Posts Tagged ‘karabakh’


[Armenian Archaeology]: Uncovering Armenia’s Past in Tigranakert.

August 2, 2010

Excavations and findings from the mountainous Tigranakert are now on display at the archaeological museum in Aghdam.

The city of Tigranakert was an ancient Armenian territory built on the landing of today’s mountainous Karabakh under the rule of King Tigran the Great in the 1st century B.C. It was once part of the Armenian empire and competed with Rome for political strength. The city now lies in the abandoned and disputed buffer zones of Karabakh, near the borders of Azerbejian. Findings heighten today’s tensions over historical possession of the territory between Armenians and Azerbaijanis. With modern politics coming into play, the ruins of Tigranakert remain as a testament to the strong Armenian presence in the area. FAR intern Samantha with the ruins of Tigranakert

Among the artifacts on display is a supposed dish made of clay with “My, Vache, the slave of God” etched into the side. Excavators at the site also uncovered tower walls dating to the Hellenic period and the remains of a 7th century Armenian Church. FAR’s Young Professionals had the opportunity to visit the site this year.

The exhibition opened its doors to the public on June 8th.

For more information, continue reading here.

FAR intern Samantha
at the ruins of Tigranakert


Credit: Samantha McQueen


[FAR New York]: Armenian Wedding – Karabakh style!

December 18, 2009

Talene Tavit Baroyan

Most couples dream of their wedding day as a special one when their union will be witnessed by their closest friends and family, who are all focused on the two individuals who are becoming one unit.  What about sharing that special moment with 699 other couples??   In Karabakh, efficiency is the name of the game.  Watch the following clip to see 700 couples getting married during one ceremony, which took place in St. Ghazanchetsots church and Gandzasar monastery in Shushi.

To me, by far the best part of this clip is the fact that all of the brides are dressed in sweeping gowns, and grooms are also dressed in their Sunday best.  Despite having to share their “special day” with so many others, these couples are all treating the event as the important day that it is!


[Why do we visit Armenia?]: Teni Hovanissian

September 2, 2009

By Talene Baroyan

“I didn’t know I could experience such an intense love for something that was not living and breathing.”  These were the words Teni Hovanissian used to describe Karabakh.

Teni first traveled to Armenia in 1998, on a Homenetmen (Armenian Diaspora sports and scouting league) camping trip.   Why did Teni go to Armenian?  After attending Armenian school in Los Angeles for most of her youth, she had read a great deal about the culture and monuments of her ancestral land, and she was curious to see them firsthand.

During that first trip to Armenia, Teni developed what she herself described as “a deep love and appreciation” for the Armenian culture in its purest form.  Although the culture is rich and the country beautiful, Teni saw a lot of poverty in Yerevan in 1998, especially in children. Since then, organizations like the FAR’s Children’s Support Center were established as a direct response to the problem. The situation has improved greatly but although FAR has made great progress with respect to targeting child poverty, there is still much work to be done, especially outside of Yerevan.

Teni visited Lake Sevan on that trip in 1998.  While she was on the beach, she filled an empty sprite bottle with water from the lake, and kept it on her desk at home in Los Angeles for seven years, to serve as a reminder that she would have to visit Armenia again.

Beach at lake Sevan


Credit : Celine Kaladjian

In the summer of 2006, Teni decided to go for it.  She organized a young professional’s trip to Armenia through the Armenian National Committee (ANC).  Teni shared many thoughts with me about this second trip to Armenia.  What sticks out in my mind, however, is her description of her trip to Karabakh as “life-altering.” When Teni was eleven years old, she remembers hearing about the Karabakh war on television, but it seemed like something taking place on the other side of the world.  But when she visited Karabakh in 2006, she saw the poor Armenians living in the region and thought “how did these people fight?”  The terrain was unforgivably mountainous. In Shushi, there were still bullet holes everywhere, and it appeared as though the war ended yesterday (although by most accounts it ended in May 1994).   In the midst of this miserable post-war scenery, Teni found the people of Karabakh to have such hope, optimism, and a sense of resolve.  They had a clear vision for Karabakh, and Teni was thrilled that they shared it with her.

Teni first visited Armenia to see the things she had learned about in childhood textbooks.  She later returned to the country in order to continue her discovery of this foreign place she had fallen in love with.  Teni is an executive at a large pharmaceuticals company in Los Angeles, however outside of work, she is very involved in the Armenian community.  I was proud to introduce her to FAR (though she first met us through Facebook!), and she was excited about FAR’s programs in Karabakh, and FAR’s effort to help those still recovering from scars left by Karabakh war.


[Armenian Landscapes]

August 4, 2009

Stepanakert, Karabagh


Credit : FAR Staff