Monday, April 24, 2006

Not Forgotten

The Armenian Genocide (also known as the Armenian Holocaust or the Armenian Massacre) is a term which refers to the forced mass evacuation and related deaths of hundreds of thousands or over a million Armenians, during the government of the Young Turks from 1915 to 1917 in the Ottoman Empire.

Most Armenian, Russian, Western, and an increasing number of Turkish scholars believe that the massacres were a case of genocide. For example, most Western sources point to the sheer scale of the death toll. The event is also said to be the second-most studied case of genocide, and often draws comparison with the Holocaust. To date 24 countries, as discussed below, have officially recognized and accepted its authenticity as Genocide.

Several facts in connection with the event are a matter of ongoing dispute between parts of the international community and Turkey. Although it is generally agreed that events said to comprise what is termed the Armenian Genocide did occur, the Turkish government rejects that it was genocide, on the alleged basis that the deaths among the Armenians were not a result of a state-sponsored plan of mass extermination, but of inter-ethnic strife, disease and famine during the turmoil of World War I.

Whether or not the terminology of genocide is acceptable to the Turkish government, there is no question that the forces of the Ottoman empire subjected the native Armenian population to atrocities and crimes against humanity of a magnitute and proportion unrivaled in history.

The passage is from Online Encyclopedia.
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Photo by Hetq Online

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Mar Mousa Monastery

This was my third visit to the monastery. I took a friend of mine.
Here I found new angles and new views of the old location.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

St. George Church In Seidnaya

Seidnaya is full of monasteries and churches. There are 15. This is one of major ones, which is often overlooked by visitors, just because there are many. And somehow this monastery reminds of similar one at west of Homs, near Knights' castle.


Saidnaya is located in the mountains 20 miles north the city of Damascus in Syria. Saidnaya was the seat of the ancient Patriarchate of Antioch. Saidnaya has many ancient associations with the Holy Bible. Many scholars consider Saidnaya to be second in religious importance to Jerusalem. Pilgrims from all over the world seek Saidnaya for renewal of faith and for healing. Saidnaya is also an area renowned for its faithfulness to Christianity.

Christians and Muslims from the region and from far away places seek The holy Lady of Saidnaya (Chaghoura) shrine for healing. Numerous miraculous healing stories have been reported and some of these stories are documented in writing by those who experienced it in the entrance of the holy shrine in the convent. Many other Catholic and Orthodox, Syriac Catholic, Syriac Orthodox churches and monasteries have been built in Saidnaya throughout history. There are few massive monasteries that have been built recently. These include: St. Thomas Roman Catholic Monastery, St. Estphariuos Orthodox Monastery, Cherubim Monastery and St. Ephram Monastery in Marret Saidnaya.

Cherubim Church And Monastery. 2000m

Located high on a top of a mountain, which goes up to 2000m and more, cherubim monastery is one of highest points in Syria. Where old monks found refuge here, it is transferred to us from 3-rd century A.D.

Nature Near Maalula

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Ma`loula (Arabic معلولة: from the Aramaic word ܡܥܠܐ, ma`lā, meaning 'entrance') is a village in Syria. With two other nearby villages, is the only place where the western dialect of Aramaic is spoken (see Western Neo-Aramaic). It is a mainly Christian village (Melkite) located 56 km to the northeast of Damascus and built into the rugged mountainside, at an altitude of more than 1500 meters. As of 2005, the village has a population of 2,000.
There are two important monasteries in Ma`loula: Mar Sarkis and Mar Taqla. The Mar Sarkis monastery was built in the 4th century on the remains of a pagan temple, designed on the model of martyries, which have a simple, plain appearance. It was named after St. Sarkis (St. Sergius), a Roman soldier who was executed for his Christian beliefs. This monastery still maintains its solemn historical character. Mar Taqla monastery holds the remains of St. Taqla (Thecla); daughter of one of Seleucid princes, and pupil of St. Paul. According to legend, in the 1st century C.E, St. Taqla was being pursued by soldiers of her father to capture her because of her Christian faith. She came upon a mountain, and after praying, the mountain split open and let her escape through. The village gets its name from this gap or entrance in the mountain. However, there are many variations to this story among the residents of Ma`loula.
There are also the remains of numerous monasteries, convents, churches, shrines and sanctuaries. There are some that lie in ruins, while others continue to stand, defying age. Many pilgrims come to Ma`loula, both Muslim and Christian, and they go there to gain blessings and make offerings.
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Monday, April 17, 2006

Syria Independence Day

Armenian Youth Club presented a parade for the independence day, and also its 85-th anniversary.

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