Zakaryan has been living on the streets for 15 years

Among the thousands of protesters in front of parliament on Saturday, April 11, is Rauf Zakaryan, 45, a homeless man. Although he has no idea about what’s going on there.

“I asked people what they are doing here. No one gave me answer. I thought these meetings are for elections,” says Zakaryan, who has been living on the streets  for 15 years.

Zakaryan speaks in Azerbaijanian and Armenian. While talking he stopped, listened to know what opposition leaders speaking about. But he didn’t understand because all speeches are in Georgian language.

It is a month that former taxi driver Zakaryan has lived in Tbilisi, sleeping everywhere, for example, 50 meter far from Opera and around the Academy of Science of Georgia at night. According to him, any place where can be a shelter he lives there. He has only a big, black bag, black and dirty hat. He keeps his reserve shoes, some clothes there.

He lived in Russia, Ukraine, and Armenia before, but moved because of the lack of money and to find somewhere to live.

Zakaryan decided to live in Georgia because he heard it was a more law-abiding country. He thinks Georgia is a fairer place to live and is puzzled by the calls for Saakashvili’s resignation.


"I know only that no one can make Saakashvili resign if he didn’t commit a crime"

It was on Saturday when I met him and started talking. There were fewer people than the first two days of the protests. When we talked, there were about 5,000 protesters in front of the parliament.

Zakaryan stared at people, seeming like he was counting them. Then he asked me “How much is the population of Georgia?” I replied “It is about 5 million.”

Zakaryan thought about that for a minute, then replied: “This is unbelievable. Now there are only maximum 5,000-10,000 people here. Let it be even whole population of Tbilisi. How can they to make difference in government instead of the remaining three or four million?”

“There have to be elections, there is no other way to get rid of the president,” said Zakaryan, before going off to look for a new place to sleep for the night.