Alex Sardar has an unenviable task of helping build civil society in Armenia. He has, too, an enviable attitude, required for his success and for Armenia’s hoped-for better future.
Living in Armenia for nearly nine years, Sardar has learned to appreciate “the process” of helping create change. Whether or not he sees the end result is no less important than being part of the effort.
From Washington, D.C. to Yerevan, Richard Giragosian has created a reputation as a studied analyst of the gnarly politics that often bewilder the rest of the world (to the extent that anyone pays attention), in trying to decipher life in Armenia and its neighborhood.
Giragosian’s challenge is to make sense of Caucasus-style politics, where rules are made up on a shifting political landscape that frequently appears lost in transition even for scientists.
A resolution calling for the United States to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide is effectively dead, as the Democrat-led 111th Congress concluded yesterday (Dec. 22) without Armenia’s perceived champion, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, putting the resolution on the Full House agenda.
HR252 first breathed new hope into the long-standing struggle for recognition in March, when it dramatically passed a Foreign Affairs Committee by one vote, taking it to the next legislative level, which would have been a vote on the Floor of the Full House.
The US House of Representatives did not include HR 252 – the Armenian Genocide resolution – on its agenda on Tuesday in what was thought might be its final day of session. However, the House has been called to reconvene again today (December 22 – approximately 7 p.m. Armenia time), extending the possibility that the controversial resolution might be heard again before the current House yields to a new (Republican) majority next month.
Meanwhile, supporters of the resolution – led most vocally in the States by the Armenian National Congress of America (ANCA) – are watching for any sign that might gauge White House temperament on the issue.
As recently as 2008, the United States warned Armenia that its (Armenia’s) participation in transferring weapons to Iran could damage U.S.-Armenia relations and perhaps “derail” Karabakh peace talks.
A cable from (then) U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte to President Serzh Sargsyan is among thousands of classified documents released yesterday by “whistleblower” WikiLeaks and reported in major international newspapers. As reported in the Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom, and by the New York Times, the documents reveal the Bush and Obama administrations’ concern over the relationship of Iran with several countries, including Armenia.
A school planned to open in Dilijian and promising to make Armenia a respected center of regional and international study may not ever see a stone laid, due to public reaction over Armenia’s controversial “law on language”, allowing for curriculum to be taught in a foreign language.
The Dilijan International School, the brainchild of Moscow tycoon philanthropist Ruben Vardanyan, broke ground in April with President Serzh Sargsyan planting a “tree of knowledge” to herald the project. Expected to open in 2013, the project now is indefinite, owing to “an atmosphere that rejects” the idea.
Four Armenian babies who might have been blind in a matter of weeks, now have chance at a normal life due to the humanity of some foreign doctors, the dedication of local ones, and to benefactors who may never know the life-changing impact of their benevolence.
The infants’ good fortune has come by chance or by providence, but surely is the result of good timing and good intentions.
Last week, the Armenian Eye Care Project made one of its semi-annual missions to Armenia, following a schedule established since the project was founded by California ophthalmologist Roger Ohanesian in 1992.
In a statement issued during a weekend retreat in North Carolina, US President Barack Obama on Saturday (April 24) re-affirmed his “own view of what occurred in 1915,” but, as expected, did not use the word “genocide” on this day marked worldwide by Armenians as the startup of a genocidal campaign 95 years ago by Ottoman Turks that killed 1.5 million.
It is "a devastating chapter in the history of the Armenian people, and we must keep its memory alive in honor of those who were murdered and so that we do not repeat the grave mistakes of the past," Obama said in his statement.
An address to his nation by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan Thursday night should also be seen as a message to US President Barack Obama that says: “We honored our word. Now honor yours.”
By publicly stating what has long been known – that the protocol process is a failure – Sargsyan expressed sentiments that should be welcomed throughout the worldwide Armenian community, regardless of political persuasion, and in spite of the ugly history that afforded Sargsyan the national stage.