BY TAMAR KEVONIAN
It’s been 44 days since the war for Artsakh began. 44 days of anxiety. 44 days of pride. 44 days of heartbreak. 44 days of loneliness. 44 of fighting. 44 days of sounding the trumpet. 44 days of solidarity.
As the wrenching shock of the end settles in, the tears come uncontrollably. Tears of anger. Tears for the loss. Tears for the heartbreak. Tears for the lives lost. Tears for a land lost.
But now, more than ever we must stand united. Take a hard look at the missed opportunities and plan for a better outcome in the future. This is not the end. It is the beginning: The beginning of a fight in the 21st century.
I have no party affiliations or children on the front lines or people who died in this war. I have never lived in Armenia or participated in its government. I am a child of the Diaspora, born and raised outside of the borders of Armenia. Perhaps I am the least qualified person to comment on this situation. My only qualification is my love and dedication for my people: Armenia and all Armenians everywhere.
We were given a chance almost 30 years ago to build a nation. For better or worse we have the Armenia we deserve. The outcome of the war is the result of a long line of decisions by all Armenians. We loved our country but allowed it to be looted over and over by those we entrusted it to. We loved our freedom but chose not to ensure its longevity by ignoring the threats, by relying on a superpower to save us, by not planning ahead, by not investing in our army; by playing by the rules and hoping someone noticed and rewarded us.
During this time, our enemy planned, strategized, leveraged its advantages and then took by force what it had always dreamed of.
We have no one to blame for the outcome but ourselves. Nikol Pashinyan, was democratically elected by the citizens of the country to right the wrongs of 30 years of mismanagement and graft. A herculean task impossible to accomplish in the 2 ½ years he has been allotted. He is our leader regardless of the party or group we belong to. Instead of a coup, we must stand by him for making an impossible decision in an impossible situation. No one stood up for us on the world stage; must we now abandon each other?
We accomplished much in these 44 days. We raised awareness, affected the course of many corporations, and rallied our allies on the ground even when their governments ignored us. We now definitely know who our friends are. Our united voice was heard from UEFA to Beringer Aero. We cannot falter now. We must stay vigilant. We must continue to protest and demand change. We must push for prosecution of the war crimes committed by our enemies. We must stand together always: tall and proud and loud.
Now through our tears, anger and disappointment we must still stay united and plan for the future. The Turks are not done with us. They will return to take the rest of Artsakh. Then they will return to take Armenia. Will we be prepared next time?
With love and Armenian pride.