Celine's Dispatches - FAR's Intern in Armenia - Living in Barekamoutyoun


I live in the neighborhood around Barekamoutyoun (North-west Yerevan). When one of my Armenian friends first told me he knew of an apartment available in this area, I really didn’t know what to expect. With a myriad of concrete buildings sprouting from the Earth, this district does not look appealing from the outside. Yet, within the masses of construction, one finds a very happy Armenian community.


When you think you’ve reached the end of a street in Barekamoutyoun, there’s usually a small passage that leads you to a quiet area, sort of a city in the city, if you will. And you forget that you’re in Yerevan: people beat their wool, children play soccer, elderly play backgammon and street vendors display their colorful array of fruits.


Foreigners draw distinct glances from locals, but I know that this is more out of curiosity than anything else. “Why would a foreigner come here?” they wonder. When you approach a local in Barekamoutyoun, his or her face brightens. For example, one street vendor lets out a childlike laugh every time I stop by his stand because he has to teach me the Armenian words for each type of fruit or vegetable.


No, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!


- Cline