Wrong Path in Armenia


By Nubar Dorian

 

All Armenians in the diaspora are quite familiar with the sadness, grief, suffering, exile and relocation of those who escaped the Genocide. Here in the US, drawing from lessons and experiences from our past, we developed a value system, making us obedient to law and order, love of education, rewards of hard work and blessings of freedom. As a consequence, we have been extremely proud citizens of America. Next to the Holy Bible, the greatest treasure we possess is the document that proclaims us American citizens.

We also forgot our homeland of Armenia and by all accounts and means, have always helped her. Long before Turkish occupation and the Genocide, the Soviet regime and the great earthquake of 1988, every Diasporan Armenian gave support, love, talent, time and treasure to the precious homeland. When Armenia declared independence some 20 years ago, it was a most thankful moment of prayer, pride and joy for us all. With foremost and firmest promise, we determined to help the homeland in every way possible to ensure her security, health and progress.

The people of Armenia, in turn, were deeply appreciative of our help. They demonstrated honest appreciation, deep love and heartfelt admiration for all that we did and still do, to improve their lot. Diasporan Armenians who visited the homeland experienced greatest warmth, deep love and fellowship and never forgot this most unique experience.

Since the election of Serge Sargisian as president of Armenia, unprecedented and somewhat questionable practices were sought by him and his cabinet to further solidify relations with Diasporan Armenians. The government started to shower some leaders, philanthropists and wealthy Armenians in the diaspora with royal banquets, citations, honors and medals. His government even created a new position of Commissioner For Armenia-Diaspora Relations, who traveled across the Armenian world, extolling us to love Armenia more, give more, care more and promise never to forget the homeland. Not satisfied with all these and to further offer gloss and flattery to diaspora, the president of Armenia is offering dual citizenship to certain Diasporan Armenians of his choosing. The who and why is still obscure and highly questionable. The very idea of dual citizenship is divisive, misguided and totally absurd. This idea, or practice, should be buried in the deepest pit in Armenian soil and never see daylight again.

Unfortunately, this is not all. Lo and behold, the president of Armenia is considering restructuring the constitution of Armenia to include a number of Diasporan Armenians as members of parliament. This misbegotten and misguided concept seems not only unprecedented, but ridiculous. Is it to satisfy the ego of some Diasporan Armenians, who receive this honor? There must be a thousand-and-one questions regarding this scheme and before any more time is spent on it, it should join the same pit and never see sunrise or sunset again. President Serge Sargisian and his governing body are rushing from the ridiculous to the sublime and spending precious time to seduce Diasporan Armenians.

It is tragic, disturbing and sad to read or hear of demonstrations, protests, hunger strikes, discord and chaos in Armenia. Are we to assume that our beloved homeland is becoming like a kite whose line has been cut off? Truth, stark naked truth, demands that good government work for the governed and abandon all schemes, pretense and misrule.

As sure as I am that God’s sun breaks into a hundred million sapphires over Armenian Lakes, and that any Diasporan Armenian visiting Armenia feels he or she has stepped on the earth of God’s Eden of Genesis, that sure I am that all Diasporan Armenians — some eight million of us — will love more, do more, sacrifice more for homeland Armenia, if the president of Armenia and his governing body make more effort, put more passion, zeal and dedication and eliminate disunity, discord and especially, all dramatics.

(Nubar Dorian is former co-chair of the Armenian Assembly in Washington DC.)