Unheralded Good Works

Garen Yegparian


A lot gets done in, for, and around our communities. During the last two or three decades, we’ve also learned to publicize much of this activity fairly well.

Yet, there are lots of worthwhile things happening that never see the light of broad public awareness, despite being very clever, helpful, and interesting.

The case that triggered this realization and article happened a few weeks ago. Through the efforts of primarily two people, it resulted in a letter with some 320 signatures going to the Russian Ambassador to the United States. Accompanying the letter was a lady’s coat. Of course this was meant to make a point about the inappropriate treatment to which an Armenian truck driver was subjected a few weeks back. No doubt you remember the fatal accident, in Russia, which led to the traumatized driver being hauled in front of a judge, clad in a disheveled, ill fitting, garish, woman’s coat. This bit of low-key politicial theater was a great idea. It’s unfortunate it didn’t get more play, thereby having more impact. This type of creativity is great and needs to be supported. Conversely, the astute initiators perhaps should have approached some of our larger, established organizations to broaden participation in the project.

Another example, this one having quite a long history, is the series of book events that Abril bookstore puts together. It’s my understanding that these are not particularly profitable for the bookstore, yet they go on. These gatherings serve to introduce a newly published book, of course. Bibliophiles get to have their copies of the book autographed by the author. Participants get to interact with the author. And, the presence of people with intellectual, rather than Vegas-based, interests leads to interesting conversations and connections being made that can lead to future cooperation and positive outcomes for our community.

Then, there are all the Diasporans who have established a presence in Armenia. These are not just businessmen, or NGO employees, or international institutions’ representatives. It’s all of those and more. They are enabling people in the homeland to work and earn an honest living. They are demonstrating by their very act of return that the country is worth remaining in, despite locals’ cynicism. They are acting as quiet ambassadors of Armenia to families, clans, and circles of friends. This is invaluable, long term, foundation building work. One day, it will come to fruition, and we’ll all be stunned at how great things are, not realizing the yeoman’s work that this particular group of our compatriots did to make that brighter future possible.

The last under-appreciated group I want to acknowledge today is composed of our environmental and civic activists, both in the homeland and Diaspora. The ones I am most familiar with are active on the environmental front. These folks are sticking their necks out, probably risking getting roughed up by the thugs whose leashes are in the hands of the oligarchs who control much of our republic’s life. Those in the Diaspora are striving to raise awareness of the dangers posed by ill-managed mining, insufficient resource conservation, improper sanitary practices, etc. We, in the Diaspora, are accustomed to thinking about the political aspects of Armenian life— liberation of lands, who gets elected president, conditions confronting our compatriots in different host countries. This makes it difficult to explain to people why they should care about mining operations or recycling in Armenia. Of course it’s not just about the environment.  The issue could be murder of Vahe Avetian, the “polite” stealing of elections, or the indignity suffered by citizens of the country.

To those engaged in this kind of grueling, non-glamorous work, I say, “Thanks, please continue.” To everyone else I say, “Please heed the words and works of those doing groundbreaking work, support it, and join in.”


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  1. Harutik said:

    American-Armenians deserve every bit of insult from Washington. The American empire has been in fact spitting on Armenians worldwide every April 24 yet American-Armenians proudly continue doing the bidding of imperial officials.

    Washington’s NATO partner, Turkey, has kept Armenia blockaded for twenty years. Washington trains Azeri military personal, including snipers that go on to kill Armenians on the border. Washington is planning on attacking Armenia’s closest neighbor, Iran. Washington has turned the entire nation of Syria into a bloody war zone. The region’s Christian population is on the verge or elimination, Armenian communities in the region are on the verge of elimination and Alewites are on the verge of a genocide as a direct result of American machinations in the region – yet we have brain-dead zombies in the American-Armenian community who are proud of protesting – Russia!!! Absolutely amazing!

    I look forward you the American-Armenian communities death. The sooner it comes the better it will be.

    God bless Mother Russia for without her there won’t be an Armenia, or a Syria or an Iran…

    • An Armenian said:

      In case you have not realized this yet, “Mother Russia” wants Armenia without Armenians so as to not lose her spear of influence in that area. Mother Russia is the one that partitioned Armenian lands and gave it to Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Mother Russia is the one that took over 5 strategic asset of Armenia in exchange for $100 million debt. Mother Russia is the one that increased the price of gas and sold $4 billion worth of advance weaponry to Azerbaijan in order to pressure Armenia into joining the Customs Union.

      • Sarkis said:

        Actually, Mother Russia stopped both turkey and azerbaijan from destroying Armenia several times in the past two centuries, including thwarting turkey’s invasion plans against Armenia in 1993.

        It seems you have not realized this yet, but the Soviets/Bolsheviks/Marxists were the ones who partitioned Armenia and gave away Western Armenia. The early soviets were mainly jewish, not ethnic Russians. In fact, there were many more Armenians among the old Bolsheviks than there were ethnic Russians (remember the Mikoyans, Stepan Shahumyan and hundreds of other prominent Armenians.)

        And in addition to the anti-Russian bolsheviks, let’s not forget the Dashnak government in 1920 signed the Treaty of Alexandropol with turkey, giving away to the turks almost all Armenian possessions west of Yerevan.

  2. Sarkis said:

    I agree with Harutik above. It is absolutely embarrassing that the Armenian-American community is so immature. Eighteen innocent Russian civilians were killed, no one in the Armenian-American community has even offered any serious, if any, condolences. They immediately get hysterical and go to great lengths to diplomatically insult Armenia’s strategic ally and the sole nation keeping the turks and azeris from murdering, arming Armenia with modern weapons for free, and essentially financing Armenia’s massive budget deficits for the past twenty+ years.

    Gee, what a coincidence that the Diasporan community based in turkey’s primary NATO ally, namely the USA, are shepherded into goading against Russia, Armenia’s protector as well as NATO’s rival. Funny how that happens.

    And lastly, it is obvious that despite the fine quality of soldiers serving Armenia’s Armed Forces, we just do not have the manpower to defeat turkey and azerbaijan on our own. So when the time comes to liberate Western Armenia from turkey/NATO, it will have to be a joint Armenian-Russian operation. Now if the Russians see the Armenian-Americans are so easily manipulated into anti-Russian actions, what the hell makes us think Moscow will be enthusiastic about liberating more land for Armenia where a significant portion of the Armenian-American diaspora claims is there homeland and that they would return to.

    Ps where was all of this outrage at samantha power, john kerry, joe biden, and several others (democract and republican) when they get into positions of power and forget the Armenians? Where was all of this outrage when Sarkozy let the French bill criminalizing Armenian Genocide Denial expire and die when it was on his desk waiting for his final signature? Where’s the outrage in the USA funding Artsakh-haters in Armenia like Giorgi Vanyan who organizes azeri film festivals in Armenia, or Jon Hughes who’s newspaper published all of levon ter-petrossian’s “Karabakh clan is ruining Armenia” back in 2008? Where is this outrage when yeshiva students spit on Armenians in the Armenian Quarter of the old city of Jerusalem, or when israel arms azerbaijan with drones, artillery, radars and missiles, or when israel builds jew-only parking lots in the Armenian Quarter? Where is all of the outrage as America and turkey prepare to invade Syria, shoulder-to-shoulder, and finally achieve the destruction of the final surviving Christians in the Middle East (both Armenian as well as several Arab and Assyrian minorities?)