My Son Goes to War Book Presented at Tekeyan Cultural Association of Armenia

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YEREVAN — The presentation of the book My Son Goes to War, by Ruben Grigoryan, a well-known businessman, philanthropist, public figure and member of the Tekeyan Cultural Association of Armenia (TCA-Armenia), took place on October 26 at the Tekeyan Center here.

The book presentation at the Tekeyan Center, with author Ruben Grigoryan at the rear far right, and Ruben Mirzakhanyan to his left

The book was written in 2021 in Russian, then translated into English and Armenian. The audience watched a video series about the various wars in Artsakh, as well as a clip from an animated film based on the book.

Ruben Mirzakhanyan, the president of TCA-Armenia, spoke about a number of Grigoryan’s philanthropic projects and emphasized that he always supported the processes that are important for the country and the people. Mirzakhanyan observed that his articles about social and political topics, just like the book My Son Is Going to War, are written from the heart. Mirzakhanyan declared: “He writes in short but powerful sentences, in which there is boundless love for the homeland, the nation, and the people.”

The book is a concise story not only of filial and paternal love, but also of all-consuming war, death and the right to life gained by means of the latter. For the hero, war seems to be a scale, on one side of which was the homeland, and on the other, the life of his son, whom he was sending off to war.

Among the descriptions of the events, he exhorts the readers to love the homeland, whose “land is worth as much as the lives of the people living on it.”

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The book strongly places an emphasis on the type of human being who can guarantee that a person will be alive and unharmed if another type of person appears next to him – the reckless and imprudent type of man who periodically leads to brutal wars. It must also be noted that all these passages are accompanied by descriptions of the beautiful natural scenery of the Armenian homeland.

While they serve as examples of the contrast between man and nature, they place a greater value on the homeland, for which its sons go to war.

The book is a story about the war, the love and pain of a parent and a son, and the homeland, covering a range of human emotions. However, the most important thing is the indifference of people to everything, even to the loss of close ones.

Professor Suren Danielyan observed at the TCA-Armenian event that the truth is revealed through history when we cannot process the effects of the war. “The war entered the homeland and disturbed our peace. We were not ready for that war. History once again forced us to think about indifference, to reflect on the evaluation of war with a new perspective, to have new approaches,” Danielyan said, adding that the work attests to the closeness of the genres of the novel and the essay.

Writer and public figure Felix Bakhchinyan, speaking at the same event, was of the opinion that for Grigoryan, the 44-day war with its territorial and human losses was a sad occasion instigating reflection on why that tragedy happened. “Evaluations of this global problem would remain abstract if the writer did not show how the war enters every home and destroys it from the inside and out. The tragedy of war, its deadly breath, is visible and palpable on every page. The writer’s finger is constantly on the bleeding wound, but it does not have the purpose of merely localizing the war. As gruesome as the war scenes are, war is not all about the sound of guns or even dying soldiers. War has its wonderful poetry, its spirituality, without which no war has been won yet,” said Bakhchinyan. Quoting writer Mark Aren, Bakhchinyan suggested the author should write a continuation of this story, titled My Son Returned.

According to Grigoryan, the book presentation provided an opportunity to once again think about and understand what happened to us, and to break a great evil that exists in us, which is the cause of the current misfortunes of the people: it is called indifference. “Indifference has settled in us in such a way that we don’t even notice deaths in the way we should treat these phenomena. This story is a question and an answer as to how to act when you have lost or may lose the most precious thing and find yourself in the midst of people’s indifference. What path will you choose: to go and protect your dignity, your identity, your right to be a human being, or to remain in the unknown and perish?” Grigoryan noted. He noted with regret that God tried to teach humanity a lesson because God was unable to bring it to its senses. Humanity has not matured enough to understand that it is not necessary to destroy its own kind, intelligent creatures.

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Grigoryan was born on December 5, 1953 in Yerevan. From 1970 to 1975, he studied at Yerevan’s Karl Marx Polytechnic Institute, majoring in radio engineering. In 2002,he graduated from the Academy of State Administration, defending a dissertation on “The Motivational Mechanism of Small Enterprise Management.” He is a candidate in the field of economy.

Since 1990, he has been the president of one of Moscow’s leading investment and construction companies, called Rutsog (РУЦОГ) Holding. This company stands out for the implementation of charitable projects, particularly in the field of church construction. Over the years, Grigoryan provided financial support for the renovation work of many schools and kindergartens. In 2015, he founded the Museum of Armenian National Culture in Moscow, which is the largest museum project implemented outside the borders of Armenia. In 2006, Grigoryan was awarded the title of Honored Builder of Russia.

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