Diaspora Minister Visits Boston Area

Diaspora Minister, Mkhitar Hayrapetyan (Photo: Kenneth Martin)

WATERTOWN, Mass.—Mkhitar Hayrapetyan, Minister of the Diaspora, visited the Boston area for a number of events this past weekend. A town hall meeting was held at the Armenian Cultural and Educational Center on Saturday night with over 200 attending.

“Now we have a historic opportunity, to show ourselves and our country that the Genocide was a failed Genocide, and all other actions against Armenian nation were failures,” Hayrapetyan forcefully stated. “Right now, we are showing the world that we are powerful, we are a great nation with a great future. But if we have the will to have a great future not just for our children, but I want a good present for me as well, why not?”

A view of the Armenian Cultural and Educational Center the evening of Hayrapetyan’s town hall gathering. (Photo: Kenneth Martin)

Commenting on the importance of Armenia-Diaspora relations, Hayrapetyan offered, “Right now we can create a great country with a strong Diaspora. Because a strong Armenia means a strong Diaspora and a strong Diaspora means a strong Armenia. This is how we see it, this is our vision, this is what we believe in. And for this mission, I was appointed by the leader of the country, Nikol Pashinyan, to heal–yes let me say to heal–the ties, the relations between Armenia and the Diaspora.”

The Minister spoke honestly about previous efforts at strengthening ties between Armenia and the Diaspora. “There are a lot of things to heal, to rebuild. Because during the last 20 years, we made mistakes. Sorry for saying this, but both sides made mistakes. But this is, again and again, the best opportunity to step forward and to be united.”

Here is an excerpt from Hayrapetyan’s remarks:

“Yes, we did an unbelievably beautiful revolution. But it doesn’t mean that Armenia, our country, isn’t facing difficulties or challenges. Of course, your support, the support of the Diaspora, is crucial, let’s say. Especially right now, we need you… But this is the first time in our history that we are not asking for money from you. No, seriously… We always speak about the potential of the Armenian nation… We are here first to get to know you, to introduce you to some parts of our vision, but also to listen to you, what do you think, how do you think how do you feel, what do you want, what do you suggest, what do you criticize? Do you really want me as a minister? Do you see the future of the Ministry of Diaspora? Whatever you wish, whatever you feel like saying, I am ready to listen, even if this is going to be very critical. But I am sure that the new government, not just me, we are finally able to listen to you.”

The presentation was followed by a question and answer period.

On Sunday, the Minister participated in the dedication of two new buildings at Camp Haiastan and the St. Spephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church picnic. Hayrapetyan was impressed by the extent of the Camp grounds and the important role it has played in the perpetuating of Armenian identity to generations of Diasporans.

Hayrapetyan toured the ARF and Hairenik/Armenian Weekly archives during his visit to Watertown (Photo: The Armenian Weekly)

On Monday, Hayrapetyan visited the Hairenik building. He toured the ARF and First Republic Archives, especially moved by the Declaration of Independence of the Republic in 1918 and the original handwritten manuscript of Simon Vratsian’s Hayastani Hanrapetutiun.

Hayrapetyan met with representatives from ARF, the AYF, and ARS, as well as the editors of the Armenian and Hairenik Weekly (Photo: The Armenian Weekly)

Following the visit to the archives, Hayrapetyan met with the staff of the Hairenik and Armenian Weekly as well as representatives of the ARF ER Central Committee, the ARS Central Executive Board and the Armenian Youth Federation, Eastern Region Central Executive. The meeting discussed the current environment in the Diaspora and areas of potential cooperation.

5 Comments

  1. I love the embracing of this newspaper and its online presence. Journalism is of maximum importance to all nation states as it is still a relevant megaphone for the people.

  2. What a loser. The unbelievably beautiful revolution is sadly turning into a terror state. Our hope was you were intent on building a good future but so far any tangible action has been asset appropriation and political lynching. Prosperity comes with predictable laws and rights, not asset seizures.

    • Wasn t Armenia in a terror state with Serge Sarkisyan and Robert Kocharyan ?And their assets were stolen money from the people.

  3. ” …to introduce you some parts of our vision”. Like what? Like locking up Armenia’s second president without a fair trial. You are a joke man, Just like your boss.

  4. @Richard. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Successful countries move on and get working on the future. The only analogous country I can think of in terms of hauling so many people to jail in a short period of time and without an independent judicial process is…Turkey.

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