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Lettre 34: Armenia 2 – Ireland 1 (But the Irish moved on to qualify because... I brought our flag early!)

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Letter 34: Armenia 2 – Ireland 1 (But the Irish moved on to qualify because... I brought our flag early!)

Vachik, our young corner grocer, about 150 meters down from our house, asked to borrow our large Armenian flag to parade it in Yeghegnadzor at 1:00 am Wednesday Oct 12, if Armenia wins the game against Ireland and qualifies for the 2012 World Soccer Cup.
I agreed, but the issue was: Would we be up at 1:00 am so he can borrow it then? I told him that we usually go to bed before 10 pm.
On the evening of Oct. 11, I was going to buy milk, so I decided to take our flag down to Vachik, to save him coming to get it that evening. He felt a bit uneasy accepting it, because it is bad luck to brag before actually winning a game. Nevertheless, he took the flag and told us he had planned to watch the game at the Vayots Dzor Café, down on the main Yerevan-Artsakh highway, where it was to be projected on a large outdoor screen.
We don’t have a TV here, but when we heard of the large screen, we t…

Letter 33: The Legend of Yeghegis Եղեգիսի Առասպելը

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We all know that Yeghegnadzor, the town we chose for our residence on top of the mountain in Armenia, is named after the Yeghegis River, which flows along the Silk Road down below our house.* This same river gave its name to the ancient town of Yeghegis which was destroyed by the viith century earthquake and volcanic eruption and which was reconstructed by Orbelyan princes as their capital and it is there that we inaugurated the re-opening last year of the medieval Jewish cemetery.

I was wondering where the river got its name, for ‘yegheg’ means ‘reed’ in Armenian and I was not able to find many reeds along its banks. Meruzhan Khoyents, the local bearded old bard, told me his version of the legend before he died. I thought it was too simple a story and it was left sitting somewhere in my memory. Until,... Until I read the lyrics of the song by Patricia Carli (Carlikian), born in Taranto, whose family has roots in our region and, I guess, must have known about this legend. Patricia’s s…