Vache Gabrielyan, Ph. D. in Public Comparative Public Administration and Armenia’s recently appointed Finance Minister, is undoubtedly one of the most educated people in government. But I wouldn’t write this post, if Armenia’s home-grown paparazzi Gagik Shamshian didn’t publish somewhat shocking photos of Gabrielyan in a number of reputable online publications today, including Hetq.am and Lragir.am.
Vache Gabrielyan, the 42-year-old father of two has dedicated his life to economics and public administration. His curriculum vitae tells the story of a talented, clever, hard working man. It is talent and hard work that brought him to a ministerial service and I very much hope, those same qualities will take him higher.
One of Armenia’s most respected publications,Hetq.am, published photos of Vache Gabrielyan buying goods from his neighborhood’s food kiosk, giving me a thousand more reasons to respect this man. And I’ll tell you why.
- He’s a truly intelligent and humble man, a real family man, who does his house chores despite the high position he is holding.
- He’s one of those rare officials, who’s not sending his drivers and body guards to shop, but doing it himself.
- He’s actually getting down there with the people, without being isolated and ‘protected’ by all sorts of drivers, etc.
- He’s shopping in a shabby stall, not in a shiny supermarket.
- He’s not dressed in a fancy suit, but like a commoner. And its great!
- There really is nothing extraordinary about this, except that this type of things don’t happen in Armenia. Most ministers are too darn ‘important’ to do shopping or walk in public without a tie and a bodyguard. I sometimes feel some of them would simply choke if you took the tie off their neck.
There are also a number of ethical and journalistic dilemmas in all this.
- This series of photos is an intrusion into a private life.
- There is public value in sharing photos of such a singular and extraordinary example of a great modesty like this, so others would learn from him.
- Being an intelligent man he is, Vache Gabrielyan will surely understand, that these photos only speak on his favor. However, will his peers understand it? With their twisted values and in their corrupt minds, won’t the other ministers and even his very own deputy ministers look down at him? And in this sense, isn’t this publication of photos doing more harm than good?