- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
July 9, 2004

Social Insecurity: Identity cards meet devilish resistance from religious extremists

When controversy stirred a year ago over issuing Social Security Cards in Armenia, officials predicted that by the time the cards came into use, their value would be understood.

Ten days ago, the first cards appeared. But so did more noise on the part of those who see the cards as anything from an annoying invasion of privacy to the apocalyptic “Mark of the Beast”.

The term for implementing the card system has been extended until January 1, 2005, but it appears that for a small but vocal minority, resistance is endless.

Full story


Patterns of the Past?: Are there political prisoners in today’s Armenia?

Recent arrests of political oppositionists in Armenia have prompted activists and human rights advocates to draw parallels between the latest government crackdown and communist-era oppression.

Beginning in February, and officially ending two weeks ago, oppositional parties held rallies in Yerevan, calling for the resignation of President Robert Kocharyan, on grounds that he had “stolen” last year’s election and that his presidency is “illegitimate”.

Full story

Public Relations Job: Americans train, hire locals to fill gap in construction force

When the United States started discussion of constructing a new embassy in Yerevan in 2001, the work initially caused a controversy among society and mass media for two reasons. First: the new embassy will be the largest U.S. Embassy (in total real estate) worldwide. Secondly: Turks (plus Bulgarians and Filipinos) were among the laborers, but, in some specialities, Armenians were not.

A backlash of bad press criticized the Yanks for importing labor into a country where so many natives can’t find work.

Full story

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

A 1960s American relic has, 40 years later, reached Armenia. No, I don’t mean Cher. But I am talking about something plastic: Pez.

It is the little things that make me happy. And you don’t get much littler than the tiny candy that this week made it into Yerevan markets with Disney characters on the front and product information written on the back, in Russian.

I bought “Tigger”, grape flavored, for 400 drams. An 80-cent bargain.

Full story

Waste Worry: Toxic chemical dump in landslide area raises concerns

A 20-year old toxic waste dumping ground 30 kilometers south of Yerevan has aroused concern among environmental activists who say residents of the area are in danger of exposure to DDT and other harmful chemicals.

In 1982, 500 tons of waste and banned toxic chemicals were buried in the upper part of Artashat Region’s Bardzrashen village. Today the place is part of Erebuni Community.

Full story

“Coming Back”: New volunteer organization helps young adults help Armenia

“I discovered Armenia for myself. Even though I had very little information inherited from my father about my native country, by coming here I realized that in a deep corner of my heart there’s a little Armenia, made from my emotions and impressions.”

American Armenian Grace Yacoubian, 23, has discovered herself in Armenia through Depi Hayk (Towards Armenia), a volunteer program making its first mission here this summer.

Full story

Golden Finale: First international film festival ends with awards and reflections


The Golden Apricot International Film Festival ended Sunday and Armenia’s first attempt at big-time production was met with mixed reviews.

While outsiders kindly commented on the inaugural undertaking, some behind the scenes complained that, overall, the program lacked careful organization.

Most, though, agreed that for a first effort, it was a good one.

Full story

Borderless: Where is the line between Armenia/Georgia?


Among the many problems that shape dialogue and daily living in the South Caucasus, there are also issues that may seem less immediate, but are nonetheless crucial to the development of statehood.

An issue that has been dormant for nearly a century, but is of significance for wo countries is the matter of a formal border between Georgia and Armenia.

The axiom that good fences make good neighbors is being tested between the friendly republics, where, for 206 kilometers, there is no legal demarcation saying what belongs to whom.

Full story

Sports: Chess (FIDE rankings)

The World Chess Championships in Tripoli, Libya has finished and FIDE (Federation Internationale des Echecs) released rankings for July 2004.

According to ranking there are five Armenian men chess players among the best 100 in the chess world. Last year there were four.

The best Armenian chess player is still Grand Master Vladimir Hakopyan, who holds 17th place (last year he was 14 th) in the rankings with 2,692 points (comparing with the first place taken by Garry Kasparov from Russia having 2,817 ranking points).

Full story

According to Agnes


The Week in seven days


The Arts in seven days


  Photo of the week
Click on the photo above to enlarge.
A birthday to remember

"Grand" celebrated his ninth birthday at Yervan Zoo July 7, with cakes and fruits. The youngster is awaiting the arrival of his fiance, "Candy", from India. Need we say that the sponsor of the elephants is the "Grand Candy" company?




Copyright 2002-2024. All rights reserved.

The contents of this website cannot be copied, either wholly or partially, reproduced, transferred, loaded, published or distributed in any way without the prior written consent of