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Mikhail's Story: Change in Armenia



Mikhail's Story: Change in Armenia
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.63

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    cease-fire, democracy, electronics, provided, therefore, worldwide, livestock, successful, pregnant, fact, irrigation, environment, meantime, natural, actually, beginning
     content words:    During World War, Ottoman Turkey, Soviet Union, Near Mikhail, United States


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Mikhail's Story: Change in Armenia
By Jennifer Kenny
  

1     Mikhail grew up in Armenia. In fact, he still lives there. Armenia is a country in Asia. It is east of Turkey. Around 3 million people live in Armenia today.
 
2     Armenia has quite a history. Early on, it was a country of its own. Then it was taken over by different empires. During World War I, the western part of Armenia had trouble with Ottoman Turkey. In the meantime, the Soviets took over the eastern part. In 1991, Armenia became independent from the Soviet Union. Earlier, in 1988, Armenia and Azerbaijan began fighting over an area called Nagorno-Karabakh. Turkey joined the blockade against Armenia because it sided with Azerbaijan. With a cease-fire in 1994, it has been quiet around Nagorno-Karabakh, but nothing has been completely worked out. The borders between the two countries are still closed. Armenia's economy has suffered from blockades and troubles with its neighbors, Turkey and Azerbaijan.
 
3     Armenia has been working on changing its government. It is creating a democracy. Mikhail likes that. However, Mikhail and his friends in rural Armenia still struggle in other ways. Some of the economy has gotten better. Other parts have a long way to go. Many people are out of work.
 
4     When Armenia was run by the Soviet Union, there were many businesses, such as those that manufactured electronics and textiles. Everything was planned and organized by the government. Different parts of the Soviet Union depended on and traded with one another. Now, with the fighting about the borders, trading is a big problem. It's tough to bring in fuel or sell products. Many factories closed. Many harsh winters left a lot of people very hungry and cold.
 
5     Right after Armenia declared its independence from Soviet rule in 1991, farming became important. Fruits, vegetables, grain, and livestock were grown and raised. Then, not enough fuel, not enough irrigation, and not enough money for equipment hurt the farmers. Once again borders were a problem.

Paragraphs 6 to 13:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable


Extended Activities:

1.  Research conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. Write 10 facts about the struggle.

2.  Find out what kinds of international organizations are working in Armenia. What is their purpose?

3.  Imagine you are a volunteer in Armenia. What kind of program would you like to help out with?



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