I have a crucial work deadline this week and a lot rides on it, not just for me but my team. Finally closed my eyes at 5am and now in bed hoping for more rest before I work later and through the evening.

I forgot to eat lunch/dinner yesterday. I cry. I’m on edge. I’m exhausted.
I can’t sleep. I have cramps. I can’t get out of bed in the morning. I can’t put my phone down. Last night I dreamt of my childhood best-friend who died a few feet from me. I’m no stranger to grief. If you know my family name, you’d understand.
My friends and colleagues are oblivious. We are still expected to function and produce in a fucking pandemic after a catastrophic summer for Beirut, Artsakh, Armenia and now for round two. And now some Lebanese trolls are brainwashed neo-Ottoman tools and perpetuate hate.
Lebanese folks are silent. Turks I know are silent. A few friends care and besides emotional support also share resources online. The collective gaslighting by Azeris and Turks on a daily basis from trolls, academics, and diplomats alike is exhausting and mentally draining.
We have dealt with moral inertia, complicity, and horrible gaslighting where Azeri and Turk trolls manufacture propaganda and an information war so pervasive that it is ingrained in their DNA. They are relentless, they have money and oil and PR spin that we can’t compete with.
Our people are dying and have been killed, our grandparents and great-grand parents were massacred but they taunt us with genocide imagery and make the victim into an aggressor. They lie, lie, lie. We have to be diplomatic, we have to be patient, we have to explain and justify.
Armenians have to do emotional labour every single day of our lives because when media finally covers the aggressions, it is about bothsidyism and downplayed. Westerners are ignorant and this works in the favour of our aggressors. They threaten to rape us and finish the genocide.
I’m not in Artsakh. I’m not in Turkey. I’m not in Armenia. I’m not in Syria. BUT I KNOW WHAT WAR TRAUMA DOES. It does not end when you are no longer in a warzone. Israel is arming Azeris and has been for years. Israel doesn’t recognize the Armenian Genocide. I try to be quiet.
I try to compartmentalize. My relationship with Israel is complicated and nuanced. I lived through Israeli invasion and war. Not every Armenian has. For Israel to not only continue to not recognize the genocide (not denial) but to ARM Azeris which kills Armenians is horrific.
To me, Israel’s actions perpetuate trauma on a personal level. We have known for years and yet, it is not how you treat a fellow genocide surviving nation.

I refrain from talking because I’m supposed to keep my pain, lived experience, and thoughts to myself. And I do, mostly.
Israeli and Turkish historians and genocide scholars have been an important part of our struggle. Israel Charny. Taner Akçam. Their scholarship has been invaluable and there are many others, some whose voices are more quiet but resolute.

In the west, we fear nuance.
And few people will appreciate that you expect to hold governments accountable and those born out of Holocaust survivors to not be chummy with genocide deniers & perpetrators. So I hope Israel follows Canada’s example and stops arming aggressive nations who want to annihilate us.
Over the years, I have found comfort in the friendship and moral fiber of both Jews and Turks (few of the latter admittedly).

Their sympathies do not stop the actions of their governments. Will you stand up for us? Will you demand that Armenians live to see another day?
For a while now I have been talking to you: colleagues, friends, fellow Ottawa residents, theatre friends, human beings. I have mostly met with utter silence. A few people finally reached out, but the ones I have been hoping to hear from still quiet.
It has been a miserable year. I know we are dealing with so much, but for some of us it has been too much, too overwhelming. My life has changed in every way except my job. But it’s not about me, it’s about my people who are tired of having to beg you to care.
What has really floored me is fellow visible minority friends and work pals who have not checked in on me once even after I wrote about it! Do you know how that makes me feel when I see you tweeting every day but you ignore my pleas? Complete strangers have checked in, though.
Is it too messy? You don’t know enough? I’m ready to share resources though this week I’m spent it’s true. It isn’t political. This is our survival. For the public servants reading this: we serve Canadians every day with dedication and a sense of pride, but you have failed here.
For those who know me well and in person, you must know how I must be pushed to the brink to keep reaching out and imploring you so openly, so vulnerably. I’m an introvert, I’m quiet. I’m out of my comfort zone.
This is me reaching out to you one last time. Should I temper my outrage and experiences? Should I regret my outburst? This is me in my darkest hour asking for your humanity. I have nothing to regret though I’m filled with sadness. Know this: our grandparents were abandoned too.
Do not say “never again”. Do not wonder how we could have failed previous generations because you are doing it now.

Don’t look away.
I have not lost hope yet though I am scared and in despair.

Ordinary Armenians, Turks, and Azeris come to mind and dare I hope for a day where we will live in peace? Will Armenians reclaim and live on their ancestral lands again? Will we find healing? Will we ever rest?
It is not for me.
I worry about Turkish Armenians. I worry about Armenians in Artsakh facing genocide under the cover of “conflict in a disputed territory”. There is nothing to dispute. This is our home and ancestral land where we have been indigenous for thousands of years.
I live on the land of others.
I live on unceded Anishnaabe lands.

I was born and raised in Beirut. I found sanctuary in Aleppo when Beirut was in flames.

My family is from Syria where Armenians have a long history. It is where genocide orphans settled.
It is a privilege to live in “your homeland”. Like @kavakian9 wrote, it is a privilege to trace your family tree and trace your roots. It is a privilege not to have war ptsd and remnants of it on your body. It is a privilege to not think of direct western impact on our lives.
My ancestral lands are off limits to me. I am not from Armenia or Artsakh. My home is in what is now part of Turkey: I am dispossessed, cut off, and erased.

What I’m asking for though is you learn and write to your MP. Sign petitions. Act. Donate to Armenia Fund. Save my people.
I did not mean for this to be a mega thread, some of which not tied tightly enough. It is all heart. We are on the brink my friends. I may be the only Armenian you know, but if you’ve enjoyed my culture and our inventions, our food and art, show up for us. There is no excuse.
You can follow @lifeindiaspora.
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