Friday, 29 June 2007

Armenian Surgeon Ara Darzi Appointed a Health Minister by British PM Gordon Brown

World famous surgeon of Armenian origin, professor Sir Ara Darzi has been appointed by British PM Gordon Brown a health minister in charge of improving patient care.

Ara Darzi has pioneered innovative work in the development of minimally invasive surgery - the technique that allows surgeons to operate through small incisions.

According to The Times and Wikipedia, professor Darzi, 46, was born in Armenia, other sources suggest that he is from Iraq-born Armenian family. He spent much of his childhood in Ireland. In 2003 he became a British citizen. He was awarded a knighthood in 2003 for his services to medicine and surgery.

As BBC reported, Sir Ara will combine his ministerial duties with his research and clinical commitments, including the supervision of students.

Sir Ara, 47, said: "It is a great honour and privilege to be asked by the Prime Minister to continue that work for patients across the country."

"I am not a politician by profession. My working life has, is and will continue to be centred on patient care."

BBC reminded that Sir Ara is internationally respected for his innovative work in the advancement of minimal invasive surgery and in the development and use of allied technologies including surgical robots and image-guided surgery.

Mr Bernard Ribeiro, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, said: "I am delighted that a practising surgeon, who deals with patients on a regular basis, has decided to take such a high position.

"It is an opportunity for government to engage directly with the profession."

The prime minister's spokesman said Professor Darzi would work Monday to Thursday as a minister - being paid for three days - and continue to work as an NHS surgeon, unpaid, on Fridays.

Any income from his international private practice will be paid direct to Imperial College to fund research, the spokesman said.

Armenian heritage

The following extract is from the AGBU article published in 2003 by David Zenian:

Dr. Darzi’s father, Vartkes, is a retired civil and structural engineer who was the first Iraq-born Armenian to study at the University of California in Berkeley in the late 1940’s.

The son of a Genocide survivor, Vartkes (Terzian) Darzi settled in Dublin after graduation and started a family in a city which did not even have an Armenian community.

“I used to travel a lot, working in many countries in the Middle East, while Ara and his sister stayed home with my wife. But we were a very close-knit Armenian family and I have raised Ara as an Armenian,” Vartkes Darzi said.

“Unfortunately, we did not have a large circle of Armenian friends, something which I want my son to start doing. I have retired, and London is our home now, and it is such an advantage to be involved with the Armenian community,” he said.

“The reports in the British press said my son Ara is an Irish national. That is correct, but he is also an Armenian, and is the first Armenian to become an honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE),” said Vartkes Darzi.

While not involved in things Armenian, Dr. Darzi remains greatly interested in Armenian issues.

Growing up in Dublin, Dr. Darzi’s closest ties to his heritage was through his parents.

But in a recent interview, Dr. Darzi said he would “really like to take my knowledge to Armenia. I would love to visit and do something constructive there.

“I have not had the chance until now, but I hope to get more involved in the coming years. I want to go to my roots. I have served in many countries around the world. Why not also Armenia?” he said.

“I would like to volunteer and even take some essential equipment to Armenia to train other doctors there. All I need is the right opportunity.” he said.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Target: Radio Liberty

Legislative ‘cover up’ to shut down the main independent radio-broadcaster in Armenia

Armenian parliament is considering amendments to current broadcast and tax regulations laws which may effectively close down Radio Liberty and apparently proposed for that only reason.

Formally, the proposed legislative changes presented as amendments to the Laws "On Television and Radio" and "On State Duties”. They include very ‘technical’ changes, well, ‘technical’ at first sight, and for people who do not know Armenian reality. Surely, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) knows what is going on.

Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media was quick today to critisize proposed amendments “that would ban Armenian-language foreign media programmes on public-service broadcast channels, and introduce heavy fees for those programmes on private channels.”

"As Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is currently the only foreign media outlet using the Armenian Public Radio frequency, the adoption of the amendments would amount to a ban on their programmes in Armenia," wrote Haraszti in his letter to the Chairman of the National Assembly Tigran Torosyan. The Representative pointed out that Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is an alternative source of information in Armenia, providing a diversity of opinion that is especially needed during election periods. Haraszti called upon the National Assembly not to adopt the restrictive amendments.

"The proposed changes to the Laws "On Television and Radio" and "On State Duties" are incompatible with OSCE commitments to safeguard pluralism and the free flow of information in the media," Haraszti concluded.

Good statements, sure, but so what? We’ve heard these sorts of statements before, when independent A1+ TV station was effectively shut down through another ‘lawful’ process. And nothing happened, those who shut down A1+, successfully digested it and now are hungry again, they need another délicatesse.

Apparently, Armenian government does not feel enough pressure from European institutions to comply with its commitments to democracy and human rights on the way to European integration. Instead, Armenian authorities use more ‘sophisticated’ approaches in dealing with media and free speech – financial pressure (remember very high TV prices for parliamentary candidates during recent elections?).

For me, Radio Liberty is one of the most credible sources of information from Armenia and my favourite one. They are independent (even though US-financed), comprehensive, current and never boring (compared to osseous, impossibly boring Radio America, which is unbearable to listen). I started listening to Radio Liberty during Soviet period. Along with the BBC and Radio America, it was the source of dissident views on what is going on in Soviet Union and the world (and in my opinion, the best source). I continued listening to Radio Liberty after Armenia regained its independence. Back then, there were speculations that Radio Liberty may become obsolete due to emerging democracy in newly independent states. Unfortunately, democracy is still ‘emerging’ and the role of Radio Liberty is as valued as ever in development of democracy in our country.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

US chief Karabakh mediator Matthew Bryza and Turkish American scholar Zeyno Baran getting married

DE FACTO Information-Analytics Agency: OSCE Minsk group U. S. Co-Chair Matthew Bryza is getting married. He is going to marry a Turk, Zeyno Baran – the Director of the Center for Eurasian Policy at the Hudson Institute. By the way, she had occupied the same position at the Nixon Institute before; however, she was fired because of too aggressive pro-Turkish activity. According to her boss, the Institute needs analytics, not propagandists. Both Bryza and Baran graduated from Stanford University. They have common interests, specializing in Caucasus and energy policy. Baran and Bryza have been living in ‘’civil’’ marriage for many years. As it is known, Bryza does not have the rank of Ambassador, however, he actually directs the works of the U. S. Embassies in Armenia, Georgia an Azerbaijan. It was Bryza (or Baran?) who insisted that the U. S. Ambassador to Armenia John Evans be fired. Evans has got in Bryza’s (or Baran’s?) bad books for mentioning Armenian Genocide in Turkey.

In Wikipedia, Zeyno Baran is presented as a “respected scholar on issues ranging from US-Turkey relations to Islamist ideology to energy security in Europe and Asia”, with particular specialisation - “countering Islamist ideology.”

On the other hand, a year ago US leftist Harper's magazine (29 September 2006) published an interesting article about Zeyno Baran which may help to get hint on her ideological stance:

"Bryza's longtime paramour Zeyno Baran has worked for several think tanks, including the Hudson Institute, where she is currently employed. Baran, it appears, has never met a Caspian dissident whom she didn't dismiss as an Islamist terrorist. In a 2004 interview with the Washington Times, she noted that a recent suicide bomber in Uzbekistan had been female and predicted that “the next set of attacks in the United States will use blonde, blue-eyed women.” Along with Fred Starr of the Central Asia and Caucasus Institute, Baran earlier this year presented a propaganda video prepared by the Uzbek government to counter widespread condemnation of the 2005 Andijan massacre. "

However naive it may sound, but today’s news from DeFacto may give us a clue and at least partially explain Bryza’s increasingly pro-Azerbaijani rhetoric in Karabakh negotiation process and pro-Turkish stance in Armenia-Turkey issue, although I must say that his long-term relationship with Zeyno Baran was never a secret. Surely, for professional diplomats, personal life remains or should remain personal, and not marriage but US administration shapes Bryza’s actions. However, we are all human beings, and the impact of personal relationships (and we are talking here about marriage to Baran!) is known to have significant role in politics.

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary: conflict of interest - a conflict between the private interests and the official responsibilities of a person in a position of trust.

Wikipedia: A conflict of interest is a situation in which someone in a position of trust, such as a lawyer, insurance adjuster, a politician, executive or director of a corporation or a medical research scientist or physician, has competing professional or personal interests. Such competing interests can make it difficult to fulfill his or her duties impartially.

It seems very current to me to re-read what Nouvelles d’Armenia was reported a year ago (10 August 2006) about Bryza-Baran link and its impact on Armenia related issues:

"… Mr. Bryza’s long-time partner is a woman by the name of Zeyno Baran. Normally, it would be inappropriate to drag a diplomat’s personal life into a political commentary. In this case, however, there are special circumstances that justify such a reference. Ms. Baran herself has introduced her personal relationship with Mr. Bryza into the public domain on several occasions, by openly referring to her ties with him. In her speeches and reports, she often thanks Mr. Bryza for giving her "tremendous intellectual and personal support." They often lecture together at various venues both in the U.S. and overseas.

Ms. Baran, a native of Turkey, is opposed to various Armenian issues, including the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. On March 8, 2005, as the Director of International Security and Energy Programs for the Nixon Center, she told the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee that she is opposed to the congressional resolution on the Armenian Genocide. "Given the prevalent Turkish view that the U.S. is running a campaign against Turkey, it would be very damaging if the Armenian Genocide resolution passed Congress this year," Baran testified. "This year is the 90th anniversary of the tragic 1915 massacre and certainly Armenian Diaspora groups would like to get recognition. However, such a resolution would play right into the hands of the growing set of anti-Americans and ultra-nationalists in Turkey," she said.

Last week, in an interview with the Mediamax news agency, Ms. Baran, now the Director of the Center for Eurasian Policy at the Hudson Institute, defended Mr. Bryza’s partial release of the documents on the Artsakh [Karabakh] negotiations. She also said that she still believes what she told the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee last year that "the strength of Armenian Diaspora limits U.S. ability to encourage democratic change in Armenia."

It is no wonder that during a trip to Turkey last year, Mr. Bryza unabashedly declared : "I am thrilled to be back in Turkey. Turkey in many ways feels for me like a second home.... I can’t spend enough time in your beautiful country. I hope to be back soon and often." One would hope that Mr. Bryza would soon realize his wish and retire in Turkey permanently! "

Monday, 25 June 2007

UNHCR Review of Gay Rights in Armenia (2003-2005)

Armenia: The situation of homosexuals and lesbians; public perception of gays and lesbians; availability of state protection and whether there exist state programs to promote the respect of their human rights (January 2003 - December 2005)

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) officially published in its website the above review. It was originally conducted by Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada as ‘Responses to Information Requests’ (RIRs) and published in Ottawa on 19 January 2006.

Background info from Agency’s website:
RIRs respond to focused queries or Requests for Information that are submitted to the Research Directorate in the course of the refugee protection determination process.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

Personal Notes:
It should be noted that this review reflects 2003-2005 years. Since then, some positive changes occurred in Armenia. Particularly, gay or gay-friendly venues emerged in Armenian capital, Yerevan, which was unthinkable just a year or two ago. Also, the first LGBT NGO called Menk (“We For Civil Equality”) was founded and registered by Ministry of Justice in July 2006. It was referred in this review as not yet established “Self-Help Group”.

However, main issues raised in this review still exist and need urgent attention. There is still widespread homophobia in Armenian society and lack of legal protection of LGBT people whose human rights are violated. Gay men and lesbians are subjected to both verbal and physical homophobic abuse in everyday life and are ill-treated by law-enforcement agencies. Unfortunately, due to known reasons, these facts generally remain unreported and mainly based on anecdotal evidence. Moreover, as stated in this review, till now “Armenia[n] legislation does not contain a single provision on discrimination based on or due to sexual orientation”.

Today, speaking to RFE/RL (Radio Liberty), Avet Adonts, chairman of parliamentary committee to promote Armenia’s integration into European structures, stressed his group’s intention to “harmonize Armenia’s laws with those adopted by EU countries”. He rightly pointed out that “laws alone will not bring Armenia closer to Europe. “Public opinion in Armenia is not quite prepared for European integration,” he said. “Many think that it is being imposed on us. We have to explain, we have to work actively with non-governmental organizations.”

I hope Adonts, a career diplomat, understands that EU-like laws mean also equality and protection of human rights, including specific anti-discrimination laws to protect rights of minority groups, in this case, LGBT people. We’ve yet to hear from Armenian Ombudsman if/how he intends to incorporate gay rights into the agenda of Human Rights Defender of Republic of Armenia. European institutions, international bodies and local organisations, along with representatives of gay community, should keep these issues high in their agenda while dealing with Armenia’s European aspirations, which are my aspirations too.

For details and a copy of UNHCR review, see Unzipped: Gay Armenia

*Many thanks to M. M. for info about this publication!

Saturday, 23 June 2007

UEFA’s cowardly, ‘politically correct’ decision: Euro 2008 Armenia vs Azerbaijan matches cancelled

Reuters just reported that UEFA decided to cancel two Euro 2008 Group A matches between Armenia and Azerbaijan, with both countries losing the six qualifying points available. As Reuters rightly pointed out, "Armenia wanted the games played on a normal home and away basis but Azerbaijan refused to play host to the Armenians and proposed a neutral ground for both encounters."

Why should Armenia suffer from Azerbaijan’s inability to follow UEFA rules? I wish there is a way for Armenia to protest this decision. UEFA is perfectly aware of Karabakh conflict and they either should have put Armenia and Azerbaijan in different groups from the beginning (regardless of the draw) or reinforce their rules, if no other compromise is possible.

But hey, we are living in increasingly ‘politically correct’ world…

Attacks on minorities: ugly face of Russia’s capital fuelled by its Mayor

Attacks on foreigners or ethnic minorities are becoming frighteningly common in Moscow, Russia.

AP (23 June 2007): Dozens of Russians brawled with people from the Caucasus and Central Asia in what Moscow police said was a coordinated attack by anti-immigrant and right-wing activists. Nearly two dozen people were arrested and one person was hospitalized. The violence Friday night was the latest incident involving hate crimes or attacks on foreigners in Russia, particularly dark-skinned immigrants from poorer regions and republics of the former Soviet Union.

Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov “condemned” the violence, telling the news agencies that "any display of chauvinism, xenophobia or nationalism will be harshly put down." What a hypocrite! Moscow became more intolerant (than ever!) under his governance.

I want to make parallels of this latest news on attacks on ethnic minorities and the very recent attacks on gay activists, which are also becoming frighteningly common. The same Luzhkov called gays “Satanic” and fuelled hate and violence towards LGBT people by extreme right-wing and religious fanatics.

Intolerance towards one minority group generates intolerance towards other. I am not saying that it’s the only reason, but I believe it is an important basis for creating the sort of environment where extreme right-wings, religious fanatics and others find it’s OK to attack foreigners or ethnic minorities, it’s OK to attack gay and lesbians, it’s OK to attack people with different opinions, political opponents, human rights activists, it’s OK to attack journalists… And we never saw any punishment, quite the contrary. As The Armenian Observer Blog recently stated, “It’s safe to kill Armenians”, in reference to the decision of Moscow court to acquit the murderer of 19-year-old Armenian Artur Sardaryan, despite the evidence of witnesses.

Two days ago Russia’s Supreme Court ruled that Moscow Gay Pride ban was “legal”. Mr Luzhkov says he will not allow a gay pride parade "in any form" and that any attempt to march in the streets will be "resolutely quashed." The quashing of resistance applies not just to gay people but to other who protest against the official line or who are simply different.

Reward: it looks likely that Moscow mayor will be re-appointed by president Putin for fifth term in office (!), I suppose, “for services to motherland”…

Thursday, 21 June 2007

'Live art' behind the windows

or this is one of the reasons why I love London

I was walking down the road, it was pretty much routine walk, actually I am wrong - nothing can be too 'routine' in London. For no reason I turned around and noticed... behind the big street-side windows of the building there was 'live art' exhibition going on. And it did not matter whether I liked it or not, whether I understood it or not... it was unexpected, never boring, creative in its own way, a small reflection of life in this exciting city in otherwise unexceptional Thursday evening.

This reminded me the following piece from Channel4 TV:

Live Art

You're walking down the road when you see a bundle of rags and boxes dumped on the pavement. Then you notice an arm sticking out of it. Do you:

  • hurry on by?
  • call 999?
  • kick the arm and giggle?

Now you can take a bow: you have just been part of Tom Geoghegan's performance artwork Rubbish. Geoghegan performs around London in a number of sinister guises, holding a steady pose for hours at a time. He may suspend himself from the side of a tower block or hang from a tree.

Live art, aka performance art, tends to involve the unexpected. Other than that it's hard to define. It may have elements in common with performance arts such as experimental drama or dance, but it moves beyond the conventions and usual boundaries of these other genres.

More info about live art here

Monday, 18 June 2007

Free Hugs Campaign in Yerevan

News on excellent initiative, received via tirami su:

Free Hugs Campaign will take place in Yerevan on 30 June 2007, 3pm at Saryan statue.

Free Hugs is a real life controversial story of Juan Mann, a man whose sole mission was to reach out and hug a stranger to brighten up their lives. For more info on background of the campaign, visit here

In the Spirit of the free hugs campaign, PASS THIS TO A FRIEND and HUG A STRANGER! After all, If you can reach just one person...

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Porterfield the miracle worker on and off pitch

He is the FA Cup hero who is battling cancer but managing to create history in Armenia


Simon Turnbull reports
Published: 10 June 2007

For all the countless words that were said and written about David Beckham's contribution for England in Tallinn on Wednesday night, the most uplifting story of rehabilitation on the international football stage was unfolding 1,580 miles away, beyond the other side of Russia. At the Republican Stadium in Yerevan, Ian Porterfield stood next to the home dug-out, urging and inspiring Armenia to the most famous victory in their football history - a 1-0 success against Poland, the leaders of Group A in the Euro 2008 qualifiers.

Today, Armenia's head coach undergoes six hours of chemo-therapy at the Saint Grigor Lusavorich Medical Centre in Yerevan, the country's capital. He is booked for another six-hour session tomorrow.

On 7 March Porterfield had an emergency operation to remove a cancerous tumour from his colon. "I'm still having treatment," he said on Friday, speaking from the Yerevan apartment he shares with his wife, Glenda. "I've got two chemotherapy sessions left, on Sunday and Monday. I'm trying to keep things low-key because I think I'm going to be OK. I'm going to get through this. Bobby Robson's had it three or four times and he's still kicking around."

Sir Bobby, in fact, has had cancer five times and is still alive and kicking at 73. Porterfield is 61, and he has survived a life-threatening scare once before.

Back in 1974 - the year after he scored the Wembley goal that caused one of the biggest upsets in FA Cup final history, securing Sunderland's 1-0 victory against Don Revie's mighty Leeds United - the gifted midfielder came perilously close to losing his life in a car crash. He suffered a badly fractured skull and a broken jaw. "I was very, very lucky to come out of it," he reflected.

The accident cost Porterfield an international playing career - he was on the brink of a Scotland call-up at the time - but he was back in training within two months and helped Sunderland to the Second Division title the following season. Thirty-three years later, his fighting spirit is shining through once again.

As a head coach, the Fifer has made his mark before. He happens to be the last man to replace Alex Ferguson in club management, at Aberdeen in 1986. He was also Chelsea's first manager in the Premier League and became a national hero in Zambia when guiding the African nation to within a goal of the 1994 World Cup, after the previous head coach and his playing squad had perished in a plane crash.

Armenia is Porterfield's fifth overseas posting as a national coach. Since August last year, the man who won the cup for Sunderland has been nurturing the international underdogs from the smallest of the former Soviet republics - a country recovering from the devastation of genocide, earthquakes and mass migration. In the most trying of personal circumstances, he has managed to gain international respectability for Armenia.

In the European Champion-ship qualifiers, there was a draw against Roy Hodgson's Finland and unlucky one-goal defeats against the Finns, Belgium and Poland before the heroics of the last eight days. With Porterfield back at pitchside and half-a-dozen first-choice players unavailable, Armenia won 2-1 in Kazakhstan a week yesterday and then beat Leo Beenhakker's Poles 1-0 in Yerevan on Wednesday, thanks to a second-half free-kick from a veteran striker called Hamlet Mkhitaryan.

"This is history for Armenia," Porterfield said. "They have never ever won two games in a row. They've beaten teams like Andorra but never a big team like Poland before.

"It was incredible in the stadium. We were playing a team who lost their first qualifying game but then won their next six matches. Poland have got some great players. They're an outstanding team. And as the game went on, Armenia got better and better and better. We were far, far the better team.

"We scored a wonderful free-kick. Hamlet, the guy who scored, is 33. He was quite magnificent. So were the rest of the team. We've played some really good football in the qualifiers but we've not played as winners - until now.

"I changed the mindset. I sat the players down and explained what they had to do to win games. Give them credit: they were inspirational against Kazakhstan and against Poland.

"It's wonderful for the people here. The flags are out in the street. The president came to see me. Och, it's lifted this country so much. It's just what this country needs.

"And I have to say the people here have been marvellous to me. The football federation have been tremendous. They've given me the best medical stuff you can buy. They're not shirking anything, no matter what the cost."

As well they might. As the good people of Sunderland would testify, you can't put a price on Ian Porterfield, the worker of football miracles.

*Source of pictures: AP (Armenia's coach Ian Porterfield celebrates his team's win against Poland ) and BBC (Porterfield scored an unstoppable volley to secure Sunderland win against Leeds 1:0, FA Cup final, 1973)

Thursday, 7 June 2007

At last... Now we can celebrate Armenia's football victories!

Let's hope we evidenced Armenia's football revival

2 victories in 4 days!

2 June: Kazakhstan 1 Armenia 2

6 June: Armenia 1 Poland 0

Man of the match:
Hamlet Mkhitaryan

(picture via AOL Sport)

Armenia's coach Ian Porterfield celebrates his team's win against Poland [Group A leaders] in a Euro 2008 Group A qualifying match in Yerevan, Armenia, 6 June 2007 (AP picture, via Yahoo Sport).

"It is a great day for Armenian football," said the 61-year-old former Aberdeen and Chelsea manager Ian Porterfield, recovering after his battle with bowel cancer.
"The whole team played well but I want to say special thanks to goalscorer Hamlet Mkhitaryan and goalkeeper Gevorg Kasparov. They deserve special praise."

Hamlet Mkhitaryan, centre, plays the ball during Euro 2008 qualifying match between Armenia and Poland in Yerevan (AP, via Yahoo Sport).

Hamlet Mkhitaryan fired a free kick into the top corner beyond Poland's goalkeeper Artur Boruc in the 66th minute to give the home team their second win in seven games.

Aleksander Tadevosyan, left, Artur Voskanyan, background, and Poland's Wojciech Lobodzinski, right, vie for the ball (AP, via Yahoo Sport).

Aghvan Mkrtchyan, right, and Poland's Wojciech Lobodzinski, left, play the ball (AP, via Yahoo Sport).

Videos from the match (via Armsoccer™ and Armenian H1 TV Channel)

a) brief version - goal and moment of victory

b) intro - beginning of the game and 1st half highlights

c) victory - 2nd half highlights

Monday, 4 June 2007

Armenia Gay Guide

country overview, useful info, gay institutions and venues

based on Spartacus International Gay Guide

[with additions]

Spartacus guide is the most famous and popular gay guide worldwide. The fact that Armenia entered the guide is the recognition of emerging gay scene. It may attract more gay tourists to Armenia.

Armenia Gay Guide which I compiled and published today in my blog Unzipped: Gay Armenia is mainly based on Spartacus, with the additional info from other sources if available and appropriate, and my occasional remarks. I am not aware of other comprehensive and current (well, to the extent possible) gay guide for Armenia. I hope, in time, this guide will evolve including more information on gay life in Armenia, with more venues, gay and gay-friendly, and not only for Yerevan as in current guide, similar to those available in other countries.

However, there is still long way for Armenia to go in terms of gay rights and equality. Education and exposure, along with the progress in democracy, will be key factors in changing attitudes of society. My wish is to see Armenia transformed into a country where equality and human rights of all people, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, are protected and respected.

Unfortunately, at this stage, this guide is only available in English. It will be great to see it translated into Armenian, Russian, French and other languages to make it more accessible for people who live in Armenia or other non-English speaking countries. Any help in this will be much appreciated.

I will regularly update this guide as/when new info is available. For convenience, the link to this guide is provided on the main page of my blog Unzipped: Gay Armenia (see upper right corner).