Armenia vs Azerbaijan: History Repeating Itself

By Gayane Kortian | Thursday, 23 July 2020

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

With the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan escalating, and tensions rising, Armenians in the diaspora all around the world are racing to raise awareness about the ongoing issues, hosting protests and calling perpetrators out on social media platforms.

As a young Australian-Armenian in diaspora, many questions come to mind. What is going on? Why is it happening? And how can we assist or stop it from escalating further? These questions, however, are accompanied by feelings of inherit helplessness and anger associated with the inability to help directly, and the fact that the world is oblivious to the fact that history is repeating itself.

Historians and Armenians claim one of the many reasons there was no significant humanitarian effort to help the victims of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 was that the extent of technological connections and media platforms that we have today simply did not exist at that time. As a direct consequence, the dissemination of news and information about the inhumane killings was unable to reach other countries, therefore hindering those nations from providing any form of humanitarian aid.

Now, this is not to say that the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is comparable to the atrocities of 1915, perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire, but as we are attempting to raise awareness about ceasefire violations, attacks on kindergarten schools and missiles being fired into civilian villages, all executed by the Azeris, not many people seem to be listening.

It is understandable that with the current COVID-19 global pandemic, priorities do not lie within the conflicts between Armenia and Azerbaijan, however it brings to question the ability of surrounding nations to recognise human rights violations and participate in action to stop or prevent them. Furthermore, although not evidenced, it is interesting to note the timing of the actions carried out by Azerbaijan, during a time where international resources and attention is drawn primarily to the COVID-19 pandemic, minimising the importance placed on human rights and international law violations against Armenia, similar to the timing of the Armenian genocide during World War 1.

This conflict also brings to question our minimal yet crucial part as culturally involved bystanders. Now that we have the means to raise significant awareness and funds to send to those affected on the frontline, as well as civilian areas, why aren’t we stepping up? Where can we make up for the lost awareness at the time of the 1915 atrocities, in order to prevent another potential loss of land and people.

To give credit where it is due, the diaspora is currently doing what they can to call out the issue through social media, but with the nature of the situation being the beginning of a potential war between two nations, only so much can be done that is genuinely effective in preventing further destruction and devastation. As Australian-Armenians in diaspora, we must not take away any importance from this issue threatening our land and our people, and must continue to draw attention to the unprovoked, inhumane and violent actions of the Azeri soldiers, as well as their government altogether, towards Armenia. We have a chance to condemn history in the making, in order to prevent its repetition, and it’s time we take that chance.


Refer to the following links and websites for more information:


The ANC-AU Facebook Page


The United Media Infocenter for Armenian Military