By Nubar Dorian
It is time to remember that Armenians across the heavens raised independent Armenia’s flag to full mast. We filled our homes, churches, mountains, valleys and forests with voices of gratitude for giving us the chance to use our minds, hearts and talents to insure all the promises of independence.
The Armenian was now ready to prove its mettle, character, intelligence and ability to make and create a proud Armenian nation. Along with homeland Armenians, the diaspora was determined and most anxious to offer all help, all treasure and all talent possible to keep the flag of Armenia flying high, tall and proud.
Then, something went wrong. Diaspora Armenians witnessed with dismay, disappointment and grief the beginning of division and disunity. At first we thought it was the usual growing pains. We continued to hope with our determination, love and patriotism that the homeland would see progress, the spread of happiness and security. Unfortunately confusion, helplessness, bribery and unemployment reigned supreme and drove millions of Armenians to leave their homes, churches, mountains and monuments to seek their fortunes in other countries. The Armenian flag was at half mast: a symbol of grief, sadness and helplessness. Now we seem to accept hopelessness, which is the worst calamity of all!
The questions which Diaspora Armenians have a right to ask are: “Will the flag of Armenia always fly half mast?”; “Will disunity, division, disagreement, dissent in Armenia be permanent press and will not wash out?”; “Will some two dozen plus political parties realize it is impossible to expect discipline, order and security with so many loud, incoherent voices?”; “Will havoc, confusion and inse- curity ever end?” and “When will the Diaspora Armenian expect sanity to reign in Armenia?”
One truism of politics is the impossibility of governance with political parties who fight for prominence, power and popularity. With more than a dozen political parties at work in the homeland, majority vote becomes almost meaningless. Political party platforms become so complicated and confusing that “winners” do not command the respect of the governed, and with deep care and unlimited patience, Diaspora Armenians have made every possible sacrifice, demonstrated passion and love for the homeland. It seems regretable that the government of Armenia has taken for granted this continued love, caring, attachment and in addition to offering medals, banquets and honors to wealthy donors, no effort has ever been made to seek diasporan advice.
Two Armenian Diaspora conferences were initiated with thousands in attendance. These two conferences were ill-prepared, ill-advised, almost silly, to say the least. It was a comedy and a farce and the result was absolutely zero.
It is no surprise and no wonder that grief, tears, unemployment and hopelessness force hundreds of thousands of good, talented, patriotic Armenians to flee their homeland. Unable to live and believe in future hope they were forced to seek livelihood, security and some happiness elsewhere. Evidently this tragedy drastically reduced homeland talent, which is its treasure. This obviously created disappointment outside of all acceptable margins. This was a total calamity and the Diaspora could do absolutely nothing to stop it. Both homeland and Diaspora Armenians hoped that Armenian Mardi Gras days would finally arrive. How wrong we were! We continue saying goodbye to Mardi Gras and hello Lent! Lent continues to dominate the homeland while Mardi Gras remains elusive.
What has troubled, shaken and frustrated Diaspora Armenians is the tragedy of hopelessness that pervades all of Armenia today. The hopes, thankfulness and joy when independence was declared have disappeared and this situation has disappointed the diaspora. How can anyone be proud or happy to learn of cursed emigration that may take thousands more to join the diasporan ranks? It is almost unbelievable that so many parties are still unable or unwilling to accept the situation and continue to fight for power, supremacy and unquestionably, independence of Armenia was a true blessing and heavenly gift. The diaspora truly and fully embraced the homeland more firmly and more lovingly than ever before and did all that was possible to help Armenia become a true haven for Armenians. We now witness, most unfortunately, the opposite has happened in the two-plus decades since our declaration of independence.
It is extremely dangerous for Armenia’s leadership to assume that Diaspora Armenians will continue their love and largesse in view of what is happening in the homeland. Diaspora Armenians expect and demand better governance from the homeland leadership. One such effort is for the Armenian leadership to seriously consider a true and practical arrangement of a conference consisting not of hordes of Armenians, but one from each serious Diaspora Armenian organization. This highest level international Armenia-Diaspora conference would carry a great deal of weight and will ask all Armenians to respect its decisions, thus bringing about new hope, perspective and comfort worldwide.
After some 20 years of an independent Armenia it is quite apparent that we have to seriously think of correcting all past mistakes, eliminate so many parties and “come to our senses.” We need real harmony, understanding and respect. We must agree that we need new order, new direction and new thinking to bring about calm and security and happiness to our homeland. This can happen only when leadership of the homeland understands full well that advice of the Diaspora Armenians must be sought and there must be more consultation in order to strengthen our beloved homeland. It must be our hope that God will give us more inspiration, deeper love of unity and harder work than ever before to change direction.
After all, isn’t it true that to find a diamond, tons and tons of digging soil and dirt to find that shiny diamond which is one of the most valuable treasures we humans cherish must occur. We must start digging together to find that precious diamond.
(Nubar Dorian is a resident of Cliffside, NJ. He is active in the community, including as a Diocesan Delegate.)