The Story of Nareh Mouradyan, 18 years old
The construction of our house started in 1991. Before that we had been living at my granddad’s house with the families of my uncles. The family was extended (14 members). In 1992, when my uncle left for Russia with his family to work, we moved into my uncle's house. But in 1995 my uncle came back to Armenia and we moved into the basement room of my granddad's house. In 2000 my eldest uncle again left for Russia and again we moved into his house, as it was unbearable to live in that basement where there were no utilities, no conditions for living. Humid.... Gloomy.... Shabby.... Poky.... It seemed to me that no one, no living creature would live in such conditions. When we moved into the house of my uncle I was 10 years old and could understand that we were living in bad conditions; I could understand what need was. At that time the semi-built house of my uncle seemed to me a palace: separate bedrooms for kids, and real sun rays instead of diminished light barely penetrating through the small window of the basement.
We started cultivating my uncle's garden so as to solve vital problems. Until 2008 we lived at my uncle's house dreaming of our own, which seemed so inaccessible.... Sometimes we would clean the area of rubble and, when having some rest, we children would imagine being in our own house. We would imagine how our living room and bedrooms would look. Each time in my imaginary world I gave special place to the toilet (bathroom) because I knew what “the long way to the outside toilet and the flu epidemic” means in freezing winters. I have always dreamed of having a home with all the necessary accommodations like those in big cities so as, at least during rainy weather and winter storms, not to go out. But looking at the gloomy walls of our house I understood how far my dream was from reality.
In the spring of 2008 my uncle came back from Russia, and again we had to leave not knowing where to go. Granddad's basement room was already too small for our extended family, but we could not move our house because only the walls were built. So my father applied to the municipality and the provided us with a metal container, the roof of which was deteriorated and leaked when it rained. It was just a room full of dangers: snakes and scorpions from under the floor and water leaking from the roof. We tried to somehow renovate, but we had to be alert at all times to avoid snake and scorpion bites.
It was impossible to live there, so our whole family worked very hard, shoulder to shoulder, to build at least half of the roof of our house. Then we unrolled old carpets and started living in our semi-built house.
Now I look back to my family's past way of life and already see that there are rays of hope... that very soon I'll live in the house of my dreams where it is not damp, where I'll have my own bedroom, where I won't be ashamed to invite my friends, where it won't be difficult for my mom to do housework.