- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
 December 19 , 2003 

Dear ArmeniaNow readers:

The print version of HyeSanta -- "Hye Dzmer Pap" -- will be a first for Armenia.

A reader on business in Thailand is sending $750. A student in New York has sent $20. Friday morning a local reader visited the newsroom to give 25,000 drams (about $45 - more than the monthly income for many here). A reader in Canada has pledged a donation and wants to know if she can "fax a hug". Well, go ahead and try.

ArmeniaNow's HyeSanta project has succeeded in raising about $2,000 in its first few days. (Not counting donations sent by post.) Plenty more is needed, all is welcomed, and every cent or dram will do good.

On Monday, the local community will get its chance to join the effort, when we publish a print version. We believe this is the first time an Armenian media has solicited involvement
in this manner, and we are eager to see the result.

Click here to read about those who would welcome a gift this holiday. Click here if you're ready to make a donation.

If you have sent a donation by post, please let us know via email so that we can add you (unless you request an anonymous gift) to our list of HyeSanta Helpers, which we will publish next week and the week after.

Merry Christmas from all of us at


New OSCE Chief Gives Armenia Thumbs Up: Pryakhin sees "big steps" toward democratization

The new Russian head of the Yerevan office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said Thursday there is substantial progress in Armenia's democratization process, contradicting the OSCE's harsh criticism of this year's presidential and parliamentary elections.

He also made an unusually positive assessment of the situation with press freedom in the country that sharply contrasted with the opinion of OSCE's Vienna-based media watchdog.

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Holding on by a Thread: Tiny boutique takes developers to court over family business

While many welcome the long-awaited construction of Yerevan's North Avenue, progress is coming with an unpleasant price for at least one family business at the heart of Abovian street.

As around them only walls of former businesses are standing, the Hayrapetyan family's Threads boutique is holding on and holding out.

Since 1994, the Hayrapetyans have made their little shop a virtual museum of knitting, using skills handed down through three generations of mothers and daughters. The quaint stone room has become popular among locals and tourists.


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Outside Eye: A non-Armenian's view of life in his adopted home

If you live in an Armenian family, you will understand what I am about to say . . .

When you are sick, every Armenian is a doctor.

This week, the country is full of them - victims of flu, and purveyors of remedy.

So far, I've been told: eat lots of garlic, drink "ourtz" tea, drink tea with lemon, drink tea with cognac, drink tea with those yellow fruits that look like warted apples - quince, I think they're called.

Full story


Rock in Any Language: Rare concert fills puppet theater with rockers

What do rock music and a puppet theater have in common? In Yerevan last Monday "Mind Power" rock festival gave an answer to that question. Simply, the hall was free for use, so rockers took the place of puppets.

Six Armenian groups sought to slake the thirst of their young rock music addicts, who rarely get live concerts. Since independence, few Western rock groups have visited Yerevan and only occasionally have there been concerts by Armenian rock bands.

Full story


Hunting for a Solution: Attacks by "man's best friend" increase as street dogs spread in Yerevan

The Yerevan municipal budget for 2003 included a 20 million dram (about $35,000) allotment for exterminating street dogs.

The methodology is simple. A three-member hunting squad goes into the streets at night, shoots the dogs, and cuts off the tails as proof of having done their jobs.

As the year ends, only about one-third of the money has been paid out. Meanwhile the Yerevan Emergency Hospital has reported 59 dog bites (most requiring stitches), as opposed to 23 last year. And that's just in one district of the city.

Full story


Film Future?: Movie studio resumes action after years of silence

Since 1976 Hayfilm movie studio (named after Hamo Beknazaryan) has maintained its place on 33.4 hectares just outside Yerevan.

But since 1990, little has gone on there. This year, though, six films have been shot at the studio and are now being edited.

"If during the past 12 years we've been in the abyss then today we've reached the surface and now are climbing up," says director of the film studio Gevorg Gevorgyan.

Full story


History in Decline: Home of writer Abovyan suffers wrath of bad weather and bad neighbors

With the Lincy Foundation-funded renovation of Armenia's major houses of culture coming to an end, the neglect of those places not fortunate enough to be included in the $17.5 million project becomes more obvious.

The miserable condition of the home of writer Khachatur Abovyan, located in Yerevan's Qanaqer district, is an example. Relics of the founder of Modern Armenian literature, the pioneer of educating people in Ashkharhabar (New Armenian) are on the edge of extinction.

Full story


Football (World Cup qualifying draw)

A draw completed in Frankfurt, Germany has put Armenia in Group A of qualifying competition for World Cup 2006.

Full story

According to Agnes
Click on the photo above to enlarge.


The Week in seven days


The Arts in seven days


  Photo of the week
Click on the photo above to enlarge.

Snow flakes the size of light bulbs?

No. In fact Yerevan's first snow Monday only lasted about as long as it took to shoot this photo.




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