Tag Archives: Artsakh

Drugs Should be Banned From Parliament

It’s been a while since I wrote an opinion piece and even longer since I touched upon a political subject. Somehow, when one lives in Armenia and breathes her air, it no longer becomes so vital to follow religiously every turn of event and sound an outcry for every wrong identified in the system. Once here, you learn that news is most definitely rarely the full truth and nothing but the truth, and more often disregards majority opinion for the sake of sensationalism.

What I find especially interesting from the past couple of days is the level of propaganda and opposite poles Armenians and Azeris seem to be sitting at. In Yerevan, at least, things are quite calm. No one actually believes there is an impending war, but tensions are high and the air bristles when someone mentions Turkish products or Azeri invasions. For the most part, however, we are all proud of the show our boys on the front have put on and both men and women have been taking up arms and heading to the borders as volunteers should the opposing side decide to launch an offensive. It is interesting to see more and more women in the army, both as volunteers and chasing a military career. At the moment, 1 in 5 soldiers is female, amounting to about 20%.

The difference between the 2 sides (the first image shows eyewitness accounts of Armenians continuing with their honey harvest while those on the Azerbaijani side fleeing as shown on meydan.tv)- FB propaganda

According to certain online sources, the Kashatagh region has been a major source providing volunteers, both local and Syrian repatriate, as well as now working on supplying food and necessary items to those serving on the borders. Hundreds of volunteers have taken up arms at the moment to defend our country if need be. It is most definitely a bittersweet sight.

Armenia seems to ever be on the defensive. International media might paint Azerbaijan in a victim’s light, but the truth is that both sides have suffered casualties and it’s not news that Azerbaijan has violated the ceasefire time and again. Whether it was their side or ours this time, we might never know. After all, the wheels of propaganda are in constant motion and both side gain by appearing the wronged party. Considering the words the Azerbaijani president has been tweeting though, one would undoubtedly start pointing fingers towards the internationally acclaimed “victim” his country appears to be.


It appears the president of Azerbaijan has been smoking something other than the beloved cigarettes of the Caucasus, which has addled his mind once and for all. He’s a class A comedy act all right, but the scary thing is that he wields weapons of mass destruction which have the ability to hit Yerevan from what I’ve heard on the streets. I cannot prove this, but it is a bit of a cause for concern when there’s a fool seemingly on drugs controlling the situation. Furthermore, local media in the country is apparently claiming that Azerbaijani forces have taken Agdam and other regions within the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) enclave, as mentioned on Radio Free Europe’s Azerbaijan portal. I wonder what lovely Mr. Putin has to say about all of this during his meetings with the presidents this weekend.

In the meantime, we can all have a laugh at Mr. Aliyev’s expense. After all, we don’t get to see many clowns acting like fools for the amusement of us little children too much anymore.




Artsakh 2013 Photography Competition

From AYDC in ARMACAD email:

We are pleased to announce the start of the next AYDC Photography Competition “Artsakh-2013” supported by Russell Pollard, a British photo-journalist and writer.

You can participate in the competition regardless of your age and country, by submitting your photos to the open group “AYDC Photography Competitions” in Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/490828747681570/ from 4 November – 31 December 2013.

There is no limit on the number and topics about Artsakh you can post, but please add a title or a description to your photo.

The top 10 winners will get bonuses and also be included on Russell Pollard’s Photography website as well as his www.artsakh.org.uk FB page.

There will be further competitions throughout 2014 with different themes and these will be announced separately.

If you have questions don’t hesitate to write or to call us:
Phone:(+374) 97237873

E-mail: aydc.artsakh@gmail.com


A World Beyond Yerevan

Countries are often known best by their capital cities, the epicenter of a region’s culture, economy and nightlife. When we think of France, Paris is first to spring to mind. For England, it’s London that makes the charts. For Lebanon, it is Beirut’s astonishing beauty we think of foremost. Thus, for Armenia, it is no surprise that the city embedded in the minds of those who know of the country’s existence is Yerevan. Yerevan, with its lovely cafes, the splendor of the city square, the roaring nightlife and beautiful Opera and Cascade, captures the hearts of many. The city is the Armenian Paris, beloved by both locals and foreigners alike, facing the majestic twin peaks of our Mount Ararat.

It appears as if Yerevan is the only city worth visiting in the homeland, however. Yet, with the European build and modern splendor of the capital attracting one’s attention, the true treasures of Armenia remain shrouded in mystery. The wealth that humbly bows to the artificial might of Yerevan is often overlooked. The multi-coloured duf stones used in the erection of Gyumri’s buildings go unseen, alongside the arching pillars and remnants of a once thriving city still reeling from a nearly 24 year old earthquake, struggling to pick up what has survived from the rubble.

The small towns dotting the country with their varied backgrounds and dialects are stones left unturned. Who would have known that many of those villages are in fact populated with the descendants of former Sasuntsis, survivors of the genocide of 1915? Fewer still would know that a passion for soccer drives the children around the country. The cave dwellings that were inhabited until nearly 50 years ago go unnoticed.

The horses of Artsakh, coveted by Azerbaijan, can be found in the wilds of the Syunik region of Armenia Proper as well. The liberated lands of the region known as Nagorno-Karabakh are as mountainous as the rest of Armenia, albeit with a richer natural diversity. Waterfalls pour into pools of crystal clear water, gurgling into the rivers crisscrossing to and fro. For a landlocked country simply a speck on a globe, Armenia has a rather astonishingly fertile landscape. Rumor has it that the waters of Jermuk can cure any ailment, a marketing heaven for attracting tourists year-round. The locals might feel an affront if their theories are not put the test at least once by every visitor to the region, however far-fetched they might appear to be.

Mount Ararat may be beyond our borders, but scaling Arakadz with its four peaks is a rather exhilarating challenge, rewarded by a hot plate of khash, the regional specialty. For the foolishly brave, a lake with temperatures that could freeze a cold blooded animal lies atop the mountain. The local Yezidi population, however, seems to have no problems in conquering the icy depths of this particular body of water. Climbing the Ughtasar Mountain would uncover ancient treasures in the form of petroglyphs depicting our ancestral history. Venturing into the Syunik province would also reveal one the oldest Stonehenge structures known to the world, a possible example of one of the oldest astrological observatory. An older version might have been discovered in what is today known as Turkey, dating back 11,000 yours at least.

One of the most breathtaking views of the land can be found from the Tatev Monastery, a world unto its own, protected by the steep slopes of our mountains and the deadly cliffs it overlooks. Within the embrace of the Artsakh province, tales of miracles and heroic figures are woven and heartily relayed at Kantsasar, the 13th century monastery that became a beacon of hope during the liberation war. Further into the region, one can find the excavation site of Dikranagerd, one of the four cities with its namesake. The road to this ancient city leads through towns built around the ruins of once incredibly engineered fortresses, with great walls extending over the mountains and deep into the valleys.

Yerevan may be the hub, often the only city most tourists see, but the astounding wealth of Armenia lies beyond those borders, within the true Armenia!