“A refugee's situation has been described as similar to a person with Janus’ two faces: one that looks back on past experiences - who sees the flight, the loss, the separation, and nostalgia - and the other who sees the present and the future, in which one sees the unfamiliar, the unpredictable, full of fears, real or unreal”.
"Refugees in an age of genocide," by Tony Kushner and Katherine Knox
Since the late ‘80's and early ‘90's, on the outskirts of Yerevan, in one of the buildings of the former boarding school, now the Centre for care of patients with mental disorders "Dzorak", several families of Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan live. The decade of the 1990s was near fatal to their lives, which came to a standstill in a very grave situation, similar to the name of the site itself, called ‘the Turtle gorge’.
Initially, 27 families of refugees lived in the building that neighboured the aforementioned Centre, however, some, unable to bear the unbearable conditions, left the country, while others - passed away without seeing "their own roof over your head." As of today, there are 6 refugee families which live in the building. Whither for fear of harassment or persecution in Azerbaijan, one of the main reasons for their decision to remain permanently in Armenia, is to feel safe and a ‘friend’ among Armenians. Many refugees were forced to have taken Armenian citizenship, which allows, first of all, the opportunity to travel outside the country. However, citizenship has not changed their economic and social situation for the better, and most continue to feel, and to call themselves, refugees.
One of the most pressing issues - housing - has remained unresolved for three decades, and even the most sincere feelings of optimism has given way to bleak despair. Small rooms in the building serve as both kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms, and there is only one bathroom for several families.