Our featured #songoftheday comes from Nemra, a band from Armenia. The song I have chosen is Dream from their 2016 album Mubla.
There is much to be said about Armenian history, and one post couldn't begin to unpack it. I will only provide a brief overview but I will include lots of links.
The Hayk (Armenians) are an ancient people, first mentioned in the 8th century BCE (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2021). They were quickly incorporated into the Median empire, the Achaemenian Empire of Persia, Macedonian empire, Byzantine empire, and the Ottoman empire. In short, Armenia has been a battleground for most of its history; a much sought after, treasured land.
When World War I broke out, the Turkish government saw an opportunity to rid the area of Armenians it believed were plotting to overthrow the Ottoman empire and embrace Christianity. From spring 1915 through autumn 1916, at least 664,000 and as many as 1.2 million Armenians were massacred, starved, and otherwise left to die. It is known as the first genocide (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, n.d.). Additionally, tens of thousands of children were forcibly separated from their families.
The first Armenian republic was formed in 1918 and lasted until 1920 when it fell to Soviet control. Soviet rule continued for 71 years. Armenia declared independence on September 23, 1991, but the people were hardly free from harm. Azerbaijan imposed a blockage in 1989, and by the mid-1990s thousands of Armenians had been killed. On November 9, 2020, Armenian prime minister Pashinyan relinquished control over the disputed area to Azerbaijan however tensions and attacks from both sides continue (Shrago et al., 2021).
I highly recommend checking out the podcast New Roads by the USC Institute of Armenian Studies.
Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2021, June 23). Armenia. Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Shrago, L., Malkawi, A., & Verdian, A. (2021, July 8). Tensions On The Rise At Armenia-Azerbaijan Border. MSN.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. (n.d.). The Armenian Genocide (1915-16): Overview. Retrieved July 12, 2021.
USC Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies. (n.d.). New Roads. USC Institute Of Armenian Studies. Retrieved July 13, 2021.
USC Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies. (2019, August 21). Understanding Independence - Excerpts from the Collection. USC Institute of Armenian Studies.
Photo credit: Spotify