Misinterpreted Encyclopedia: British and Russian publishers distorted basic facts about Armenia

According to the ‘Illustrated Geographical Encyclopedia’, published by British Kingfisher Publications and Russian Makhaon publishing-house, the main languages in Armenia are Armenian and Azerbaijani; and the main religions are Orthodox Christianity and Islam, mainly Shia Islam.

The encyclopedia, sold in Yerevan bookstores at 10,000 drams, ($33) was published in 2009 with 15,000 Russian copies.

“This is a terrible misinterpretation; and we must deal with it,” says Varduhi Ishkanyan, editor-in-chief of 2,000-ciruclation Ankakh weekly, adding that she sent a letter to the publishing house, demanding to refute this wrong information and suspend the sale of the book.

“Keeping silence is unacceptable. The (Armenian) President’s Office is also interested in this and they promised to support this initiative.”

The English version of the encyclopedia says: “This book is a passport to every country on the globe. The Kingfisher Geography Encyclopedia is an authoritative, up-to-date guide to countries of the world.”

Meanwhile, Armenia’s ‘passport’ is, mildly said, misinterpreted.

Ishkhanyan believes that the wrong information about Armenia written in the encyclopedia is not a deliberate anti-Armenian propaganda.

“If it were deliberate, even worse information would be included there [in the encyclopedia]. Nevertheless, the authors must take a responsibility for it, so that we can prevent such publications in the future,” she says.

The Chamber of Lawyers of Armenia on Saturday will call a meeting to discuss whether there may be a legal solution to the mis-information.