Saturday, December 09, 2023
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Emails to the Editor

Mr. Simon Aynedjian - Chief Editor - Subject: Your publication

Dear Mr. Aynedjian,
In order to respond to some international press reports wrongly portraying the reasons of the scuffle, please publish the following true version posted by the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem:
Sebouh Z Tashjian

Several international press reports on Orthodox Palm Sunday's incident in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem wrongly portray the reasons that led to a scuffle involving the Armenian and Greek Orthodox Churches.
Despite several written protests by the Armenian Patriarchate, the most recent on April 18, on Armenian Orthodox Palm Sunday, and contrary to Status Quo provisions, a Greek monk once again placed himself inside the Edicule, a vestibule that lies just outside the entryway to the Tomb of our Lord Jesus Christ, during the Armenian solemn procession. Armenian priests persuaded the Greek monk to exit
from the Edicule and peacefully led him out. The Israeli Police, however, attempted to reinstate the monk inside the Edicule, but that attempt failed due to the opposition of the Armenian priests. A scuffle followed between the police and members of the Armenian community who had witnessed the reinstatement attempt that appeared to
support Greek efforts to capitalize on their cordial relationship with the Israeli authorities.
The presence of the Greek monk inside the Edicule is a serious violation of the Status Quo terms governing the Holy Places, of which the Armenians, Latins and Greek Orthodox share equal rights of custodianship. The Armenian Patriarchate has made its position clear that on the Feast of the Holy Cross, the 1st Sunday of Great Lent, Palm Sunday and Holy Fire Saturday, when they are in possession of the
Holy Tomb, the Greeks should refrain from placing their monk inside the Edicule.
The rights of the Armenian Orthodox in the Holy Places have been granted in a Firman, Al Hijrah 1245 (1829). It stipulates that "no interference or intervention should ever be allowed to occur in respect of the celebration of mass and other processions of the [Armenian] community".
The Armenian Patriarchate views the presence of the Greek monk inside the Edicule not only as blatant interference but also as yet another attempt to challenge the well-established rights of the Armenians, which have been recognized and preserved for centuries. The entitlement of the Armenians to exclusivity in the Holy Sites on the certain dates above for holding their ceremonies as been described in
the 1890 Book of Ceremonies in the Holy Places. It was established that `During the days that Armenians have solemn religious ceremonies ... the Greek monk has no right to enter the Edicule." (page 26).
This latest incident comes on the heels of another dispute with the Greek Orthodox concerning the Holy Fire Ceremony on Holy Saturday that has remained unresolved since 2002 despite attempts by the Armenian Patriarchate to seek mediation through Israeli authorities.
Hundreds of Armenian worshippers from Jerusalem and throughout the world are expected at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for the upcoming Holy Fire Ceremony on Holy Saturday, April 26. The Armenian Patriarchate shares the concern of the Armenian world community that Armenian worshippers may be unable to attend freely services to be held in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on Holy Saturday, one of the
holiest days of the Armenian religious calendar. It regrets that Israeli police following Sunday's scuffle briefly detained an Armenian youth.
The clerical order of the St. James Brotherhood zealously maintains and safeguards centuries' old Armenian religious rights and privileges in the holy sites. There is documented evidence of the Armenian presence in the Holy Land dating back to the Roman Empire's renowned Tenth Legion, comprised of Armenians.

Hi Simon,
This latest newsletter was a real eye-opener. Thanks so much for covering and sharing this news. It really helps me see Armenia-Turkey relations from a regional perspective rather than from an overseas view which is so different. You should know that I print these out and give them to my parents who don't have Internet access or email accounts. So your reach, extends beyond your subscription list.
Ani Minassian


Sireli Simon,
I want to congratulate you again for the great work you are doing through GIBRAHAYER. I took the time to go through your newly designed web page, and it looks very nice. You are doing a great job and I pray for the Lord's blessings and guidance in all your endeavours.The media in today's world has a very important and crucial role to play in the making and the building of the communities we are living in. The role of the media is even more important for us as Armenian community, where we need to struggle to preserve our identity, language, Faith and culture in this Post- Modern World.
The later has so much of its own" influence", which does not necessarily match with our Armenian Impact. . Your efforts, in this respect, are adding a lot to our Armenian struggle.
As I was looking into your photo album in your web page, I realized that there was a picture missing ( there can be more, but, I want to draw to your kind attention the one that I noticed). This is the picture of the Armenian Evangelical church in the occupied Nicosia. I am attaching the picture of the church. In fact, the church is a few meters away from Sourp Asdvadzazin in the occupied part of Nicosia.The Armenian Evangelical Church in Nicosia was built in July 1946.
Thanks for your kind consideration.
Wishing you all the best.
Sincerely - Hrayr Jebejian - Armenian Evangelical Church


Happy New year to all Gibrahayer and Merry Armenian Christmas.
I’ve been receiving your e-magazine due to an undisclosed friend’s request for the last couple of months and enjoy reading about your community. It’s so refreshing, up to date and easy to follow with no fillers.
Keep up the great Azagyin work and continue with our sacred Tad and cause.
With utmost regards and praise.
Arick Gevorkian - United States


Dear Gibrahayer team,
Its very amusing to see such aggressive emails sent to the editor which was published in last week's issue, especially just after a few weeks where the two main political parties (Dashnag-RAG) of the diaspora held a historical joint-conference/meeting in Armenia. Perhaps the writers of those emails are from those parties which did not attend that conference, or perhaps they are from an old generation of "HIN KLOUKHS".
I am sure that this weeks issue will be filled with light attacks in response to those emails (pro-Dashnak). But its about time our dear Armenians wake up and face reality. Enough is enough and we should stop living our lives based on the past, we must learn to live for the future (something that Armenians still need to adjust in their mentalities). Learn to forgive but don't forget.
Lo ok at all the advanced countries in Europe for example, countries which have gone to war for years are now sitting around the same table and taking decisions for the better future of a united Europe, and we a small group of people on this earth, not only are we deprived of our homelands, we cannot even have a decent online debate by discussing events past and present without acting like uncivilised abusive and aggressive cowards.
Stop bringing the past into the future, whatever happened in the past
let it stay in the past. Its not a matter of who is best, who did what anymore, enlighten yourselves, learn from the mistakes of the past and make a better future. Stop living in the dream of the "brainwashed Armenian mentality" and start living in the dream of the "bright future Armenian mentality".
When we take a step back and look at our past mistakes and learn from
them, only then can we make the correct steps in the direction for a better future for our motherland, diaspora and heritage.

Your sincerely,
Anonymous (name and email provided)

Dear Simon,
I don't understand why you chose to title the lead article by Reuters in this week's Gibrahayer e-magazine as "Bill in Coma"? Besides the title being inaccurate, it is highly discouraging for our people and activists who are working day and night to pass this bill.
Best regards,
Harut Sassounian

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