Vahakn Karakashian: “Our presence in Artsakh was binding”

The October 20-24 Pan-Armenian Forum of Journalists, which was hosted in Yerevan and Stepanakert, has gone down in history. The participants have already returned to their respective countries with new contacts and new ideas and programs. Hayern Aysor’s correspondent sat down for an interview with Editor-in-Chief of Canada’s Horizon Weekly Vahakn Karakashian to discuss the contacts, ideas and programs.

Hayern Aysor: Mr. Karakashian, how would you summarize the 8th Pan-Armenian Forum of Journalists?

Vahakn Karakashian: I consider the 8th Pan-Armenian Forum of Journalists organized by the RA Ministry of Diaspora a success and commendable, just like the previous ones. Moreover, these forums provide us Diaspora Armenian journalists with the opportunity to get better acquainted with our colleagues in Armenia, Artsakh and from different Armenia communities. This forum serves as a way of establishing new contacts and making new acquaintances.

Hayern Aysor: Mr. Karakashian, the forum was hosted in Yerevan and Stepanakert. What do you think the significance of this forum was?

V. K.: What was particularly very important was the fact that the forum was also organized and held in Artsakh. After the Four-Day Artsakh War, we showed the people and authorities of Artsakh that all Diaspora Armenian journalists and Armenian journalists in general stand with Artsakh and Armenia the homeland. Our presence in Artsakh was binding. As journalists, it is our duty and mission to attend such forums and conferences.

Hayern Aysor: What do you think is the mission of an Armenian journalist in Artsakh?

V. K.: I will bring up my example as a journalist and editor. The mission of an Armenian journalist is to present the current state of the people of Artsakh, the current geopolitical situation in Artsakh and the military situation and, why not, our mission is also to present our readers to Armenian soldiers, their readiness, their high level of morality and psychology, touch upon the families of deceased soldiers, the stories of martyred soldiers and present their endeavors and contributions.

In this sense, personal experience is also very important. I have had the chance to visit the border three times. When you are in a trench at the borderline, are told that the line of the enemy’s trench is at a distance of 200 meters and look into the eyes of an Armenian soldier at that moment and see that he is brave and morally and psychologically ready, that is when you really experience the moment and feel the situation that the Armenian soldier is in and his struggle.

Hayern Aysor: The title of the forum was “Armenian Statehood: Axis of Unity”. What do you think this implied? What did the selected title of the forum help achieve?

V. K.: Unity, which is the focal point and ultimate goal of the Ministry of Diaspora, was a major impetus for addressing the importance of that unity or triumvirate (Armenia-Artsakh-Diaspora) today. Since Armenia is located in such an intricate geopolitical region and situation, unity is necessary for us to confront the future challenges.

Hayern Aysor: Mr. Karakashian, meetings with the Presidents of Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and the heads of various government agencies were held within the scope of the forum. What do Armenian journalists get out of these forums?

V. K.: The meetings with the state authorities first and foremost provide us with the opportunity to get to know them better. Those meetings are not merely official meetings or conversations about the current state of affairs. As we receive information about the situation from the heads of state, we become more familiar with the political, military and economic state of the country.

Hayern Aysor: Mr. Karakashian, the participants of such forums usually draw conclusions and draw up plans for the future. What new plans did you draw up after this forum?

V. K.: This forum served as another impetus for me to return to Canada and let Horizon Weekly’s readers and followers know that Armenia is waiting for us and that they should visit Armenia every year and always. They should also consider visiting Armenia often and eventually start settling there, be it by opening a bank account or purchasing an apartment or in other ways, meaning they should slowly start thinking about ways of settling in Armenia. After all, repatriation is not only important, but also inevitable. As I said during the forum, the Diaspora is not eternal, but the Homeland is eternal.

Lusine Abrahamyan

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