Monday, May 19, 2008

Valerie Gortzounian - “I am sad in Armenia”
[May 19, 2008]

Today I am sad. Thirteen years ago I decided to leave France, my third homeland, and relocate to Armenia, with the intention to invest in the fatherland, which I did by creating the Le Cafe de Paris. I invested my time, energy, health and resources, so that our little Parisian cafe could illuminate Abovyan Street.

Over time the Cafe has become a favorite place to do business, meet friends and just relax. However my little dream has turned into an unending nightmare. Not wishing to delve into my personal problems, I’d just like to simple note that due to my faith, perhaps misplaced, in my fellow man I gave a loan to a person. This person claimed that he couldn’t repay the loan while actually he just refused to do so. When I took this person into my business, out of a sense of charity, I realized that he was periodically stealing from me along with other employees he had won the loyalty of. These employees, like their patron, had become corrupted, one more than the other. I could say that this is a fairly commonplace occurrence that can happen anywhere. But everywhere else there is a system of justice that serves as strong defender of one’s rights and interests. The justice system is there to grab the hand of the thief...This is the reality everywhere except in my beloved Armenia where the practice of justice is corrupt to the very core, where compromises are made with the guilty party, where the weak are preyed upon for all they have, the spoils to be split with the powerful, and where money is valued more than the truth. This is the reason for my grief. I am sad that our beloved Armenia, so dear to our hearts, has ceased to function normally. I am sad because in the event that things continue in this way I will be forced to close the Cafe and return to France.

Valerie Gortzounian

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