15 Years Later: Is it Getting Any Better?

“Is Armenia getting any better?” I’m asked on a regular basis. Few people hide their skepticism when they ask, but I also hear a hint of desperation in the question. After watching Armenia change over the past 15 years, I’m always happy to respond with plenty of reason for hope.

After watching Armenia change over the past 15 years, I’m always happy to respond with plenty of reason for hope. (Photo by Nanore Barsoumian)

Let’s start with simply getting there. In 1998, when I crossed the Armenia-Georgia border by land, the bus was held for several hours until we each paid a $5 bribe. There was no toilet; instead, people lined up behind the border building to defecate. This summer, I paid $30 for a hassle-free marshutni ride from Tbilisi to Yerevan.

Yes, the Georgians have better conditions on the border, and yes, travelers stand under the elements for 20-30 minutes on the Armenian side. But the proof is in the harissa, to adapt an old saying. The entire journey took just over five hours and was free of resentment-inducing extortion. Armenians pride themselves on being hospitable, and the border is much closer to being a hospitable place.

The improvements of air travel in and out of Armenia are far more blatant. During the 1990’s, the airport was dreary, intimidating, smoky, dirty, corrupt, and stressful. When my parents came to visit, I hired the expeditor from the U.S. Embassy to meet them at the plane, because the process was unclear and disorienting.

Fast-forward to 2012 and you’ll find a pristine building, tidy bathrooms, orderly processes, and top-notch customer service at each step. Even my taxi driver to the airport bragged about how the new airport meets international standards. It’s an important moment when people witness their own potential for excellence.

Travel within the country is also improved. During a two-hour drive outside of Yerevan, whether on public transit or in a private car, you were guaranteed to be pulled over at least once for a bribe. Within Yerevan, too, people were constantly pulled over to pay the local authorities, who paid someone else, who paid someone else, and so on. It was an exhausting reality. While this still happens to some extent, it is not the same street-level corruption as existed before. And that matters.

The quality of life in general is markedly different. I wasn’t there during the worst years, but I was there when water was provided in my village just twice a week for two hours. There’s something romantic about collecting water in huge tubs and taking bucket baths for about a week, maybe two, but not a lifetime. These days, most people have water all the time, and many in Yerevan have hot water heaters for bathing and washing dishes.

Tourists no longer need to make Yerevan their base. They never did, of course, but there are far more reasons to leave now. It’s easy to find reasonably priced transit and there are quality inns and hotels around the country. This summer I couldn’t wait to spend my weekends in Dilijan and Goris, soaking up the mountain air I had been craving.

There has been a remarkable shift in customer service overall. For the foreigner, negotiating the price of a taxi ride before sitting was advisable, lest you end up over-charged at your destination. Now, you can simply look at the meter to see how it is adding up, and there is little opportunity for a dispute. And the droves of drivers (no pun intended) who would spell out the same list of the country’s problems whenever the chance arose–“Gordz chka, luys chka, jur chka, voch mi ban el chka” (There’s no work, no lights, no water, no nothing)–now say that things are “okay,” and even, remarkably, that things are “good.”

This increased ease of living may go unnoticed by many residents, because change sneaks up on a person. But it is obvious to me that the daily or weekly grocery shopping rituals are much different. There is still some haggling that takes place, but more often than not the prices of things are visible for the consumer. The shuka (market) still holds its appeal, but people have also embraced the new stores and supermarkets without sacrificing quality.

And don’t even get me started on communication. One dollar per minute phone calls to the U.S. have been replaced by free Skype calls, constant access to e-mail, and clever IT experts who can make an iPhone work in Yerevan. On a drive from Yeghegnadzor to Sevan with friends, I checked my e-mail with an internet jump drive while passing through rugged mountains and later looking for a lakeside restaurant to eat fresh fish.

I said in my inaugural “Odar’s Corner” column that some may find me excessively positive. The airport employee who surveyed my satisfaction with the airport may think the same. But you know what? There’s a lot to celebrate about Armenia today versus Armenia 15 years ago. A lot to fix, but a lot to celebrate, too.

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Originally from a family farm in North Dakota, Kristi Rendahl lived and worked in Armenia from 1997-2002 and visits the country regularly. She works with the Center for Victims of Torture as the organizational development advisor to 10 torture treatment centers around the world, and is pursuing a doctorate in public administration. Rendahl writes a monthly column for The Armenian Weekly. She resides in St. Paul, Minn.
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48 Comments

  1. It is great that the cosmetics of Armenia has improved especially for tourists and visitors BUT

    I think Armenia has a long way to go regarding women’s rights, LGBQ rights, education, jobs, and sustainability.

    I am still hoping the Arab Spring will make it’s way to Armenia. ;-)

    • Karina: Do you have the slightest idea as to the reasons why the so-called “Arab Spring” was manufactured by the West? If you did, you wouldn’t wish this for Armenia. Also, GLBT rights is the least of the tasks on Armenia’s state-building agenda. Survival in the hostile environment is the most pressing one.

    • I’m hoping Arab Spring will make its way to Armenia too… so that our religion can gain more influence, our traditions are solidified, and our values are kept, and clueless diaspora Armenians are kept out of our society… and I say this as a diaspora Armenian.

    • Martoun,

      What does the artificially orchestrated ”Arab spring” has to do with solidifying our traditions and values? Traditions and values are kept and solidified by people and not by foreign interests and terrorist groups that are behind the Arab Springs.

      That is the last thing that Armenia needs. Please keep Arab Springs for Arab world. We do not belong there.

    • Sella,
      I’m with you on that. My pot was a reaction to that clueless person making the post. If our future is left for her type, Armenia would not exist after 50 years. Watch your enemies close, but your friends closer.

    • Sorry, Martoun,

      I did not realize that you were being sarcastic. I thought you were promoting an Arab Spring in Armenia.

  2. “But the proof is in the harissa,”

    awesome :)

    As for the article, yes use improvements and successes to inspire more. The barriers can be as much psychological as internal and external economic realities.

  3. Good article. Having been to Armenia several times over several years I can say that so much has improved – the roads, the telecommunications, the hotels, the restaurants, the clothing worn by the people, the number of the young people who speak English, etc. and not just in Yerevan.

    Yes Karina much remains to be done for civil society, corruption, economics, etc, but the Arab Spring is definitely not the model as we are now seeing.

  4. Things have changed just from last summer to this. Although the departure hall in the airport was the same as last year, the arrival hall was still the same huggler’s paradise, with taxi’s taking over almost the entire available parking space, and acting like thugs. This year the airport did look like a welcoming port!

    For me, the most striking change about the cosmetics and convenience of life is that young professionals, who left many years ago to find education and better ecomonic opportunities elsewhere, are starting to make their way back, bringing the fruits of that education and experience on the world stage to the businesses and commerce in Armenia. And while the existential threats will be there even in another 15 years, Armenia will be a much stronger ecomonic and societal force to cope with the geopolitical situation.

  5. You should go and visit the schools in the villages. Central Yerevan’s buildings are meaningless. With a crumbling infrastructure and the criminal oligarchs sucking Armenia’s wealth with the government’s coverups I don’t see unfortunately any bright future coming soon…
    Today’s Armenia’s population is hardly 2M. Reality and wishes are two different things!

    • {Today’s Armenia’s population is hardly 2M.} Prove it.

      And this is what you posted @Asbarez:

      [AraK says:
      September 14, 2012 at 2:52 pm
      Azeris are much clever than our useless government. I think the diaspora should stop helping Armenia and try to solve its own problems. We are losing our time with these oligarch crooks who are bleeding Armenia. Actually not much blood has remained…
      Aliyev is right. Soon Armenia will be empty of her people and all the Azeris will have to do is just walk in and conquer. Our government and all the rest of the gang are busy trying to win the elections to suck the remaining blood from our “dyingland”.
      Very sad.]

      “Azeris are much clever than”
      “Aliyev is right”
      “diaspora should stop helping Armenia”

      Hardly sounds like an Armenian, even though you are posting under an Armenian name.

      BTW: when you say “Aliyev is right”, I assume you also mean he was right to pardon the ax murderer of a sleeping Armenian, ‘Armenian’ poster ‘AraK’: Yes ?

    • great new word you have coined Sella: I am sure you won’t mind if we all start using it.

      It is actually a double-whammy winner:
      #1 accurately describes the true nature of the ax-murderer-glorifying State.
      #2 corrects a historical inaccuracy: the name ‘Azerbaijan’ was stolen
      from Iran. It is a fake country name for an area North of Arax River.

      I nominate Sella’s newly coined word ‘AXErbaijan’ for the [Popular New Words of 2012] entry.

      (glad you highlighted it Boyajian: I missed it at first.)

    • Boyajian and Avery, thank you!

      When I first read it in news, how AXErbaijani president pardoned the murderer and promoted him, the first thought that came to my mind was to make suggestion at AW to refer to this country with a new name AXErbaijan, but somehow forgot to post it. However, I have been debiting between these two versions:AXErbaijan and AXERbaijan. What do you think? Of course everyone is more than welcome to use it :-)

    • Sella:

      For me simple ‘Axerbaijan’ (© Sella) is more effective, because it is easier to type and it flows. It might even replace the fake name in everyday use over time.

      But you are the originator, and you have the final say.

  6. yes Armenia has certainly improved in 15 years in appearance, but the daily life of the people need to be much better, they need good and stable jobs, that will improve their standard of living, they are very smart and hard working people. they just need a chance for a good paying job.

  7. As a current Peace Corps volunteer in Armenia, it is interesting to hear the kind of changes that have come about in the past 15 years. It seems to me that many things have improved slightly, making for an overall more positive living situation here. Of course there is a long way to go, but it’s helpful to note that there has been progress; it makes me more optimistic that some of the work I’m doing here will contribute to even more forward progress.

    We had a trash pick-up day last Saturday near our local college, and I was happy to see that there were many young kids, as well as adults helping out. At the end, they all looked proud of their work. Unfortunately, as I spoke to one of the adults who had just spent an hour helping us clean, she told me that it wouldn’t stay clean, because Armenians don’t care about the environment and don’t think twice about throwing trash on the ground. I tried to tell her that in the U.S., attitudes used to be similar, but over time they have changed, and now it’s shameful to be caught littering. She refused to believe that it would ever turn around in Armenia. It’s negative thoughts like this that worry me, because if every person thinks the same thing, how will their lives ever improve? I try to convince them that positive change is possible, and now, looking back on the past 15 years, I can see that, indeed, it’s already happening.

  8. Thanks for the great article. I am now living in Armenia, back for the first time in 5 years, and have noticed a huge amount of change just like you point out here. I still worry about many aspects of Armenia today, not least of which being the outflow of the population, but it is clear that in Yerevan at least overall quality of life is improving. I notice a lot of people on the streets, especially young people, who seem happy, and it was particularly impacting how you pointed out that some people even say things are “good” now, something unheard of not too long ago. The biggest complaint I hear now, and a big reason for the outflux, is that while it is possible to get jobs, they just don’t pay nearly enough. A typical wage for a young person is just US$200 a month, whereas in Russia they can make 5 times that. Life is better but people can’t support their family to live here, so that is clearly the number one issue which needs to be addressed to continue Armenia’s trajectory of hope.

    • I’ve met one Armenian who went back to Armenia after having an IT career in California. He started an IT company in Yerevan and I was very glad to hear such a development. The IT field has been one of the brighter spots.

  9. Vartan:
    Antranig:

    assuming you were President/Gov of RoA, what specific steps would you take to create more jobs in RoA ?

    or say you were a Billionaire, and had a couple of Billion to spare to invest: what businesses would/could you start in RoA to create many high paying jobs.

    Proposals need to account for the real obstacles RoA faces, including energy costs, transportation costs, limited internal markets, etc.

    • Avery,

      God forbid being president/government of RoA as the ones we have had or have now, but, generally speaking, a public-spirited, accountable, and open-minded government would first and foremost regulate its taxation policies so that billionaires won’t enjoy the benefits of tax evasion to the detriment of state treasury and the poorer segments of the society. Wise taxation policies will ensure even and purposeful distribution of funds for different governmental programs, including jobs creation. Second, the small- and medium-size enterprise profit taxation must be given the most favorable treatment, i.e. tax brackets for such enterprises should be significantly reduced (at least for a specific period of time, say, 5-7 years) in order to boost new businesses (read: more jobs) and prevent the exodus of the existing ones. Third, government subsidy assistance in the forms of small loans with no interest to local—urban and especially rural—communities should be thought of for the purpose of encouraging local businesses that would pay off the loans after they are established and running. If I were, God forbid, a billionaire in Armenia (wouldn’t want to be an uncouth, semiliterate self-centered person), and had a couple of billions to spare, I would invest in the field of education to make the young generation more open-minded, knowledgeable, and oriented towards true human and national values.

    • Good suggestions re taxation Armen: agree completely.

      One very important item that RoA Gov, including Parliament, must do – over and above fair taxation – is implement very strong laws, enforced by truly independent judiciary – nonexistent at this time – of private property protection. Too many cases of someone starting a business, making it successful with a lot of hard work, and losing it to their local partners who have connections.

      It is my belief that one of the reasons Anglo Saxon run counties have prospered so much compared to others, is due to their respect for and protection of private property. (not to be confused with a private entity buying a nation’s strategic assets and looting it for private gain).

      Regarding the Billionaire: I was not thinking of RoA residents: rather, Armenian Diaspora in the West or Russia.
      I hear a lot of laments about lack of jobs, which is true.
      But I don’t hear of any concrete suggestions for solutions.

    • Avery,

      Mind you, these are a few of many more measures that are practicable to implement irrespective of war in Artsakh, Turkish blockade, turbulent independence era, or lack of natural resources. All it takes is patriotism, political will, and a bit wider erudition and world vision on the part of the rulers.

    • If I had billions I would invest in agriculture, especially in the southern regions. I would build a very sophisticated irrigation system:Armenia is a mountainous country therefore irrigation system can be designed in a way that water will flow from high elevations to lower, saving a lot of energy. I would invest in building sophisticated green houses that would use solar power. Solar power-plate production could be another very good area to invest. Our number one goal should be to become food and energy sufficient.

    • Sella:

      you have my kind of thinking. I would start building massive dams to store water (after careful environmental reviews, of course). RoA and NKR have a lot of mountain snow, but nowhere to store the runoff. This summer extra water was released from Lake Sevan for agricultural irrigation. RoA really should not have to use Sevan water for agriculture.

      The other major issue looming on the horizon is the end of life for the current NPP. It has been upgraded several times, but it will run out of life soon.
      RoA urgently needs a new NPP (current one provides 40% of nation’s needs).
      Solar and Wind are good supplemental sources of energy, but cannot replace either Nuke or Hydro power.

  10. Kristi jan, thank you for another eloquent piece.

    I just moved back here (for an indefinite time period) after not having lived here for over 4 years, and I entirely agree with the tone of this article. As Vartan pointed out, the major issue is still employment and better wages (not to mention fair pension for the elderly), though it’s indisputable that Armenia has undergone several changes for the better. Though I can only comment on the changes I’ve seen in the last five years, they are nothing short of incredible. I would even go as far to say that the changes I see go beyond infrastructure and better service. I’ve noticed a lot more open-mindedness toward foreigners and more respect in general in public spaces. Of course, development also comes with other challenges like chronic disease (obesity and cardiovascular disease are on the rise), and right now Armenia is in an interesting period of transition where both aspects of a developing nation and those of a developed one live side-by-side. This, along with unemployment, are some of the challenges we face, but I’m hopeful. Gamats gamats. I hope to see more young people make the move to Armenia and take part in Armenia’s development.

    • Thank GOD (!!!) they are replacing those Soviet era oversized funny hats, that male policemen wear when patrolling the streets in pairs. So relieving to know that previously posted comments are being read !

      Next, I hope that they will change their demeanor a bit to make us believe that they are there to protect the people, and not only the oligarchs.

    • I don’t know if the replacement for Soviet era oversized funny hats looks better. To me, they look like the ones that are worn in the Middle Eastern countries with all those motley varicolored regalia. BTW, the shape of the Soviet military and police hats has its origin in Germany, if I’m not mistaken.

    • I think this might be a special unit of the Armenian police. I’m not sure if this is a replacement for the entire police. But a nice edition it looks like.

  11. No ! Karina,
    We don´t need an Arab Spring in RA.What we need is Evolution—and it is on its way over.I also visit Armenian every year.The progress ,as described above bya few is noticeable.As to schools etc., you err tremendously.Myself was assigned 6 yrs ago to videotape 6 schools that our community of S.Florida took upon itsself to repair floorings of 5 of them (putting in Parquety-wooden flooring) plus changed the roofs of all and at Cahrentsi school on Amiryan st. heating system throughout this secondary important school and A totally a new school was built by our community (with help of WB 9/1 basis,as one comptriot achieved that big donation and yet another New school was built in Aznvadzor,not far from Vanadzor….
    These only from a tiny U.S. community as compared to work the All Armenia Fund is doing both in RA and Artsakh.
    Plenty more will be done in near future.therefore stop mis representing situation in Ra.People leave sure. In spain after Civil War in 1939/40´s TWO MILLION LEFT the Republicans and communists and Socialists when Franchist REgime had taken over.But also this happened in yugoslavia after its demis the Soviet Union , great Turkey has over 7 million such in Germany,France and other Euro countries and N.America.So what?
    True in Russia they can make much more and they go.No worry they come back and go back,send in VERY IMPORTANT FOREIGN EXCHANGE!!! for those who are in Ra.
    The system is not to the liking of many,but that is what the othe alternative was unfortunately when after demise of soviet union overnight from a totalitarian regime it converted into a wild Free market Economy..instead of doing that slowly,say like Spain and portugal goting through a transitional socialist(not soviet,but Swedish like) regime…
    Bygones are bygones Armenia is a Free market U.S. type governancde system…but that does not mean it is going to go down like some like to suppose…
    It is a country with twice as much of its people in Diaspora and we care about what goes omn there and shall not let it go down like some adversary agents amongst us wish us to.So be it.Stay tuned on RA T.V.´s US Armenia T.v. etc., and read the press in armenia on the internet and you will see that ARMENIA HAS ALREAADY ACCOMPLISHED FREE PRESS AND FREE opinion exposed in the media.One big important change indeed.It all depends how you wish to see it.Too much change?,then I am with you but piano piano,.Otherwise as one put in above what our adversaries dreeam of -viz.Arab Spring is dangerous for us.We are much more ahead of them and though we respect them we cannot restrain us from saying so.For we are ahead in many ways. Culturally, scientifically, sports, and a lot ,more.
    Please be patient and all will be solved by and by.The people there are much more patient that some would like to think.they have gone through hell.Earthquak,War and also the recent upheavals with neighbour countries eyeing us carefully to but in,if we begin to falter above wise.that is believe that we are WEAK and not progressive.That we are not believe you me.!!!

  12. I appreciate your article. I have been a regular visitor to Armenia since 1999 (to have therapy from an awesomet PT), and I do see a lot of changes in Yerevan as well as the small towns in different Marzes.

    As for the level of education, there is an influx of new methodologies schools have to implement (expeditionary learning, experiential learning, whole language instruction). Teachers have to make their own curriculum without textbooks. Schools which do not follow the strict guidelines have to pay fines. This is happening moreso in smaller towns.

    Here in DC, many schools get their charter status for presenting innovative educational models. Some succeed and many others do not. So unless there is a substantial help in staff development from a successful innovative model, it is not realistic for these type of Armenian schools to have an effective learning environment.

  13. So you compare today’s armenia with 1998? Why dont you compare armenia with Azerbaijan?

    Also, nobody has mentioned the monument just opened in Ottawa to commemorate the killings of Turkish diplomats by ASALA?

    • Why would we compare a decent, ancient, incredible country like Armenia to a savage, backwards, artificial, terrorist country like Azerbaijan? Anyone with a pea sized brain would figure out there is no comparison.

      They put a monument to commemorate the killings of Turks by ASALA? Perhaps the monument was to give ASALA a pat on the back? Canada also fully recognize the holocaust perpetrated by Turkey against Armenians.

      ASALA is an organization to exact revenge for the Armenian Genocide which does not represent everyone or the government, unlike a coward axe murdering lowlife, who has apparently become your hero through the funding and encouragement of a terrorist dictator rrepresenting a terrorist country of Azeraliyevajan

    • Why don’t you compare Armenia to azerbaijan, Ahmet ? Tells how much better azerbaijan is since 1988, compared to Armenia.
      But before you do, make sure you watch the BBC report about Baku Eurovision.

      [BBC Panorama – Eurovision’s Dirty Secret Azerbaijan]
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oea2XGsIbvI

      You should watch the 30 min report, but I’ll save you some time.
      This is what the narrator says, starting at time stamp approx 22:40.

      {“This is the reality for many here; grim poverty; meager pensions; poor sanitation; a healthcare system dominated by a culture of bribes; its oil wealth remains in the hands of very few”}

      He is talking about your advanced azerbaijan, of course.
      There is more, but start with the BBC reports, then we’ll compare notes: OK ?

    • http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/monument-honoring-turkish-diplomat-opens-in-ottawa-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=30657&NewsCatID=359

      No Canada is not patting ASALA on the back, they are unveiling a monument to honor a murdered Turkish diplomat.. Unlike many countries, Canada realizes two rights don’t make a right, a concept many in our part of the world can’t get through our heads.

      Here is ASALA’s stated goal: “to compel the Turkish Government to acknowledge publicly its responsibility for the Armenian Genocide in 1915, pay reparations, and cede territory for an Armenian homeland”

      No where in there do they say they’re exacting revenge for the Armenian genocide. Because that would be impossible. No perpetrator of the AG was alive in 1975, and no Ottoman official was either, so who exactly would ASALA be getting revenge from. From their stated purpose, it sounds like they want to force Turkey to recognize and pay reparations for the AG- unless of course the meaning of compel has changed. And they’d achieve this goal through an armed struggle- or terrorism, depends on how you look at it. I choose the latter, just as I choose the latter for the PKK as well. Seeking justice for your own doesn’t give you the license to murder random people just because they work for the Turkish government.

    • The Turkish monument to honor the Turkish diplomat who was allegedly slain by ASALA in Ottawa in 1982 only underscores the long way Turkey still needs to go in facing its past and its responsibility to the Armenian nation. Turks have every right to remember and honor those who gave their lives while serving their nation, but isn’t it time that Turkey begin to commemorate and honor the 1.5 million Armenians who were forced to give there lives for the creation of the modern Turkish Republic?

      I know few Armenians who condone or are happy that ASALA took the actions it did. Terrorism is wrong and uncivilized. But almost all Armenians can sympathize with the anguish and frustration that led ASALA members to take justice into their own hands in order to thrust the Armenian Cause into public awareness. Turkey shares responsibility for creating this frustration and anguish through its unrepentant stance on its own history.

    • Ahmet,

      If you, for one second, thought that you can find a nation or a country on earth that would not be able to pump their oil with foreign oil companies and “get rich”, you are gravely mistaken. I am using the get rich in quotation marks because the oil money is pretty much divided between very small number of people.

      No one compares Armenia with AXErbaijan because you cannot compare apples with oranges.

    • @ RVDV:
      Your argument is wrong. You are trying to argue that it is OK to commit genocide, invade a country and take over the lands which you committed genocide in, and then so long as you stall, obfuscate, bribe and threaten other countries for a sufficient period of time, the beneficiary (Turkey) is eventually free and clear because “no perpetrator of the AG was alive in 1975”? Um… **NO**, it does not work that way.

      And your reference to the stated goals of ASALA only in ‘your’ interpretation is “not revenge”… ASALA’s opinion was that it could never do anything to the Turkish government that was “illegal” for the above stated reason. In addition, that stated goal is similar to the stated goals of the Tashang and presumably Hunchag parties, and even Armenia’s even though they have not officially stated it, so referencing it does not mean a whole lot.

      And besides, Canada’s commemoration was for fallen diplomats and not against the acts of ASALA per se. ASALA even had altercations with the Tashnags at one point, and it no longer exists, whether you think it is a terrorist organization or not.

      What’s important is that the governments of Azerbaijan and Turkey are the real terrorists. Turkey has managed to convince the US and EU that it is not, of course with providing them with God knows what benefits. And my opinion is that as long the Armenian Genocide is not accounted for, then Turkey is a terrorist entity.

    • Avery,

      Great response. Feel free to start ahmet’s name with lower case “a” next time. Why do you respect him so much?

      ahmet,

      It’s a legitimate thing to do–compare a country or any other entity to itself at various points in time, to assess if any progress or change, in general, has occured. It’s done all the time. There is a concept of time-series variation besides cross-sectional variation, in case you are unaware. What exactly is your problem with that? You seem to be irritated by the possibility that things may have gotten better in Armenia. This is not the first time that you act like a jealous maniac.

      Surely, we could compare Armenia to another country. Why not? But why specifically azerbaijan? I’d rather pick a country we can learn from and look up to.
      Or do you really think azerbaijan is the best example of what a country should be? I suggest that you enlighten yourself by consulting sources outside your usual narrow circle.

    • “…revenge for the Armenian genocide […] would be impossible. No perpetrator of the AG was alive in 1975, and no Ottoman official was either, so who exactly would ASALA be getting revenge from.” —The perpetrator of the AG is the successor-state of the Ottoman Empire, read: modern-day Republic of Turkey. Had it not been so, Turkey would have acknowledged the crime of the Ottomans. As long as Turkey denies and distorts, the world grows only firmer in their conviction that it is the Turks as a state who committed the crime. German Chancellor apologized and the state of Germany made reparations to the state of Israel and the international Jewry not on behalf of a few Nazi perpetrators, but on behalf of the successor-state of the Third Reich.

  14. Of course Kritis is a kind soul and well disposed towards Armenia/Armenians.Otherwise she would not be here amongs t us or in Yerevan/Armenia.Like Her Ladyship Baroness Caroline Cox…yes we do have luckily,some good friends,amongst many more non-friends.She,i.e. Kristi , as she always modestly expresses is from rural America…and a nice person.

    Sella.I like your AXErbaijani Reference.When their pres. gives license to kill armenians -with axes-indeed they should be addressed as such….
    Avery, I seartched in vain to see where the word “billionaire”” was used by you,though in your second post you clarify that you meant it for Armenian billionaires in West and Russia. Yes ,latter is correct.In RA we do have quite a few millionaires, but not with B.For your info we have 6 of them in Diaspora. Thesde are the ones I “suggest” to form the NUCLEUS for a NATIONAL INVESTMENT TRUST FUND.Around which then our hundreds and hudreeds of millionairs all the way down to thousands and thousands of Hundred thousand dollar investors , pklus millions of -all the way down-hundred dollars investors will make it A HUGE BILLION DOLLAR FUND!!!
    If you or others would like to follow my detailed suggestions ins this respect or my CONCEPT OF FAIR electoral Sytem*my baby,based on Qualifications/Merits then please go to http://www.armeniannews.info ….
    Subscriber sub,mitted articles and rad me there.soon a very important MANIFESTO OF MINE TO APPEAR THERE!!!

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