"Magarich" is the magic word

Armenia pays a one-time allowance of AMD 50 thousand ($136 U.S.) to parents of new born children. My wife went over to the Social Security office the other day and came back  – with 49 thousand. She had to pay the 1 thousand ($3 U.S.) as “magarich” or “tip” or money to speed things up. The social security official kept back the 1 thousand dram note, knowing that the mother of a 7-months-old child wouldn’t…

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