In the last 20 years people in Armenia have not loved each other as much as during these days.
© Nikol Pashinyan
It’s 8:00 am. She is ready, I’m ready as well. She packed me Last night so that she wouldn’t have to do this in the morning. I’m pretty heavy, full of all kinds of stuff like bottles of water, sweets, a jacket, a raincoat, a book (she always carries one book with her, this time its “Alice in Wonderland”), a notebook to write down remarkable events, there is also surgical masks for protection from tear gas. and it is so hard to carry all these things inside of me all day long.
Sometimes it can be dangerous but it doesn’t matter to me. I believe we can do this together. Looking back a month ago I was only an ordinary student’s backpack carrying books and stuff but now I’m a protesting backpack, a revolutionary one which makes me feel proud of myself.
It’s cool, right ? I even remember the day she bought me. I was sitting on a shelf… everyone who wanted to buy me, would just pass by, changing their mind because of printed elephants on me. I don’t know why but no one liked me. But one day she came to the store with her mother, and guess what she insisted her mother to buy me, she liked the printed elephants on me.
That’s when I realized that she is not an ordinary girl and we are going to have lots crazy things to do together.
As soon as she ended her breakfast we ran out of the house.
A few days ago it wasn’t so easy. Her father didn’t allow us to attend the protests, he was afraid to lose his job.
One day she was so tired that she forgot to take me to her room, I spent a night I lying on the sofa in the living room, that’s when I heard her arguing with her father.
She wanted to make him understand, that it is more important to change something today to live a happier life in our country, than always have a negative mind and say that nothing can be changed and no one can help. It was not easy for her to have this kind of conversation with him, despite being a strict man he also has his own opinion which is difficult to change. But nowadays it’s a little bit different, sometimes when she leaves me on the sofa, I hear her father talking with his friends and coworkers, telling them that she is one of those young people who are trying to make a difference and I see that he says it with lots of hope in his eyes.
We are walking to the center of the city we do this every single day, I see lots of buildings walking down the streets, it’s a pretty long walk about forty minutes
Her friends have already blocked the streets so the transportation is not working. Some of her friends are University students, members of student council, some are childhood friends, and some became friends during the protests. One day we were sitting in the middle of the French Square and I was having such an interesting conversation with my colleague backpacks about our famous colleague – Nikol Pashinysn’s backpack. Pashinyan is the leader of all the protestors, at one time he was a journalist but now delegate in the Parliament who is trying to bring back the justice which was lost about 20 years ago, because of this one political party who is responsible for the emigration, people would leave their native land due to not being valued as professionals not being paid properly, instead surviving daily on a peace of bread. The entire nation is unhappy and now all these people whom we see on the streets are the ones who were not afraid of the government and those who didn’t give up, they believed that one day our country will be in our hands and no one can make us leave our lovely country Armenia. The head of that party was Serj Sarkisian who lied to the entire nation by saying that he’ll never try to become the head of the government again. unfortunately he did not kept his promise and soon was elected as a prime minister by the members of his ruling party which made the nation go angry.
As Abraham Lincoln once said. “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time”. Nikol Pashinyan started this protest from the far regions of Armenia by moving forward to Yerevan, during this entire procession using only one type of transportation which was walking. And all that time his backpack was always with him, being present even in official meetings. Yeah, we were proud of our colleague.
This is what we were talking about when I heard a conversation of my girl’s – Ann’s and her friends.
– What do you think guys, how can we solve the problem of our absentees at University?
– Don’t think about it, we’ll do something.
-Yes, Ann is right, we don’t have much time to think about it. After this we will win, and make the revolution happen and the new government hopefully would make changes in our educational program .
-Yes, we are here for our future to make it better in the country which is full of brilliant minds, we’ll never let that stupid and uneducated cruel people govern us. Maybe our parents felt comfortable living in silence for so long, but we are not like them, we will never let them ruin Armenia or make people leave. We’ll keep doing this till the end until we can sense the victory. After this talk she said she wants to be left alone. She grabbed me and moved to sit a bit away from the group. Yes, as I guessed, she wanted to cry, but of course not in front of her friends. She hugged me dripping down her tears, then she calmed down, opened her book and started to read, but after few minutes got up and started to walk.
– Oh, I’m tired Elli (she calls me like that, short for elephant), I’m so tired. Sometimes I feel that I hate them, but then I realize that there could not be a place for hate in my soul, they are just stupid for thinking that they can win us.
We are not doing anything illegal, we are not protesting for something abnormal, we just want our rights back, to be able to participate in elections and know that your vote means something, to work and earn money knowing that you are valued as a specialist, and that your government needs you. I just want to walk down the streets of my lovely Yerevan and instead of seeing gloomy and worried faces I want to see happy and shining ones. Is this too much to ask for, Is it something impossible I’m asking of course not, I know that it isn’t and I believe that we can do this together and you’ll always be with me in this long journey. But I wasn’t always with her. This is what happened the next day.
They wanted to block the Abovyan street as usual but this time in another way, so what the did is they put their bags on the road. The drivers turned the music volume up of their cars and people started to dance Kochari in the middle of the crossroad. Kochari is a national dance and her favorite which symbolizes a war battle. Her grandparents are from Sasoon where kochari dance has originated from.
Suddenly something went wrong as they were dancing. strange voices, sirens of Police cars can be heard the police arrived. Ann and her friends stoped dancing and wanted to do something, but it was useless. Police arrested everyone who was standing there, they were literally grabbing the peaceful protesters. Then all of a sudden Ann disappeared from my sight. I couldn’t clearly see what was happening, I could see people running in different directions and hear the sound of explosives. But all her medicine was inside of me. I was worried, thinking where could she be now or she might be injured even arrested, who knows…
For about 30 minutes I was just lying there. Thinking all of the above, but most of my worries were about her being injured because of the explosives used by the police, being arrested wasn’t a big deal. As she told me before that, arresting protesters and not having enough evidence the officials must release the arrestee after 3 hours. But I always thought that she won’t be arrested. Because she was always nice to police by talking to them during the long processions cooperating as well, she would also give them sweets so they really like her. In 15 days she’ll turn 18 but she looks younger, more like 14 shes known as “the little girl who gives out sweets to police” her style to act like a little girl is an innocent trick not to get arrested.
With this thoughts in my mind I was minding my own business when someone picked me up and hugged me so hard that took my breath away. It was her, my Ann. She opened me and started to look for something. Then she took a box medicine. Oh no, shes injured I thought, but wait it’s actually for someone else it’s for a stranger.
– Oh my poor Elli, I guess you were afraid, right? Shhh, don’t worry, I’m already here with you I’m sorry for leaving you behind, I didn’t forget about you, I was afraid of being arrested that’s why I ran away, but I remember where you were and as you can see, I’m here now with you and I’ll never leave you alone again I’m sorry…
Yes, sometimes it can be hard and even dangerous but it’s fun and joyful at the same time, the streets are blocked, the protesters are walking up and down the streets with the flags on their shoulders looking for a place where they can sit to have food. Sometimes they would get to eat for free. civilians would bring food from home and the shop owners would feed them for free. Isn’t it amazing to realize that even those who are not protesting or blocking streets, you still have their moral and spiritual support .
-Guys, what do you think? Isn’t this pizzeria too silent?
-What ? What do you mean Dave.
– I mean that it seems like they don’t want to be part of this, we have to remind them what’s going on the streets of the city.
-What is it that we can do ?
-Remember those words which Nikol Pashinyan was saying at the Republic Square during his speeches
-Of course we remember.
-Let’s go then. 1…2…3… And so…
And the whole group is shouting:
-Make your move reject Serj, Make your move reject Serj…
Right after the second phrase of “and so” the entire pizzeria joins to shout
– Make your move reject Serj, Make your move reject Serj…
Funny, right. It felt like everyone already knew what was going to happen that day.
It was 23rd of April
As they walked out of the pizzeria going down the streets something unexpected happened. What is it what’s going on? Why is everyone jumping and clapping? Why are people crying and smiling at the same time, why is everyone hugging each other including the police some were on the streets and giving high fives to drivers. What’s going on ? Groups of people were gathered to read the latest news, as we came close by, we heard…What ? Serzh Sargsyan resigns as Prime Minister of Armenia!
OMG , this is true, She did it, They did it, We did it …
It’s Morning now, I’m not as heavy anymore, like I was on protesting days. the book “Alice in Wonderland” is gone shes done reading it, now I carry George Orwell’s “1984”, yes something has changed. We are walking down the Baghramyan street again but no, not for the revolution, not for protesting near the Parliament building. No, we are going to meet our friends to go to the monument of the Memorial of Armenian Genocide Victims. Yes, today is April 24, but its different not like prior years it use to be rainy and cold on this day. This year is different, this is another April 24th its spring, sunny and warm. Walking down the Baghramyan street was a joy not to feel fear of policeman anymore and to feel the blowing wind of freedom. Even though we knew that this is not the end. The revolution is to be continued as there are many other things that must be done in the future, but something important was very clear to us. We understood that everything can be done in a right way if we stay together with love and respect to each other.
We believe in our victory.
Fiction story based on real events
July 23, 2018