Hello and welcome to the Armenian News Network, Groong. In this Conversations on Groong episode we’ll be talking about the relations between the Diaspora and Armenia, especially in the aftermath of the war in Artsakh, and more.
This episode was recorded on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.
Since Armenia’s independence the Diaspora as a whole has been in a constant soul-searching process. The new reality of an independent state has challenged the principles by which diasporan identity has been shaped for decades raising questions as to the relationship between the nation and the state as well as the role of the diaspora in supporting the new republic.
Armenians in the diaspora, just like their compatriots in Armenia are now at a crossroad. How to process the recent war in Artsakh (politically but also psychologically? What are the different views and perspectives about how the diaspora should move forward?
Today we will be talking about these issues and try to contextualize Armenia-diaspora relations with all possibilities and opportunities that define those relations.
To talk about these issues, we are joined by:
Dr. Viken Hovsepian, who holds a BA degree in Political Science from UCLA, and an MA and PhD degrees from the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California (USC). His specialization and his doctoral dissertation are related to US foreign formulation and decision making, particularly as it relates to the Middle East.
Dr. Hovsepian has held several leadership positions in Armenian community organizations. He has served as member and Chairman of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western US Central Committee. For some 12 years, he served on the ARF Bureau, the highest executive body of the Organization.
In 2019, he helped establish the Pan Armenian Council in the Western US, which brings together 24 community organizations in an effort for them to be in constant dialog and to coordinate their activities with each other. Dr. Hovsepian served also as PAC’s first moderator.
Hovsepian is the author of many articles which have appeared in professional periodicals as well as the Armenian press. He is also the author of poems both in Armenian and in English. He has also authored lyrics of many widely sung Armenian revolutionary and patriotic songs.
As a full-time career, he serves as an Advisory Board member at Golden State Bank in California.
Let’s start with the past couple of years in Armenian politics, but 2020 in particular.
● Thoughts about the state of the Armenian government and Armenia since Pashinyan and My Step came to power in 2018? How was it viewed by the diaspora (or at least the diasporans that you are connected with)?
● Was this war unavoidable? What were the mistakes that led us into a war we could not win? Once Azerbaijan attacked, was it a foregone outcome that it would end up the way it did?
Thinking about where we are today and where we’re going:
● How do we turn the corner and get Armenia(ns) back on a winning and respectable track internationally?
● Thoughts about the early elections now proposed for June.
● What should the priorities of Armenia be?
There have been recent frictions inside the ARF, and very uncharacteristically this internal rift has spilled outside the party. There have been Bureau statements about the US West Central Committee, and US West statements about the Bureau.
● What is the root-cause of this rift?
● Is this the right time for the ARF to be having these internal divisions?
● How do you see the party reconciling and recovering from this, and moving forward as a united organization?
That concludes this Conversations On Groong episode. We hope it was helpful in your understanding of some of the issues involved. We look forward to your feedback, including your suggestions for Conversation topics in the future. Contact us on our website, at groong.org, or on our Facebook Page “ANN - Groong”, or in our Facebook Group “Groong - Armenian News Network”.
Special thanks to Laura Osborn for providing the music for our podcast. On behalf of everyone in this episode, we wish you a good week. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channels, Like our pages and follow us on social media. Thank you for listening and we’ll talk to you soon.
Viken Hovsepian, ARF, Dashnaktsutyun, ARF Bureau, ARF Western USA, Armenia, Artsakh, Armenian Diaspora, United States, USA, Asbarez, Nagorno Karabakh, 44-day war,
Additional: Asbed Kotchikian, Asbed Bedrossian,