Notes From Hairenik
December 19, 2005
Actually, I'm in Irvine, about 60 miles south of Los Angeles and 10 miles east of the Pacific coastline. The weather has been fairly pleasant, although cool at night. There are palm trees everywhere as well as all sorts of plant life, not to mention the people, who are for the most part all kind and courteous, a far cry from the miserables of Boston--which incidentally I just visited but only for a few days.

Anyway there is nothing really new to report from here, but there are interesting things happening in the Armenian homeland. The opposition is unrelenting, with leaders like Raffi Hovhanisian sending letters to President Kocharian asking him to admit who he had murdered during his term in office. Other oppositionists are still trying to get organized in a concerted effort to speak out/protest in one voice against the government, but it is slow going.

Apparently the Azeris are taking the liberty to destroy yet more cemetery sites located in Jugha, a city in Azerbaijani-controlled Nakhichevan, a narrow region which lies along the southern Armenian border. The sites contain hundreds or thousands--the exact number is undetermined--of ancient khachkars, or oversized tombstones with ornate Armenian crosses carved into them. Although I expressed my thoughts separately in an Armenian forum called Hayrenik: A group of Armenians, I'll just say here that although the destruction is tragical and regrettable there is nothing really that Armenians can do about it, and thus they should focus on more dire issues, like what to do about the present situation and future of Armenia. Preserving Armenian culture is important to say the least, but it is difficult if not impossible to protect when the enemy has control over a segment of it.

In any case, there are more protests against environmental destruction going on in Yerevan, which are definitely worth encouraging and promoting. Check out what Onnik Krikorian had to say and photograph by visiting here.