Armen Sargsyan, Yerevan

The terrifying and disgusting word, we are taking with us into 2017

Photo: Reuters/ Umit Bektas

The Egyptian pyramids, the Inquisition, the Waterloo battle, Narekaci poetry (add to the list as you wish) – to make a long story short, the world civilization has been created on land, that is on 29.2% of the planet territory. The remaining 70% is just salted water. But 29% proved to be sufficient to write the story of human disgrace and pride.

For thousands years people have been sharing the secrets of steel hardening, Mozart notes, plague, Cola recipe… and a lot of problems. 2017 is about to inherit from its predecessor one of the most disgusting words. This is how it is defined in Armenian law (the short version).


The person, who is living outside the country of citizenship and is not allowed or willing to return because of racial, national, religious, social or political repressions.


According to the UN  statistics, the number of refugees in the world exceeds 21 million. The Syrian crisis alone made 5 million people refugees. The Ministry of diaspora reports of minimum 12 500 Syrian Armenians hosted by Armenia.

Those who celebrate the New Year eve at home, traditionally watch their president to address the nation on TV appeal and open champagne. The refugees spend the last minutes of the outgoing year in a different manner. They listen to (in case they have a TV set, electricity, and are willing to):

A – The president of country they are in at the moment

B – The president of the country they left

C – Additionally – the international leaders bearing responsibility for the fate of their country

The major idea of these addresses is always the same: “Let our motherland be great and well again, happy New Year, dear compatriots!” For those, who still believe in these words … please, watch the address of the leader of the dead country from 1991.


Watch the leader, who had brought bloodshed, hunger and sufferings to millions, “provided” the world with new refugees, proudly addressing his “dear compatriots”.

No doubt, that 2017 will become the year of refugees. Spreading over 29% of land and 70% of salted water as well. Here is the proof – the red dot in the blue sea points the place, where photographer Sergey Ponomarev has “caught” the refugees.


Published on: 21.12.2016


Armen Sargsyan, Yerevan 26 December 2016 - 10:00