Since i couldn’t write about each event one by one, here’s my december higgledy-piggledy report of this december’s armenian horizons, without specific transition or logic !
As usual, the month began with the annual and now traditionnal Braderie Chêne
at Sèvres. I’ve been a good client for the books of that braderie where I found
1) another Armenian book of Chahan Chahnour, appreciated author of my mother “nahantche arants yerki
” (after “Grage gorkis
”, and “Sird Srdi
” found past years)
2) a special book that had been made for the 1600th anniversary of the aypoupen invention (many specialized articles about armenian alphabet, its creation, the translations, the effects of this invention for armenians) in french & armenian,
3) in French, the recent translation of “Khente
” the masterpiece of Hagop Mélik Hagopian, alias Raffi
4) in French also, the “being armenian in Turkey
”, miscellany of Hrant Dink’s articles in Agos
5) in Armenian and French, a booklet of Komitas’ folkloric songs scores, in case I or some of mines could play them one day… I like to think that such things are under hand in case of :o)
This was also the occasion to salute the usual faces of that braderie, that I’d met progressively during these last years (I’ve mentioned them last year in my posts about Chene). It’s also there that I met 2 other people in order to set things for my 2 haygagan missions of the month:
Mission n° 1 : animation in armenian during the festive celebration organised for the Armenian church of Chaville’s 50th anniversary
. As I’m one of its little school students, I was asked this little contribution few months ago and had to prepare it by learning what would take place that day.
Baron Hraïr Hratchian president of the Armenian cultural and cultual association of Chaville, working at Chene also, was there for that. My part during the feast isn’t worthy these lines, unlike the subject of this hissnameag : before this church, the Armenian kaghout of Chaville (established even before the genocide) was reuniting for church and school in a very very very old hangar that was falling down, when 3 young men and a woman braved the board of old wise people of this kaghout, to build a brand new and real church. Result of a strong and happy will that reached its goal with the strength of its tenacity just 50 years ago on December the 16th of 1957.
Mérou Panossian, one of those 4 young builders, made a very nice speech during the feast, remembering how discouraged they had been in their intentions at the very beginning, by supposed to be wise and experienced members of those times deciders. They finally built the church by their own efforts, and the lesson he took since that event is to always have the same objective critical spirit toward ideas, whatever they may be and whether they come from famous established person or from original and less known ones.
It was moving to see how the few means of that time managed to do such a work. And the recently elected new arkepiskopos of French Armenians, Norvan Zakarian
, who was there for the occasion too also spoke very intelligently for honoring the united and beautiful soul Chaville’s hamaïnk
(community) has been showing, and for encouraging it on this path of keeping Armenian culture and faith alive.
It was a nice day! The same charming mood was present while a little champagne coupe has been offered between the organisers of this event few days after. I was there too, amongst charming aged people, full of goodwill to do this work. Always nice to see nice people :).
Mission n°2 : Interview for France-Arménie, of Ruben Sahakyan, President of the Chamber of Advocates of Armenia (http://www.pastaban.am/)
. He has been invited in France by the AFAJA (association française des avocats et juristes arméniens) for the annual Rentry of the Parisian Barreau (name of advocates chamber of Paris). I was asked the job because I didn’t know the man (unlike another FA colleague who also work in AFAJA) and because of my law studies.
It wasn’t very easy since I knew nothing about justice in Armenia, but fortunately I wasn’t left alone for the job and with the help of Rose-Marie Frangulian-LePriol (FA colleague, advocate, and founder of the AFAJA) and Raffi Kalfayan (secretary of the FIDH, an international human rights organisation, see its website English pages here
) I managed to understand more clearly what advocacy was in Armenia… Not a glorious vision as you can guess, but revolutionary efforts have really been made since 2005.
Ruben Sahakyan is a criminal lawyer, he’s been practising advocacy in Armenia for 23 years (he was in Bakou in 1988 for defending armenians during Soumgaït events) and he’s totally disillusioned about his country’s reality. So why did he take this role ? Because he’s also a tenacious baykarogh
(fighter) as he says himself, in the pure tradition of advocacy I would add. He has been pushed to it by young advocates, willing to a better practise of that job, fundamental basis of a fair situation of justice.
With a relevant vision of what should be fixed in the system, and a convenient organic help (ABA the Armenian Bar of America, USAID, and OSCE that noticeably helped them in the clearing path), advocates’ situation has really improved : a unique organisation for advocates since 2005, transparency in advocates competitive examinations, seminaries, efforts on public legal aid have been the first steps of this important evolution.
Of course it doesn’t solve the main problem in Armenia which is a deeply corrupted system, but Sahakyan is convinced that an evolution of mentalities will slowly make its effects, with the exemplarity emulation. They are presently working on this : create visible excellence in the profession so that people would more and more go toward those standards of legal competence, thus the rest would naturally disappear.
The man was respectable, realist but convinced of its work, firm and quiet in his efforts. It was rather inspiring to meet him. May all this succeed as he want !
The middle of December also saw the question of Turkey’s entry in European Union
under limelights. A demonstration
was planned in Brussels on 14th, but I couldn’t go this time. I know that Armenians of various European countries were present but I didn’t manage to learn if it was really full or not. As the reports don’t speak about it I guess it wasn’t enough. But more sad is the result that appeared few days after, 2 new chapters of entry negociations have been opened with Turkey http://www.euractiv.com/en/enlargement/turkey-eu-membership-talks-move-forward/article-169296
Still nothing about minorities’ treatment there, on contradiction with basic human rights. This European question of Turkey is slowly rotting, but also despairing. I know it might be a good step for Turkey’s democracy to enter European standards, but how can I admit that such a country would share the same place as normal democratic countries ? It’s impossible to compare my liberty here in France, to what it had be reduced to in Turkey, just because of Armenian roots.
Apart from all that, cold cold December, full of work, birthdays everywhere between friends and family, good meals for the celebrations, and a new year that already looks even more full of work than this month, in an eternally beautiful Paris, Mamma miiiia!
As my wise mother often repeated : tun kordzen bedk e tchvakhnas, payts kordze kezme bedke vakhna
! (you mustn’t be scared by work, it’s YOU who must frighten the work!)
Anyway, before scaring everything around, enjoy new year’s celebrations !
Joyeuses fêtes !
PS : nearly forgot the essential touch in this pêle-mêle : MUSIC ! I really advise you to go and listen Gas's last recordings of his songs http://www.myspace.com/gasblues
... surprise, surprise... ENJOY !