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Hope Amidst Hardship



It’s more than a decade, Tamara has been attending the Yeghsapet Jambazian/ Mangoian Soup Kitchen in Nor Hajn, which has become a lifeline for her and her only son, 23-year-old Mkhitar Mkhitaryan. 


Originally from Georgia, Tamara relocated to Armavir in 1971, eventually settling in Nor Hajn after her marriage in 1999. "Life hasn't been easy," Tamara reflects, her voice carrying a weight of sorrow. "But somehow, we've persevered.”


In 2012, Tamara's husband suffered a stroke, ultimately leading to his passing. In the days preceding his death, he accidentally caused a fire in their home while cooking potatoes, a heartbreaking event compounded by his psychological condition. As Tamara mourned her husband's loss, she found herself grappling with the aftermath of the fire. To worsen matters, the house wasn't under Tamara's name after his passing, necessitating expensive legal procedures for ownership transfer. Faced with these challenges, Tamara had no option but to take out a loan amounting to more than $1,000 to cover these unforeseen expenses.


“I couldn’t pay the loan with my monthly salary of 70,000 AMD ($176) as a janitor at a local school. While a significant portion—26,000 AMD ($65) — goes towards loan repayment each month, the remainder barely covers the bills," she says adding that Mkhitar has mild cognitive and physical problems which have become more vivid during the adult period.


"For years, it's been our haven," Tamara says, gratitude shining through her words. "A place where worries take a backseat, even if just for a moment. Without it, I shudder to think.”


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