Names and Misdeeds

A rose is a rose
and would smell as sweet,
with any other name.

A genocide is a genocide
and would be as horrific,
irrespective of how we spelled the towns and cities.

We need to tell the story first and foremost
and dwell on the spelling of the names a little less.

Alan Whitehorn, Kingston ON, 12 January 2015

Merry Christmas Armenia

A rose is a rose
and would smell as sweet,
with any other name.

A genocide is a genocide
and would be as horrific,
irrespective of how we spelled the towns and cities.

We need to tell the story first and foremost
and dwell on the spelling of the names a little less.

Alan Whitehorn, Kingston ON, 12 January 2015

Merry Christmas Armenia

Conditions are particularly grim in Armenia
on this cold, wintry Christmas.
The currency has plummeted as fast and as far
as the Russian ruble.
But Armenian jobs are far scarcer
and incomes much, much lower.
The conflict with Azerbaijan has heated up yet again.
It is a dangerous conflict spiral.
Casualties and insecurities mount.
Turkey is as powerful and menacing as ever.
The border is still closed.
Russian monopolistic control spreads further across the economy.
With entry into the new Eurasian Economic Union,
prospects of becoming a Russian satellite increase enormously.
But what choice is there?
What options exist for tiny, vulnerable, land-locked Armenia?
In the words of one geo-political strategist,
the prospects are:
bad, worse and catastrophic.
It sounds like Armenians’ Christmas present is going to be a hard lump of coal.
Maybe,
if you are lucky.

Still, we have witnessed worse before.
In fact, far worse a hundred years ago.
1915 is etched permanently and deeply into our memories.
Contemporary economic and political troubles pale
in comparison to the enormous death and dread of genocide.
That Great Calamity and terrible ‘crime against humanity’
that befell the Armenian nation.
So take heart my dear fellow Armenians.
Times are difficult
and will continue to be so in the year ahead.
But we still have one another.
We have survived,
despite the malevolent intentions and deeds of others.
So let us hug each other
on this cold winter’s night.
We can reassure ourselves
that we will continue to survive.
One day,
we will even thrive.
Till then,
take care dear family, friends and kin.
Tse tesoutyoun.

Alan Whitehorn, Kingston ON, 6 January 2015

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