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MASTER RAfik
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MASTER RAfik

Sirvard MARGARYAN

 My hero, Rafik Martirosyan, who has been burdened with the burden of nearly a hundred years, who has been "crushing" with years of life, trying to differ good from evil, the false from truth, the darkness from light, has been living in Old Armenavan since 1956 The house, which stands out for its size, was built by master-builder Rafik himself, grinding and polishing every stone with his own hands, giving breath and meaning to each stone. Under that circumstance, four children grew up, learning from their father to earn honest, true life lessons. True, the forces of the renowned builder are running out of time day by day, but he is still on his feet; he has been unable to cultivate a garden for about a year, however, his mind works with clock accuracy. He remembers all the significant moments and events of his life as if they are happening today, remembers, rejoices, grieves and rebels at the same time...

He was born in Khnatsakh village of Askeran region ... Rafik is the oldest of seven children of Kyasparants Artash. He had a hard childhood, but he never lost his temper. Throughout his life, he has tried to live in harmony with his conscience and earn a living through the sweat of the day. Master Rafik says with pride that only in their old Armenavan he has built 27 large houses after work, and the number of houses built in his native village and Stepanakert is countless. Master Rafik's life story is multilayered and multifaceted, many clouds have passed through his head, and now he does not know which one to tell and which one to leave… By the time of the Great Patriotic, he was neither a proper teenager nor a young man, but he had to carry a heavy burden.  His father and uncle went to war leaving a house full of children, seven were theirs, and five children were his uncle’s, and he had to take care of them as the man in the house while he still needed care. He matured too early, and there was no time to enjoy adolescence. He barely managed to finish the 6th grade, he started work in the village collective farm. It was 1949… Baku seduced the young people, Rafik was captured by the idea to earn a living and went to Baku, and as he testified, he escaped somehow: the president of the collective farm did not let him go. He worked in Baku for six years. My interlocutor saw everything: warm human relations, appreciation by the leaders, but he did not forget the pronounced discriminatory attitude of some "internationalists" especially towards Armenians. "The secretary of the Azeri party in Shintrest wanted me to run the party ranks. I tried my best to resist, but to no avail," recalls R. Martirosyan, "Do our shepherds have to become party members?”, - he used to say, to please me, "And so, ignoring my wish, they presented me to join the party ranks. To be honest, there were not so many builders around me, I had a good builder's name, and all the responsible work entrusted me. Days passed, one day, Rahmanov (the secretary of the party himself) came up and said, "Martirosyan, you should go to the Region’s Komsomol Committee?" I went ... The secretary of the Komsomol Committee shook the list, and pointing at me with disdain, said: “why did you bring him, and threw the list out, squeezing the teeth: I will go to Bagirov and put your trousers off. Then I learned that Rahmanov was expelled from the party.

R. Martirosyan also recalled how beautiful houses, hospitals, schools were built by Armenians, and haw they ignored the Armenians as second-class people. The salaries were paid three times, the highest were paid their idols and the non-talented, then the Russians, and only then the Armenians, whom they paid as they wished.  One day when he was young, master -builder Rafik, wrote a letter to Bagirov and opened his heart to him. He complained that he was called "puppy" in Komsomol Committee, that the Armenians worked hard and were not paid properly, in a word, complained about the unfair attitude towards Armenians, from their discriminatory attitude, and from then it began ... the policemen came after each other, he saw that they were chasing him, he left and returned to his homeland. But here also he was being chased. His fault was that he dared to disturb Bagirov. Rafik Martirosyan had already managed to gain the reputation of a good master-builder. He proudly recalls how devoted he was working in the Stepanakert Memorial, and until the main monument was erected, he had worked on site improvement for two years. When the stones of the monument have already been cut, two master builders from Armenia were invited to erect a 24-meter-high monument. It was necessary to get the job done quickly, and they should have managed to organize the grand opening of the 30th anniversary of Victory. The invited masters demanded a large sum of 25,000 rubles for the work and left with a refusal. Master Rafik got the job done. The monument, that was erected by him, is one of the symbols of Stepanakert today. They had promised a thousand rubles, they still didn’t give, but Master Rafik does not even want to remember those who promised a reward, he always did his job with pleasure and responsibility, and he blessed the years gone by, the years which gave him a good name, a good reputation and honor.