My name is Ahdenae Khodaverdian, and I'm a sophomore Business Management student at Woodbury University. I'm also minoring in Animation and Professional Writing, and if my degree path wasn't telling enough, I'm pretty sporadic in my interests, but that's always fueled an never-ending curiosity in me. I'm an Armenian, born and raised in Southern California. Although my home is in the cities of LA, my family and I do make time every handful of years to visit a different home: Armenia. In 2016 I visited the areas that inspired this poem: the gravesites of Gyumri, my mother's hometown.
My mother, Anait Khodaverdian, the translator of this poem into Armenian, studied Armenian Language and Literature at the University of Yerevan. After finishing her degree, she worked at the Armenian National Radio Literature and Art Department as a radio journalist. Having actually lived in Armenia for a large portion of her life, her experiences and perspective, as shown through the conversations we shared during the process of the translation, were invaluable to me in my understanding of a home that I'd never even lived in. A key part of that discussion was a piece of history I had not considered: on December 7th, 1988, there was an large, devastating earthquake that especially affected Gyumri, that left families broken and the town a shell of its former self.
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