Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Henrikh MkhitaryanOne of the most exciting young soccer (futbol) prospects to come out of Armenia, Henrikh Mkhitaryan is making a name for himself with his special style of play, utilizing both skill and intelligence on the field. This 24 year-old is demonstrating skills usually reserved for seasoned international superstars. Perhaps we are witnessing a superstar in the making. Recently, he was transferred from his professional squad in the Ukraine (Shakhtar Donetsk) to Germany’s pro league team, Borussia Dortmund, for over €25 million ($30 million). Mkhitaryan also plays on Armenia’s national soccer team.

Take a look at what he’s done so far with his new team…

Henrikh Mkhitaryan – Borussia Dortmund – Pre-Season – Passes, Skills & Goals

Watch a wonderfully touching documentary about this up and coming soccer star…

Documentary on Henrikh Mkhitaryan [French / ENG SUB]

Armenians and the Genocide: An Englishman’s Perspective

By Russell A Pollard

On April 24th 2009 I was making the last preparations for my trip to Tbilisi in May of that year: the day was just like any other day – it meant nothing to me. A few weeks later as I was in the airport looking for my flight I noticed that we were making a brief stop in Yerevan; a place that I had never heard of before. I had to check the map to find out where it was.

Prior to visiting Georgia I had been to many of the old Eastern bloc countries including Bosnia, Kosovo, Romania, and also ex-Soviet countries of Moldova, Ukraine, and Belarus. I always travelled alone, and on each occasion that I visited somewhere, I never returned. Having discovered that Armenia existed, I decided that my next trip, after Georgia, would be to Yerevan.

Although I was there as a tourist, I enjoyed just walking around and being mindful of a few key places; it was always the people and their history which was most important, not just the guide book “attractions”. During my first stay, it was Armenia’s Independence Day, and I joined a group of Army veterans who marched from the city centre, the long distance to the Yerablur Cemetery, to remember the many who fell in the Nagorno-Karabakh war. It was a solemn occasion. I couldn’t help but be affected by what I saw and was reminded of the many images that I had seen on the TV news from the early 1990’s. The following day I decided to walk to the Genocide Memorial and to pay my respects. The Armenian Genocide was not taught in British schools so my knowledge was very poor. Looking at the photographs, reading the transcripts, and listening to the audio was a very humbling experience. Words fail to describe my emotions; I was ashamed that I knew nothing about this tragedy. Outside I walked through the garden of plaques, many times, looking for the one from the People of the United Kingdom so I could take a photograph. After a while I stopped, as I couldn’t find it; I assumed that I was not being careful enough with my search. I later realised why there was not a plaque there.

All week I had seen many images of Mount Ararat on books, T-shirts, posters – everywhere, but I had never actually seen it myself. Perhaps it was further away than I thought, perhaps I was looking in the wrong direction, perhaps the weather wasn’t kind to me. On my last day as I was walking up the steep main road towards the statue of Mother Armenia, trying to avoid being hit by the cars, I finally reached a resting place, so I could catch my breath. I looked west, the clouds had parted, and there, rising magnificently in front of me, was Mount Ararat. I was overcome with emotion.

That first visit touched me greatly for many reasons, and I felt I had to return; there was so much unfinished business. I also wanted to go to Nagorno-Karabakh and I made my first journey there in May 2010. Since then I have visited Armenia and Artsakh twice per year and have developed a better understanding of the culture, the people, the language and the political issues and am fortunate, now, to know many Armenians who I consider great friends. The warmth that has been shown to me has drawn me much closer to the issues, and I feel that I have a personal responsibility to do whatever I can to become, and remain, engaged.

The notion of being an Armenian is a very curious concept and one that has intrigued me from those early days, and one which is completely alien to someone from a multi-cultural society. The common ancestry of all of the Armenians throughout the world provides a degree of cohesion to this disparate group of people which is only reinforced by the shared tragedy of the Armenian Genocide.

Outside of the Armenian community, and academics, my experience is that almost no one has heard of the Armenian Genocide in the UK, whereas with the Jewish Holocaust it would be very unusual for someone not to be aware of it. This is an indictment on our education system but is to be wholly expected of a country that does not recognise that a Genocide took place.

I have heard people say that the Armenians should look forward, and not backwards and to let go of the Genocide question. Apart from being disrespectful, it shows a complete lack of understanding of basic human nature; it is about closure and justice. In the same way that individuals cannot rest if they have not been able to formally bury their lost loved ones, then the same condition applies at a national level. The post-war trials of the Nazi criminals, and the global recognition of the Jewish Holocaust leaves them in a state of relative peace as they have been able to achieve closure and justice and it has been seen to be done. The Armenians are the polar opposite, and the priorities of political expedience seem to have taken precedence over the torment of millions of people. This is not a long term solution and I fear that this diplomatic indifference is also an active ingredient in the lack of progress in recognising Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent country. At some point, someone needs to take a stand and bring peace to the Armenian nation and to allow them to concentrate on the future.

Whilst I didn’t realise this at the time, but the fact that Mount Ararat, the iconic symbol of Armenians, is situated in present-day Turkey, signifies one thing only – the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians. Now I understand why I shed so many tears that day!

Russell Pollard

I am an independent photographer and journalist from England with connections in Armenia, Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), and within the global Diaspora, There are many issues around Armenia, Armenians, their history and the unresolved war in Nagorno-Karabakh which deserve attention. One of those is the Armenian Genocide in 1915 where 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman Empire. Recognition and resolution of this is about allowing life to progress and not just about changing the history books.

All of my original articles on Artsakh and Armenia can be found at http://www.Artsakh.Org.UK

Article Source: Armenians and the Genocide: An Englishman’s Perspective

Sona: Conan O’Brien’s Assistant

Conan O’Brien, the popular late-night talk show host, released a documentary last year giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at his live comedy tour which took place during his 6-month break from television. Actually, it wasn’t a break,  it was a contractual condition when he was fired parted from NBC. Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop was an entertaining and revealing look at the man. However, we were most thrilled to learn that his personal assistant is a young Armenian named Sona. Watch poor little Sona get picked-on over and over again by Conan in this video of scenes from the documentary.


Larry Gagosian

Who’s the most powerful art dealer in the world? Many in the art world give that title to Larry Gagosian. Born in Los Angeles, this Armenian-American went from selling posters around UCLA in the 1970’s to having a present-day art empire with galleries located all over the world. Want to learn more about this man? Check out some of the interesting articles below. Larry Gagosian

Read articles about Larry Gagosian:
Larry Gagosian, Andy Warhol And The Rise Of The Superdealer
Larry Gagosian: The fine art of the deal
Pulling Art Sales Out of Thinning Air

Learn more about Larry Gagosian:

Visit the Gagosian Gallery website:

Catrina Chitjian

Cal State L.A.’s 17-year-old biochemistry major to graduate from Cal State L.A. next weekend

While many of her contemporaries are attending the prom or finishing high school next weekend, 17-year-old Catrina Chitjian—the youngest graduating senior at Cal State L.A.—will be receiving her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry with honors.

Chitjian, who is of Armenian-Chinese descent (her mom is Armenian and her dad is Chinese), was admitted to Cal State L.A. at the age of 12 through the University’s Early Entrance Program (EEP). She will be marching at CSULA’s Commencement on Saturday, June 11, at 8 a.m.

A Dean’s List student, she is a member of the G.E. Honors Club and CSULA’s Phi Kappa Phi chapter, the oldest, largest and most selective collegiate honor society in the U.S.

Despite her demaning academic load, which included conducting research on mechanism of life span determination in Professor Robert Vellanoweth’s chemistry lab, Chitjian is very active on campus, having served as secretary of Humanitarians on Campus, vice president of People for Animal Care and Kindness, and social chair of the Early Entrance Program Club.

“Some people are concerned when they realize that I missed the ‘high school experience,’ but I wouldn’t trade my experience at CSULA for anything,” said Chitjian.

Chitjian explained that she enjoyed being able to make her own class schedule and having guidance when needed. She said, “I love having peers closer in age and with the same interests as me. I am particularly grateful to have stopped being subjected to school-cafeteria food.”

A Monterey Park resident, she has also volunteered at the Alhambra Retirement Community and for the annual Sally Ride Festival to interest 5th-8th grade girls in the science fields.

After graduation, Chitjian plans to work part-time as a tutor while applying to graduate school to pursue a career as a synthetic chemist. For her interest in tutoring, she explained, “I’ve found that helping people learn is incredibly rewarding.”

Chitjian added, “When I consider all of the science classes I’ve taken, organic chemistry was my favorite. …I‘ve always liked creating concoctions, so I am interested in becoming [what’s most similar to] a cosmetic formulator. I want to be the person behind the scenes, pulling things from the garden, going through trial and error, with hope that people will say, ‘That’s what I used! It really helped me and I’m so glad I tried it.’”

CSULA’s EEP admits extraordinarily gifted youngsters—some as young as 11—directly into college, providing the early entrants with monitored evaluation, regular counseling sessions, and the opportunity to study with like-minded peers. Chitjian is among more than 20 other EEP graduates receiving their baccalaureate degrees this year.

Blake Krikorian

An Armenian-American Entrepreneur And Technology Trailblazer

About Blake Krikorian

Blake Krikorian is a co-founder and the former CEO of Sling Media, a consumer electronics company that builds the highly acclaimed Slingbox.

The company was founded in 2004. It was purchased in 2007 by Echostar Communications for $380 million dollars.

Krikorian started his career at General Magic, which created the Magic Cap operating system for mobile intelligent communicators and Telescript, an agent-based network programming language for the emerging electronic marketplace (pre-Internet). At General Magic, Krikorian assisted industry-leading telecom and consumer electronics companies such as NTT, Sony, Mitsubishi Electric, Sanyo, OKI and Matsushita/Panasonic in creating and defining new products and partnerships.

In 1994, Krikorian co-founded the Philips Mobile Computing Group, which was funded by Philips Electronics. As group product manager, he built and co-led the team that defined, created, delivered, and marketed the award-winning Velo 1 Windows CE Handheld PC and its associated product line.

Krikorian then left Philips Mobile Computing Group to serve as senior vice president at Metis Associates, an information technology consulting firm and incubator of core technology companies. He led the creation of Metis’ first incubated company, Mainbrace Corporation, which developed and licensed software technologies and manufacturable device platforms to system OEMs, service providers, and semiconductor vendors. Krikorian served as the company’s president for the first two years of its operation. Mainbrace was acquired by BSQUARE in 2000.

Krikorian attended UCLA, and earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering.

Source: Crunchbase.com

Angela Sarafyan

Get ready to see something you have never seen before – a rising star at the break of dawn.

Angela Sarafyan, an Armenian-American actress (born in Armenia and moved with her parents to the United States at the age of four), has been cast in the upcoming feature film ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn’. This next and final installment of the insanely popular vampire film series is slated to be released in November 2011. Angela will be playing the role of Tia, a member of the Egyptian Coven.

We’re embarrassed to say that we had never heard of Angela Sarafyan before this news, but with a little research, we’ve come to learn that she’s no overnight sensation. Angela has been in a long list of television series (Judging Amy, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Shield, 24, CSI:NY, The Mentalist), several feature films (The Informers, A Beautiful Life, Kabluey, On The Doll), and numerous commercials.

From the looks of things, we’re going to be hearing about Angela a lot more from now on. On the heals of the Twilight Saga casting news, Angela is also going to have a leading role alongside Jamie Kennedy in a future movie called ‘Lost And Found In Armenia’.  Can’t wait for this one!