Perhaps most people don’t know that the visual effects artist and Indie filmmaker Roger Kupelian, best known as one of the creative forces behind the Academy Award-winning trilogy “The Lord of the Rings,” is a proud Armenian. His cultural heritage has inspired his latest endeavor, the recently released graphic novel “War Gods,” which is the first in a two-part volume of the “East of Byzantium” series that has gripped readers, and has them anxiously awaiting the sequel.
It is a Byzantine-era saga of unparalleled bravery, a fresh new look at the world before the Dark Ages and after the fall of the classical Rome of the Caesars. It is the story of exceptional men and women who must pull together a world torn apart by war, religious strife, and the lust for world domination…from the murder that destroyed family to the battles that regained a kingdom, to the religious conflicts that created the first Christian nation in history and the curse carried down through centuries that culminates in a bloody battlefield – at the edge of Rome and the gates of Persia.
Don’t miss this opportunity to purchase the publication through our bookstore and check out the special offer for an autographed copy.
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AGBU Ararat hosted a book launch event in New York City this past Friday, August 3, 2012, co-sponsored by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), for Chris Bohjalian and his new novel, The Sandcastle Girls. Over 200 enthusiastic guests listened to him weave wonderful anecdotes about life as an author on tour with touching memories from his Armenian childhood. His new book is a must-read. Read full coverage from the event here and buy the book here.
Since it debuted two weeks ago, copies of “The Sandcastle Girls” (Doubleday) by Armenian American author Chris Bohjalian have been flying off the shelves across the country. Now, readers in Boston know the backstory behind the bestselling love story, following a presentation co-sponsored by the AGBU Young Professionals (YP) of Boston.
On Thursday, July 26, 2012, the YP group, in collaboration with the Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA) and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), hosted a talk with Bohjalian. As the grandson of survivors of Armenian Genocide, Bohjalian recounted, he had long attempted to produce a book set during that period. Only after traveling to Lebanon and Armenia to trace both the history of his family and of the region, was he able to create the novel, his fifteenth to date. It is, Bohjalian stated at the event, the most important book he will write – and one of the enjoyable, as the close to 300 people who came to hear him speak at ALMA will attest.
Bohjalian will have another presentation and signing – which is already “sold out” – at the AGBU Central Office in New York on Friday, August 3, 2012, as part of his national book tour. The event is presented by ANC-NY and Doubleday Publishing, and will be hosted by AGBU Ararat and co-sponsored by the AGBU Young Professionals of Greater New York (YPGNY), the Armenia Network – NY Region, AYF-YOARF New York “Hyortik” Chapter and Hamazkayin of New York.
On March 14 and 15, 2012, AGBU’s Vatche and Tamar Manoukian High School’s Elective Armenian Drama class put on a production of Nayiri Zarian’s play, “Ara Keghetsig,” under the direction of Lora Kuyumjian. Nearly 1,000 people attended over the course of two days to see students from grades nine to twelve display not only their fine acting talents, but their masterful knowledge of the Armenian language, as well.
Always ready to wow the greater Beirut community with their graceful and inspiring dance moves, the local AYA Arine Dance Ensemble posted this trailer announcing their upcoming performance, entitled “The Golden Gramophone,” which will take place on May 25 and 26, 2012, at the Emile Lahoud Hall in Dbayeh, Lebanon. The ensemble’s Artistic Director and Choreographer, Gayaneh Madzounian, and all the dancers are rehearsing tirelessly for what promises to be a showstopper performance. Contact the AYA Beirut Office for tickets: +961-4-523-043 or 44.
In April, co-authors Aline Kamakian and Barbara Drieskens from Lebanon wrapped up a month-long, AGBU-coordinated tour across the U.S. and Canada to promote their widely acclaimed publication “Armenian Cuisine.” Equal parts cookbook, photo essay, and oral history, the recently released hardcover is quickly finding its place on kitchen counters and coffee tables in homes around the world.
The book’s concept was developed by Kamakian, who, as a Lebanese-Armenian chef and owner of the renowned Beirut restaurant, Mayrig, hoped to resolve her clients’ questions about why the Armenian foods listed on the menu were known by Turkish names. Her quest for answers took her to the ancestral Armenian land of Cilicia in present day southeastern Turkey. Knowing her talents lay more in cooking than writing, she forged a collaboration with Drieskens, a trained anthropologist. The two embarked on an emotional three-week journey across almost 2,000 miles. The result is a striking volume filled with 139 classic recipes and hundreds of photographs of landscapes and natural foods that have made it a 2012 New York Photo Festival contender.
The author and professor, Vahakn Dadrian, signing copies of his book, "Judgment at Istanbul: The Armenian Genocide Trials."
Audience members at the AGBU Toronto Centre.
AGBU Montreal and Toronto recently held two presentations at their respective centers promoting the new book by world-renowned Genocide expert Vahakn Dadrian, entitled, “Judgment at Istanbul: The Armenian Genocide Trials,” which he co-authored with fellow scholar and author Taner Akçam, who is of Turkish descent. On February 1, 2012, AGBU Montreal — together with various Armenian organizations of Montreal and the Zoryan Institute of Canada — hosted a lecture by Professor Dadrian at its Center, with over 200 people in attendance. The discussion focused on the significance and criminal prosecution of the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide, as well as the process of gathering information for the significant publication, which took over a decade to put together. “Judgment at Istanbul” marks the first complete known documentation of the Ottoman Special Military Tribunal, which took place after World War I, and the trial proceedings that showed the genocidal intent by Turkish leaders against their Armenian citizens. Following a series of questions asked by audience members, the author signed books for the attendees. All copies were sold out by the end of the evening.
On February 10, AGBU Toronto and AGBU’s Young Professionals (YP) of Toronto — in partnership with the Zoryan Institute and a group of local organizations — hosted a similar lecture by Professor Dadrian at its Toronto Center. Close to 250 people listened as George Shirinian, the executive director of the Zoryan Institute, introduced the author. Also present was the Ambassador of Armenia, His Excellency Armen Yeganian. As Dadrian continued this promotional tour, AGBU Ararat also co-sponsored a lecture on March 9, 2012, in New Jersey.
The AGBU Buenos Aires Chapter is always bustling with activity to serve the local Armenian population, which numbers around 90,000, and its newest program is the Krikor Satamian Theatre Company. The troupe’s first production was the presentation of Hairus Ov Eh?, the Armenian version of Ray Cooney’s comedy play It Runs in the Family, as translated by Krikor Satamian, Director of the AGBU Ardavazt Theatre Company of Pasadena, and adapted by director Silvia Kalfaian. Three full-house performances took place between November 18 and 25, 2011, and Spanish subtitles were offered on a screen above the stage to encourage as many theater enthusiasts as possible to attend.
The following was posted on TheArmenianKitchen.com, which mentions two wonderful cookbooks available through AGBU: http://www.thearmeniankitchen.com/2012/01/you-can-never-have-too-many-cookbooks.html
If you would like to purchase a copy of either publication, kindly write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On October 30, 2011, AGBU launched a tour to promote Dr. George Bournoutian’s newest publication – The 1823 Russian Survey of the Karabagh Province: A Primary Source on the Demography and Economy of Karabagh in the Early 19th Century with an appearance by the author on the Armenian Radio Hour of New Jersey. You can watch the full interview by clicking here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ogorHbsQSE. The following weekend, Bournoutian traveled to Montreal and Toronto for talks in front of packed audiences, and also lectured for enthusiastic attendees in New York and Detroit. Several more presentations are scheduled for 2012. The scholarly work proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Armenians formed the overwhelming 95% majority of the populations inhabiting the Nagorno-Karabakh territory and the villages of Zangezur before 1822.
On a related note, another one of Bournoutian’s more than a dozen works has just been published in Turkish. A Concise History of the Armenian People, which was translated by an Armenian and a Turk, made its debut via Aras Publishers in Istanbul at the annual Istanbul International Book Fair (November 18-December 1). This was the first time that an Armenian publishing house participated in the fair. A Concise History, the first of its kind in English, was commissioned by AGBU in 1993-1994, and has since sold 20,000 copies and been adopted as the main text at a number of colleges, universities and high schools teaching Armenian history. The Turkish edition may be purchased through the Aras site.