In the past three years, my life has been substantially influenced through my membership in the AYF. Prior to joining the AYF, my involvement in the Armenian community was very limited, and basically consisted of attending the annual April 24th protest on Wilshire Blvd and reading about other annual events.
Most of us will not give the ultimate sacrifice for our country. The reasons we give to not join the armed forces will vary in validity, but a time will always come when some of us are forced into physical conflict for the sake of others. During those sad and unfortunate times when might makes right, pens become less valuable and history is written in blood. Yet, the times after war and tragedy are precisely when great philosophies are forged, during the aftermath and digestion of what has occurred.
2000 թուականին, ընկատիքիս հետ միասին, առաջին անգամ ըլլալով աձցելեցի հայրենիք: Թէեւ բաւական փոքր էի տարիքով, սակայն Հայաստանը վրաս մեծ ազդեցութիւն գործեց ու զիս մղեց որ յաճախ վերադառնամ այնտեղ: Հայաստան գտնուած եմ զանազան առիթներով. Մասնակցած եմ ժողովներու, սեմինարներու եւ զբոսաշրջումներու, սակայն բախտաւորութիւնը չէի ունեցած կամաւորաբար աշխատելու Հայաստանի մէջ:
The voice is a human gift to be embraced and used. It is through speech that one may relay their most pertinent ideas and engage others with their vision. Yet, the spoken word is an obligation, viewed as an essential in the advocacy of any cause. But the ability to remain silent, constitutes a strength in and of itself, and allows each person to foster their power. We have created tactics and methods that aim to generate the greatest amount of noise, which have, nonetheless, proven to be successful in the past. Yet, we have passed over the notion of silence as a tool for the mass portrayal of a message as well as the increased consciousness of individuals.
Being an Armenian writer often implies that you are stereotyped into the vicinity of the Kardashians, praised for Cher’s comeback, and often eluded to William Saroyan. Some may even latch onto to the idea of Yerevan magazine to imply what it’s like for Armenians seeking journalism – if we are not writing for an Armenian publication, we must be writing about being Armenian, right?
Local, diasporan, and even non-Armenian environmental activists have been hard at work in Armenia these past two months. Harnessing the organizing powers of social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, these activists are mobilizing people – especially the youth – to protest, demonstrate and occupy Teghut, the site of a controversial open-pit mining project in Northern Armenia, and Yerevan’s Mashtots Park, where the construction of a fashion boutique threatens one of the few remaining green areas in the city.
It’s hard learning Armenian. The obviousness of that statement is clear to anyone who knows the language. For students and speakers of the language alike, it’s indisputable. The ancient, convoluted pronunciation rules; the syntactical flexibility that allows you to say the same thing with five words 20 different ways and still get your point across; the myriad dialects suggestive of a much larger land than currently exists – which serves to remind of the vast lands Armenians once inhabited before successive onslaughts and submissions.
There are several important elements necessary in the continuous process of state development. Among these are fair and transparent elections, an active and engaged civil society and a functioning judicial system. Today, Armenia seems to be at a turning point and its subsequent steps will be critical for her to develop into a stable democratic nation.
We are representatives of various environmental groups, writing this message to Spyurq, Armenia…The People of Armenia desperately need the voice and actions of Spyurq. The people of Armenia have lived in fear and slavery for far too long and many have lost faith and aspiration for any betterment.
Maintaining your heritage and identity is difficult enough when living outside of your Homeland. But the smaller the concentration of Armenians and cultural institutions in your community, the more pronounced this struggle becomes. For the Armenian youth of Phoenix, Arizona—one of the fastest-growing Armenian-American communities in the US—the fight to maintain one’s culture and remain active is an especially challenging one.