Nouvelles d'Armenie    
HRANT by Etyen Mahcupian


Translated from an article by Etyen Mahcupian

The other day, January 19 2007, the day I lost my heart... I don’t remember how I met him. The strange thing is Hrant didn’t remember either. How we felt, what did we think about each other I do not know.

We were not able to find traces of that first encounter even after we tried real hard, going back to the events of 10 years earlier. It was as if we had a bond that intensified in a moment and wiped out the past within that intensity. We have lived our friendship as a “”privilege” that was accorded to us and enjoyed it. Wherever we went and during conversations with friends when despite the differences in our personalities the intensity of our relationship was singled out, Hrant used to stop the conversation to say “He is my mind, I am his heart”.

Yesterday I lost my heart... Not only people who knew him but even those who have watched him on TV once must have noticed the vastness of that heart. The reason that today no heart can bear his demise is because his heart was deep enough to embrace all of us. Hrant’s strength came from his ability to unite such a heart with leadership qualities, courage and integrity. But the thing that made Hrant truly Hrant was his surprising, for some even strangely genuine sincerity. The sincerity long lost by this society that, when reminded of it, got offended and, flinched at it when faced with it. With this characteristic Hrant has demonstrated to all of us a moral stance, and what it means for an individual to be “himself” and in reality he reminded us of our own oppression. That is why he was not easy to digest. He was the man who put Turkey to shame by his mere presence and glaring humanitarian stance.

On the other hand, over the years that I observed him my heart expanded along with the millions who were affected by his sobering influence and were glad to remember their humanity. I, the “big brother” due to the few years’ difference between us, and essentially the difference in our personalities, I emerged from the slightly introvert, reticent, antisocial person and became more like a “little (younger) brother”. I got my small share of his self confident, easy and most importantly his unruly honesty. Yet just as my heart was expanding, now I lost that heart...

In truth I am not that confident anymore. I am not too sure I will be able to see this society, the people here with the same ample heart. I will no longer be able to evade the question : am I living in a society that couldn’t bear a Hrant, who couldn’t deserve the named and unnamed Hrants of different identities in the past, who, although alien to the culture of these lands still want the land, and that because they want the land so much that they forget their humanity. While accepting to be a fearful dove, Hrant used to say he trusted the fact that they wouldn’t touch doves in these lands. But this society always touched the doves. It sent them away, crushed their culture, simply killed... Of course one of those who knew this well was Hrant. But oh that heart... Oh that heart...

I do not have Hrant’s heart. That is why I am not so sure of myself anymore. I see his blood will not stay on the ground, cannot stay ... Because it splattered on people already.. From the government, military, judiciary, the police and such, to universities, media and the business world no one is clean now. The ones who thought they kept themselves “clean” and the ones who kept silent are now all alone with that blood on them. Now the test of the notion that Hrant had and society didn’t, that of sincerity begins. This is the test of Turkey’s humanity... Maybe it is an opportunity to shed an identity shaped with boasting, heroism and stuntedness, an opportunity to recreate that identity...If in a country the identity of the majority leads to violence, if the caretaker of that land is reluctant to let the dove in its own garden live, then there is disease there. Turkey is ill as well...In an easygoing way I constantly observed the efforts to get better. Though today I only see disease. I cannot help it... Because, I lost my heart the other day, on January 19 2007...

lundi 19 février 2007,
Stéphane ©

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