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Articles > Armenians in UAE (Diary Archives since 2007) > 21 November 2008 - 03 January 2009
Photos of the Armenian Community Saturday, January 03, 2009

It is a known proverb that one photo is worth more than one thousand words. This is why we try to provide at least one photo with each report or news item.

During 2008 we tried hard to secure photos from events related to the Armenian community. There were activities that we attended and took photos but there were others  that we tried to get photos through other sources.

For example, we asked the National Council (of Dubai and the Northern Emirates) to allow us to post photos from the Armenian ball (31 January 2008). We sent an email to this effect, but we did not receive any reply. We called the Chairman of the Council, who promised to bring the subject to the attention of the members of the Council in the following session. Read more

Sharjah: Armenian School Calendar 2009 Friday, January 02, 2009

Dear Friends of Ohanesian Armenian School.

The much awaited 2009 wall calendar is already printed.
* 12 pages 40X20 cm
* Colour Printing
* Cover page: Red and Green with the photo of the 147 students and their 18 volunteer teachers.
* Price: AED 25

You can receive the Calendars:
From the Church office every day from 8.30 -13.00 hrs and 16.00 -19.00 hrs. except Fridays.

With Best Wishes for a Happy 2009 and a Merry Christmas
Board of Trustees of Ohanesian Armenian School

Original announcement (PDF format, Armenian and English)

Armenian Community page

Sharjah: Timetable of the first week of 2009 and Church Council's greetings Friday, January 02, 2009

Dear Fellow Armenians,

This year is coming to an end. We will soon be celebrating the coming New Year and Christmas.

With these thoughts in mind, on behalf of Archbishop Goriun Babian (Catholicosal Vicar of Kuwait and Arabian Gulf Armenians), Father Aram Deyirmendjian (Parish priest of the UAE Armenians), and all the Armenian Committees and Councils, we would like to convey you our best wishes for a healthy, prosperous and joyous New Year and present you greetings for a Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Քրիստոս ծնաւ եւ յայտնեցաւ: Ձեզի մեզի մեծ աւետիս:

Thursday 1st January 2009, New year Holy Mass, at 12.00 – 1.30 noon.

Monday 5th January 2009, Christmas Eve, Divine service, at 7.00-8.00 p.m.

Tuesday 6th January 2009, Christmas Epiphany Holy Mass, at 12.00 -2.00 noon.

Armenian Apostolic St. Gregory the Illuminator Church Council

Original announcement (PDF format, in Armenian and English, New year greeting message from the Armenian Apostolic Saint Gregory the Illuminator Church Council in Sharjah and the timetable for the first week of January 2009).

Armenian Community page

Ceremonial Holy Mass on the occasion of Christmas Friday, January 02, 2009

We are please like to inform you that a Christmas Holy Mass will be held on Friday January 9, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. – St. Nicholas Church in Abu Dhabi, which will be presided over and sermon given by H. H. Archbishop Goriun Babian.

You are all invited to come and take part to the Holy Mass.

Council of the Armenian Community of Abu Dhabi

Original announcement (PDF format, Armenian and English)

Archbishop Goriun's greetings (PDF format, Armenian)

Shant TV: An Armenian television channel now available in the UAE through Hotbird Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Shant TV





The Armenians in the Middle East and in many other locations in the world will have the chance now to follow a second Armenian TV station on Hotbird satellite.

As of 25 December 2008, beside the Armenian H1 Channel (State TV) on Hotbird, it is also possible to watch Shant TV at the following frequency details:

Frequency 11034
Polarisation Vertical
FEC 3/4
Symbol Rate 27500

The new year program of Shant TV is special program, which is going to include humoristic clips, new musical performances, dances and surprises. See the complete program of 31 December 2008 and other details here.

Share your views about activities and community life in 2009 Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The new year 2009 is approaching.

We believe that community life should be more active in the coming year. 

We are open for suggestions and we will try to involve other Armenian bodies in the UAE to materialize your suggestions.

Tell us what you need to see in the coming year. Festivals, musicals, art fairs, exhibitions, open discussions, outdoor activities, etc.

This is an opportunity to submit what you have in mind.

Send you email to post@azad-hye.com

Share with us your views and ideas about how to improve our activities and community life.

Tenth anniversary of the Armenian Church in Sharjah Monday, December 22, 2008
10th anniversary of the Armenian Church in SharjahFriday 12 December 2008 would be remembered in the history of the Armenian Community in the UAE as the most crowded event in recent times.

Some 450 people attended the 10th anniversary of the Armenian Apostolic Saint Gregory the Illuminator Church in Sharjah

The celebration carried a lot of meanings to the Armenians, who after decades of existing in the UAE organized themselves in the eighties of the last century and at the end of the first legislative term (1994-1998) managed to construct the Armenian church in Sharjah with a generous contribution by the Ruler of Sharjah who donated the church plot. 

On this occasion, the Catholicosal Vicar of the Prelacy of Kuwait and the Arabian Gulf countries Archbishop Dr. Goriun Babian presided the Holy Mass ceremony, while the sermon was delivered by Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan the previous Prelate, during whose reign the Church was constructed. Read more

Presentation by Dr. Yervant Zorian on the Armenian Virtual College Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We have the pleasure to invite you to an unprecedented event, Friday 19th of December 2008, from 7.30-9.00 p.m. in Pierre Keusseyan community hall, Sharjah (see map link below).

Yervant ZorianDr. Yervant Zorian, Member of Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) Central Board of Directors and President of AGBU Virtual College will present "The Armenian Virtual College" (Computerized distance learning program of Armenian Language, Culture and History).

We would recommend the following to attend:

- Parents of Students
- Students above 12 years of age
- University Students
- School teachers
- Intellectuals
- All interested in Academic activities

The presentation will start at 7.30 p.m. sharp.

Board of Trustees of Ohannesian Armenian School

Original announcement (PDF format, in Armenian and English)

Armenian Community Center Location Map

Dubai: Armenian Christmas Eve Party (05 January 2009) Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Council of the Armenian Community in the Northern Emirates is pleased to announce that a ”CHRISTMAS EVE” party will take place on Monday the 5th of January 2009 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Jumeirah hall, on Sheikh Zaied road, starting 9 o’clock.

Specially invited from the United States and to animate the night will be Zaven Patanian.

For reservations and tickets, you are kindly requested to contact the Church office +971 6 5660320 until Saturday, 3rd of January 2009.

To receive your tickets visit the Church office, from 8 to 1 am and 4 to 7pm.

Entrance Fee: AED 200 (per person) only.
For children aged 4 - 12 years, AED 100 (per person).
Free babysitting is available for children under 4 years.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Քրիստոս ծնաւ եւ յայտնեցաւ: Ձեզի մեզի մեծ աւետիս:

Council of the Armenian Community
In the Northern Emirates

Original announcement (PDF format, Armenian and English)

Anushka Jonian in Abu Dhabi Mall's Winter Charity Fair Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Anushka Jonian flyerAnushka Jonian came home to Abu Dhabi 6 weeks ago, after graduating from McGill University in Montreal with a graduate degree in International Business Management.

Anushka is a budding Costume Jewelry (Faux Bijoux) designer, she is well known in Montreal circles with her loyal clientelle.
This Friday December 19th, 2008, between 11:00am-7:00pm, Anushka Jonian "NouNou Bijoux" will be taking part in Abu Dhabi Mall's Winter Charity Fair in aid of Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF). See flyer.
You can support Anushka on her first show in Abu Dhabi, by visiting her table at the Fair and enjoying the display of some interesting and unique pieces.
Please spread the word and tell your friends.

The appearance of 2nd Sevag Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A new Sevag has appeared out of nowhere. He is signing as “2nd Sevag”. His ideas are equally challenging. He is accusing Azkayin Varchoutyoun for being non-creative and bad copier. He is saying that time has come for them to GO (actually by regulation they cannot stay more than February 2009). Temagan can enjoy longer time although they were elected by only 5% of the vote of the Armenians who physically live in the UAE (but this is another sad and shameful story). Let us read what the so-called 2nd Sevag has to say.

Do you think we are different Armenians? 

I really agree what our friend is pointing out and I believe AV (Azkayin Varchoutyoun) either they miss this important days or we are different Armenians.

I was really proud, while I could show to my children's the donations starting from US$ 3 to US$ 15,000,000 in Armenian Telethon, but I was very sad, because I could not see any participant from this community.

I was very  proud  when I heard  Armenia's  men's  chess  team took the gold  in  the World Chess Olympiad, but I could not understand what is the difference between the World Football Cup, which was broadcast live in Armenian Keusseyan hall and not the World Chess Olympiad (the cost of fixing Armenian TV in the hall is only AED 250).

I was very happy when I heard  AV has been organizing the table tennis, but from the other hand, with regret I can say, if AV members  and Temagan  members  cannot see or realize that this event 10 years ago was organized  by Armenian youth with better levels, really they cannot realize that copying will not work. They should be creators and if they cannot it is high time to Go. They are really responsible for all what is happening to our youth And children.

The above was originally posted as comment after this article.

Badouhan (Window) project: C. Grogan talks about the need to revive Ladies' Union and parallel activities Monday, December 15, 2008

Azad-Hye Group

This is a project where UAE Armenians express their views about community and other issues.

C. Grogan from the Armenian Community in Dubai said: There are so many Armenian families and individuals in Sharjah and Dubai that have difficulty in attending the Church services, only because their financial means are not sufficient to pay for transfer expenses.

These people are neglected by the others, although all they are asking for is to attend the Church.

I believe measures should be taken to facilitate the presence of our needy compatriots amid us (a bus service would be a good idea). Their presence could be combined with parallel activities that can be arranged during and after Church service. For example it is possible to work with them and attract their presence in the Church by encouraging them to prepare home made items and handwork and create a sort of continuous bazaar in the church yard during Fridays, an act that will help the livelihood of these families and will create a certain element of community support and compassion. Besides the fact that it can revive some of our best-known national cooking and handicraft traditions.

The main idea is to create a sort of activity around the Church that will change the present-day idea of churchgoing as a mere ritual. For this purpose the ladies’ union should be revived.

The 10th anniversary of the Church is something good and memorable but it is after all a one-day event, which will fade out by time. The essence of a community life is something totally different than taking commemorative photos.

We need actions that last for much longer time and have substantial influence on our population and things that can practically bond our believers with the church and fellow compatriots.

Badouhan project permanent page

Forum discussion about Armenian Ladies' Union(s) in the UAE:

Sevag: We have elected the wrong people as leaders Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Sevag continues his bitter criticism of UAE Armenian Community's Legislative and Executive Councils:

Why the 20th anniversary of the devastating earthquake of Armenia was not marked in the UAE?

Where are the Azkayin Vartchoutyoun (AV) and Temagans? What are they doing? What is happening in this community? How they can miss this important date? Are they only made to show off at the barahanteses? Where are we heading at?

At the latest telethone for helping Armenia, all the communities of the world participated with sometimes larger or symbolic donations. Zero from our side. The symbolic a dollar a day would have been enough!!

Why there is a very visible ignorance against Armenia? Why very important dates are not marked?

Are members of AV and Temagan Armenians or not? Why this ignorance? Where are we heading at?

People want to know both from AV and Temagans, as leaders, what are their plans or what are they doing with the daily Armenian school project, organizing the youth, keeping our children Armenian, promoting Armenia and Armenians, helping Armenia?

Even on the church side, is 10 people attendance of church services ok? Where are the cultural events?

We do not need events organized only for the sake of doing something, with no purpose!

If there are no answers to people's questions and worries, it means that we have elected the wrong people as leaders, which very clearly means that both Azkayin Vartchoutyoun and Temagan should immediatly resign and new elections be held!

The above was originally posted as comment after this article.

You can post your comment in the forum here.

Diocese of Kuwait and Arabian Gulf Countries participates in the General Assembly sessions Monday, December 08, 2008

Kuwait and UAE delegationWe deserve some attention and feedback

On 05 December 2008 the General Assembly of the Catholicosate of Cilicia concluded its sessions in Antelias, Lebanon. 

Two members of the Legislative Council from UAE took part in the sessions (Vahe Toukhmanian and Sebouh Manjikian) headed by Archbishop Goriun Babian (see photo).

Reading the report about the General Assembly we notice that there were many topics of interest which were discussed during the sessions. Could we ask the two representatives of our community to share with us their views, impressions and written material acquired during the said sessions? Is it possible that they arrange a meeting with the public to share with them the opinions expressed there by them or by the others? After all, they were representing the people of our Diocese, who have the right to know more about what has happened there, not only by reading the official announcements or reports. Read more

Sharjah: 10th anniversary of the Armenian Church Saturday, December 06, 2008

Madagh preparationSt. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Church anointment day’s 10th anniversary celebration

The Council of the Armenian Community in the Northern Emirates has the pleasure to announce that the 10th anniversary of the Armenian Church of Sharjah will be celebrated on Friday, December 12th 2008 at 11.00 am at St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Church in Sharjah.

Former Prelate of the Diocese of Kuwait and Gulf Countries His Grace Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan (currently Prelate of the Diocese of Eastern United States of America), is especially invited for this exceptional event and will be officiating the high mass and delivering the day’s sermon.

The religious ceremony will be under the patronage of His Grace Archbishop Goriun Babian, Catholicosal Representative of the Diocese of Kuwait and the Gulf Countries.

On this occasion and in the presence of the two Archbishops a dinner will take place on Saturday, 13 December 2008 at 9.00 pm at Sharjah Grand Hotel, for AED 150 per person. Children under 12 years of age are not allowed.

For reservation you are kindly requested to call the Church’s secretarial office on 06-5660320 before Wednesday, 10th December 2008.

Council of The Armenian Community In the Northern Emirates

Sharjah: Timetable of religious celebrations on the Church's 10th anniversary

Thursday December 11th 2008
Blessing of the meat and salt at 7.30pm
Preparation of Madagh at 08.00pm (all night until morning).

Friday December 12th 2008
Holy Mass at 11.00am
Sermon at 12.00am
Blessing of sacrifice (Madaghorhnek) at 01.00pm 

Following the Madaghorhnek ceremony, all our community members are invited to share and taste the madagh in the Pierre Keusseyan hall where a buffet will also be offered.

P.S. In lieu of sacrificial offerings, donations will be accepted as detailed hereunder. Kindly contact the Church’s office at 06-5660320, daily from 8:00 to 13:00 and 16:00 to 19:00.

For a Rooster (aklor) AED 50
For a Lamb (vochkhar) AED 200

Armenian Apostolic St. Gregory the Illuminator Church Council

Council's announcement about the event

Church's Committe announcement about the timetable details

Photo: from sacrificial preparations in past years in Sharjah Armenian Church (photo taken in the church yard).

An event that needs to be highlighted Friday, December 05, 2008

Sevag is happy that Armenia’s men are the world’s chess champions but he thinks that this was an opportunity to bring Armenians in the UAE together and create a sort of a bond or mutual feelings of justified pride (especially amongst the teenagers and young). Maybe it was also an opportunity to instill the love of this game into the hearts of our youngs and to open the doors of our rusty community hall to chess and other intellectual games. Read his comment below.

Its a great achievement for the Armenian team!

But surprisingly there wasn't much of publicity about it in the media locally or internationally.

Even most of the Armenian newspapers mentioned the news as it is a routine happening, with not much excitement.

As in UAE, nothing much was mentioned, Azkayin Vartchoutyouns (AV) didn't even bother to congratulate the people or call for support.

Never mind, but I like to make suggestion, two years later, when the next Olympiad happens, to make use of the "srah" (սրահ) in Sharjah, put up the screen and let the people watch the games live.

Azkayin Varhoutyoun should use this kind of opportunities to create an excitement within the youngs or olds, get them together and share the honour of being a winner, proud of being Armenian.

Sharjah: 10th anniversary of the construction of the Armenian Church Saturday, November 29, 2008

Archbishop Oshagan CholoyanArchbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America will travel to Dubai where he has been invited to attend the 10th anniversary of the construction and consecration of the Armenian Church of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

On Friday, 12 December 2008 he will celebrate the 10th anniversary Divine Liturgy, followed by a reception and banquet (by invitation) in his honor as the founding Prelate of the area.

In 1979, as a young clergyman, Father Oshagan, from the Catholicosate of Cilicia, in Antelias, Lebanon, visited Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates in order to evaluate the condition of the Armenian communities living in these two countries. What he found was very encouraging. There was a church and a school in Kuwait, which kept the community lively and active.

The Armenian Community in the United Arab Emirates, on the other hand, was just getting itself organized.

In April 1980 His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of Cilicia, appointed him to serve as pontifical legate to Kuwait and the Arab Emirates and was subsequently elected to serve that diocese as Prelate.

Embassy of Armenia in Abu Dhabi celebrated Independence Day Friday, November 28, 2008

H.E. Vahagn Melikian, Ambassador of Armenia in the UAE, hosted a reception in Millennium Hotel, Abu Dhabi, on 23 November 2008 on the occasion of the 17th anniversary of the  Independece of the Republic of Armenia. The independence day of Armenia is on 21 September, but due to Islamic Holy month of Ramadan, the above reception was postponed.
The celebration was attended by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians (who was visiting the United Arab Emirates on the way back from pilgrimage to India and Bangladesh).

Mohammed Abdul Rahim Abdul Jaleel, the UAE Foreign Ministry's Assistant Under Secretary for International Cooperation Affairs attended the event with members of the diplomatic corps. 

Members of the Armenian community and friends of Armenia also attended the reception. 

Independence day celebration

Barahantes under spotlight Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sebouh Armenagian's article about the Annual Armenian balls in the UAE created a lot of interest. Lot of comments were made behind the curtains. Let us read a comment which is posted online by Suzana:

"I would say this is the best straightforward and frank opinion I have ever heard about our Annual Ball routine. Sadly, this is a reality. I wish the concerned committees become more conscious and make an effort to change such dishonorable acts, knowing that this barahantes is presentation of our identity, about how we evaluate people…


Is it true that whoever pays more money will be considered more Armenian, will get more respect (better seats, better shows, etc) and whoever works in silent and voluntarily in favor of Armenians will be disrespected?


That’s a big mistake .."    


Click here to read Sebouh Armenagian's article (in Armenian) and refresh your memory about how things work in this community.

Catholicos of All Armenians visits Sharjah Armenian Church (22 November 2008) Friday, November 21, 2008

His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, at the end of his Pontifical visit to India, will return to the Holy See of Etchmiadzin in Armenia, via Dubai.

Taking advantage of this opportunity, His Holiness and the accompanying delegation will visit the Saint Gregory Armenian Church in Sharjah on Saturday, 22 November 2008, at 08:30 p.m., during which a brief service will be conducted and the Catholicos will deliver his sermon to the believers. This will be followed with the ceremony of kissing the right hand (Achahampouyr) in Pierre Keuseyan Community Hall, next to the Church. 

It is recommended that all members of the community be present there and enjoy the blessings of the Supreme Patriarch and the Catholicos of All Armenians.  

Added: Saturday, March 28, 2009
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