Saturday, November 20, 2010

Armenian Diaspora Symposium

What a productive day! After working at my school for 2 hours I went to the International symposium about the Armenian diaspora at USC.
I met George Deukmejian.
There were many educated professors and journalists who spoke.
Mark Arax was the award-winning journalist from Fresno who talked about his experience as a journalist at L.A. Times and his views of the Armenian culture.
Garin Hovannisian was in the audience. He is Professor Richard Hovannisian's grandson, Rafi's son. Garin is very young and has already published a book called "Family of Shadows".
In 1988 Garin was participating in a demonstration at Los Angeles City College. He was probably 2 years old. I took a photo of him holding a sign "One Nation One Republic". That photo was publish in the Armenian magazine called 80s (Outsounagan). The editor and publisher was Ishkhan Jinbashian.
Last July when I was in Armenia I saw Rafi and Armineh Hovannisian, Garin's parents.
Armineh remembered that photo.
I am so proud of Hovannisian's family.

Professor Armen Marsoobian

On Wednesday, November 17, 2010 Philosophy professor Marsoobian had a very interesting presentation about Merzifon and Anatolia College by using his family photographs and journals. His uncle, Aram Dildilian, was a photographer at the beginning of the 20th century. Armen Marsoobian still has some of the glass negatives. These photos have documented lives in Anatolia and they survived the Armenian Genocide.
The event was at Ararat-Eskijian Museum in Mission Hills, Los Angeles area.

Ara Oshagan's book

My dear photographer friend, Ara Oshagan, has published his book that he had been working on for several years. It is called "Father Land". It includes black and white photographs of Armenia with a text by his father, Vahe Oshagan.
In conjunction with the book Ara has a photography exhibition at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park.
Along with Ara some other artists have their work. Charlie Hachadourian is one of the participating artists. His clay sculpture are amazing and original.
Bravo to Ara. Congratulations.


On Saturday, October 23, 2010 I attended a literature event organized by Southern California Independent Booksellers Association (SCIBA).
I met many famous writers who primarily write for children and young adults.
In one picture is Michael Grant.

Women Writers

On Friday, October 8, 2010 I was invited to an event of women writers of Hedgebrook.
I was invited by Dorothy Randall Gray. She is the person who pushes me to do my best and write my stories. I don't know how she found my email and invited me to her writing workshops but I know she came into my life for a reason.
I attended her writing workshop in March of 2010. She graciously accepted to edit my mother's self-help book that I have translated from Farsi to English. It's in the process of getting published.
During the Hedgebrook event I met very interesting women. The way they told their stories were very unique and original.
I met Ruth Forman, Pearl Sharp, Mayda DelValle, Amalia Ortiz, Kip, and Amy Wheeler.
Thank you Dorothy.
Check this retreat for women writers.

Peace Tent September 2010

Another year of beautiful activities for the Peace Tent by my dear friend, Marineh Khachadour. Her husband, famous artist Charlie Hachadourian, baked fresh lavash bread on the first and last days of the event.
The Peace Tent activities last for a week, September 19 - 26.
Elana Golden provided a very inspiring writing workshop.

Armenia with my friends and cousin

My dear friend, Achik (Anna), went to Armenia from Iran to spend time with me. Of course, her sister, Armineh, and her family live in Yerevan but she planned her visit around my trip.
My lovely cousin, Mona, lives in Yerevan with her daughter and grandchild. Mona is a young and cool grandmother :)
Aida is another wonderful friend who is from Armenia. We spent fantastic time together.
We created beautiful memories.
Armen Minassian is the grandson of the legendary actor, Arman. Armen is an architect and lives in Yerevan with his family.
Also, I met many of my friends from Los Angeles area.
I rented a cute single apartment on Sayat Nova Street. My friends and I truly enjoyed the balcony :)
Another memorable moment was being present during the Apricot Armenian Film Festival. I saw Claudia Cardinale from close and said, "Che bella!" She looked at me and smiled.
Who would have thought one day I would meet Claudia in Armenia.
On July 15 I traveled to two villages and photographed the families who receive aid from an organization under the supervision of Armineh Petrossian. She is a caring person who does a great assessment of each family's needs. It was a very interesting experience. Listening to their stories was very touching.

Armenia July 2010

Finally, I met with my poet brother, Varand, in Armenia. The first meeting was at Dzaghgazor during the Armenian Writers' Symposium. I took a taxi from the capital city, Yerevan, to Dzaghgazor resort. It was an hour drive. It cost me $20.
Varand was in his room resting. We had a wonderful reunion in the balcony with a beautiful view.
That afternoon Varand and few other writers visited with the president of Armenia. He was honored by President Serge Sarkissian.