Sunday, February 23, 2003

Why all the sad faces? Could we not expect anything less than what we have seen in the last few weeks?

I�m not going to say that Demirchian is better than Kocharian, but it seems to me that there is a majority that does not want Kocharian for sure and some key people that have entered Demirchian�s camp I think are very dangerous and in some ways are worse than Kocharian.

What I desire is that there is really a fair election and who the people vote into office, if in the end turns out to be good or bad, they can no longer complain about.

As for the social and economic problems we are facing today (that everyone seems to be logging about), they were bound to visit us at some point. It�s now a matter of how we face and deal with them. I think it�s going to be all about education and family values that will minimize their effect.

As for what the Diaspora can do to help, let me give you an example of what I�ve recently initiated here in Artsakh.

A couple of weeks ago I visited a village in the Martuni region that was built by the government for refugees from Azerbaijan called Vaskenashen.

The villagers complained to me about the school and lack of educators and also about the school director and his lack of being a good school director.

Following that visit, I went to see the regional minister of education to discuss the problem in Vaskenashen and he told me that he understands that education is one of the most important things today, but there is a lack of people willing to relocate to this remote village and those that do in many cases are not good educators.

We agreed that we would work together to find truly qualified teachers, of which I would provide a bonus for the next 2 years to each of them in the form of doubling their salary.

Included in this deal is my right to monitor the school and be involved in the selection of the educators that I am providing the bonus to.

The cost to me is the equivalent of me taking some friends out for Sushi in the US once a month, meaning that it really does not effect me in a harsh way.

The return I think for this small gesture is immeasurable at this point, and will only be evident in the future when we see what becomes of those children that are attending this school. I think it�s obvious that they will be less susceptible to popping pills to keep warm and getting tattoos to look cool.

In short, this feeling of hopelessness and not feeling in control is only within oneself. If you want to be part of the solution and really get involved, there is no one that will stand in your way, trust me.

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