In my opinion the best way to unite the diaspora and particularly the younger diaspora is to connect them physically through amazing events and experiences and with purpose. This logically makes sense before trying to unite through purpose alone. Through travel events throughout the world disparate members of our culture come together for fun, unity, and entertainment, and at a cost lower than a regular vacation while supporting Armenian business and causes. It is gaining momentum with millennials and gen z and I would like to share progress and combine efforts if it supports your goal #5, to: Transform the relationship between Armenia and the Diaspora into one based on mutualism and trust.
Rob B., USA
Հաճախ Սփյուռքից բարձրաձայնված խնդիրներն ու հարցերն ավելի լավ են հնչում, քան Հայաստանից ասվածները։ Սփյուռքն այս առումով կարող է ծրագրային մեծ առաջարկներ իրականացնել։
One of the ways to preserve the heritage is to enrich it in a new way, to add something new to the existing one.
First of all, I salute this great work of analysis and reflection that you have carried out.
Here are my brief remarks:
Tourism. Indeed, the near absence of direct flights and at "comfortable" times is a real brake. Moreover, there is a lack of translated Armenian literature and tourist guides about Armenia in European bookstores. There is an obvious lack of general knowledge about Armenia (culture/art, architecture, music, cuisine...) and its history. It is necessary to publish books for potential tourists who are looking for original and authentic destinations.
Tourism that includes the discovery of Armenia's rich biogeography should be developed (in addition to ecotourism and cultural and religious tourism).
Agriculture: some serious questions to be asked. I will be very cautious with the proposal of intensification in the agricultural field (fertilizers, chemistry/phytosanitary and especially, the seed!). This orientation presents strong environmental and human health risks, as the European experience has shown. Armenia is not an agricultural country that can "feed the world", but it has undeniable assets because Armenia represents a "Hot-spot" of biodiversity and endemism. Thus, more than productivity, it is the promotion (and conservation!) of endemic and local species that should be put forward. Moreover, it would be necessary to think about "seed banks of crops and "wild" plant species" to be developed or to enrich the existing world collections. I see Armenia as a country where organic agricultural production would be largely dominant: these are modern "trends" that can bring a real added value to our agricultural or natural products without such a significant harm to the environment and health of intensive and technological agriculture. The world is in full restructuring and abandonment of intensive agricultural production: we must join this movement and preserve our small country.
" The use of advanced seeds and agricultural technology” - concretely, what are we referring to (not the "Monsanto" type approach, I hope)?
Focus on production of essential products (grains, fodder, pork) to achieve self-sufficiency and food security. Expansion of exports to target countries (Russia, Ukraine, UAE, Saudi Arabia), including fruits, tobacco and wine products.
Why focus on pig farming? One of the most problematic breeding from an ecological point of view! - Only "traditional" extensive breeding, in semi-freedom (like in Corsica or Spain: food by the big oak trees, etc.) could be suitable, in my opinion. Ex. sheep and goats in mountain pastures, etc.
We could promote/export cheeses, dairy products (matsoun type, etc.) in Russia and elsewhere; our canning factories (vegetables, fruits) are famous...
Eventually, "local" spirits.
Reclamation of fallow lands to expand land use by encouraging consolidation to increase production
Attention should be paid to soil depletion (a big problem in the world) and in Europe at present, while Armenia does not have large cultivable areas (except for the Ararat valley).
It is necessary to think about the establishment of the units of treatment - valorization of manure / dung / organic waste in general. Currently, there are organic fertilizers production units (humic and fulvic acids, etc.) which are not very energy consuming and should be installed near the farms/sources of raw materials.
Use of high technologies in agriculture: yes (e.g. use of satellite data for crop management), but taking into account the climatic, geological and edaphic specificities of Armenia - a whole applied science to develop!
In a general way, I noticed serious problems of waste disposal and garbage cans in Armenia (no sorting nor recycling/valorization of waste)...
The energy question is not addressed in the summary, although it is a key question for all the economic and social branches and a sine qua non condition for the independence of the country. What about "renewable" resources (solar, geothermal, hydro...)?
About the management of water resources - France seems to me to be a good example with its watershed approach, applying the "polluter-pays" principle, the mutualization of fees to safeguard the environment... Water is declared a non-alienable national asset.
Education / Teaching: languages - in addition to English, Russian could make a comeback so that Russian specialists can contribute their knowledge. Today, only the generation of the 60-70s still speaks Russian + the diaspora in Russia.
I am not sure that the public education in the USA (except for the big schools and universities) is an example to be taken! Serious problems are well known in the schools (kindergarten, primary, secondary, high school) in the USA. Good examples are Finland and Korea.
Health: Armenia can develop a network of health care centers (in particularly suitable places: mountains, thermal waters, as in Switzerland) or personal services for foreign retirees (especially of Armenian origin).
Industry/ technology: Transition from low-cost outsourcing to specialized value-added services to increase productivity and protect the economy from the growth of multinational corporations
Yes and yes again! Armenia was once known by the production of high value-added goods. It would be necessary to find the fields where specialization and high qualification of workers can be an asset and compete with China and India (electronics, IT...). Moreover, this field will allow the development of partnerships with foreign countries. Quality and originality (at the cutting edge of technology) are the key words for Armenia (like Japan).
I hope that my questions and my personal feeling can help to better formulate the directions to be developed in Armenia.
Maia A., France
We must create a mechanism by which the peoples who experienced Genocide can receive compensation for the losses they suffered.
It should be organized so that people who have achieved success abroad in the field of business, science, or culture can return and do their work in Armenia.
Հայաստան-Սփյուռք շփումը պետք է լինի ծնող-զավակ համատեքստում։ Սփյուռքը, որպես կայացած «զավակ», միշտ պետք է ուշադիր լինի «հիվանդ ծնողի»՝ Հայաստանի նկատմամբ։
We need to clarify whether the Armenian issue is a political or moral issue.
Սյունիքում արևային էներգետիկան շատ թույլ է, չնայած ունի մեծ պոտենցիալ աշխարհագրական դիրքից ելնելով:
Հնարավո՞ր է արդյոք արևային էներգիայի համակարգերը տեղադրել լիզինգային մեթոդով շահառուի հետ կնքելով համապատասխան պայմանագիր։ Այս մեթոդով շահառուները ստիպված չեն լինի մեծ գումար ներդնելու արևային համակարգեր տեղադրելու համար, իսկ ավելացած էներգիան կարելի է վաճառել ՀԷՑ-ին։ Ներքին շուկայում կնվազի ՀԷԿ, ՋԷԿ և այլ էներգիա արտադրող կառույցներից պահանջարկը և զուգահեռաբար կավելանա արտահանման ծավալը, որը կարող ենք նաև փոխանակել Իրանի Իսլամիստական Հանրապետության հետ բնական գազով։
Արամ Գ․, Հայաստան
Անհատական է մոտեցումը, երբ խոսքը վերաբերում է ինքնության պահպանությանը։ Մեծապես ծնողի որոշումից է կախված՝ իր երեխան կխոսի՞ հայերեն, թե՞ ոչ։ Կարևոր է կիրակնօրյա դպրոցի դերը և երիտասարդական զանազան միությունների առկայությունը։ Համայնքների դերը նույնպես կարևոր է։ Պետք է ճիշտ ուղղորդել երեխաներին։
Reading. Goal is that people respect people, people learn setting goals and working towards them. Armenians do not make debts to buy something luxury. People understand life-long learning is feasible and valuable. Networking is not related to bribery and corruption. Armenians make rational decisions.
1. Create lists of 10 books every modern Armenian should read. It should contain books teaching skills/thinking needed in 21st century and books reminding and inspiring Armenians to be Armenians. “Atomic Habits”, “The Art of Thinking Clearly”, “The Art of Good Life”, “Emotional Intelligence”, “Freakonomics”, “The Richest Man in Babylon”,
2. Make reading books available for everyone. In rural communities, school libraries can work for the first time. We need public libraries like in AUA where anyone can read a book, maybe do some homework without being disturbed. We need to make internet accessible for everyone.
Vardan V., Armenia
The 15 goals you have established should have instead been only 3:
1. Take care of what you have left.
2. Always set realistic, achievable goals.
3. Stop pursuing fairy tales.
If we ever, by some miracle, come to the point as a nation where we finally are driven by the motivation to develop and take care of what we have rather than cry and dream about a vast Wilsonian Armenia from sea to sea, that is when we will be deserving of having our own independent state.
The most patriotic thing to do and to comprehend for us, Armenians, is that we should solely focus on building upon the internationally recognized tiny piece of land we have left and stop talking/daydreaming all the time about Shushi, Kars, Van, Mush, etc., and focus on Ijevan, Goris, Meghri, Gyumri, etc.
The only thing that could make you, as a political movement, different from the rest of the so-called political parties in Armenia, is if you would emphasize the need to be realists and to finally learn from our own damn history.