It Was Challenging To Talk About Reality In Imagine

By Tatevik Hayrapetyan

Certain events can cause huge changes in people’s worldviews. For me, “Imagine” Armenian-Azerbaijani Dialogue Program is one of such events, as it has really changed a lot for me in the way of understanding and analyzing the world and its phenomena. I could have never imagined that it is possible to talk with Azerbaijanis about our problems, history, the conflict, the way it has affected us personally, and after lots of tension and misunderstanding, to become real friends at last, moreover to have willingness to “fight” for creating peace together.

It was a discovery for me to see that it is possible to understand and respect each other though in the past we suffered a lot, and both Armenians and Azerbaijanis think that the other side is responsible for everything. The “Imagine” Program gave us a chance to realize that while talking about history and representing it in our way of understanding, we can also try to figure out the points represented by the other side. It is obvious that Armenians and Azerbaijanis have their own “truths,” and they contradict each other. However, as Oscar Wilde said, “The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.” Yes, we have different “truths,” and in regard to “Imagine,” we all get acquainted with the “truth” of the opposite side. And it seems to me that though at first it pissed us off, later we somehow were set free in our thoughts and feelings.

As for me, I see that after “Imagine,” I became brave enough to be able to talk about the problems; moreover I have willingness to challenge myself and also make others do the same. Actually, it is hard to get out of your “comfort zone”. Such a situation can seem uncomfortable at first, but when you see that it is challenging, interesting, and even exciting, you want to see what will happen then.

“Imagine” made me understand one important thing – there can’t be any largescale changes in the relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan until there’s a personal change, on an individual level. This program made individual changes for Armenians and Azerbaijanis possible, and this provides ground for big changes in the future.

So “Imagine” Armenian-Azerbaijani Dialogue Program is about reality, about honesty, and the ability to hear even about the things which can make you anxious. One should not be afraid to become anxious, as life proves that the challenge can cause the renewal of broken relations both on the individual and large-scale levels. I want to sum up quoting my favorite line from Pablo Picasso, “Everything you can imagine is real.” We took our step, now it is your turn.

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