A 30-year-old Hayastantsi Dashnak expressed his feelings about the current situation in Armenia, both political and economic:
“Armenia’s future is foggy. Unfortunately, I can’t really see it existing in 50 years. ‘Sons of prostitutes’ are running things now. If you want to do business in Armenia, you have to work with them, otherwise, you don’t do business. Those that stay in Armenia change accordingly, if they want to make it, live normally. Those that don’t ‘adjust’ stay poor, and join the 40% of our population which is barely making it.
“Mediocrities in culture, science, and education are running things. You, personally, see it in culture. I was watching ‘Yerg, yergots’ on Public Television last night. Mediocrities (and worse) were singing (ruining) well known songs from the past, and name people, as a sort of jury, were praising them. And on Public Television’s second station, rabiz was flowing like a river, men dressed as women, girls looking like prostitutes were dancing, if you can call it that. If our so-called leaders wanted to, they could put a stop to all this. But they love it, no doubt.
“It’s nice being here tonight. I like to visit with people, but most locals stay home, as they can’t afford the 1,000 dram for a bottle of wine or flowers people take when they visit or go to see their friends. Rich people visit, but only with each other, and who needs their ‘where do you work, business, cars’ conversation.
“There is talk about war. But is Armenia ready? Is the mood there? Is the army strong enough? I don’t think a war will start, though, as even if the big powers decide who should win and who should lose, Azeris know there’s a chance they’d lose, which would mean the loss of their oil/money. If it does start, though, the Dashnaks are ready to go. Even though many of us are disgusted with the way things are going now in our country, we know that if we don’t fight, we’ll lose everything.
“If I had met Hillary Clinton when she was here, I would have told her this: Too much has happened between Armenians and Turks, and for too long. I can’t forgive them for killing my ancestors, and they hate us. We can’t live together. It won’t stop until one or the other of us is out of the picture.
“I personally won’t go to Turkey, as I’m afraid of what I might do if a Turk rubs me the wrong way. And I won’t go to the church service at Aghtamar, this September, which is just a show. I can picture all the Diaspora Armenians going there, eating darekh fish from Lake Van, celebrating at the restaurants on the shore of Van. These are the same Armenians who ‘love Massis from a distance.’ Or, they come to Armenia, and open restaurants and bars. Let them open factories and put people back to work. Or come and fight if there’s a war. Then, I’ll respect our brothers and sisters from the Diaspora.
“And our friends the Karabaghtsis. They have been worse for Armenia than the Tatar-Mongols. The Karabaghtsis got along well with the Azeris before the war; doesn’t that mean something? I’ll leave that conclusion up to you.”