- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
July 16, 2004

Two Months, No Answers: Haglund family says “someone has gotten away with murder”

The family of an American murdered in Armenia two months ago says it remains “determined to find answers and have justice served”.

Investigators in Armenia, however, are giving no information on whether such answers exist or whether justice is near.

Joshua Haglund, a citizen of the United States from Wisconsin, was stabbed to death outside his Yerevan apartment in the evening of May 17. He is believed to be the first American murdered in Armenia.

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Banana Republic?: Local fruit prices soar to all-time high due to damaged crops

Geghetsik Sargsyan, who apart from being an engineer is known for preserving produce, says she is “unemployed” this year.

“During previous years, good Armenian housewives already had various jams and canned goods prepared by July,” says Geghetsik. “But this year everything has become so expensive that people cannot even buy a couple of kilos of fruit for their children, let alone thinking about making preserves.”

This season, the price of cherries ranges from 600-1200 drams (about $1-2) per kilo, plums at 500-600 and apricots at 700-2000 drams (depending on quality).

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Sound for Sight: Armenian computer program opens doors for visually impaired

Recently Hayk Papikyan has developed a passion for his computer, scanner and a program called “AREV” and is eager to show off the way by which the combination of the three are making his life more enjoyable.

“Look here,” he says carefully grouping the keys. “I am scanning the page of the book, then launch AREV and that’s it. It reads for me.”

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Cool Relief: Armenian summer melts under 14 factories of ice cream

With temperatures rising toward the dreaded 40-degree (104 Fahrenheit) mark of recent summers, Armenians look for relief from a source once only dreamed of: Real ice cream.

In the hard years of 1988-93, mothers tried to pacify children with home-made versions of ice cream that rarely came close to the real thing.

“I have a special notebook where all my ice cream recipes are written, but however hard I tried still my children were saying it doesn’t taste like the ice cream in stores,” says Nazeni Mkrtumyan, a housewife.

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Outside Eye: A mother speaks from the pain of loss

Editor’s Note: Maxine Haglund-Blommer, the mother of murder victim Joshua Haglund, sent the following “open letter” to ArmeniaNow. Click here for our original story about the murder. Click here for this week’s update on the investigation.

To the killer or killers of my son Joshua Haglund

Two months ago you killed my son – was it only one or more of you?

Do you feel good about killing Josh? Are you proud of the murder you committed? Is this your first murder or have you killed before?

Do you consider yourself a hero?

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Meghri: Armenia’s “subtropics” in search of a market

Located in the far south of the Siunic Region and bordering Iran, the territory of Meghri is as close as Armenia gets to Mediterranean conditions. With a significantly milder climate than the rest of the republic, the small territory (664 square kilometers) produces fruits not found in other parts of Armenia.

In addition to pomegranates and figs – found in lesser amounts in other regions – Meghri also produces lemons, persimmons, almonds and, recently, olives and kiwis.

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Last Stop: Armenia’s southernmost village feels isolation amid natural beauty

The last Armenian village before reaching Iran, Nyuvadi is buried in the rich foliage of the Araks river valley. It is home to 45 families, and the southernmost settlement of 13 villages in the sub region of Meghri (Syunic Region).

Nyuvadi is connected to the center, Meghri, by a 30-kilometer road that is little more than carved rock.

“Despite the fact that on all the maps this section is classified as a normal transport thruway, it actually looks more like an extreme rally quite capable to compete with the famous Paris-Dakar route,” points out Hrachya Harutyunyan, a veteran driver for Agarak copper-molybdenum plant.

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Home in the Highland: Serbian transplant is rooted to village life


“I don’t understand people, who say Armenia is my country but then they leave Armenia,” says Serbian Lilianna Oskanyan, who has been living and working in Byurakan for nearly 40 years.

Lilianna, 79, moved from Yugoslavia to Byurakan in 1966, when her husband, astronomer Vahe Oskanyan was brought there to work at the Byurakan Observatory.

On the lap of the Aragats Mountain, Byurakan is the largest settlement in the Ashtarak Region, with about 2,500 households. Its name became well known in Soviet times, when in 1946 scientist Viktor Hambardzumyan founded the observatory.

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Laughing at Ourselves: American artist introduces unique comedy to Armenian stage


“Americans tell each other: ‘It’s not your business’. But can Armenians say the same? All Armenians are engaged in each other’s affairs.”

With such observations on Armenian culture, California monologist Vahe Berberyan kept a sold-out crowd at the Yerevan Chamber Theater laughing for 90 minutes last Friday evening.

In a performance titled “So Far”, Berberyan brought standup comedy to Armenia where, previously, audiences were more accustomed to hearing a Russian humorist poke fun at Russians. This time, it was an Armenian, comparing his people with other nationalities.

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Sports: Football (Champions League)

Champions of Armenian Football Premier League FC Pyunik secured first leg away victory over FK Pobeda beating Macedonian champions 3 -1 on July 13 in Gradski, Skopje.

The victory brings the Armenian club closer to entering the second qualifying round of the 2004-2005 UEFA Champions League, the most prestigious football club competition in Europe.

All three Pyunik goals were scored in the first half. Also in the first half Pyunic lost one player when Karen Alexanyan was red-carded a minute after Pyunik scored its third goal.

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According to Agnes


The Week in seven days


The Arts in seven days


  Photos of the week
Click on the photo above to enlarge.
Click on the photo above to enlarge.
Summer in the City

With Friday temperatures reaching 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit), little boys and big girls found relief in the fountains of Republic Square.



A Byte with...

Michael Pogosyan

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