I joined the Armenian Geographic on a hiking trip to Western Armenia.
We climbed the mountaintops of Sipan, Nemrut, Maratuk, Varaga mountains...
Our guide, Safet, was Kurdish. After visiting a number of historic sites, we headed to the Akori village, situated on a gorge on the north-eastern slope of Mount Ararat. To this day, there is an Armenian cemetery there, with khachkars, intact.
As we drove on the Turkish side of the Arax River, I decided to join Safet in his car. His wife and child were also with us.
As he drove, I looked across the border at my birthplace -- Ararat, Khor Virap, places where I’ve participated in thousands of weddings and christenings. From here, I could even see the Ararat Cement Plant.
As a child, I had stood on a hill and looked towards Turkey many times, wondering what was on the other side of the Arax…
As we drove with Safet, I glanced at my phone - the provider was an Armenian mobile carrier.
Turned on the radio - Aram Asatryan’s singing.
I sat there, Safet’s child on my lap…
Gevorg Haroyan, Cameraman at Civilnet
Read the story in Armenian.