Write what should not be forgotten.
— Isabel Allende
The Armenian community deals with its fair share of bad news. I wanted my column to tell the stories of our triumphs.
Last month marked the one year anniversary of my Armenian Weekly column, Hye Key. To say that this has been a life-changing experience would be an understatement. Growing up, I always knew I wanted to work in journalism in any capacity. I combined my passion for journalism and my inextinguishable fire for Armenian issues and took on an opportunity to be a blip in the legacy of this historic publication. My role as a Weekly columnist has been an honor and something I hope to do for a long time.
Over the course of this past year, I have had the pleasure of personally speaking to:
Darone Sassounian – Armenian DJ, selector and producer
Sonia Maral Ohan – Vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and mixing engineer
Lara Karamardian – Founder of Achki Chop
Hovig Kazandjian – Director and creative producer
Nora Martirosyan – Director and writer
Bedouine – Musician
Raz and Shaunt Tchakmak – Founders of Vokee
Justin Mayfield – Musician and audio engineer
Arno Yeretzian – Owner of Abril Books
Michael Srourian – Founder of armenia.jpg
Stella Grigoryan – Founder of Yerevan Café and Market
Each of their unique stories has impacted my life in more ways than one. With a variety of skill sets and personalities, I found myself astounded at the wide range of diversity within the Armenian people and simultaneously, the interconnected nature of it all. We all know that the Armenian community is rich with intellect and creativity. All I wanted to do is provide a platform, a place for their work to be appreciated by a broader audience.
I wholly resonate with the quote by Allende that appears at the beginning of this article, especially in connection to this newspaper. A country with a history so well documented on and off the pages of the Armenian Weekly, telling the tales of the modern Armenian and ensuring its preservation is vital. This newspaper is a patchwork quilt of who we have been, who we are and what we are becoming.
I also wanted to make sure that I recognize the strong women behind this operation. Editor Pauline Getzoyan and assistant editor Leeza Arakelian graciously welcomed me with open arms to this publication all the way from California and have constantly and consistently pushed me out of my comfort zone, whether it be attending the multimedia performance Azad and taking notes or touching on controversial topics within our community and in the grander political sphere. The lessons I have learned are incalculable. Thank you Pauline and Leeza – from the bottom of my heart.
And finally, thank you all for reading!