Archive for January, 2007

Moscow nightmares – Life in fear

January 29, 2007

Moscow, 23 pm.
We take metro, my station is the last one, so I farewell my friends in the half way. As I get to the final point I try to get through my relative who is supposed to meet me at the metro exit. But I’m out of coverage, so I can’t call her. As I reach the final steps of the underground I notice a group of young Russians at the exit. My phone still refuses to work.

“It’s dangerous, never walk alone in Russia” as I remember people’s advice to me. I’m well aware of the innocent deaths of many Armenians (mentioning the last case and the ones I blogged about in the past). I want to chicken, but I also have to walk some 500 meters alone. I gather my black hair and cover with my hat, round the scarf over my mouth, put the cell-phone into my pocket, clench my fists ready for hitting if anything, and do my fastest and biggest steps ever in my life. Don’t ever remember me dreading so much. As I walked, I tried to peep back to make sure that no one follows me. When I turn to the corner my phone works and I call my relative asking her to open the door. “What? You are downstairs?”,- she utters.

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Moscow nightmares – What’s the difference

January 29, 2007

Moscow. Daytime.
A relative and I get into the metro train and occupy the seat in the end of the carriage. We start talking. A middle aged man with a brief case, sitting in front of us is looking at us strangely. Finally he sits on the edge of seat as to be closer to us and to be heard. Instead, we feel the vodka with which he stinks.
– Do you know that Georgian girls are being caught here as well?, – he asks with as if nothing meaning but mean smile.
I look at my relative, she hints me not to react. The man is gazing at us boorishly.
– But we are not Georgians,- answers my relative with a smile and we again go on talking to each other.

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Voter Education – IYC

January 26, 2007

Not once I have mentioned in this blog about the largest domestic observation mission in Armenia, nonpartisan organization “It’s Your Choice”.

It’s Your Choice is a nonpartisan NGO and the largest domestic election monitor in Armenia with 4,000 volunteers, and offices and chapters in all Marzes and 12 communities of Yerevan. IYC’s mission is to
– Promote transparent elections and democratic processes in Armenia;
– Establish true self-governance and accountability within the government;
– Encourage citizen participation in community governance; and
– Provide objective, reliable and timely information to Armenian voters.

Part of IYC’s plans for the coming elections makes the Voter Education. During this education voters are given a list of questions regarding mainly their role in the voting process. They are being explained the new law, the importance of their vote, then mock election is being conducted. In the end the voters again answer to the same list of questions, which is done for checking the productiveness of the education.

Such a voter education took place today for a group of Erebuni community voters consisted of 45 people aged 20 to 70. As I was among the organizers interesting it was to observe the awareness and readiness of people for the upcoming elections. Interestingly when you start talking about elections, the first reaction of people is hesitative, as they suppose that you may be from a political party. But soon, being introduced to IYC and its activities they become engaged in the educational process willingly, which usually results to a productive process throughout the education.

First of all the voters were explained how important of each of their votes is, that their being active and protecting their right of doing their choice is essential. After having the answers on the questionnaires it was more than evident that nearly all of the participants didn’t have any distinct knowledge not only about elections in general, but also about their own role in it.

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In memory of Khoren Palian

January 26, 2007

I deeply lament the loss of this wonderful and gifted person.

YEREVAN, JANUARY 24, NOYAN TAPAN. “The Armenian culture suffered a heavy loss – the unmatched artist of Armenian spiritual songs, connoisseur of sharakans Khoren Palian passed away. His contribution was great. He was not only a higly artistic performer of spiritual songs but also their untiring herald in the world, an apologist for education of the future generations by this culture and an active person.” This is said in the Forum of Intellectuals’ press release, which was submitted to NT.

Being from the famous Palian family – he inherited their high human characteristics, talent and unbending will to serve his nation. According to the press release, “everything mean and dark, the permissiveness which have afflicted the Armenian people over the last fifteen years were strange to him.” K.

Palian never betrayed himself: he lived an exemplary life and immortalized his name.

I used to sing at his student choir. I remember how the windows, walls and everything else in and out of the auditorium would shudder from the powerful vibration of his vocal chords. He sang sharakans like nobody else. I really admired this person, how calm he was when talking, how feverish when angry.
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Getting rid of the enmity

January 24, 2007

As I went into the crowd gathered at the Liberty Square to say the last farewell to the great and brave person, I was attentive to what was on people’s lips. – “Did you see what’s happening in Turkey? So many Turks went out to support him and claim for justice”. These was mainly what I’d hear, and those weren’t just words. People here were astonished and in the meantime admired by the willingness and readiness of the Turkish nation in their struggle to protect Dink’s name and claim to take down the Article 301.

Which Armenian would ever suppose that a Turk would go out for a demonstration with posters “We all are Armenians”, “We all are Dinks”? Stuck in this country with only news on the political relations between two countries and biased claims for acknowledging the genocide, against which incidentally Hrant’s fight was, we would only have the anger, resentment and disdain for the other nation. But what happened? Has something really moved? Did Hrant Dink’s conscious death really make a bridge between the chasms created between these nations?

And I dare say – yes, it did. As far as I see those excited people flooding the streets of Istanbul, Turks and Armenians gathered at the same place with one and the same goal – justice, understanding, freedom and Peace. As far as I see the reaction of Armenians, my relatives, my neighbors, my friends and my acquaintances, who before were negative towards the Turkish people, but now their actions, attitudes and emotions are being changed. The ice is melting…

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Hrant Dink – Lamenting the Loss

January 21, 2007

… And for a moment the world sighed and got petrified… a short silent came after, which was later followed by persistent noises of someone’s cry, someone’s scream, someone’s complaint or who knows, by someone’s joyous chuckling… because someone who would always struggle for making his voice be heard was shut… forever…

Both of the nations have their great loss, they lost one more person – speech freedom fighter- on who many people pinned their hopes in solving now a global made problem. The atmosphere is sad and tense… many things were said, but more blood is shed than actions…

“We faced many problems, but now we are used to them…dranc el harmarvats enq” – I remember his words during one of the interviews on TV.

,,, Shall we always have victims for some problems to be raised louder than ever and for bringing people to their senses? How many people should fall victims yet??? And who will punish…who will stop???

We struggle the fear with fear that the fear will struggle us…
The world will never forgive the assassinator the loss of its hero… It shouldn’t!

Dink knew that the cost of his word was his life. I bow before this great man, before his courage…

So much was said, I don’t want to be repeated,,, I lament the loss,,, I thank all of those who organized the vigil to mourn the loss of Hrant Dink. I attended it and wish more people came, wish people were deeply concerned with the things happening around them. Life in Armenia has more on it as well as some photos of the vigil and latest news may be found at Oneworld Multimedia here and here.

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More poetry

January 14, 2007

Անհյուրընկալ իմ պատուհան,
Ինչի՞ պետք է այս պաղ ձյունը քեզ հետ հպվի
Ու ճրագիդ ջերմությունից հալչի գնա,
Իսկ վեր հառած թարթիչներիս այն կուտակվի, սառի մնա…

Երնեկ թե ես քամի լինեի,
Դու` ճեղքավոր մի պատուհան…

Motherland, my graveyard!

January 13, 2007

And why do people usually remember their motherland at the deathbed?

Two huge four stored houses were built in front of our building. I don’t want to talk about the gardens around my building which were destroyed and more houses were built at the place around it, which in the past was the only building block in all the surroundings. Now not a garden is left, even if anything is left the community administration is selling them to those who can afford buying those areas and cutting our air by building more houses some ten meters away from our building. Instead of the non-lucrative trees only some new not fitting for the area restaurants, beer-drinking places, not bars exactly, and more houses rise. Most of them are still empty for the second year, the restaurant place is on sale yet it is half constructed and the cosmetic repairing is not done at all, because just on the half of the way it dawned on some very clever businessman that this place doesn’t fit for any restaurant. Just a waste of a soil! And money?

It was so unexpected for us when some people came and said that they had bought the soil where we had a garden with pomegranate, quince, lentil trees and vine. The thing was that we tried to carry over the area long time ago and when we’d apply for ownership they would refuse us. Once money is played, everything is sorted…for them. Luckily due to some contacts we could preserve half of it, and the other half will serve as a basis for another house.

But let’s come to the question I asked at the very beginning. Most of those houses are built by diasporans, the houses are ready to be lived in and yet… they are emptying for the second year. So where are the owners? Or is it a duty, some kind of an obligation to have a property in the motherland with the hope to return when something goes wrong in their current living countries?
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Some “After-New-Year” Advice

January 12, 2007

Hey, How are you? I mean is everyone ok after the New Year food festival lasting for several days? Ask the same question to me – no, I’m not good, I was so bad, well, I’m ok now, but God, why I don’t like this time? You guessed, it’s a rhetoric question, I know why I don’t like it, but this year was the worst New Year in my life. I fell ill and had to spend most of the time in bed because of high temperature and, of course, disordered stomach. I managed to get cold on the 1st of January, had nearly a bottle of ‘machar’ on the 2nd, in case when I usually get drunk of just a sip of a wine, so unaccustomed I am, and on the 3rd of January I couldn’t already move because of terrible pain in my feet, stomach and temperature. So I had a real fun by drinking thousands of different and horribly bad tasting liquids and stuff. It lasted for about 5 days and thankfully I’m fine now, hoping not to get other infections.

All this time I didn’t have internet and wasn’t anyhow able to get to the center and pay for it. And thus I was slumbering in a long and total quiescence, if not considered the amount of guests we had to welcome and see off.

I think feast-victims won’t be less at this time and as far as the medical system here cannot be trusted I want to offer here some of my personal treatment methods, which, I assure you, are safe and tested by me personally. Usually whenever anything goes wrong with my health I know that I am my first and only true doctor, as I have had enough of my bitter experience with doctors and wouldn’t actually call an ambulance even when I was tumbling with pain, as I was pretty much sure that the most they could do would be just injecting some pain reliever (as if it would never dawn on us) insuring that they have at least done something. And of course the pain would start some time later.

Well, let’s start.
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