Spoiled and Uncompromising

A khatchkar in Dilijan, 2015 (Photo: Arev Dinkjian)

During a recent economic cooperation forum, Turkish President Erdogan referred to the Armenian attitude as “spoiled and uncompromising.” Upon hearing this, I was shocked—appalled almost. Not because what he said was hurtful or offensive, but because, for once, he may be right. We are spoiled:

Spoiled with a language gifted to us by God Himself. Some people don’t even have a language, can you imagine? 

Spoiled with food so deep and rich you can’t help but share your table. Neat little triangles of butter and cheese. Warm fall pumpkins filled with the earth’s gifts. Bread sweet and braided with gentle hands and egg wash.  

Spoiled with women so strong they carried our traditions on their backs, tucked away in their bodices, kept safe in their hearts. And only when they were certain of refuge did they unpack, handing each of us a carefully wrapped piece to carry on to the next. 

Spoiled with each other for when two meet anywhere in the world…well, you know the rest.  

Spoiled with friends who although they may not be Armenian, ask questions, listen, understand that perhaps they will never understand. 

Spoiled with churches that somehow feel alive. Their voices call to us, inviting and welcoming. Even their ruins breathe life. 

Spoiled with eyes dark and magnificent. One gazing always at the past, remembering and honoring. The other searching steadily for what’s to come.

Spoiled with music that haunts and heals. 

Spoiled with youth, with hands once held now stand at the front guiding, ushering us into the future. 

Spoiled with schools that teach and nurture and know that a culture this beautiful becomes more so within the minds of its young. 

Spoiled with a global diaspora ready to rally in the thousands and tweet in all caps.

Spoiled with a history so rich that we boldly retell our stories—even the darkest ones, while others cower and attempt to hide their own shame. 

Spoiled with mountains so tall that it’s no wonder our land remains green and lush as if God Himself reached down to sow the soil with His own fingertips. 

Spoiled with dances that tell a story without speaking a word. The grace, the strength, the unison of our people. It’s music. 

Spoiled with a flag dripping with purpose—the spilled blood, the Heavenly Kingdom, the bountiful harvest. May it wave gallantly. 

Spoiled with grandparents who are keepers of the past. May they continue to smile through their eyes and sing through their hearts. 

Spoiled with homes that are warm and loving. I pity those who were raised to hate. 

Spoiled with heroes who have sacrificed—truly sacrificed. May their souls rest in peace and may we promise to honor their legacy.

Spoiled with optimism for after centuries of fighting for our very survival, one could find themselves giving up—but not here and not now. 

If you were spoiled like this, you’d be uncompromising, too. The world has never known life without Armenia—and it never will. 


Arev Dinkjian

Arev Dinkjian grew up in an Armenian household in Fort Lee, NJ. She was always surrounded by art, sourced by her musical father and grandfather, Ara and Onnik, or her creative mother Margo. Arev attended Providence College starting in 2011 and graduated with a degree in elementary and special education. She enjoys teaching language arts to her students and takes great pride in instilling an appreciation for literature in her classroom. Today, she remains very active in the Armenian community, serving as the president of the NJ AYF “Arsen" Chapter, a member of both the Bergen County ARS and the Sts. Vartanantz Ladies’ Guild, and on numerous AYF central committees. She also dedicated many summers to AYF Camp Haiastan, which she says remains her favorite topic to write about.


A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.
Ok GREAT news I just saw him in the trailer for the new movie Uncharted https://t.co/KoBrlmyKHO - 6 hours ago

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  1. Dear Arev…..you rock! Your heart, your spirit is something to behold. I’m do proud of you! You are an inspiration for us all! To say I Love you, is a huge understatement! Now, I think you should start writing a book. ♥️💙🧡

  2. I first learned of the Armenian Genocide in a book called “The CIA’s Greatest Hits”. The mention of the genocide came up in the chapter about the CIA’s installation of Suharto in Indonesia. The general’s slaughter of almost 1,000,000 people immediately after coming to power, and then his slaughter of thousands in East Timor, made him one of the #1 mass murderers of the 20th century, alongside the Turks who massacred the Armenians (as well as Hitler, Stalin, and successive governments in Guatemala following the CIA’s coup against Jacobo Arbenz).

  3. A beautiful article; every word the truth. This article touched my heart with
    love. I am proud to be an Armenian.

  4. Thank you Arev for sharing your beautiful thoughts and words with us. It has been some bleak weeks for Armenians and your words are uplifting to a community in need of that. I have been sharing with friends and their comments echo that sentiment. We grew up on your grandfather’s wonderful music. My mother used to say it was her “drug”. Please tell your grandfather that was from Floraine. Of course, he performed at our wedding !!!

  5. Well said…using his own words…LOL

    Hye Strong and Never Forget.
    We are a unique race of artists, engineers, mathematicians, scientists…our names usually end with i.a.n. Look for those names everywhere you go, and see what we have contributed to societies all over the world…we have enriched other peoples’ lands when we were driven out of our own.

    Tell me. What have Turks contributed? A Genocide.

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