Creatively focused and noteworthyPhoto credit: Norayr Kasper, "I Will Talk to You About Time." Fotoistanbul 2015.
We are our stories: When nothing else makes sense in Lebanon "Lav es?" («Լա՞ւ ես» | "Are you all right?") It’s a simple question in Armenian that requires an unequivocally simple answer: “Lav em,” («Լաւ եմ» | "I am all right") even if you have hit rock bottom. Following the catastrophic explosion that tore apart the Beirut port and its surrounding areas, I received dozens of messages and e-mails with anxious inquiries. One particular “Lav es?” in the subject line touched me to the core, triggering a mix of thoughts and feelings, making it hard to respond right away. The words carried me back and forth and I realized I was writing a story instead.
Surj with Tatik (Coffee with Grandma): Reflections on first love and heartbreak As the closest connection to our ancestors, grandparents provide an incalculable wealth of knowledge, in the form of stories and lessons. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected the elderly, driving a physical wedge between us and our living treasure troves, who are left isolated and as fragile as ever. At h-pem, we will publish a series of pieces, titled “Surj with Tatik,” dedicated to grandparents and what they mean to us. Some will be about rites of passage and discovery, others about heartbreak and family, food and careers, but at the heart of them all lies love. Check out the first piece below!