What do 'Abu Sindi', 'Timothy Sean McCormack', 'Saro', and 'Commander Avo' all have in common? They were all aliases for Monte Melkonian. But who was Monte Melkonian? In his native California he was once a kid in cut-off jeans, playing baseball and eating snow cones. Europe denounced him as an international terrorist. His adopted homeland of Armenia decorated him as a national hero who led a force of 4000 men to victory in the Armenian enclave of Mountainous Karabagh in Azerbaijan. Why Armenia? Why adopt the cause of a remote corner of the Caucasus whose peoples had scattered throughout the world after the early twentieth century Ottoman genocides? Markar Melkonian spent seven years unravelling the mystery of his brother's road: a journey which began in his ancestors' town in Turkey and leading to a blood-splattered square in Tehran, the Kurdish mountains, the bomb-pocked streets of Beirut, and finally, to the windswept heights of Mountainous Karabagh. Monte's life embodied the agony and the follies bedevelling the end of the Cold War and the unravelling of the Soviet Union. Yet, who really was this man? A terrorist or a hero?
"My Brother's Road" is not just the story of a long journey and a short life, it is an attempt to understand what happens when one man decides that terrible actions speak louder than words.
Markar Melkonian is a teacher, writer and veteran solidarity worker. He holds several graduate degrees, including a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His books include 'Marxism: A Post-Cold War Primer' and 'Richard Rorty's Politics: Liberalism at the End of the American Century'. He is a founder and a director of The Monte Melkonian Fund, Inc.