Sunday, November 16, 2008

After spending a few hours celebrating our friend’s engagement, several of us went out into the garden area, to get some fresh air and to gather some greens. Being there were both Dashnaks and Karabaghtsis in the group, the talk turned to the Dashnak party, including its position on the Karabagh negotiations.

“I think (history professor) Ashot Melkonian will be the Dasnhak’s next candidate for president,” one of the men said, somewhat on the lighter side, yet half serious. “I went to the premiere of his new film about Mt. Ararat. Everybody with a name in Yerevan was there. The second half of the film showed Melkonian and a few others on their trek to the top of Ararat. Reaching the peak, Ashot gave a good Dashnak speech, about taking back the old lands. I think he has plans. Who knows?”

Another Dashnak looked worried as he talked with a Karabaghtsi friend, who was angry about the ongoing negotiations. “How can they talk about giving back lands?” he said. “Why are our leaders scared? I fought alongside men, real men, from your party (Dashnaktsutyun). They’re all ready to fight again. But they might not have the chance, if our government signs away our lands.”

The Dashnak’s look changed from worry to anger. “I have one thing to say,” he said. “If our government agrees to a peace deal that gives our land back, and lets Azeris back into Karabagh, and our Dashnak leaders stay in the ruling coalition, I’ll leave the party. My people have been Dashnaks since the beginning. But we have a limit, and that would be it.”

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