Elena Akopyan
Doctor, Editor-in-Chief of the Heritage and Progress Foundation
Heritage as a Common Genome
Dear friend!

It is an honor and a source of great pride to represent the Heritage and Progress Foundation, and I would like to share this joy with you.

In the very center of Moscow, near the Nikitsky Gate, hidden from the bustle of the big city, there is a monument near the Church of the Ascension of the Lord. Carved out of white stone, leaning towards the cross, two women bow in an inseparable embrace. The inscription on the monument says: "Blessings in Centuries Friendship between the Peoples of Russia and Armenia". The same monument stands in the very center of Yerevan. As a symbol. Like the single DNA of the two peoples kept in hearts, engraved on the tables of history. From the depth of the centuries, it sounds in the temple of Ani with the melodious painting of the Russian craftsman Flora, appears in the letters of the Armenian alphabet on the sarcophagus of Yaroslav the Wise, gives voice to the Armenian paints within the walls of the Novodevichy Church, falls silent in the quiet of Matenadaran, where we keep thousands of the richest monastic manuscripts that were saved by Russia and returned to Armenia.

They say that there is a historical, actual and spiritual homeland, and our newly-created Foundation sees its task in making this reunion come true, in this trinity, in the creation of a single cultural space, in its preservation, rethinking and development.

Heritage is like a common genome, like a double helix of DNA memory with historical convolutions, like new turns of a spiral. Endless with its absence of loops. It crumbles in the wrinkles of war veterans, curls up in the world's weary, calloused hands, spins around, laughs in the brown-blue irises of childhood. Repeating the bends of the mountain serpentine, it leads to the velvet peaks of the Byurakan ridges, where high above the ground in the mountain observatory the brilliant philosopher and astrologer, academician Ambartsumyan, conversed with the stars, comprehended the cosmogony of distant galaxies, and today, years later, a planet flies above the Earth, discovered and named after him by the Russian astrophysicists. At the height of the war, the front and rear were able to hear the freedom-loving "Gayane", born during the evacuation, and these days a Russian airliner with its title "Khachaturyan" carved into its side soars into the sky like any great music. The painter of the Main Staff of the Russian Navy, Aivazovsky, is still museum-friendly in his native Feodosia. Plied with alcohol in the workshops of Serov and Korovin, from Krasnoyarsk to Taganrog, Saryan's riot of colors dazzles. Considered one of the best in Armenia, the Yerevan University of Languages and Social Sciences, bears the name of the great Bryusov, who revealed to the world the national image of Armenia. DNA stretches, curls. ... Sergei Gorodetsky, who worked in a shelter for Armenian orphans, dedicated the "Angel of Armenia" to his friend Hovhannes Tumanyan. Akhmatova's translations of Charents, an anthology of Armenian poetry edited by Maxim Gorky...

Once the great Anush (as the genius Anna Akhmatova called Mandelstam, who was in love with Armenia), translated from Armenian the poems of the female poet Markarian:

Homeland and son are sweeter than life
What can young men do without a homeland?
Homeland is dead without sons
How prophetically precise, this very spiral of memory drives in, piercing time, from heart to heart, from the past to the present day.

And picking up where it left of, continues: "The teeth of vision crumble and break off when you look at the Armenian churches". This was said by Osip Mandelstam to Yeghishe Charents. But, in my opinion, he meant it for us.

And that is why today, united by the Christian mission of restoration and assistance, healing and creation, still very young, just taking its first steps, our Foundation begins its journey. Bright Angel on his way!

For the foliage of apricot trees and Russian birches to rustle on the avenues of friendship, so that under their closed branches the heads of students of the same universities would bow together over the shared textbooks, so that the daring young thoughts of the two peoples would argue on scientific platforms and symposia, would create in the network of computer spaces and in the silence of libraries, so that the shared tables were set - memories of the past, so that the hazel- and blue-eyed childhood would have a peaceful future, and so that the ancient prayer of two peoples, united in faith and inseparable in fate, soared and flew over the temple that had risen from the ruins in a new round of an eternal spiral...
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Heritage and Progress Foundation for the Development and Support of Russian-Armenian Humanitarian Initiatives