|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
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.