Jivan Gasparyan Calls First Row Attendees “Young Lords”
I can’t say if it was mere coincidence that my trip to the dormitory at #1 Shirak Street in Yeghvard, where nine families are barely surviving, dovetailed with the “Tashir” annual awards ceremony of the other day.
The courts have given these families until April 23 to leave the building. Some of the families moved in to the dorm at the suggestion of the Yeghvard mayor. The rest just started to illegally squat because they had nowhere else to go. Their fate remains unclear. Where will they go now?
These are needy families. Most survive by collecting glass bottles and other bits and pieces from the trash. Aluminium is a prized find. The women go out to the fields to gather various green edibles. They sell half at the market and feed themselves and their families with the rest.
What I witnessed at Yeghvard sent chills up my spine. My thoughts have been confused and disconcerting ever since. My fellow Armenians are starving while living in such filthy conditions.
On the same evening as my visit to Yeghvard, in a luxurious concert hall in central Moscow, the Tashir awards ceremony was taking place. It was an assemblage of the cream of the crop – the “king’s boys”. The glitzy program was broadcast live on the Armenia TV station.
They were giving out cars and homes to the winners. Maybe next year, the organizers will think even bigger, and hand out restaurants, planes and hotels. The sky’s the limit when you got money.
And what better way to stick it to the hungry masses then by such manifestations of conspicuous consumption. These “young lords” have the country in the palm of their hand and they can squeeze it dry, voraciously suck out its innards, till there is nothing left. Who can stop them?
32 children live in the Yeghvard building seen here. Some have left the dorm for army service, to defend the nation’s borders. Others from the dorm will soon join them. They go off and serve in the army so that the “young lords” back home can comfortably conduct their business deals and grow richer.
Photos: Anahit Hayrapetyan