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In 2005, Gibrahayer e-magazine put to good use their network across the Armenian diaspora to assist a talented girl in Armenia.
15 year old Zaruhi Harutyunyan's tennis successes started in the island of love, at The Aphrodite Cup - an international ITF tournament in Nicosia and continued in London, Bolis and Los Angeles.
More than US40,000 dollars were raised to fund her tour that saw her defeat the world number 38 and world number 6.
She jumped from 1246 to a top 100 ranking before ending up at Weil Academy under the guidance and sponsorship of Haig Bedrossian and the generous contributions of Los Angeles Armenians.
She now plays Fed Cup for Armenia and is gettng ready to make use of her full tennis scholarship in the United States, in order to study and continue her road to professional tennis.

We enclose some of her successes on the world tour as they echoed in our pages.

► First two titles come in Bolis back-to-back
On the historic day of May 28, she dedicates them to the liberation struggle of Sardarabad and the heroes who built Armenian statehood in May 1918
Gibrahayer - Nicosia May 28, 2006 - 15 year old Zaruhi Harutyunyan has stunned, the tennis world, the Armenian community of Bolis, Turkish sports officials as well as her supporters in the Armenian diaspora with her two consecutive ITF Championship titles in Bolis. In a telephone conversation with Gibrahayer, she dedicated her second consecutive win to the first Armenian statehood and the heroes of May 1918.
No, we are not talking about two wins in the qualifying rounds or a couple of wins in the main draw. These are Zaruhi Harutyunyan's first championship titles that came back-to-back, where else in Bolis.
Her wins will give her a hundred or so points and rocket her ranking sky high.
Her latest five wins to the finals came against Francesca Romano (ITA) 6-1, 6-7, 6-1, Diana Marchencvich (LAT) 6-0, 7-6, Margarita Skripnik (ISR) 6-3, 6-2, Anjelika Aliev (ISR) 6-1, 7-6, while in the final she defeated Bianca Swanepoel of South Africa 7-5, 6-2.
In order to place her wins in concept, we must consider the fact that she won a tournament in which there were players three years her senior, we must remember that prior to Bolis, she had never won a tournament in her career, that she traveled alone to the tournament without a coach or a physical trainer and finally we must remember the fact that she has been on the ITF Junior tour only for five months.
She still has three years to play in the category of juniors.
She came back from Bolis, undefeated with a ten match winning streak over two tournaments.
What is she capable of next?
A lot unfortunately depends not only on her shoulders but on OURS. If WE give her the opportunity to travel the tour and make us proud... I am certain she will do exactly that. So let us do our bit and I am sure Zaruhi will do hers!


At the expense of being ridiculed, over the past seven years, I often talked of this great player from Cyprus called Marcos Baghdatis who left home at 13 to join an Academy in Paris and to follow an inconceivable dream for most. Perhaps I had a reason or two more to believe that Marcos would make it big. At a tender age of 15 - in an invitation best eight tournament in Cyprus - he had comprehensively defeated me and in the months and years to come he was to quickly and steadily excel to a world class player.

After experiencing his venomous strokes, I knew we were not talking about just any great player. However, in the past years, it was difficult to make people believe that the phenomenon Baghdatis from Cyprus, was not a case of just another player. The government of Cyprus as well as big corporations did not help him when he most needed it. Sponsors were shrugged off, his military exemption was put to test and Baghdatis and his family were alone in their quest to the impossible.

At the expense of politically being ridiculed, the political forces in Armenia and diaspora who believed in the liberation struggle of Artsakh walked on thin ice until the liberation struggle of the few, became the liberation struggle of the people, only when it became apparent that the war was over and the war was won. I remember the timid ness, the uncertainty and the lack of will - let alone the contribution or support - of our people who questioned and undermined the struggle, until it was safe enough to call it a sealed victory a decade later. Like the struggle of Marcos Baghdatis, this war was fought and won by the few. The rest joined later when the umpire called the score. "Game set and match Karabagh".
Zaruhi Harutyunyan left Armenia in September 2005 to join the Cyprus National team's practise program and in her first attempt this month at an ITF tournament climbed from 1245 to an incredible 626 positions to number 619 in less than a month. She came to Cyprus to an unknown destination with no funds, no place to stay and little to go by. A 15 year old orphan, having left her younger sister and mother in Armenia, she is fighting for an impossible dream as well, having as weapons her talent, her patience, her discipline and the limited support through the pages of this e-magazine.

In order not to resemble the timid supporters of our struggle in Artsakh and in order not to be identified with the people who failed to support Marcos Baghdatis when he needed it most, we need to do our best to help Zaruhi Harutyunyan. Nobody else will do it for us. Let us give this girl a chance. The Armenian sports authorities do not have the funds, and there are no sponsors yet before they see results. Zaruhi Harutyunyan - with her performance in the last ITF tournament - has showed us she is worthy of this chance and worthy of this opportunity.

Simon Aynedjian - Gibrahayer e-magazine
Gibrahayer Tuesday February 14, 2006 - It is seldom that tennis players jump 670 positions. In a spectacular run with action packed qualification matches and main draw victories in Dhaka - Bangladesh, Zaruhi Harutyunyan has achieved just that.

And this is just the beginning. Her two consecutive wins over players ranked in the top 300 profess, what is coming.

She made it to three main draw appearances in three separate tournaments, qualifying in each tournament after winning a dozen qualifications matches, most of them being played in a single weekend with two matches a day.
As probably the biggest climber on the world ITF tour of this year, I urge our readers to support her effort by sending money to her fund so that she can continue her competitions.

By collecting points she will be eligible for immediate main draw appearances and by making it to the top 100 she will be eligible for Grand Slam competitions like Wimbledon, The US Open, The Australian and Roland Garros in Paris.

preparation with ex Wimbledon champion Jo Durie continues
current ranking makes her the biggest junior climber of 2006 from 1245 to 494

Gibrahayer - Saturday April 29, 2006 -
15 year old Zaruhi Harutyunyan, the biggest junior tennis climber of 2006 from 1245 to 494, under the guidance of tennis enthusiast Londonahay Dickran Bedrossian, has been preparing for her Turkey challenge at Hazelwood under Alan Jones' assistants, Wimbledon champions Jo Durie and Ann Jones who have been impressed by the spirit and determination shown by the young Armenian athlete.
Under their watchful eyes, Harutyunyan has been practising more than five hours a day, topped with an intensive gym program.
On May 13 Zaruhi travels to Bolis - Turkey for two hard court ITF tournaments. The first from 15-20 May at the Enka Sports Club and the second at the TED ITF from 22-27 May, 2006. Mr. & Mrs. Nishan Kara of the Armenian community of Bolis will be providing accommodation for her and assisting Zaruhi with her tournament needs.
For Armenia's star Zaruhi Harutyunyan to become eligible for Grand Slam tournaments (Wimbledon and the French) she needs to play tournaments (such as the ones in London and Bolis) and win valuable points. To travel the tournaments she needs funds. We are hoping our readers will do just that by sending their valuable contribution to the following address.

Laiki Bank Strovolos Industrial Area, Stavrou 96 I, 2034, Strovolos
Account Number 101-08-037631 for Zaruhi Harutyunyan under guardian Simon Aynedjian.
International transfers at IBAN CY30 0030 0101 0000 0101 0803 7631 - Swift Code address LIKICY2N

We are hopeful that Trkahay subscribers of Gibrahayer e-magazine will spread the word around and drum support for her in her quest for victory in Turkey.

Gibrahayer e-magazine article on Zaruhi Harutyunyan
A top ranked 15 year-old tennis player, Zaruhi Harutyunyan from Armenia has landed in Cyprus.
She has decided to stay in Cyprus and travel the tennis circuit. To that end, community officials offering assistance to the talented girl have already arranged for her to train with the Cypriot National Tennis team at the Federation's National Tennis center and work is under way to arrange issues related to her accommodation and support team who are going to help her make her mark on the tennis circuit.
Haroutyunyan decided to stay in Cyprus after the Aphrodite Cup - a world ranking Junior tournament - in which she lost to -three years her senior - world number 228 Zuzanna Likhova of the Czech Republic.
With limited possibilities and opportunities in Armenia, she is hoping that her risks away from home will soon be rewarded.
As a nine year old, Harutyunyan won the Palm Springs - California Under 12 tournament and subsequently won tournaments in Bulgaria, Germany, Holland, France, England in the under 14 and the under 16 categories.
Like every community undertaking, this too needs generous community support.
With the 6,000 subscribers reading Gibrahayer e-magazine every week, I am certain that Armenians from across the globe will offer their assistance too.
Let us all give it to her .
With her practice schedule and physical training already planned and taken care of by interested parties in Cyprus, the community can show its assistance in several other ways.
She will soon go on the world tour. She needs support for travel and accommodation, sponsors for clothing, a budget for her initial take-off, where she will be attempting to break the tennis scene.
You would be amazed with the seemingly little things that are important right now.
She is 15 and does not have a driving license and needs rides to and fro the practice grounds every day... twice.
She needs to "replace" her family vacuum, of a widowed mother from a car accident, and a four your old sister.
Take a moment to think about the needs of this brave young girl who has given up everything we often take for granted.
With her kind of potential I am certain she will give back to her homeland what our homeland is unable to give to her right now.

Simon Aynedjian - Gibrahayer e-magazine
Zaruhi Harutyunyan, playing a category A tournament in Roehampton - U.K. beat Clara Duarte no. 38 ITF ranked junior in the world 6-2 6-1. Tomorrow she plays Alexandra Dulgherou from Romania ranked 15 in the world, winner of the Juniors US Open.
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