Around 100,000 refugees have entered Armenia since September’s conclusion, and numerous individuals have been assisted by the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM).
These are a few of their tales.
Unfortunately, Ophelia Aghajanyan and her family are all retired and rely on pension income. Her husband, a former soldier, is disabled. Their son is also disabled. Tragically, her sister’s child was transported here in a sealed casket.
“We laid many of our family members to rest. I have left behind my deceased loved ones, and I do not hold myself responsible; I have brought a small amount of earth with me. What is our plan of action? I am uncertain. Who shows concern for the elderly?”
Andranik Harutyunyan: The same day as they started striking our village, our whole community moved into to a cave. When it was time for all of us to leave the village, no one took anything from Berdadzor. Some people were able to get their family out by car, at least. But some were not.
If someone in our community needs assistance finding housing, we will handle the rest. We are all hardworking families and will do what it takes to support our loved ones.
Svetlana Lazaryan, who used to live in Armenia, was faced with a question from the woman she lived with when she decided to return to Karabakh. The woman asked, “Where are you going without a home or belongings?” Svetlana responded, “I may not know where I am going, but I am needed there.”
I am unsure… There is a strong emotional pull… A familial bond. My parents are laid to rest there. I have departed from my brother’s resting place. I have also departed from my father’s resting place.
We empathize with our own suffering. We should offer each other support instead of relying on outside help. Why is there a lack of attention and understanding towards our pain?
Edgar Yedigaryan: I am committed to my fiancée, who is currently displaced in the Hadrut region. Despite the unfortunate events, we have not changed our decision to get married. We are determined to stay strong and rise above this tragedy.
If there are no available positions in government organizations, we will turn to working in agriculture and taking care of our families. We are a group of hardworking individuals who have the ability to build something from nothing.
Marianna Grigoryan shared that her mother and grandmother were forced to leave their home in the 1990s, leaving her family without a place to call their own. She admits to not fully understanding the idea of homeownership and even expresses a lack of interest in learning about it. She has witnessed firsthand the effort and sacrifice that goes into building a home, only to have it destroyed in an instant.
On the 19th of the month, as the intense conflict broke out, crowds of individuals sought refuge in Stepanakert. Despite being under attack, we constantly sought shelter in different basements. We organized the number of people in each location and swiftly gathered blankets, shoes, and any other supplies we could find. In the midst of aid distributions, we were also frantically collecting essentials during bombings.