Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s remarks at homage ceremony for Charles Aznavour
Honorable Mr. President of the French Republic,
Honorable President of the Republic of Armenia,
Mr. Prime Minister,
Ladies and Gentlemen, Parliamentarians,
Ladies and Gentlemen, Representatives of Government and Diplomatic Corps,
Dear Ulla Aznavour,
Dear Aznavour family members,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, we are here to pay homage to French chanson’s Great Master Charles Aznavour.
For about eight decades, his name made millions of faces smile, accelerated or slowed down the breath of tens of millions of people, sparkling in hundreds of millions of eyes. On October 1, 2018, this name dropped the world and the course of international life by placing an unbearable glimpse of sadness on the faces of hundreds of millions of people, releasing its latest and most massive poster on front pages of the world’s leading media: “Charles Aznavour dies, aged 94."
What did all these titles and headlines mean after all: vanity or despair? Not at all, these posters were telling about this great man’s and his dynasty’s glorious victory over destiny. Charles Aznavour’s ancestors escaped from the Armenian Genocide and eventually settled in France, which hosted hundreds of thousands of Armenians. Here, Vaghinak Aznavouryan was born who was to be known to the world as Charles Aznavour
After defying many challenges, Vaghinak-Charles finally found his calling, but no one believed in his success except for himself. Everyone tried to dissuade him by saying that the stage was not his job; singing was not his calling, and that destiny had been too generous to him by saving his parents from the Genocide. But Vaghinak Aznavouryan needed no compassion but a mission, and he knew his mission, and that mission was an incredible way to grow into Charles Aznavour
And he sang and wrote, and he wrote and sang in empty and half-empty halls, and he sang tirelessly, and gave the mankind sufficient notice to understand and realize that a great star was emerging in the world of culture that had to “explode” the globe’s most prestigious halls for the next couple of decades.
And his voice was spread all over the world; it reached the most distant countries and was able to warm up even the coldest hearts.
To my greatest regret, I did not manage to get acquainted with the great Maestro. But believe me, I perceive him as a close relative of mine just as any other Armenian does, since every Armenian thinks of him as a kind of kinsman who has carried our name to the world, who gave us a new sense of pride and a new tint by entertaining his historical homeland’s and nation’s pains, concerns and dreams.
This is why Charles Aznavour was awarded the title of National Hero of Armenia. But he had earned this title not only for his singer’s genius, but also for his undeniable merit in the establishment of the Republic of Armenia.
Streets and public squares are called after his name in Armenia; his statue has been standing in Armenia’s second largest city of Gyumri for many years now, and he is probably the only person in Armenia who has been staged during his lifetime.
A day of national mourning will be marked in Armenia in connection with the passing of Charles Aznavour as an expression of the greatest love that every Armenian has for the great Frenchman and the great citizen of the world.
Honorable President of the French Republic, Mr. Emmanuel Macron,
As we bid the last farewell to Charles Aznavour, I cannot help conveying our people’s feeling of special respect and deep gratitude for your country. And on behalf of the entire Armenian nation, I would like to express gratitude to the French Republic and to all Frenchmen for giving refuge to our compatriots who survived the Genocide, as well as for providing a propitious environment for the development of Armenian talents, such as Charles Aznavour, Henry Verneuil, George Garvarents, Garzou, Jansem. Thus, France has become a favorite oasis for our people’s revival.
Indeed, Charles Aznavour was a great devotee of France, a great French citizen, an unparalleled distributor of the French language, and in the meantime, he was a great contributor and citizen of Armenia; he was the Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia. He used to share in all the troubles of Armenia: our people could witness his care during the devastating earthquake that hit the country thirty years ago; he was with us all the way through the hardships we faced after the reinstatement of independence.
Charles Aznavour was not indifferent to the non-violent velvet revolution in Armenia. In a recent letter to me, he wrote, in particular: “I look forward to traveling to the new Armenia and getting acquainted with those healthy forces that will shape our nation’s future, as soon as my health permits.”
The Great Master intended to visit Armenia next week on the occasion of the seventeenth summit of the International Organization of La Francophonie, and I promised to introduce him to the New Armenia and promised that he would immediately feel the optimism and spirit of the victorious citizens of New Armenia.
Unfortunately, I could not fulfill that promise. My only consolation is that Aznavour nevertheless managed to send his last message to the New Armenia in his letter: “I sincerely wish youth could develop their full potential and make their dreams come true in Armenia."
Dear Master, Honorable Charles Aznavour,
In your letter, you put on record what the Armenian people and the Armenian youth are striving for in fact. And here, right now, before the world, I want to pledge solemnly that we will make your message a reality.
You may rest assured of my commitment to transform Armenia into what you were dreaming of. The free and truly happy Armenia will be our appreciation of your undeniable merit before the Armenian people and Armenia.
I bow before you, the great Frenchman, the great Armenian, the great artist and the great humanist.
Eternal peace to you, dear Maestro!