As American citizens, it is easy for us to go about our lives ignoring the cries and pleas of those in other countries who need our help. We briefly see posts about war and famine on our social media feeds, we think about how sad and depressing they are but then forget all about them as we continue scrolling. Why is it that we are presented with global news when we couldn’t care less about it? Isn’t the point of news to spread awareness in efforts to eventually lead to a change or solution?
Everyone remembers learning and talking about the Holocaust throughout middle and high school. Do you remember how baffled you were when learning about this?
I remember thinking, “How did the world let millions of men, women and children die?” The thought of this was incomprehensible to me. I could not wrap my head around it. Knowing something as terrible as the Holocaust occurred before my time made me wonder if something like it could ever occur again and if anyone would do anything to stop it this time.
The truth is, the same thing is happening again but to innocent Armenian men, women and children.
Here’s the issue: There is a current border conflict for control over the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh which is governed by the Republic of Artsakh in Armenia. The issue is that it lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a war there ended in 1994. Although control of the region has remained disputed, Armenia was under the impression of mutual concessions regarding the region. A majority of those inhabiting the area of Nagorno-Karabakh are of Armenian descent. The current fighting that started on Sept. 27 has already killed hundreds and wounded many more.
Currently, Turkey is supporting Azerbaijan which complicates the issue at hand, considering Turkey’s mission is to complete the genocide they failed over 100 years ago. Turkey has continuously denied the Armenian Genocide but President Erdoğan has recently stated, “We will continue to fulfill this mission in which our grandfathers have carried out for centuries in the caucus region.” Here he has admitted to the genocide that killed 1.5 million innocent Armenian, Greek and Assyrian lives in 1915. Even though the initial genocide occurred over 100 years ago, its relevance is even stronger today during the current conflict.
You are probably asking yourself, why should I care? You acknowledge that this is terrible and inhumane, but stuff like this happens all the time and it doesn’t affect you as someone who lives in a first world country like the United States.
This affects you because it affects your friends and those around you. Just because the issue at hand is occurring overseas does not mean it is not affecting those of Armenian descent in the United States.
Armenian schools are being vandalized. Peaceful protesters in Los Angeles and Boston are being threatened and attacked by Azeri aggressors. Armenian-Americans are losing their loved ones back home who have been called to war.
In cases of border conflicts and wars, it is hard to know who to believe and which side to land on. In this case, the evidence is clear and the people of Armenia are being bullied into a war they never wanted to be a part of.
Celebrities like Kim Kardashian have spoken out about bringing “…further awareness to the crisis that we cannot allow to advance.” Other celebrities like Cher and Cardi B have also put in efforts to raise awareness and preach a peaceful resolution.
Armenia is currently fighting for peace and freedom, their history, and against terrorism. Because of its size in relation to its aggressors Turkey and Azerbaijan, Armenia has been forced to sign a deal to ensure no more lives are lost. As of early November, both sides agreed to sign a rusian-brokered peace deal after six weeks of fighting. This deal allowed Azerbaijan to gain control of the areas it conquered and forced Armenian troops to back away from the land they were trying to save. Although a deal was settled, this does not excuse the fact that innocent lives were lost and countless families were displaced from their homes.
Now is not the time to be ignorant. Do not ignore the warning signs of another genocide of innocent lives, as we did with the Holocaust. Instead of scrolling past articles communicating the conflicts occurring in the world around you, stop to take a moment to educate yourself on what you, a free citizen, can do to help those that do not have the same luxuries as yourself.
How you can help:
- Raise awareness by simply reposting news you see on your timeline (it’s free!)
- Donate to the Armenia Fund to help support humanitarian aid
- Stay up-to-date on what is happening by following reliable news sources like @thearmeniareport and @zartonkmedia
Travel documentarian Anthony Bourdain once said, “Armenia remains a dream, a subject of stories; it is still, against all odds, a place.”
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Hi, I’m Maria McGinnis, a senior journalism student from Stow, Ohio. I’m also the editor in chief of A Magazine. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty, and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.