In Tsakhkadzor President Sargsyan met with the participants of the 5th Pan-Armenian Olympiad and with the students sponsored by the Luys Foundation
25.07.2011 - 25.07.2011
The President of Armenia welcomed the organizers, participants and guests of the Olympiad, congratulated and wished success to all participants. The President of Armenia stressed the importance of participation in the Olympiad, “Patriotism is not an abstract notion; it is manifested through certain deeds. What is patriotism of the schoolchildren in my understanding? First of all, it is when they love their parents, respect their friends, including senior friends and teachers, study diligently and acquire knowledge. For the Armenian soldier patriotism is to master his arms skillfully, to have disregard for difficulties and to be ready to defend fatherland. The important thing is that he remains resolute, will not fly in the face of the enemy and is willing and ready to perform his duties,” the President of Armenia said.
President Sargsyan spoke with particular pleasure about participation in the Olympiads on the Armenian Language, Literature and Armenian Studies, stressing that our language and literature constitute the basis of our mentality and our identity, and being Armenian is first and foremost conditioned by that. “We state that we had passed through the millennia and reached the 21st century, that many nations perished on the perilous roads of history, but we overcame and entered the 21st century. It is conditioned also by our language, literature, by our faith. I wish you all success, and I want you to feel Armenian not matter where you are; I want your ties with the fatherland to be strong. I want you to always know that yes, you have the fatherland which is named Armenia and which is always ready to embrace you,” Serzh Sargsyan underscored.
Later, President Sargsyan answered questions raised by the participants of the Olympiad.
I am from Moscow, the Center for Armenian Education of the Nor Nakhijevan and Russia Diocese. I study at the Moscow Institute for Physics and Engineering, will become a nuclear plant specialist. My dream is to return to Armenia and work at Metsamore. Are there any opportunities? What are the conditions? Can I come back and work and live well?
S. Sargsyan: You not only can but we ask you to return to Armenia upon graduation. You will have a job, at least twice as much as the average salary, the opportunity to participate at the “Homes for Young Families”, “Cars for Young Families” programs. In Armenia, you will find your significant other and life will go on. Yes, we ask you to come back to Armenia and work for your country’s benefit. By the way, after this meeting, in another hall I will be meeting with hundred Armenian students, who have been accepted to the best universities of the world and whose studies are financed through our Luys Foundation. I will urge them all to come back too.
I am from Iran, New Jugha. Mr. President, this Olympiad creates excellent conditions for us to present ourselves, get closer to Armenia, establish ties between ourselves and Armenia, come to love and know it, make new friends, learn and compete. Unfortunately, this event, the Olympiad is being organized only once in two years. Can you instruct to make it every year?
S. Sargsyan: If all of you agree, yes.
Mr. President, I came from Javakhk, my name is Hovsep. This year celebrates the 20th anniversary of independence and this amazing Olympiad is dedicated to that anniversary. You yourself have been participating in Armenia’s development and advancement. What is according to you Armenia’s greatest achievement and greatest failure?
S. Sargsyan: Talks about failures and losses are dear to those who are trying to put their share of responsibility on the shoulders of others. So, it’s not right to speak about losses and failures; it is more appropriate to speak of lessons. And there is only one lesson to be learned and the Armenian nation learned it perfectly well. For that very reason, when in the end of the 20th century there was an opportunity to take advantage and rectify the mistakes of the past, i.e. to have an independent state, the Armenian people used that opportunity to its fullest. We were able to achieve independence, to defend our state and our statehood, to defend Artsakh – it is all conditioned by the fact that our people have learned the lessons of the history quite well. This, the most important lesson, our nation expressed by the words of our great poet, “Oh, Armenian people, your only salvation in your united power.” Our greatest achievement is our two Armenian states, our statehood. And the most important lesson is that we can achieve any success if we stand together, if we are honest starting from the school years, diligent and responsible in fulfilling our duty, serving in the armed forces as well active and good citizens in our lives.
Mr. President, I am from Syria, Aleppo, I am a seminarian. We, as young people living abroad, did not forget our fatherland, our roots, our Armenia. What can we do for our fatherland?
S. Sargsyan: Be good Armenians and urge your friends and neighbors to come to Armenia - if not for permanent residency then at least once a year, or once every two years. We have seven million brothers and sisters residing outside Armenia. Can you image what will happen if every Armenian comes to Armenia once a year? After visiting for several times, he or she may suddenly change their minds and stay in Armenia, build our country, work together, find very good friends here. After all, Armenia is fatherland for all of us. We ought always to remember that there is a small country behind the Caucasus, a small relic of a once huge country, and that relic belongs to all of us.
My name is Anna, I am from Moscow. I would like to ask you something romantic. While getting ready for the Olympiad we have read many books; we know that you graduated from the department of philology. I would like to know, who is your favorite poet and can you read something for us?
S. Sargsyan: I love Narekatsi, also Kuchak, Charents, and Sevak, and many others. We have great poets, you know, who have created pearls of poetry. And one of the best verses is “I love my sweet Armenia’s…” which I will read for you.
I am from Vanadzor high school n. 5. Mr. President, my question is, what is family for you and what would be your advice to the young people regarding strong family?
S. Sargsyan: Family is everything, nothing can be without family. If a person doesn’t have a normal family or doesn’t think about consistent stability of the family, he or she cannot achieve serious success, and to be honest, can bring no significant achievements to his people or his country. For me it’s quite obvious that a person cannot be honest in one situation, and dishonest in the other, ethical in one and immoral in the other. It simply cannot be. And don’t believe when one would say that politics are immoral. Yes, there are immoral people within politics, but those people are immoral within their families too, and in general, throughout their lives they are immoral.
Question: I am Ani Khudabashian from Tehran. I am a request – I am proud that today, in Armenia we have such contests aimed at the preservation of our language and our literature. We are one of the most ancient peoples of the world thanks to our language and our faith. And I dream of having one day in our country also spiritual programs and contests. What I ask of you is this: to sponsor and envisage spiritual Olympiads in our country, so that in the 21st century, when evil is mounting we can stand against it with our faith and be proud that we are Armenians.
S. Sargsyan: In Armenia, all schoolchildren study the history of the Armenian church, and I believe this is a very good and appropriate proposal. We will definitely discuss your proposal. I would like to inform you and your friends that we are greatly interested in the longevity of our church, purity of our faith and, of course, in its history. On the eve on September 21, we will inaugurate the new unit of the Matenadaran, where a great collection of materials, also related to our church, will be assembled. These materials need methodical study, this materials need to communicate with others, and we are going to pay more attention to that issue.
I am Grigor Hambartsumian from the Shahumian school in Ararat marz. Mr. President, Armenia is one of the ancient countries of the world and once also used to be one of the most powerful states, in Tigran the Great’s times. However, the same cannot be said about the Armenia of our days. My question is: will our future be reminiscent of Batum agreement, when in a German diplomat’s words, we were left with a territory just enough to swim in Lake Sevan, but with no room for drying up, or it will be a future which will return the Western Armenia, along with Ararat?
S. Sargsyan: It depends on you and your generation. I believe, my generation has fulfilled the task in front of us; when it was necessary in the beginning of the 90-s to defend part of our fatherland – Karabakh – from the enemy, we did it. I am not telling this to embarrass anyone: my point is that each generation has its responsibilities and they have to be carried out, with honor. If you, boys and girls of your generation spare no effort, if those older and younger than you act the same way, we will have one of the best countries in the world. Trust me, in many cases the country’s standing is not conditioned by its territory: the country should be modern, it should be secure and prosperous, and these are conditions which allow any nation to sit next to the respectable, powerful and reputed nations of the world. We simply must fulfill our duty, must be active, industrious, must be able to create bounty. And we can do that, we very easily can do that, and we have done it more than once in our history. I am certain about it, and I want you to be certain too. We are a nation that always rises from the ashes like phoenix – again and again.
In Tsakhkadzor, the President met also with the students sponsored by the Luys Foundation.
President Sargsyan congratulated the students on their admission to the world’s leading educational establishments, wished them all the best in their studies and lives. The recipients of the fellowships expressed gratitude to the President of Armenia for the program of assistance to the students and noted that they would use knowledge and skills received abroad for the benefit and empowerment of Armenia.
The fellows of Luys Foundation from the last and present academic year presented their works conducted in the framework of the Foundation’s “Let’s Develop Armenia” project and noted that they were trying to employed the received knowledge to develop certain projects aimed at Armenia’s advancement.
At the conclusion of the meeting, President Sargsyan handed certificates of Luys Foundation fellowships to the new students.