100 Years.

April 24, 1915. Although the massacres began long before and lasted for years after, this date notes the beginning of the Armenian Genocide. 1.5 MILLION Armenians were slaughtered systematically by the Turks. Yet many people don’t know, and many countries do not recognize this historic event as a GENOCIDE. People were led out of their homes, into the deserts on caravans leading to their demise. My great grandmother, her sister, and her mother were among those people. During the caravan, my great grandmother’s sister became very ill and passed away. My great grandmother and her mother were forced to leave her behind… My great grandmother’s stories have passed down to me through my grandfather and my mother.

This unfortunate part of our history, as Armenians, has taken a great toll on all Armenians worldwide, but it has also made us stronger.

We are still here.

We are alive. 

& We will thrive.

#TurkeyFailed

Please see my post from last year, “99 Years Later.” 

The following is a poem written by my grandfather, Henrik Hayrapetyan.

Հայենց (Հենրիկ Հայրապետյան)
Նվիրված Մեծ Եղեռնի զոհերի հիշատակին

Ւրավունքի հասցեն

Մեկ առ մեկ,
Ամենուրեք,
Նայել եմ բոլոր տեղեկատուները,
Հարցրել եմ շատերին,
Բոլորին,
Ու հոգնել եմ արդեն,
Բայց ինձ չհաջողվեց գտնել
Աշխարհի,
Ւրավունքի
Հասցեն:

Ւսկ գիտե՞ք, թե ինչու եմ ուզում
Այդ հասցեն գտնել,
Եվ այդ թիկունքից կռվողին բռնել
Որն իրավունք անունն ստացավ
Ու բավարարվեց իր իսկ անունով,
Թե իրավունքն եմ,
Ու անտարբերության
Տանտերը դարձավ:

Ուզում եմ գտնել
Ու շալակը տալ
Մի այնպիսի բեռ,
Որ չկարողանա էլ առաջ գնալ
Այն էշի նման,
Որ անօգնական
Կքած հակի տակ
Չի կարողանում սարը բարձրանալ:
Ու եթե գտնեմ,
Բարձելու տիրոջ
Ւրավունքն ունեմ:

Երբ քաղաքակիրթ աշխարհի առաջ
Պչրուհու լպիրշ ժպիտը դեմքին
Ւր պոռնկացած մերկությամբ հարբած
Բեմերում ճեմում էր` կշեռք ձեռքին:

Երբ ծափողջույնի աղմուկ-ոռնոցից
Մանկան աղերսը չհասավ նրան,
Ւսկ երբ տեղ հասավ լուրը Տեր-Զորից,
Փակեց աչքերը, ականջ ու բերան:

Երբ մի գիշերում դավադիր ու լուռ
Գլխատվեց ազգիս սերուցքը հանճար,
Երբ դիակներ ու սուգ էր ամենուր
Ո՞ւր էիք մարդիկ, ո՞ւր էիր աշխար:

Չգտա
Աշխարի
Իրավունքի
Հասցեն,
Որ մանուկներս
Աչքերին թքեն
Արցունքի միջից,
Երբ որ կարդում են Զոհրապին անհաս,
Կամ, երբ լսում են անմահ Կոմիտաս,
Երբ ինքս դարձած
Ցասում անհատնում,
Գաղտնի մորմոքով
Նրանց եմ նայում:

Ուզում եմ բարձել
Մանկան արտասուք,
Որ իրավունքը դառնա իրավունք,
Այն արցունքները,
Որոնք ծնվեցին սովի արգանդից,
Այն արցունքները,
Որ չհոսեցին ցավի սարսափից,
Այն արցունքները,
Որոնք զարմանքից մնացին կախված
Հողին չհասած,
Չորացան անդարձ,
Այն արցունքները,
Որոնք տեսել են մայրեր գլխատված
Գնդակի հարված:

Բարձել սգավոր
Արցունքները մոր,
Երբ քարով ջարդած գլուխը մանկան
Սեղմած իր կրծքին,
Սրից վիրավոր,
Խառնված արյան հոտից խենթացած
Խանգարված միտքը գամել էր հեռուն,
Արդեն բթացած զգացմունքներից
Աշխատում էր լոկ արցունքի առուն:

Բարձել ոսկորներ
Ւնչպերս մի մասունք,
Որ նողկալին ալդ
Դառնա իրավունք:

Մարդու ոսկորներ, միայն մարդկային
Այն ոսկորները, որ մի ժամանակ
Բյուր ազգերի մեջ
Վշտացրին միայն, միմիայն հային,
Այն ոսկորները
Ու այն գանգերը,
Որ անապատում դեռ մինչև այսօր
Մեղադրական են գրում արևին:

Բարձել մեռնողի
Հառաչանք ու սուգ,
Որ բռնակալն այդ
Դառնա իրավունք:
Այն հառաչանքը,
Որն անօգնական
Մեռնում էր անհույս,
Որտեղ պատահի
Ւր նոտաներով վայրի բառաչի
Սարսռեցնում էր անգամ օձերին
Որ շրջապատած իրենց ձագերին
Ահից կատաղած սուլոց են հանում`
նմանեցնելով թրի շառաչին:

Այն սուգը բարձեմ,
Որ քամին տարավ`
Մի կերպ պոկելով մեռածից ողջին
Այն ճիչն առաջին,
Որ պետք է ծնվեր,
Սակայն չծնվեց
Ու դիակ դարձավ`
Նզովելով հենց ծնող արգանդին:

Ուզում եմ բարձել
Միլիոնուկեսի հայացքը խորունկ
Մեռնողի հայացք,
Բարձել բուրվառի
Խնկահոտ բուրմունք
Մի սարի բարձունք,
Որ հրեշն այդ
Դառնա իրավունք:
Չգտա,
Աշխարի
Հասցեն
Իրավունքի,
Որ անտարբերության
Սառած աչքերը
Փոխեմ զարմանքի,
Անտարբերության ծարավը խեղդեմ
Ու չտամ հագուրդ,
Որ նա վշտացրեց,
Հետո լացացրեց,
Տեղահան արեց
Ու բնաջնջեց մի լավ ժողովուրդ:

Չգտա,
Փնտրում եմ,
Բայց, եթե գտնեմ,
Բարձելու տիրոջ
Ւրավունքն ունեմ:

3900e6f6ac8a4a404ecd07fdf36ebaef

You can find the symbolism behind the Centennial flower here.

Remembering September 11

 

september-11-2001-4

 

Thirteen years ago today, America faced one of the worst terrorist attacks this world has seen. Over a decade later, Americans live in great fear of terrorism because the vivid images still haunt us. Remembering what happened on September 11, 2001 paralyzes us every time in horror and disgust.

After 9/11 I’ve always feared the possibility of L.A. experiencing what N.Y.C. experienced. The terrors that ISIS/ISIL have inflicted upon the world just add to my anxiety. Yesterday night I had a hard time falling asleep, my mind couldn’t stop thinking about all of the people who went to bed not knowing what was awaiting them the next morning. I was afraid of waking up to terrible news this morning…I’m thankful that was not the case and I hope America (or any country) never has to face tragic events like those that occurred on September 11th.

This day marks a terrible moment in history for America; innocent lives were lost, many of who were public servants including brave police officers and firefighters who were trying to save lives. The only reason I was able to lay my head down to rest was because I thought of America’s incredible HEROES. Those who serve are the reason I can sleep peacefully at nights. So…I would like to thank all of the extremely brave men and women who serve this country. From local public servants who protect their communities to military officers who protect our nation, YOU ARE TRUE HEROES! I take comfort in knowing that courageous people protect my country, because God knows I would never be able to do what you do. As much as we say it, it will never be enough due to the immense risks you take to ensure our safety. THANK YOU.

I don’t know if it’s possible but I sure do hope this world lives in peace one day.

My heart goes out to all of the families, friends and loved ones of those who lost their lives.

Rest In Peace.

 

 

 

Image from freegreatimages.com

99 Years Later

April 24, 1915. This date holds great significance to the small population of Armenians in the world today.

Many do not know who we are.

Many do not know where we come from.

Many do not know what we are so bitter about.

 

We are Armenians. Our country is located between Eastern Europe and Southwest Asia, surrounded by Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkey.

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What are we so bitter about?… The first Genocide of the 20th century.

99 years ago, Turkey invaded the beautiful lands of Armenia, which at the time, touched all three seas: Black, Caspian, and the Mediterranean (The origin of the phrase “Tsovits tsov” which means from sea to sea).

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Although the violence began long before 1915, the methodical killing spree was considered Genocide between the years of 1915 and 1923. During this time, 1.5 million Armenians were massacred. Turkey argues that the lives lost were due to war and these actions should not be considered Genocide due to the timing overlap with World War I. Turkey, till this day, denies the horrific historical facts of Genocide.

Although many countries around the world and 42 states individually recognize these massacres as Genocide, the United States, as a country, still does not.

 

 

Dear President Obama,

You and my parents are the same age. My parents’ grandparents and other close relatives suffered through the inhumane acts of the Ottoman Turks. My dad’s side fled to Egypt while my mom’s side fled to Russia. Both sides moved back to the raped and pillaged lands of their home country years after the Genocide “ended.” Decades later, my family emigrated to America, I am a U.S. born citizen. I am the person you represent. I am the great granddaughter of a survivor of the Armenian Genocide.

On January 19, 2008 you said “The Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact….The facts are undeniable…As President I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.” For us, we want the recognition of this Genocide so we can finally feel that we honored our ancestors by making their stories heard… and by not allowing politics to intervene in humanitarian issues.

For you, this is more than just about giving Armenians what we have tenaciously fought for over the last 99 years. For you, it is a chance to show your two beautiful daughters the meaning of integrity.

This is about being a good man. Honoring your promises and displaying true credibility. You raise your children in a world, and in a house, flooded with politics, sometimes it may be easy to detach from the population you represent. But your people are crying here, we have been pleading for recognition, and every President who comes along and uses the Armenian Genocide as a means to gain voter support and then abandons his promise, only decreases our faith in this country more and more. Show your children that we do NOT have to surrender to politics, it is not our puppeteer; that the truth prevails, and that a country that values justice CAN act justly.

Many Armenians, including my family and myself voted for you. Your election was the first I was old enough to vote for. I remember proudly marking the circle next to your name. Proudly contributing to the Change you envisioned for this country. Proudly helping alter the status quo by voting for an African American. But as this day rolls around every year, I think to myself…would an African American strive to become the President of this nation if the United States denied its dark past and did not fully acknowledge historical, factual, occurrences? My people were tortured, just as yours were… but we still don’t have closure.

You dampen the pride, trust, and faith of the people of this country when you knowingly ignore the truth, when you knowingly ignore justice. As an Armenian the one thing I want most from this country as a whole, is the Recognition of the Armenian Genocide. As an American I can understand how that may be a challenging measure to pass due to political reasons; however, the strength of a true leader is visible through the difficult decisions s/he makes.

You weakly obey Turkey simply because of their geographical location. Turkey stole our lands, making it a large and powerful nation today; and now, Turkey uses that power to effectively enforce a gag rule. Threatening to pull its Ambassador any time the word Genocide is spoken. Turkey goes out of its way to cover the truth by teaching its youth a different story than what actually occurred. With this, modern day Turkish government is taking after their “Young Turk” Ancestors.

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…You, too, allow the crime to continue by not recognizing the Genocide and not calling “A spade, a spade” as Ms. Samantha Power so beautifully stated in this video.

 

It’s a shame that as much as we support you in everything you do… we, your constituents, do not feel the support reciprocated.

It’s a shame this country cannot find someone who has the integrity to keep his/her promises.

And it is such a shame, that this country, a true pioneer of the world, still cant do the right thing.

 

We have pictures, quotes, documents, family stories, even clips from this HISTORIC EVENT! I agree with you Mr. President, “The facts ARE undeniable.” And it is cowardice of ANYONE to claim this was a war simply because it occurred within the time frame of World War I.

NO.

THIS WAS GENOCIDE.

THE FIRST OF THE 20TH CENTURY.

THESE ACTS ARE THE REASON THE WORD “GENOCIDE” EXISTS.

 

IT IS UNDENIABLE.

 

…And my people and I urge you to STOP DENYING IT.

 

Respectfully,

Suzanna Agavni Sargsyan

 

 

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Armenian Genocide Map Source: The Armenian Genocide Museum Institute

I do not own any of these pictures.

The Power Of Putting It Down

The following is a brief course on Success 101 taught by yours truly 🙂

 

If you clicked on this article because you desperately wanted to know what the “It” was, why you are supposed to be putting “It” down, and the power “It” contains…I’d like you to try and guess what “It” is…..

 

 

Need a hint? “It” is a five-letter word.

 

 

 

 

Give up?

 

 

 

 

…….

 

 

 

 

GOALS!

Yup! That’s right, goals; that’s what you’re supposed to be putting down. Why is this excitingly powerful you may ask? Because it increases your chances of being successful.

Writing down goals is a critical step in the journey to success. Many goals often tend to be concepts we think are way out of our reach. We think there is a slight, if at all any, chance we can actualize them. They require more time, effort, passion and most importantly, courage. This is why many people are afraid of dreaming big and setting big goals. The trick to setting goals is to dream big, yet keep it realistic. I know, I know, it sucks that we have to be realistic, but we do; or else we will always feel let down (like I am when I realize I will never be Beyoncé). The fine line between unrealistic and realistic can be determined by planning out your goal with the S.M.A.R.T. goal system.

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If you are too scared to even think about a goal, or it’s overwhelming thinking about it because you don’t know where you would even start, S.M.A.R.T. goals are the way to go! If done properly, the process of creating S.M.A.R.T. goals should map out the steps of how to achieve these goals. This map serves an even bigger purpose, by actually having a methodical plan it is likely you will be less apprehensive about this dream.

Once upon a time a couple years ago, I randomly had an idea that I would like to invest in property before I get married. This random thought became more serious the more I thought and spoke about it. Sooner than I knew it, I was determined to make this dream a reality. It wasn’t until after I developed a S.M.A.R.T. goal plan that I was fully confident in my ability to make my dream a reality. The S.M.A.R.T. goal system allowed me to develop a clear-cut plan. Invest in property at young age of 23 seemed unrealistic to many, but I had a plan and if I stick to it, I am confident I can do it!

I defined my goal and set it to be measurable and realistic by allowing myself enough time to save up. Throughout the process, I learned about all of the different steps and usual difficulties one may run into during the property buying process. It helped me prepare for the future by better understanding the whole picture from saving to after purchasing the property. This is obviously a long-term goal that needs smaller short-term goals to ensure its success. I have set regular savings goals and will start researching more on the housing market as the time gets closer. I have allowed myself the leniency to shift my timeline if absolutely necessary. Ideally, I would like to own a condo by the age of 23; however, I decided I am willing to strategically delay this to 24 or 25 if it means putting a larger amount down to decrease my monthly payments. I realize this is going to be difficult since I would like to buy this property in a relatively expensive city with the county of Los Angeles; however, the outcome is greater than the struggle, so its worth it! And I’m ready for the challenge! Setting the S.M.A.R.T. goal has prepared me mentally for what I will encounter.

The level of difficulty to achieving a goal should only play a small role in your decision making process. A big factor of why people decide to quit, or never even try to achieve their goals in the first place, is because it is difficult. The characteristic that distinguishes those who achieve their goals and those who don’t is perseverance. Odds are, you aren’t the only human of the 7 billion that inhabit the planet who wants to achieve this goal, and one day, someone will. What are you going to do to ensure that someone is YOU ?!

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Writing down your goals becomes a contract between you and yourself. You feel more committed – something that was once a dream is now more than just a thought floating in the air, it is now tangible, it is now real, it becomes more of a possibility than before. By writing it down somewhere significant, like in a journal, your bucket list, or the whiteboard that stares you square in the face everyday, you are reminding yourself that this is a dream you are serious about pursuing and are determined to achieve it!

I have a bucket list. It’s a cute little green journal with numbered dreams and goals, some easy and silly, others… kind of impossible (one of them was to go to an Oprah taping, now that the show is over, I don’t know how I’m going to go about that one).  The moral of this example is that just because some are scary impossible doesn’t stop me from writing them down. When I write something in my bucket list, I feel like it becomes carved in stone; once its there, that’s it! No turning back. So you could imagine my hesitation to put sky diving on there. But I did! And after I wrote the last letter, as I placed my pen down, a part of me tingled with excitement. I was now committed to doing this. It was a promise to myself. I have to sky dive. I must!

This commitment is another common factor why people may be reluctant to write down their goals. We doubt our abilities to successfully achieve our goals and we want to avoid any disappointment, so we completely steer clear of entertaining serious thoughts of these big dreams we keep bottled up inside.

Unfortunately, we fail to realize the true detriment is not the possibility of failing, but the fear that prevents us from trying. We are only failing ourselves when we forbid our extremely unique, creative, powerful, and impressive minds to be free. Fear shackles us down to living stagnant lives.

 

DON’T BE STAGNANT!

 

P.S. Discussing big goals with family, friends, colleagues, and mentors is another great way to increase your chances of success. Not only does it make you feel more committed because the public is now informed of your dreams, but it also allows people to help you achieve those dreams. Many dreamers don’t realize that the people around them may be the ticket to their dreams!

 

Dream BIG & push yourself to reach higher heights than you ever thought you could!

 

To Infinity & Beyond,

Suzanna Sargsyan

 

 

I do not own any of these pictures.

School Shootings: The New Psychotic Craze.

Gun control is a popular topic of discussion, especially nowadays with all of the outrageous stories in the news.

I once said “I try to stay away from understanding life. It’s never going to make (full) sense anyway.” It’s probably the smartest thought that has come out of me. Yet I struggle with ceasing the thoughts that run wildly across my mind. When is it right, if ever, to vocalize our opinions on other peoples’ behavior and choices? Is it even worth discussing whether the public should be allowed to own guns? I mean, it’s technically a constitutional right, where is the discussion?

But does that mean I, now, need to posses a gun to make it a fair battle?…

The real question is, why does there need to be a battle in the first place?

I have this idealistic perspective of the world, and how everything should be, always right, always perfect. People should always be nice; thus, why guns are unnecessary. Unfortunately, the sad reality is, the world doesn’t work like that. People aren’t always nice (although I believe human beings are inherently good). They can plot devious plans to massacre innocent people or simply do crazy things on a whim, like shoot someone for texting in a movie theater. So what do we do? Do we keep arguing about whether people should be allowed to own guns? Or is it time to shift the topic of discussion on teaching people how to properly handle weaponry (including keeping it safe and away from children)? How do we stop people from pulling the trigger? How do we teach people to not turn to weapons and violence as a resolution?

I’ve been trying to understand whether school shootings have always happened and never caught mass media attention until now or if this is some new psychotic trend that is going around. Too often, we hear of people going into schools and sacrificing innocent lives. The latest shooting in New Mexico has left two kids injured because a seventh grader decided he was going to attempt what many others have done in recent past. How does a 12 year old boy get possession of a gun?! AND SHOOT ANOTHER KID IN THE FACE, TWICE!! Why should an 11 year old have to undergo immediate surgery?! Even if this 11 year old was a bully, that is not a good reason to fire at him! This isn’t a form of justice. There needs to be a very clear lesson taught to our country if people think they can just grab a gun and shoot people. Moreover, there needs to be a huge lesson taught to gun owners who do not take care of their weapons appropriately.

If you don’t want the government controlling your guns, then make sure YOU’RE controlling them!

…Again, how does a 12 year old boy get possession of a gun?!

 

How can anyone think of taking a gun to a campus filled with innocent children or people who are trying to improve their lives by attaining a higher education?!

It’s outrageous; simply abominable behavior.

Why.

I just want to understand why.

And how do we fix this?…

I’m often left perplexed at life’s controversies; deep down I know what I prefer, but sometimes it’s not logically the best decision. Of course no one should/should need to own a gun. Guns, evidently, make it easier for people to kill people. By simply pulling a trigger, a life can be taken. That’s it. No more going back and undoing the action. One simple vengeful thought, an easy decision made off emotional rage, and lives are lost.

But the saying stands true: guns don’t kill people, people kill people… So how about we stop battling gun owners (because we lost that battle in 1787) and move forward, so we can make progress, so we can teach our people to not kill people.

 

“De ja vu, in a country where school shootings are no longer rare.”

 

I just can’t even deal with that sentence.

 

 

New Year, New Blog, New Everything

The last (and first) time I started a blog, my life was going through a big change. I decided to start a Tumblr page, paint my room a different color, and change my perspective on life after high school. I am now caught in familiar territory as my life shifts in big ways. I will soon begin my last semester of my Bachelor’s program… I will soon begin my internship for the city I love most in this world, my hometown of Glendale, CA… I have people who have come in and out of my life, leaving the heaviest of footprints on my heart… and I am trying to understand what and who I want to be in this world.

One of my goals, which I’ve recently become more serious about, is to become a published author, & I think this is a helpful start. I may or may not gain an audience that is willing to spend a few minutes of their day reading my work, but at least I will gain practice, to help me prep for all of the book ideas dancing in my brain.

I recently opened a twitter account (@suzsar) which I plan on using to post articles and news pieces I think are worthy of sharing. My goal is to be more involved with what is going on in the world, I must. I have no other choice, because starting May 20, 2014 I will be thrown out into it. No more using school as a shelter. Due to my experiences in life, I realize I know nothing. I realize that there is so much to learn from this world & that I must allow myself to truly experience the world… and not turn away in fear.

I want to embrace this state of vulnerability that I will soon enter…because frankly, I believe that, this state will be the rest of my life (if I’m lucky). It’s the only way to experience life, to walk away from the sheltered safe place, and explore the frightening opportunities that wait ahead.

I look forward to seeing progress in my writing.

I look forward to an enhanced vocabulary.

I look forward to pushing myself to learn more, to read more, to listen more, and to write more.

I hope that I can devote the time necessary to make this blog something I will be proud of.

I hope that I can devote the ideas necessary to make this blog something others can be fond of.

I hope I can use this blog to help me understand what I will create of myself for this world.

& I hope I can make a positive change and help people with my writing.

(1/9/14 Originally written and published on tumblr.)