Love her or hate her, one thing is undeniable; Kim Kardashian has single handedly introduced the word “Armenian” into pop culture. E! Channel often refers to Kim Kardashian as the Armenian Princess.
Armenian, what’s that?” Yes, it is shocking but true; most people in the United States have had no clue that an entire group of people called Armenians exists.
Armenia, Republic of Armenia, Hayastan, a landlocked republic in southwestern Asia; formerly an Asian soviet; modern Armenia is but a fragment of ancient Armenia which was one of the world’s oldest civilizations.
Throughout 2500 years the Armenian people have been invaded and oppressed by their neighbors. Should a former empire look after former subjects? Especially if they have been relegated to the fringe and are struggling?
Emotionally speaking, one can argue that yes, it should.
Yet common sense says, “Hold on a second.”
If there is one lesson that history has taught us about imperialism, it is that this kind of care always comes at a price.
Take Armenia, for example. It fared well both as an ally of tsarist Russia and subsequently as one of the 15 republics of the Soviet Union.
Both the Russian Empire and the U.S.S.R. are relics of the past, as is Armenia’s well-being.
Some dropped their language and religion to survive after the 1915 genocide, but close to 100 years later, “hidden Armenians” want to take pride in their identity.
The average American child and teen knows more about the Kardashians than the culture. But for some it’s impossible not to read her surname and think of her Armenian heritage. Kardashian is distinctively Armenian. The model’s father, paternal grandparents and paternal great grandparents were all of Armenian descent.
Kim is an 4th generation Armenian and famous in the world, so this is enough for every Armenian to be proud of Kim. But because of cultural and traditional issues, many do not want to accept that she is an Armenian.
Armenia has been around for at least 3,000 years. Armenians have historically inhabited the “Armenian Highlands”, a vast section of mountains and valleys across eastern Anatolia and the Southern Caucasus. It is here that the biblical mountains of Ararat (and today’s eponymous cognac brand) can be found.
Is Armenia Europe’s most disregarded nation?
It’s certainly ignored by the travel media. Armenia’s claim to fame is that it was the first country in the world to officially adopt Christianity – in AD301. The most iconic image of Armenia is Mount Ararat. Ownership of Ararat is just one of several issues that strain relations between Armenia and Turkey.
Armenians have a rich culture and strong biblical ties. Noah’s ark is rumored to have landed in the heart of historical Armenia on Mt. Ararat, yet people still have no clue who the Armenian people are. An estimated one and a half million Armenians died at the bloody hands of Turks in the 1915 Armenian Genocide, yet to this day Armenians fight for recognition of this tragic event.
In the Bronze Age, several states flourished in the area of Greater Armenia, including the Hittite Empire (at the height of its power), Mitanni (South-Western historical Armenia), and Hayasa-Azzi (1600-1200 BC).
Much of the region’s history has since been spent under the dominion of whichever great power was à la mode at the time: Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, Persians, Russians and Soviets have all come and gone. These empires often fought their wars on Armenian territory, using Armenian soldiers. Despite rarely being politically independent, Armenians have consistently kept their language and their church. Its location on the silk road allowed Armenia to forge a link in the great network of merchant communities that extended from eastern Asia to Venice.
David M. Lang in his “Armenia: Cradle of Civilization” wrote: ““The ancient land of Armenia is situated in the high mountains… Although Mesopotamia with its ancient civilizations of Sumer and Babylon, is usually considered together with Egypt as the main source of civilized life in the modern sense, Armenia too has a claim to rank as one of the cradles of human culture”.
The historical ties between Armenia and Egypt are really close; they are so close that while standing in front of the magnificent Egyptian sculptures made in III-I millennium BC you can feel the time flowing through a petrified silence which weaves the tapestry of the history.
Wealth and peace reigned over the Armenian world, and, in accord with the prophecy, each man can rest under his vine or fig.
The perception of the world as a garden of grapevines is perhaps best illustrated in the relief frieze encircling the Holy Cross Temple on the Island of Aghtamar in Lake Van, which is designed and built in the 10th century by the architect Manvel on the order of King Gagik Artzuni. Manvel covered this frieze with mythic symbolic scenes depicted in the forms of familiear everyday village life with reality and myth thoroughly intermingling in the sculptures to present the Armenian concept of an ideal life taking place in a vineyard when the grapes were ripe.
This symbolic world is organized by an endlessly arching, grape-filled vine, which completely entwines the church , representing the Tree of Life; the vine’s spirit is personified in the form of an old man living in the trunk.
In aspect of the dialogue of civilizations the scientific and cultural spheres are important. And its vivid example is the Golden age (V c.) of the original and translated Armenian literature of V century which played a significant role in the life of many generations of the Armenians, thus enriching the treasury of world culture too.
Characterizing Egypt as a renowned country “which is situated in a beautiful part of the world and abound in various fruits”, Egypt “is surrounded by a miraculous wall of Nile, which not only protects but also feeds it…”.
The father of the Armenian historiography gave high praise to Alexandria: “the city is proportionate… built between sea and an artificial lake”.
Alexandria which passed from the paganism to Christianity made a great impression on Movses Khorenatsi. He wrote: “Now not a five-headed Pluto rules here” but “a preacher of the Gospel Mark and there are no more god-born heroes from the kin of the dragon…there are the chapels of the saints…
Over the centuries Armenians maintained close and direct contacts with the Greek culture, by which they were deeply influenced. During the so-called ‘Dark Ages’ of Byzantium’s intellectual life, Armenia played an important role in the preservation of Greek cultural heritage, as much as the neighbouring Syriac speaking world, in particular for the transmission of Greek philosophical scholarship. The old centres of translations of Late Antique Armenia as well as the scriptoria and the libraries attached to the monastic schools of medieval Armenia contributed considerably to the reception and dissemination of the Greek scientific texts.
Like the Jewish people, the Armenians were another community that has suffered genocide in horrendous proportions. While The Jews suffered at the hands of the Nazis, the Armenians suffered at the hands of the Ottomans.
In contrast to it some “research centers” are engaged in falsifying and misrepresenting of the Armenian history as well as in the anti-Armenian propaganda in the information war. E.g. “Institute for Armenian Researches”, which deals with dissemination of the hostile information about Armenia and the Armenian people by denying the Armenian Genocide and falsifying and distorting the Armenian Question, was established in Turkey on the order of the authorities.
The anti-Armenian purposes of the “institute” had already been mentioned: “”In order to institutionalize this campaign of denial and try to invest it with an aura of legitimacy, a “think-tank” was established in Ankara in April 2001. Operating under the name “Institute for Armenian Research” as a subsidiary of The Center For Eurasian Studies, with a staff of nine, this new outfit is now proactively engaged in contesting all claims of genocide by organizing a series of conferences, lectures, and interviews, and above all, through the medium of publications, including a quarterly”4”.
In this sense we speak about true Armenology.
Armenology (“studying of the materials about the Armenian reality… as a theory about academic knowledge revealed in various fields, and peculiarities characteristic to Armenian reality, researched by appropriate disciplines with their own distinctive methods”)1, by its potential, for the creator and preserver of the spiritual and cultural values – the Armenian people, is the mentality constituting system.
The protection of the spiritual, academic and ideological spheres of the Armenian people (the Republic of Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh), Javakhq and the Armenian Diaspora) in the information field is implemented on the academic grounds with the help of the true Armenology which has accumulated millennia experience and which nourishes the national ideology.
In this aspect, in the spheres of information and psychological security the importance is attached to the defense from external and internal distortions as well as “dissemination of ideological concepts on the external information field in the context of national interests” .
One of the results of the official visit of the president of the Republic of Armenia to the Arab Republic of Egypt in April 2007 was the opening of the Center for the Armenian Studies at the Department of Philology at the University of Cairo on the decision of the government of Egypt on December 13, which is at the center of the attention of the Embassy of the RA and Armenian community. The foundation of the Center for the Armenian Studies in Egypt is remarkable from the point of view of historic ties with Armenia.
The majestic pyramids bearing the impress of eternity reminds of ancient Egypt.
There is a saying: “Man is afraid of time and the time is afraid of pyramids”. These man-made monuments seem to be a symbol of eternal antagonism of life and death.
According to the definition of Anania Shirakatsi “origin is the beginning of the destruction and destruction, in its turn, is the beginning of the origin. And due to this indestructible confrontation the world acquires eternal character”.
Since the opening of the Armenian embassy in Egypt close relations has been established with the Armenian community. Its best manifestation is the building where the embassy is placed – on the isle of Zamalek in the middle of the Nile. It was granted by the AGBU branch and repaired by the efforts of the Armenian community.
Under the patronage of the Embassy of the RA and the head of the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church His Grace Bishop Ahot Mnatsakanyan I delivered a lecture to the Armenian community in Egypt on “Armenia in the ancient and medieval cartography and civilizational contribution of Armenia to the development of the “Silk Road” and “Significance of the elucidation of the history of the ancient Armenia in the aspect of the spiritual and cultural protection of the Armenian people and patriotic education of the youth” (Pltakian Hall in Cairo and the National Diocesan Residence in Alexandria).
Armenian studies are a bridge, connecting the white summits of Ararat-Masis mount and peaks Egyptian pyramids…
Armenians always played a major role in the life of Egypt. Armenian-born Nubar Pasha Nubarian became the first PM and foreign minister of Egypt, with streets in Cairo and Alexandria named after the politician who garnered numerous titles and awards during his lifetime. His son Boghos Nubar Pasha founded the Armenian Great Benevolent Union (AGBU) in 1906. Before Gamal Abdel Nasser’s presidency in 1952, 60000 Armenians lived in Cairo and about 30000 in Alexandria.
“Egyptologists have hinted the Egyptian fascination with the pyramid to this belief. The Egyptians had since ancient times developed close connections with the people of Ararat. The great pharaohs often married into the noble and royal families of ancient Armenian kingdom of Mittani, Queen Nefertiti being one of the most notable representatives of Mitanni princesses on the Egyptian throne.
Their friendship and cooperation with the Kingdom of Mittani and intimate connections stretched from the Kingdom’s period into the Hyksos and Hurrian dynasties (XVI th dynasty) in Egypt from the Armenian Highland.
“Beautiful Has Come”…
Queen Nefertiti of Egypt was a native of Mitanni. The Mittani Kingdom of Armenia was an off-shoot of the Hurrian kingdom. The Hurri (a member of a people, originally from Armenia, who settled in northern Mesopotamia and Syria during the 3rd-2nd millennium bc and were later aborbed by the Hittites and Assyrians. (See also Mitanni.) Hittite & Assyrian Harri, Hurri), and the Mittani peoples were the contemporaries the Hittites and the Hykos, within whom they shared many cultural and political aspects.
Today, all these aforementioned nations are considered to be, in varying degrees, proto-Armenians; that is modern day Armenians are direct descendants of the remnants of those ancient tribes. Moreover, Solomon’s wife was a Hittite and King David purchased Jerusalem from Hurrians. Hittites, Hyksos, Hurrians, Mittani and Urartu had an immense impact upon the ancient world for centuries.
Nefertiti (14th century BC) was the wife of King Amenhotep IV the intellectual Egyptian ruler of Egypt (reigned about 1379-1362 BC).
She bore him six daughters but no son. His reign was distinguished by a religious revolution, strongly supported by Nefertiti, that renounced the established pantheon of gods in favor of a single, supreme deity, Aton. Aton, represented by a sun disc, was revered as the source of life and the bounties of nature.
A girl from Armenia whose beauty is only exceeded by her virtue and kindness of heart. Where else can you find features like this but Hayastani , which is the original crossroad between Western Asia and Eastern Europe.
It is suggest that Nefertiti was in fact the Tadukhipa, the daughter of Tushratta (also known as Dasharatha) King of the Mitanni, but most scholars consider it more likely that Tadukhipa was actually Queen Kiya.
Her name was Tadukhipa which is now pronounced as Taguhi.
She was so beautiful that Egyptians called her Nefertiti which in their language means “Beautiful Has Come”.
Native sources on the religion of the Hurrians of the Mitanni kingdom are limited; about their mythology, however, much is known from related Hittite and Ugaritic myths. Like the other peoples of the ancient Middle East.
Because only a few Mitanni settlements have been unearthed in Mesopotamia, knowledge of Mitanni arts and culture is as yet insufficient.
There is no question that a human tragedy is unfolding in Egypt and becoming more critical with each passing day. While no one can remain indifferent to the killing and maiming of civilians, the Prime Minister of Turkey is the last person on earth who should be taking such a self-righteous attitude. Anyone who has blood on his hands has no right to demonize others.
Curiously, after Pres. Morsi’s unceremonious departure from power, a series of articles appeared in scores of Egyptian newspapers, detailing the history of the Armenian Genocide, demanding that Turkey pay restitution to the survivors, and calling on Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister , to acknowledge his country’s criminal past.
To top it all, a surprising twitter message was posted on August 17 by Adly Mansour, Egypt’s Interim President, announcing that his country’s “UN representative tomorrow will sign the international document recognizing the Armenian massacres which were committed by the Turkish army, causing the deaths of one million people.”
Understandably, most Armenians would be displeased that the victimization of their ancestors is being exploited in a political tug of war between the two countries. Yet, unfortunately, this is politics as usual. If Egypt’s new leaders find it expedient to recognize the Armenian Genocide, this would be a welcome change. It is better to recognize the Genocide, regardless of political motives, than not to recognize it for all the wrong reasons!
After all, no one can expect the Egyptian government to take a position on an issue, if it is contrary to its own national interests. In this regard, Egypt is no different from other countries, including the United States and Israel, which periodically dangle acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide as a Damoclean Sword over the heads of Turkish leaders.
The final decision on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide depends on whatever concessions Cairo is expecting from Ankara. If Egypt, the most populous Arab state, recognizes the Armenian Genocide, that would deal a devastating blow to the Turkish government’s frantic efforts to counter the worldwide commemorations of the Genocide Centennial in 2015.
Live and Learn. We All Do.
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