Letter From the Editor: June 2009
I’ve always wanted to use the phrase “people always ask me,” but I can’t, because people haven’t asked me yet, but I’m going to tell you anyway: The reasons for creating an online space of Armenian features, news and opinions are two fold. For one, it was a very personal decision for me. Growing up in Los Angeles has afforded me not only the pleasure of living in such a diverse city with establishments, organizations and people of almost every cultural background at my door step, it has provided me with the opportunity to experience and interact with my own cultural roots in the form of L.A.’s large community of Armenian residents.
Growing up trying to formulate and mesh together two distinct identities isn’t always easy. For me, ianyan is not only an outlet of information, it’s also my personal road map to understanding and exploring my background.
Secondly, the interactions I mention above haven’t always been positive. I wanted to create this space in response to that, to show that there are alternative views to archaic ways of thinking. As Armenians, we have a rich and wide spanning cultural background and the diaspora has enriched that heritage in many ways, but at the same time been detrimental to it. There is a real crisis going on within the Armenian community, one that lacks understanding, passion and the ability to not only connect with others, but connect within ourselves and see our faults while celebrating our strengths.
We are not perfect. The sooner we can rid ourselves of these notions, the sooner we can start working together towards a common goal, which is appreciating and trying to make sense of our past, while embracing the present with an open mind, and looking forward towards a brighter future.
This is part of the reason the introduction of ianyan came with an op-ed about the Armenian Genocide, which to date has been one of the top three pieces of content read on this site, and the one that has received the most responses, something that provides me with a sense of hope.
The possibilities for ianyan going forward seem endless. In the coming months, I hope to add more writers who have strong passions and opinions to the mix and explore people, places and events that otherwise go undiscussed or become obscured by relentless propaganda.
Thank you to all who have visited, commented and provided feedback to making ianyan something we can be proud of.