To the Editor:
How did we get here? Individually we’re top notch professionals, businessmen/women but as a people we seem to go two steps forward and one step back. We’re victims of one crisis after another with no victories in sight starting in modern history with the Genocide to our heart wrenching loss of Armenian land and religious sites in Nagorno Karabakh after a hard fought war in 1988 reclaiming our historical land. We suffered major losses during the earthquake and some say that we’ve never fully recovered from that. Armenia has had one self serving short sighted leader after another when perhaps more welcomed input from the diaspora might have advanced our country (agreement with Raffi Bedrosyan’s commentary 1/9/21) Do we still throw money at Armenia without preconditions, accountability and input? Perhaps a think tank comprised of Armenians from Armenia, the Diaspora and yes even great minds from the non-Armenian community might help Armenia as I had suggested years ago in a letter to the editor. So the question is actually twofold: How did we get here and where do we go from here? The good news is that we are a resilient people because after adversities we have resolve and bounce back seemingly to be knocked down again. We have no problem demonstrating against our victimization as recently as during the war in Artsakh and of course the obligatory yearly demonstrations on April 24 telling the world about the first genocide of the twentieth century and the massacre of one and a half million people of the first Christian nation. So why aren’t people listening or care about our plight?
The answer seems simple: A house built without a strong foundation can’t stand and we as Armenians haven’t built that foundation. Why should non-Armenians care about our issues when they don’t really know who we are or about our rich history, religion and individual successes. Why haven’t we laid the groundwork by hiring P.R. firms to disseminate information about the aforementioned? Everyone knows that Jews are the chosen people but who knows that Armenians are considered to be the second chosen people because we are the first Christian nation? Why aren’t our high-profile Armenians in entertainment, media, advertising, journalism, etc. tapped to promote their own people or successful businessmen to form a committee to develop business in Armenia? Why isn’t our clergy giving sermons as invited clergy in non-Armenian churches telling their parishioners how we became the first Christian nation and details about our religion and service?
Woe-is-me obviously doesn’t cut it. We need to be more sophisticated in our thinking and planning. And most importantly, we need ten, twenty, fifty year plans and need to set up the infrastructure to realize the goals if Armenia is to survive.
Adrienne G. Alexanian
New York, New York