BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
I’m not good at writing memorials/testimonials/eulogies, but sometimes, unfortunately, these become necessary.
The guy I’m writing about was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
He didn’t learn to read and write the usual, schooled, way.
He didn’t have the luxury of building on established connections in one place
He didn’t train at some snooty university.
He didn’t just selfishly pursue the almighty dollar, often not working at his trade.
He didn’t always agree with me, nor I with him.
Instead, he was an excellent role model.
He did learn three languages—Armenian, Farsi, and English, the hard way, by teaching himself.
He did start from scratch in three countries—Iran, Lebanon, and the U.S.A., earned his keep and raised a family.
He did give immensely of himself to further our national goals and serve the communities he lived in.
He did use his native skills to learn and lead through what I can only describe as mediation.
He did argue with me (and others) passionately over the best way to proceed on this matter or that. Yet we always remained friends, because this was done the right way, out of a sincere and abundant commitment to a cause and broad willingness to cooperate with everyone who responded to what is best summed up in a Jim Croce song, “If you’re going my way, I’ll go with you”. In this way, he embodied the best of what the activists of the ARF represent.
Sosik Arakelian died just a dozen days after I last spoke to him, once again, about a political engagement. I will remember. I will continue along the path we both walked on together for a time. Please join me.