I am sorry, Armenia

Varak Ghazarian in Hadrut, 2018

I am sorry, Armenia, that it took 30 years for us to appreciate and care for you. That it took losing such a large portion of who you were throughout history. That it took 30 years to realize a vital part of you was at the brink of collapse. Maybe we were not deserving of you. We never truly appreciated you, and it was made clear. For the past 100 years, we have opened the floodgates and fled your beauty, willingly or unwillingly. I do not fault anyone for this as my family fled due to the Armenian Genocide. The strife for a better life (or just even a life) is something all should aspire to. Yet, now we all sit in the comfort of our first-world countries, able to attain all of which we aspire to. I am at a loss because my aspirations can be sought out here in Armenia. Armenia needs many to come back and populate to its maximum capacity so that it can have all the strengths of a country and spring a new life. 

There is always a caveat as to why we cannot come and live here in Armenia as a diaspora. “Oh, let me go become a professional, and I will come back.” “Oh, let me go make X amount of money, and I will come back.” How many people have come and stayed out of all those making such claims? A handful, relative to the amount that needs to come. We pride ourselves upon these Western institutions we were raised in and believe are the cure-all. It is time to push them to one side and build up some Armenian institutions so the world can take note of our beautiful nation that is ready to blossom. Let us open the floodgates into the country, and build it up the proper way. 

One government to the next, it has always been the same shenanigans. Corruption and bureaucratic absurdities that will drive people thousands and thousands of kilometers away just to live a decent life away from all the nonsense. 

Let us instill some hope not only to Yerevan, but to the whole country. Let Stepanakert be full of Armenians from South America. Let Gyumri become a beautiful fusion of Gyumri and Glendale. Let Vanadzor have a Parisian Armenian community. Let Kapan flourish to become the next Moscow. Let them not be each their own centers, but rather a beautiful interconnected network working to advance Armenia in a multifaceted and unique way. One that the world can talk about and be a hopeful example to all. Because there still is hope for Armenia and for the world. 

We as Armenians and citizens of the world do not have a duty to flood into Armenia and project hope onto the world, but rather a sense of being. A sense of understanding and purpose which could be provided in Armenia. One that will not be received elsewhere or will be hard to come by. To find fulfillment in oneself by being part of nation and nation building. Let us not wait another 30 years for us to lose a larger chunk of land or receive another slap in the face. The time was yesterday. We did not take advantage, so let us instead start today. No more talking. Let’s take concrete steps to save whatever we have left in Armenia and this world. Look inward and find that purpose, for your clock is ticking and time is ephemeral.

– A Concerned Armenian

Varak Ghazarian

Varak Ghazarian

Varak Ghazarian is an Armenian-American from Los Angeles who attended a Armenian school his entire life. Upon his graduation from UC Berkeley, he volunteered in Armenia for year with Birthright Armenia. He spent time in Artsakh for a month, where he mentored teenagers in border villages about fundamental topics of health. He currently lives in Armenia, which has opened up a door of imagination that was closed off elsewhere.
Varak Ghazarian

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  1. Perhaps if Armenia wasn’t steeped in corruption and controlled by oligarchs for 30 years things woukd have been different. Why would anyone move back until things change? People left for a reason. If those reasons aren’t resolved, you shouldn’t expect any to return. A unified, and populated Armenia is a nice thought, but until there are systemic changes in the institutions of Armenia it will remain just that, a nice thought.

    • And perhaps in that case many more diaspora Armenians would have come and settled in Armenia just like some of us and created a much stronger and intellectual country so to assure a better future and make it a much sought after place to live, it’s unfortunate that it could not be that way, really, I’m sorry Armenia!❤️

    • Alas the triumph of the first war so hard fought and a true national triumph yet failure to conclude a decent settlement has dashed the dream, the conceit that often accompanies victory and corruption that ran rife whilst Azerbaijan whilst corrupt wasn’t so conceited having been the looser. Resting upon laurels, friends who turned out to be overated, enemies underestimated. Kocharyan and Sargsyan who presided over the rot that the lousy Pashinyan inherited, excessive dependence upon Russia, lack of impetus to find a settlement with Azerbaijan, relative decline in regional status. The failure to even recognise the part’s of Soviet N-K as independent although a weak nation like Armenia wasn’t strong enough to break the powerful protocols of the sanctified borders as established by the powers to be. The limited failings in 2016 where not taken seriously enough the defeat in 2020 could not be ignored the subsequent losses and international events mean a new era. Don’t be fooled by Russian claims that the status of Arktash can be resolved at an unspecified time in the future. Baku has waited long enough and will not wait anymore. So unless Russia is able to get acceptance of its diminished gains in Ukraine any claim by them is akin to ” I’ll be helping you soon I’m on my way just got a problem for a moment, just hang on a bit longer as I’m will be able to help soon when I have sorted my problem out , honestly!” talk of a fraudster.

  2. For 30 years the corrupt thieves in law, including the murderer Kocharyan sat in power, drained every cent/dram they could, literally built gold plated palaces with private zoos, and not a CENT towards the military and security, while azerbaijan build their armed forces, bought new weapons and planned their victory. It is estimated over $8 Billion was stolen by these criminals from 1990’s to 2018, enabling Kocharyans son to purchase $20 Million mansion in USA, just listing one case.

  3. Thats great but 30 years full corruption in armenia and our diaspora in west fund them while armenians suffer in arab states and iran turkey central asian turkic states why we need unneccesary diaspora in those countries while armenia exist all we should do repatriate back to Armenia

  4. Armenia is a puppet in the hands of Iranian and Russian puppeteers. Corruption is rampant everywhere. Armenians prefer to shed the blood of their youth instead of making peace with its neighbors.

  5. No private property laws, complex taxation, complex business regimes, unfair justice system, no independent courts….
    I am nobody in Armenia. I can’t live with dignity in Armenia.

  6. Such negative comments. No wonder nothing is changing. The greatest flaw we have (as a whole nation) is our self-defeatist attitude, and our fetish like obsession with suffering, voluntary or otherwise.

  7. Is this not enough of a lesson throughout the years for us to learn right from wrong or are we so ingrained in self serving corruption in Armenia. I thought we were a smart people, maybe just smart to serve ourselves. Is it too late? Well, if we don’t learn from this, indeed it will be too late. What does it take to wake up. What does it take to unite as one nation, one people, wherever we reside. What does it take to put country, history and the future ahead of everything.
    What does it take.

  8. Excellent observations, Varak. If more diasporans thought like you, Armenia would become a much stronger country. Patriotism requires sacrifice and just as some of the people who have commented here to your article, unfortunately our people prefer to express their patriotism through empty talk rather than action. I am glad there are young people like you who have chosen to live and work in the motherland and your numbers are increasing. It’s people like you who will make the crucial difference despite all the negativity we are fed daily. Keep charging forward!

  9. Varak
    I read that you are currently living in Armenia. You may or you may not settle in Armenia. You come across as an articulate and a reflective young man. From the responses your article generated, I imagine that the young and upcoming readers of the Armenian Weekly will be interested to hear from you periodically, “live” from Armenia, as you sort a Diaspora Armenian’s reality in making the choice.

    • I appreciate it and will continue to write as much as possible

  10. Yes. Let’s hear from the author periodically. I too lived in Armenia and was not able to “change it from within.”

    • I appreciate it and will continue to write as much as possible

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