The third stage of the project Changes of Media Education and Political Dialogue Perspectives started on December 3rd in Yerevan, Armenia. There are participants from Georgia, Ukraine, Germany and of course Armenia. The delegations are staying at Nairi Hotel, from which one can see the statue of Mother Armenia.
The first day of the project started with conference with all of the participants. The conference started with the opening speech of Mkrtich Tonoyan, the director of the Armenian Center of Social Studies. Tonayan welcomed the participants and presented the goals of the project. Wolfgang Ressmann, chairman of the Association of Citizen Media of Germany, also welcomed the participants and talked about the importance of media for democracy. Hrant Melik Shahnazaryan, the director of the NGO Center for Strategical Research, gave a short introduction into the political process in Armenia where the Velvet Revolution that happend in 2018 and the upcoming elections this week. Volodymyr Danilyuk, the head of the Forum of Ukrainian Journalists and chief of editor of the Volnyzka Gazeta, spoke about role of media in today‘s Ukraine with the war in eastern Ukraine and the latest problems in the Sea of Azov.
After the introductory speeches Tonoyan told the participants about the working groups and about their tasks:
• The Debate Group will meet representatives of different media and prepare presentations and discussion for the final conference at the end of the project.
• The Video Group will choose a topic and will present it in a video report. They will make street surveys and interviews with people working in media.
• The Documentation Group will report about the work of the other groups, the events and the meetings.
Then the trainers of the groups and the participants introduced themselves to each other and the groups went in different rooms so the trainers can introduce the participants into the tasks of their groups.
After this introduction all participants visited the hellenistic Temple of Garni and Geghard Monastery. Tonoyan told the participants about the history and architecture of the temple on the way to Garni.
Garni is a pagan temple – made of balsalt. The entablature is supported by twenty-four Ionic columns. The temple is located on a hard to access cliff top surrounded by deep gorges. It is near Garni village, which is twenty miles from Yerevan. The temple was built by king Tiridates I in the first century AD and it is dedicated to the sun god Mihr. It is the best-known structure and symbol of pre-Christian Armenia.
Next station of the participants was Geghard Monastery. Geghard is a medieval monastery in the Kotayk province of Armenia. The monastery of Geghard contains a number of churches and tombs, most of which partially carved out of the adjacent mountain, surrounded by cliffs. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the front of the monastery there is a rock, which has hollows. According to a telling the visitors can keep some wishes and throw stones to these hollows, if the stones do not come back and stay in that hollows the wishes will become true.
After these visits participants came back to the hotel and had dinner. After dinner participants organized an intercultural evening. All the participants broughts drinks and dishes with them, that are special to their countries. They presented them to the other participants and ate them together. Then the participants started to dance Armenian, Greek, Kurdish and other traditional dances.