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Gyumri Nursing House Residents


We interviewed several residents of the Gyumri Nursing House and wanted to share their stories.

Martin Nazaretyan – lost his apartment during the earthquake. In addition, he was severely injured. The government assigned temporary housing, a wooden structure with no conveniences (called a domik). . .

George Mnatsakanyan - This quiet and peaceful man is a refugee from Baku, born in a family of workers. He was 16 when his family moved to Baku, Azerbaijan in search for better job opportunities and improved life.

Khachik Khachaturian - Khachik’s father was forced to move to Siberia in 1949, because he was "kulak", a rich person. At that time it meant he was not a "bolshevik."

Martiros Chughuryan - is one of the most respected and loved residents of the Nursing House here in Gumri; always neat, considerate of others, treating everyone nicely. When we entered his small room for the interview he was reading a book about spies. He likes to read, listen to music and socialize with people.

Muradian Shogik - does not have a lot of past memory in her old age of 90. Shogik does not remember much about her childhood, but one thing she remembers: 1915, Kars (at the time Armenian territory, currently in Turkey), Turks yelling and screaming and killing people. As a little girl, she hid herself in the basement and saw Turks beating her mother, then they got their knives and started to poke and harass her.

Igityan Satik - When we asked Satik (Pronounced saw-TEEK) if it is OK to interview her, she became very thoughtful and doubtful: why do you need that, who is it for? I felt like there was something this woman didn’t want anyone to know.

Shoghik Nahapetyan - has two sisters and a brother. Because of her congenital problems, her parents took her to an orphanage from the hospital where she was born. Later when she was 18 she was not permitted to stay in the orphanage any more. She was moved to Gumri Nursing Home. Now she is 38 years old and for the first time in her life she feels like she has a family

Adrine Muradyan - disabled from birth, fastened to a wheelchair. The Gumri Nursing House has been home for most of her life.

Alvard Galstyan - When she was 40 days old her parents took her to Kharberd orphanage, a special institution for disabled children: she was albino.

Ashkhen Khachatryan - She had three children. She lost two of them during the earthquake and now her single son is somewhere in Russia. He himself had lost his family, wife and children in earthquake.

Knarik Margaryan - “I came here on my own. I was sure nobody would understand me because in Soviet system it was considered bad to be in a Nursing Home. I had a daughter and grandchildren, whom I lost in earthquake. After losing them, my house became a hell and staying there even for an hour seemed me to be intolerable.

Mkrtich Safaryan - was “burnt“ by his wife. “She made my life miserable. When I was young I felt myself as if on the top of the hill having my favorite job. I was a driver and was proud of my job.

Djanna Babayan - was born in 1940. She was one year old when the war (1941-45) began. Her father was called to the Soviet Army and soon was killed in the war. She was the only child in their family.

Torosyan Hasmik - Because of a wrong injection Hasmik (Pronounced, hoss MEEK) became an invalid when she was 3 years old: her legs didn’t grow and she became wheelchair-ridden. Now she is 49: always nice, friendly and willing to share and socialize. She has a kind smile that tells something about her bright spirit.

Tadevosyan Emma - Emma is a woman of 55, but she looks a lot older: she has suffered much in her life. Emma was born with congenital deficiencies that could not be treated properly.

Khacheyan Nadedjda - Nadia is from Baku, Azerbaijan. Baku is the capital of the country just east of Armenia. She is a refugee, like many of the inhabitants in this Nursing Home. When the Azeris started killing Armenians in Baku for ethnic cleansing they escaped.

Avagyan Ashkhen - Ashkhen was born in 1928 in Gumri. She was the only child. During the years of repression their family, along with hundreds of others, was sent to Siberia. This was in common place in 30-40s and many families became victims of repression for being “kulaks” (having private land and not being part of Soviet kolkhoz and sovkhoz), for being a little different or just for being regular citizens.

 

 

 

 

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