While growing up, each person tries to find his or her place in the world. We choose many things in life relatively quickly and simply: favorite subjects at school, faculty at the university, sport, favorite cuisine, style of clothes, etc. However, we face serious obstacles while analyzing, considering and understanding our own essence. When I studied in the eighth grade, I began to take a serious interest in history, learning that in my family, there were four people with Ph.D. and one academician. Probably, I inspired myself that to study history is my destiny too. Perhaps, it was a protective mechanism, thanks to which the only ethnic Armenian in the classroom could be distracted from the complex interethnic relations in the late 90s - early 2000s. At such an early stage of my life, I understood (quite unconsciously) that I had to know ten times more to get a good mark, which was much easier for the others.
I have always followed my course principally and consistently, continuing to study history, political science, and international relations. I needed to be the best at school to protect my own interests, but at the university, I understood the necessity to do something for Armenia that I had not seen. From the very first year, I formed myself as a bearer of the Armenian civilizational code. I was extremely indignant at my compatriots that tried to erase that code in themselves. Like many Armenians of the new generation, I was brought up on stories about the Greater Armenia, Operation Nemesis, Monte Melkonyan and Kirk Kerkorian. We grew up with comprehension of the lives of these people, trying to find our own civilizational landmarks. I was engaged in American Studies, defended my thesis and started to work for various Russian and American journals. At the same time, I clearly divided my life into two parts: personal and professional.
Being de jure divided and ordered, these two directions of my life were de facto in close connection. I wanted to become a professional in my sphere so that it could help to achieve my personal goal - to be a useful element of the Armenian nation. I often came across the opinion that getting rid of all Armenian elements in one’s life helps to achieve serious success. However, I did not understand what serious success these people were talking about. Probably, about their financial well-being? Or was it about their career success? I still do not know the answer to this question because our communication with such people was immediately stopped. I proceed from the philosophy that spiritual existence is above material, which must be only an instrument for achieving noble goals. My idea is a desire to see the strong and prosperous country of my ancestors, where great people lived and worked, leaving the grandiose heritage to all mankind. I clearly know that being an Armenian, I am one of the heirs of this civilizational wealth. Compared to that, everything else just fades.
The inheritance that we received is not only a gift but also an obligation. I believe that one of the main tasks of my existence in this world is protection, strengthening and spreading the global Armenian heritage. To succeed in this task, I progress every day, trying to become better. One's awareness of the importance of the Armenian nation's mission requires global views and approaches. It is an unacceptable luxury to have limited thinking and to be self-obsessed. It is the breadth of knowledge that helps to understand global processes. Therefore, unless we do it, we will not be able to find our place in this world and become a significant civilizational subject. The mission of "The Armenian Interest", an analytical centre in Yerevan, is to unite people and ideas around the Armenian interests. In other words, the foundation of the centre's activity is the "Armenian centrism" - loyalty and devotion to the Armenian nation. However, we draw clear lines between the concepts of "devotion" and "blind faith". I am deeply convinced that the Armenian people can not move forward without the objective understanding of contemporary political processes in the world.
Undoubtedly, it is difficult to achieve objectivity, but one should strive for it. Those nations and countries that could find answers to fundamental questions managed to break through the barriers of failures. Today, we do not have natural resources and favorable geographical position to claim our rights. However, we have something more – substantial intellectual capital that is scattered around the world. Every successful Armenian is a component of our intellectual atomic bomb. Imagine the power of influence that a nation can possess, given a number of its outstanding representatives worldwide. Personally, I have no doubt that we are such a nation. One of the most important tasks of our centre is the unification of Armenian intellectual capital around the world. Is it a complicated task? Certainly, it is. However, we must take the first steps in this direction if we want to understand who we are and where our place is in the modern world.
As a scientific and analytical centre, we also realize the importance of involving the leading intellectuals of different countries in the Armenian world. Cooperating with scholars and experts that work at the largest universities and advanced think-tanks, we create a bridge of mutual understanding between the Armenian world and the rest of the world. To solve this crucial task, we will use the accumulated capital of our experts in the form of extensive connections and opportunities. In other words, we must open Armenia for the world and vice versa at a higher qualitative analytical level.
Besides that, one of the main priorities of our work is to train the new generation of analysts that will be able to continue and develop the work of "The Armenian Interest". Our experts have already made their contribution to the various areas of modern analytics. It would be extremely imprudent not to transfer their knowledge and experience to the students, graduate students, and young scholars - the future elite of our country. By the way, we have already started to conduct free lectures, seminars, and training on the "Basics of analytical activities". I am convinced that we must create a well-functioning "Armenian-Centric system" that will protect the interests of the Armenian nation in the scientific and analytical world.
Areg Galstyan - PhD, regular contributor to The National Interest, Forbes, The Hill and The American Thinker. These views are his own.