Ararat News –Publishing (ANP) – Anahit Khatchikian / Roni Alasor, Brussels – 14 / 8/ 2009 –

The Armenian Kurdish legendary musician Aram Tigran who has always been as a gold bridge between the Armenian and Kurdish people died at the age of 75 years last week in Athens, Greece. The great singer’s last wish was to be buried in Diyarbakir, the biggest Kurdish city in Kurdistan part of Turkey. The Kurdish municipality and the mayor of the city, Osman Baydemir worked hardly together with the Kurdish MP`s in the Turkish parliament to fulfil Aram’s last wish but without any result from Turkish side.  After more then one week waiting, Aram’s body had to be brought last Thursday by Kurds and by his family from Athens to Brussels. A funeral ceremony will take place on Monday at 12 o’clock in the Armenian Church, Rue Kindermans 1a, and at 13.30 – 2 pm in the Jette cemetery in Boulevard de Smet de Naeyer. The mayor of Diyarbakir Mr. Osman Baydemir brought soil of Diyarbakir for Aram’s grave. Many tens of Kurdish artists, intellectuals and politicians, as well as many hundred Kurds and Armenians will attend the funerals. The grave of Aram Tigran in Brussels will be temporary until the Kurdish municipality in Diyarbakir obtain permission from Turkey to bury the singer there and to erect a statue in his honour.   

Who was Aram Tigran? Loved by millions of Kurds for his songs in the Kurmanji dialect of Kurdish, Aram Tigran was born in 1934 in the Kurdish city Qamislo in Syria. His father, survivor from the Armenian genocide in 1915, was from the village of Bêemde (Kexriban in Armenian) close to Diyarbekir. Aram started to sing and to play oud when he was child. In 1966 he moved to Yerevan, Armenia’s capital, and worked for the Kurdish Erivan Radio for 18 years. After 1995, he moved to Athens. Aram was singing in Kurdish, Armenian, Arabic and Turkish, but he is mainly known and loved for his Kurdish songs. Many Kurdish people got to know for first time music in their mother tongue with the songs of Aram and the melody of his oud. Aram’s death saddened million of Kurdish people who recognize the important contribution he made as a cultural bridge between Armenians and Kurds. He sang Kurdish songs more than 50 years and held concerts all over Europe. Just before his death, Aram Tigran was invited by the Kurdish government in Federal Kurdistan (Iraq) to hold a big concert in the Kurdish capital city Hawler (Arbil). In several interviews Aram Tigran confessed that he loved Diyarbakir very much. He said, "It was the dream of the century to come to Diyarbakir. I always used to say, ‘God, will I ever see the place where my parents lived before I die?". After becoming a Greek citizen, Aram first went to Diyarbakir. He also visited the villages of Bêemde and Kaskê, where his parents had been born. He said about these visits, "When I looked at the mountains, trees, streams and houses, my inside was shaking. I cried. I was extremely pained. I remembered what my father, my mother, what they experienced. I was saddened and bemoaned the fact that we had not grown up on this soil." Aram visited Diyarbakir for first and last time this year to take part in Diyarbakir’s 9th Culture and Arts Festival. Tragically, he was not allowed to rest in peace in his land even after his death.