This Christmas and New Year, as you gather with friends and family, consider sharing Armenian stories with young children in new, creative, and engaging ways. One suggestion would be to tell the tale of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh/NKR) as an alligator story, like the one below. (Another would be to share the adventures of David of Sassoun as an old-school Jedi knight).
Once upon a time, there was family that lived on an island.
Around the island swam an alligator. An angry reptile named Aliyev who was always trying to eat one of the family’s seven children.
The family spent a lot of time watching the water. Working together to keep Aliyev away whenever he tried to come ashore.
One day the alligator crawled close to the coast and said: “It’s not fair that you have so many children while I am so hungry.”
“Feed me a child. Just one child. And then we can all be friends. Then, we’ll finally have peace.”
Smiling, he added: “And you need not worry. I won’t just eat my meal and be back in a week asking for more. I promise.”
So that was the Alligator’s offer—A child right now in return for a promise of lasting friendship.
Now, the family—if it wasn’t much of a real family—could have said OK.
They could have just tossed the Alligator a son or daughter, hoping that he would accept their sacrifice and honor his word.
If they did, though, they knew Aliyev would keep coming back for more kids. The family would grow smaller and weaker and less able to defend itself against an Alligator growing more powerful and aggressive with each new meal.
But they didn’t. Didn’t consider it for a second!
Because they love their children and will always protect each member of their family.
The same reasons Artsakh won’t surrender its sovereign soil to Ilham Aliyev’s Azerbaijan.
Aram Hamparian is Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).