“The truth is that the life of an individual is not more interesting than the life of a whole nation. And another truth is that not everyone is able to describe his/her life the way great writers do.” This was my father’s first response to my request of knowing more about his past life.
My father, Ruben Aslanian, was born on April 12 the year 1951 in a small village of Abkhazia called Mteesoubanee. Abkhazia was part of the Georgia republic during the mid nineteenth century and Georgia was one of the fourteen republics of the outdated Soviet Union. The village my father lived in does not have anything in common with the villages of the present time. One of the main differences is that those villages were extremely far away from the main cities. Another major distinctions is the fact that the roads of those villages were not clean and covered up with asphalt and the houses were not provided with electrician, phone or water supply system. Villagers had to get water from either a river or a well that they had built and for light at nights, they had the candles. There was one store for the whole village, which was selling casual items such as soap, candles, matches, canned food and so on.
Each village had a kolkhoz which where large fields owned by the government. Villagers were working on these fields and selling the product to the government in a low price almost without charge. Except working on the kolkhoz, every villager had a field of his individual, which was about as big as 3000 square meters that needed care. The government owed these fields as well, which belonged to the villagers for as long as they lived in the same area. The difference between those fields and the kolkhoz was the villager’s chose of either selling the product or keeping it to themselves.
Villagers did not even have passports. The government would not give them passports on purpose because they did not want them to leave the villages and try to go live in cities. Without a passport, one could not get a visa of a city and without visa; one could not find a job. This system forced people who were born in villages to either live their whole life in the same village or move to another village. In any case, villagers were not able to survive in cities. In other words, if someone had the luck to be born as a villager he had to die one too.
“ I have my own...
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...eir goal was to revenge the people that put them in the prison and ruined their lives. Unfortunately, one of those people was my own father. Like a picture in my mind, I still remember the criminal with a mask holding a gun against my father’s head. I remember my father begging them to not do anything in front of his children and my mother trying to pull us away so we would not be witnesses of the murder of out own father. Fortunately, they did not kill my father. I do not now the reason. I still think that it was the God’s will, because otherwise I just can not explain it. The next day, I found myself in a plain flying out of my motherland to be safe.
“I always remember my house, my garden, my neighbors, and every single city of Abkhazia, where I spent a long time of my life. I want to admit that I live much wealthier life now in America, than back in Abkhazia. The point of our life is not about been rich; the point if this life is, in my opinion, is to wake up in the morning and be able to see beloved relatives and friends. This is not only my misfortune; this is the disaster of every human been that, in his or her middle ages, looses his or her surroundings of a life time.”
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