When Armenia Turned 21

EDITORIAL: When Armenia Turned 21

Friday, December 28th, 2012

by Ara Khachatourian

Asbarez Year-End Special Issue

Armenia turned 21 in 2012. By American standards, turning 21 is a
milestone that signifies adulthood. It is at 21 that we shed our
adolescence and take stock of our future.

The events of last year, however, signal that the challenges facing
Armenia, resulting from missteps and mistakes of the past 21 years,
are complex and require the involvement of every Armenian to overcome
the obstacles and ensure a healthy future.

The parliamentary elections in May proved, once again, that the
authorities are unwilling to loosen the firm grip, with which every
election in Armenia has been manipulated. Oftentimes, it seems that to
remain in power is far more critical that governance and welfare of
the country’s citizens. There is no indication that the 2013
presidential elections will usher in change that can instill hope in
the electorate and elevate the country’s democratic standards.

While some government officials claimed that there are markers in
place to confront and wage a lasting war against rampant corruption in
Armenia, incidents, such as the beating to death of an army doctor at
a restaurant or state-guided violence against peaceful demonstrators,
indicate that we are far from being adults.

Then there was the Safarov incident, which raised more questions and,
due to Azerbaijan’s lack of morals, threatens the fragile peace and
prospects for lasting stability in the region. On a positive note, the
Nagorno-Karabakh Republic continues to advance, with Artsakh’s
authorities determined to strengthen the country’s infrastructure and
guarantees of security for its citizens.

The Syrian crisis also tested Armenia and its current role as the
haven where Armenians around the world can seek refuge. The
Syrian-Armenian community is facing one of the most important
challenges of its centuries-old existence. While the nation came
together to assist Armenians living in Syria, the depth of the
situation still alludes those entrusted to make decisions. However,
the Armenian nation’s ability to recognize the need to come together
to help Syrian-Armenians instills hope that the lessons from this
unfortunate reality may strengthen our nation.

During the past 21 years, the Diaspora’s assistance to Armenia has
also evolved. With the escalating war in Karabakh and the devastating
earthquake, Armenian rose to meet the demands these two concurrent
realities had posed. Today, however, the Diaspora’s efforts are more
focused and aim to impact lasting change in the country.

Whether it is opening centers that attract young people to advanced
technologies, or the execution of programs that provide sustainable
results, Diaspora Armenians are engaged in innovative endeavors to
elevate Armenia, but more importantly, to instill hope in its new

[This Year-End Special Issue highlights some of those activities that
have made a difference at home, as well as the Diaspora’s continued
advancement of the Armenian culture to guarantee the survival of the
our nation].

The lessons of the past 21 years crystallize the imperative for change,

The challenges facing Armenians, be they here in the US, Syria or in
the homeland are not insurmountable. All that’s required is each
Armenian’s will, determination and dedication to achieve our
aspirations and expand the scope of our activities wherever we live.

Happy New Year.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress


Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS