Notes From Hairenik
February 16, 2009
I just learned that Charles Aznavour agreed to become the Armenian Ambassador to Switzerland (where he resides) at the end of last week. He was granted Armenian citizenship last December and apparently the Armenian government had him in mind for the job for a while. Personally I wish he would stick to recording and giving an occasional concert. But at 84, he may be growing weary of the stage and studio. I wonder if he'll be allowed to work from home?

Reuters, AFP

French singer Charles Aznavour said on Thursday he had agreed to become ambassador to Switzerland for his ancestral homeland Armenia. 

Aznavour, aged 84, was born in France of Armenian parents and established an international singing career that still takes him around the globe. 

"At first I hesitated, because I thought that this is no easy matter. But then I thought that in the end, what is important for Armenia must be important for all of us," Aznavour said in comments broadcast on Armenian television. 

"I accepted this proposal with pleasure, joy and a deep feeling of honour," said Aznavour, who was granted Armenian citizenship in December, 2008. 

Born Shahnur Aznavourian in Paris to Armenian parents, the singer has maintained close links with Armenia and is among the best-known figures of France's 400,000-strong Armenian diaspora. After the 1988 earthquake in Armenia that killed 25,000 people, Aznavour set up a foundation and organised a series of charity concerts to help quake victims. 

He also serves as Armenia's permanent delegate to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The author of over 1,000 songs, Aznavour is one of France's most popular singers and is the first French performer to have a recording that went platinum in Europe. He has sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

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