I (Raffi Kojian) am the creator and webmaster of Armeniapedia.org and Cilicia.com. Born to Bedros and Anahid in Ethiopia, my family moved to the USA when I was young. I grew up in Orange County, California, and after a couple of stays in Armenia, moved there in 1999, where I reside today. After extensive travel in Armenia, in 2001 I published the first edition of Rediscovering Armenia, much of which was to Brady Kieslings credit, the second expanded and updated edition was published in 2005 - though it is always available online for free. In the summer of 2001 I was hired to open Armenia's first tourist information office, which opened at 3 Nalbandian Street. Hobbies/interests include gardening, reading, "remonding", cafes, and the ever-challenging in a land-locked country beach visit. I have strong libertarian tendencies, preferring government to let people do their own thing, as long as they are not harming their neighbors or the environment unfairly.
In the 1990s I created some of the first freeware Armenian truetype fonts. Masis (originally named Ararat), Arax, Sasun, and much later, Tamar. Plus a for-fun font to create borders.
Publication and mentions
- Rediscovering Armenia, (co-author) ISBN 9993052280
- Special Residency Status: 18 Tales from Armenian Repatriates, (1 tale and some photos) ISBN 9789994120857
- Armenia: The Bradt Travel Guide (mentioned in credits) ISBN 1841620815
- Lonely Planet Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, second edition. (mentioned in credits) ISBN 1740591380
- Adventure Armenia: Hiking and Rock Climbing (mentioned in credits) ISBN 9993078549.
- Gruzja, Armenia. Magiczne zakaukazie (mentioned in credits to Polish guidebook) ISBN 836050606X.
- Armenia: Land of Contrasts (mentioned in credits)
- My Limp Through Armenia (mentioned in credits)
- Wall Street Journal Europe - Mentioned in article appearing on July 6, 2001.
- Armenian Impressions book of Armenia photos, one of three photographers. ISBN 9994120573
- Appeared in 1994 documentary Beyond Commitment on Land and Culture Organization.
- Mentioned as "one Armenian nationalist blogger" (and a drooling one at that) in The New Republic July 23, 2007 article, "K Street Cashes In On The 1915 Armenian Genocide".
In the early 1990's I often used the following aasci art at the end of my messages. At the time it was used in the first edition of The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Internet as an example of ASCII art. (Yes, Mt. Ararat is shown from the Western Armenia perspective)
_ . __________________________________ ,, . /# /_\_ | | |\_|/__/| | |/o\o\ | n_w$$h | / / \/ \ \ | \\_/_/ | | /__|O||O|__ \ / |_ | | | |/_ \_/\_/ _\ | | ||\_ ~| | Armenia /\ Mt. Ararat | | | (____) | || | ||| \/ | / \ | \/\___/\__/ | |||_ | //\/\ /\\\\ /\ | (_/ || \// | | ////////\\\\\\\\///\\\ | | || || | |____//////////\\\\\\/////\\\\\____| | ||\ ||_ \ | RAFFI KOJIAN | HAPPY | \ //_/ \_| o| | | HAPPY | \_______// /\____/ | | JOY JOY | __ || __|| / ||||__ |________________________|_________| (____(____) (___)_) | -Picture by Norm Sippel- | /**********\
Raffi's forays into the web world began after his return from Armenia in early 1996. He saw the need to share a more realistic picture of what Armenia was really like with the Diaspora - most of whom had never visited. With his new internet account at Netcom he had 5 megs of free "web space". With a vague understanding of what the web was, he went on it, learned html, and posted the following emails he had already sent out: my trip to armenia (1995-1996), and kept adding information ever since. Outgrowing the space led to the domain name cilicia.com and wanting to move to a wiki format led to armeniapedia.org
- http://www.tufenkian.am (created for Tufenkian Armenia based on us design)
- http://www.armeniainfo.am (did original design in 2001, now completely revamped)
- http://www.usaid.gov/am (did revamp in 2003-5, revamped since then)
Adult: Catch-22, Kurt Vonnegut (Welcome to the Monkey House, Cat's Cradle, Sirens of Titan, Bluebeard, and just about anything else he wrote), James Michener (Caribbean, The Source, Caravans, Poland, The Covenant, much of what he wrote), The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand), Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand), The Human Comedy, 1984, A Confederacy of Dunces, Uncle Tom's Cabin, The Fool (by Raffi), Aldus Huxley (Brave New World, The Island), War of the Worlds, The Count of Monte Cristo.
Kids: 100 Pounds of Popcorn, the Great Brain (series), Alvin Fernald (series), the Three Investigators (series), The Mad Scientists Club, My Name is Aram, A Wrinkle in Time.
The Big Lebowski, Schindler's List, Ararat
Seinfeld, Simpsons, Daily Show, Discovery/Travel/Nature/HomebuildingRestoration.
I enjoy gardening and plants a great deal, and have a separate site about them at Plants.am. Some of my favorite plants growing at my place in Yerevan, including: Cup of Gold Vine, Butterfly Vine, Giant Dutchman's Pipe, Angel's Trumpets, Banana tree, Concorde Grape, Desert Rose, Poor Man's Rhododendron, Salvia, Brazilian Plume Flower, Begonias, Gloriosa Lily, Gingers, Plumerias, Ground Orchid, Streptocarpus, Streptocarpella, Lantana, Hibiscus, Pygmy Date Palm, mini Lavender Roses, Asparagus Ferns, Epidendrum radicans...
I've been to: Armenia, Austria, Australia, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Rep., Dubai, Egypt, England, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Karabakh, Kurdistan, Lebanon, Mexico, Palestine, Poland, San Marino, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, USA, Vatican City
Among other places, I still want to see Brazil, Thailand, Greece, Russia and Iran. Holding a US Passport is not very conductive to getting visas for the latter two, so I am waiting for that magical dual citizenship law to pass in Armenia (the constitutional amendment already passed).