Monthly Archives: July 2011

Norway on my mind

Freedom Square, Yerevan, Armenia

Last Friday’s terror attacks in peaceful and sustainable Norway shocked the whole world. The 32 year old terrorist Anders Behring Breivik immersed the whole country into the nightmare which took away 76 lives, including teenagers participating in the Labour Party youth camp on Utoya Island.
To commemorate the victims of this inhuman cruelty and to show their support to the Norwegians, people in Yerevan are coming to the Freedom Square to put the flowers and lighten the candles.
Let the souls of all the victims rest in peace…

Judging from the way Breivik talks about his own actions and motivation it seems to be pretty obvious that he is not insane. He even recognized his actions rather cruel, but at the same time named them necessary and inevitable. His manifest “2083—A European Declaration of Independence” reflects on a number of absolutely real historical events (including 1915 Armenian Genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire) and has the proper references to the authors he cites. Besides, the open fight between Islam and the West, the frequent radicalization of the former and the reaction of the latter is not something new for the world. So the terrorist did not probably say something new or totally incomprehensible, but the way he chose to deliver his beliefs introduces him as an absolutely sick person. You know, I think I just want to believe that only a sick one could do that, otherwise the concept of “healthiness” would loose any sense to me.
Therefore:
Yes, everyone has a right to have an own approach to the interpretation and evaluation of the politics, global history, the clash of civilizations or whatever else.
But, everyone is also obliged to take legal and moral responsibility for anything going into the public (whether it is an analytical publication, blog post, public speech or a 1,500 pages manifesto). Today there is a huge threat that if hundreds of thousands condemned the terrorist, there still might be one who can get attracted to his ideas and follow him.
Yes, for achieving the goal one has to be ready to do a lot of things.
But the goal does not always justify the means. As a very good friend of mine Tigran mentioned yesterday, intelligence, purposefulness, commitment to the idea, courage and many other features of a strong personality are nothing unless they serve a humane goal and only through the humane means. I would say they are nothing good, since their presence without an underlying humaneness can easily lead to such well-known cases as Stalin’s 1930s repressions, Hitler’s fascism, Pinochet’s 20-year-long curfew, etc.

The statement posted apparently by Breivik via Twitter a couple of days before the attack that “one person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests” is actually very true. But having on the one scale non-violent examples of Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King and many others, the history also bears the opposite scale which unfortunately has been recently “enriched”.
Getting back to my initial point, it is of an utmost importance to make sure that our beliefs are going along with the humane values; and our goals (whatever they are about) are implemented through the humane means. Because there is only one real value in a real world and that is a human life.
And there is simply no justification for anyone whose actions contradict this value.

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Filed under Political, Society, Thoughts Aloud

You may say that I’m a dreamer, But I’m not the only one

IMAGINE” Armenian-Azerbaijani Dialogue Programme 2011 in lovely Bakuriani, Georgia is over. It has been the fifth year when young people from the two countries gathered on a neutral territory to discuss the complexity of the relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia trying to find some ways for their improvement.
It was not the first time I participated in a programme involving young activists from the South Caucasus. But this time I could observe something in a way different.
I should probably just sketch a couple of things that would perfectly characterize “Imagine” as something absolutely special in my life.

Imagine is a project that
brought Azerbaijani and Armenian youth to talk face to face about their interpretation of the historical facts related to the conflict and relations between the two societies

Imagine there’s no Heaven It’s easy if you try No hell below us Above us only sky

put all of us into a number of challenges to overcome during the negotiations (discussing history and the current political situation) and while cooperating (project planning, potential networking)
included endlessly funny and creative “color games” competitions every day right after the passionate discussions so that by the end of the day I could hardly remember who exactly I was insistently arguing with during the morning sessions
encouraged me to be brave enough to talk to the participants about any concerns I had regarding my relations with them in order to avoid any insincerity between us

created an atmosphere for us sitting in the circle to share truly personal stories without fear to be misunderstood and without hesitation to look too sensitive or even fragile
was a 100% blast
proved that challenges and honesty lead to success
revealed that imagination should be healthy and pragmatic and then it’s extremely enjoyable
reminded that even if someone thinks we are just dreamers, yet we are not the only ones, and we are not alone!

I so much did not want the programme to end and at the same time I was looking forward to the last day in order to start the follow up as soon as possible!
Cheers to everyone who initiated and contributed to this programme!
Good luck with all of your follow up projects, Imaginers!

P.s.
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one…

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Filed under Caucasus, People, Society