Aram Abrahamyan Արամ Աբրահամյան

* 1960

  • - If people were disappointed with the Armenian National Movement, does that mean they were disappointed with the 1988 movement? - To some extent yes. But I separate the noble movement, which was first of all aimed at keeping Artsakh Armenian and then having a state, from all kinds of negative things.

  • I understood that the vices that became very clear under subsequent presidents - arbitrariness, obsession with protecting one's own team, and allowing members of one's own team what the rest of mortals are not allowed to do - of course, began in the early nineties. But in any case, the reason why I worked as a press secretary is very simple. I was thirty-two years old in 1992. I did not serve in the (Armenian), nor the Soviet army. After the conservatory, I worked as a singing teacher for three years. It made me exempt from the army. I saw my peers going to the front and fighting and shooting and dying for the motherland, for Artsakh. I have no ability to shoot, but I could contribute to our victory to the best of my knowledge. I started working in 1992, and in February or March of 1994, when it was clear that we won, or had great success (I won't say we won) and the war would end, I left that job.

  • (During the second government) violence was also used against me, which was also not investigated. I was already the editor of the Aravot newspaper. No, I was not yet an editor, I was still a free citizen. I was told that it was done by “DRO,” the KGB-like structure of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, so to speak. As far as I understand, no serious investigation was carried out.

  • I do not think that the 1996 election had a fatal significance. Although, of course, it is very bad that the elections were falsified, but I think what had fatal importance (now you will say that I am a Levonakan [ed. supporter of Levon Ter-Petrosyan], but I have to say it) was the change of government in 1998, which did not allow to resolve the Karabakh conflict in a peaceful way and took us towards the path of national romanticism, which we lived in until 2020.

  • I can't say that I enjoyed that job very much, because government work is not for me. State hierarchy, state conspiracies, who went to the boss how many times, who is on good terms with what boss, who is better - all this is far from me.

  • Of course, there were repressions. On December 28, 1994, the Dashnaktsutyun (Armenian Revolutionary Federation) itself was banned. Not only the affiliated newspapers, - Yerkir, Azatamart, etc., - but also those newspapers edited by the members of the federation, namely Aragats, Marzashkharh, were banned. And what is the banning of a newspaper, if not repression?

  • Neither Vano nor anyone told me to write or not to write about something, to not talk to this person, to not interview another, etc. There was no such constraint. No one was forced to run a smear campaign against some people both then and now. But there was an obligation to write good things then and now.

  • - Was there an independent press in the 1990s? - Depends on what you mean under independent press? - Unsponsored. - Yes. “Yeter” and “Efir” newspapers were completely independent. They worked by selling their copies. The rest were not independent. It was not possible and it is not possible to publish a political daily without having any sponsors. - In that case, who were the sponsors of A1+ and Aravot? - Various. I cannot talk about A1+ because I am not the director. There were various people. From the beginning it was Vano Siradeghyan. - Doesn't that already mean that it was not independent? - Did I say it was independent? - No. I was just surprised by the answer.

  • I saw the negative aspects of the Karabakh Committee and revolutionary activities in general. For example, they urged some participants of the rally to go to Zvartnots airport, where a clash took place with the Soviet troops, and a young man named Khachik Zakaryan was killed. I think it was their fault. They deny that it was. They entered the office of Hrant Voskanyan, then chairman of the Supreme Council, and hit him on the head with some object. I condemned it, while also understanding that it was generally the right movement. However, I did not have an attitude of admiration, heroization, or mythification.

  • By my nature and my mentality, you can say that I am a cabinet person, I don't like publicity at all, I don't like to go out on the street. However, naturally, at that time I can't imagine a person who was not an ordinary participant of the rally. I was a regular participant in the rallies and I remember very well that the Karabakh Committee had already taken over the square, so to speak. Then Hayrikyan's supporters came, while he was still in prison. I told my father, “These people - Movses Gorgisyan and the others, seem to be demanding something else, they are not demanding Artsakh, they are demanding the independence of Armenia.” My father said that it is difficult to achieve the liberation of Artsakh without the independence of Armenia.

  • For me (1988) was not a particular surprise. I remember working at state television, at that time it was only the state television, and we prepared a program for Moscow about Abovyan Street. It was already 1986, the Perestroika had already begun. There were some things that didn't match the national vibe. It was about Abovyan Street, and it is clear that Khachatur Abovyan had a Russian orientation. We were also talking about Khachatur Abovyan himself, and I remember how negatively the Writers' Union, the Literary Newspaper, and other circles of intellectuals perceived the program. At that time, that national perception already existed and manifested in 1988.

  • The Conservatory was a rather free university, the rector was Ghazaros Saryan, the son of Martiros Saryan. He was a war veteran, and it was difficult to impose anything on such a person. He was protected from both sides and allowed us to express ourselves quite freely, of course, in a creative way. We had no problems expressing ourselves Naturally, we understood what the Soviet Union was and told jokes about Brezhnev in our kitchens. But now, in retrospect, there was still a certain ideology that was wrong, but there was also a focus on culture and education that was expressed in its own way and had ideological limitations, but the best works that are still being played were created in the Soviet period.

  • Although I was a Leninist stipendist, it did not mean that I believed [ed. in the ideology]. When I was a school and university student, no one believed in communist ideas, it was talked about from some podiums, in some articles, but it was just being said for the sake of it. It seems to me that the top officials, Karen Demirchyan and the rest, did not believe in those ideas either. It was simply necessary to say it that way.

  • When A1+ was created, we prepared reports for “Vesti” Russian TV station, now called “Rossia”, then it was called RTR. I mainly prepared those reports, the reports from Armenia. They gave one report from Armenia, one from Azerbaijan. In the first months of the war, I also prepared reports from the front. Apparently, they liked it, that is, Ter-Petrosyan himself probably liked it, and that's why he invited me as a deputy press spokesperson from the start. The spokesperson was a good friend of mine.

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    Yerevan, 24.11.2023

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    media recorded in project Memory of Armenian Nation
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Journalist and press secretary of the first Armenian president

Aram Abrahamyan
Aram Abrahamyan
photo: pamětník

Aram Abrahamyan Journalist Aram Abrahamyan was born in 1960 in Yerevan in a family of professors. He studied at Yerevan State Conservatory called after the composer Komitas. He is the son of the Armenian philosopher Levon Abrahamyan. A few years after graduating from the conservatory, he started working in the staff of Levon Ter-Petrosyan, the first president of the Republic of Armenia. Two years later, he founded the Aravot daily. According to Abrahamyan, like all news outlets, Aravot was not completely independent. He was a researcher at the Art Institute of the National Academy of Sciences when the 1988 movement began. He says that he was an ordinary participant in the demonstrations, he did not stand out for his initiative and revolutionary ideas. “By my nature, by my mentality, you can say that I am quite introverted, I don’t like publicity at all, I don’t like going out on the street, but naturally at that time I can’t imagine a person who was not an ordinary participant of the rally. I saw the negative aspects of the Karabakh Committee and revolutionary activities in general. I understood that it was generally the right movement, but I did not have an attitude of admiration, heroization, or mythification.” Later, as a member of staff of the first president, in the position of the government’s press secretary, he did not have an admiring attitude towards the government either. According to him, he witnessed repressions and other arbitrariness towards the press. Two years later, considering his mission completed, he freely expressed his opinion in The Aravot Daily, “as freely as a journalist can be.” “No one is forced to write bad material about certain people either now or then. But there was an obligation to write some good things then, and there still is.” He is the author of several books, including musicological analysis. These books include “German Quintet. Free notes on Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, and Bruckner,” “Genius Beyond Myth. Free notes about Mozart” and “With and Without Heaven. Free notes about freedom and faith.”