07 May 2005

Questions standing in front of a very old nation

We received the following message from Lusine Korekyan
(lusinek191072@yahoo.com), UAE, addressed to Mr. Ara Baliozian

To: Mr. Ara Baliozian,

I am very glad I have read your article posted in Azad-hye.com Newsletter on
27th April 2005 (see original message below)

I would like to say you thanks for thinking that way about our grand issue
(the Genocide). That was maybe the first objective article I have ever read
about genocide, which, in my opinion, applied to the roots of the problem. I
used to say that there are some deep, maybe unconscious, reasons for what
happened with the Armenians in 1915. But all the Armenians I discussed with,
used to tell me I would not be Armenian at all if I thought like that.

I used to ask many Armenians "How come that someone came to your own home as
a stranger and became an owner of it? And then he kicked you out of your own
home? Whose fault is it? Is it the owner's fault or the stranger's? Why
Turks came to Armenia in a certain time and became the owners of our
homeland? What's the reason that Armenians were so weak to withstand or
resist them? What was our mistake as an ancient (supposed to be wise and
experienced) nation? What we have learned from that mistakes and the tragedy
of genocide?"

If something bad happens to our children, it is our responsibility as
parents to make them analyze and understand why that particular thing has
happened, what they learned from it and what should they do to prevent it in
the future. How should we explain to our children why the Genocide happened
with us? I have even put these questions in front of the readers of
www.azad-hye.com some time ago hoping to get answers from Armenians. But I
didn't. Is it possible that no one has answers? Or is it possible that
nobody is asking himself these questions? How come? Is it possible that
Armenians have no parents, I mean persons who are taking care about the
nation generally? Who is responsible for analyzing our past experiences and
giving us proper answers?

We are inheriting fear, hatred, and revenge to our ancestors concerning
genocide issue. Fear, hatred and revenge are destroying our psychology and
making us weak. To carry all these feelings inside of us from generation to
generation means to create hell in our lives. How could we feel safe, if
there are so many negative emotions inside of our psyche? And if we cannot
feel safe, fulfilled and peaceful in this world what kind of generation we
can raise?

And yet we are proud of being Christians! How come? What's the main idea of
Christianity? Forgiveness! How should we teach our children to be Christians
and do not forgive Turks? Isn't it contradiction? I do not suggest
forgetting this issue, never! But we should forgive for our own good and
become stronger. The dominant feeling of being a victim is paralyzing our
immune system!

We should clean our psych from negative emotions that are just sticking us
to our pain and do not let as be sober, aware and flexible.

Mr. Baliozian is giving some reasons why it has happened with the Armenians.
Why heroism and treachery are always combating with each other throughout
our history, making us vulnerable to other nations? What should be done to
correct past mistakes? All these questions are still standing in front of us
as a very old nation, and waiting for their answers.

Yours Respectfully,

Lusine Korekyan

Original Message

From: "Ara Baliozian" <arabaliozian@yahoo.com>
Date: Wed Apr 27, 2005 9:30 pm
Subject: The bloodthirsty savages and Asiatic barbarians

While on every April 24 we mourn Talaat's victims, let us not ignore
Stalin's victims, whose number remains unknown to most of us. But
perhaps we prefer to ignore them because the executioners were not
Turks but Armenians.
In the Middle Ages Jews who copied the Holy Scriptures believed that
even a single letter in the wrong place might mean the destruction of
the world. How much more so the death of a single innocent human
What if the world is being destroyed even as I am writing and you are
reading these lines, but because the destruction is in slow motion we
have the illusion of survival.
The Genocide is a tragic episode in our history, but it is only a
chapter, not the whole book. It is a factor, even if a defining
factor, in shaping of our identity, but it is not the only factor.
The Genocide is history, it is not theology, and it should not be
allowed to become pathology. If we allow it to become pathology, it
may paralyze our will to confront and solve our present problems of
which we have more than our share.
G.K. Chesterton: "The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also
to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same
Armenians who hate are convinced that their hatred bears God's seal
of approval.
We are better at excommunicating friends than converting enemies.
We have more enemies than friends, and our friends are friends in
name only. We cannot even rely on our fellow Armenians for friendship.
When it comes to literature, we prefer writers who plagiarize
patriotic clich├ęs and recycle pro-establishment platitudes to one who
speaks his mind and says what must be said. We stifle originality
when it fails to flatter our collective ego or when it challenges our
prejudices. How many of our contemporary writers (do we have them?)
would have the integrity and courage of Raffi and say "Treason and
betrayal are in our blood"? And it is worth remembering that Zarian
confided his true feelings about his fellow Armenians (such
as "Armenians survive by cannibalizing one another") only in his
notebooks, which were not meant for publication in his lifetime.
When a reader who disagrees with me pretends I am the only Armenian
he disagrees with, I have no choice but to conclude that I must be
the only Armenian he reads.
It is an insult to all Armenians to think that they are so vulnerable
and fragile that they can be ruined by an idea that does not bear a
boss's, bishop's, or benefactor's seal of approval.
It makes little sense to suggest that after 600 years of coexistence
the Turks suddenly woke up on April 24, 1915 and decided to
exterminate us because we aroused their cannibal instincts. No one
with any degree of objectivity and common sense will ever agree with
us if we say or imply in any way that we are better than Turks. All
such talk is bound to smack of racism and lower our moral standing.
The Genocide is a central issue with us. It was only a peripheral one
for them. We were only a small fraction of their problems of which
they had many more than they could handle in a rational way. They
massacred us because they had the power and we didn't.
We only damage our credibility if we as victims assert moral
superiority or adopt a holier-than-thou stance. Because by saying
Turks are evil we also imply that they are good only for
extermination. But to think in terms of extermination is
quintessentially Ottoman.
Let us therefore put an end to all talk of Turks as bloodthirsty
savages and Asiatic barbarians.

No comments: