Stories From Kond
The Invisible People
Each time I take a walk through Kond I get a different vibe, see something new I missed before, or happen to meet some new interesting people young and old. This time around I believe I might have met two of the most lively girls in Kond, Marie and Sarah.
Marie and Sarah are both five years old, neighbors, and best friends. They spend everyday together running thorough the old streets and being the mischievous girls that they are.
Their laughter was contagious and I could not hold back my own laughter and smile as these two would play and run around asking me to take their photos. This was something new to me, especially in Armenia because most children are afraid to have their photographs taken.
No matter where a child lives in the world, their economic situation or condition they should all be given the same opportunities as the child next to them. One of those children could make a ground breaking discovery one day or be taking care of you and I. It is our duty to help pave the way for them to have the best opportunity to succeed, achieve their goals and have a more promising future.
At one time the modern-day Armenian Republic was once part of Qajar Iran up until 1828 and there were many mosques throughout he country and the capital of Yerevan prior to becoming part of the Soviet Union. The name Kond means “long hill” in Armenian and Tapabashi in Persian. It was one of Yerevans three original quarters and was multiethnic during Persian rule, according to multiple records approximately one hundred Armenian Boshas (Roma) lived on the hill of Kond. Many of the structures still standing today throughout the quarter were once inhabited by Ottomans, Persians, and Muslims.
Along Rustavelli Avenue stands the remnants of Tepebaşı or Thapha Bashi Mosque which was constructed in 1687. After the genocide in 1915 many families left their homelands and made their new home in Kond where the Persian mosque served as a temporary refuge for seventeen families. According to some sources descendants of 5 of the families still have their home in the mosque even though it is slowly deteriorating.
A common sight throughout the old streets of Kond are neglected homes with rooftops that are in the process of or have already collapsed. Many of the residents in this district simply do not have the money or the will to repair their homes and are living each day by the bare minimum.