Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Zaruhi Postanjyan: “Fearless In Face Of Authority”

I highly recommend reading this profile of Zaruhi Postanjyan, MP, published by RFE/RL. She instantly became one of my favourite Armenians, a champion of human rights, woman of the year, you name it...

This extensive profile of Zaruhi contains both known and unknown facts of her routine and professional life and activism.

Here I re-post more personal and unknown facts about her.

Favorite books? Detective stories.

How do you relax? I like having a rest at the lakeside. For example, at Lake Sevan. Or home, alone.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Where crucial decisions for Armenia are being made.

What is your greatest regret? That the "cream of society" has slowly left Armenia and gone abroad.

What is your worst vice or extravagance? My inability to forgive.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? To be always on the go, setting goals one after another, and achieving them, on and on.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Historian.

What was the best day or your life? The day I met my future husband. I was 17.

What would people be surprised to know about you? That I sometimes go around my house naked.

What is your greatest fear? Getting a shot at the doctor's.

What do you wish you were better at? Giving more time to my family. Everything I've achieved is at their expense, especially at the expense of my children.

As a deputy, Postanjian dresses casually, and without embarrassment. It's not unusual for her to turn up for a parliament session wearing jeans tucked into cowboy boots, dressed more for a night out than for a daytime debate. It's the same insouciance she displayed as a teenager when, as the Soviet Union was crumbling, Postanjian renounced her membership in Komsomol, the communist youth organization, and began attending demonstrations and public rallies in the city.

Born in Yerevan, Postanjian attended Russian School No. 132 and graduated from Yerevan's MYUD Law Institute in 1994. She received her lawyer's license in 1999, and subsequently pursued advanced work in criminal law through the American Bar Association in Florida. Her personal passions sent her to Lund University in Sweden in 2003 to study human rights law, and to the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights in Warsaw in 2004-05.

Today, Postanjian says, she's too busy for friends, and sometimes even for family.

"My parents have done and are doing everything for all my intentions to be realized, but I can spare very little time to spend with them. I don't see them often," she confesses. "When I myself became a mother, I was very young, only 20, and at that time it was purely an obligation for me. I didn't feel the pleasure. Now, with the 5-year-old daughter, I am starting to understand what motherhood is."

She married Suren Drampian, a dentist, in 1993. He says he understands his wife's passion in pursuit of human rights, but admits that sometimes he tells her: "You've had enough. Stay at home. You know what predators are out there. Who are you fighting against? We have children, don't we?"

Recently, Postanjian told faction head Raffi Hovannisian that she wants to have a fourth child.

"Only Zara can do both things at one time," Hovannisian said, "carrying out the highest and most sacred mission of giving birth to a child and providing mothering and being people’s elected representative and an active parliament deputy."

Says Postanjian: "I want every Armenian to be willing to live in Armenia, to have children here and to see their children's future only in Armenia."

*Thanks to Myrthe for the link!
**photos - by RFE/RL


parisan said...

Beautiful woman. I've seen her a few times, as she was walking into the office. She seems to be very hard working, that's for sure, and honest, and strong.

Great post.

Anonymous said...

You're welcome, Artmika! I have a lot of respect for her as well.

Anonymous said...

I admire this lady, she is brave, determined and walking by principles, only with people like MS. Postanjian Armenia can progress towards the future.

I wish all NA representatives were like Zaruhi Postanjian...