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Stunning Armenia, a fascinating glimpse into Noah’s land

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#61 Yervant1


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Posted 30 December 2016 - 11:24 AM

istock-622547644.jpg__1072x0_q85_upscaleDecoration details of the monumental gate of the Ethchmiadzin Cathedral in Armenia.(Ozbalci/iStock)
istock-517934356.jpg__1072x0_q85_upscalePink tuff buildings line the central Republic Square in Yerevan. (ET1972/iStock)
istock-624410990.jpg__1072x0_q85_upscaleSaint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral in Yerevan, Armenia. (Joel Carillet/iStock)
istock-629021930.jpg__1072x0_q85_upscaleA woman walks on a sidewalk in Republic Square in Yerevan, Armenia. In the background is the building that houses both the History Museum of Armenia and the National Gallery of Armenia. (Joel Carillet/iStock)
How Ancient Volcanoes Created Armenia’s Pink City In the capital city of Yerevan, volcanic rock flows pink

By Jennifer Billock

December 28, 2016 2:59PM
As you approach the Armenian capital of Yerevan, you can look up and see Mount Ararat towering in the distance, casting its shadow on a city shrouded in pink. Yerevan has come to be known as Armenia’s Pink City for exactly this view: its Soviet-era buildings constructed out of pink stones from the surrounding landscape. The color is brightest at sunrise and sunset, and changes throughout the day based on where the sun hits it.

Yerevan itself its one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, though it’s been known by many other names over the years. It was founded in 782 B.C.E. by Urartian King Argishti I, who named it Erebuni, though the territory had been settled and was actually in use since the 4th century B.C.E.. From that time, 11 cities have come and gone on the same spot, evolving into present day Yerevan, the 12th capital of Armenia.


In November 1920, the Soviet regime made its way to Armenia. Yerevan then became the capital of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, one of 15 member states of the Soviet Union. Under Soviet leadership, the city was transformed from a small town to a modern metropolis of more than one million people. Russian-born architect Alexander Tamanian rebuilt the city in a circular layout, destroying many of the old buildings and replacing them with contemporary Soviet-style buildings made from the same local pink stone. The stone was abundant in the region and created a uniform and symmetric appearance that differed in shade from the grays seen in most Soviet cities. Ultimately the Soviet Union fell in 1991, at which point Yerevan took its place as capital of the Independent Republic of Armenia—its pink buildings intact.



Yerevan’s unique building stone is actually lava rock, though not the typical black hue found in far-flung destinations like Iceland and Hawaii; rather, this lava rock bears various shades of pink, ranging from light pastels to bright with a hint of orange. Scientifically, it’s known as tuff, a rock made of compacted volcanic ash that was ejected from a vent during an eruption. Though a similar rock type can be found in pockets in Turkey and parts of the U.S. southwest, pink tuff is rare outside of the region and Yerevan is the only major city built out of this stone.


Jack Lockwood, a volcanology consultant and author who was an exchange scientist in the USSR, said the difference in color is due to both the speed of the lava flow, where it ends up, and the oxidation. “Pink rock is oxidized ignimbrite, or welded tuff, from the upper portion of thick pyroclastic flows widely present in this part of Armenia,” he told Smithsonian.com.

That means the original flow from the volcano was dense and destructive, an explosion of hot ash, gases, and lava fragments that poured downslope very quickly. “Pink is the original oxidation color, formed as the pyroclastic flows cooled. But it's not the quick emplacement that counts [for the color]. It's the building up into a thick deposit on flat terrain, sometimes far from volcanic source.”

By contrast, Lockwood said the black lava rocks found throughout the world are basalt, or hard crystalline volcanic lava, resulting from a slow flow and a mixture of plagioclase and pyroxene minerals.


Despite its widespread use throughout Yerevan, Lockwood points out that the welded tuff is not very strong by nature, and it cannot support immense structural loads. So instead, basalt was commonly used on the lower floors, and the pink tuff—which has an even texture and can be easily cut into blocks and carved—was relegated to the upper two or three floors.

In recent years, new construction materials have begun to vary, breaking up the uniform pink tones, but stroll through the Republic Square at sunset to bath in the city's unique rosy glow.


#62 Yervant1


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Posted 02 January 2017 - 10:31 AM

Swiss businessman comes to Armenia every year to celebrate his birthday
15:31, 02.01.2017
Theme: Society

YEREVAN. – A businessman from Switzerland Fredy Mast comes to Armenia every year to celebrate his birthday.

He told Armenian News - NEWS.am that he experiences an incredible freedom in Armenia.



“Since 2010 I come to Armenia every summer. My birthday is in August and I celebrate it there. Armenia is like home for me, even though I have no Armenian roots. First I arrived in Armenia with a friend, and fell in love with this country at once: hospitality of people, mountains, Armenian cuisine. I'm sincere when I say that such delicious fruit and vegetables cannot be found anywhere”, Fredy Mast said.


The businessman managed to get acquainted with negative sides of Armenia. It would seem, that after this the 56-year-old businessman would not visit Armenia any more, but the opposite happened.

“One of my friends rented an apartment for me in the district of Bangladesh as I wanted to live as locals. This was a serious challenge for me. There was no electricity and water, but it was still interesting. It was a real adventure,” Fredy Mast noted.


Once the businessman arrived in Armenia with his eldest son. He plans to visit with his wife in spring. The businessman from Switzerland cannot explain what attracts him in Armenia. He managed to visit many cities of Armenia and Artsakh, many churches and monasteries.



#63 Yervant1


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Posted 03 January 2017 - 10:51 AM

Travel. Experience. Live: Tavush- small Armenian Switzerland
19:16, 03.01.2017
Theme: Society

Tavush province is sometimes referred to as a small Armenian Switzerland, Belgian amateur photographer, Travel. Experience. Live blog founder Bram Reusen reported.

According to the author, Armenia is one of the most beautiful mountain countries of the South Caucasus in the north of which there is Tavush province, which extends to the outer row of the Caucasus Mountains. The territory is mainly mountainous. Rocky hillsides are covered with a green carpet of alpine meadows. Tavush is sometimes referred to as a small Armenian Switzerland.


As the blog founder Bram Reusen noted, the province is known for its natural and historical monuments: one can admire the rich nature of Dilijan National Park and Ijevan arboretum, as well as visit the monastery complexes, fortress, khachkars, etc. 
The mild, pure and rich in oxygen air of the region is perfect for relaxing and rejuvenating your spirit. Paying special attention to the resort towns of Ijevan (center of the region and a popular health resort) and Dilijan (alpine resort known far beyond the borders of Armenia).



#64 Yervant1


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Posted 09 January 2017 - 10:35 AM

The News on Sunday, Pakistan
Jan 7 2017
In the shadow of Ararat

Amjad Bhatti January 8, 2017


To Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, awed by its rich history, and connections with the Indian subcontinent

David of Sassoun. Courtesy onwaytour.com

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather

— John Ruskin

A freezing morning of December in Yerevan took me into the depth of another winter. I had been staying just next to the main opera theatre of the town and was getting impatient to reach Tsitsernakaberd Hill. I felt as if the hill had been calling out to me.

In the company of a former director of garages, who now drives a taxi, we were moving from downtown towards the woods. There had been heavy snow for the last three days, forming piles of powdery snow on the rooftops of cars and houses: the thin branches of trees bending due to the load of cotton-like snow; an overwhelming whiteness giving the roads, buildings and neighbourhoods the look of a painting drawn with overflowing canals of thick milk.

Low-lying parks had turned into skating tracks teeming with joyful cries of children and youth engaged in different fun sports.

As we turned towards the upland woods, we drove on a narrow pathway under the umbrella made by embracing trees. A snugly dressed-up group of men and women was carrying shovels and rakes clearing the snow-dunes on the way leading to the monument at the hill where a flame was burning to commemorate the victims and survivors of a ‘contested’ genocide.

“The Opera Hall is the place which witnessed a 24-hour demonstration of about 1 million people in 1965 and only then this flame was kindled with the Kremlin announcing to establish the Genocide Memorial at Tsitsernakaberd Hill,” a local remarked.

Despite these intermittent invasions, Armenian language, music and culture remained a predominant identity-marker for the population.

Turkey, accused of this genocide, refutes the assertion and interprets it as ‘collateral damage’ of a war rather than ‘genocide’. One may continue arguing about the right word for human killings in retrospect; nonetheless, independent records state that about 1.5 million Armenians were massacred in a Turkish onslaught during the peak of Ottoman Empire. For more than 100 years now, the Armenians have failed to disassociate themselves from the traumatic memories of early 20th century which comprised a ‘black winter’ for them. I was awestruck by the memorial plants buried under some thick, stoned and white layers of snow.


The Armenian Genocide memorial complex on the hill of Tsitsernakaberd.


Snowfall in Armenia.

Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia, sleeps in the shadow of mythical Ararat Mountain where Noah’s biblical ark appeared. Hrazdan River cuts across the town with the current population of about 1.3 million. Historically, Yerevan remained a source of constant contest and periodical battlefield of interchanging neighbouring empires — Roman, Russian, Persian and Turkish. Despite these intermittent invasions, Armenian language, music and culture remained a predominant identity-marker for the population; and still the largest and official language remains Armenian with Russian being the second widely-spoken and understood language. English is a new entry to the region.


Opera Theatre Yerevan.

In a bid to reclaim pre-Christian identity, the Armenian youth has launched an interesting campaign seeking the signatures of the population and demanding the return of fragments of a bronze-gilded statue of a mythical mother goddess. It appears to be somewhat similar to the Koh-i-Noor controversy in India. However, Anahit is an ancient female deity and believed to be the mother goddess of fertility, healing, water and wisdom.


Goddess Anahit.

The bronze-gilded fragments of the statue of Anahit are currently being kept by the British Museum, London. “Come home, Mother Goddess” and “bring home the Mother Goddess” are popular slogans charging the campus environment and national sentiment in contemporary Armenia.

Armenians take pride in being the first Christian state and believe that the large number of churches built in and around Armenia by the kings and priests is a testimony of this fact.

However, it was Czarist Russia which adopted a religious charter for Armenia in 1836 according to which the rights of the Armenian Church were restricted leaving it only as a religious-spiritual space and excluding any attempt of interfering in politics and state affairs. This was not accepted happily by the majority of Armenians; however, as time goes by and regimes continue reshuffling their hold over Armenian lands, life and culture remain prone to multiple variations. Still, about 95 per cent of Armenians hold onto Christianity and go to the church frequently.

Yerevan also hosts an 18th-century Blue Mosque built by Iran and currently known to be the only ‘active mosque’ in Armenia. The churches and mosques stopped functioning as places of worship during the Soviet era. According to some reports, religious services were completely stopped and the only function the mosque performed then was that it served as the Museum of the City of Yerevan. Only in 1999, the building was totally restored and renovated, and started to operate as a Shia mosque again after Armenia gained independence and received significant support from the Iranian government for that purpose.


Blue Mosque in Armenia.

With the withdrawal of USSR from Armenia in post-glasnost reforms in the 1980s, the city witnessed a proliferation of bars, cafes, restaurants and other public places of social interaction.

I got curious when I saw a Pakistani speciality, harissa, listed in the menu of a traditional Armenian restaurant in the basement of an old building. Later, a local told me that bread and salt are staple foods for Armenians while harissa is a traditional meal, consisting of wheat grain and lamb cooked over low heat.



There is also a story about harissa: According to Armenian folklore, the patron saint of Armenia, Gregory the Illuminator, was offering a meal of love and charity to the poor. There weren’t enough sheep to feed the crowds so wheat was added to the cooking pots. They noticed that the wheat was sticking to the bottom of the cauldrons. Saint Gregory advised, “Harekh!” (stir it). Thus, the name of the dish, harissa, came from the saint’s own words.

Harissa has been offered as a charity meal, and the dish is traditionally served on Easter day. Surprisingly, harissa appears to be a tasteful link between Lahore and Armenia as it is considered to be the national dish of Armenia.

While roaming around the snow-covered roadside of Yerevan one evening, I found the memorial portrait of a female opera singer, Gohar Gasparyan (1924-2007). She was declared a ‘People’s Artist of USSR’ and is revered as national hero even today.

A discussion with some local music experts revealed that there was another musical link between Armenia and Indian sub-continent. The Indian singer and dancer, Angelina Yeoward, later named Gauhar Jan (1873-1930) who went on to become the Bari Malka of India owing to her accomplishments in ghazalthumri and dhadhra was of Armenian descent. Historical records reveal that Gauhar Jan performed at the court of Nawab Wajid Ali in Matiaburj near Calcutta and was the contemporary of Malka Jan of Pukhraj.

Staying in Yerevan for a few days was like living with an unexplored historical mystique of millennia. I felt as if there still was much more to explore in terms of connections between the plains and people of Ararat and Indus.

#65 Yervant1


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Posted 13 January 2017 - 12:26 PM

National Geographic: Yerevan – a city for food lovers

The National Geographic has listed Armenia’s capital Yerevan among the six “surprising food destinations.”

“Yerevan is blooming. The capital of Armenia—a tiny country whose natural beauty, culture, and burgeoning tourism industry landed it on our recent list of 10 places that deserve more travelers—has charm in spades and enough places to eat to keep your belly happily filled,” the article reads.

For a day of good eating, the NationalGeographc advises to choose Charles Aznavour Square as the center point and fan out from there. The author offers to start with a breakfast of waffles or French toast, try Georgian khinkali and dolma after a morning of sightseeing.

Armenia is known for khorovats, meat grilled on a skewer, and the place to get the best khorovats in Yerevan is Proshyan Street (which becomes Paronyan Street). Barbecue Street, as it’s known, is lined with khorovats restaurants  and roadside grills.

Along with Yerevan, the list includes Budapest (Hungary), Detroit (USA), Santiago (Chile), Dakar (Senegal) and Wellington (New Zealand).


For the full article click here.

#66 Yervant1


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Posted 10 February 2017 - 11:15 AM

More and more Swiss tourists choose to visit Armenia

YEREVAN, February 10. /ARKA/. More and more Swiss tourists choose to visit Armenia, Swiss ambassador to Armenia Lukas Gasser, told a news conference today, adding that according to the available data , their number increases 10% every year. However, he refrained from unveiling specific numbers.

He said by all accounts Swiss tourists who visit Armenia return delighted with the obtained experience, encouraging others to visit this country too. 

‘This is an indication of good job being done in this direction, such as opening of new hotels, improving quality of services and so on,' Gasser said.

However, the ambassador said in order to become a tourist brand Armenia must apply more effort to develop this industry and become more recognizable. He noted that like Switzerland Armenia has no outlet to the sea being a mountainous country and the difference lies in the fact that Armenia is less known in the world.

The ambassador said that during his 3.5 year tenure here he has grown to love the country, its  people and their hospitality. He also stressed that in contrast to many other countries,  Armenians are genuinely  interested in external relations and communication.

According to the National Statistical Service, the number of foreign tourists who visited  Armenia in 2016 grew by 5.7% year-on-year to 1,259,657 people. Also 1,262,687 Armenians spent their vacations outside the country last year, by 6.3% more than in 2015.-0-


#67 Yervant1


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Posted 05 March 2017 - 11:37 AM

“Hayastan – My love Story” Norwegian book presented in Oslo

A Norwegian friend of Armenia, presented his Norwegian language book, a love confession to Armenia and Armenians, to an excited audience in Oslo today, the Armenian Cultural Association of Norway reports.

Sven-Erik is an Armenia expert who has written articles and op-eds about Armenia and the Armenian genocide in national and local newspapers. He has led many public lectures about Armenia for different audiences. He has also led a tour for an enthusiastic group of Norwegian tourists. Sven-Erik Rise proudly calls himself an “Armenian-by-choice” and dreams of having an Armenian passport.

The book is a breathtaking story of his love to a country and its people, presented in a most intimate, humoristic and personal manner. In the book, the author takes the reader to a tour in Armenia, where he and his Turkish friend explore the country, meet many exciting people who have many good stories to share. The author discusses the Armenian Genocide, compares with the Jewish Holocaust, analyses the denialist industry and discusses the Artsakh conflict (Nagorno Karabakh conflict). This book is a good mix of a novel and a well researched and argumented work, which makes it easy to read and gives the reader a fascinating and exciting reading experience.

The introduction of the book is written by auther and veteran journalist of the state broadcaster NRK, Jahn Otto Johansen.

The book has got many good reviews, among others from author and TV personality Stein Morten Lier.

The master of ceremonies was Magnus Jensen. Among speakers were author and TV personality Stein Morten Lier, the leader of the Armenian Cultural Association of Norway Liana Arutyunyan, representative of the Armenian Apostolic Church Society Narine Harutyunyan and representative of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee Lene Wetteland.

Half of the print copies were sold by the end of the book presentation.Norway-Armenian-book-1.jpg












#68 Yervant1


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Posted 27 March 2017 - 09:32 AM

The Culture Trip: Armenia among ten oldest countries in the world

Over the millennia, countless nations and countries have arisen and disappeared into the annals of history, but some have stuck around, Armenia among them.

The Culture Trip presents ten of the oldest countries and nations in the world. Armenia is included in the list along with Greece, China, Portugal, France, Japan, Iran, San Marino, Ethiopia and Egypt.

“Armenia is a nation well known for its great diaspora. Nonetheless, the Armenians have possessed a country for most of the last 2600 years, with the first mentions of Armenia occurring in the 6th century BCE,” the website writes.

“Yerevan, now the capital of Armenia, was founded as far back as 782 BCE. The Armenians were also the first state to officially accept Christianity as a state religion in 301, and the country still adheres very strongly to their own Armenian Apostolic Church. Besides the diaspora, another unfortunate similarity that the Armenians share with the Jews was a genocide perpetrated against them at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in 1915-16,” The Culture Trip writes.



Greece Fort © Pixabay



China Buddha © Pixabay


belen-tower-1359337_1920-1024x683.jpg Portugal Lisbon © Pixabay


church-600336_1920-1024x683.jpg France Church © Pixabay


armenia-1033976_1920-1024x683.jpg Armenia © Pixabay



iran-716331_1920-1024x919.jpg Iran © Pixabay

San Marino

mountain-945656_1920-1024x768.jpg San Marino © Pixabay


ethiopia-455141_1920-1024x684.jpg Ethiopia © Pixabay

#69 Yervant1


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Posted 23 May 2017 - 08:39 AM

May 22 2017
Why a Modern Cosmetics Company Is Mining Armenia’s Ancient Manuscripts Armenia’s folk remedies and botanical traditions are getting a new look


botanical-encyclopedia-2.jpg<img src=""amp;gt;A page from fifteenth century Armenian physician Amirdovlat Amasiatsi’s botanical encyclopedia, Useless for the Ignorant, housed in Matanadaran. (Photo courtesy of Wikiwand)

here is something remarkable about the communities that line the former Silk Road. Bound together by a shared natural environment, there is a reservoir of knowledge here, safeguarded and passed down from one generation to the next.


In some parts of the world, you can live and die without knowing what’s growing in your backyard. But in Armenia, there are just some things about the land and the seemingly infinite resources growing on it that everybody—no matter how deeply into cosmopolitanism centers you venture—just knows. Got a stomachache? Drink some tea infused with wild mountain thyme. Slow metabolism? Sautee up some wild sorrel. Sore throat? A shot of homemade Armenian moonshine will do it.

In Armenia, folk remedies aren’t just offhand suggestions from your grandmother. When it comes to minor illnesses, trained doctors are not shy about recommending them either. And you can find all kinds of packaged herbs and natural oils in Armenian pharmacies, sitting inconspicuously on shelves next to conventional pharmaceuticals.

The truth is, what we today call conventional medicine—the kind of healthcare you get from a Western physician—hasn’t been conventional for all that long. Before engineered biomedicines targeting specific symptoms took the helm, most forms of medicine—not just those used by traditional healers—were rooted in natural materials. As such, there have always been intersections between the world of the folk and that of the physician.

Historian Stella Vardanyan notes this interaction in her book The History of Medicine in Armenia. According to her research, folk medicine in Armenia dates back nearly three millennia. The herbs of the Armenian highland were especially well-reputed among ancient writers, like the Greek physician Galen or the famed Islamic philosopher Ibn Sina, who wrote on the healing properties of Armenia’s clay in his treatise The Canon of Medicine: “Armenian or Ani clay has a remarkable influence on wounds. It is especially beneficial against tuberculosis and the plague. Many people were saved during great epidemics, since they were in the habit of drinking it in wine diluted with water.”

After the adoption of Christianity in 301 CE, Armenian monks and scholars wrote prodigiously on topics like anatomy, pharmacology, phytotherapy and botany, all critical to the development of medicine in the region. Mountaintop monasteries isolated and elevated from the threat of invasion were ideal locations for scientific study that yielded some of the world’s most brilliant and painstakingly detailed manuscripts. Many of these texts did not survive, but those that did are today housed in the Matenadaran Museum of Ancient Armenian Manuscripts.

The most useful remaining books on pharmacology date from the medieval period. In the twelfth century, the father of Armenian medicine, Mkhitar Heratsi, authored his pivotal book on fevers, in which he traversed marsh-ridden countryside to study malaria, fusing folk medicine of the time with the medical advances of the scholarly and monastic world. Later in the fifteenth century, Amirdovlat Amasiatsi wrote Useless for the Ignorant, a famous encyclopedia of 3,500 Armenian plants and herbs that he translated into five languages: Persian, Arabic, Latin, Greek and Armenian, to ensure its use by laymen and professionals alike.


Amasiatsi’s incredibly rich text advises on the uses of native Armenian plants in such depth that his writings continue to influence modern pharmacists, like Armen Sahakyan, a pharmacologist and botanical scholar who has been working at the Matenadaran Museum for the last several decades. A trained medical doctor ordained a deacon in 1997, Sahakyan has dedicated his life to the maintenance of Armenia’s sacred botanical traditions.

image: https://public-media...enian-herbs.jpg

armenian-herbs.jpgSahakyan’s private collection of botanical illustrations and pigments on display at the Matenadaran. (Photo by Karine Vann Smithsonian)

Since 1993, Sahakyan has collected ingredients from recipes in old manuscripts, like those of Heratsi’s and Amasiatsi’s, and recreated them for modern use. In 2004, he began selling the resulting products at the Matenadaran gift shop, from lotion and ointments to tea blends. Sahakyan is encouraged by the renewed interest in herbalism and natural healing that he sees in both tourists and locals who visit Matenadaran. He feels that the country is finally beginning to rediscover its heritage following seventy years of Soviet intervention.

“It wasn’t just a doctor-patient relationship with medicine being simply handed over,” he says. “There was a whole worldview about how serious diseases were considered the outcomes of sinfulness. To be cut off from those roots during the times of the Soviet Union resulted only in regress for the people.”

Sahakyan reveres recipes as they were written by medieval heroes of Armenian medicine, and deviates little when recreating them.

“I always say that, for every prescription we have discovered, a whole institute, a whole school of medicine could be established,” he recalls proudly. Most recently, he has embarked on a new treatment for psoriasis developed using these old formulae.

Sahakyan’s efforts are contrasted by those of Nairian, a company founded in 2014 to produce all-natural skincare out of essential oils made from Armenia’s indigenous herbs and plants. While Sahakyan has concerns about the “regression” of traditional healing under the Soviet Union, Nairian co-founders Anahit and Ara Markosian, a physicist and mathematician respectively, believe there is much to be gained by reconciling these two critical periods of Armenia’s history. Rather than eschew Soviet developments in medicine and pharmacology, they embrace them.

image: https://public-media...t-markosian.jpg

anahit-markosian.jpgAnahit Markosian, a trained physicist, is head of research and development at Nairian, Armenias first all-natural skincare company, whose ingredients are made from the plants and herbs harvested in the Armenian highlands. (Photo courtesy of Nairian)

“We don’t actually recreate any original recipes from the ancient manuscripts, but instead we create our own,” says Anahit Markosian, who leads Nairian’s research and development.

Markosian says that while she is inspired by the holistic philosophy of the famous medieval Armenian doctors and their deep knowledge of plants and minerals, the company is committed to creating recipes that are in harmony with modern cosmetic trends. Nairian’s use of rose oil in a number of its products offers one example.

“The physician Amirdovlat Amasiatsi had much to say on the power of rose oil,” says Markosian. “He recognized early on its ‘cooling and drying’ effects, which he used to treat cases of inflammation and ‘hotness,’ as he described it.”

Modern science exists to back up Amasiatsi’s claims and also hint to rose oil’s capacity to boost skin cell regeneration, “which is why many of our products contain rose oil or water distillate as an ingredient.”

Today, Rosa damascena, or Damask rose as it is more commonly known, is one of Nairian’s most valuable crops on their farm. To obtain just one quart of this precious oil, they must distill five tons of petals.

Nairian’s facilities, which consist of an eco-farm and a laboratory made from a renovated Soviet sewing factory (they’ve kept the old Singer sewing machines for decorative value) are based out of Aragyugh, a village about forty minutes outside of the capital, Yerevan. Their location is ideal, says lead botanist Lusine Nalbandyan, because Armenia has an exceptionally rich variety of endemic plants: there more than 3,500 plants native to the country.

image: https://public-media...wildflowers.jpg

armenian-wildflowers.jpg(Photo courtesy of Nairian)

“It’s safe to say Armenia plays an important role in global agro-biodiversity,” Nalbandyan says. More than sixty percent of these plants can be found on the mountainsides bordering the village.

There is a village saying in Armenia: nature is very smart, since it has a remedy for every pain. As Armenia modernizes, efforts by Nairian and Sahakyan are important in rejuvenating awareness of herbs and plants as a healing agent in the face of inexpensive, synthetic and often harmful cosmetics and drugs that are quickly populating the market. By continuing the tradition of natural healing in the region—whether by grandmothers or by pharmacists—Armenians in the twenty-first century are ensuring that it, like the land itself, is here to stay.

Karine Vann is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn and a storytelling contributor to My Armenia, where she writes about Armenia’s rich natural and cultural heritage. 


#70 MosJan


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Posted 23 May 2017 - 10:58 AM


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Posted 25 May 2017 - 09:44 AM

Armenian Weekly
May 24 2017
Comedian Kev Orkian to Uncover Armenia

By Contributor on May 23, 2017


LONDON, U.K.—Comedian Kev Orkian is so proud of his Armenian heritage, that he is on a mission to tell the world about his homeland and its talented people, in an exciting new film—Armenia Uncovered—to be released in early 2018.


Comedian Kev Orkian is so proud of his Armenian heritage, that he is on a mission to tell the world about his homeland and its talented people, in a new film.

“The film, ‘The Promise’ tells the world about the Armenian Genocide and our history a century ago and it’s something we’ll never forget, but there’s another story waiting to be told and it’s about Armenia today,” said Kev.  “I want to take viewers on a tour of our incredible country which was part of an ancient Armenian kingdom for thousands of years. We have such a dynamic culture, stunning scenery, a vibrant city nightlife, and the most generous and hospitable people on the planet and that needs to be told,” Kev says proudly,” he added.

With an estimated 10 million Armenians in the diaspora and only a small percentage having visited Armenia, Kev wants to introduce his people to their homeland, by taking viewers on an hilarious ride across the country, to find out what makes Armenians so Armenian.

“We are one of the most fragmented populations on earth and we suffer from a bit of an identity crisis. I want to get to the bottom of some of the funny customs we engage in and show the world what a beautiful country we have and who knows, tourism could soon take off and that’s got to be great news for the people and the economy,” Kev says.

Kev will be joined on his travels by an extensive film crew as he meets taxi drivers, farmers, chefs, wine makers, pop stars, sport stars, super models, and an opera singer—you name it—if it’s good, Kev will uncover it.

“I want the world to know there’s a lot more to us than apricots and eyebrows,” he laughs.

“I’ve been told Armenia has more doctors per capita than any other country. We’re a highly skilled and educated nation with a booming IT industry and home to some of the smartest brains in the world.

“The MRI machine, the ATM machine and color television are just some of the incredible inventions from Armenian minds and these stories need to be told,” he explains.

Kev has already interviewed several leading Amercian-Armenian artists like Sebu Simonian from the band Capital Cities, the hugely popular Tamar Kaprelian, and the legendary Armenchik.

“To hear these guys speak passionately about their homeland, brought tears to my eyes,” Kev says.

But to appreciate everything great about Armenia today, according to Kev, viewers need to know about the country’s past.

“My great grandparents were killed in the Genocide and I don’t think any tourist should go to Armenia without visiting the Memorial and museum. I see this film as an awesome opportunity to continue to raise awareness for Genocide recognition around the world,” Kev says.

Another key story Kev wants to share, is that of Artsakh.

“Besides Yerevan, we want to get out of the city and visit as many rural villages and towns as we can and if we’re lucky, we’d love to go all the way to Stepanakert—the most beautiful city in Artsakh,” he says.

A lot of work has already gone in to making the film and for the past year, Kev has been busy producing a series of promo videos to raise awareness.

“One of the first promos we released online has reached over 1.3 million people, so I guess you could say there is definitely a huge interest out there,” Kev says.

Plans are now underway for Kev to return to Armenia in August to complete work on the film, with many Armenian celebrities and stories now confirmed.

To produce a world class documentary like this requires a lot of funding and Kev and his production team have made it to this point without any sponsorship.

“We wanted to make this film as independent and unbiased as possible and not fill it with unnecessary commercial content for the sake of it and for this reason we’ve decided to crowdfund it. Whatever we raise will go 100 per cent towards helping us cover the costs associated with flights, accommodation, film crews in America, England and Armenia and all of the expenses associated with editing, post production and promotion,” Kev says.

For a contribution of $25, backers will be the first in the world to get a digital copy of the film and for $100 there are a limited number of tickets available to join Kev in the audience for an intimate one-night-only Premiere Screening of the film, followed by a Q&A with Kev and the director, in LA, London and Sydney.

The Crowd Funding campaign was recently launched on Indiegogo and if you would like to help Kev finish the film and share it with the world, search Armenia Uncovered at indiegogo.com


#72 Yervant1


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Posted 05 June 2017 - 10:37 AM

news.am, Armenia
June 3 2017
Israeli tour operator: Almost everything in Armenia attracts our tourists
21:28, 03.06.2017












Almost everything in Armenia attracts Israeli tourists, Vice President of Purchases of Israeli tourist company Doron Travel, Shlomi Shalam, told Armenian News – NEWS.am at the meeting with Armenian and Israeli tourist companies.


The company has been working in Georgia and Armenia for already 13 years. Mr Shalam also noted that tourists can find almost anything of their preferences in Armenia. “You have tasty food and casinos, good venues for family rest, cultural monuments and a lot more. There is no special kosher food here but hotels and restaurants can always prepare something as per the needs of the guests. It is enough to tell them you don’t want pork,” he added. 


#73 gamavor


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Posted Yesterday, 08:53 AM

Edited by gamavor, Yesterday, 09:44 AM.

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#74 gamavor


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Posted Yesterday, 10:07 AM

Anybody cares to explain this??? The car (when the engine is shut down, or the gear is on neutral) is moving up the hill? This (if true) defies the laws of gravity. Made in Armenia of course!

#75 gamavor


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Posted Yesterday, 10:39 AM

#76 Yervant1


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Posted Yesterday, 02:40 PM

In New Brunswick an eastern province of Canada there is a place called "reversing hill" which does the same thing. I think the phenomenon has to do with strong magnetic field there which reverses the gravity. :)


Edited by Yervant1, Yesterday, 02:42 PM.

#77 Yervant1


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Posted Yesterday, 02:51 PM

If you do some research about the magnetic hill, it says that it's an illusion it looks uphill but in reality it's downhill.

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