The waves of the sounds of jazz overwhelm the Melrose pub. Then jazz turns into blues, sole, funk… and then a thunder of applause. Rena De’s voice spreads across the pub and fills the hearts of the visitors.
Different shoe insoles and outsoles, ready or semi-ready models, tools… On one of the walls there is the Armenian tricolor, next to it – General Andranik’s picture, on the opposite wall there is Aznavour smiling. This is the very workshop where with the efforts of three Syrian-Armenian fellows most modern and most comfortable Armenian new AVA shoes are born.
Moscow is the living memory of the Soviet Union.
“Sovetski Soyuz”, “Bolshevik”, “Lenin Library”, numerous monuments devoted to various Soviet heroes… Unlike us, Armenians, they’ve loyally preserved every single piece of Soviet history.
In the heart of Europe, near Berlin’s famous Brandenburg gate, a little girl’s argument with her brother catches my attention. The thing is that she does it in Armenian, which completely confuses my thoughts. I at once deviate from my route and approach them.
When Shant Khalaian, a Syrian-Armenian businessman, opens the door of his own studio he feels the wild flavor of the mountains – the warmth of the mountain sun intertwined in the leaves of rosehip, chamomile and nettle.
For many Syrian-Armenians and others, “Teryan Kebab” small Syrian cuisine has become a perfect meeting point which has turned into a small Aleppo with its flavors, music, cuisine and endless Aleppo stories which always come to an end in Yerevan.
In the Armenia village of Azatek, houses lean into the mountain slopes like pearls; some next to each other, and some holding their own space. Embracing earth and sky the village stands proud, though torn apart by emigration that has separated families and community.
The Tamantsi street in Yeghegnadzor is a bright example of emptying Armenia. Sunny and green, undisturbed and horrifying silence dominates here. Only stories of the past are the main topic of conversation between the houses leaning on each other along the whole street, houses with un-curtained and empty windows left by their residents.
The little fish swimming carelessly in what used to be Soviet brand “Minsk” radio adapter, “Horizon” and “Elektron” TV sets are unaware of the Soviet biography of their new homes. Even the pages of Soviet-time “Vokrug Sveta” (Around the World) covering the radio set cannot orient them to the unusual origin of their surroundings.
The dawn over the city of Tallinn, anchored on the coast of the Baltic Sea, is sunny and blue just as it is chilly and damp. The traditional tram lines separate the modern parts of the city from the old ones.
Ages speak through the tiled, triangular, pointed roofs and the colorful towels aiming towards the sky, while new Tallinn has now modern skyscrapers and avant-garde structures.
Women’s blue jeans on mannequins are skillfully worked with sand paper to get the partly worn-out effect of almost white faded-blue. Young Syrian Armenians Aram and Shant work in silence, instead their hands run quickly, and soon mannequins dress into their next pair of jeans.
Another unconstitutional law has been ratified, activists of a civil group opposed to the controversial pension reform claimed late last week after President Serzh Sargsyan signed the amended legislation on Friday.
In Armenia that lacks natural energy resources the government attaches great importance to renewable energy developing small Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP) system. This causes dissatisfaction and complaints of environmentalists and the public at large.