Letter From the Editor: July/August 2009

As summer comes to a close and hot and humid temperatures are replaced with cool breezes, the weather isn’t the only thing that has begun to normalize.

Armenia and Turkey recently announced that long overdue peace talks between the countries will begin. As a bonus, Turkey hopes to open its border with Armenia by the end of the year – an event we can all be happy about.

For ianyan, the last few months have been a whirlwind, outshining my expectations and encouraging the outpouring of more posts in the weeks and months to come. In July, I was interviewed by journalist Onnik Krikorian, who is a great resource for all things in the South Caucasus and someone you should be reading if you’re interested in the goings on of that region, for Global Voices. It was a thrilling experience and one that I was so excited about. You can find the podcast interview here. Be sure to check out Onnik’s podcasts with  Arzu Geybullayeva and Scary Azeri as well.

This summer saw the addition of another exciting venture- ianyan received its first guest writer, whose piece you can read here. Although, as you can see, I myself am doing most of the writing and reporting, my ultimate aim for this place is to encourage those who have the passion for Armenian-centered issues with open minds and writing chops to be able to use this space to voice their opinions and contribute their ideas.

The future of ianyan brings with it issues that need attention – including the high rate of tuberculosis in Armenia, what it means to be gay and Armenian, while dealing with homophobia, spotlights on Armenian communities around the globe, as well as the trials and triumphs of bi-ethnic Armenians. I also hope to bring more interviews, features and explorations of cultures and issues within the realm of the South Caucasus and beyond. Some might ask why I might choose to highlight issues or make posts on items that are not directly related to Armenians. The answer to that is simple: I think of myself as a human being first and an Armenian second, and as such, the events that occur to human beings, whether they concern the arts, politics or human rights are worthy of my attention, and should be worthy of yours.

Also, in an effort to not get too mopey, expect humorous posts on cultural observances and opinions  – comedy after all, is a necessary aspect of life. Well, my life anyway.

With the news above on Armenia and Turkey’s steps to normalize relations, today I am toasting to progress, to communication, to open minds and hearts. Genatz!



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