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November 09, 2007


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My ancestors are from Arabkir. It's not quite on Lake Van, further inland to the left near Malatya. My ancestor was the parish priest of one of the villages and built the church. He was buried there too- but in the 60s it was dynamited by order of hte Turkish government and presumably his grave destroyed. I'd like to find out what happened to it and what's there now, as it's kind of sacred ground for the family, but that'd be pretty hard to determine and more likely I probably don't want to know.

Some of his descendants came to Nor Arabkir where you live now. From what I've heard described of it- is there some sort of fountain or water pump at the center of the neighborhood? Maybe it's the main square... their house was right on it across from the pump. I'm sure I can get a more specific description, very curious to know what it's like now (if the McMansions haven't devoured it- such ashame. And they never can be pretty either, can they.)

And Molokans aren't the ONLY minority in Armenia. There are still some Russians, I met a wonderful one at Vernisage, though there never were many that came to Armenia to begin with unlike many of the other USSR republics. There were Greeks up in the north who were brought in for mining but they've mostly gone back to Greece as mining opportunities have mostly dried up. Most of all though you've neglected the Yezidi, many tens of thousands of whom live around Aparan.


Edit/addition: That's interesting that Molokans live in Yerevan, thought they were all up north. So were you meaning the demographic breakdown of your neighborhood itself contains some? Sorry I misread and thought you were more talking about the country's population in general. Either way, if there are Molokans in Yerevan then there has got to be Yezidi.

Noel Maurer

The fact that there used to be Russians in your neighborhood, but are no longer, depresses me.

In fact, as much as I think this feeling is silly, I have found something depressing in the end of the Soviet Union ever since my visit to Kyrgyzstan. There was just something very sad about Bishkek and its environs, and very very sad about the many ethnic Russians remaining there.

Your posts about Armenia have done little to assuage this feeling. Other a faint sense of relief that Putin has not got control of the oil rents from Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, little from the pre-1939 parts of Moscow's empire makes me feel that things would be worse had that ramshackle construction somehow schlumped into the 21st century. I know that's not rational, but what's to like about that part of the world?

I'm going to listen to some reggaeton now and work on articles about the Caribbean and the Philippines. Much happier.


Arabkir Forty one? I was born and raised in that street, in house 7.

I have a feeling you are residing in the house my family sold couple of years ago. We had a wonderful view of Ararat.


Simon, that is bizarre. Then are you related to the people further up the street? Because they said that the sold it to our landlords?

What a strange, small place the world is!

Doug M.

Simon, you've got it.

The house is still nice. The view isn't there any more.

Doug M.


Doug! Of course, the people you refer to are my sister, her husband and my niece!

I was in Armenia this summer but didn't come even close to the old house. I may come back next year, July 2008, if you are still around I'd like to visit.

My father built most of the home with his own hands. There are so many great memories there. If the Ararat view still existed I'd think of buying it back one day, but it seems I might have to build another one when I "grow up" and return to Armenia.

I heard you let the kids in the street to use the pool; thanks for keeping it alive.

Hope you didn't let too much cherry dry on the trees this summer.

Stay in touch through me e-mail please.


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