I remember … I demand …
When accompanied by the purple forget-me-not, these words sum up the Armenian experience of #Genocide. The as-yet-unacknowledged mass murder of 1.5 million #Armenians is a racial memory cemented into the collective national DNA of all living homeland and Diasporan #Armenians. The #Genocide memorial in Yerevan on the hill known as Tsitsernakarberd has the same shape. Inside, at its centre, encircled by a never-ending tribute of flowers, an eternal flame burns for all who died at the hands of the #Ottoman Turks, whose successors refuse to acknowledge the crimes perpetrated under the smokescreen of World War One.
People from the mountainous Caucasus enclave republic of just three million have – between September 27 and November 10 – suffered yet another reverse at the hands of the #Turks, even if it was mostly Azeri soldiers and Syrian mercenaries doing the shooting. With the world’s attention on the US Presidential election, the Azeris attacked the #Armenian-populated enclave of Artsakh (which lies in territory given to the Azeris by Stalin in 1920), and – backed by Turkish know-how and state-of-the-art military hardware – forced #Armenia into a humiliating Russian-brokered truce, signed on November 10, 2020. It ceded territories the Azeris lost in the 1991-4 war with #Armenia back to them. #Armenians whose families had resided in those lands for centuries had to give them up and face an uncertain future.
This latest reverse for Armenia is the latest in a long history of being a pawn in the power-plays of bigger and more powerful players. The #ArmenianGenocide was a major crime against humanity, an outrage only surpassed in scale by Hitler’s #holocaust. Anoush’s story in #Angel of Aleppo is that of #Armenia in microcosm.
Anoush must suffer hatred and rage to appreciate the depth of love that is in her heart. This is a never-ending circle experienced by #Armenians of the homeland, which is why they remember what has happened to them, and why they demand justice.