The secretary of the “Armeni Pulia” Association in Bari, Italy and the founder and chair of the Hrant Nazaryants cultural center, Carlo Coppola, published a book titled Gli Armeni in Sicilia (Armenians in Sicily). In an interview with Aravot Daily, the scientist said that he works in two languages, Armenian and Italian. Carlo Coppola has Neopolitan roots and he lives and works in Bari. He also has Armenian citizenship and has been studying the affairs of the Armenian diaspora for many years.
Carlo Coppola said that his book begins with the presence of Armenians in Sicily to the Byzantine-Norman-Arab conquest until the 20th century. Coppola said that several Italian writers became supporters of the Armenian cause in the 20th century, such as Enrico Cardile, who cared about Armenians in a brotherly fashion. There is also information about the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches, as well as the Catholic bishop Mkrtich Zohrabyan, who is buried in Palermo.
“I gave an oath to the Republic of Armenia to remember my second homeland every day, to be loyal to its sacred values, and to respect the Armenian Constitution and laws as I respect Italian ones. Therefore, I defend and spread the Armenian culture because I consider Armenian art, culture, and history to be my own, and that is my choice. My wife, Tamar, is Armenian and she is from Yerevan. My son’s name is Nicola, which is similar to the name of the Armenian prime minister, but it is also my father’s name. My second child will be born in a few months and we will name him Armen so that everyone knows he’s Armenian. Armen is also my brother-in-law’s name, as well as the name of the Armenian president,” Carlo Coppola told Aravot Daily.
He said that Armenians in Sicily is his first bilingual book. He said that it is a pity that his Armenian is not very good now, but he is trying to learn Eastern Armenian. However, he said that it is easy to find a translator in Italy who can translate from Italian to Eastern Armenian because the Armenians in Bari’s Armenian community speak the language. Carlo Coppola said that the intention of translating the book into Armenian was so that everyone can know how creative Armenians are. “Us Armenians are not children of war and weapons as our enemies are,” Carlo Coppola said and recited Paruyr Sevak’s quote, “If we have captivated other people, it has been done only through our songs.”
Professor Coppola said that the book was translated by a professor at the Yerevan V. Bryusov State University of Linguistics, Arevik Grigoryan, and the preface was written by a professor from the faculty of law at Yerevan State University, Vahe Gevorgyan. Coppola wants to give the book to anyone who wants Armenian-Italian relations to develop as he does.
The scientist also spoke about the Armenian ambassador to Italy, Tsovinar Hambardzumyan, who, in his opinion, works hard to carry out her mission. She even worked 24 hours a day to present the correct information when Azerbaijan was targeting Armenian villages.