Armenia – The history on film



Atom Egoyan – 2012 Dr. Berj. H. Haidostian Annual Distinguished Lecture

Interwiev: Atom Egoyan & Serj Tankian

The Legend of Akhtamar


On a stormy night, a mysterious taxi driver (Armen Dzhigarkhanyan) is hailed by a handsome, young Muscovite (Grigory Dobrygin) who has travelled to Armenia to meet his girlfriend (Ravshana Kurkova). The driver senses his fare’s troubled state of mind and recounts the Legend of Akhtamar, offering the ancient wisdom of its heartfelt message.

The Lark Farm


La masseria delle allodole (“The Lark Farm”) is a 2007 Italian film directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani about the Armenian Genocide.

The story, drawn from La masseria delle allodole, the best-selling novel by Antonia Arslan, tells about the Avakian clan, an Armenian family living in Turkey and having two houses.

The Avakians feel convinced that the rising tide of Turkish hostility on the horizon means little to them and will scarcely affect their day to day. The Avakians do not pay attention to the warning signs, and set about preparing for a family reunion with the impending visit of two well-to-do sons – landowner Aram, who resides in Turkey, and Assadour, a physician living in Venice.

These illusions come crashing down when a Turkish military regiment crops up at the house, annihilates every male member of the family and forces the ladies to trek off into the Syrian desert, where they will be left to rot. With them goes one of the little boys of the family, who was dressed into a girl in order not to be killed.

Meanwhile, a handsome Turkish officer (Alessandro Preziosi) falls in love with Aram’s sister and makes an aggressive attempt to deliver her from certain death, even as the circumstances surrounding him attest to the astounding difficulty of doing so.

Mayrig (Mother)


Mayrig (Mother) is a 1991 semi-autobiographical film written and directed by French-Armenian filmmaker Henri Verneuil. The film’s principal cast includes Claudia Cardinale and Omar Sharif. It is about the struggles of an Armenian family that emigrates to France from Turkey after the Armenian genocide of 1915.

Following the film’s success, Verneuil edited the movie into a television series. He followed that up with 588 rue paradis, a sequel to the original movie.

588 rue paradis is a 1992 semi-autobiographical film written and directed by French-Armenian filmmaker Henri Verneuil. The film’s principal cast includes Richard Berry, Claudia Cardinale and Omar Sharif. It was preceded by Mayrig, the first autobiographical movie of Henri Verneuil.

The film has a 95% rating at Rotten Tomatoes.



Aram is a 2002 French action film. It takes place in France between 1993 and 2001, wherein French-Armenian fighters supply arms to Nagorno-Karabakh and attempt to kill a visiting Turkish diplomat. The film was released in 2002 in theatres in France, and made its American debut in 2004 at the Armenian Film Festival in San Francisco

Historically, the film is loosely based on the militant activity of small groups of Armenian youth in mostly Western Europe beginning in 1973 and lasting until 1994 during which Armenian assassins killed representatives of the state of Turkey in order to gain public awareness of the forgotten (at the time) Armenian Genocide.

The two prevailing groups at the time were ASALA and the Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide; the film references a (fictional) group called the Armenian Genocide Justiciaries Secret Army. The film also reflects the support these same groups had for the Armenian war of liberation in Karabakh from 1988 to 1993.

Sons of Sason


The Armenian Genocide & Exploring The Issues (debate)


The Armenian Genocide is a 2006 television documentary e
xploring the Ottoman Empire killings of more than one million Armenians during World War I. The documentary was broadcast by most 348 PBS affiliate stations on April 17, 2006.

Because of the controversial nature of the subject in Turkey, PBS attempted to give both sides a voice and produced a four expert panel discussion to be aired immediately afterwards.

However, due to an intense lobbying effort by Armenian groups and some members of Congress, the follow-up panel discussion was cancelled on a third of those stations broadcasting the documentary over concerns of offending human rights groups and the descendants of Armenian Genocide survivors.

The Armenian Journey – A Story Of an Armenian Genocide


From Despair to Hope in Rhode Island,” a film by The Genocide Education Project (GenEd), tells the story of Armenian Genocide survivor Margaret Garabedian Der Manuelian, told through the narrative voice of her great-granddaughter, 21 year old Dalita Getzoyan.

The film was funded by a grant from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and designed to support educators in the region and beyond.

For teaching resources on the Armenian Genocide:

1915 AGHET


Documentation about the Armenian genocide in 1915 which Turkey denies down to the present day.

The documentation is based on reports of, amongst others, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin, the American National Archives, the Library of Congress and archives in France, Denmark, Sweden, Armenia, Russia and Turkey.

These documents, hidden for a long time in order not to harm Turkey, leave absolutely no room for doubt about the reality of the Armenian genocide.


Confiscation and Colonization

Armenian wealth was seized in 1915 by the Young Turk government. In addition to the slaughter and expulsion of more than 1,5 million souls, wiping out the Armenians from their 4000‐year old homeland, the Turkish government stole Armenian assets, seized Armenian property, and destroyed Armenian historical monuments. According to Dickran Kouymjian «collectively these actions represent an enormous illegal transfer of individual and community wealth from the Armenian to the Turkish and Kurdish population through a carefully planned crime.»

Confiscated Armenian properties in Turkey – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Confiscation and Colonization: The Young Turk Seizure of Armenian Property

The process of the Armenians’ wealth seizing in Turkey

Ottoman architecture – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Osep Sarafian Presents Legacy of Armenian Architecture

The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in his defence of the project of building a new shopping centre and luxury apartments at the place of Gezi Park in Istanbul, said something symbolic: the reconstruction plans, which supposedly would resurrect the architecture of an old military barracks based on the architecture of a 19th century Ottoman building, would amount to “respecting history.”

History is a sensitive question in Turkey, even controversial, and it has done much to forget its own history. So it’s surprising to see such a fierce struggle now being waged in its name. Amid the host of media reports, documentaries etc, only a very few recalled that the park had a history. The Prime Minister could have remembered, for example, that the architect of the original barracks built in 1806 was Krikor Balian, an Armenian belonging to a famous family of architects who were in the service of the Sultans.

To mention the architect of the old artillery barrack that Erdogan is aiming to re-construct is not a secondary issue. It is the part of Turkish and Ottoman history that modern Turkish politicians have invested enormous efforts to erase and forget: the participation of religious minorities, such as Greeks, Assyrians, Jews, but especially Armenians, in the country’s cultural, economic and political life.

History is a sensitive question in Turkey, even controversial, and it has done much to forget its own history, says Vicken Cheterian.

The Hidden History of Gezi Park

The Balyan family (Armenian: Պալեաններ) was a dynasty of famous Ottoman imperial architects. They were of Armenian ethnicity. For five generations in the 18th and 19th centuries, they designed and constructed numerous major buildings, including palaces, kiosks, mosques, churches and various public buildings, mostly in Istanbul. The nine well-known members of the family served six sultans in the course of almost a century and were responsible for the westernization of the architecture of the then-capital city.

Until the 17th century, architects serving in the Ottoman Empire were either Muslim or converted to Islam later in life. Most probably as a result of the reform movement,[specify] architects from non-Muslim minorities gained popularity, and among them the Western-educated Balyan family has a distinct place in the history of the empire’s architecture. But in historical resources, it is debated that their architectural identity may sometimes be confused with contractor or project administrator. It is difficult to define who among the family members was an “architect,” “contractor” or “administrator.”

The Balyans used Western architectural techniques and designs; they did not, however, disregard traditional Ottoman elements. The most important and largest construction built by members of the family was Dolmabahçe Palace, which is considered to be one of the world’s finest palaces of the 19th century.

Most of their buildings are still in use and registered as historical monuments.

Balyan family – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Çankaya Köşkü (Çankaya Villa) is the official residence of the President of the Republic of Turkey. It is located in the Çankaya district of Ankara, which lends its name to the palace. The name is sometimes used as a metonymy for the current president.

Until the Armenian Genocide, the land the Çankaya Villa now stands on was a vineyard belonging to a wealthy Armenian jeweller and merchant named Ohannes Kasabian. After the Kasabian family escaped to Ankara and settled in Constantinople, the vineyard house was taken over and occupied by the Bulgurluzâde family. When Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who would become the first President of the Republic of Turkey, saw the building in 1921, he took such a strong liking to it that he purchased it from Bulgurluzâde Tevfik Efendi for 4,500 Turkish lira.

When he had arrived in Ankara in 1919, Atatürk had originally settled in the Ankara School of Agriculture. Following his election as the speaker of the Grand National Assembly on 23 April 1920, he moved to a stone-built house at the railway station which used to be the Chef de Gare’s lodge, known as the “Direction House”. In early June 1921, Atatürk settled in the vineyard lodge, which, after some minor repairs, became known as the “Çankaya Villa”.

The Çankaya Presidential Compound stretches over 438 acres (1.77 km2) of land with its unique place in the history of the Turkish Republic. The Çankaya compound houses Atatürk’s Museum Villa, the Pink Villa, the office of the Chief Aide-de-Camp, the Glass Villa and new office buildings including the State Supervision Council, reception halls and a press conference hall. There are also sports facilities, a fire brigade station, a greenhouse as well as the barracks of the Presidential Guard.

Pembe Köşk (Pink Villa) is an Ottoman-era house in the Çankaya district of Ankara, Turkey, which is the city’s oldest villa and was the home of Turkish President İsmet İnönü from 1925 to 1973.

İnönü purchased the villa in 1924 and it was used for strategic meetings by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as well as concerts, gallery openings, pool and chess tournaments and the city’s first ball, on February 22, 1927.

The building now houses a museum of İnönü’s personal belongings and diplomatic photographs which is occasionally opened to the public.

History of Çankaya

Turkish Presidential Palace was taken away from Armenian family

Ankara Palas is a historical building, which is used as an official state guest house in the capital Ankara, Turkey. Initially designed as the Ministry of Health building, it was used as a hotel for the members of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey following the completion of its construction in 1928.

The building in the style of First Turkish National Architecture was designed in 1924 by architect Mehmet Vedat Tek (1873-1942), a notable Turkish architect, who has been one of the leading figures of the First Turkish National Architectural Movement. However, since he did not continue with the construction, Mimar Kemaleddin Bey (1870-1927) took over. He died on July 13, 1927 at the building site. The building was completed in 1928.

It is located in Ulus district across the historical building of the first Grand National Assembly (today War of Independence Museum). The symmetrical two-story, pitched-roof building with a domed central entrance way flanked by twin towers demonstrates characteristics of the First Turkish national architectural movement (Turkish: Birinci Milli Mimari Akımı). The building was completely restored in 1983 as a 60-room state guesthouse with reception, dining room, banquet jall and tea loumge.

Being of Cretan Turkish origin, he was born in Istanbul to the governor of Baghdad Province Giritli Sırrı Pasha and composer Leyla Saz as their second son. His older brother was Yusuf Razi Bel (1870–1947), who later became an engineer.

The Cretan Turks (Greek: Τουρκοκρητικοί, Tourkokritikoi, Turkish: Giritli, Girit Türkleri, or Giritli Türkler), Muslim-Cretans or Cretan Muslims were the Muslim inhabitants of Crete (until 1923) and now their descendants, who settled principally in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt, as well as in the larger Turkish diaspora.

Most Cretan Muslims were local Greeks whose ancestors had converted to Islam in the wake of the Ottoman conquest of Crete. This high rate of local conversions to Islam was similar to that in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, and Bulgaria; perhaps even a uniquely high rate of conversions rather than immigrants.

They continued to speak Cretan Greek, but the Christian population called them “Turks” as a synonym for “Muslim”. They were often called “Turkocretans”; “among the Christian population, intermarriage and conversion to Islam produced a group of people called Turkocretans; ethnically Cretan but converted (or feigning conversion) to Islam for various practical reasons. European travellers’ accounts note that the ‘Turks’ of Crete were mostly not of Turkic origin, but were Cretan converts from Orthodoxy.”

Sectarian violence during the 19th century caused many to leave Crete, especially during the Greco-Turkish War of 1897, and after autonomous Crete’s unilateral declaration of union with Greece rule in 1908. Finally, after the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922 and the Turkish War of Independence, the remaining Muslims of Crete were compulsorily exchanged for the Greek Christians of Anatolia under the terms of the Treaty of Lausanne (1923).

At all periods, most Cretan Muslims were Greek-speaking, but the language of administration and the prestige language for the Muslim urban upper classes was Ottoman Turkish. In the folk tradition, however, Greek was used to express Muslims’ “Islamic–often Bektashi–sensibility”. Under the Ottoman Empire, many Cretan Turks attained prominent positions.

Those who left Crete in the late 19th and early 20th centuries settled largely along Turkey’s Aegean and Mediterranean coast; other waves of refugees settled in Syrian cities like Damascus, Aleppo, and Al Hamidiyah; in Tripoli, Lebanon; Haifa, Israel; Alexandria and Tanta in Egypt.

While some of these peoples have integrated themselves with the populations around them over the course of the 20th century, the majority of them still live in a tightly knit communities preserving their unique culture, traditions, Cretan Greek dialect and Turkish language. In fact many of them made reunion visits to distant relatives in Lebanon, in Crete and even other parts of Greece where some of the cousins may still share the family name but follow a different religion.

Although most Cretan Turks are Sunni Muslims, Islam in Crete during the Ottoman rule was deeply influenced by the Bektashi Sufi order, as it has been the case in some parts of the Balkans. This influence went far beyond the actual numbers of Bektashis present in Crete and it contributed to the shaping of the literary output, folk Islam, and a tradition of inter-religious tolerance.

Vedat Tek – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


America’s new hunger crisis


This Statestic about the world in 2014 would outrage Martin Luther King Jr.

The United States is the world’s wealthiest nation, yet there still is families and children who don’t have enough to eat. Hunger in America exists for over 50 million people. That is 1 in 6 of the U.S. population – including more than 1 in 5 children.

Poverty: In 2012, 46.5 million people (15.0 percent) were in poverty.
Food Insecurity and Very Low Food Security: In 2012, 49.0 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 33.1 million adults and 15.9 million children.

As Congress debates exactly how many billions of dollars to cut from the government’s main food assistance program for low-income Americans, a new report finds that the existing safety net has failed millions of people who must constantly worry about how to feed themselves and their families.

On the Nov. 1 the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits fell for more than 47 million lower-income people – 1 in 7 Americans – most of whom live in households with children, seniors or people with disabilities. Barring congressional intervention, the maximum payment for a family of four will shrink from $668 a month to $632, or $432 over the course of a year.

That amounts to 21 meals per month, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The cuts will leave participants in the program, better known as food stamps, with an average of $1.40 to spend on each meal. The amount people get could sink even more if Congress makes deeper cuts later this year when House and Senate lawmakers try to hammer out a farm bill.

The Nov. 1 benefit cuts “will be close to catastrophic for many people,” said Ross Fraser, a spokesman for Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief charity, which estimates that this week’s SNAP reduction will result in a loss of nearly 2 billion meals for poor families next year.

Food stamps are the government’s biggest nutrition-assistance program for low-income people and, along with federal unemployment benefits, a key support system for the most vulnerable Americans.

More than three-quarters of households getting food stamps include a child, elderly person or someone with a disability. Some 83 percent of families are at or below the official poverty line (roughly $11,500 for an individual and $23,500 for a family of four).

Not surprisingly, participation in SNAP has soared during the epic downturn and ongoing job slump that followed the housing crash, with an additional 21 million people added to the rolls since 2008. Today, more than 1 in 4 U.S. children live in a home that gets food stamps.

SNAP gets a lot of use: Statistics show that roughly half of all U.S. children go on food stamps sometime during their childhood; half of all adults are on them sometime between the ages of 18 and 65. The USDA estimates that, as of last year, nearly 15 percent of American families, or 18 million households, lacked enough food at least some of the time to ensure that all family members could stay healthy.

Another group with lots of members in SNAP: Veterans. U.S. Census Bureau data show that, in 2011, some 900,000 former U.S. military personnel lived in households that used food stamps.

SNAP costs about $80 billion a year, which amounts to roughly 2 percent of the federal budget. It is paid for entirely by the federal government, although administrative costs are shared by states. Congress reauthorizes funding for the program every five years.

Payments are scheduled to decline this week because Congress three years ago voted to reverse a temporary increase in benefits made under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a 2009 law passed to bolster the sagging economy.

As the economy was melting down, lawmakers at the time lifted monthly SNAP payments by $20 to $24 per month. Economists say this is an effective way to stimulate growth because the poor must spend almost all of their money just to get by. That, in turn, funnels money into the economy, creating a “multiplier” effect as food benefits spent in a grocery store generate revenue for other businesses.

The size of SNAP cuts will vary by state. California faces the largest spending reduction, at $457 million, which will affect more than 4 million people. Other states with large populations of SNAP recipients expected to see big cuts include Florida, Michigan, New York and Texas. Some states have already sought to trim the rolls by imposing new eligibility requirements for food stamps. In Ohio, for example, able-bodied people must work or get job training at least 20 hours a week to qualify for SNAP.

Although in recent decades women have made historic advances in nearly all areas of American public life, a staggering number of women across the country are still teetering on the verge of poverty and economic disaster, a new report, co-authored by NBC News special anchor Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress, released Jan. 12 shows.

The key findings paint a portrait of an estimated 42 million women — and 28 million dependent children — saddled with financial hardship. “These are not women who are wondering if they can ‘have it all,'” Shriver wrote in her introduction to the report. “These are women who are already doing it all — working hard, providing, parenting, and care-giving. They’re doing it all, yet they and their families can’t prosper, and that’s weighing the U.S. economy down.”

Amid an apparent boom in female empowerment and participation — a time in which women earn the majority of secondary degrees and represent more than half of the country’s voters — the report says that millions of women are still struggling on the margins of American society, bruised by the recent recession and the day-to-day trials of family finances.

Women make up close to two-thirds of minimum-wage workers in the country — and upwards of 70 percent of those low-wage workers receive no paid sick days whatsoever, according to the report.

Former President George W Bush introduced the assistance plan in 2008 at the start of the recession. Under the programme, jobless people received an average monthly stipend of $1,166 for up to 73 weeks. The White House says the benefits have kept millions of families out of poverty, but many Republicans argue that the scheme’s annual $25bn price tag is too expensive.

Lawmakers failed to agree on an extension of the scheme before the US Congress began its winter recess. The stalemate comes two months after a budget fight in the US Congress led to the partial shutdown of the government.

More than a million Americans will lose their unemployment benefits after an emergency federal programme expired on Dec. 28. An estimated 1.3 million people will initially be cut off with the end of the “emergency unemployment compensation”, US officials say. Millions more could be affected next year after they lose state benefits, which in many states expire after six months.

Ways and Means Committee Democrats today released new estimates showing how many additional people in every state will lose their unemployment benefits each week that the federal program remains expired.

Dec. 28, 1.3 million people nationwide lost their federal unemployment insurance. In the first six months of 2014, an additional 1.9 million Americans will lose their coverage as they exhaust their state benefits and are unable to receive federal unemployment insurance – with 72,000 losing their benefits each week during the first half of 2014. The figures are based on Department of Labor data.

At the same time GOP is now to deny insurance to millions in poverty in 2014. The Medicaid expansion provided for in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) will start this month (and over 4 million people without insurance have qualified, and will be getting Medicaid now thanks to the new law). This Medicaid expansion will cover those people who made too much money to get Medicaid in their state in the past, but don’t make enough to buy their own insurance or qualify for federal subsidies to buy that insurance.

For example, Texas requires a person to make no more than $3,737 and be a parent of dependent children to qualify for Medicaid — only about 19% of the federal poverty level. If Texas had expanded Medicaid, people making up to 138% of the poverty level would have qualified for Medicaid. But Texas didn’t expand Medicaid, which means those people making between 19% of the poverty level and 138% of it will not be able to get health insurance (although there is the possibility that the federal government may offer subsidies to those between 100% and 138% of the poverty level in states like Texas that refuse to expand Medicaid).

And Texas is not the only state refusing to expand Medicaid. At least half of the states, 25 in all, have opted to not expand Medicaid. These are states that are currently being run by Republicans — Republicans who believe health care is not a right, but a privilege that should be offered only to those affluent enough to pay for it. For them, their hard-hearted ideology is more important than the lives of the poor and disadvantaged citizens in their states who will be unable to access life-saving preventative care.

The only option left for these people is to wait until they are sick enough to go to the emergency room — and for thousands each year, that is too late because their disease will have progressed too far to be treated. In plain language, these Republican state governments have sentenced them to death.

And this is not a small number of people who are being denied health insurance (and thus access to adequate health care). It is about 4.8 million people in those 25 states combined. Five of those states contain 59% of those people denied insurance (and the other 20 states contain the other 41%).

The federal government will be paying ALL of the additional expense of expanding Medicaid for the next 10 years, and will continue to pay 90% of the cost after that. That means these states could afford to cover their poor and disadvantaged citizens with Medicaid. They just don’t want to — because they don’t care for those citizens, and they think they can get some political advantage by refusing to expand Medicaid.

Making matters even worse is the fact that most new jobs that are being created are low-wage jobs — jobs that pay too much to qualify for Medicaid in these states, but not enough to qualify for a federal subsidy to buy insurance. And these same Republicans want to keep the minimum wage low. They see nothing wrong with paying people a poverty wage, and then denying them health insurance.

11 Facts About Hunger in the US

America’s new hunger crisis

50 Million Americans Are Going Hungry As Congress Considers Gutting Food Stamps

New report says millions of women at risk of falling into poverty, economic ruin

One million US jobless to lose financial aid

Republicans block two unemployment aid bills

GOP To Deny Insurance To Millions In Poverty In 2014

It Is Expensive to Be Poor

Hunger & Poverty Statistics

Over 35 million Americans Faced Hunger in 2006: USDA

2013 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics


What A Way To Go: Life at the End of Empire

The Garden

Who is it tends The Garden
The Garden oh so green?

‘Twas once the finest Garden
That ever has been seen.

And in it God’s dear Creatures
Did swim and fly and play;

But then came greedy Spoilers,
And killed them all away.

And all the Trees that flourished
And gave us wholesome fruit,

By waves of sand are buried,
Both leaf and branch and root.

And all the shining Water
Is turned to slime and mire,

And all the feathered Birds so bright
Have ceased their joyful choir.

Oh Garden, oh my Garden,
I’ll mourn forevermore

Until the Gardeners arise,
And you to Life restore.

What A Way To Go: Life at the End of Empire is a 2007 documentary film about the current situation facing humanity and the world. It discusses issues such as peak oil, climate change and the effects of global warming, population overshoot and species extinction, as well as how this situation has developed.

The documentary features supporting data and interviews of Daniel Quinn, environmental activist Derrick Jensen and academics such as Richard Heinberg and many others.

The tagline of the documentary is, “A middle-class white guy comes to grips with Peak Oil, Climate Change, Mass Extinction, Population Overshoot and the demise of the American lifestyle.”



It’s not too difficult to understand that we are well on our way to a paradigm shift in America; in fact we’re in the midst of it right now. The writing is on the wall and can no longer be ignored.

Six Likely Events That Will Follow an Economic Crash

A Colony of Solar Powered Flying Microbots! The Harvard Robobee Project is funded by the National Science Foundation. Scientists believe these robotic bees will autonomously pollinate field crops, perform search and rescue tasks, hazardous environment exploration, military surveillance and so much more. It’s what’s happening in your world now.


Hayer / father

P.I.E.  * pǝter > Proto-Germanic *fader > English father
P.I.E.  * pǝter> Proto-Armenian *hayer > Armenian hayr (հայր)
P.I.E.  * mater > Proto-Germanic *moder > English mother
P.I.E.  * mater> Proto-Armenian *mayer > Armenian mayr (մայր)
Armenian and English have in common, for example, the words “father” and “mother.” Although the latter look somehow different to their Armenian counterpart հայր (hayr) and մայր (mayr), there is no doubt that both share the same ancestors: P.I.E. *pǝter and *mater.

More interesting is that Hayer is close to heir as in heritage and inheritance. Armenians (Armenian: հայեր, hayer [hɑˈjɛɾ]) are an ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland. The Armenian endonym for the Armenian people and country is hayer and hayk’, respectively.

Hayasa-Azzi or Azzi-Hayasa (Armenian: Հայասա) was a Late Bronze Age confederation formed between two kingdoms of Armenian Highlands, Hayasa located South of Trabzon and Azzi, located north of the Euphrates and to the south of Hayasa. The Hayasa-Azzi confederation was in conflict with the Hittite Empire in the 14th century BC, leading up to the collapse of Hatti around 1190 BC.

Some Armenian Words That Sound (Almost) Like English… Or Not

Armenian Language Corner


Here’s the fascinating origin of almost every Jewish last name

jewish surname map

Richard Andree’s 1881 map of the Jews of Central Europe

Here’s The Fascinating Origin Of Almost Every Jewish Last Name


Climate change and human civilization

Looking at the past to understand what’s happening today. In this way you could summarize how Archaeology and Anthropology contribute to our comprehension of Climate Change and its impact on our societies.


Grand Unified Timeline of Human History

Mexico City


Analyzing ancient pollen grains from Larnaca Salt Lake in Cyprus,

scientists concluded that a massive drought caused the collapse of Late Bronze Age civilizations about 3,200 years ago.

“The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Climate Chaos: The Monkey Wrench that Unravels Everything

“We are approaching the planet’s limitations. So when I see the media barrage about buying more stuff, it’s almost like a science fiction movie where .. we are undermining the very ecological systems which allow life to continue, but no one’s allowed to talk about it.”  Annie Leonard, founder of the Story of Stuff project, a Berkeley-based effort to curb mass consumption.

Mainstream economists universally reject the concept of limiting growth:

As Larry Summers, a former adviser to President Obama, once put it, “The idea that we should put limits on growth because of some natural limit is a profound error, and one that, were it ever to prove influential, would have staggering social costs.”

We’re in a Sci-Fi movie, not allowed to talk about how we’re destroying the ecologial systems we depend on

Archeologist Brian Fagan, author of the book The Great Warming Climate Change and The Rise and Fall of Civilizations, explains how ancient Climate Change affected the Earth in the past and how some civilizations (such are the Pueblo Indian from Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, at the beginning of the 11th century, or the Egyptian civilization in 2180 BC) were able to adapt to the changed climate while other civilizations perished under the effect of a silent elephant walking across centuries.

Watch the video interview with Brian Fagan at the International Workshop The Social Dimension of Adaptation to Climate Change in Venice:


Studying Ancient Climate Change: The Great Warming

The lessons of the past give us clues to what we should look to for the future.
If you combine the long-term view with the view of today, you get a unique picture of how humans have adapted to ancient Climate Change


The Silent Elephant in the Room

Who (or what) is the silent elephant walking across centuries? A metaphor invented to describe dangers and threats from the past to the present of Climate Change


Adaptation to Ancient Climate Change: Two Successful Stories

Twelve hundreds years ago the Pueblo Indians survived the fifty-years drought; more than twenty centuries Before Christ the Egyptian civilization found the way to face the impacts of climate change.



Plan B





Jared Diamond

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed



In 2001, archaeologists digging in Peru revealed a shocking discovery: massive man-made structures, hundreds of feet in diameter, built with stone and dirt. They fo­und dozens of these mounds in the arid valleys of Peru’s Norte Chico region, running from the Andes Mountains to the west coast.

These certainly aren’t the first mounds discovered in Peru, but there’s something special about them. They may represent a shift in the most basic understanding of the origins of civilization in the Americas.

They look like flat-topped pyramids, up to 85 feet (26 meters) tall. Compared to the pyramids of the Mayan empire i­n South America or, later, the Incan empire in Peru — structures that were hundreds of feet tall — that’s not so impressive. Except that these mounds in Norte Chico predate any large structures attributed to either the Incas or the Mayans. (They’re even older than the Egyptian pyramids, for that matter.) It seems that these Peruvian mound builders were the first complex civilization in the Americas.

­­The recently discovered mounds, found to be about 5,000 years old, predate the early Mayans by perhaps a thousand years. But perhaps even more surprising is the location of the mounds within Peru. Civilizations tend to develop around resource availability. People are naturally drawn to abundance in water and food sources.

But the Norte Chico region of Peru is totally dead. The archaeologists were digging in a place that seems incapable of supporting life. The land is dry as a bone, and there are very few water sources and hardly any green things as far as the eye can see.

Why would an advanced civilization spring up in such a desolate place? How could the mound builders have survived under such circumstances, let alone thrived to the point of introducing a new way of life in the Ameri­cas?

The answer, according to the group of archaeologists who discovered the mounds, could be something very familiar to present day civilizations: climate change. It starts with the discovery of seashells in a nearly waterless stretch of Peru.


The Anthropocene is an informal geologic chronological term that serves to mark the evidence and extent of human activities that have had a significant global impact on the Earth’s ecosystems.

The term was coined recently by ecologist Eugene F. Stoermer and has been widely popularized by the Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist, Paul Crutzen, who regards the influence of human behavior on the Earth’s atmosphere in recent centuries as so significant as to constitute a new geological epoch for its lithosphere.

In 2008 a proposal was presented to the Stratigraphy Commission of the Geological Society of London to make the Anthropocene a formal unit of geological epoch divisions. A large majority of that Stratigraphy Commission decided the proposal had merit and should therefore be examined further.

Steps are being taken by independent working groups of scientists from various geological societies to determine whether the Anthropocene will be formally accepted into the Geological Time Scale.

To date, the term has not been adopted as part of the official nomenclature of the geological field of study, but many scientists are now using the term and the Geological Society of America entitled its 2011 annual meeting: Archean to Anthropocene: The past is the key to the future.

The Anthropocene has no precise start date, but based on atmospheric evidence may be considered to start with the Industrial Revolution (late eighteenth century). Other scientists link the new term to earlier events, such as the rise of agriculture and the Neolithic Revolution (around 12,000 years BP).

Evidence of relative human impact such as the growing human influence on land use, ecosystems, biodiversity, and species extinction is controversial; some scientists believe the human impact has significantly changed (or halted) the growth of biodiversity.

Those arguing for earlier dates posit that the proposed Anthropocene may have begun as early as 14,000 to 15,000 years before present, based on lithospheric evidence; this has led other scientists to suggest that “the onset of the Anthropocene should be extended back many thousand years”; this would be closely synchronous with the current term, Holocene.

Climate change

Modern climate change could have a devastating effect on the habitability of large parts of the planet. Through the effects of higher temperatures, quickly rising seas, agricultural failure, drought, increased warfare, rapid climate fluctuations, and shifting weather patterns, modern civilization could be forced through some drastic transformations, or to complete disintegration.

Humanity has weathered many a climate change, from the ice age of 80,000 years ago to the droughts of the late 19th century that helped kill between 30 and 50 million people around the world via famine. But such shifts have transformed or eliminated specific human societies, including the ancient Sumerians and the Ming Dynasty in China, as highlighted in a review paper published January 30 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

It wasn’t until the end of the Ice Age around 10,000 B.C., that many things began to change which affected the people and the land. When the ice melted, it caused flooding to cover the lowland areas and new plants started to emerge. People started to farm animals and crops. The changing climate created an environment which encouraged people to settle in one place.

The development of agriculture helped people to settle in villages and create communities. When they had enough crops in storage, some of the people developed specialized trades or crafts. This formed an economy since the goods could be traded. This led to the first civilizations.

Between 12.8 and 11.6 thousand years ago the latter stage of the postglaciation warming was interrupted by a major cooling phase, the “Younger Dryas” — probably caused by the sudden massive release of melt-water from Canada’s thawing ice sheets into the Atlantic, disrupting that ocean’s heat circulation system. Over several centuries the temperature dropped by approximately 4 to 5 °C.

At that time early human settlements were forming in several regions with good year-round food sources, including the Natufians in today’s northern Syria and the settlements along the Nile Valley. Archaeological research has identified several dozen Nile settlements that preceded the Younger Dryas. After that climatic shock, however, only a few survived. Regional skeletal remains evince an unusually high proportion of violent deaths, many accompanied by remnants of weapons.

Meanwhile, in the Natufian region, as food supplies dwindled, most settlements disbanded. The several that managed to survive may have been progenitors of successful settled agriculture once warming resumed, culminating in the relatively stable Holocene climate.

A thousand-year chill led people in the Near East to take up the cultivation of plant foods; a catastrophic flood drove settlers to inhabit Europe; the drying of the Sahara forced its inhabitants to live along the banks of the Nile; and increased rainfall in East Africa provoked the bubonic plague.

The Sumerians

While the rest of the world is worried about melting glaciers in Greenland and the shrinking of the polar icecaps, resulting in the flooding of New York and other low-lying areas, Matt Konfirst, a geologist at the Byrd Polar Research Centre has been concerning himself with the climate change which happened a few years ago. 4,200 years ago, to be precise.

Exactly what caused the drought is uncertain. The Middle East in general has become drier over the years and the deforestation caused by human activity has almost certainly played a part in this, but whether deforestation was as great and as widespread back in the Third Millennium BC is probably doubtful. On the other hand, the usual culprits – sunspot activity or an outburst of volcanic activity – is not likely as those factors would not last for two centuries.

A 200-year-long drought 4,200 years ago may have killed off the ancient Sumerian language, one geologist says. Because no written accounts explicitly mention drought as the reason for the Sumerian demise, the conclusions rely on indirect clues. But several pieces of archaeological and geological evidence tie the gradual decline of the Sumerian civilization to a drought.

The secrets of El Niño, one of the most mysterious and destructive weather systems, could be unlocked by hundreds of thousands of ancient clay tablets now feared lost or damaged in the chaos of Iraq. Researchers believe the tablets, written using a cuneiform text, one of the earliest types of writing, form the world’s oldest records of climate change and could give vital clues to understanding El Niño and global warming.

Southern Mesopotamia (Sumeria), encompassing the lower Tigris and Euphrates river flood-plains, was apparently the first region to develop regional-scale agriculture and a polity of multiple connected villages and towns as trading centers.

The regions climate reflects a complex, seasonally varying set of weather systems: the “Atlantic” circulation (west winds, warmth, and seasonal rain) driven by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO); interdecadal latitudinal fluctuations of the arid subtropical “ridge”; the West Asian monsoon system; and periodic cold dry air from the north (the Siberian High).

During the first, longer phase of the warmer Holocene Climatic Optimum (6000–3800 BCE, the positive “Atlantic” weather pattern of the NAO predominated. This, plus river irrigation, facilitated the spread of agriculture. Then, as Sumeria’s climatic configuration began to change in the 4th millennium BCE, increasing food insecurity and hunger emerged.

Ecologically, the agricultural productivity of the Sumerian lands was being compromised as a result of rising salinity. Soil salinity in this region had been long recognized as a major problem. Poorly drained irrigated soils, in an arid climate with high levels of evaporation, led to the buildup of dissolved salts in the soil, eventually reducing agricultural yields severely.

During the Akkadian and Ur III phases, there was a shift from the cultivation of wheat to the more salt-tolerant barley. However, the crisis deepened, starvation spread, the authority of rulers dwindled, and local farming communities raided one another. Clay tablets and carvings on stone steles attest to growing misery, conflict, starvation, and several epidemic outbreaks.

Extended irrigation and substitution of (more salt-tolerant) barley for wheat may have provided some relief, but this was insufficient, and during the period from 2100 BC to 1700 BC, it is estimated that the population in this area declined by nearly three fifths.

This period is generally taken to coincide with a major shift in population from southern Mesopotamia toward the north. This greatly weakened the balance of power within the region, weakening the areas where Sumerian was spoken, and comparatively strengthening those where Akkadian was the major language.

The underfed weakened state Sumeria was conquered by the warrior-king Sargon, ruler of the upstream Akkadian empire (northern Mesopotamia). Henceforth Sumerian would remain only a literary and liturgical language, similar to the position occupied by Latin in medieval Europe.

The drying conditions subsequently extended north and, after brief regional domination, the Akkadian empire collapsed around 2200 BCE, largely undone by drought, malnutrition, and starvation. Following an Elamite invasion and sack of Ur during the rule of Ibbi-Sin (c. 1940 BC), Sumer came under Amorites rule (taken to introduce the Middle Bronze Age).

The independent Amorite states of the 20th to 18th centuries are summarized as the “Dynasty of Isin” in the Sumerian king list, ending with the rise of Babylonia under Hammurabi c. 1700 BC.

The Late Bronze Age Collapse

Archaeologists have debated for decades over what caused the once-flourishing civilizations along the eastern Mediterranean coast to collapse about 1200 BC. Many scholars have cited warfare, political unrest and natural disaster as factors. But a new study supports the theory that climate change was largely responsible.

Analyzing ancient pollen grains from Cyprus, researchers concluded that a massive drought hit the region about 3,200 years ago. Ancient writings have described crop failures, famines and invasions about the same time, suggesting that the drying trend triggered a chain of events that led to widespread societal collapse of these Late Bronze Age civilizations.

Ancient civilizations flourished in regions of the Eastern Mediterranean such as Greece, Syria and neighboring areas, but suffered severe crises that led to their collapse during the late Bronze Age. Here, researchers studied pollen grains derived from sediments of an ancient lake in the region to uncover a history of environmental changes that likely drove this crisis.

Shifts in carbon isotopes in the Eastern Mediterranean and in local plant species suggest that this lake was once a flourishing harbor that gradually dried into a land-locked salt lake. As a result, crop failures led to famines, repeated invasions by migrants from neighboring regions and eventually, the political and economic collapse of the Eastern Mediterranean civilizations at the end of the late Bronze Age.

Combining this data with archeological evidence from cuneiform tablets and correspondence between kings, the researchers suggest that the late Bronze Age crisis was a complex, single event comprised of climate change-induced drought, famines, sea-borne invasions and political struggles, rather than a series of unrelated events. They conclude that this event underlines the sensitivity of these agriculture-based societies to climate, and demystifies the crisis that led to their end.

The Mayas

There are two proposed methods of Classic Maya collapse: environmental and non-environmental. The environmental approach uses paleoclimatic evidence to show that movements in the intertropical convergence zone likely caused severe, extended droughts during a few time periods at the end of the archaeological record for the classic Maya.

The non-environmental approach suggests that the collapse could be due to increasing class tensions associated with the building of monumental architecture and the corresponding decline of agriculture, increased disease, and increased internal warfare.

Modern research has found that the classic Maya civilization collapsed at the end of a long period of wet weather, as it gave way to drought. As the local climate changed, the civilization and its products disintegrated, leading to widespread famine, endemic warfare, and the collapse of cities.

From the tenth to the fifteenth century the earth experienced a rise in surface temperature that changed climate worldwide—a preview of today’s global warming. In some areas, including western Europe, longer summers brought bountiful harvests and population growth that led to cultural flowering. In the Arctic, Inuit and Norse sailors made cultural connections across thousands of miles as they traded precious iron goods. Polynesian sailors, riding new wind patterns, were able to settle the remotest islands on earth.

But in many parts of the world, the warm centuries brought drought and famine. Elaborate societies in western and central America collapsed, and the vast building complexes of Chaco Canyon and the Mayan Yucatán were left empty. The history of the Great Warming of a half millennium ago suggests that we may yet be underestimating the power of climate change to disrupt our lives today — and our vulnerability to drought, writes Fagan, is the “silent elephant in the room.”

The change in the Central American climate during the collapse of the Maya civilization was due to a massive, undulating, natural weather pattern. This weather pattern alternately brought extreme moisture, which fostered the growth of the Maya civilization, and periods of dry weather and drought on a centuries-long scale.

During the wet periods agriculture expanded and allowed the population and urban centers to grow. This process reinforced the centralized power that the kings of these centers possessed. The kings are known to have claimed credit for the things that the region was dependent on but had no control of, such as the rains and the weather.

The supposed mechanism of this influence over the elements were the ritualized public blood sacrifices for which the Maya are well known. Because the power of the kings over their subjects was largely dependent on a favorable climate for agriculture, their rule could be greatly influenced by changes in the climate. It’s very easy to argue that modern civilization is no different — without large-scale agriculture, it’s hard to imagine any semblance of it persisting for long.

When the rains finally did stop, around the year 660, the kings’ power is known to have been largely diminished, and correlated very closely with a large increase in warfare over the now scarce resources.

The political collapse of the Maya kings came around the year 900, when prolonged drought undermined their authority. But Maya populations remained for another century or so, when a severe drought lasting from the years 1000 to 1100 forced Maya to leave what used to be their biggest centers of population.

The Maya also had their own hand in the collapse of their agricultural system. Their farming (like modern farming) led to soil erosion and nutrient depletion. They combated this by intensifying their farming. Using more land and more irrigation, and that in turn caused greater erosion.


While climate change and migration are currently hot issues due the global warming debate, they have been around since the beginning of mankind. Examples include the emergence of complex societies, the Hominin evolution, Anasazi society, Akkadian civilization, Easter Island civilization, the Han dynasty, the Shan dynasty, the Mayan civilization, the Nose Greenland civilization, the Mongol Invasion, the Harappa civilization, and a lot of more modern migrations.

Some of the climate changes were reasons to go to war, others mass migrations, and still others were short-term employment to survive after an extreme weather event that collapsed the local economy. On the other hand, many resulted in the complete collapse of a society.

Unlike the current global warming trend, which is spurred by human activities including the emission of atmosphere-heating greenhouse gases, the change in the Central American climate during the collapse of the Maya civilization was due to a massive, undulating, natural weather pattern, but the collapse of the Maya civilization is likely a good mirror for what may occur in the modern world when climatic changes lead to failures in the highly specialized and delicate framework of modern civilization.

There are some analogies to this in the modern context that we need to worry about. It’s predicted that modern climate change could very well undermine agricultural systems throughout large sections of the world, causing widespread famine, warfare, and disease… which these affected populations then export to the surrounding and otherwise unaffected territories, just as it may have happened in Maya civilization.

Whatever the cause, however, Matt Konfirst has no hesitation in drawing lessons for today: we underestimate the effects of climate change at our peril, he told the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in December, 2012. Our vaunted civilisation could collapse just as completely as did the Sumerians were we to be faced with a drought that continued for several centuries.

Wintertime droughts are increasingly common in the Mediterranean region, and human-caused climate change is partly responsible, according to a new analysis by NOAA scientists and colleagues at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES). In the last 20 years, 10 of the driest 12 winters have taken place in the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.

Drought was a key factor contributing to unrest and civil war in Syria, and the severity of the drought was probably a result of human-caused climate change. The study analysis suggests that the drought was too severe to be simply a result of natural variability in precipitation.

Climate change has destroyed many civilizations in the past

Climate and Human Civilization over the last 18,000 years

Effects of Ecology and Climate on Human Physical Variations

Climate change and the rise and fall of civilizations

Did Climate Change Killed Ancient Civilizations?

Climate Change Has Helped Bring Down Cultures

Changing Climate May Have Driven Collapse of Civilizations in Late Bronze Age

Collapse of Late Bronze Age Civilizations Linked to Climate Change

Did Climate Change Topple Ancient Civilizations?

Climate change may have caused demise of Late Bronze Age civilizations

Climate Change Has Helped Bring Down Cultures

Human-Caused Climate Change Major Factor in More Frequent Mediterranean Droughts

Sumerian Language & Climate: Long Drought Killed Off Ancient Tongue, Research Suggests

Sumerian Climate Change

Collapse Of Maya Civilization Strongly Linked To Climate Change, Finds New Research

Did Climate Change Kill the Mayans?

The rise, fall, and migration of civilization due to climate change

Did climate change create a mysterious civilization in Peru 5,000 years ago?

Tablets That May Reveal El Niño Secrets are Feared Lost in Iraq


Historical impacts of climate change

Blytt–Sernander system

Deluge (prehistoric)


Holocene climatic optimum

8.2 kiloyear event

Neolithic Subpluvial

Older Peron


At Gezi, a common voice against state brutality

Post image for At Gezi, a Common Voice Against State Brutality

At Gezi, a Common Voice Against State Brutality

“While the peace process remains frayed, the Gezi protests did make many previously apolitical Turks aware that the real enemies are not the Kurds, but those in power.”



People Have The Power – Patti Smith



The transformation of our society

By the root of our civilization it was balance and harmony between the sexes and our way of living with each other and with nature – this is the start of organized the society, and it is called Me by the Sumerians, Maat by the Egyptians and Tao by the Chinese etc.

But everything changed when we developed agriculture, domestication and metallurgi. These developments created changes and side effects which we didn’t controll. Early agriculture was not harmful because women could limit their childbearing, unlike in most nations today, but making metal was one of the worst mistakes, since one of its sideeffects was to create a male dominated society.

Capitalist patriarchy, by its nature, is violent and male supremacist. It can’t be reformed, but must be eradicated and replaced by women’s non patriarchal values. We have to change to a feminist way of thinking, not only by sex, but our way of thinking – horizontal, intuitive, holistic …

If we don’t listen to ours and the planets needs we will be past and the humanity will be long gone because the nature can’t afford to have us. This is the time of transformation, cause if we don’t change – you allready know what’s going to happen …