Letter to the Editor

A view of Yerevan from the Cafesjian Museum of Art (Photo: Serouj)

Don’t have expectations of Armenia to make you feel a certain way. She doesn’t owe us any particular experience when we choose to visit…

In the article “Why Did Armenia Not Feel Like Armenia?” the author states that he has no answers to give to the disillusioned locals he comes across while in Yerevan. I would suggest—first and foremost—to change our own mindset, before advising others.

The importance of the type of mindset adopted by Diasporans with regard to Armenia cannot be overstated.

I urge us to see Armenia as our active partner, rather than as a distant charity case.

I urge us to see her as a burgeoning young state, with endless possibilities, and so much to offer to this world.

I urge us to be visionaries—to never stop in the face of discouragement, never surrender or lose faith when hitting a wall, never waver in our commitment to progress. Through this lens, we can see the potential for something great, even if it isn’t right in front of us just yet.

The author states that he doesn’t know what the future holds for “these people in Armenia,” and isn’t sure if anyone does. Yet, it is so clear that the people of Armenia, in cooperation with their brothers and sisters from the Diaspora, will determine their own future.

We see the power of their will through countless social and political movements that fight tirelessly against injustices.

We see it through great endeavors like the Ayb School, UWC Dilijan, the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies, Impact Hub Yerevan, Birthright Armenia, and the many buzzing tech startups in the country.

We see it through the scores of willing repatriates ready to make an impact on Armenia’s development.

And the list goes on…

The Diaspora’s perception of Armenia must—as matter of survival—unequivocally reject feelings of hopelessness, defeatism, and gross oversimplifications.

I’m not advocating for naivety or ignorance of real issues that Armenia faces. However, progress doesn’t come easy, and we must be wholeheartedly committed to a positive mindset in order keep moving forward against all odds. Our shortcomings don’t define us; they push us to work harder and be greater.

I also visited Armenia this summer. Each of my visits—each with its own unique experiences— makes me fall more deeply in love with this country, which is—above all descriptions—ours.

Sanan Shirinian,
Orange County, Calif.

 

 

Source: Armenian Weekly
Link: Letter to the Editor: Armenia Will Always ‘Feel Like’ Armenia…