Standing in the courtyard of an old apartment building, under umbrellas, due to the wettest spring in decades, an old friend talked about Armenia and its future. Several hundred men and women were gathering to bid farewell to a friend’s mother who had died two days before. With them, we waited for the woman’s family to descend from their apartment, with their beloved mother.
“I don’t like to think about Armenia’s future,” he said. “Everything is in chaos here. The world’s financial problems don’t affect things much here, since we never had an economy. Western companies are leaving here, due to the ridiculous customs laws, for one thing. Normal countries want their technologies sector to improve, even flourish, and we put such crazy laws out there that it is impossible to do business here, not to mention it’s so expensive to buy a computer here, because of customs laws that are choking the country.”
My friend is an educated, good, concerned citizen of Armenia. I have yet to meet such a person who isn’t worried sick about Armenia’s current condition, as well as its future.
“The Karabagh movement didn’t do us any good. Nothing against Karabagh or Karabaghtsis, but those that took over in Armenia have ruined any hope the country had. Culture, everything. I believe...I know that there is a conspiracy here to destroy the Armenian character, everything we stood for in the past. And constantly showing serials is one way they’re doing it. The way they talk, with their thick necks, trying their best to imitate Brando...
“There is no state mentality here...it’s turned into a free-for-all. I hate to say it, but we need somebody like Stalin. I know he was a criminal. But he had a state mentality...there was a country, a functioning country. And all the best buildings were built in his rule...
“But current Russia likes to keep us weak, so we’ll do what it wants. It owns everything here. In spite of all the new, lavish construction going on, we’re pitiful, as a country.
“I could move to Russia or Europe or the US but there are things in those places I can’t accept. Yet, when I think of my kids growing up and what they’ll face here, I go crazy.”