BETWEEN THE TWO STONES

Collection with 15 media items created by Mais Istanbuli ★★★★★

07 Dec 2012 11:00

Upon making their dream return to their motherland, Armenian-Iraqis did not anticipate the problems they would face. They made the decision to return to Armenia from a small separated community in Baghdad after the US-led invasion of their adopted country in 2004.
Instead of the open-armed heartfelt welcome they expected, they were met by difficulties in communicating with the locals, making relationships and finding jobs. They needed to pay for gas, electricity, and basic food supplies, something they weren’t used to because they were free in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

10 Armenian-Iraqi families live in Darbnik, a village 8km from Yerevan, where 90 percent of the population is composed of refugees. The village has a history of housing displaced people. In Soviet times it was predominantly populated by Azerbaijanis. The latter then left at the start of the Armenian-Azeri conflict in the 1980s, leaving their village to Armenians who under the same circumstances had fled Azerbaijan.

The families have been living in Darbnik’s former agricultural college, which was renovated by the UN. The village is devoid of any churches, drug stores, or markets. Even normal transportation is absent.

Most Armenian-Iraqis have created a small Armenian-esque Baghdad in their apartments, saving memories with photographs and other items brought from their former homes in Iraq.

They often spend their time watching news or soaps from their adopted land on cable TV.

Like before, they still live in a closed community. Being neither Iraqi nor Armenian they are living, as they say in Armenia, “a life between the stones”. But unlike in their previous lives, there is no idealized motherland to yearn for.

Iraq Armenia Baghdad Mena Minority War Iraqi War Iraqi Armenians Refugees Displaced Collection Photo Collec... Photo Essay

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Between the two stones (1 of 15)
Darbnik, Armenia
By Nazik Armenakyan
08 Dec 2012

Iraqi Armenians have difficulty adjusting to the nature that surrounds them.

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Between the two stones (3 of 15)
Darbnik, Armenia
By Nazik Armenakyan
02 Apr 2011

An object from Iraq to remind them of their former life.

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Between the two stones (4 of 15)
Darbnik, Armenia
By Nazik Armenakyan
02 Apr 2011

Nshan Feras Soman, 39, lives alone with a little dog .He is very hardworking, he works for $3 per day with cattle.

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Between the two stones (5 of 15)
Darbnik, Armenia
By Nazik Armenakyan
22 Feb 2011

Minas and Maral are twins. When they first came, they had a lot of problems in school. Many pupils called them "Iraqian."

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Between the two stones (6 of 15)
Darbnik, Armenia
By Nazik Armenakyan
08 Dec 2012

Iraqi Armenians have created a small Baghdad in their apartments, with mementos of photographs and other items brought from their former homes in Iraq. They often spend their time watching news or soaps from their native land on cable TV.

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Between the two stones (7 of 15)
Darbnik, Armenia
By Nazik Armenakyan
22 Feb 2011

Afther all conflict tenses Garnik Barsegh (60) left his house and shops and then in Armenia he have lost his foot during the work. Although he became footless he continue living and enjoying with small pieces that his wife keeps bringing from Iraq.

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Between the two stones (8 of 15)
Darbnik, Armenia
By Nazik Armenakyan
22 Feb 2011

Afther all conflict tenses Garnik Barsegh (60) left his house and shops and then in Armenia he have lost his foot during the work. Although he became footless he continue living and enjoying with small pieces that his wife keeps bringing from Iraq.

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Between the two stones (9 of 15)
Darbnik, Armenia
By Nazik Armenakyan
02 Apr 2011

They can’t get used to the nature that surrounds them.

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Between the two stones (10 of 15)
Darbnik, Armenia
By Nazik Armenakyan
02 Apr 2011

Many Iraqi Armenians haven't got a job because they can't find it in Darbnik. Working in the Yerevan capital of Armenia requires payment for transportation two ways, which is inconvenient and financially difficult.

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Between the two stones (13 of 15)
Darbnik, Armenia
By Nazik Armenakyan
16 Apr 2011

Iraqi Armenian boys play with Darbnik's native children.

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Between the two stones (14 of 15)
Darbnik, Armenia
By Nazik Armenakyan
16 Apr 2011

Around 16 families of Iraqi-Armenians live in Darbnik's former agricultural college

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Between the two stones (15 of 15)
Darbnik, Armenia
By Nazik Armenakyan
22 Feb 2012

In the quiet Darbnik village, 90 percent of the population are refugees .