Yegparian: Yavan-oghloo

That’s what she might better be named, our Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Marie Yovanovitch to the Republic of Armenia. I’d heard enough Turkish to come up with this interlinguistic pun, though I verified the meaning. Yavan means insipid. By all accounts, her presentation (repeated at each stop of her tour of Armenian communities in the U.S., per my brief conversation with her) was just that, insipid. At best… However, given just how underwhelming her speech and ensuing Q&A session was, I must wonder if she and her handlers weren’t being yaman (again Turkish, for clever or sneaky).

What did these people hope to accomplish? Whatever it was, they didn’t. Her tour served nothing but to discredit the State Department and the Obama Administration even more in the eyes of Armenian communities here in the U.S. When she addressed Obama’s Genocide non-statement, she prefaced her remarks with “I know nothing I say will satisfy you…” That was just too much to stomach and I hollered out “You got it”. Of course her “dignified”, “unruffled” plenipotence restarted her comments as if to “strongly ignore” the interruption.
I did some snooping around, talking to folks who heard her elsewhere, with similar reactions. Some people left to avoid punching someone else. Others felt like puking. I think some were incensed. I’m pleased to report that, going in with very low expectations, I left without too much digestive tract turmoil and was able to enjoy a good meal and company afterwards.

The substantive aspects of the event I attended, at the Ferrahian school gym with 275 in attendance per my headcount, have already been reported elsewhere. The same is true of the all the other events Yavanoghloo events. I’ll spare you that. What’s more interesting to me is the degrading, insulting, even humiliating treatment we as a community received. And we tolerated this! Unbelievable!

She forbade the videotaping of her presentations everywhere except for the last one, held in D.C. I asked why, as one of my four questions, none of which were presented to her. Afterwards, I asked her in person. Her lame explanation? She wanted her remarks, obviously and understandably the same set everywhere, to be fresh to those who heard them. She didn’t want them aired or, “worse”, end up on youtube. So what is she saying? Our folks, Horizon TV to be specific, can’t be trusted to tape and hold the material until her tour is complete? All she had to do was work out such an arrangement. I’m left wondering what she/they were trying to hide.

You’ll love this next insult hurled at our community. She was to speak at a gathering organized at the AGBU Center in Pasadena. She was introduced at that Sunday 9 a.m. session, handed the microphone, then after a whispered exchange, handed the mic back. The organizers announced that she would instead interact one-on-one with everyone. That degenerated into a “photo-op with the ambassador session”. One person who was at the event told me it was evocative of our Ottoman era elites having their pictures taken with the pashas who proceeded the next day to persecute and massacre Armenians. Gotta love substance…

But my favorite was what I observed at the session I attended. Of course the platitudes and general information were the same as everywhere, and a few of her remarks were even informative. But we had something the yavan-events in Boston, the NY Diocese, Pasadena AGBU, USC, and D.C. did not. Thugs. Two guys from the State Department’s diplomatic security operation stood at the front of the Ferrahian gym on either side of the audience. They were there throughout the program, and of course, when people approached the Ambassador after the formal part was done, they quickly ran to her side to protect her from the “ruthless” crowd that had quietly listened to her and tolerated the insulting approach of being permitted to ask questions in writing only. What were they trying to say about the people at the Ferrahian gathering?

UNBELIEVABLE. The State Department, OUR employees, treats us like garbage and we, organizers and audiences, quietly take it. It’s time to roar our disgust. Let your congressional reps, senators, and the DOS itself know your feelings.


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  1. martha Hananian said:


    You hit the nail on the head. I went to see her in the Boston area. Very boring. Same old garbage we have been hearing for years. I noticed that the audience was very quiet. We did not stay after her “talk”. We went out for coffee, much more enjoyable at least we knew what we were getting.

    Martha Hananian

  2. Papken Haertunian said:

    “It’s time to roar our disgust”
    You should also ask our organizers and political parties should jointly issue a press release formally complain treating them and their members as “garbage.”

  3. Mihran Keheyian said:

    Marie Yovanovitch was full of horse manure,who does she think she is kidding,only herself,but what do you expect from this or any other administrations,just look at the people who are making the policy decisions behind the scenes and than you will soon see as to why they wont come out with the right description of the 1915 events.

  4. Alex Postallian said:

    She should resign…All the double-talk makes her a total embarressment to our country.If we think shes a joke,what would the rest of the world think…

  5. Grish Begian said:

    I am always interested regards her real background?? after John Evans scenario, US likes to keep some kinds
    of pro-Turks politician in Yerevan!!

  6. jachik said:

    What nationality is this person ? Yes, she is ” american”; but what is an american today ? What are her origins ? She is insipid all right, a non-descript establishment cog. We have every right to reject her appointment. We don’t want her in hayastan.