In the highlands of Armenia, blue mountain flowers grow from mountainside cracks, between boulders and stones, and on the edges of cliffs and rocky, dusty roads. They are small specks that dot the landscape, and one would think at first glance, quite delicate. But the contrary is true; they are sturdy and able to understand much – the howling wind and the pounding rain; the snow, the ice, and the biting cold; the heat, the scorching sun, and the drought, even the occasional tremors of the earth and the crushing footsteps of passersby.Gyumri, one of the oldest cities, dating back to the Bronze Age, and second largest in Armenia, is like the mountain flower. Through the centuries, this ancient and historic frontier region has withstood much: the ravages of invaders, the elements, and the changing times. Once a village, then a town, and finally a city, this place has had several names: Gumnias, Kumairi, Alexandropol, Leninakan, and finally Gyumri. In 1988, a powerful earthquake devastated Gyumri and the surrounding areas. As the earth shook, rumbled and roared, as the terrain ripped open in places, thousands perished; buildings crumbled and toppled to the ground, becoming nothing but piles of agonizing memories. Of those that survived, some were maimed, but all sustained weeping wounds they buried deep in their hearts. In time, slowly and steadfastly, they, like their ancestors, rebuilt their shattered lives, their homes, and their city. This story is a snapshot of life in the Armenian highlands – life in Gyumri.