Sunday, March 20, 2005

It’s great to be back in Martuni after such a long time of being away. It feels like I’ve been gone for a year and have really missed this place.

Thing here in Martuni have not changed much. It just like I left it, only difference is that winter is over and other than some strong winds, the weather is great.

Though I’m pooped out over investigating trafficking to the UAE, I’m not quite ready to put away my magnifying glass, as there is still so much work to be done. Though the whole thing still bothers me a great deal and I can’t forget about it for even a minute, I’m very happy that this whole experience has not made me indifferent and acceptant, justifying that it happens in other countries too. This is what is giving me the drive to keep on moving forward and I hope will make Armenia different from our neighbors.

On March 15th, while in Yerevan and sitting on a mini-van with a visitor from America, heading towards Independence Square, I got a call on my cell phone from a friend who told me that the AYF was observing the 84th anniversary of the execution of Talaat Pasha. He said that they were marching to Soghomon Tehlirian’s statue. He said that since I didn’t know about this event, they must not have been able to find me.

I asked my friend where they were now and if the march was over or not, to which he said he didn’t know, but had just heard about it on the radio.

Not a minute passed, we noticed a crowd of people marching, with the Armenian and ARF flag leading the marchers.

We got off the van and joined the marchers, who were passing out fliers to on lookers. I was encouraging others to join us. We walked for a few kilometers, arriving at Tehlirian’s statue.

After a few speeches and a bunch of patriotic songs being sung, we were invited to a close by AYF center, where we were fed cakes, fruit and drinks.

As we sat and watched the AYFers doing their thing, which included singing more songs (they sure love to sing), I was approached by one of their leaders, who asked where we were from?

After introductions and talking about what we were doing in Armenia, the leader who was talking with us had to leave and no one else really seemed interested in doing anything other than sing, so we decided to also leave.

Well it’s good to see that there are people who remember Soghomon, but it’s a real shame, but understandable, that they didn’t remember the organizers of Tallat’s execution.

One other thing I noticed was that the AYF center didn’t have a picture of Shahan Natalie. I guess I’ll have to print up a large copy and gift it to them.

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