More Things That Make You Go ‘Hmmm’

Garen Yegparian
Garen Yegparian

Garen Yegparian


Armenia’s Foreign Minister, Edward Nalbandian, seems to have developed a spine of late and has spoken out strongly about Azerbaijan’s incessant cease-fire violations, even having a very tense (mediated) meeting with Azeri Foreign Minister Mammadyarov in New York. President Sarkissian has done the same. Armenia has agreed to “line of contact” (battlefront in plain language) investigations of these violations by third-parties, Azerbaijan refuses. Azerbaijan is starting to get a taste of Armenian weaponry, with more destruction being promised. Despite its being obvious who the initiator is, despite the pointless loss of life, despite the refusal of one party to be inspected—making obvious who’s guilty, despite the dangerous escalation and potential for a hot war to recommence, the international community continues its dithering, inaction, non-condemnation of the aggressor, and mealy-mouthed advice to BOTH sides to keep things calm. Hmmm…

On World Refugee Day in June, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, called Turkey “a great example for other countries in a world where borders are becoming unpassable for refugees.” That’s like lauding an arsonist for cleaning up the ashes and soot that settle on houses, plants, and sidewalks surrounding the site of his/her crime. It seems Turkey is becoming a darling of the world for accepting some two million Syrian refugees and spending nearly eight billion dollars on them. Conveniently forgotten and neglected in all this is that Turkey is one of the major CAUSES of the Syrian refugee problem, and Ankara is whining about the costs it is forced to bear. Hmmm…

As you read this, a conference will be in progress in Bolis at Sabanci (Sabanji) University. The University of Michigan and USC’s Institute of Armenian Studies are also involved in organizing it. I am told that the Turkish end is composed of good people. What puzzled me, in light of this, is the participation and presence of the embarrassing (at best) Meline Toumani at this conference. Then I remembered that Toumani herself tells the story of how she was “inspired” to start her “project” by Fatma Müge Göçek, a professor at U of M. But I am still stumped by how USC-IAS would allow its name to be associated with such a damaging figure. Hmmm…

Pope Francis visited the U.S. He made some very interesting remarks that addressed various inequities existing in the country – economic (poverty), social (death penalty), foreign relations (immigration). These seem to come from a thorough awareness of justice this priest has, which explains his remarks and position regarding the Armenian Genocide. Yet, even after speaking directly to the Congress, that body and others among the political leadership of the country and states, have done nothing to moderate the policies they advocate that cause so much harm to so many people. Hmmm…

“Giligia,” the very touching ode that could serve as an anthem of hope for return to our homes, has often been mis-rendered. In the last verse, the word “heem” is often replaced by “zeem” when it is sung, even by professionals. This mistake probably happens because in the first two verses, the word is, indeed, “zeem.” What is most worrisome now is the appearance of this erroneous lyric in printed versions of the song. Hmmm…

Your thoughts?


On an unrelated, but important note, if you live in (or will be visiting) the Los Angeles area, be sure to see Aram Kouyoumdjian’s new play, “Happy Armenians”. It is at once funny and profound, tackling history, love, international relations, and social issues while managing to include a hook even for science fiction buffs. Performances are on Friday/Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons, the first four weekends of October. For full disclosure, I am involved in this production as a fundraiser.



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One Comment;

  1. Lorenz Yacoubian said:

    I’ve got one…
    Armenia’s Public Services Regulatory Commission will consider the sale of the Hrazdan Power Plant (one of the six major electricity generating facilities in Armenia which accounts for 12.3% of electricity produced in the country) to the Russia-based Tashir Group, which has already acquired Armenia’s national power distribution company.
    Basic utilities controlled by foreign entities. Hmmm…

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