Celebrating 80th Birthday of Yuri Sahakyan


YEREVAN — This year the literary circles of Armenia celebrate the 80th anniversary of famous Armenia poet and translator Yuri Sahakyan.

Yerevan-based Sahakyan was born in 1937 in the village of Chaylu in the Mardakert district of Nagorno Karabakh, today’s Republic of Artsakh. He lost his parents in early childhood. Sahakyan served in Soviet Army from 1957 to 1960. In 1966 Sahakyan graduated from Yerevan State University, department of philology, and in 1967 started working at Hayreniki Dzayn (Voice of Fatherland) weekly newspaper. Later, he studied in Moscow and completed the literary courses of the USSR Union of Writers. In 1975, he became the chief editor of the Booklovers organization. From 1976 till 1993, Sahakyan worked at Sovetakan Grogh (Soviet Writer), later at Arevik publishing houses as a senior editor of children’s literature department.

He also translates from Russian, mainly for children. Since 1968, he has been a member of Writers’ Union of Armenia.

Sahakyan is the winner of the State award of 1999 for the book Alphabet Guide. He is an author of a dozen books of poetry both for children and adults. Many of his poems have been translated and published in Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Polish, Romanian, English, French, Swedish, Lithuanian, Abkhazian, etc.

Sahakyan’s name is also well known to all who love songs. He wrote lyrics for many popular songs such as: Arpa Sevan music by Edgar Hovhannisyan; Ayl Acher (Other Eyes) music by Eduard Tumanyan; Sharunakir Jptal (Keep on Smiling) music by Robert Amirkhanyan; Khutut-Mutut (Tickling), Hovik-hovik (Little Breeze) music by Tigran Mansuryan, etc.

Below is a new translation of a poem by Yuri Sahakyan, done by Yerevan-based philologist, historian and translator Artsvi Bakhchinyan.

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I Am the Friend of Your Friend

To My Bulgarian friend,

Krassin Himmirsky

The Bulgarian friend of mine

Has a friend in Greece.


Topics: Literature

This friend of Greece

Has a friend in Poland.


This friend of Poland

Has a friend in Russia.


This friend of Russia

Has a friend in Persia.


I am standing by the map

And looking with admiration.

And I cannot take my eye

Off the Planet named Earth.


If one day I stretch out my hand

And hold the hand of my friend,

And he stretches out his hand

And hold the hand of his friend,

This whole beautiful world

Will appear in our hands…


And mentally I violate

All the borders, near and far,

I cross the seas, I cross the lands

And travel in villages and towns.

Whomever I see on my way

I greet them warmly as a friend.

“Here’s my hand, my dear friend,

I am the friend of your friend.”


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