Two months after Daily Mail published a touching story (albeit not very accurate) about the starving bears and lions in a private zoo in Armenia’s second largest town, the two bear, Masha and Misha, are being transferred to Libearty Bear Sanctuary in Romania.
As part of RFE/RL Armenian service director Harry Tamrazian’s “Sunday Analytical” show, I had the chance to visit Gyumri last week only to find that hundreds of families are stuck there in a permanent disaster zone with no hope for any kind of change.
Raffi Hovannisian hinted that he has a plan and promised to reveal it during a rally on March 2nd, as thousands gathered to listen to him in what was possibly the largest crowd since the opposition presidential candidate announced that he won’t accept the official election results.
Gyumry mayor Vardan Ghukasian announced on Monday, that his family is ready to contribute all the money necessary to acquire great Armenian poet Hovhannes Tumanian’s house in Tbilisi and hand it over to Armenia’s Writers’ Union to be turned into a literary, cultural center and library, Aravot.am reports.
There’s a lot more I wanted to write about and discuss this year (e.g. issues of Kajaran mining project, Yerevan’s closed market and Parisian surch cafe), but everything ends at some point, so I will stop here and wish all the readers of this blog a very Happy New Year! Hope to see you here, at this blog – next year.
Scandalously famous son of Gyumri mayor seems to be responsible for yet another shooting incident near Sarnakbiur village of the Shirak region, which resulted in a 55 year-old being wounded and taken to hospital.
Since March 16, 2009 – the scandalously famous mayor of Gyumri, Vardan Ghukasian – is officially an academician. Ghukasian, a semi-criminal authority who has been continuously reelected on the post of Gyumri mayor since 1999, more on the merit of vote-bribing and scaring people, than genuine popularity, was granted the title by members of Russian academy of science, along with representatives of the Armenian branch of International academy of Natural and Social Sciences.
The mayor is known for his violent behavior – anyone in the streets of Gyumri can cite numerous occasions when Vardan Ghukasian would start shooting in the air during a drunk party or assault people. The mayor also faced corruption charges in 2004 over distribution of state built apartments for families left in temporary shelters since the earthquake of 1988.
Nobody was spared. Everybody lost a dear one on December 7, 1988 in Gyumri… in Spritak… in Vanadzor… in the Earthquake zone.
I’ve come to regard the Quake as some sort of a turning point, dividing my life to pre- and post-earthquake lives. 20 years have passed since. I lived a whole different life in a different Gyumri – coming to view the Quake as a fact of life, as a part of my reality, a part of myself.
Today they’re spending 200 million Armenian drams ‘Marking the 20th anniversary’ of the tragedy. 200 million drams – to create great photo-opportunities for themselves and look as though they give a damn, and give medals to each other and to corrupt former-Soviet officials, who promised to rebuild the earthquake zone and never did it. Celebrating the 20th anniversary, as if there’s something to celebrate.
Watching all the fuss, all I want to do is shout: “Why don’t you all just shut up and let us quietly REMEMBER and think about our broken lives?!”