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Narek Aleksanyan

Little Arpi's Wish for Her Friends - "They should have a nice place to play with trees and all"

Children from the buildings around the construction site at 106 Nalbandyan Street in Yerevan haven’t been left much space to play.

The former playground was demolished along with the kindergarten that once stood in what is now a deep hole. Many of the trees that used to provide some shady respite from the summer heat have also been torn down.

A new high-rise luxury residential building will soon soar above the 5 story apartments built back in the Soviet era.

Construction at the site continues despite the fact that proper work permits still remain a contentious issue.

The neighbourhood kids are a tough lot and they joined their parents and other elders at a recent demonstration protesting what is happening on their backyard.

They wanted to make their voices heard because their interests, as children, are also being overlooked in the drive to make money.

On June 1, Children’s Day, the kids took the colored chalk they were given and started drawing pictures and words on the asphalt that now serves as their playground.

Kids really don’t care about dubious work permits or official documents. They just want a normal place to play.

Little Arpi, a girl from a neighbouring courtyard, also showed up in support of her friends.

She took her chalk and wrote her wish on the metal fence surrounding the site.

Her modest wish is that 106 Nalbandyan Street has a playground and trees – just like hers.