He was the son of Western Armenia. But it was in the deserts of another land, on the other side of the world, that he built his empire. He conquered the casinos, the movie studios, the airlines. More importantly and everlastingly, he captivated our hearts and inspired our conscience. Nothing was beyond him. The American desert was his.
Two generations after his grandfather fled mass slaughter, California-born Raffi Hovannisian returned to Armenia—and ran for president.
On Inauguration Day 2013, a few minutes after 12 p.m., Raffi Hovannisian stood before a massive crowd at Liberty Square in the heart of Yerevan, Armenia. Thousands of Armenians had gathered in the capital to cheer on their leader: “Raffi! President! Raffi! President!” The man before them was tall and dynamic, his fist thrown into the air like a high-school football star. He drew himself to the microphone and thundered over the crowd: “Armenia! Armenia!” The people whistled and cheered. Many of them did not notice that they were being surrounded by riot police with red berets, reinforced by special units of the armed forces.
The Jerusalem Post has published an article by Raffi K. Hovannisian, the first Foreign Minister of the Republic of Armenia, leader of the Heritage Party.
YEREVAN, Armenia – On April 24, 2015, a century closes circle upon the 1915 genocide and great national dispossession perpetrated by the Young Turk Party against the Armenian people.