BY HAGOP A. KEUCHKARIAN

On October 17, we were surprised to receive an invitation of a journey to an unknown destination at an unknown time. The invitation however, assured that we would end up in a much better place.

We were told that the journey is one-way, there was no turning back. The departure points were more than one, the number of travelers approximately 1.5 million from 18 religious sects, of different age groups.

Our leading motive was the ambition to demolish poverty and slavery and overcome the barrier of misery. Although the destination was unknown, no one was worried, none of us had anything to lose, and we were all travelling fearlessly without any hesitation. The Journey had begun.

Two days later, the “pain” leading us, announced, “You are no longer travelers; you are revolutionaries, traveling on the alleyway of revolution.”

The journey was long, the roads were full of obstacles, people in cages were thrown all over the streets, many of them threatened us, blamed us “enough! Where are you going?” No obstacle was able to divert our path. As we progressed along the journey, everything behind seemed terrible, there was no turning back. On the third day, pirates tried to kidnap us, distract us and put an end to our journey. I was dazed; I thought “why were others unsatisfied with what we’re doing? What frightened them?”

On the fifth night, as I was sitting in my travelling tent, many thoughts started crossing my mind. I doubted “how could pain, misery and poverty lead this journey? Would we really end up in a better place?” I couldn’t sleep all night, until the sun’s rays answered my question “after every dark night the sun rises again.” I came to a conclusion, and gladly wanted to share my thoughts with my friends, in a tired voice I announced “Comrades, wherever the journey leads us, for sure we’ll be in a much better place.”

Days passed, we faced new obstacles daily. On the eleventh day, we were exhausted, but nothing could have stopped us. Finally, on the twelfth day, we reached a border shielded by barbed wires. We were on Slavery-Freedom border. We were asked to wait; the destination is on the other side of the barbed wires. After a long wait, I asked the guard standing on the border, “What’s the reason behind forbidding us to pass to the other side?” The guard replied, “the slaves demanded so, and the government agreed with their demand.” The answer really shocked me. “Is there anything better than freedom?” I thought how can a single guard prevent 1.5 million people to cross the border? We were way stronger and rebellious than him. We revolted, and crossed to the other side of the barriers. The guard said “history will remember that you were the first group of travellers to cross this border.” Pain, poverty, and misery stayed on the other side. They advised us “Let no one lead you there but hope and justice.” Stay free, and enjoy Freedom.

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