We Didn’t Expect This After 105 Years

Arax Kassouny

As an Armenian, these past couple of weeks have been filled with emotions that I did not know exist. My eyes are filled with tears, my heart gained a ton of sorrow, and my head is going three different directions, thinking about our brave-hearted soldiers, their families, and not being able to focus on my daily tasks. As we all heard by now, Nagorno-Karabakh, also referred to as Artsakh, which belongs to Armenia, has been under attack by Azerbaijan since September 27th. With the help of Turkey’s military and other terrorists sent from Syria, Azerbaijani troops are destroying our country, Artsakh, and killing its citizens. However, with our fearless soldiers, countless donations from Armenians all around the world, we are united like never before, one hand, and walking through the mud together until we find the light at the end of the tunnel and celebrate a new independence day.

           It is never easy to witness your enemies try to steal your lands and turning them into ashes. But it is unbearable to see your enemies not being held accountable for their actions, and not taking responsibility for bombing parts of your country, which led to the death of hundreds of innocent souls and still coldheartedly accuse us, Armenians, for being the aggressors. Yes, we are shuttered, sad, heartbroken that Azeris and Turks did this again, but are we surprised? 

           We, Armenians, are not surprised by Turkey’s and Azerbaijan’s actions because they have always been our murderers, stealers and aggressors. As the saying goes, “history repeats itself,” and unfortunately, this part of our history is definitely repeating itself. It goes back to 1915 to 1923 when the Armenian genocide happened, where the Ottoman government murdered 1.5 million Armenians. Turks raped, tortured, and killed Armenians to wipe our race off the earth. The rest who escaped Armenia survived, and this is the reason why Armenians are scattered all around the world. Since then, Turkey had always been denying that a genocide ever happened. After that, in 1923, Former Premier of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, gave Artsakh to Azerbaijan because he wanted Azerbaijan to join the SSR (the Soviet Union), while the majority of Artsakh’s population was Armenians However, after the SSR collapsed, Armenians voted to gain their independence back. Fast forward to 1992, when the war happened, we, Armenians, reclaimed our land, Artsakh, and a ceasefire was implemented. Azerbaijan has been violating the ceasefire ever since. Of course, Turkey has Azerbaijan’s back because they share the same goal: killing all Armenians and living in a world where not a single Armenian individual and piece of land exist. Now Azerbaijan is still striking Syunik, Stepanakert, and we do not know what is next. 

           After all these years of damage to our country and killing our people they still refuse to admit that they were our killers. After all these years of denial and not letting the world recognize the Armenian genocide, they continue bombing our land and blaming us for killing their soldiers, citizens, and stealing their land. 

           However, nowadays, we are much stronger and prepared to survive every crime that Turkey and Azerbaijan does and now we are showing the world our true colors. They are striking Artsakh and demanding war and preparing their children to hate Armenians, while we are demanding peace. At every age group, countless men and women are volunteering and putting their lives at risk for our safety. To keep the small land that we have. One of my Syrian-Armenian friends, who came to Armenia four years ago after escaping the Syrian war, volunteered and went to war without hesitation as soon as he heard about the conflict. He came back last week because he got injured after a bomb exploded near him, and he told us stories that filled my heart with sadness and joy at the same time. I have never felt as mixed emotions, where I smiled while having a smile on my face. He told us how he felt empowered by the other volunteers and our hero soldiers to fight with his full power when he felt low and scared. Also, he said that they could not eat, drink, speak, nor smoke at night, because any kind of sound and even the light of the cigarette will give away their location to the real aggressors, who are the Azeris. I cannot imagine the fear that they are living with, the thought of the possibility of not seeing their parents, kids, siblings ever again, the sleepless nights, and the panic every time an explosion happens. 

           After hearing these stories, I felt more motivated to help the families that escaped from Artsakh and came to Yerevan and do what I can to be a part of this victory because we will win. A nation who was the first to accept Christianity, our faith is enormous. We’re a peaceful nation; we have proofs and pieces of evidence. The history is with us.

To summarize, the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, joined with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is killing Armenians and want to steal our lands. We are a small nation, but we are strong and united. We already lost enough brave souls and for these heroes and our great great-parents who survived the genocide, hence why I am here writing this blog, will continue on fighting. Like the saying, “We woke up to a war” that went viral, regarding our situation now, one day, “we woke up to a peace” will be too. 

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