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July 16, 2004

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Features: People and events of interest

Sound for Sight: Armenian computer program opens doors for visually impaired

Recently Hayk Papikyan has developed a passion for his computer, scanner and a program called “AREV” and is eager to show off the way by which the combination of the three are making his life more enjoyable.

“Look here,” he says carefully grouping the keys. “I am scanning the page of the book, then launch AREV and that’s it. It reads for me.”

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Cool Relief: Armenian summer melts under 14 factories of ice cream

With temperatures rising toward the dreaded 40-degree (104 Fahrenheit) mark of recent summers, Armenians look for relief from a source once only dreamed of: Real ice cream.

In the hard years of 1988-93, mothers tried to pacify children with home-made versions of ice cream that rarely came close to the real thing.

“I have a special notebook where all my ice cream recipes are written, but however hard I tried still my children were saying it doesn’t taste like the ice cream in stores,” says Nazeni Mkrtumyan, a housewife.

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Meghri: Armenia’s “subtropics” in search of a market

Located in the far south of the Siunic Region and bordering Iran, the territory of Meghri is as close as Armenia gets to Mediterranean conditions. With a significantly milder climate than the rest of the republic, the small territory (664 square kilometers) produces fruits not found in other parts of Armenia.

In addition to pomegranates and figs – found in lesser amounts in other regions – Meghri also produces lemons, persimmons, almonds and, recently, olives and kiwis.

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Last Stop: Armenia’s southernmost village feels isolation amid natural beauty

The last Armenian village before reaching Iran, Nyuvadi is buried in the rich foliage of the Araks river valley. It is home to 45 families, and the southernmost settlement of 13 villages in the sub region of Meghri (Syunic Region).

Nyuvadi is connected to the center, Meghri, by a 30-kilometer road that is little more than carved rock.

“Despite the fact that on all the maps this section is classified as a normal transport thruway, it actually looks more like an extreme rally quite capable to compete with the famous Paris-Dakar route,” points out Hrachya Harutyunyan, a veteran driver for Agarak copper-molybdenum plant.

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Home in the Highland: Serbian transplant is rooted to village life

“I don’t understand people, who say Armenia is my country but then they leave Armenia,” says Serbian Lilianna Oskanyan, who has been living and working in Byurakan for nearly 40 years.

Lilianna, 79, moved from Yugoslavia to Byurakan in 1966, when her husband, astronomer Vahe Oskanyan was brought there to work at the Byurakan Observatory.

On the lap of the Aragats Mountain, Byurakan is the largest settlement in the Ashtarak Region, with about 2,500 households. Its name became well known in Soviet times, when in 1946 scientist Viktor Hambardzumyan founded the observatory.

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  Photos of the week
 
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Summer in the City

With Friday temperatures reaching 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit), little boys and big girls found relief in the fountains of Republic Square.

 

 


 
A Byte with...

Michael Pogosyan


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