By Edmond Y. Azadian
September 21 of the current year marked the 20th anniversary of Armenia’s independence — a miracle in itself that the republic has survived against all odds. Despite all the problems, there is cause to celebrate the anniversary.
A long and arduous history is behind that survival and celebration, as many leaders and organizations have contributed to making that history. One of those organizations is the Armenian Democratic Liberal organization (ADL), whose anniversary falls on October 1. Indeed, the representatives of the constituent organizations which eventually became the ADL convened on October 1, 1921 in Istanbul to shape a new organization, endowed with the roots and experiences of all the participants.
A new world had emerged at that period in the wake of World War I. A new world order had set in with its defining impact on Armenia’s future and the worldwide Armenian population.
The Genocide had scattered the survivors around the world, the dream of Wilsonian Armenia was shattered, Cilicia was being depopulated and the tiny independent republic of Armenia was absorbed into the emerging Soviet Empire.
The Armenian leadership had to navigate through the pitfalls of international politics, organize the surviving remnants of the nation and find relevance for the newly-formed Soviet Armenian republic.