The Heroes and Villains of 2021

By Jirair Tutunjian, Toronto, December 2021

It’s that time of the year…a time to celebrate our heroes and dunk the villains in bottomless swamp. As in previous years, some of the heroes and villains are inevitably making their second or even third appearance. The nominations were made by “Friends of Keghart” and by contributor writer and artist Lucine Kasbarian.

HEROES

President JOE BIDEN for recognizing the Genocide of Armenians, an act which probably made others—such as the Australian Parliament–more outspoken about Turkey’s planned elimination of Armenians.

SENATOR ROBERT DOLE (1923 – 2021) who for decades championed the recognition of the Genocide of Armenians by the U.S. May he rest in peace.

CITIZENS OF ARMENIA who continue to experience all types of hardships, especially in the aftermath of the Second Artsakh War.

The 17 MEMBERS of Jerusalem’s Sts. James Brotherhood who spoke publicly against Patriarch Nourhan Manougian for illegally signing a 99-year lease for a vital tract of church land called “Goveroun Bardez” and thus jeopardized Armenian national patrimony and presence in Jerusalem.

Covid-19 fighter NOUBAR AFEYAN whose contributions to modern medicine will be recognized for a long time.

French-Armenian surgeon ARAM GAZARIAN who led the operation on the world’s first double-arm-and-shoulder transplantation.

Molecular biologist and neuroscientist ARDEM PATAPOUTIAN who co-won the Nobel Prize in medicine for the discovery of receptors for temperature and touch.

Film director and journalist MARIAM AVETISIAN whose “The Desire to Live” won awards in two categories at the Cannes World Film Festival.

Diasporan organizations which launched new initiatives to meet the growing post-disaster needs of Armenian communities, including The Beirut Explosion Relief Fund, SaveArmenianMonuments; AANSI.org (American Armenian National Security Institute), and Hamazkayin Children’s Art Therapy Initiative in Artsakh.

PUNDIT-ANALYSTS in Armenia who cut through the rhetoric and analyze/assess the circumstances as they relate to Armenian national interests.

Poet-singer RUBEN HAKHVERDIAN for being an inspiration to citizens of Armenia and for his talks on staying steadfast against adversity.

Former Pentagon official and Middle East specialist MICHAEL RUBIN resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, for his incisive and insightful op-eds about Armenia, Artsakh, Azerbaijan, and Turkey.

Russian journalist and Middle East expert YEVGENY SATANOVSKY for consistently exposing Turkey and Azerbaijan’s warmongering as the number one threat to Russia’s sovereignty and peace in the Caucasus.

“Voice of Armenia’s” TV host and New York actor/director Karine Kocharyan for her award-winning and morale-raising play, written by Narine Abgaryan, “Three Apples Fell from the Sky,” in Stepanagerd.

Spaniard JOAQUIN CAPPAROS, coach of the Armenia’s national soccer team, for expertly training the Armenian team.

HAMPIG SASSOUNIAN for his voluntary services in Armenia following 40 years in captivity.

YAZIDI and ASSYRIAN citizens of Armenia who formed battalions and valiantly fought during the Second Artsakh War.

Filmmaker and journalist EMILE GHASSEN of Britain for his accurate reports during the Artsakh War and for his war documentary—“45 Days—The Fight for a Nation”.

Opera singer KEVORK HADJIAN, who with fellow Diasporan volunteers, sacrificed his life for Armenia and Artsakh during the 2020 war.

Creators of ROBIN THE ROBOT (based on AI), the Compassionate Companion of children in hospitals listed as one of the best inventions of 2021 by Times magazine.

ARMENIAN WOUNDED HEROES FUND.

VOMA CENTRE and the NATIONAL LEGION which do the essential work to train Armenian civilians to defend Armenia.

Kudos to GEORGE CLOONEY who revealed that a few years ago he rejected a $35 million offer for one day’s work starring in a Turkish Airlines commercial. Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, and Morgan Freeman, who obviously suffer from integrity deficiency, accepted the airline’s offer.

Greco-Roman wrestler Artur ALEKSANYAN (“Spidak Arch”) who won silver at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. According to Aleksanyan, he won gold only to have Vladimir Putin call the judges and insist that the gold be given to MUSA AVLOEV of Russia.

Greco-Roman wrestler MALKHAS AMOYAN became the world champion in the 72 kg weight category.

ARTHUR BAZEYAN who was crowned European under-22 boxing champion.

SAMVEL KASBARIAN and KAREN AVAKIAN who were crowned European champions in separate categories of weightlifting.

SIMON MARTIROSYAN, VARAZDAT LALAYAN and GOR MINASYAN who expanded the pool of medals in weightlifting.

VILLAINS

ILHAM ALIYEV, RECCEP ERDOGAN, AND VLADIMIR PUTIN. It would be redundant to list the innumerable crimes of the murderous leaders of Turkey and Azerbaijan. ‘Armenia’s ally’ Putin is Stalin 2.0 in betraying Armenia and giving Armenian land to the Azeris. He is Stalin 2.0 because he is fooling himself that being pro-Turkish will bring Turkey into the Russian fold.

Russian political analyst and strategist ALEKSANDER DUGIN who has the insane and suicidal idea to bring Russia and Turkey together.

CSTO members who are pretend friends of Armenia while two members (Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan) declared, at an Istanbul gathering, their support of Azeri aggression against Armenia.

Sly and mercenary ISRAEL for arming Azerbaijan and refusing to recognize the Genocide of Armenians.

The so-called CATHOLICOS KAREKIN II for demeaning his sacred position through corruption, immorality, indifference to his congregation, and interference in politics.

Patriarch NOURHAN MANOUGIAN of Jerusalem for approving the illegal 99-year lease of Armenian Church land (“Goveroun Bardez”) to an Australian Jewish developer who will build a hotel on the site. What’s to stop the Jewish developer from sub-leasing the land to Jewish settlers who will, per tradition, settle on the land to perpetuity. Fr. BARET YERETSIAN, director of church real estate, is MANOUGIAN’s co-conspirator.

Armenian turncoats in Russia who are Putin’s lapdogs: GAREN SHAHNAZAROV, SIMEON BAGHDASAROV; SERGEI KURGINYAN; and MARGARITA SIMONYAN, head of RT (Russian TV).

Veteran Hall of Shamers who specialize in promoting Israel’s client Azerbaijan and write anti-Armenian propaganda: ROBERT CUTLER of Canada; MATTHEW BRYZA, JOHN BATCHELOR, NURIT GREENGER, IRINA TSUKERMAN, and JASON KATZ of the U.S. in addition to Israel’s RACHEL AVRAHAM and ARYE GUT. As well American journalist Ian Bremmer.

4 comments
  1. I nominate Jirair Tutunjian of Toronto, Canada, to be included under the “Heroes” category for his unself assistance to the success of Kehart.org in many capacities as a contributor, editor, advisor, a staunch supporter of the Armenian community of Jerusalem.

    Unequivocally, Mr. Tutunian has been always ready and capable to extend his help to those who seek his help. Of course, we should not forget his sense of patriotism exuding throughout his writings. Comparatos come and go, but they do not make genuine ones like Mr. Jerry Tutunjian anymore.

    Moreover, I salute him for his occasional gems of Ahmet and Mehmet serious conversations at the Ataturk Cafe for enlivening a hard day’s work with some rare humor and even groundbreaking insights.

  2. I will second Mr. Demirdjian’s proposal.

    Mr. Tutunjian is worthy candidate for inclusion in the heroes section. He is an outstanding diaspora compatriot. For over 40 years he served our nation with pride.

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