06 March 2006

Armenians part of the cultural diversity of Iraq

Azad-Hye, Dubai, 7 March 2006: Ara Ashjian, an Iraqi Armenian Civil Engineer, is a known contributor to Armenian online groups and websites. He has circulated a number of researches on a variety of Armenian subjects (history, politics, literature, religion, etc.), most of them in Arabic language.

Recently he started a new blog, at the following address: http://ara-ashjian.blogspot.com, where he is hosting his own old and new articles, besides providing a comprehensive coverage of many Armenian topics of general interest.

Reporting from Baghdad, a city that has witnessed so many calamities in the last two decades, he lives with the hope of a better future for all the Iraqis.

Now that the sectarian crisis is threatening the Iraqi statehood, the mission of Ashjian and all other respectable members of the civil society (including representatives of different ethnic groups, religious denominations, etc.) is getting even more difficult and challenging.

Universal powers are fighting their own war on the land of Iraq. For the Iraqis this is not something new. They remember from the school curriculum how ancient Empires have clashed on the land of Mesopotamia.

But the problem this time seems to have a very dangerous internal dimension: that is the ages old religious mistrust between the two main sections of Islam, the Shiites and the Sunnis.

As part of its effort to create an atmosphere of tolerance and mutual recognition among the different segments of the Iraqi reality, the “Iraqi Culture Supporting Society”, which includes many Iraqi known personalities, has conducted its first seminar about the different Iraqi cultural groups from 28-29 January 2006, in the Mansour Hotel (Baghdad). The Society is headed by the former Ministry of Culture Moufid Al Jazairy.

Under the title “The Cultural Diversity of Iraq: common points and unique aspects”, the seminar had four sessions, during which some 16 scholars delivered lectures, where they referred to the diversity and richness of the Iraqi culture.

Ara Ashjian participated in the seminar with a research in the Armenian-Arab cultural ties (the text of which will be included in a special publication on this occasion).

Below is the text in Arabic language. The subtitles are:

- Brief introduction on the origin of the Armenians and the geography of the country.

- The assurances of the Arab towards the Armenians in the era of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)

- Armenian - Arab relations during the Arab rule.

- Prominent Armenian personalities in Arab history

- Armenian – Arab relations in different domains.

- Armenia under the Ottoman rule. The Genocide.

- Modern day Armenia.

The last part of the research refers to the new Armenian statehood (since 1991) and the resumption of the traditional Armenian – Arab friendship ties on a new level.

See text at:

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