2020 Vision

“What a year this month has been.” This sentence has been on repeat every single month since the start of 2020. It’s hard to articulate words to describe the sense of emotions anyone is going through. As many of us try to navigate the unknown and are devastated on canceled plans, jampars, seminars, events, gatherings and travel, there is nothing more eye-opening than this moment right now. In such uncertain and frightening times, the natural inclination is to look for a silver lining, no matter how faint. 

Maybe 2020 isn’t canceled. 

Perhaps this is the year to use our time to keep engaging and fighting towards justice…to not only continue pushing for progress in our homeland, but to keep going even though everything has been paused. 

Maybe 2020 isn’t canceled.

The author hugging a young child at Camp Javakhk, 2019

Maybe time away from everything will make us appreciate a simple hangout at the agoump or even an AYF educational. Maybe this year is meant for us to slow down and appreciate the present. Yes, things might be canceled, but the year is still going. We can keep working. We can continue giving. We can continue loving. We can continue inspiring. Yes, I get it, it’s hard to not be in Hayastan this summer. It’s difficult as a Diasporan Armenian to be looking forward to a summer where you reunite with family and friends in your homeland, only to have it canceled. It’s hard not to envision yourself at the top of Cascade at 4 am to watch the sunrise. It’s hard knowing the grounds of 722 Summer Street will be empty this summer. It’s especially hard to have spent the past three summers in Javakhk only to realize that the streets of Ninotsminda, Akhaltskha and Akhalkalak will be jampar-less. It’s hard digesting the fact that your out-of-town ungers will only be accessible through a screen. It’s hard keeping a distance from places we love, especially our homeland. It’s hard not knowing when the next Armenian event will be.

Photo provided by author

But do you want to know what’s not hard? It’s not hard to do our part as the Armenian Youth Federation to continue being active and to keep going…to not only use this time to educate ourselves, but to learn the language (if you don’t know it), to dive into our culture, to understand the importance of our fedayis, to spend extra time with our parents, to check in on our ungers, to never take a trip to Hayastan for granted and never again say, “I’m not going to that event.” 

Maybe 2020 isn’t canceled. 

Maybe this is the time as the next generation of mentors, educators and leaders, to just switch perspectives. Let us look at this from the silver lining, and use this time to have a better understanding of who we are as Armenians from the diaspora. Let us step up and continue our work and try to have a brighter outlook on 2020.  

The year 2020 isn’t canceled, so do your part as an AYF member and just keep working, loving, inspiring and going.  

In the wise words of Shavarsh Missakian I hope you remember this: «Չըլլայ որ թմրիս անցեալի փառքերով հաւատք եւ յարատեւ ճիգ, որպէսզի բան մըն ալ դուն աւելցնես անոնց վրայ՝ իբրեւ նոր սերունդ: »

Sanan Malkadjian

Sanan Malkadjian

Sanan is a member of the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Detroit Kopernik Tandourjian Chapter. She is a self-published children’s book author and a recent graduate from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a degree in Digital Marketing.
Sanan Malkadjian

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