The Chairman of Parliament of the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic was in the United Kingdom last week as a guest of the British Armenian Parliamentary Group. Ashot Ghoulian also visited Oxford University where he met a group of students and academics to discuss the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. Speaking at Manchester-Harris College at the invitation of the Oxford Armenia Society Ghoulian answered questions regarding the forthcoming Presidential elections in Nagorno-Karabakh due on 19 July.
Vartan Oskanian, former Foreign Minister of Armenia and a prominent member of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) has been placed under criminal investigation by the National Security Service of Armenia (NSS) on allegations of money laundering and tax evasion at the Civilitas Foundation, a think tank he founded and led from 2008 until this past February when he declared his intent to re-enter politics.
Keran (died July 28, 1285) was the wife of Leo II of Armenia. She was the daughter of Prince Hethum of Lampron. Born Anna, she was called Kir Anna (Lady Anna) beginning in 1270. This name was later shortened to Keran, or Guerane.
Many words of praise were made about Queen Keran by her contemporaries. Her son Hethum claimed that “she had a wonderful soul and a beautiful body.” The chronicler and scribe Avetis, described her as “a good friend to her husband in trouble and joy.”
They had fifteen children:
- Hethum II (ruled 1289–1293, 1294–1297, 1299–1307)
- Princess Fimi of Armenia (born c. 1266, date of death unknown)
- Princesse Sybil of Armenia (born c. 1269, date of death unknown)
- Thoros III (ruled 1293–1298)
- Prince Ruben of Armenia (born c. 1272, date of death unknown)
- Princess Zablun of Armenia (born c. 1274, date of death unknown)
- Princess Sybil (or Zabel) of Armenia (born c. 1276, date of death unknown)
- Sempad (ruled 1297–1299)
- Constantine III (ruled 1299)
- Isabelle of Armenia (died c. 1321, date of death unknown), who married Amalric of Tyre
- Princess Theophane of Armenia (born c. 1278, date of death unknown)
- Rita of Armenia, who married Michael IX Palaeologus, co-Emperor of the Byzantine Empire with his father Andronicus II Palaeologus. They were parents to Andronicus III Palaeologus.
- Prince Nerses of Armenia (born c. 1279, date of death unknown)
- Oshin (ruled 1308–1320)
- Prince Alinakh of Armenia (born c. 1283, date of death unknown).
After the birth of her last son, Keran became a nun and entered the Monastery of Drazark, assuming the name of Theophania. She died on July 28, 1285 and was buried in the monastery.
The secret to happiness….
It’s possibly the most cliché thing to say, as all would profess to knowing one secret or another. Yet, it’s often the simplest of gestures that are the biggest of these well kept secrets. Society is created in such a way that one doesn’t often realize what is missing from their life. We are kept as wind-up dolls, rushing to and fro streets that lack lustre, striving to reach the stars while gravity pulls you back in.
How many times have we stopped this last week to give our monotonous and rather unhealthy routines a break? How many times have we showed it or even felt grateful to all that we have in our lives? We often wake up grumbling, go to work dreading the day and anxiously await the moment we are free of the confines of those walls necessary to make a living from. When that fateful moment does arrive, we make a dash home to continue with more work that is required, to families and demanding dependants. We leave one nightmarish moment for another, mechanically juggling our duties but forgetting ourselves in the mix. We seem to forget that as malleable as the human brain is, as flexible as our abilities are, we need rest. Sleeping seems to become that only rest, a piece of paradise that seems to shrink evermore, until power naps between working day in and day out become the norm much more than a restful 8h as our biological clocks demand. Furthermore, this is all considering one has a steady routine career as opposed to shift work that imbalances the whole of one’s system, increasing stress levels and leading to burnout.
The secret in all this is to take a moment to yourself and give your busy mind a rest. Wake up with a smile on your face and give thanks for a simple pleasure. Feel the sun on your skin and thank the weather. Listen to the rain pelt against your windowpanes and thank the natural lullaby. Smile at your neighbour and give him a greeting, giving thanks that you have one who wishes you well. Thank your boss for giving you the job and for keeping you on. Thank your friends for sticking around. Thank your children for being good to you and your spouse for holding your hand. Take pleasure in a single morsel of food. Simply smile and accept what you are given, looking at the good. Then tell me you are stressed, that you feel depressed and lonely. It takes no more than a moment of your time to simply reflect on the present, the feel the beauty that surrounds you instead of focussing on the concrete greyness of the city. If you hear a bird chirp, listen to it and allow the music to fill you. If you touch a dress that feels soft to your skin, savour the moment and imprint the memory. You don’t need pills, dieticians, nutritionists, self-help books, etc.. All you need is a moment of reflection, given to yourself. A single second with a single smile that will brighten as the day goes by.
That is my secret. Shhhhh…
- What is religious tolerance: definitions and perceptions, internationally and locally? (introductory)
- How does religious tolerance relate to tolerance in general, internationally and locally? (introductory)
- What are the common stereotypes and assumptions about different religious denominations in Armenian society?
- Are there any differences between assumptions and stereotypes about traditional (Armenian Apostolic Church, Armenian Catholics, Armenian Protestants) and new religious denominations?
- What are the stereotypes and assumptions about other religions (Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism)?
- What are public perceptions on secularism (separation of State and Church)?
- What are public perceptions on atheism?
- What are public perceptions on human rights dimension of religion and religious freedom?
- How/through which channels are these stereotypes created and reproduced?
The deadline for the submission of application packages is 17:00 (GMT +4) July 9, 2012 .