Armenia's peaceful revolution should give us all hope

Armenia's peaceful revolution should give us all hope Armenia's peaceful revolution should give us all hope Central Asia Author: Shant Sharigian Source: New York Post Date of Publication: June 30, 2018 As a girl, my grandmother saw many members of her family killed when Turkey tried to destroy its population of Christian Armenians around the time of WWI. She emigrated to the US soon after, thinking she’d never see a free and independent Armenia. So it has always seemed like a miracle to me that, despite a genocide that wiped out 1.5 million Armenians — 80 percent of the population — they still managed to carve out their own turf in 1918, a small country bordering Turkey and Iran. Although the republic fell to Soviet invasion in 1920, it sprang back after the USSR crumbled in 1991. I experienced this little oasis for the first time when I stumbled into a summer internship at the Armenian church’s headquarters while I was in college in 2007. The priests took me in, even though I was an agnostic who spoke terrible Armenian. Between enjoying delicious meals like stuffed grape leaves and visiting the country’s sublime ancient monasteries, I also saw how much of a struggle daily life was for Armenians. As in many former Soviet countries, a clique of oligarchs had taken over the nation’s wealth and worked with corrupt politicians to control almost every aspect of daily life. Police shamelessly demanded bribes. Entrepreneurs were subjected to extortion. Political dissidents were thrown in jail. TAGS: DEMONSTRATIONS/MARCHES

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