April 10, 1998 |
When their daughter Anush was born in Soviet Armenia 26 years ago, factory director Karen Nadzharyan and his schoolteacher wife, Nata, expected a settled future for the beautiful, big-eyed baby: a good school career, music training, university, a family and a professional job--all in her hometown. But then their world turned upside down. Armenia is now independent, although it has suffered war and political convulsions of every sort.
March 31, 1998 |
Armenians went to the polls Monday to choose a new president, uneasy and suspicious after international monitors made allegations of vote-rigging during a first round of balloting two weeks ago. Both campaigns complained of minor violations by their opponents, but voting was quiet. Agvan Vardanyan, spokesman for the front-running Robert Kocharyan, dismissed allegations by the rival camp as "an attempt to save face in the event of failure."
March 21, 1998 |
The fighting is over, and the women of the carpet factory have returned to their looms. Hunched over the bright threads with combs, scissors and shuttles, they are once again weaving the traditional rugs of the Caucasus Mountains. Still, half the looms in the cold hall stand idle, and many of the low stools drawn up to them are empty. Ethnic Armenians are still here, grieving for the thousands killed in a decade of ethnic conflict.
March 16, 1998 |
The earthquake struck first, destroying her home. Then came the Soviet collapse, independence, mass unemployment and hunger. Contemplating the ruins of her adult life, Amalya Digaryan blames it all on the president who ran Armenia from 1991 until last month. "Look!" the 30-year-old cries with despairing anger.
February 24, 1998 |
Ever since their past was swallowed up by war in 1993, the members of Azerbaijan's Karabakh soccer team have lived the shiftless lives of refugees, carrying on with their sport even though they have not set eyes on their homeland of Nagorno-Karabakh since its Armenian majority drove the men out of the disputed enclave in a vicious ethnic war. The dispossessed soccer stars slowly reassembled in this filthy industrial town 300 miles east of the sparkling, but now deadly, hills of their birth.
February 9, 1998 |
Since Prime Minister Robert Kocharyan took power last week as acting president of Armenia, the small detail of his citizenship has hardly raised an eyebrow. In the streets and markets here in the capital, members of the public are calm--even optimistic--about the prospect of change after more than seven years of economic hardship under former President Levon A. Ter-Petrosyan.