Sincerely, A Heartbroken Armenian

(Photo: Anahid Kaprielian/@anahidddd)

Dear non-Armenian,

It’s been three weeks.
Three weeks of tears.
Three weeks of screaming.
Three weeks of sleepless nights.
Three weeks of death, destruction, exhaustion.
Three weeks of being physically present, but never fully there.
Three weeks of protests and signing petitions.
Three weeks of donating every cent possible.
Three weeks of incessantly flooding our feeds with posts.
Three weeks of BEGGING people to care.
Three weeks of noticing people don’t care.

It’s been 105 years since the Ottoman Empire tried to exterminate the Armenian people. Every Armenian born since then was born with survivors’ blood running through our veins, born into a world where the perpetrators of the first genocide of the 20th century continue to deny the fact that this ever even occurred, that they never massacred 1.5 million of our friends and family members with the agenda to completely exterminate us, and still continue to get away with it. We have never doubted, though, that with today’s outreach and ease to spread awareness on social media, the Armenian Genocide would never have been able to occur in this current century.

It is October 19, 2020, and I am saddened to say that the very same agenda is being carried out, and the world is not even batting an eye. 

With the backing of Turkey’s dictatorship, Azerbaijan has been attacking Artsakh for three weeks straight, claiming it as their own. Yet it is this very land at which their missiles take aim. How is anyone supposed to believe they actually care for Artsakh the way we have? They start a war in the midst of a global pandemic and bomb the biggest PPE factory in the region. We send medical supplies and healthcare professionals. They neglect the ceasefire they agreed to mere hours prior. We actively protest for peace. They bomb a hospital and a church nowhere near where combat is taking place. We take in their wounded soldiers and heal them. They censor the internet and manipulate the truth from their citizens. We wage a full scale information war on a global grassroots level just to make sure the world knows that the people who are dying did not start the fight in which they are dying.

It is in their blood to destroy. It is in our blood to preserve. They are the grandchildren of genocide perpetrators. We are the grandchildren of genocide survivors.

It was difficult to understand when we were growing up, when all we wanted to do was watch the July 4th fireworks or go to the Friday night high school football game. We grew up spending our days at Sunday School, Armenian School, dance class, scouts, choir practice, and when we weren’t at any of these activities, we were with other Armenians, eating Armenian food, speaking as much Armenian as our parents and grandparents would oblige us to.  We had this lifestyle instilled in us from the very beginning of our lives. It took time to grow up, mature, and unfortunately have our entire existence as a people (yet again) threatened in order to fully appreciate and understand why we were dragged to do these things. The previous generations and our loved ones who have left us on this Earth have felt comfortable enough to leave us, because they gave us these tools, and they believed in us. They believed in our capability and potential as a diaspora to be able to handle anything that comes our way in this fight for our cause, and to never forget who we are on the way.

We have been screaming, marching, and closing down streets all around the world, one second smiling, the next crying, just to be able to get a glimpse of awareness and truth in the media. We can take time to be emotional and process what is going on, but we don’t have the luxury to not put on a brave face in times like these. We will not stop fighting for our people. We will not stop until the truth is heard. We have no other choice. We don’t know any other way. We can’t deal with this any other way. Most of us can’t physically fight this war, but we have found ways to help from afar. We have become the unsung internet diasporan soldiers fighting this war in ways we never imagined we would have to. It is our responsibility as diasporans to take action, educate, and donate. It is in our blood to fight for our cause and stand up for our people, to stand up for justice, peace, and for what is right.

What other nation do you know of that is so geographically distant, yet so emotionally unified?

The diaspora is funding this war; medical supplies, basic needs and all other necessities have been collected and donated over the last three weeks to help our kindred Artsakhtsis. However, with the constant ceasefire violations and brutality, it is evident that there is no end in sight. So I will unapologetically ask you once again: please donate; please reach out to find a petition to sign; please educate; please reach out to find something to post or share on your own page; please reach out just to tell us you are there for us and our people, for human rights. We cannot do this alone. The entire world needs to know the truth and understand that this is our reality. You are how we can fix this, how we can end this. We need your platform. We need your voice. We need YOU.


A heartbroken Armenian

Patille Kiledjian

Patille Kiledjian

Patille has been an active member of the Armenian community her whole life. She is on the AYF NJ Arsen chapter executive. She's also a member of the ARF NJ Dro chapter.
Patille Kiledjian

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  1. Patille,

    Thank you for so eloquently expressing the feelings of so many of your Armenian diaspora brothers and sisters. You do your grandparents, your parents, the Armenian nation, AND Artsakh proud.

  2. You perfectly summarized and detailed exactly what Armenians around the world are currently experiencing. Thank you thank you thank you!

  3. The United States is formed from genocide survivors from within and without. One would think Americans would be the most empathetic the despairing situation over seas.. I have many non- Armenian friends who show concern. This is a reflection on the individual Armenian and Armenian role models in America. The Armenians need to assert they are not temporary American residents. They are not a racial minority, as viewed by many Americans. The Armenians are Christians The campaign year has divided the Americans. COVID 19 has divided Americans. Natural and man made disasters have divided Americans. A reminder needs to be how the American Armenians are productive American citizens, who provided financial relief for many man made and natural tragedies in this country. They cannot understand why the majority of Americans are apathetic.

    • I’m confused as to which ‘Americans’ you are referring to. The United States has more in common with Turkey than it does Armenia. It was founded on the genocide of Native Americans and initially built on the Atlantic slave trade (something that the Republic of Armenia was not) The majority of white American citizen’s ancestors have never experienced genocide. An Anglo, German or French American can never relate to what we went through. An Armenian asking for their lands in Turkey back would be akin to a Native American asking an Anglo Saxon to give back American soil. Christianity has nothing to do with it. If it did, Canada and the USA would not be selling killer drones to Turkey and Azerbaijan to kill Armenians.

  4. I hope it is OK for me to copy and paste this as it is worded exactly how I wanted to say it all, just couldn’t put so many thoughts together at once. Abris, perfectly said.

  5. Patille, thank you for this beautifully written and well-explained letter to all of us, especially for those of us who are not as aware of the Armenian story, like myself. I am so proud of you for all the work you are doing for all Armenians around the world in bringing awareness of the horrors that are being perpetrated on the Armenian people once again. I am more than happy to share your letter to the world.

  6. Thank you. It was very well written. The words of every Armenian around the world. We may be few, but we are united. Thank you.

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