Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Alex's Agra Hadig Party

The centuries-old Armenian tradition agra hadig was celebrated today in Martuni.

Agra means "tooth," and hadig refers to a traditionally cooked wheat dish eaten on this occasion. The agra hadig celebrates the appearance of the baby's first tooth. In this case our son Alex broke his first tooth last week.

Yesterday we made a special trip to Stepanagert to shop for todays party. We purchased different grains, lots of fruit, candy and drinks. On the way back to Martuni we stopped in Agdam for the Watermellon, which is at the hight of the season now.

My wife invited her close friends and the neighborhood women and children to join us.

We placed Alex on the floor and places objects in front of him. The tradition says that the first object the he selects predicts his future occupation. Before he made the selection, his head was covered with a piece of plastic, onto which some hadig was sprinkled. This process is said to signify a wish for fruitfulness.

They say that if the child picks up a book or a Bible, s/he will be a scholar, teacher, or clergyperson; if the child chooses money, s/he will become a banker, financier or wealthy person; if the baby selects a hammer, s/he will be in the building trades; a knife symbolizes a doctor or surgeon; and scissors foretell a life as a seamstress or tailor. Well of all the objects we offered Alex, he dug out a pen that was covered in hadig. Great, that's all we need, another writer in the family.

Anyway, I wish the very best for our son Alex. May he be the best writer he can be and if things work as his great-grandmother said they will, the pain of cutting teeth will now end, which will make us all very happy.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Claremont Genocide University

The following video is a must see for those of you who think that Turkey is ready to settle the Genocide issue with the Armenian Nation.

It seems that Claremount Graduate University sides with the lies that the Turkish Consul General of Los Angeles, Hakan Tekin is spreading.

I'm not sure what the Armenian community is doing to counter this other than standing by Peter Musurlian of Globalist Films.

I would think a strong outcry from the community at large, demanding a venue to discuss this issue and being allowed to present facts to counter what Hakan Tekin has stated is in order.

The following video should give you a better idea of the lies the Turkish Consul General of Los Angeles is spreading.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Populating Shushi

Today while in Shushi, I learned that there could be a plan to move the old age homes from Stepanagert there. I don't know if this plan is final, but would hope that the whole thing was well thought out.

In America, when you get old, you move to a place that is hot and dry. Shushi is not that place I can tell you. When I have to go there in the winter, I can't wait to get out of there. It is very cold, depressing and winter lasts so long.

If you ask me, the old age homes should be moved in Martuni (if moved at all), where for the most part it is hot and dry.

I would highly recommend to the government to do a study as to where is the best place to take the elderly so they will live the longest possible life and be at the least risk of getting sick.

It also seems that they will be moving to Shushi some government agencies and educational institutions. I think this is a better idea, since people getting an education would only have to deal with the cold weather for a few years and government workers who don't like to work there can be transfered, where the old folk would have to deal weather that may not be cohesive with their condition until their death (which could come much sooner if they have to live in Shushi).

Shushi is known for having a prison. Of course if you did something bad and need to be punished, what better place to be put than in a cold depressing place like Shushi where not many people will go out of there way to visit you.

I again will say that this plan needs to be well thought out and experts who are educated in the health field need to be involved (not people who have purchased their diploma and act as if they know something about health, which sadly today we have many such people). We have to think of what is best for our elderly, who have done their part to build our nation and deserve for their final years to be dignified ones and not just shoved off to one side, left to die.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

MUST READ - Election Report

This is a must read for all that are interested in what had really happened during the February 19th election in Armenia (click here). The report also touches on all other elections that have taken place in Armenia since independence.

The report was a collective effort of the members of Policy Forum Armenia, which I am a member of.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Armenian film maker saves the world from nuclear holocaust

How many of you were glued to your television on November 20, 1983, as Lawrence endured fallout from the blasts of nuclear missiles that struck neighboring Kansas City?

I want to share with you a historical fact about the ABC television movie that became one of the most watched and most controversial events of the decade, “The Day After”.

In President Ronald Reagan’s memoirs, “The Day After” played a huge role in preventing a full out nuclear war with Russia. The President had practically ordered a nuclear strike, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff could not convince him of an alternative plan of action.

It seems that Robert Papazian’s office was contacted by Washington in mid-October of 1983 to get a copy of the not-yet-released movie for Reagan to see. After working all night to meet Washington’s deadline of “TOMORROW”, a copy was delivered to the White House the following day.

Reagan and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were so taken by what they saw (it was so powerful that it depressed Reagan), that the President had a copy of the movie sent off to the Kremlin with a message saying that they couldn’t let something like this happen.

Immediately after the broadcast of the movie on November 20, 1983, Ted Koppel hosted a live panel discussion where Dr. Carl Sagan presented the vivid analogy that the arms race between the U.S. and Soviet Union was akin to “two men standing waist deep in gasoline -- one with three matches and the other with five.”

When Reagan signed the Intermediate Range Weapons Agreement at Reykjavik (in 1986) with Gorbachev, Papazian’s office received a telegram from his administration that said, “Don't think your movie didn't have any part of this, because it did.”

So there you have it, we were so close to the beginning of the end and our godsend was a brilliant Armenian television producer named Robert A. Papazian.

This is a man who I think is at very least worthy of an award from the Armenian Nation. Someone should write Serzh Sargsyan and tell him. Papazian is the kind of person we should be celebrating and bragging about to the world. He also proves that one man (Armenian or not) can really move mountains with his actions. A lesson that we should all learn from.

Additional material is availible on this subject at: