I have some very interesting memories of April 24th. I remember waking up at 4 or 5 in the morning and driving with my mom and aunt to the community centre. From there getting on a bus with 50 other people and with several other buses together driving to Ottawa (about 5 hours from Toronto) and spending the entire day walking around the city with flags and banners and yelling the whole way. Throughout the day we’d listen to speeches, song, stories, poems people sharing their stories, the stories of their parents, and grandparents about what came to pass in 1915.
Today my memories are not sad, angry, confused, or frustrated. I am hopeful that reconciliation is possible. There are two reasons for this:
1. Reading about Turkey and Armenia’s rapprochement talks currently being mediated by Swiss authorities
2. Remembering the email I received from a dear Armenian friend letting me know that even without official diplomatic ties AIESEC in Armenia and AIESEC in Turkey making it possible for a young Armenians and Turks to participate in an exchange program enabling them to experience living in each other’s countries.
Like I wrote in a previous blog posting; you can’t hate someone whose story you know. I am hopeful that continued dialogue and empathy will connect us to our humanity.