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28.7.13

After Birth Comes Education

Hovik Afyan
Translated by Vartan Matiossian
Perhaps what was born in Armenia on July 25 has to be called civil society. In any case, this new Armenian phenomenon has all the qualities necessary to be called civil society. First, it is not class-driven, because the driver of the valuable foreign car stopped by the young man who could only dream of that car; second, it is not political, because, although certain politicians appeared in the ranks of the movement, nobody listened to them, and they did not say anything. And, which is no less important, this movement is concrete and clear in the question of issue and purpose: it perfectly know what it wants and from whom.

The movement won. In any case, this is one of those movements that cannot be defeated, that have already triumphed by their sheer existence. The movement won, which may mean that civil society was born in Armenia. If this is so, then the period of education of the newly born civil society has begun in Armenia starting from today. Now, these young people, for instance, may stand at the bus stops and demand that the fare becomes not a hundred, but fifty drams; or they may stand at the bus stops and demand that the minibuses do not accept more people than the capacity of their seats, which will take the movement to a new level and continue it, and finally, these young people may stand at Baghramian Avenue or Republic Square, demanding from the president and the government a direct and immediate stop of emigration. Of course, they may also do nothing, and just remember these six days of summer as an original summer vacation, ornamenting the social domain of the Internet and their family photo albums with their pictures as "protesters."
But perhaps they were directed,(*) e.g., it is possible that they were not sincere, and they won for that reason. Sincerely, this should not be more relevant than the victory, because the citizen of Yerevan continues to pay hundred dram when he or she leaves the minibus, and this is the most important achievement, even if it were the result of insincerity, of having been directed. So what if these young people were directed (if they were)? When the young people stay and do not leave until emigration disappears, and emigration actually disappears, will anyone stop to think whether they were directed or not?

"Azg," July 27, 2013

(*) The daily "Hraparak" wrote on July 25 that the protestors had been directed by the "enemies" of Mayor Taron Margaryan, in this case, Minister of Transport and Communications Gagik Beglaryan (former mayor of Yerevan from 2009-2010, who had quit his post after a scandal) ("Armeniaca").

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