By: Aida Bagdasaryan
Each fall the migratory cranes embark on a journey to warmer grounds due to annual seasonality, to escape the winter’s bitter arrival. The crane’s migratory behavior is very much similar to that of the Armenians. When we feel the first cruel chill of winter, when times grow to be difficult, we flee. We fly across the Atlantic to a warmer climate, in hopes of leading a more fruitful life. It is only natural to seek something better, yet there is one significant difference between the cranes and the Armenian people…the cranes eventually fly back to their homes in the spring time, and we do not.
Most Armenians from the United States who visit return with a laundry list of complaints concerning the poverty displayed on street corners, the lack of modernization in the underdeveloped villages of Nagorno-Karabakh, the lawlessness of the people, the unpaved roads,…etc. All these negative aspects have happened to be almost a nuisance to the visiting Armenian-Americans who have grown accustomed to the comfortable and effortless lifestyle, and find it unbearable to ever live in a country such as Armenia. It pains me to say that the land that had fathered our ancestors has become a foreign land to its faraway youth.
Instead of incessantly listing grievances about all the features that Armenia lacks, let us learn to accept those faults as that of our own and develop a way to amend all its inadequacies. It is the duty of the Armenian-American youth to acknowledge their responsibility of rebuilding Armenia and guiding its transformation to a thriving site of culture, history, prosperity, education, beauty, and fiscal stability. It is evident that we know that Armenia has its share of shortcomings, but what we fail to realize is that with that knowledge comes power. We hold the future of our country’s fate in our hands. Armenia’s current state is fairly grave and that is understandable, but we cannot lose faith in the idea that one day, if every Armenian-American fulfills their moral obligation, over time it will undergo a complete metamorphosis.
The city of Yerevan, Armenia’s capitol, has greatly altered over the years and in moderation has become somewhat modern and urbanized, but what of the outlying regions of Yerevan? What of Gymuri? What of Lori? What of Artsakh? They are also in desperate need of transformation, so that all of Armenia (every region, every village) will rise to its feet. To some of us Armenian-Americans, Armenia is only defined by Mount Ararat, by the Geghard monastery, by the Ejmiatsin Cathedral, or any other historical landmark. Armenia is so much more than a beautiful painting hanging from a wall. It is a healthcare system that needs repair, an economy that needs guidance, an education system that needs improvement, a government that needs direction, and so much more. We have many brilliant Armenian-American economists, doctors, lawyers, benefactors, and other substantial leaders that can provide aid to every weak element of Armenia that is found necessary. A prosperous Armenia is not an unreachable goal or even a beautiful pipe-dream; we have the power to make it a reality.
Let us live according to the words of the talented and legendary Armenian poet Hovhannes Shiraz and ask ourselves the same question that Shiraz addresses to those who are far from their motherland.
«Այս ո՞ւր եք փախչում, խելագար ջրեր,
Մեր բուռ հողն էլ ծով ծարավ թողած, –
Դարձեք, ետ վազեք, որ դարձնենք անմեռ
Թեկուզ հայրենի մի խեղճ ջրաղաց:»