revolving around trafficking. I invite you to read the plan and then get involved by at very least passing on this information to the people you know and if you are able to, a tax-deductible financial contribution would help us get the office up and running.

Stop Trafficking of Humans to the United Arab Emirates Petition

Martuni or Bust Plugged by AGBU Magazine

A friend of mine wrote to tell me that the December 2006 issue of AGBU Magazine has an article on Armenian blogs. For those of you who have a copy, it is the center page and of the list of blogs, Martuni or Bust is the first. The article reads:

Martuni or Bust!!!
While some postings can be shrill, there is some high-quality material on this site including a link to the infamous documentary that investigated the trafficking of Armenian women to the UAE.”

Well a big welcome to those who have come due to the AGBU Magazine. May you get the shrill of your life. May that shrill also turn you on and not off. May that shrill call you to action and not to withdraw from your duty to your people and cultural homeland.

For those of you who are new to Martuni or Bust, it helps to understand this site has evolved over the last 1,198 postings since August 2003 into a wake-up call for the global Armenian community. You will find here many original factual stories that are difficult if not impossible to find any other place. They are stories that should make you happy and sad. Most important is that they are written to make you think. What I write about is nothing less than fact, the kinds of facts that if challenged could be successfully defended in an international court of law if need be.

For those of you who would like to read about my life in Armenia prior to August 7, 2003, when life was a bit less shrilling and more carefree, you can do so in the archive of’s Life in Armenia. My first posting was on June 28, 2001 and the few hundred postings I wrote dominated the logs until my last log was posted on August 6, 2003 when my life in Armenia was too far from the reality of what others would experience if they moved here according to our fearless leader, so I was asked to leave. Of course my life then is what most experience today in Armenia and I guess what I’m experiencing now is what most will experience in the future.

Anyway, a big welcome to the newcomers and a big thank you to my loyal readers who have made it worth my while to share with you important parts of my life here in Armenia and Artsakh.

Friday, December 22, 2006


Arka News Agency, Armenia
Dec 21 2006

YEREVAN, December 21. /ARKA/. U.S. Charge d'Affaires Anthony Godfrey thanked Wednesday Armenian human rights activists for their efforts to deepen democratic reformation in the country, U.S. Embassy in Armenia reports.

"In Armenia, the United States stands in solidarity with you--the country's brave men and women who are doing such essential work as supporting a free press, fighting against trafficking in persons, advocating for freedom of religion, and supporting women's rights. We thank you for your efforts to further Armenia's democratic reforms, and for your dedication to fighting for those people who often don't have a voice", the U.S. diplomat said.

Godfrey stressed the important contributions of human rights defenders throughout the world who risk harassment, beatings, detention, imprisonment and even death to practice or seek to secure fundamental freedoms. He remarked that without a vibrant civil society, democracy is incomplete.


Thank you Anthony Godfrey for you kind words and commitment to stand in solidarity with me and those that defend the rights of those people who often donÂ’t have a voice.

ItÂ’s true that we risk harassment, beatings, detention, imprisonment and even death to practice or seek to secure fundamental freedoms. It is also true that we face many frustrations, but none are as disturbing as when those that claim to stand in solidarity with us, in fact work against us.

As you well know in 2005 with funding from the U.S. Embassy in Armenia, we were able to expose the trafficking of women and children to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which resulted in their placement on the Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) Tier 3 list, which calls for the U.S. to place sanction against them for their crimes against those who have no voice.

Later that year, President George Walter Bush waived the sanctions, placing more importance on his War of Terror over the human rights of the voiceless victims in the UAE living in slave-like conditions.

If you truly stand with us in solidarity, you will sign our petition to President Bush and those involved in violating the human rights of the women and children who have been and will continue to be trafficked to the UAE in the future since there thoscommittingng the crime know from our lack of action that they will not be punished.

If you really believe in what you stated above, please click on the link below, sign the petition and pass this link on to all your associates in Washington to do the same and stand by what America claims to stand for.

Stop Trafficking of Humans to the United Arab Emirates Petition

21.12.2006 17:52

President of the Union of Russian Armenians Ara Abrahamyan expressed hope that it will be possible to "convince" the President of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic Arkady Ghukasyan to run for the third term. Ara Abrahamyan said this in an interview with "Novoye Russkoye Slovo" newspaper, Mediamax agency reports.

"First of all, the law does not prohibit Arkady Ghukasyan to run for the third term. He can do that even three or four times. And let this fact not trouble anyone. In many countries there are no restrictions on the terms of holding state positions. Second, I do believe that in the current situation there is no one to take the place of Akady Ghukasyan. He knows all the details of the Karabakh conflict best of
all, since for a long time he held Foreign Minister's position. I think his candidacy will be out of dispute, at least until the international legal status of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic is finally determined.

"President Ghukasyan has declared he will not run for the third term. But I hope that the NKR society, politicians and Diaspora leaders will manage to convince him that it is necessary. I see it as the guarantee of maintenance of security and the process democratic development in the republic," declared the President of the Union of Russian Armenians.


I’m really not getting this? Is Abrahamian trying to say that there are no good candidates in all of Artsakh that can’t lead the country better than the present day one?

I for one know of a few very good leaders that know the ins and outs of present situation and if Artsakh had a fair election, not one of votes being cast for people who are registered, but living abroad, or votes cast for people who are dead, then in the last election, the President would not have received 97% of the votes and there would have been a very good chance he would not have won.

Just to get a better idea who the present day President is, if you recall my mentioning of his lying of a $2 million donation to the Armenia Fund during the telethon that in fact was not pledged to the fund, but was for an independent project? I have found out that another donation of $1.5 million was also NOT pledged to the Armenia Fund and is going to be used as an investment for a private company that should help more people in the regions view Armenian Television. This is nothing at all to do with Armenia Fund Projects. I also got word that another $1 million “donation” was NOT pledged, but don’t yet have the details. At very least we can deduct $3.5 million from the claims the Armenian Fund is making they have raised.

The best thing our present day president can do is not run for another term and to let the people who are living and are alive in Artsakh decide who they want to lead their country and not some businessman from Russia.

Another $100 donation for the starving people of Lachin

Today we received via Paypal a donation for $100 from someone in Glendale, CA. Thank you to the first born son of an Armenian family living in Glendale for your support.

This brings our total $50 short of the half way point of raising $5,000 that will help 25 families that are in threat of starvation living in Lachin, empowering 25 people from the city of Martuni, Artsakh to hand deliver our aid to those families and to employ 8 taxis to take us from Martuni to Lachin and back. On top of this Santa Clause will be accompanying us to pass out gifts to the families we are helping on Armenian Christmas (which is 15 days away).

For those of you who want to participate and help out a truly needy Armenian family living in our liberated territory of Lachin, take a look at the program Hand-To-Hand that we have put together and if you agree with the method we have chosen to help our people and open the eyes of many natives as to what is really going on to their fellow citizens, you can send your tax-deductible contribution made payable to: The Shahan Natalie Family Foundation, Inc., 3727 W. Magnolia Blvd., Suite 215, Burbank, CA 91505 or click on the donation button below to make a secure payment with a credit-card via Paypal.


Stop Trafficking of Humans to the United Arab Emirates Petition

Thanks to Der Hova over at, I’ve discovered a site that I’ve been dreaming of for a long time. This site will manage petitions and then for a small fee will send authenticated copies to the persons they are addressed to.

Der Hova’s petition is to Armenian government bodies to pass traffic laws following the tragic death of a 17-year-old girl named Araz. His petition can be found by clicking here.

The first petition I’ve created is addressed to President George W. Bush and company, who are not properly addressing the trafficking of persons to the United Arab Emirates issue. You can read and sign the petition by clicking here.

I also encourage you to pass these links on to everyone you know and since the approch on the trafficking issue is not an Armenian one, but a global one, pass the trafficking link on to as many people you know (non-Armenians also) living in the United States, since the issue is clearly not being addressed due to President Bush's lack of willingness to do the right thing.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

More donations received for Hand-To-Hand

Today we received an unexpected donation from someone in La Canada, CA via USPS for $100. Thank you for your donation.

This brings our total collected so far to $2,350, which is almost half of our goal. The money so far collected will help 11 ¾ families and empower an equal amount of citizens from the city of Martuni, Artsakh to help a fellow Armenian.

For those of you who want to participate and help out a truly needy Armenian family living in our liberated territory of Lachin, take a look at the program Hand-To-Hand that we have put together and if you agree with the method we have chosen to help our people and open the eyes of many natives as to what is really going on to their fellow citizens, you can send your tax-deductible contribution made payable to: The Shahan Natalie Family Foundation, Inc., 3727 W. Magnolia Blvd., Suite 215, Burbank, CA 91505 or click on the donation button below to make a secure payment with a credit-card via Paypal.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Another $550 for Hand-To-Hand

After posting the last message, I got word that two more checks have been secured for our monetary relief program Hand-To-Hand. Both came not by mail or Paypal, but were hand delivered to an SNFF representative in Glendale, CA. The two donations, one for $50 and the other for $500 will help to secure desperately needed help to 2 ¾ families. This brings are total up to $2,250, which is enough to help 11 ¼ families and empower an equal amount of citizens from the city of Martuni who many of have themselves liberated this territory with their blood and that is now under threat of being depopulated.

We are almost half way to the goal of helping 25 families for the first delivery of aid to Lachin on January 6th. I think there is a good chance that we will secure $5,000 by Xmas, but if we don’t I’m personally going to kick in the balance if need be. Of course if we collect more than $5,000, then there will be that many more families helped and that many more common citizens educated as to what going on in the lifeline that connects Artsakh to Armenia proper.

For those of you who want to participate and help out a truly needy Armenian family living in our liberated territory of Lachin, take a look at the program Hand-To-Hand that we have put together and if you agree with the method we have chosen to help our people and open the eyes of many natives as to what is really going on to their fellow citizens, you can send you tax-deductible contribution made payable to: The Shahan Natalie Family Foundation, Inc., 3727 W. Magnolia Blvd., Suite 215, Burbank, CA 91505 or click on the donation button below to make a secure payment with a credit-card via Paypal.

Another ½ a family will be helped in Lachin

We got a donation for $100 from someone I met in Armenia 7 years ago who is from Rhode Island. A big THANK YOU to my friend for helping out and may I take the time to wish you and your wife L, the kids and grandkids a Merry Xmas and Happy New Year.

With this donation it brings us up to $1,700 and a bunch more I’m told has been sent in the mail ($1,200 of which I've already reported we received today from the Chicagoland area).

For those of you who want to participate and help out a truly needy Armenian family living in our liberated territory of Lachin, take a look at the program Hand-To-Hand that we have put together and if you agree with the method we have chosen to help our people and open the eyes of many natives as to what is really going on to their fellow citizens, you can send your tax-deductible contribution made payable to: The Shahan Natalie Family Foundation, Inc., 3727 W. Magnolia Blvd., Suite 215, Burbank, CA 91505 or click on the donation button below to make a secure payment with a credit-card via Paypal.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Karabakh President Agrees That Serious Problems Exist in Kashatagh

Repost from SASSNA DZRER

In the current issue of Hetq Online there's an article in Armenian that deals with an interview given by Mr. Arkady Ghoukasian, President of the NKR, in Stepanakert on December 11th. In the article the NKR President says that while serious problems exist in Kashatagh and the other "liberated" regions, reports that the Armenian population has decreased by some 50% are not factual according to the statistics in his possession. He asured all present that his government was taking all necessary steps to rectify the problems.

When They Get Out of Jail, the Pimps Go Back to Work
[December 18, 2006]

Our sources in Dubai have informed us that the notorious pimps Amalya Mnatsakanyan and Marieta Musayelyan have brought two new groups of women to the city. In recent years, the two pimps were indicted several times in Armenia for their activities. They had been sought by Interpol for years. Yet when the court made its ruling it took mitigating circumstances into account and gave them short prison terms. And both women were released early.

43-year-old Amalya Mnatsakanyan is also known as Nano. Out of respect for her experience, law enforcement officials call her Mother Pimp.

On October 16, 2000 Nano was put on probation for her trafficking activities. But she kept working throughout the two years of probation and subsequently.

Starting in September 2002 Mnatsakanyan was sought by police. In 2003, two criminal cases were merged; the new case was based on charges that Mnatsakanyan had forced the women that had been recruited into sexual exploitation.

Investigators discovered that in 2002-2003 Nana also "faked and took into possession official documents, and instigated and supported others in illegally crossing the state borders of the Republic of Armenia."

The United Arab Emirates police, following the request of our law enforcement officials, arrested Amalya Mnatsakanyan, and on March 10, 2004 she was extradited to Armenia. From July 2 to August 25 the Court of First Instance of the Kentron and Nork Marash Districts of Yerevan reviewed the case.

Marine Vardanyan, one of Nano's victims, wrote in her testimony "I and others like me were subjected to unspeakable torture. Whatever sick perversions there are, they forced us to do them. And all this was directed by Nano; she was our boss. She didn't spare anyone, even when we were sick she forced us to service clients, so she could earn money. People like her should be destroyed." In court, Vardanyan testified, “They took my passport from me and forced me to do whatever they wanted. I stayed 21 days in Dubai and didn't earn a single penny. Whatever I earned I had to give to Nano. But I wasn't able to adapt. I went to the police and was deported. I came to Armenia in horrible shape. Now I have a third degree disability."

The investigation found that between 2000 and 2003 Amalya Mnatsakanyan had recruited over 40 women and sent them to the UAE. According to the prosecution data, she earned $221,000 during that time.

Nano refused to give testimony in the court, though she pled guilty.

Since the crimes were committed between 1998 and 2003, the court used the old Criminal Code to determine her sentence. The previous Criminal Code contained nothing on human trafficking, so Nano was imprisoned for two years according to Article 262 on pimping. She was incarcerated for only two months. When she was released she went back to work. Even then, according to our sources, Nano was sponsored by generals. That is why she got out of jail so quickly and was not afraid to go back to work.

Hetq has written about Marieta Musayelyan several times. We met her victims both in Dubai and in Armenia (See Armenians in the Dubai Sex Trade).

The court always gave light sentences to the thrice-convicted Musayelyan. In May 2005 she was given an early release. (See Even the Court Supports the Pimp)

This time, Musayelyan recruited the women herself. In the first group there were seven women, mainly from the regions. At the end of November Marieta transported the girls to Dubai via Moscow. She was accompanied by her boyfriend, known as Serozh. Nano took the three women to Dubai via Moscow.

Our source in Dubai met Nano and asked her "Aren't you afraid to come back?” She replied, "I have guarantees from everyone. Why should I be afraid? I've paid the money."

We found out that Nano bought all the Yerevan-Moscow-Dubai airline tickets through Delta Armenia Travel Agency, and departed between November 18 and 25.

"Nano bought several girls from Ano, who lives in the Erebuni district dormitory. One of them was the daughter of a relative of Ano's. Susan from Shengavit sold a girl from Gyumri. Susan is now in the Abovyan prison." We learned this from a friend of Marieta Musayelyan's who visited our office. Her relative had also been taken by Marieta to Dubai. When we suggested that she go to law enforcement officials, she replied that she was afraid to create trouble.

Edik Bagdasaryan

Monday, December 18, 2006

Support the Sentinels of the Frontlines

One of our reader Chello posted a comment yesterday that read: “$1,300.00.......Not enough to protect our fellow Armenians, who by their very presence are safeguarding our national interests. They are today's sentinels on the frontlines. GIVE TILL IT HURTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I want to say that Chello was so right by categorizing the people living in Lachin as sentinels. In fact those that have been sticking it out with all the terror they have been subjected to by the NKR government so they will pack up what they have and leave are much more than sentinels. I would go so far and categorize them as real freedom fighters, not giving up and willing to die for what they believe in and that is asserting their right to live on the land that many of our fellow Armenians have spilled their blood for to liberate.

Though we are just getting started collecting money to support our sentinels, I want to report that we have received 3 more donation, each of which were for $100. These donation were delivered by hand to my mother in Glendale. Thank you to those 3 families who made a contribution.

As of today, we have secured $1,600, which is enough to help 8 families in Lachin and empowering 8 persons in the city of Martuni, Artsakh to deliver this desperately needed financial assistance which will ease the suffering those who defend the land we liberated are facing this winter.

I want to add that this first delivery of financial aid is scheduled to take place on January 6th (Armenian Christmas) and we will be taking with us Santa, who will give gifts to the children of the village(s) we distribute our aid to. I can’t wait to see the looks on faces of those villages when the unexpected visitor from the North Pole arrives. Those that have prayed for a miracle will have their prayers answered.

For those of you that wish to participate in our project Hand-To-Hand, please click here to read how the program works and if it makes sense to you, make your tax-deductible donation to the Shahan Natalie Family Foundation, Inc. and send it to 3727 W. Magnolia Blvd, Suite 215, Burbank, CA 91505 or you may click on the donation button below to make a secure credit-card donation via Paypal.

The Shahan Natalie Family Foundation, Inc. is a California 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Please consult your personal accountant for the tax value to your specific situation.

Sunday, December 17, 2006



[08:27 pm] 15 December, 2006

"No individual can pose serious threat to the RA," said Secretary of the Security Council adjunct to the RA President Serge Sargsyan answering the question if leader of the "Union of Armenian Volunteers" Zhirayr Sefilyan was a dangerous person that he was arrested.

"Have you read in the announcements of the national security that Zhirayr Sefilyan is seriously dangerous for the RA? There are 3000-4000 citizens of Armenia in prison at present and separately none of them is dangerous for the country. Some of them can be dangerous for the society, others - for other individuals," said Serge Sargsyan.

Asked by "A1+" what he personally thinks about Karabakh hero Zhirayr Sefilyan, Serge Sargsyan answered, "Sefilyan was one of the thousands who fought in Karabakh, but if you think you can compare him with Monte Melkonian or with other commanders, it's a matter of taste."


Yes there were thousands that claim to have fought in the Artsakh liberation war, but unlike Sarkisyan, Sefilyan actually did engage the enemy when liberating Shushi. It may be a “matter of taste” to some, but the reality is that Sarkisyan and company when going to battle to liberate Shushi (President Kocharian was also with him), Sarkisyan’s group got lost in the overgrown forest below Shushi and they were able to find their way out after Shushi was liberated. Though they had intentions to participate, they never engaged the enemy, though they do brag about how they battled the Azeris when THEY liberated Shushi. Is Sefilyan a hero like Monte? If Monte was alive today, he would not think of himself as being anymore heroic than other Armenians that really did fight for our liberation. And also keep in mind that Sefilyan came from Lebanon, was a commander of one of the military units that were credited for liberating Shushi. Sarkisyan may have also been credited for liberating Shushi, but in fact did not. My “matter of taste” would say that Sarkisian needs to be exposed for who he really is and made to answer for everything he has done in the past.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Sarkisian Denies Huge Fortune

RFE/RL Armenia Report - 12/15/2006
By Ruzanna Stepanian

Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian laughed off on Friday a magazine report ranking him among Armenia's ten wealthiest men along with President Robert Kocharian and four other senior government officials.

The list appeared in the first issue of a monthly publication which claims to be the Armenian version of the U.S. magazine `Forbes.' It is topped by Gagik Tsarukian, a millionaire businessman close to President Robert Kocharian. The latter holds seventh place in the rankings, followed by Sarkisian.

The glossy magazine offered no financial estimates of their wealth. But according to the Yerevan daily `Haykakan Zhamanak,' it believes Tsarukian is worth $500 million and estimates Sarkisian's assets at $150 million.

`So little?' Sarkisian joked when asked by journalists to comment on the information.

`Am I really one of Armenia's ten richest men? How come you don't know such simple things?' he asked sarcastically.

Sarkisian is widely regarded as Armenia's second most powerful man who wields substantial influence on economic affairs and sponsors a circle of wealthy businessmen and government officials. One of them, customs chief Armen Avetisian, is the second in the published rankings.

Incidentally, the new Armenian magazine is run by a talk show host working for a television station controlled by Tsarukian. Sarkisian pounced on this fact, indicating that he believes Tsarukian himself drew up and publicized the list. He also implied that he shares the widely held belief that the ambitious tycoon grossly underreports his earnings to evade taxes.

`The list also includes some businessmen,' Sarkisian said. `Do you know that those businessmen had to disclose their income? Did they really disclose it? Please ask them, the publishers. It looks like one of the publishers himself included his name [on the list].'

`Ask him how much he declared. If his [income] declaration is credible, then so is the sum attributed to me,' he added.

The scathing comments are certain to stoke talk of an unfolding rivalry between Sarkisian's governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and Tsarukian's Prosperous Armenia, which many observers consider Kocharian's new support base. Both parties intend to make a strong showing in next year's parliamentary elections.

Six and a half Armenian families in Lachin will get a helping Hand-To-Hand from the Diaspora

Things are really starting to pick up. We have received two more donation from the Chicagoland area for our program Hand-To-Hand. One of the donations is for $200 (TWO HUNDRED) and the other for $1,000 (ONE THOUSAND)!!! This brings our total so far of money collected to $1,300 (ONE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED).

A HUGE thank you to a couple of conscientious socially responsible calibrators of our program, who really have put their money where their mouths are. You have empowered six common citizens in the city of Martuni, Artsakh to deliver desperately needed monetary support to six Armenian families in Lachin who this winter were facing starvation.

I have also received word from one of our readers (who is also one of the donors mentioned above) that our mailing address in the U.S. has been difficult to find. I apologize and hope by tomorrow this error will be corrected. The donor also mentioned that there are a few more donation coming from Chicagoland Armenians, which I will let you know as soon as my people in America tell me is in our hands.

For those of you who want to get involved in helping fellow Armenians in Lachin who are truly facing hard times, you may do so by passing this message on to everyone you know and by clicking on the donation link below to make your tax-deductible contribution with a credit-card securely via Paypal, or send in your tax-deductible check or money-order made payable to:


The Shahan Natalie Family Foundation, Inc. is a California 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Please consult your personal accountant for the tax value to your specific situation.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Triple Digits

Our project Hand-To-Hand is picking up momentum. Tonight we received our 3rd donation from London and the $40 (FORTY) donation brings our collected total up to $100 (ONE HUNDRED). We are now halfway to helping 1 (ONE) family in Lachin who are facing starvation this winter and empowering a common citizen in the city of Martuni, Artsakh to deliver our direct financial aid.

For those interested in participating in helping out a family in Lachin who is truly in need, take a look at our project Hand-To-Hand, read it over and if it makes sense to you, click on the donation button or mail in a check and in return you will get the satisfaction of knowing you did something to help out. In addition to this, you will receive a letter of recognition from the Shahan Natalie Family Foundation, Inc, suitable for framing and also for those of you who live in the United States, can use it as a deduction on your taxes.

Please make checks payable to:

The Shahan Natalie Family Foundation, Inc. is a California 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Please consult your personal accountant for the tax value to your specific situation.

Thank you to those 3 (THREE) donors from the U.S. and Europe for taking up the challenge of helping out our fellow Armenians in Lachin who are facing starvation this winter.


[05:15 pm] 14 December, 2006

Yesterday evening unknown people tried to set fire to the office of Armenian Liberal-Progressive Party (LPP), located on Abovyan 22.

At about 9 p.m. the residents of the building took notice of the fire and rapidly extinguished it with joint measures. Shortly afterwards, the members of the party and the police arrived at the site.

Hovhannes Hovhannisyan, leader of the party, informed us that unknown people poured petrol on the door of the office and burnt it.

But for the hasty reaction of the residents, the whole office and even the building would have countered serious problems.

Mr. Hovhannisyan doesn't want to give political estimation to the event. He only notes that he hasn't got enemies and the hooliganism is likely connected with the political activity of their party.

`LPP is a political party; we are engaged in politics and have no other business to do here. I have been in the political sphere over the past eight years. I don't want to give any political estimation as I am not sure of anything», said Hovhannes Hovhannisyan.

A criminal action has been brought in this respect.


Onnik over at wrote an article that was published on EURASIA INSIGHT regarding the Zhirayr Sefilian arrest. It's a good overview of what is going on and why they arrested Zhirayr, what is going in Lachin and so on. You can read the article by clicking here.


Noyan Tapan
Dec 14 2006

The committee "Support for Zhirayr Sefilian" was created in Yerevan on December 14. NT was informed from member of the public initiative "Liberated Territories Protection" Armen Yeghian that the committee's tasks, goals and composition will be announced on December 15.

According to him, committees for defence of Zh. Sefilian are being formed in the Diaspora. Such committees have already been created in Beirut, Montreal, Toronto and Los Angeles. The committees staged protests in front the Armenian embassy in Canada and the Armenian consulate in Los Angeles, demanding that Zh.

Sefilian be released and granted Armenian citizenship. To recap, the Lebanese citizen Zhirayr Sefilian, who is the coordinator of the initiative "Liberated Territories Protection" and commander of the special Shushi battalion, and Vardan Malkhasian, leading member of the same initiative, were arrested by the RA National Security Service on December 10. A criminal case was opened against them based on the RA Criminal Code's Article 301 "Public Calls to Change Constitutional Order by Violence". The court chose a 3-month arrest as a measure of restraint against them.

Armenian’s Presidential Advisor Seyran Avagyan threatens mass media to not get involved Sefilyan’s arrest

I’m having a real problem comprehending events around the arrest of Zhirayr Sefilyan. The Armenian authorities are fighting anyway they can to retain the fragile control they presently think they have.

An article in Armenia Now titled “Power and Property: Arrest of activist has its roots in arguments over Artsakh’s limits” has a paragraph that I just can’t seem to get over that reads:

'Meanwhile, presidential advisor Seyran Avagyan on December 11 advised the mass media not to get involved in the case of Sefilyan’s arrest. He said: “Sefilyan’s detention is a matter strictly for the law-enforcement bodies and one should treat with caution issues like this and no one must meddle in the affairs of others. The mass media must mind their job and the law-enforcers doing theirs. One shouldn’t overestimate their powers."'

I’m not sure exactly what to make of this statement from the President’s office other than just maybe they know their long apposed totalitarian ways of governing Armenia is coming to an end and Sefilian’s arrest could turn into the straw that will finally break the camels back. I sure hope so.

And an update on Hand-To-Hand, the project that will provide direct monetary relief to starving families in Lachin that some are also facing death this winter. We received another donation in the amount of $10 from someone in Indianapolis, Minnesota. A big thank you to our 2 (TWO) donors. Just an update. After originally posting our plea and 467 hits to this site, we have secured $60 (SIXTY) dollars in donation and are 70% away to helping 1 (ONE) family in Lachin and empowering 1 (ONE) person in the city of Martuni, Artsakh to deliver our collective monetary relief. For those of you interested in helping out, don’t be shy. Even if you can only donate $1, that too will be of help and can do it by clicking on the donation button below or click here.

Please make checks payable to:

The Shahan Natalie Family Foundation, Inc. is a California 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Please consult your personal accountant for the tax value to your specific situation.