Many years has passed from the tragic earthquake of Gyumri, Armenia. But the scars of the past are stamped in the hearts of every Armenian all over the world. In a cold winter day, nearly 30 years ago, a loud rumble followed by 9 magnitude earthquake destroyed cities like Spitak, Gyumri, Vanadzor and small villages around them. Only in gyumri 17.000 people died, many families stayed homeless. A high number of immigration started from back then. Year by year city had became abandonment.
In between the half destroyed buildings, on a small piece of land there still stands the oldest barber shop of Gyumri named “Lux”. The salon was first opened in 1941 and has not closed its doors neither during the world war II nor today. Every morning sharp at 8.00, Margarita, the cleaner of the salon arrives to open the barber shop. Soon arrived David, the owner of the salon. And closer to 9.00 all barbers are on their positions ready to work. Most of the clients have their cuts done by early afternoon, so the rest of the day the barbers are free to play Nardi or discuss the latest political news. “Lux” work still 6 evening while there were times when they would work till 10.00 evening without having a minute to rest.
The pinkish barber shop had been renewed a little only once in 1986 after so many years of being opened. Although the atmosphere of the salon hasn’t been changed. The old mebels, 120 years old mirrors, rare chandelier, worn out leather belts and creaky floorboards give the feeling of a movie that you can watch on tv.
Barbers, aged 35-84, has their private memories and pain carrying in their hearts from earthquake. None of them like to talk about past but they want to move on and have a hope for their city. There were more barber shops in gyumri back then, but they all shut down one by one. “Lux” is still surviving due to impossible effort each barber puts daily and the hope they live with.