I want to apologize for the apparent abandonment of this blog. This blog is not dead. What happened is that I became very busy focusing on my projects here in Armenia that I wasn’t even able to keep up with the news, let alone write professional commentary on current events. I finished my fellowship at Caucasus Research Resource Center, and as of today, extended my time here in Armenia to focus on the projects I’m working on and to find a job here. In the mean time, I plan on slowly start posting again to this blog. If I land a permanent position here in Armenia, then I can commit to continuing this blog indefinitely.
Most people see Garni and Geghard in the same day. I did them 10 months apart. Regardless, I can happily say that I finally have seen the second most popular tourist site outside of Yerevan, and it was amazing. The amount of time it took those monks to carve rooms out of the rock is crazy. It gives Geghard a unique feeling and a sense of deep serenity compared to other vanks.
Check out the pics from the trip!
I had a great trip up to Tbilisi this weekend. It was particularly nice because this trip I got to avoid most of the typical tourist places and went with a friend who was very well acquainted with Tbilisi’s Armenian history. Go check out the rest of the pics.
I apologize for the recent silence. It has been very busy at CRRC for the past few days (you’ll see some of my work on the CRRC blog shortly). I decided I needed a break and am going to Tbilisi for the weekend. Thus, I won’t be able to make any new posts until Monday.
Considering my great experience with Birthright Armenia last year, I am forced to bring attention to these two recent news pieces. Two BRA alumni have write ups for their recent contributions to Armenia, Paul Vartan Sookiasian and Oksana Mirzoyan. Both of them have contributed to Armenia, established a life here and are planning on staying for a while, Paul working in an office funded through USAID and Oksana through artistic endeavors and working with Onearmenia.org. I hope that both Paul and Oksana serve as models to other people considering living in Armenia, either for the short-term or for a more permanent stay.
I have landed in Armenia and while I am excited to be here again, this overcast 4C day reminds me how I left sunny California and its 12C weather. Regardless, there is work to be done. I was able to make a productive use of the plane ride, so expect to see a few posts coming up in the next few days. I’m still behind in the news, so sadly more cutting-edge topics will have to wait.
I apologize for the lack of posts recently. I’ve been very busy preparing for a new fellowship I’ll be starting at the Yerevan office of the Caucuses Research Resource Center (CRRC). That’s right, I’m going back to Armenia.
CRRC‘s focus is on quantitative research and public policy. One of their main projects is the Caucuses Barometer that develops detailed information on a range of issues in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. This data is essential for developing responsive policy. The substance of my fellowship is not finalized, but my goal for the fellowship is to gain quantitative research skills to augment all the human rights reports I’ll write for the rest of my career. Most human rights lawyers have no quantitative skills, and hopefully, I can help fill that void.
The fellowship includes an independent research project, and I’m currently open to recommendations on what area I should focus on. Possibilities are 1) domestic violence, 2) public perspectives on peace and how they can move the peace negotiations forward and 3) public perspectives on the legal system and how to effectively provide cheap trustworthy legal services. If you have any recommendations on how to start working on these ideas, or any other good research idea, please leave me a message at Gabe.Armas-Cardona@nyu.edu.
Because of this new position, updates to this blog will be sporadic until at least next weekend. I’ll try to keep you all up to date on the biggest news events, but I promise to get back to normal after next weekend.