Armine has no ancestry in Meghri, but spares no effort to save the residential buildings of the Poqr Tagh, which are of historical value. She believes owing to its urban environment the district can become a center of hospitality, environmental and agricultural tourism, folk tour destination, and a cultural hub. The plans include creation of parks, teahouses, local food diners, all of which are supposed to tell about the local traditions.
In 2004-2008 the Izmirlian Foundation purchased a house in the Poqr Tagh; owing to Armine the building today is the only operating guesthouse of Meghri, and holds the name "Areviq". The exploitation and maintenance of the reconstructed guesthouse is handed over to "Areviq" Foundation.
"But this is more a people's house. We try to revive the traditions related to this sort of public spaces. The Poqr Tagh has kept its architectural uniqueness. It is because cars have been unable to reach here, and the locale has not been distorted," Armine explains.
The building of "Areviq" once belonged to Mezhlumyans, the famous dynasty of doctors in Meghri. The Poqr Tagh has been populated with the well-off people of the town, and has once been the center of the settlement. Meghri's hospital, library, and the 17th century St Hovhannes Church have all been located in this part of the town.
The historic part of Meghri is home to 65 families. Many of the residents have renovated their houses, which has resulted in distortions of the old district's traditional features. And yet, even now, the classical décor of the window frames and doors, mostly wooden, lattice, and arched, is clearly detectable. The insides of the houses have wooden ceilings, and have always been known for richly embellished stoves.
According to government decision 2322-N from December 29, 2005 the Poqr Tagh of Meghri was included in the list of historic and cultural assets of Armenia under state protection and was classified as a national value.
The Izmirlian Foundation has started "Revival of Poqr Tagh District in Meghri" program, which aims at restoration and conservation of the local cultural heritage as well as at boosting the economic life of the town.
"As a result Meghri is expected to become a unique connection point between Armenia and the countries of the Arax valley attracting tourists from all over the world to see its historic and cultural assets, natural monuments, as well as to attend traditional and contemporary folk festivals, local customs and lifestyle," says Babken Babayan, Head of Project Implementation, Izmirlian Foundation country office.