Wednesday, September 21, 2016


I was 25 when sweeping global changes shifted the trajectory of my life. While an empire was crumbling, an ancient nation was re-emerging to join the ranks of other nation-states. A seemingly unattainable dream for my generation of Armenians living in the Diaspora, suddenly, magically materialized and we had a choice. A choice to love it from afar and continue to immortalize it in the passed down memories of our grandparents' idyllic notion of homeland or to hurl ourselves into a vortex of the unknown.

The choice was damning. Stay put and you lose your chance to be a witness to and part of a new story. Jump and you risk erasing the familiar, the safety of what you know how to navigate.

Today, as the modern-day Republic of Armenia celebrates the 25th year of its independence, it is also the 15th year of my "tango" with the homeland. It is a story of repatriation, a search for identity and belonging, of love, passion and betrayal and yet, one of transformation and transcendence. 

I have loved this country unconditionally and it has almost always reciprocated. Yes, it has been challenging and frustrating living here, there have been moments of deep despair and disappointment, of feeling helpless against a mountain of insurmountable problems. However, after centuries of loss, of living in exile, rootless and vulnerable, we finally have a place both physical and ethereal that anchors us not only to our past but gives us the power to imagine and determine our collective destiny.

Living and working and finding a purpose on this land has been a gift, one that we cannot afford to return or exchange. This land is for the living - hողը ապրողին է...

No comments:

Post a Comment