Why don't you fly back to safety with your Canadian passport? Why are you even here to begin with?
Early morning rant.
I've been asked more than once:
"Why don't you fly back to safety with your Canadian passport? Why are you even here to begin with? Just pick a wife, save yourself and gtfo!"
Sure, Canada has won 4 consecutive years of being the country with the highest standards of living. Why would someone leave that behind and go to a post soviet country surrounded by enemies that could start and have started to attack it?
Yes, I'm a Canadian citizen. Indeed, if I really wanted to, I could potentially just walk out of this. Though, I've been told that it would be costly and complicated, since there are no Armenian aviation companies and even fewer flights right now. But indeed, if push came to shove, I could probably get away, if I really wanted to.
But, do I want to?
You'd think it would have crossed my mind, right?
Canada: safe, far away, lots of opportunities, family, friends, etc...
Wrong! Leaving now, even just for a visit, just thinking about it turns my stomach.
How can I leave while my friends give their lives on the front lines?
How can I leave while 18-19 year old kids fight for their and our lives? Many will never know love, stability, family, travel, old age...
How can I leave when fleeing families with nothing take refuge in basements, huddled together for warmth, with little to no food, not knowing if or when they will see their homes again?
How can I leave when my impact here can save lives, or at least keep some stomachs from going empty?
How can I leave when so many depend on my team's and my work to supply them with vital goods?
And how the f can I leave when so many would give anything to be where I am now, doing what my team and I are doing?
Leaving, especially when my life is in no immediate danger, would be a thousand times more reprehensible and cowardly than the desertion of a front line soldier.
No, thank you. I'll stay.
Even if it means that I stop most of my income-bringing work to focus on our new NGO, which has set me back months if not years of projects and prosperity.
Even if I remain unsuccessful at starting a family at 32, with a grandpa and grandma who still hope they will see great grand children from me.
Even if it means seeing the heartbreaking and PTSD inducing suffering of the refugees from Artsakh and the families of martyred soldiers.
And even if it means being insulted and sometimes suspected of corruption by some who have suffered and lived through corruption for most of their lives, under Soviet and post soviet corrupt regimes, and still cannot be sure that this new one is as clean as it appears to be.
I will stay right the f here with my friends, with my kin. And as long as I have the support of those who are not here, I will keep putting everything aside to focus on easing the suffering imposed by those who want an Armenia without Armenians.
End of rant.

Haik Kazarian
Co-Founder at Transparent Chrity NGO

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