What do you think of when you hear the word Ararat? If you had asked me 3 weeks prior, I would have replied..”my days as a young boy then a teenager playing basketball, going to scouts, camping trips and just having plain old fun hanging out with my friends” around the Ararat miutyun(campus). I sure miss those days...not just because it reminds me of my youth and the amazing times that I had but that I can literally pick out small details and instances of my life like it was yesterday and that to me is a great feeling. One quick example is the amazing sandwich that you could buy from the “snack-shop”. It would taste especially good after having a long days worth of basketball practice with my team-mates or doing all kinds of boy scout drills under the hot sun and then going to the snack-shop to treat yourself. I can almost taste it when I think about it (those of you who are old school will remember the spot in Glendale Ca, the old miutyun on Broadway).
Ok, enough of blast from the past. If you ask me now what I think when I hear the word Ararat and the first thing that I think of is relaxation and the same feeling comes over me like I was a kid again. Weird I know, but when you see the mountain with your own eyes you cant help but feel some what of an attachment to it. Whether your an outdoors men and wish to climb this amazing piece of rock for your own triumph or a photographer/artist who likes to appreciate this amazing natural beauty from afar, Ararat seems to attract all kinds of people from every part of the world. Now for some interesting facts, controversial information and religious stories about mount Ararat. Present day, the Ararat mountains are located in IÄŸdÄ±r, Turkey reaching an elevation is 5,137 meters (16,854 ft) but there was a time that it was considered to be a part of Armenian land. It seems as though during the 20th century this area was ruled by the Ottoman Empire and the provinces surrounding these areas but these area were also mostly inhabited by Armenians. This was also the time where Armenians suffered the genocide in which 1.5 million Armenians were killed and many more dispersed throughout neighbouring countries like Russia, France, Lebanon, Syria, Iran and many more. From then on Armenia, regained its independence in 1918, with the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Armenia, and in 1991, the Republic of Armenia. Now the closest you can get to the mountains of Ararat while still standing in Armenian territory is from a small town called Pokr Vedi, where the church Khor Virap is nestled in; from there you can see some of the most beautiful and breathtaking views that this land has to offer. On a little lighter note but still very much tied to the reason why these mountains means so much to the Armenian people. Armenia was the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as a state or ethnic group so aside from being a picturesque volcano (now dormant but last erupted in 1840) Ararat holds great Biblical significance which has strong tied with the Armenian culture. For years, people have believed that this is the mountain where Noah’s Arc was said to have settled after the great flood “At the end of a hundred and fifty days the waters had abated; and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest upon the mountains of Ararat." (Genesis 8:1-4).
So now, everyday to and from work I get a one and a half minute glimpse of Mount Ararat and I ask myself what it means to me now...except this time the answer is much more then it takes me back to my childhood days and I cant help to smile hoping one day it will be ours again.