Over 100 People Attend The North American Armenian Youth Seminar at Camp Iawah – A Great Success

For the past 7 years since 2010, Armenian Prelacy of Canada’s Armenian Religious Education Council organizes a weekend seminar with clergyman, organizing committee members and Youth and Young Adults. It has been very successful every year.

On June 9th-11th, 2017, at Camp Iawah north of Kingston, Ontario, Canada in Godfrey, over 100 people attended the seminar coming from Montreal, Toronto, Cambridge, California, New York, even all the way from the Bahamas. We enjoyed home cooked meals, also a barbecue by the shores of Wolfe Lake, overlooking the beautiful moon which made its presence after our barbecue, then we danced around the bon fire with Armenian music, made s’mores.

During our free time we had activities such as canoeing, basketball, soccer, enjoying the lake, and some of us during that time enjoyed a good conversation, connecting with others and we became a family. Then we all wished it was a longer gathering.

The purpose of this Armenian North American retreat is to strengthen our spiritual selves, to meet and make friends with other Armenians, to make a spiritual bond with God, and to enjoy a weekend of fellowship.

Clergyman conducted discussions both about religion and other topics. Srpazan/ArchBishop Papken Tcharian, Hayr Keghart Kosbakian, Hayr Vartan Tashjian, Father Paul Guirgis, Dr. George Laylekian. Also Semaline Joukakelian who were also one of the presenters of a discussion.

Thank you to Zaven Joukakelian, Anie Aboyan, Sossie Aboyan, Nora Zobian, Maria Tchamitchian, Sarkis Kidanian, Arameh Ebrahamian, Taline Krikorian, Mariam Arakelian, Dania Ohanian, and others who organized this beautiful weekend which we will never forget.

During the course of the weekend, people heard the Phrase “Church Camp, Church Camp, Yeah, Yeah!”, That was said by Taleen Haneshian and Nazeeg Haneshian with crediting them, and later we all learned it on Friday night when everyone arrived. It was a fun saying which then it was said throughout the weekend many times. It was so incredible.

Many people hardly slept all weekend as we all wanted to spend as much time with each other as possible as we all know, weekends go very fast. Time is precious and we all wanted to be part of every single aspect of the weekend. I know we all if not most of us recovered when we got to our homes.

We look forward to future gatherings together to reunite with friends, to make new friends and most importantly get together with hearing Gods words, learning, and creating a strong bond with God, and to take what we learn to include it in our lives. God bless everyone and hope to see you at our next Armenian North American retreat/seminar.

Niagara Falls Tourism on The Other Side in US

Niagara Falls is a very popular tourist destination in Canada and the United States. It is right by the border. There is the Canadian side and the American side of it. The most popular, scenic and beautiful side is the Canadian. Tourists always end up on our side of the border to explore the beautiful falls, they dine at very delicious restaurants, tourists and visitors also enjoy their time mini-golfing, walking at Clifton Hill, enjoying the many places such as Guinness World Records, the Harley Davidson store, haunted house, riding on the SkyWheel, Ripley’s Believe it or not, heading to the Hershey Factory near Clifton Hill. Seeing an upside down house, heading to Casino Niagara or to the New Fallsview Casino, shopping at Fallsview and so much more. You can even see a guy wearing all gold trying to be Elvis, giving out beaded necklaces if you pay him, he will put them on you by the SkyWheel, Tim Horton’s and Boston Pizza area of Clifton Hill. Only in summer months though.

The Canadian side has it all, and you can see all of the Niagara Falls. You know when you enter the American side. All they have is the Seneca Casino, Hotel and that is about it, and an outlet mall about 10-15 minutes into the states, which is not really outlet mall prices. When you drive around the streets, you see abandoned boarded up houses, very worn down cars and people are still seen driving them and hardly anybody is seen walking outside, Downtown Buffalo is like a Ghost town and you don’t see many people, they don’t have extravagant hotels like the Canadian side. It is really depressing there in the American side. They don’t have attractions to offer to visitors. They have their famous buzzy’s restaurant nearby.

The US side of Niagara Falls, definitely needs a reboot, and they need to up their game in the tourist side of things. When people think of Niagara Falls, they think it is only in Canada, they don’t even acknowledge that there is a US side. They need to get some tourism and money generated in that town and they should get some funding of some sort from the US Government or something. Something has to be done. I feel like every time I go there, the place is getting worse and I feel like there is no growth. People look depressed there. Time for an overhaul.

Life is Unpredictable – Live it to the Fullest

Life is unpredictable. You never know what happens from one minute to the next. Even seconds. It is so important to cherish and appreciate loved ones and others around us while they are still alive and not after they pass away. Say I love you all the time, hugging and letting someone know that they are appreciated and loved is so important. Actions speak louder than words. It is easy to say a few words, but to act on it, is a different story. When you show that you love and appreciate others, it will feel incredibly awesome.

When someone passes away, they are talked about a lot more than alive people. When someone’s passes away, people tend to regret and to say, I wish I had spent more time with them, I wish I had cherished them a lot more, I wish I had made an effort to make more time with the person and spend quality time with them. Giving someone our time is something that shows how much you care, love and appreciate a person. Yes, sometimes we may spend our time with the wrong people and later realize that we wasted our time, but all in all, no matter what, we should always be grateful for all the moments in our lives.

Mind you, there are babies, children and those who were never born to get a chance at living life.

So, be grateful and do good things, be around good people, spread positivity, appreciate, love others, understand the walks of life people take, be happy, be healthy, be yourself, enjoy life to the fullest, smile, embrace the little things in life, be sentimental, cherish your memories. We only get one life to live. make it right for you, but at the same time, don’t forget about appreciating, loving and understanding others too. We are in it as a team and should treat people like family.

My Vision in Being involved in the Armenian Community

As being an Armenian and being part of the Armenian community, I take it very seriously. No matter what part of being involved in the Armenian community , it is all very important. I attend the Armenian Community Centre of Toronto and I attend church at St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church of Toronto in Canada as much as I am able to. I also take part in the St. Mary’s Armenian church Bible Study sessions. I attend many Armenian Genocide events around April 24th and right on the day by participating in going to Ottawa. It was my 20th year in a row attending in 2017.

My vision in being Armenian in the diaspora outside of Armenia in North America in Canada is not just by being involved, but also spreading awareness on social media and other online sites and telling people by word of mouth about Armenia, our people, and everything that I possibly can to Non-Armenian individuals. Before, people never really knew about us, but now with all these prominent figures and being on the news and also The Promise Film that has been out in select theatres, we are now more out there and trending as well.

Helping my fellow Armenians and being part of the Armenian community is very important to me. a couple of months back, I had written something about not being appreciated back with a gesture of gratitude to acknowledge my hard work and efforts to the Armenian community by making announcements and getting rewarded with all that recognition publicly, but on the contrary, I really am receiving private acknowledgements and people coming forth to me and complimenting me and my hard work and efforts in the Armenian Diaspora and so much more.

I have since then realized that I am receiving the greatest reward by helping out. I was expecting something in return, but then I said, why am I going to expect anything in return? I give to my Armenian community without any conditions or any strings attached. Being helpful and being part of as many events as I am able to attend to is something so important to me. As long as I know that my help never goes in vain, I will always go above and beyond without expecting anything.

I am Armenian and I am so proud, happy, and blessed by God to be one and that I will never take for granted. No matter what race and culture we come from, we must always be proud, happy and blessed. It is important to keep our culture alive by helping each other out without expectations. God bless Armenians, God Bless Armenia and one day and hopefully soon, The Armenian Genocide will be recognized by all the countries of the world.

I love you Armenians and I love you Armenia!

Garo Paylan – A Brave Man & A Hero

Garo Paylan was born in 1972 in Turkey. His family is originally from Malatya. He then went onto University of Istanbul’s school of Business. He is of Armenian descent. Garo Became a director of many Armenian Schools in Istanbul. He became a member of the (HDP), Peoples Democratic Party of Turkey. He is a politician and member of the Turkish Parliament. In June, 2015 he was elected in the Grand National Assembly as a representative of Istanbul’s 3rd electoral district.

When Garo Paylan got elected, he vowed to fight against The Armenian Genocide denial when he later demanded that the Armenian Genocide be recognized in Turkey. The Armenian Genocide happened on April 24, 1915 and 1.5 Million Armenians were massacred, and lands were stolen by the hands of the Turkish Government and Ottoman Empire.

In April of 2016, during a speech in parliament he made about the Armenian Genocide, he counted the ethnic Armenian Politicians who were deported then eventually killed from the Armenian Genocide right amongst Turkish Officials. He is currently a member of Turkish Parliaments planning and budget committee.

After several days went by after his speech, a brawl and fight broke out in the parliament which involved the AKP and then forced the parliament to be suspended. Then the Turkish governors in the room began calling him “The Armenian Bastard”, and began being racist to Garo Paylan. The attacks were due to him being of Armenian origin.

He stood for what was right, he stood up defending Armenia and Armenians, and the right to speak out about the Armenian Genocide. He did not care about where he was at that time when he uttered those words in The Turkish Parliament. He is now known to Armenians as a brave man, a hero, and someone who stood up for all Armenians of the World to do his best to get the Armenian Genocide recognized and acknowledged. For that we are so grateful to him.

Paylan’s safety and security is also at risk right now. Wherever he travels, he has security officials around him. At an event in Toronto on April 30th, 2017, where he spoke about the status in Turkey right now and about him, the hall was heavily secured by police authorities, security checks with wanding individuals before entering into the hall where Garo Paylan was to enter and to speak to all of us.

I have met Garo Paylan and took several photos with him. He is an absolutely beautiful person inside and out. He cares so much for his Armenian People and you can tell by his expressions and how he deals with people is something so incredibly beautiful. He is an awesome person with a great personality.

I wish Garo Paylan all the best and I wish him safety and security as always. May God bless him and to continue to do what he does and to keep raising awareness about The Armenian Genocide throughout the world.

The Armenian Genocide Commemoration in Ottawa, Canada Every Year

Every year on April 24th, Bus loads, car loads of people venture out to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada to commemorate the Armenian Genocide of April 24, 1915, where 1.5 million Armenians we exterminated, and massacred by the hands of the Turkish Government. The Ottoman Empire. Our lands were ripped away and stolen from us as well. We stand in front of the Parliament Hill, then followed by that we march to the Turkish Embassy not too far away from the Parliament.

Our purpose every year to go to Ottawa, is for Armenians and Non-Armenians, go to voice ourselves and to publicly appear to raise awareness about the Armenian Genocide to passerby’s on the streets of Ottawa. Canada has recognized the Armenian Genocide. We are forever grateful that Canada has acknowledged what happened to us over 102 years ago. We always say thank you to Canada. Not only on April 24th, but everyday.

The Turkish Embassy and Turkish Government still refuses, denies and lies about the acts of horrific crimes against Armenians and humanity. They still deny the fact that they did it. In the past 3-4 years, the Turkish supporters have been attending our Armenian Genocide event. Of course they are being paid to be there and I witness the way they act, and even disrespect their Turkish flag by putting it on the ground and you see people walking on it. Even the Canadian flag is disrespected by putting it on the ground. The Turkish supporters dance, jump and celebrate on the other side. I have witnessed them also bringing barbecues, and celebratory music. It is absolutely disgusting.

Thank you to the dignitaries, politicians, and all those who take the time out to attend the Armenian Genocide commemoration in Ottawa.

Armenian Genocide events are near and dear to my heart and soul. I try my best to be present at every Armenian Genocide event. This year in 2017 was my 20th year in a row in Attendance to the Ottawa peaceful demonstration. In the last 20 years that I have been present, I can definitely say that we have come a long way in terms of recognition, and many non-Armenians know about us now.

1915 never again! Genocide never again!

We are still here! #TurkeyFailed #ArmenianGenocide #KeepThePromise #ThePromise

Thank you Canada for recognizing the Armenian Genocide.
God bless Armenians
God bless Armenia!

Cineplex Theatre Concessions – Beware of being jipped.

Some of us love to see new films in the theatre, and venture to go to the movies, some of us want to munch on popcorn and have a drink or something at the concession stands. Some of us just grab a popcorn bag and drink and head to an auditorium to see our chosen film without sometimes noticing something that is not a big deal, but it is when we pay for overpriced popcorn and drinks.

Do you really think the employees at the concession stands are being honest with you? Do you think you are really getting what you ordered? They fill up your bag with popcorn and you are thinking it is all the way to the top? Think again. Sift your popcorn bag and watch what happens. As you are shaking your popcorn bag, a ton of room is left on top to fill enough for a small to mid size popcorn bags.

Always ask for them to top it off for you. It is in your right. You bought a large popcorn or any other size, so they must honor and fill it up to the top and you should see the popcorn above the top just by a bit.

When you are buying a combo that has candy in it, make sure you are getting what you want. If they offer you a bonus candy or chocolate bar, make sure you get it. It happened to me. I ordered a large popcorn, large drink, candy and it comes with a bonus Mars Chocolate bar which is being promoted now and I get my 100 SCENE Points. The employee took away the Mars Bar, then I noticed something was wrong. I said, Hello, there is supposed to be my Mars Bar Candy that was left by the cash register for me to take.

Then he said, Oh I thought you took it, I said no. I said I want what I paid for. Then he gave it back to me. Trying to jip me so I don’t notice the bonus candy. I was absolutely appalled. They charge an arm and a leg for concession items, they should give us more.

I cannot believe some customers do not notice and see what is going on. People are being ripped off but some people do not say anything and do not take action. Before I leave the concession counter, I make sure I shake that popcorn to get it topped off, I make sure I get what I paid for and they should load everything up instead of being cheap and barely adding enough of what we want. Some people really need to open up their eyes and get what they want. Some people need to speak up.

I’ve said to myself, this is the last time I order things from the concession stands at the movie theatre, but then again I cave in and buy items anyway. It is very expensive and its just so ridiculous to charge people so much for food. You can make Popcorn at home for less than $2.00. You can buy a hot dog at Costco for $1.50 and that includes a soft drink. You can buy pop for a dollar or 2. You can eat and drink for less than 5 dollars.

I realize they need to pay their employees, overhead, and other expenses with electricity and such, but they need to realize that charging people that much is absolutely ridiculous and it is like robbery. They do not think. When they charge people way less for items, they will gain more customers and more people will buy popcorn or whatever else is on the menu.

So be very aware of getting jipped. You have every right to more quantity when you pay all that money for it. So keep all this in mind and don’t fall for their tricks.