We are witnessing an extraordinary time in the history of Armenia and the Armenian people. Our nation is at yet another critical crossroads; the steps taken in the coming days and weeks will chart the way forward for our determined nation, even during these tenuous times.
While some believe they know the answers, no one does. The political and social situation in Armenia is evolving daily and no outside individual, organization or political party, no matter how well-intentioned, should try to play an active role in the internal operations of the government of Armenia or the Armenian nation.
We understand and respect this. For 112 years, AGBU has stayed true to its mission of serving Armenians around the globe and supporting our homeland, regardless of what individual or political party is in charge. Whether during socialist or communist times, or during three presidencies over the past 26 years since independence, as well as during the first Republic in 1918, or during natural disasters and times of crisis, AGBU has worked alongside the country’s leaders who help us meet our mission and do our important work.
As we have over the past 112 years, we will continue focusing on our programs and projects, in Armenia and around the world. And as we have done for the past 26 years since independence, we will let Armenia’s leaders know that our focus hasn’t changed; we will continue to work cooperatively with them to contribute to the well being of the Armenian people.
Today, given the current dynamic political situation, there is much we don’t know. What we do know is that the level of engagement among our youngest citizens is unprecedented and their enthusiasm is contagious. Their peaceful protests at historic levels have sent the world a message that Armenians embrace their democratic ideals. This, alone, is reason for optimism. But with that optimism must come a sense of caution that this enthusiastic civic engagement needs constructive direction and leadership.
Another reason for optimism is that despite disagreements over politics and process, all the parties involved seem to agree on one fundamental ideal – a strong, independent, democratic Armenia where its citizens enjoy economic opportunity living under a fair, open and participatory government. For this, Armenia needs strong institutions in which its people have confidence. This is the foundation upon which a truly democratic nation can be built.
We must also keep in mind that our Church, under the leadership of Holy Etchmiadzin, is an important institution that has played a vital role throughout the history of the Armenian people. We trust that the Church will continue serving our people across the globe, especially during challenging times.
Like you, we are monitoring developments in Armenia as we continue doing the important work of AGBU in our respective communities. As always, I remain grateful to you for your service and dedication to our global nation.
Photo by Daron Titizian