BY ZEPYUR KASPARIAN
For 44 days, my life came to a standstill. Every single Armenian, no matter where they were in the world, was constantly reloading every single news and social media app on their phones, awaiting updates on the war in Artsakh and seeking current information about the political situation in Armenia.
As a senior in high school, I log onto my zoom classes. My teachers mark me as present-but I am present only physically. My heart, mind, and soul are thousands of miles away in an ethereal land called Artsakh.
An unknown Diasporan Armenian writer said this and captured my feelings perfectly. “Diasporan Paralysis: When you are living abroad, but your country is at war. When you are far from physical harm, but mentally broken. When you are doing everything you can, but you feel it’s never enough. When you are paralyzed; unable to think or talk of anything else because your body is in one place and your soul in another”.
After 44 days of war, Armenian communities all over the world received the most devastating news. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan revealed that he signed a humiliating agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to end the war in Artsakh. This agreement has resulted in Armenia surrendering at least half of Artsakh’s land, including the regions of Akn, Berdzor, and Qaravjar, (where many historical Armenian sites are located) to Azerbaijan.
Upon hearing this news, I became confused, angry, depressed, frustrated, and everything in between. I have never felt pain like this in my life before. The life of each soldier is more precious than gold for us. But I had told myself that if it takes the sacrifice of brave warriors to protect our lands, so be it. But now, a great amount of those lands are gone. What did our heroes die for then?
All I know is that I will always remember Artsakh and our eternal martyrs. I will continue to fight for our rights until my last breath. You can’t separate me from my Armenian identity! My dear Armenian brothers and sisters, whether you live in Armenia, Artsakh, or the Diaspora-this message is for you. An agreement has been signed but this war is not over. There is no such thing as a peace deal between genocidal states and their victims. Aliyev won’t stop until he has Stepanakert and Erdogan won’t stop until he has Yerevan. Therefore, our struggle is far from over. Armenians United, we’ll never be divided. Our unity is needed now more than ever. It is imperative that we stay united if we are to support Armenia.
Our future lies in our youth. We must empower our younger generation living in the Diaspora to learn their language, history, culture, and religion and to always be ready to help their motherland. Most importantly, we must always support our youth living in Armenia and Artsakh. Together, we can create a new, prosperous Armenia.
For all those who sacrificed their lives for Artsakh and our homeland—brave heroes like Monte Melkonian, Tatul Krpeyan, Bedo Ghevondian, Kevork Hajian, Krikor Ghazaryan, Hayk Sahakyan, and so many others… Rest assured that your sacrifices were not in vain. A new generation of courageous warriors will soon follow in your footsteps and raise the Armenian flag over our sacred ancestral lands once again.