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28 December 2008

2681) Questions/Answers By Ara Baliozian

Q: You speak of our problems but you don't provide solutions. Why?

A: Solutions don't come in the shape of verbal formulas. Solutions demand hard work, struggle, sacrifice, planning, dedication, concerted action, and even . .
more important, an awareness of the problem itself.

Q: We all agree that divisions are a problem. How do we go about solving it?

A: We don't all agree. I have heard many Armenians say that we owe our survival to our divisions or what I prefer to call our tribalism.

Q: Suppose we succeed in convincing all Armenians that tribalism is a problem. Then what?

A: The old saying, "Where there is a will, there is a way," applies here. History provides us with many models. All we have to do is choose: the way of the Kurds, Arabs, and gypsies, or the way of the Italians, the British, and the Americans. No nation ever achieved nationhood overnight. Even the Americans had to fight one of the bloodiest civil wars in the history of mankind.

Q: In one of your books, you write: "Living among Armenians or even in their proximity can be hazardous to your health, unless you have the constitution of a horse, the skin of a crocodile, the strength of a water buffalo, and the aroma of a skunk." My question is: Why do you dislike your fellow Armenians?

A: I don't. But I do loathe racists, fascists, and loud-mouth charlatans, and I refuse to view their Armenian identity as a mitigating factor. Ethnicity is not a form of insanity and it should not be used as an extenuating circumstance.

Q: Why are you a cynic?

A: I am not, but I may react as one when confronted with naive souls, who, very much like our activists at the turn of the century in the Ottoman Empire, are convinced if they have God or Truth on their side, they have nothing to fear.

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

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