Greek community leader in Armenia: Armenian people will rise like a Phoenix through the ashes

Maria Lazareva.

In the aftermath of the Russian-brokered ceasefire signed between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to end the war in Artsakh, the President of the Union of Greek Communities, Maria Lazareva, conveyed to a Greek journalist the realistic and painful picture of the battlefield.

The assistance of Turkish and Israeli drones, the phosphorus bombs used in air raids against the struggling Armenian people and all the inhumane crimes of the Turko-Azeris and jihadist mercenaries of the Middle East against the defenders of Artsakh.

Aliyev’s allied forces showed the obvious power of asymmetry warfare between the two parties which brought the well-known result.

Maria Lazareva is president of the Union of a total of nine Greek Communities throughout Armenia and Artsakh. The Union also includes the organization of Young Greeks and Philhellenes.

Her father is from Pontos. However, his family has 200 years of roots in the Armenian homeland. Her mother is Armenian.

Her father was born in the small town of Stepanavan in northern Armenia. Lazavera decided to follow a career in educational like her parents, who were teachers.

Hnevank Monastery close to Stepanavan in northern Armenia.
Hnevank Monastery close to Stepanavan in northern Armenia.

She studied in Yerevan at the State Pedagogical University of Armenia and then with a double scholarship from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Foundation of State Scholarships, she came to Greece to continue her studies.

From a young age she actively participated in the Greek community of Armenia.

In 2016, she was in charge of youth affairs in the Union as an assistant to the president, while in 2019 she assumed the presidency.

The Union, among other diverse and multifaceted activities, deals with the learning of the Greek language and the dissemination of Greek culture in the country.

The following is a text by Maria Lazareva:

“I scroll through Facebook. I see pictures, videos that show the torture of our soldiers and our compatriots, of all ages, who were captured by the Azeris. Boys, grandparents…

No respect for man.

I’m not talking about age. I am talking about man, about his life, about his property, which is destroyed so easily as if it were all a toy. Maybe the Azeri children learned from an early age to play with weapons and destroy without taking any responsibility?

Like now, they just kill and destroy everything. Finished!

Without feelings, without logic. And they do not imagine that behind this “game,” there is a whole story, a tradition.

Why is this behavior not surprising to us anymore? Because we saw it in the Ottoman Empire, in Sumgayit

We saw how Erdoğan, “spitting” in the face of the whole world, said a Muslim prayer in Hagia Sophia. Now we do not expect the Azeris to preserve our cultural monuments, our churches, as we did by restoring some mosques in Artsakh.

Do you know why the tragedy is so huge? Because we know our enemy, his character and all this no longer surprises us. That is why we fought, to avoid such a future for our Artsakh and for our culture.

The people leave their homes because they do not want such a future for their families because they fear that even after the end of the war things will not settle.

And of course they did not calm down. Civilians are still being held captive in the streets of Artsakh and who is being punished for all this?

Who was punished for war crimes or the use of prohibited weapons? No one! And not punishing them, it’s like telling them “okay, keep going.”

This is a very familiar story, but we will not continue to tell readers that Armenians and Pontian Greeks (I’m half Armenian and half Pontian Greek) again speak of genocide.

Is it a defeat or a victory? The target for the Turko-Azeris was never only the territories. It has always been the Armenian people. It was the destruction of a people, which, however, like the Phoenix, reborn through its ashes.

Now what is she? Defeat or victory?.”

The article was co-authored by Natalie Glezou and Maria Lazavera.

Glezou is a journalist and an international relations expert.

Lazavera is the President of the Union of Greek Communities.

Guest Contributor

This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor