Yesterday, we got up early to start our six-hour trip to Artsakh. On the way we went to Noravank and Khor Virab. Going to Khor Virab was an especially emotional experience in that besides being a site of religious importance, it is also known to be one of the places where you can see Mt. Ararat the clearest because it is so close to the Turkish border.
Needless to say, I only felt anger knowing that a few hundred feet away there was an artificial barrier separating me from land that should and needs to belong to my people.
Thinking that those lands and those people were under the control of a foreign government strengthened mine and everyone else’s personal resolve to continue working and fighting for the Armenian Cause.
Being so close to Mt. Ararat turned all of the rhetoric we so often hear into reality. These people aren’t just words in a heghapokhagan song – they are living in circumstances that must be changed and seeing it first hand further convinced me that it’s up to us to change it.
These feelings were only strengthened when we finally arrived in Artsakh. The first thing we saw there was a group of kids playing by the hotel. They had no videogames or toys but were content running around throwing flowers at the local tourists. But the increasingly possible thought that those children might soon live under foreign rule, to grow up oppressed, only further magnified the feeling that it is up to us to do something. We can’t let these lands be taken.
These lands were won with bloodshed and it will be kept by any means necessary as long as the diasporan Armenian population fully realizes the seriousness of the situation and that we have to do something to make sure that land remains ours. Sitting side by side with people who had fought in the war or speaking to people who had lost loved ones only cemented this realization.
The people who live here are ready to defend their land, culture and lives once again if necessary, now it is our turn to show that same willingness.