Is the era of dried fruit dying out, giving its market share to chocolate? At least, Alla and her customers don’t think so. Alla started her business 20 years ago, at first exchanging the dried fruits, then selling it. Now she is an owner of a factory with over 5-8 women and her family members. She stands firmly on the ground, due to her hard work and strong will.
A Business Mother-in-law
In summer 2016, the Armenian government announced it would cut off the water from the Azat river in Garni and divert it to other villages. People protested but Arusyak Ayvazyan boldly stood up for the whole village and led a demonstration which blocked the road connecting Garni to the capital Yerevan. She confronted the then-Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan when he visited Garni to negotiate with the inhabitants. It paid back and the project was cancelled.
How a Free-Spirit Woman Fought for a River to Freely Flow
Three kilometres separate Armenia’s Akhuryan railway station from Turkey’s Doğukapı, yet no trains have traveled between them for 23 years. In 1993, following the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the breakaway region of Nagorno Karabakh, the border was sealed and the tracks connecting Guymri and Kars have long since gone silent. Martin Gevorgyan was 26 when he started working at Akhuryan in 1979. When he left 34 years later, the station which had been at the crossroad between East and West since 1898 was no longer the same. Day after day, year after year, he carried out his duties, wearing his dark blue uniform with shiny golden pins, waiting for a train that never came.
The Rail Station Longing For Its Trains
It all started with the crumbling buildings on Northern Avenue. Ten years ago, Hayk Bianjyan was taking photos of the decaying houses in downtown Yerevan when a thought struck him - “We have been erasing our past.” Since then the 40 year old photographer started collecting objects dating from the Soviet era. Any object from - lamps or bearskin hats, telephones and Father Christmas’ dolls, and kitchen appliances to table games, menus, Red Army coats, garden furniture and shoes was collected. He has amassed thousands of items and cramped them into his garage and his dacha, a country house, just outside Armenia’s capital, and opens it to people interested in viewing these items. Bianjyan dreams of setting up a little village where everything will be as it used to be during the USSR - to preserve a slice of the country’s past which should not be forgotten.
In Armenia national identity and religion are intertwined - you are Armenian, hence you are Christian. Gevorg Ghazaryan started questioning this postulate when he was still a schoolboy. Now 28, he defines himself as a pagan and adheres to the traditions of the country’s pre-Christian paganism - he regularly attends ceremonies in the colonnaded temple of Garni, in central Armenia, which has been the renowned symbol of Armenia before conversion to Christianity in 301 AD.
Gevorg, or on Being Pagan in Christian Armenia
Selfies and mobile news alerts have yet to catch on among the elderly residents of Pshatavan, an impoverished farming hamlet on Armenia’s Turkish border. But if 23-year-old Lilit Grigoryan has her way, that could soon all change. A former online journalist, Pshatavan native Grigoryan works for the Armavir Development Center, a regional NGO that trains rural Armenians how to use digital technology to change their lives for the better – whether to find work, get the news, learn about their rights or even make new contacts.
Overcoming Armenia’s Digital Divide
They are protesters, but also mothers and wives, daughters and sisters. For many in Armenia’s patriarchal society, their gender makes their protest unacceptable. Some critics respond with ridicule. Others question their femininity. Still others, like the police officer photographed kissing the neck of a detained female protester, respond with physical abuse.
Armenia: Daring to Protest While Female
Ending up in the village of Lanjaghbyur was a bit of a detour for Meron Deldebon - the Ethiopian-born, United States-raised, 27-year-old had intended to apply for a volunteering job in China, but somehow ended up in Armenia instead. Meron herself was a novelty for the 2,000 residents - a black girl is a not a common sight in the village in central Armenia.
An Armenian Village’s Accidental Guest
Sixty-three-year-old Alvard Lazaryan has put all of herself into the archives of Armenian Public Television. The 40-square-meter room contains not only over 46 yearsof Armenian history, but all of this archivist’s love and attention, goals and dreams.