24 June, 2018 13:37

Reflections From the Other Side of the Arax River

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.