Lebanon: Song touching ‘The Armenian question’ banned


03 May 2010

Song touching ‘The Armenian question’ banned

Eileen Khatchadourian’s music video ‘Zartir Vortyag’ which touches on Armenian topics is reported to have been banned by the Lebanese General Security

In the music video a mother is seen calling upon her son to go and fight the enemy, and it also includes the quote The Armenian and The Armenian by William Saroyan.

Lebanese officials are said to be afraid of offending the Turkish Ambassador to Lebanon fearing that Turkish-Lebanese relations will be affected with the video, since the debate about Armenian minority, and especially the discussions over the killing of Armenians in the beginning of the 1900s, is a very sensitive topic in Turkey.

The music video is directed by Michele Hallit,
director of photography: Fadi Kassem

In the article titled Genocide Commemoration Music Video Banned in Beirut. published on 30 April 2010, Asbarez explains about the video:
“Lebanese-Armenian performer Eileen Khatchadourian and her team produced the music video in time for the 95th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. However, the Lebanese government raised concerns that the music video calling for a Genocide Era uprising would be offensive to Turkishness and Turkish diplomats in Lebanon.”

In the article, Eileen Khatchadourian explains about the ban:

“In Lebanon, you have to get permission from the Lebanese General Security to air your music video or anything visual. It’s only after their approval that you can air your recording. [The General Security] asked me what does the song say. I explained that a mother is calling upon her son to go and fight the enemy. They asked me, whois the enemy? I said the whole world knows what happened to the Armenians under Ottoman rule, especially the Lebanese, because Lebanon has recognized the Armenian Genocide. I said that the enemy in thesong is Turkey, but I clearly specified that in this song, the name `Turkey’ or `Ottoman Empire’ is not mentioned. So the enemy could be anyone. It could be the Persian Empire or whatever you think.

When they said that the video would offend Turkey and that `Turkey might think you are attacking them,’ I was shocked. I said that as a country, Lebanon has recognized the Armenian Genocide for a long time. I said, How can you tell me something like this? I am Lebanese. I am a Lebanese citizen. You think Turkey might be offended by a historic Armenian song, while you allow other singers to appear on TV half-naked. This does not concern you? You are not concerned with how it affect the kids, but you are concerned that Turkey will think Armenians are planning an uprising? Anyway, they had no reaction, of course. They said that the video was not allowed to air on television stations that are broadcast by antenna (terrestrial stations). They said the video could only air on satellite stations like OTV, MTV, and the terrestrial station of Future TV, but only on April 24.”


Armenian News Network / Groong – 2 May 2010:

‘Genocide Commemoration Music Video Banned in Beirut’

L’Orient Le Jour – 26 April 2010:

‘Censure d’un clip arménien’

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