Epistle to the Princes of Armenia

Epistle to the Princes of Armenia

While coming out of the Marriott, unexpectedly I meet a friend from Bolis. Aren owns a workshop in Bolis (Consntantinople) that employs about 100 people. He produces jewelry and participates in international trade shows in places such as Hong Kong, Dubai, Las Vegas etc. He exports all around the globe. I ask him about the workshop he has opened in Armenia; how many people he employed, how successful the branch was. “Very good”, he says, and continues “What a Dajik can learn in a year, people here learn in three months. I had a few difficulties though. I imported a few kilos of silver from France, the customs held my goods for three months. They wouldn’t let me clear the goods. You know Tano, I like to do everything legally. I’d rather pay a thousand in taxes than a hundred in bribes. I had to pay the girls for three months, while they were sitting idle. That’s not a problem. I’ll pay them, but I would have liked them to advance faster”. Efrim, who was standing next to him, added “ Look, Tano, we are not here to earn money; we are here to help. We will be patient, things will change”. Will they change? Without doubt, if we go forward in the right direction. They will wait. Others left, but they will wait. Here, I would like to point out to those Ayatollas in the Western diaspora who criticize, for whatever reason, the Armenians who currently live in Turkey, that the Bolsahays (Armenians of Istanbul) are the most dedicated Armenians to the homeland. They have been subjugated for decades to so many indignities, that Armenia for them is like water to the man who is dying of thirst. In a community of 50,000, they have 16 schools; the annual budget of the least of them is a million dollars. They not only support their own schools, but when needed, help other communities as well.

« A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho »

I leave the Marriott and walk without noticing those around me. Even if my mother walked by, I would not notice her. I am walking, yet my mind is somewhere else. I find myself walking toward the Hyususayin, the Northern Avenue. This is not Yerevan. This is Disney Land. Emperio, Armani, Hermes, Gucci. I have fallen from the narrow road, to “The wide road that leads towards destruction”. I pass by “Baron Nakharar’s” (Mr Minister’s) store.

The world’s best watch brands are displayed in the beautiful windows. A. Lange & Sonne, Breguet, Glashutte, Jaquet Droz… Haven’t you heard of these brands? It’s not surprising. I told you. This is not Yerevan or a normal street in Paris, New York, or LA. This is Disney Land. The prices of the watches are 150 000, 200 000 or 250 000; Not in AMD, but in Dollars.

At the restaurant near the Swan Lake, I meet Aram, one of the activists in the Karapakh movement. At the beginning of Der Bedrossyan’s reign, he was a minister. However, seeing the direction of the trends, he had resigned. It was our first meeting. Like those activist in the Kharapagh movement who were mostly scientists or intellectuals, Aram is dedicated, wise and loves his country. He advises “Tano, your thoughts are sound but you have to also write for our people in the homeland. Here people are not mature politically. They find it normal that this business belongs to such and such, that Orange has been overcome by such and such. They find it normal that the executive body is also the judiciary. That the ‘Baron Nakharar’ is also a businessman, and won’t tolerate that anyone open a competing watch store anywhere on Northern Avenue”. Aram explains that in this situation, during elections, “the entire population” votes for those who give them ten or twenty dollars.

During our youth and even now, we, those in the Diaspora, have elevated the Armenians living in the homeland, breathing its clean air, drinking its pure waters. We have seen among them only Hampartzumyans, Tigran Bedrossyans. I am disillusioned. We have crossed Jereicho and are getting close to Sodom and Gomorrah, to destruction.

Dear people of the Homeland, our forefathers gave their lives to set us free. Are you selling your souls for 10 dollars? You can sell yourselves if you want, but you do not have the right to sell the homeland. Come to your senses. Come to your senses. Come to your senses.

Mr. Nakharar. What do you want from Aren? Do you not have enough? Let us forget about righteousness, political integrity, the big picture, love of homeland. Don’t you even have conscience? Why do you prevent people from earning their living, their daily bread? Don’t you even have basic dignity? Do you look at yourself in the mirror in the mornings? Do you give any thought as to how people observe you?

Rostom, look! We have a free and independent Armenia. Free? Independent? Look at your true followers. “They are lukewarm– neither hot nor cold”. They are about to fall asleep; The are docile and have accepted the reality. Give them a boost. Let them wake up, energize.

The world’s best watch brands are displayed in the beautiful windows. A. Lange & Sonne, Breguet, Glashutte, Jaquet Droz… Haven’t you heard of these brands? It’s not surprising. I told you. This is not Yerevan or a normal street in Paris, New York, or LA. This is Disney Land. The prices of the watches are 150 000, 200 000 or 250 000; Not in AMD, but in Dollars.

At the restaurant near the Swan Lake, I meet Aram, one of the activists in the Karapakh movement. At the beginning of Der Bedrossyan’s reign, he was a minister. However, seeing the direction of the trends, he had resigned. It was our first meeting. Like those activist in the Kharapagh movement who were mostly scientists or intellectuals, Aram is dedicated, wise and loves his country. He advises “Tano, your thoughts are sound but you have to also write for our people in the homeland. Here people are not mature politically. They find it normal that this business belongs to such and such, that Orange has been overcome by such and such. They find it normal that the executive body is also the judiciary. That the ‘Baron Nakharar’ is also a businessman, and won’t tolerate that anyone open a competing watch store anywhere on Northern Avenue”. Aram explains that in this situation, during elections, “the entire population” votes for those who give them ten or twenty dollars.

During our youth and even now, we, those in the Diaspora, have elevated the Armenians living in the homeland, breathing its clean air, drinking its pure waters. We have seen among them only Hampartzumyans, Tigran Bedrossyans. I am disillusioned. We have crossed Jereicho and are getting close to Sodom and Gomorrah, to destruction.

Dear people of the Homeland, our forefathers gave their lives to set us free. Are you selling your souls for 10 dollars? You can sell yourselves if you want, but you do not have the right to sell the homeland. Come to your senses. Come to your senses. Come to your senses.

Mr. Nakharar. What do you want from Aren? Do you not have enough? Let us forget about righteousness, political integrity, the big picture, love of homeland. Don’t you even have conscience? Why do you prevent people from earning their living, their daily bread? Don’t you even have basic dignity? Do you look at yourself in the mirror in the mornings? Do you give any thought as to how people observe you?

Rostom, look! We have a free and independent Armenia. Free? Independent? Look at your true followers. “They are lukewarm– neither hot nor cold”. They are about to fall asleep; The are docile and have accepted the reality. Give them a boost. Let them wake up, energize.

soghomon-tehleryan

Mr. Tehlirian, rise! Get up and see. Not much has changed in a hundred years. The red genocide has turned into a white genocide. The Deghahanoutyoun, the deportation, instead of to Der Zor, is now organized towards Moscow, Paris, Los Angeles. Talaat Pasha is now wearing the suit of a Nakharar.
The Ecclesiastes says – “Speak for the mute, defend his cause”. The people are deaf and mute, blind. They don’t have vision. Mr. Tehlirian, behold. I speak for the mute, but these people don’t understand my language….

Oh, Princes of Armenia, of Sunik, Vasburagan, Cilicia; Princes that reside now in Moscow, Geneva, London, Boston, Los Angeles, Bonus Aires; why are you baffled? Start acting, I implore you. Speak to these people in your own language, with your own strengths. Don’t interrupt Mr. Tehlirian’s rest, don’t wait for the Protestant to protest again, to rise and give his message to these people, in his own words.

Please, unite. However powerful you may be individually, you will not be able to overcome by yourselves. Let’s get together, unite, and hold the bull by its horns, with strength, together…

Tano,
Beirut, September 5

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