Guest Post: #TurkeyFailed Because I Live in Armenia and So Should You

As the World’s Armenian community gears up to commemorate the centennial of the Armenian Genocide at the hands of the Ottoman turks, the hashtag #TurkeyFailed has been trending across armenian social networks. The phrase, usually followed by accounts of multi-generational survival, uploaded onto the web by Armenians is meant to empower the descendants of these genocide survivors. As photos of survivors, and their progeny are shared and commented on, we are reminded that though 1.5 million of our grandparents had been dehumanised, robbed of their birthrights, their possessions, marched into deserts and brutally massacred, yet the five hundred thousand or so who survived managed to, as William Saroyan so eloquently put it; “laugh, sing and pray again”; build “a new Armenia” in the four corners of the globe. They passed on as best they could their culture, traditions and language to a new generations of Armenians, now totalling over 7 million people.

However, declaring that Turkey Failed at this time would be similar to declaring victory over shark-kind while still floating in shark-infested waters: Though the immediate danger may have been averted, we, as a nation are not out of the woods yet. The fact that I need to write this piece in english, rather than Armenian in order to reach the majority of my compatriots living in dispersed communities around the globe attests to the fact that we have sacrificed a lot for survival; our language, culture, and traditions, are constantly being diluted despite our best efforts, as we continue to live in lands which we do not call our own, while the concept of a hyphenated Armenian becomes increasingly solidified.

In the 21st century, it is no longer enough for Armenian people to live with the hope of indefinitely preserving Armenian identity, language, culture and traditions in suspension in their newfound homes abroad. Despite hollow promises that we make to ourselves, that we are ready, at moments notice, to return to our ancestral land, how many of us are ready to leave our cosy city lives, our jobs, and the communities we helped reconstruct over 3 generations to go back to mud brick villages in eastern Anatolia? I can recall, the times when i was back in native Canada visiting family, discussing my new life in Armenia with local armenian friends, and finishing our conversations with the question “And when will you be joining me in Armenia?” to which I would always get an embarrassed response in the form of “some day”. Our lack of readiness to leave these comfort zones was most exemplified by the destruction of the well established Armenian communities in Iraq, and now Syria.

Turkey’s failure will only truly be complete when we secure the existence, and sustainability of the Armenian nation. This, of course, can only be done when the majority of those living in the Diaspora, who see the preservation of their cultural heritage, will begin to see the Republic of Armenia as a genuine option for establishing themselves, raising families, and contributing to.

Afterall, the job is not yet done. Our young republic, which we inherited 76 years after the genocide, still deals with many of the typical issues that a start-up nation, with a soviet legacy would be expected to. Armenia still struggles to fight corruption, imperfect democratic processes, economic stimulation, emigration, and the precarious nature of its geopolitical location. Despite all this, Armenia offers unique opportunities for those who wish to contribute. The country changes at an astonishing rate. Despite a century of separation, and contrasts between the soviet and diaspora experience, many repatriates are pleasantly surprised to discover how much they share with their local contemporaries.

Almost four years ago, wishing to bank on this opportunity, I made the move here, established a business, employ a modest number of people, and pay taxes to the State. I am setting the foundations for a family here, and live what can best be described as a ‘normal’ life. I say this not to invoke the envy of the readers, but to explain why, in my case at least, #TurkeyFailed. For the first time in 3 generations, on the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, a member of my family will be in Armenia. My hope is that my story wouldn’t be unique.

Those who, like me, wish to see, a strong, economically sustainable, democratic and forward looking homeland, as opposed to one that dwells in its past, should know that Armenia doesn’t need your money, or pity, Armenia needs you. Armenia needs Armenians to populate the country, contribute to its job market, its economic development, cultural institutions, and demanding political change.

Until independence, the common line was that, “As soon as we reestablish an Independent Armenia, I will the first on the plane over there”. This has only materialised for a small numer. Today, there no more excuses: Many opportunity exists for those who want to help complete Turkey’s Failure, and subsequently Armenia’s victory, but living here. Those who may want to reconnect with Armenia’s culture, can always make use of resources online, such as the Armenian Virtual College’s Armenian lessons; they can receive a world-renown education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at the American University of Armenia, or simply try out life in Armenia to see if it’s right for them, by applying for the 3 month professional internship programme at Birthright Armenia. Resources such as the Repat Armenia Foundation dedicate themselves to helping Armenians from the diaspora to reclaim their birthright, and establishing themselves in their homeland. The possibilities are endless, the reasons are countless.

100 years after we were chased out of our lands, its time to come home. Only then, we can truly say that #TurkeyFailed

Post by Raffi Elliott

Made in Armenia Product Review: Shampoo to Prevent Hair Loss

Since Armenia is so full of imported products, I figure it would be a good idea to offer proper product reviews about their Made in Armenia alternatives. For some strange reason, foreign goods always seem to appear more appealing even if the locally produced are higher in quality and cheaper in price to some extent. Of course, it may even be very much worth paying a higher sum so long as you know that money goes to pay a local employer and employee, keeping the money within Armenia and spurring on local businesses. After all, how do you expect any Armenian business to thrive or even simply survive if we don’t all support them wholeheartedly. Just like it is the healthier option to take the stairs instead of the elevator, just look for the Armenian version of whatever it is you want to buy.

To start off my series of Made in Armenia product reviews, and I promise to have many from all types of different businesses here, I will start with my first ever locally produced product. I had a problem with excessive hair shedding for years before I came to Armenia. I had tried everything from baby shampoos to special organic rather expensive versions that would cost me $22.50 CAD per bottle. Nothing really seemed to work but I kept away from chemically induced shampoos in general. When I got to Armenia, 3 months in I was at a fair in Gyumri when I came across a line of shampoos and other interesting products that were mostly natural, paraben-free and looked rather intriguing. One of the items I picked up was this shampoo. It was in a bit of a different packaging then, but I love the simplicity of their labels to this day.

IMG_20150330_111958

The bottle cost me 2500 AMD, which is roughly $6.75 CAD. Now, it may seem like it isn’t quite affordable, but these are not made in China or manufactured by huge corporations. They are made by father and son here in Yerevan with lots of love. I have had the pleasure of meeting them and they are quite a lovely family. The best part? It worked like a charm! I won’t say that I don’t shed at all now, for it’s quite normal to have your hair replenished, but I can certainly say that I no longer stare at a handful; instead, it is a few strands that wrap themselves around my comb or fall around the house here and there. Other than that, my baby hairs have grown back in and the crown definitely appears fuller than it was when I got to Armenia. For a woman to be losing hair it is probably even more daunting than a man. Seeing your hairline fill right back up is an awesome moment. I have been using shampoos only from H Gardens at this point and could not have been happier with a hair product than I have been for the past 1.5 years. This is a brand that has fully earned my loyalty.

015. Four Armenian folk legends / Cuatro leyendas folklóricas armenias / Չորս հայկական ժողովրդական հեքիաթներ

Tamar Najarian:

I love this way too much <3

Originally posted on 100 years, 100 images | 100 años, 100 imágenes | 100 տարի՝ 100 նկար:

ENG | Vectorial illustration | 34 x 27,5 cm  ESP | Ilustración vectorial | 34 x 27,5 cm ՀԱՅ | Վեկտորային նկարազարդում | | 34 x 27,5 սմ ENG | Vectorial illustration | 34 x 27,5 cm
ESP | Ilustración vectorial | 34 x 27,5 cm
ՀԱՅ | Վեկտորային նկարազարդում | | 34 x 27,5 սմ

ENG | The illustration recreates four armenian legends: Hayk the Patriarch, The Flower of Eden, Akhtamar, The Convent of the Doves.


ESP | La ilustración recrea cuatro leyendas populares armenias: Hayk el Patriarca, La flor del Edén, Ajtamar y El convento de las palomas.


ՀԱՅ | Նկարազարդումը պատկերում է չորս հայկական ժողովրդական հեքիաթներ.  Հայկ Նահապետը, Եդեմական ծաղիկը, Ախթամար, Աղավնավանքը:

View original

Finishing Off 2014 with a Bang: Armenian Achievements in the Last Month

Armenian cook Vera Hovhannisyan won a gold medal and a cup at the Culinary World Cup 2014 held in Luxemburg from November 22 to 26. The competition featured more than 1 000 cooks from 60 countries , as well as 105 national, regional and youth teams. Vera Hovhannisyan’s twin sister Rena Hovhannisyan also jointed her in the competitions. The sisters presented two works at the contest and both won gold medals.

During the Warsaw Cup 2014, in Poland, 15-year old, Anastasia Galustyan, representing Armenia won the SILVER Medal, amongst 18 European competitors.

Garnik Harutunyan scored another gold medal for Armenia during the international boxing tournament held in Riga: http://armenpress.am/eng/news/787374/armenian-boxer-scores-medal-at-international-tournament-in-riga.html

As part of Armenian team, Nagorno Karabakh-born Mavrik Nasibyan won a gold medal in 74kg weight category at the 2014 World Sambo Championships in Narita, Japan. http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/185040/

Armenian teams participated and took home 114 top prizes in all different types of sports during 2014, out of which 32 were gold….

How an Armenian Monk Brought Gingerbread to the West

Originally posted on PeopleOfAr:

In the spirit of holidays I would like to share an interesting article about the introduction of gingerbread in Europe. 

Gingerbread from ArmeniaBy:Liana Aghajanian from: Ianyan magazine 

Eaten in England, Germany, the U.S., Romania and more Nordic countries than you can remember – the humble gingerbread has been a winter holiday favorite, accompanying other delicacies on tables for centuries, but always standing out thanks to a delicious combination of ginger, molasses or honey.

So deeply rooted in Europe, it is perhaps odd, yet also delightful, that it was actually an Armenian monk who introduced the sweet, dark confection to the continent over one thousand years ago.

It was the year 991, when archbishop Gregory Markar traveled from Nicopolis, a city in the ancient kingdom of Pontus now located in modern day Anatolia, Turkey, after being chased out by the Persian Army. Tired and weary, he made his way across Europe, arriving…

View original 429 more words

Thoughts, News and Interesting Tidbits- From Armenia C. 2013

%d bloggers like this: