It’s where he got his start – but Harout Pamboukjian hasn’t been seen much around Yerevan. Last night he had a free open air concert at Opera square, courtesy of (or to) Raffi Hovanissian‘s Heritage Party.
It was a big letdown that he didn’t sing Hey Jan Ghapama, but Ha Nina Nina was a good consolation… in the photo he’s singing with Rouben Hakhverdian. I hear that Rouben (being Rouben) was asked by a reporter earlier about his reasons for singing at a Heritage Party event, and that he replied it’s because they’re paying him $3,000. And then he added, the songs aren’t even new… they’re old songs.
The concert was part of a rally preceding Parliamentary elections this coming weekend. It’s really great that in Armenia, you are only allowed to campaign for the 1 month period preceding the election.
All kinds of interesting stories related to the upcoming election… from employee passports being taken so that their votes can be used, to the president himself showing up yesterday at Mashtots Park to declare that the stores being built in the park that have been halted by protesters for three months should be dismantled. That means that they will of course be dismantled. And the park is being renovated as well, so it should look quite nice soon. This has been a huge victory for activists here, where the government usually bulldozes past any concerns, and where protests and activism usually are tiny numbers of people that fizzle out almost as quickly as they appear.