Serj Tankian, a prominent Armenian-American rock musician, received a hero’s welcome late on Monday after arriving in Armenia to show support for the protest movement led by Nikol Pashinian.
Tankian saluted the “beautiful revolution” as he addressed thousands of mostly young people in Yerevan’s central Republic Square, the main venue of massive anti-government protests led by Pashinian. He said the movement has not only paved the way for democratic change in the country but also enhanced the international standing of the Armenian people.
“The world is watching you as a positive example,” Tankian said in a short speech. “You have achieved your goal by singing, dancing and smiling.”
“Just like you, I dreamed of this day for many years and am now proud of standing alongside you,” added the lead singer of the U.S. rock band System Of A Down (SOAD).
Pashinian, who greeted Tankian at the Zvartnots international airport and personally escorted him to Republic Square, also addressed the crowd, paying tribute to “our glorious compatriot.”
Tankian has been very supportive of his campaign that forced Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian to resign on April 23. Pashinian is widely expected to succeed Sarkisian as premier on Tuesday.
“I am elated, I am … excited,” Tankian told reporters at Zvartnots. “I’m so happy to be here.”