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Tatev Residents Couldn’t Go to Their Own Wedding

It’s as if there’s a wedding in your house and you don’t participate. This is how Tatev residents described their experience of not being allowed to be present during the opening of the Tatev aerial tramway Saturday.

Part of the Tatev Revival Project, the aerial tramway is the world’s longest reversible passenger aerial tramway. The opening event took place on Saturday, during which time roads, including the main road to Halidzor, were closed.

According to official data, such precautionary measures were taken for security reasons. Despite this explanation, Tatev and Halidzor residents were not satisfied.

The entire village was outside, along the Halidzor road, following developments. Tatev residents near the Tatev monastery were gathered, observing with interest the guests from Yerevan and abroad. However, they weren’t allowed to be present during the opening ceremony of the tramway.

A local villager, an older woman, spoke to Epress.am and expressed her opinion of the event:

“They argue that there are many people; we [the villagers] would be underfoot. But they promised that there would be a special day for us: on the 23rd of the month, we too will ride the tramway. But today, now, they don’t allow it. According to the rules, the village elders too should be present, but they don’t allow it. What danger is there, what is there that we’re going to demolish: it’s our village, our backyard,” she said, while simultaneously praising the tramway.

“It’s neither a dream nor a fairy tale, but a real miracle. And the most important thing is that they’ve fixed the roads,” she said.

The village children said too that they really wanted to enter the grounds; however, pointing to the guests’ passports, they said: “Well, we don’t have those things, they don’t allow us [to enter].”

It should be noted that villagers were also involved in the preparations for the event. A woman who was cleaning the area noted that they have been working since Oct. 11.

“We have been working since the 11th of the month — eleven women and about the same amount of men. They’ve promised 4,000 dram [about $11 USD] a day, but we haven’t yet received anything; they say there isn’t time, they’ll give it later, we’ll see, probably they’ll give [the money],” she said.