November 28, 2006


The Hayastan-All Armenia Fund raised some US 13.7 million during its 9th International Telethon that took place last week. This is almost double the monies raised during the 2005 telethon.

Celebrities abounded on the telethon stage - lawyer Mark Geragos, actress Arsine Khandjian, the singer Noune, et al. Of course, the church and the traditional political parties had their representatives there to recite some patriotic rhetoric. But today, who really listens to these people anymore. President Arkady Ghoukasian of the NKR was the guest of honor and he only wanted to see $$$$ signs. And who can really blame him....

During his visit to the United States, President Ghoukasian commented to the American-Armenian media that, "The future of the Armenian nation is being decided in Artsakh." This concept seems to have been lost on the masses of the Armenian nation when one analyses the breakdown of the $13.7 million collected!!!!

According to statistics appearing on the Haystan-All Armenia Fund website some $9.3 million was raised in the United States. Of this amount some $7.8 million, or 84%, was donated by only nine donors ( foundations and individuals). The remaining $1.5 million was raised by smaller individual donations throughout the United States. If we estimate that there are 500,000 Armenians residing in America this breaks down into a $3.00 contribution per person!!!!!

Do such meager numbers bode well for the future of Artsakh - let alone the future of the Armenian nation? In fact, Armenia and Artsakh combined raised $1.5 million - equal to that raised in the United States through individual donations.

What should we conclude from all this? Some suggest that the credibility of the All Armenia Fund has been tarnished from accusations of mismanagement and an absence of accountability. Perhaps...

An even more disheartening explanation is that Armenians the world over do not comprehend what is at stake in Nagorno-Karabakh. Artsakh has been and will remain the frontline of the defense of the Armenian nation. After so many sacrifices and lives lost, if the entire Armenian nation lacks the will and vision to preserve and solidify what has been liberated, then what does it say regarding our determination to remain an independent nation in which its people can live with dignity and hopes for a brighter future.

If we fail in Artsakh today - we will have only ourselves to blame!!!!


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