Diasporan Guilt

Soon it will be exactly one year since I departed to Armenia for 6 months. April 18, 2015 feels like yesterday and I’ve been missing my time there every day since being back. Naturally I miss all the fun that was had, but what I miss most is the simplicity of life and how real people keep it. I have that diasporan guilt that plagues many Armenians: you want to be there — both selfishly and to simultaneously help your country in any way you can — but you also know that for various personal reasons (family, money, career, etc) you have to be away. At least for now. But you always plan to go back.

Especially this last week with the intense violence that erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Karabakh, that guilt has kicked in even stronger. You don’t know what to do, your hands are tied, no matter how many articles you read or Facebook posts you “like,” you can’t do anything to help immediately. My favorite Yerevan taxi driver Dikran’s 18-year-old son is in Karabakh right now, and I’m sure many people have friends in Karabakh who they’re also worried about. This moment in time also reminds us of the ever-so-passionate Monte Melkonian, who lost his life in Karabakh in 1993, and makes us so proud for all the new mini Montes that are giving their all, literally their lives, for our country. With so many #firstworldproblems that plague us today, things like this really put things in perspective. While we in America anxiously wait for our iced coffee to be ready, Armenian mothers are waiting for their sons to come home from war, as depicted beautifully by @edgar_artis below. We pray for them all.

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