Thursday, April 9, 2009

A concert of classical music at the Aram Khachatryan Concert Hall proved to be one of the best in recent times, as well known pianist Svetlana Navasartyan played a commanding performance of Rachmaninoff, which was followed by two Stravinsky pieces, performed by the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra. Guest conductor Christopher Warren-Green, of Great Britain, showed what an excellent conductor can do in bringing out the best in musicians, as the Stravinsky numbers became an exercise in watching the musicians react to the work of this great conductor.

During intermission, I met with a Vanadzor-based film director, one never shy when telling his opinions on political matters. “Personally, I don’t care what Obama might have said or not said,” the director stated. “The fact remains, we are in no position to demand or expect anything from Turkey, the US, or anybody else. What I’m afraid of is what we’ve lost as a nation. For our entire history, we’ve been solid when it comes to family and religion, and this has kept us as a nation, a people.

“Look what we have today. The breakdown of the family, and sects filling the country. In the past, powers that didn’t, and still don’t want Armenia to exist, or prosper, made sure we were subject to war and massacre. This came to a head in 1915. But it didn’t finish us off, so they’re sending in the worst culture and the sects, which are doing a good job at breaking down the family unit.

“They want to open the border with Turkey? As long as we’re in this condition financially, it’s a bad idea. Already the face of the country, especially Yerevan, is changing, as Iranians are here, quietly buying land, possibly in the name of their Armenian friends, and are having children with Armenian girls, many so poor they’ll do anything for money. If the border opens, Turks will continue the process. You think they don’t have that plan? I doubt they’ll open the border, but if they do, don’t think it will be for brotherly love. It will be to take over, and not a bullet will be fired.”

Outside the opera hall, military police were gathered, causing people to wonder if we were officially in a police state. Later at night, a phone call revealed the possible reason for the presence of the police, that being Levon Zurabyan, of Levon Ter Petrosyan’s party, had been arrested along with several others of the daily demonstrators on Northern Avenue. All were released, yet a larger protest was planned for today.

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