Walk another five years

Azat Artsakh, Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (NKR)
April 8 2004


For ten years already S. Martirossian has been travelling in the world
on foot carrying the flag of Artsakh with him. Starting his pilgrimage
at his own initiative on August 16, 1993, Sergey Martirossian set an
aim to contribute to the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh problem
through his pilgrimage. `I have been to 67 countries, including
Scandinavia and the countries of South America, the Middle East,’ says
the Artsakh-born traveler. `I have told everywhere who are Armenians,
where is Karabakh, what the people of Karabakh want. In Strasbourg,
New York and a number of other big cities I organized press
conferences and, answering the questions of journalists, tried to
introduce to them the past of the Armenian nation starting with the
period between 1918-1920. In my opinion, many people understand
us. Let it not seem immodesty, the way I chose is not easy. In
particular, I mean my personal security. Can you imagine, I also
visited Muslim countries, but twice my life was endangered in Poland,
a country considered civilized?’ On December 15, 1993 Sergey
Martirossan entered the UN office in New York although he knew the
entrance there with flags was forbidden (it is considered a
protest). But the consistency of the Karabakh man won. He was
provided with a special reference by the UN allowing to pass all the
borders of the world without obstacles. According to S. Martirossian,
in the world only 4-5 people received such references, all of them
travelers. When passing through Moscow in 2001, in the competition
`Healthy People’ our compatriot won the title`The Healthiest Man of
the Planet’. In ten years our compatriot met with many delegations,
diplomats. He thinks that our propaganda for the settlement of the
Karabakh problem is weak. `In some countries I noticed that certain
our diplomats do not even recognize the Karabakh flag. I am not afraid
of saying this. I said this by the television of Armenia. As different
from the Turks, we are not professionals in propaganda,’ says the
pilgrim. This year was the 70th birthday of the traveler. On this
occasion the government of NKR conferred on him the medal
`Gratefulness’. `I had decided to travel tillthe age 70 but I have to
walk for another five years. First because the medal obliges, and
second, as long as Karabakh is not recognized de jure I cannot
consider my pilgrimage completed.’ This year the traveler will walk to
Athens where the Olympic games will take place in August. `In Athens
if 10-20 journalists shoot me and write about me with my flag, it is
not little, I think. I want the flag of Artsakh to have a place beside
the flags of other countries during the Olympic games. We must
struggle for justice and final victory by all means. In this reference
the international chess tournament organized recently in Artsakh is
also our big achievement,’ says Sergey Martirossian. The traveler has
problems with sponsorship. So far his sponsors were from Armenia,
mainly businessmen. From Artsakh Edward Verdiyan, Samvel Hakobian
sposored him. This time too he is expecting the assistance of
benefactors. Walking 35-40 km every day S. Martirossian has already
passed 45 thousand km. The travel to Baku was also planned, but it is
postponed because his security is not guaranteed in Azerbaijan. Let us
wish our compatriot good health and success in his difficult mission.