Sunday, February 22, 2009

“The signatures are already there,” the small businessman said. “All they’re trying to do now is convince people that this is the best way to go, to give back the territories in exchange for peace and some sort of self-determination for Karabagh. But once they officially announce this, there will be a civil war in Armenia. Not Hayastantsi against Karabaghtsi, and not Armenian against Turk. It will be Armenians against the government. And this time the government won’t be successful, like they were last March 1. The people will win. And then, a war will start with Azerbaijan, as the Azeris won’t allow independence for Karabagh, or the loss of the territories.”

The businessman continued, now about Turkey: “If the Turks were smart, they’d give the provinces back to Armenia. Then Armenia would have the Kurdish problem, and Armenia would eventually get swallowed up by the Kurds. But remember one thing about the Turks: you can do business with them, talk with them, do cultural exchanges, anything. Just don’t forget one thing, that it’s a Turk sitting opposite you, and in the end, he doesn’t want you or your country to exist.”

Smiling, he then asked if we had received the trophy for winning the best folk album of 2008. Seeing my reaction, he laughed and said, “I wouldn’t even accept it now. How long has it been, 10 days, two weeks, since you won the award? They say the trophy was dropped and broken? Or was it thrown and broken, because it was for a folk album?”

Hearing this, I remembered when Shoghaken was invited by the Culture Ministry to play for the Armenian and Greek presidents in Sevan, and a higher-up at the ministry called Hasmik and told her not to sing that day, saying if she sang, it would be clear that a certain pair that was also supposed to appear couldn’t sing folklore, and that wouldn’t be good, being their sponsor was someone high in government. It happens that this pair is now representing Armenia in Eurovision.

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