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06 08 03 - To Have a Homeland to Squander
Annette Melikian [July 31, 2006]
Armenians in Europe are taking up space establishing their own mentality. They have not lifted a finger to make Europe trust them, and today they are turning undeserved trust against the Europeans. A European doesn't see a thief and a cheat in an Armenian, and this is reason enough for an Armenian to see a fool in a European. Armenians eat in Strasbourg stores and leave without paying. “You can't live otherwise,” a young man with a luxury BMW told me in a Strasbourg suburb. He admitted without batting an eyelid that he is a swindler and introduced me to several other Armenian swindlers. We went together to the Bomer Hotel. Mainly people who have left Armenia live here. A man came downstairs. Hrach arranged with him that he would bring ten cellular phones cheaply. He brought ten phones of various models with numbers. “All Armenians steal here,” the man said. Hrach's other friend, Artyom, asked me, “What kind of clothes do you want? I'll bring them in half an hour for half-price.” He arrived in Strasbourg just seven months ago. Then he went on, “These people are gullible.” In other words – these people trust me, they don't see a thief in me. In other words – they are human beings, they would never even think about coming to Armenia to steal clothes and sell them for half price. That makes them gullible. In other words – since unlike Armenians, they do have other alternatives than to steal, since they have created their own rules in their country that are not aimed against anyone, and these are rules of freedom, the their Armenians have decided that they are fools. In other words – freedom is gullibility. And with this notion they have organized their thievery against everyone. We are a people of “imagination”. As proof, here's how a young man called Ashot managed to steal a huge refrigerator from a Strasbourg store in broad daylight. Ashot's friend, who was an accomplice in the theft, told the story: “ We entered the store together. Ashot headed for the refrigerator section and I went to the DVD section. There were not too many people in the store. I started to make a big fuss. Everybody gathered around me. ‘What happened?' I said that I had bought a very bad quality DVD player here and all my DVDs had been ruined, and that they had to compensate me for them. As they were trying to calm me down, Ashot was pushing a huge Panasonic refrigerator toward the exit. When he got there I calmed down. The salespeople went back to their workstations. Ashot was standing next to the entrance and a salesman asked what he could do for him. Ashot said: ‘I bought this refrigerator from you but it doesn't work properly, I want to return it.' The guy didn't even asked what was wrong with it. He said, ‘Do you have the papers for it? Ashot said, ‘No, I don't have them with me.' So they said, ‘Bring it back tomorrow with the papers.'” Another example of “imagination”. A young woman called Marine came to Strasbourg in 2005 on a tourist visa and went to the Strasbourg prefecture as a refugee from Azerbaijan. She made up a complicated detective story. She said that for 17 years since the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict began she had lived in Armenia and was surrounded by intolerance, since her father was Azerbaijani and her mother was Armenian. The prefecture created a special arrangement for her without charging her a penny – she was provided with housing, furniture, clothes, food, 1,000 Euros to buying glasses, and the right to use public transportation for free while they would decide whether she had been subjected to ethnic discrimination or not. She showed me her pass for free transportation. The last name printed on it was Ahmedova, though her real name is Harutiunyan. How did she manage this? “I have Armenian friends, they helped me,” “Ahmedova” admitted. Thus, our “Ahmedova” alleged that she had left because of our intolerance toward the Azerbaijanis. She claimed that in addition to all other our bad qualities we are also savages, in other words she affirmed our reputation of being savages. She swindled the locals in Strasbourg in the name of an Azerbaijani and thus, she also discredit the Azerbaijanis, who, did nothing bad, at least to her personally. Now, let's try to understand what kind of perception invades Europe through Armenians. It's an anti-Europe perception. It's a perception that turns Europe into a place like your own, like the place you escaped from, since, no doubt, no one would give you a chance to live in Strasbourg having the same perception as tens of thousands of people in Armenia. That's why you left. It's a perception that turns Europe into the “homeland” you will never return to. Everywhere Armenians from Armenia pave the way for others to escape from their country or for driving Armenians out of these countries. The grounds for escape, here, in Armenia, are corruption, poverty, the bad condition of public transportation, the dirty food sold on the street, the sellers' constant lack of change, the cafés' not returning change, in other words the process of squandering the homeland. Because, if you didn't escape from a massacre with your suffering and the image of the blood-stained body of your loved one in your soul wherever you are, but you escaped because you weren't playing a role in this process of squandering the homeland, then you are not in Strasbourg, but in your country within Strasbourg, then you are just you and that's all you are in the entire universe, and everywhere you go you will live by squandering other people's trust, other people's years of long effort to live in a civilized way, who carry inside them my, your, a Turk's, everyone's dignity, and who refuse to understand your role or lack thereof in the process of squandering the homeland. Mher Arshakyan Strasbourg-Yerevan


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