It’s not often that Calvin Coolidge’s name is invoked these days in Washington. But the long-dead 30th president is figuring in a controversy involving several Armenian-American organizations, the Smithsonian Institution and the White House.
The US ambassador to Armenia, John Heffern, is wrapping up a “listening tour” that featured meetings with Diaspora leaders in cities across the United States. Heffern’s mission was aimed primarily at encouraging the Armenian Diaspora in the United States to join in governmental efforts to strengthen Yerevan’s connections to the West.
Starting just over two decades ago, tens of thousands of citizens started leaving Mongolia amid a wrenching economic transition from a planned-economy to a free market. Now, with the Mongolian economy poised to boom, many émigrés are wrestling with a dilemma – whether or not to abandon the new country for the old?
Residents of one of Armenia’s most dilapidated villages are hoping a religious revival can improve their economic fortunes.
In early August, the town of Karakert, a churchless Armenian village founded during the 1950s to house factory workers, hosted a mass baptism. Residents, some of whom now refer to the town as “cursed,” hoped that the event could help reverse two decades of decline.
There’s no getting around the fact that Armenia is a nation of smokers, with more than half the male population regularly lighting up. Despite the recent passage of anti-smoking legislation, the country is struggling to enforce relevant laws and promote public awareness about the harmful effects of cigarettes and second-hand smoke.
Dog boutiques and animal ownership have risen in the last few years in Armenia, even as the country grapples with the issue of stray dogs. Thousands are roaming the streets of the capital of Yerevan, posing a safety threat to residents.
Now that the Los Angeles Lakers have been bumped from the National Basketball Association playoffs, Kobe Bryant, the team’s star, faces an off-the-court challenge. This winter, Bryant alienated a large segment of the Lakers’ fan base, members of California’s large Diaspora Armenian community, with a decision to endorse Turkish Airlines.
Armenian diaspora leaders in the United States are responding with cautious optimism to an initiative by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s administration to create a second chamber of parliament, one that would give Armenians abroad more say in the shaping of public policy.