on the silk road


Karabakh’s Status Continues to Hinge on Controversial ‘Peace’ Document

BY ALLEN YEKIKAN

The Russian co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group said last Saturday that the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic will eventually participate in Minsk Group mediated peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but only after the leaders of both countries sign onto a controversial document that would leave the yet unrecognized republic isolated and defenseless against a renewed Azeri war.

The statement, which is not the first of its kind, came during talks in Stepanakert between Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Bako Sahakian and the US, Russian and French co-chairs of the Minsk Group.

During his meeting, Sahakian reiterated that the final resolution of the conflict would be possible only with the participation of Karabakh in the talks and warned the co-chairs, Matthew Bryza (US),Yuri Merzlyakov (Russia) and Bernard Fassier (France), that Azerbaijan’s continued confrontational rhetoric posed a threat to the peace process.

The Stepanakert visit was part of a tour of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict zone that ended in the Karabakh capitol after seperate talks with the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan last week. The three mediators are due to brief fellow diplomats from other OSCE members states Monday on the current state of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process and, in particular, the results of their latest tour of the Caucasus.

During talks with Sahakian, the co-chairs expressed their willingness to support the peaceful resolution of the conflict, noting that the participation of Nagorno Karabakh in the negotiation process was a matter of time and would come after “coordinating” several items in the negotiations.

“Nagorno-Karabakh will become part of the negotiation process after the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan agree upon the basic principles of agreement addressed during Madrid talks,” the Russian co-chair Yuri Merzlyakov said.

The Minsk Group, which has been mediating the conflict since 1997, presented the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Madrid last November with a set of basic principles for the continuation of negotiations.

The so-called Madrid proposal, forwarded to the president’s of both countries, deviated little from the principles established in 2004 at Prague, and envisaged the progressive return of seven liberated Armenian districts bordering Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan.

They also provide for the demilitarization of the conflict zone, the repatriation of Armenian settlers, the return of Azerbaijani internally displaced persons, and the deployment of an international peacekeeping force that neither the United Nations, NATO, nor the OSCE have the resources to manage.

During a previous visit to Baku in May, Merzlyakov’s had similarly stated that Karabakh’s participation in the settlement process is only possible after Armenia and Azerbaijan sign onto the basic principles established at Prague.

Although the Minsk co-chairs say the basic principles will provide a common basis to kick start negotiations, Karabakh’s authorities, along with many diplomats and international experts have signaled unease over the document. Among its shortcomings, is the feasibility of implementing a future referendum on Nagorno-Karabakh’s final status, which the Minsk Group has suggested would be determined at an unspecified later date.

Other points of the proposal, making a settlement based on the Madrid principles problematic, include a requirement for Armenian to withdraw from the Armenian districts of Kelbajar and Kashatagh (Lachin), which are the two liberated districts between Armenia and Karabakh, connecting the two.

Recurrent warnings by official Baku of an eminent military attack on the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and frequent cease-fire violations by its army in recent months have also raised serious concerns over the future of peace in the Caucuses by US Congressmen.

Earlier in June US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA) led a two hour hearing that included over a dozen members of Congress questioning Assistant Secretary Daniel Fried on, among other issues, Azerbaijan’s escalating threats of war against Armenia and Karabakh.

Signals coming from Baku that it is rearming for an apparent second round war with Karabakh leave room to question whether the implementation of the Madrid principles would result in a settlement of the conflict.

Earlier this year, Sahakian met with the OSCE Chairman-in-Office in Stepanakert, where he requested the Minsk Group implement a decision made in 1995 by mediators in Budapest to include the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic as a full member in the negotiation process.

The main roadblock to a final settlement of the conflict is Azerbaijan’s increasing belligerence and unwillingness to negotiate with the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, and the participation of Karabakh at the discussion table, there can be no logical or lasting resolution, according to Sahakian.



Armenians For Obama Joins Major LA Event For Nominee

LOS ANGELES–Armenians For Obama joined political leaders and fundraisers earlier this week at US Senator Barack Obama’s first major event in Los Angeles since he became the presumptive presidential nominee for the Democratic Party. 

The fundraiser, held on Tuesday at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, drew together political leaders and Hollywood stars and provided an opportunity for Senator Obama to learn more about the 500,000 Armenian Americans who live and work in and around the City of Angels. 

In his remarks to those in attendance, the presidential candidate emphasized the urgent need to change the environment in Washington. He also stressed the importance of unity not only within the Democratic Party but for the nation as a whole, emphasizing that we all have common goals and common dreams for ourselves and for our world. 

“We were pleased to be part of a successful event for Senator Obama,” commented Armenians for Obama Chair Nora Hovsepian. “The Armenian American community looks forward to being there every step of the way for Barack Obama as he makes his way to the White House. It is energizing that so many Republicans, Democrats and Independents in our community have united to support Senator Obama. We are enthusiastically looking forward to Senator Obama becoming President Obama next year,” Hovsepian added. 

“In my discussion with Senator Obama tonight, I emphasized the moral strength of his position on the Armenian Genocide and ending the twin Turkish and Azeri blockades of Armenia. He reassured me that he is committed to these issues and expressed gratitude for our support in the Armenian-American community.” 

Earlier this week, Obama submitted questions on the Armenian Genocide to Marie Yovanovitch, President Bush’s nominee to be U.S. Ambassador to Armenia. The Senator serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which must confirm Yovanovitch before she can assume her post in Yerevan. 

According to the Associated Press, the gala fundraiser in Los Angeles included the participation of big-name directors and other celebrities, including actors Samuel L. Jackson, Dennis Quaid and Don Cheadle, models Heidi Klum and Cindy Crawford, singer Seal, and boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard. Also on hand were Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am, who has created two music videos for Obama during the primary season – including one called “Yes We Can” that set music to clips from his speeches and became an Internet sensation. 

Individuals interested in learning more about Senator Obama’s record on Armenian American issues and how they can help get him elected President are encouraged to visit http://www.armeniansforobama.com. 

The ANC-PAC endorsed Senator Obama for President earlier this year and is gratified that he is now the presumptive nominee. The ANC-PAC is a non-partisan federally registered political action committee established to support campaign committees for Members of Congress who share the values of the Armenian American community. The ANC-PAC is at the forefront of efforts to ensure that the voice of the Armenian American community is clearly heard in our nation’s capital. The ANC-PAC continues a century old tradition of Armenian Americans engagement on the public policy issues facing national political leaders, both in the U.S. Congress and the White House. For more information, you may logon to http://www.ancpac.org. 



Genocide Recognition Still On Armenia Foreign Policy Agenda

YEREVAN–Armenia will continue to seek international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, Armenia’s Foreign Minister said in a press conference on Friday. His statements come despite recent speculations by the US funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that president Serzh Sarkisian is ready to agree to the creation of a highly controversial Turkish-Armenian commission of historians to study the fact.

In what RFE/RL’s Armenia bureau has reported as an apparent policy change, Serzh Sarkisian indicated during a town hall meeting with the Russian Armenian Community this week that he was “not against” the Turkish proposal. But he made clear that the commission of historians can be set up only if Turkey agrees to unconditionally normalize relations with Armenia.

Sarkisian’s statement does not mean that Armenia will no longer work to have the Armenian Genocide recognized by foreign governments and parliaments, Foreign Minister Nalbandian said. 

“The genocide issue remains on our agenda,” he said. 

“Armenia has repeatedly stated and continues to state that we are ready to establish relations with Turkey without any preconditions,” said Nalbandian. “We are also ready to discuss all issues of interest to the two countries after the establishment of diplomatic relations and opening of the border.”

In a press conference with journalists Friday, Sarkisian’s spokesman Samvel Farmanian explained that president’s position and policy on Armenian-Turkish relations are known and have not changed. 

He said, however, that Sarkisian is not against any study even of the obvious facts and widely recognized events, but such a study cannot call into question the reality of the facts.” He went on to say that the creation of such commission will make sense only after the Turkey establishes diplomatic relations and drops its blockade. 

Otherwise the entire venture may become another way for Turkey to distort the facts and postpone the normalization of relations, he said, stressing that there should be no closed borders in the 21st century, as they are detrimental to regional security and stability.

The idea of setting up such a commission was floated by Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a 2005 letter to then Armenian President Robert Kocharian. Erdogan said its members should jointly determine whether the mass killings and deportations of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire constituted a genocide.

Kocharian effectively rejected the idea by making a counterproposal to set up a Turkish-Armenian intergovernmental body that would deal with this and other issues of mutual concern.

Turkey cites Yerevan’s policy of Genocide recognition as one of the reasons why it keeps its border with Armenia closed and refuses to establish diplomatic relations with the latter. Ankara stubbornly denies the Genocide, saying that was a civil war and not part of a premeditated government effort to exterminate the Ottoman Empire’s Armenian minority.



Aliyev Threatens War at Military Parade, Signals Arms Buildup
June 26, 2008, 9:34 pm
Filed under: Armenia, Karabakh Conflict | Tags: , , , , ,

BAKU (Asbarez)–As the US Charge d’Affairs in Armenia Joseph Pennington was praising the June 6 meeting between the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents as a sign of progress in peace talks, Azerbaijan on Thursday staged its first military parade in 16 years, and announced its intentions to build a military industrial complex that would support a second round war with neighboring Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.

The military parade, which was a show of strength aimed at Armenia, comes amid rising tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as Azeri President Ilham Aliyev and other top officials in his government continue to jeopardize the future of peace-talks with Armenia by threatening to launch an all out war in the Caucasus.

Warnings of an eminent military attack on the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and frequent cease-fire violations by Azeri armed forces have marred recent attempts by the OSCE Minsk Group to mediate a compromise solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict.

But a resumption of hostilities could disrupt oil supplies from Azerbaijan, which exports about 700,000 barrels of oil a day to world markets, most of it via a pipeline operated by a British Petroleum-led international consortium.

Troops, multiple rocket launch systems, armored personnel carriers, tanks and unmanned reconnaissance planes were paraded in front of the Soviet-built government headquarters in the capital Baku, watched over by President Aliyev.

Attack helicopters, bombers and fighter jets later flew in formation past the building on the shores of the Caspian Sea, in a parade that lasted over an hour.

Much of the equipment on show was Soviet-designed but there was also Western gear and troops were fitted out in NATO-style uniforms–part of a modernization of the armed forces funded with a ten-fold rise in defense spending since 2003. The United States has also been a benefactor for the Azeri military, providing military expertise and millions in US aid to combat drug trafficking, “counter-terrorism”, and Caspian Sea oil security.

But Aliyev signaled in his speech during the parade that his country intends to develop its own military industrial complex that will bolster the country’s military strength in order to wean it off its dependency on foreign military hardware.

“Most of our armaments and defense technologies are bought from foreign states, we want to produce our own military hardware,” he said. “Azerbaijan is building a military-industrial complex.”

Aliyev said at the parade Azerbaijan’s annual defense spending was now $2 billion. He said the increase was in line with an overall growth in state spending in Azerbaijan, which has one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

“The international community is worried by our policy in this area and places the emphasis on this,” said Aliyev, who succeeded his father as president in a 2003 election.

But Azerbaijan continues to live in a state of war and is trying to resolve the Karabakh issue,” he said. “We are continuing negotiations with Armenia, but they have been going on for a very long time and the people are tired of them. They cannot go on for ever.”

“The war is not over, only the first stage has ended and we are ready to liberate our lands at any moment,” he warned.

Though the international community, and the OSCE Minsk Group continue to assert that progress is being made in peace talks, the fragile ceasefire that has been in force since 1994 is on the verge of collapse, as Azerbaijan continues to beef up its military and provokes a war.

The two sides have never signed a peace deal to formally end the conflict, and their armies are locked in a tense stand-off, as Armenian and Karabakh border villages are frequently fired upon by Azeri forces.


The three co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group from France, Russia and the US attended Thursday’s military parade and congratulated Aliyev on the occasion of the anniversary of the country’s Armed Forces. Prior to that, the French co-chair, Ambassador Bernard Fassier, who was in Baku on Wednesday said that “real peace requires wisdom, moral power and will.”

The three mediators are set to meet with Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and President Aliyev on Friday, after which they will fly out to Yerevan and meet with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and President Serzh Sarkisian. They will visit Stepanakert and Yerevan once more before they leave for Vienna for a June 30 expanded session that will focus on recent developments in peace talks.

Thus far, talks mediated by envoys from France, Russia and the United States have failed to produce a peace agreement.



Community Gathers for an Evening of Poetic Reflection with AYF Zartonk
June 26, 2008, 9:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

BY ALLEN YEKIKAN

La Crescenta, CA–About a hundred young Armenians gathered Friday night at the La Crescenta Armenian Center for a night of music and poetic reflection during the third annual Open Mic Night, hosted by the Crescenta Valley ‘Zartonk’ chapter of the Armenian Youth Federation.

The evening’s event, entitled “Speak Your Mind,” has become a tradition in the fast growing Armenian community of La Crescenta and featured performances by a dozen community members, and up and coming Armenian-American artists.

MCed by Zartonk’s very own comedic duo, Artem Aghourian and Shant Bairian and set to the energetic tunes of live DJ music by Zartonk’s Shahan Kazanchian, the grass-roots concert was held in a dimly lit hall decorated with artwork and photography chronicled the Armenian Cause.

The event showcased originally composed music, poetry recitals, stand-up comedy, and traditional, patriotic, and opera vocal performances in Armenian.

The Open Mic Night kicked off with an opera performance of Komitas’ Groong by Talin Nalbandian. Following the 15-year-old choir singer was Siana Kay and then Aubriana Labrae, each singing their own originally composed pop and R&B numbers. The Kambourian brothers, Avo and Armand, played an acoustic set of Britney Spears songs, which evoked laughter and participation from the audience, while Payla Kevorkian, who appeared on stage with her keyboard throughout the evening, sang an originally composed love song.

The poetry of Bedros Tourian and Barour Sevak was brought to life by a passionate Garen Kazanc following the showing of intermission video, which showcased AYF Youth Corps members rebuilding a community center in Karabakh last year.


Kazanc’s Armenian poetry set the tone for 14-year-old Alex Pilibos student Hoory Minoyan, who dedicated her performance to the martyrs of Lisbon 5, whose sacrifice for the Armenian Cause, she said, was very close to her heart.

The night’s second intermission featured two short films produced by Avo Kambourian. The first, titled “Gotta Catch Me was a light comedy centered around a game of tag between friends, while the second a more serious showing, titled, “Homeland,” followed an unexpected and supernatural conversation on the issue of repatriation between a Karabakh War veteran living in America and the disappointed ghost of his fallen comrade in arms.

The final showcase of the event included spot-on impersonations of Persian-Armenian parents by Ajmin Baghramian, star of My Big Fat Armenian Family, a new film parody on the lives of Armenian families in the Diaspora. Bedik Atmajian sang Armenian revolutionary music, while duet performances by Lara Panossian and Viki Tavitian, and Sanahin and Nair Balian showcased the surreal sounds of Armenian folk. Nare Garibian recited a poem she had written about her fateful encounter with an Armenian living in the Turkish occupied Western Armenian town of Arabkir, while acoustic guitarist Raffi Semerdjian performed a repertoire of original music he wrote during his stay in Armenia.

The night concluded with a surprise performance by Lara Panosian who, in complete costume, performed a riveting traditional Armenian dance number for an audience that shortly after, walked outside to see a vibrant supersized mural of the words “Speak Your Meetk” spray-painted by Osheen Rostami.

“Since we started the Zartonk Open Mic Night in 2006, it has grown to become an open forum for the community to gather and express themselves artistically, emotionally, and intellectually,” said Zartonk Chairperson Sanan Shirinian.

“It wasn’t easy organizing the event, but it was worth it, because today’s youth are in desperate need of a fun environment to experiment and share their interpretations of our heritage,” added Zartonk Social Committee Chair Nayree Kodaverdian. “Events like this help us as Armenian youth hold onto our culture in American society.”

“The Open Mic night is one of the most unique opportunities for young Armenians to express themselves artistically through whatever means they choose, commented AYF-WR Central Executive member Vache Thomassian. “Its amazing to see the talent of our membership in so many diverse forms.”

Last year’s open mic night featured, among others, a riveting performance of Armenian folk music by “Las Vegabond Girls,” the passionate prose of a young Armenian faced with the threat of white genocide, and solo guitar performances of songs from the day’s of the Karabakh Movement, and a song commemorating the Genocide by Armenian Rapper Armin.

Photos by Vache Thomassian.



East and West Bridged by New Community Wellness Clinic

BY ALLEN YEKIKAN

GLENDALE (Asbarez)–A tradition carried on by Armenians for centuries came into practice once again Friday evening as dozens gathered in Glendale for the grand opening of a health clinic that combines traditional Chinese medicine with the ancient healing arts of Armenian culture.

Dr. Aram Akopyan’s “Total Wellness Center for the Healing Arts,” located in the 105th suite at 125 E. Glenoaks Blvd, stands as a bridge between different worlds, time and geographies. It is the only place in town where people can go for a holistic approach to their health care, which not only incorporates the cultures of East and West, but also the ancient traditions of natural Armenian medicine, a healing art that some had feared was being forgotten amid the flurry of the modern age.

The opening ceremony, which was attended by both family and friends, patients and students, community members and public officials, featured live music by Erika Satie, one of Dr. Akopyan’s patients, who also started going to his free Qi Gong (Chi Gong) classes about eight months ago as part of her treatment regiment. Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese form of moving meditation involving coordinated breathing with exercises that have a therapeutic effect on the mind and body.

“I suffer from a chronic illness and his treatments, which include Qi Gong exercises and acupuncture, have helped me get stronger and better as each month goes by,” Satie explained after singing a repertoire of songs she had written for the occasion. “His treatments have helped my health tremendously, given me more energy, and helped me become more flexible.”

“I first met Aram at the City of Glendale, when the employee human relations coalition had invited him to talk about China and his travels and studies there,” said Glendale City Clerk Ardashes Kassakhian during his Keynote address at the center’s opening ceremony. “When I heard about an Armenian in China speaking at City Hall, my curiosity peaked. His talk was the most fascinating program I’d heard in a long time.?

Kassakhian, who was one of Dr. Akopyan’s earliest Qi Gong students, explained that those who know Dr. Akopyan know that he is a repository of information about health and better living.

“Very few of us will ever get the chance to venture outside our comfort zone to see the natural beauty of China, but here was someone who had actually studied the science, was applying it, and was teaching it to people because of his passion for it,” he said.

One of Dr. Akopyan’s specialties is herbal skin treatment. Many of his patients on Friday discussed their personal stories about how he helped rejuvenate their facial skin after excessive damage caused by pharmaceutical side effects or chemical burns.

“I originally came to know Dr. Akopyan through his first office. I had skin problems in the chin area. I had gone to a dermatologist and they had given me medication to put on it but that medication irritated my skin and burnt it layer by layer,” explained Ana Hatamian, a patient of nine months. “Since October, he has put me on treatments that he has basically made himself and I am seeing incredible results. I am very, very happy.”
Another patient, Katherin Rosenwink, had similarly experienced a complete recovery from severe facial burns. She explained that when she sought treatment from regular doctors for the burns, they just wanted to prescribe ineffectual pills. But Dr. Akopyan put her on an herbal and natural regiment, which not only healed her skin but helped drastically reduce the extreme blood pressure caused by the mold she had been exposed to.

The consensus from his patients in attendance was that unlike other doctors, who just wanted to treat symptoms or superficial problems, Dr. Akopyan wanted to treat the whole person–the body, mind and spirit.

According to Dr. Akopyan’s former teacher, Dr. Maoshing Ni, Chinese medicine views the mind and body as inseparable. In his book, “Secrets of Self Healing,” Dr. Maoshing talks about the body’s own self-healing capabilities, which acupuncture, traditional medicine, and Qi Gong help to activate and stimulate.

“Traditional Chinese medicine empowers individuals to actually participate in the healing process and learn how to maintain their health,” Dr. Maoshing stressed.

“The world of Qi Gong, and traditional Chinese medicine that Aram has opened me up to helps me to better navigate and find tranquility in an increasingly stressful society,” said Vazken Kassakhian another student of Dr. Akopyan’s. “His treatments and exercises have not only given me greater flexibility and energy, they have helped me to find a balance in my life, which has opened up areas of creativity in my personal and work life as well.”

But how does an Armenian, living in the United States and working in corporate America end up going to China and returning to Glendale as a traditional healer, remarked Ardashes Kassakhian, who during his speech spoke of the historic fascination Armenians have held toward the East.

“Standing at the center of East and West, the Armenians, for thousands of years, were the arbiters of not just goods to the West, but also of knowledge,” he explained. “Just like King Hetum I of Cilicia, who in 1270 became the only Western King to travel to the capital of the Mongolian Empire to pay homage to the rising super power with gifts from Armenia, Aram is keeping the spirit of his ancestors alive, by bridging the knowledge gap between East and West and helping us realize that the simple remedies we grew up with were good for us and will continue to be good for us.”

As an ancient culture Armenians have always lived in harmony with nature, and reaped the rewards of longevity, strength and good health, according to Dr. Akopyan, who noted that this ancient tradition is being lost in the fury of the fast moving, instant gratification style of the western age.


“We are loosing our connection to the earth and with it I am afraid our ability for a long, healthy and happy life,” he stressed. “When I studied in China I was amazed at the respect with which the Chinese culture viewed the Armenians. Many of my teachers there recognized our medicinal contributions to the holistic healing arts, such as Apricot Seeds, Vortan Karmir, Balsam, Urts and even the use of Bee Stings at acupuncture points for a variety of joint problems.”

“In Armenia at the Matenadaran I was blessed to rediscover an entire wealth of ancient Armenian traditional medicine,” he added. “My hope with my new clinic is to establish a community resource for my culture and the general community, to bridge the gap of Eastern and Western healing paradigms, reintroduce our ancient Traditional Armenian medicine, and help guide us back to the path of living in harmony with nature.”

“I welcome everyone to join us on the path to total wellness,” Dr. Akopyan remarked.

You can visit Dr. Aram Akopyan’s website at: http://www.aramakopyan.com
He offers free Tai Qi and Qi Gong classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8pm

Following the grand opening, Asbarez sat down with Dr. Akopyan for a one on one, to talk more about traditional medicine, Qi, acupuncture, and life. The full interview can be read in Saturday’s edition of the Asbarez.



AYF ‘Zartonk’ Chapter to Host 3rd Annual Open Mic Night, Gives Youth Stage to ‘Speak their Mind’
June 17, 2008, 8:37 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

La Crescenta, CA (Asbarez)–The Crescenta Valley ‘Zartonk’ chapter of the Armenian Youth Federation will be hosting its much anticipated third annual Open Mic Nigh, Friday June 20th.

The event, titled, “Speak Your Mind,” will be held at the La Crescenta Armenian center at 2633 Honolulu Ave. Montrose, CA 91020 and will kick off at 7pm and last until 1am. The event is free and open to the public.

“Since we started the Zartonk Open Mic Night in 2006, it has grown to become an open forum for the community to gather and express themselves artistically, emotionally, and intellectually,” said Zartonk Chairperson Sanan Shirinian.

According to Shirinian, events like these instill and support Armenian culture among today’s youth by providing them with a comfortable environment to experiment and share their interpretations of our heritage.

The event will begin at 7 pm. and is set to end at 1 am. It will feature original music composed by young up and coming artists in the Armenian-American community. There will be live DJ music, comedy acts, poetry recitals, instrumental guitar and duduk performances, as well as solo vocal performances of Armenian National, folk and opera music. Art and photo exhibits will also be on display throughout the evening. The program will also showcase videos produced by amature film makers spotlighting community activism and AYFs ongoing programs in Armenia and the Diaspora.

“Zartonk’s Open Mic night is hands down one of my favorite AYF social events,” according to 16 year old Crescenta Valley High Student Vartan Giragosian. “It gives people my age an opportunity to get together with old and new friends and learn about our culture in a very fun way.”

Last year’s open mic night featured, among others, a riveting performance of Armenian folk music by “Las Vegabond Girls,” the passionate prose of a young Armenian faced with the threat of white genocide, and solo guitar performances of songs from the day’s of the Karabakh Movement.

There will be plenty of open slots throughout the night for anyone interested in expressing their thoughts, showing off their talents, or just simply looking to have a good time by dancing.

For More Information Please visit the event’s Facebook page.
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/event.php?eid=18801242022

If you would like to perform during the event please email:
AYFZARTONK@GMAIL.COM