THE VELVET REVOLUTION FROM A YOUTH PROSPECTIVE.
What’s your name and what do you do in your life? Introduce yourself.
I’m Elya Gasparyan. I’m 17 years old. I study in High School.
Why were people protesting in the streets and what have they achieved?
People were fighting against the regime that was created by Serzh Sarksyan and his team. For ten years Armenia had been corrupted, there were no chances for young people to invest in Armenia and make our economy stronger. They stood for their rights and the greatest achievement was that every Armenian started to believe that they can make a difference in our country.
Your opinion about the change from a Presidential Republic to a Parliamentary one.
I think having a parliamentary republic opens more opportunities for multiple parliamentary parties to have a voice in governmental decisions of the state. Contrary to the presidential republic, where one political figure, in this case the president, has almost unlimited power.
What does the leader of the Velvet Revolution, Nikol Pashinyan, represent for you?
Nikol Pashinyan was a good leader of revolution and opposition. He is a hero for our nation.
Was AEGEE-Yerevan involved in the events of Velvet Revolution and, if yes, how?
From the very first day most of AEGEE-Yerevan members were actively involved in protests. Some of them got even arrested. The leader of students movement was former AEGEE member.
What are the feelings of young people like you in these days? What do you dream for your country? Do you see your future in Armenia?
When the protests started in Yerevan I did not really believe that we’ll achieve our goal but I was not able to sit down at home, so my younger brother and I came to Yerevan (I live in a small town far from Yerevan).
When we asked our mom if it is okay for her to let us go to Yerevan for protests we were not waiting for a positive answer. We made up a speech to persuade to let us go but there was no need for that. Knowing all the possible outcomes she let us go and be part of our nation.
Nowdays we fill more hopeful than ever. We believe in the brightest future for our country with the new government. I dream that someday Armenia will become a powerful state with big opportunities for businesses and all spheres. I’ll be studying in Holland from this Autumn. However, after that, I’m planning to come back and use my knowledge for the benefit of my country.
What was the role of Russia in this situation?
It was just Armenian and national revolution. There were no countries which played a role during these days. The only way that other countries were involved was that Armenians from all over the world came to Armenia to support their country, including Russia.
Can you tell one special moment for you in these days?
Choosing one special moment is very difficult for me, because something special was happening every second. But maybe the key moment was when opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan was elected as prime minister. There was love in the air. In every corner of the city people were celebrating and dancing even though it was raining really hard.
What was the role of women in the Revolution?
Women role in this revolution was priceless. Throughout Armenian history it was the first time that 17 or 18 years old girls were blocking the streets or standing for their rights without any fear. Seeing our grandmothers or mothers in the streets standing next to their sons, daughters or even strangers gave everyone strength and hope. Streets were filled with love and that was the key to our victory.
What is for you the key-word of the Velvet Revolution?
“Dukhov”. It’s actually a phrase that became a trend and it means “with spirit”. We were fighting with spirit, with love and with open hands.