The Faulty Foundations of Modern Armenian Identity

When Armenians are largely powerless to bring back their prisoners of war following the 2020 Artsakh War, it is also indicative of how colonizers and the world today interact with indigenous peoples. They still silence them and continue to render them powerless. Armenian POWs, and Armenian lives in general, are apparently worthless; there is little or no outrage against Azerbaijan’s clear violations of international law that regulates the return of POWs.

Armenians are naively shocked and devastated by this situation, being buoyed for at least the past 100 years by a false and unacceptable narrative of super-worthiness and privilege which has shattered in the face of current powerlessness. This distorted narrative (“balanced” on the other extreme by an equally gripping, yet unacceptable narrative of worthlessness) leaves Armenians vulnerable and unprepared for the real dangers they face.

Modern Armenian identity has evidently been built on diseased and rotting foundations which are the result of severe persecution by invading Seljuk and Ottoman settlers since the eleventh century, second-class “dhimmi” status within the Ottoman Empire, and larger scale massacres and genocide by Ottoman Turks and Kurds.

The centuries-long damage to the Armenian nation is extensive. In parallel with other enslaved and colonized peoples, the path to recovery is long, requiring consciousness-raising, self-knowledge, sustained and collective hard work, and the support of genuine allies to rebuild healthier and more solid foundations and identity.

 

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Taline Satamian

Taline Satamian is a public school teacher in Glendale, California.
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4 Comments

  1. Thought provoking article. It is as if the people are akin to an individual who is suffering mental health issues due to long term emotional and physical abuse. The road to recovery is hard and long.

  2. “powerless, colonizers & indigenous peoples, silence, POWs, worthless, OUTRAGE?, INT’L LAW, shocked & devastated, false & unacceptable — worthlessness — vulnerable & unprepared, identity built on diseased & rotting foundations – [continued] persecution . . . massacres, the entire last paragraph!

    Թող խաղաղություն գտնվի բոլորիս համար:

  3. Taline,

    Thank you for your statement.

    While your diagnosis is accurate concerning both the “heart condition” of many Armenians and our difficult the past history, once again real solutions and conclusions are lacking. This prompts the age old question;

    “From where or who does your/our help come from?

    Consider Psalm 121 and how the author of the Lord’s Prayer would answer your very important questions.

    If we keep looking in the wrong place, can we ever find such real help or real change?

    Maybe that is why our Bible believing forefathers translated Proverbs first so we would always be able to answer you important questions and remind us that:

    The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7

    Krisdosee Serov,

    Jay Khushigian

    • For real solutions and conclusions, Armenians need to engage in the serious study of the histories and the ongoing struggles for liberation and social justice of other persecuted peoples and of the parallels with the Armenian case. Armenians should particularly focus on studying and allying themselves with the African-American path to consciousness-raising, self-awareness, and social justice to learn how to finally lift themselves out of the mess they find themselves in. Again, sustained and collective hard work is key and starts with gaining knowledge and being open-minded.

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