Agdam, 19 years…

19 years ago, exactly on this day Armenians took control of the city Agdam. The city was burned and until now it’s a ‘ghost town’ not far from the line of contact between Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijanis.

Many of my compatriots see the capture of Agdam a righteous measure to stop the Azeri offensives against Karabakh Armenians. Azeris remember the capture as a tragic event in their history and most of them hope to revenge one day.

I personally hope that one day Agdam will become a symbol of peace between Armenians and Azerbaijanis. I hope that it will be rebuilt and its inhabitant can return to their homes.

Do you think that’s possible?

Does the world need to recognize the Armenian Genocide?

Does the world need to recognize the Armenian Genocide?
Does the world need to hear about the Armenian Genocide?

Do we, the Armenians, need that? Do we need to worry about (further) recognition? These are questions I often ask myself. Especially when it’s 24 April, or when, for instance, a country wants to criminalize the denial of Armenian Genocide.

Today I just realized that the Armenian Genocide is more than a horrible part of modern history: it’s something that we, humanity, can’t hold ourselves responsible for.

Many people feel responsible for the wars and violence in the world, even for wars which took place before they were born. You can often hear one saying that we people were so stupid to fight against each other, we killed each other.. Most people also feel responsible for poverty. We feel guilt and we blame ourselves for environmental pollution and deforestation, for making planet Earth sick.

But no one is able or wanting to feel responsible for a genocide, in particular the Armenian Genocide, even those who actually would apologize for it.

I think that’s because our inability to deeply accept that such thing could and has happened in our modern world.

So again: Does the world need to recognize the Armenian Genocide?