- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
 May 30, 2003 

Outside Eye: A non-Armenian's view of life in his adopted home

Some thoughts don't require a lot of words . . .

On Monday I read email from a teenager asking if she could work for ArmeniaNow to earn $500. It is the amount her school is demanding she pay in bribes for her diploma if she wants top grades. Any lesser amount and she won't receive '5s', no matter how well she performs on exams. She is an honor (an ironic description, yes?) student, smart enough that she won a scholarship to study in the United States.

Her parents can't afford the payment, because her brother has been conscripted into the army, and the family is spending its money on bribes to officers so that he won't be sent to Karabakh.

On Tuesday I saw a man in front of our newsroom eating out of a public garbage barrel. Not just scavenging, but literally eating the scraps of food he found.

On Thursday a woman brought a little girl into my office. She said the girl was her granddaughter, whose mother is in hospital with tuberculosis and the family has no money. Could I buy food for her?

On Friday I read the Radio Free Europe story in today's ArmeniaNow, stating that half of the newly elected Parliament members are among the most wealthy citizens of Armenia, therefore the most powerful.

It would be unfair to suggest that Monday, Tuesday and Thursday are somehow connected to Friday. But what's fair got to do with anything?

According to Agnes
  Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.


Lower Turnout, Fewer Violations: International observers report on parliamentary elections

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Referendum Chika: Voters say "no" to president's constitutional changes

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No Sale: Yerevan stores ban book over sexually explicit and crude language

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  Photo of the week
  Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.
  No More Dirty Politics?


Compared to the past presidential elections, the OSCE and other foreign observers said last Sunday's parliamentary election in places like Polling Station No. 0384 showed signs of cleaning up the messy voting system in Armenia.



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