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The Literary Groong - 12/21/2002

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	By Nicole Vartanian

	We are a little bit of everywhere
	Local and dispersed
	Native and cultivated
	Armenian by blood and heart

	We are together
	In the middle of nowhere to the rest of the world
	But everywhere to us
	Riding the roads
	Turning the turns
	Reaching the obscured landmarks
	Of a stoic sliver of homeland

	We are reminded
	By the silence in the air
	That this terrain was a battleground
	Sacred and scarred and serene
	Our everywhere and nowhere and here
	To validate and embrace
	For as long as we keep
	Riding and turning and reaching
	For her

	October 20, 2001

Nicole Vartanian was born in Belleville, Illinois. She earned her
doctorate in the Sociology of Education from Teachers College,
Columbia University, and currently is a Fulbright Scholar living in
Armenia, teaching and working on issues related to educational policy
and civic education. She is on a leave of absence from the U.S.
Department of Education in Washington, DC, where she serves as a
Senior Research Associate in the Office of Educational Research and
Improvement. This poem was inspired by a recent trip to Artsakh. On
this occasion, the writer was accompanied by friends that included
other diasporan Armenians from the US and Europe, local Armenians, and
a non-Armenian who has become Armenian in his own right, through his
service and love for the country.

Copyright  2001 Nicole Vartanian

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