Home Beneficiaries Day Care Center for the Elderly in Gyumri Irony of Fate


Irony of Fate

In Harutyunyan’s large family from Karnut village a daughter Sofik Harutyunyan was born on August 31 of 1948: in the severe post-war years of Stalinism, in the same year when a well-known English novelist and journalist George Orwell wrote his “1984” novel where he mocks Stalinism and presents the process of oppression of an individual under totalitarism. Who could have thought that 1988, so close to 1984 would change Sofik’s life so drastically.

Sofik had two sisters and one brother. At her early age she had lost her mother and her father had to remarry to be able to take care of his children as well as work. Sofik got one more sister and two brothers from her father’s second marriage. Sofik was the eldest child therefore she took care of all her brothers and sisters.

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In 1957 from Karnut the family moved to Gyumri. At that time Sofik was 8 years-old and started attending Gyumri secondary school # 28.

In 1966 she worked at stock factory as a worker, and in 1997 she worked at “Complex” hospital as a paramedic at the X-ray department. She got married to a repairman and they had a girl. But unfortunately the girl died from intoxication at her 4 month. In 1968 she had her second girl, and everything seemed going well Mrs. Sofik’s life: she had a loving husband, a bright girl who studied at Polytechnic Institute of Gyumri. ………..but the 1988 disastrous earthquake.

The 20- years old girl was at her second year of learning at an Institute when it happened. She had gone to her classes as usual, having no idea she would never come back, never seeing her parents, never seeing anything in this world, never managing to graduate from the Institute. The earthquake took away her life.

- She invited her friends to us a week before the earthquake. The girls were drawing their tasks and while drawing they conversed, laughed a lot,- told Mrs. Sofik with tears in her eyes,-suddenly my daughter asked her friends what they would do if Turks attack? Each of them told something. One of them told that she would hug her mother, the other told that she would go and take her clothes, and my daughter told. “I would take my coat,” I got very angry and told them to change the subject of the conversation.

- I was at an hospital, a huge 7-storeyed building. A block of the hospital was split into two parts, many people were caught under the ruined stones, as they had been at high floors, I was at the ground floor and when I tried to go out from the door there was so dark and foggy, that I could see nothing. So I jumped out of the window, and some time later my foot hurt.

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How could a 20 years-old girl know that the question frivolously asked would become fatal just in a week. They couldn’t find a girl for a long time. The Mother recalling the girls conversation immediately run to the Institute’s cloakroom. Hardly carrying her foot, the mother got to the cloakroom and began to look for her daughter, some time later her husband and sister’s husband joined her and took her home when they saw her foot condition. The police being began to help her and her husband and drove Mrs. Sofik to the hospital. After a required first aid doctors decided to send Mrs. Sofik to Yerevan. She was transported to Yerevan by a helicopter. After a recovery Mrs. Sofik’s brother brought her to his house.

- 28 years has passed. 28 long years….…

- Everything is in front of my eyes now, - told Mrs. Sofik with trouble.

- While looking for my daughter, I saw a boy who was already dead, I began crying loudly, and all of a sudden a man approached me and asked if that boy was mine? I answered no and began to cry even louder and couldn’t help my tears, what’s the difference mine or not he was an Armenian.

Many years elapsed, a woman passing through many troubles and difficulties today is grateful to God for her life.

- A light will appear, as life goes on,- said a woman with hope

Looking at this woman, her difficult life way, I got surprised for a moment, I am astonished of her hope, her trust, her desire of life and her will, that despite many hardships, problems and tragedy she still lives with hope and thanks God for her life. Now Mrs. Sofik lives in one of the houses in Gyumri’s Katovski street. She is very grateful to “Armenian Caritas” “Day care Center for the Elderly” for their kind attitude and support.

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Prepared by: Stella Antonyan