The House Which Stays in Our Mobile Pictures

Photo collage by MassisPost: Together for Artsakh

Alyosha Baghryan is a former resident of the village of Ukhtadzor, located in Artsakh’s Hadrut region. Every evening he goes to the food store for daily shopping for his family and takes with him his 3 years old grandchild.

“On our way back when I say to little Alyosha “Hurry, let’s go home”, he always answers: “What home, grandpa? Our home is in the phone pictures,’’ said Alyosha Sr. with tears in his eyes to the journalist of www.Hetq.am.

Alyosha Sr. often goes through phone camera roll with Alyosha Jr. to see the old pictures from Artsakh. “Do you remember this store I was buying ice-cream for you, baby? Or do you remember where this place you were playing with your friends?” asks grandfather.

Unfortunately, today their village can only be seen through their mobile photos.

Little Alyosha Jr. moved from Artsakh to the Republic of Armenia with his mother and younger sister Stella on September 28th, 2020, the second day after the Artsakh war broke out. Meanwhile his father Arman was on the front line with his fellow villagers as a military volunteer, protecting the Armenian land from the Azerbaijani-Turkish aggressors.

Currently Arman is reunited with his family in Hoktember village of Armavir region. The house they rent is very poor: one table, one chair, a couple of beds and one refrigerator for five members of the family. He says that they did not take anything with them while they were leaving their village because they were sure they would return home soon. Arman does not complain but he remembers with emotions their house, the village and daily life they left to enemy in Artsakh:

“Ukhtadzor used to be a small village of about 300 people, where everyone knew each other, caring for each other, used to call and visit each other to make sure everything was fine. We had the two-story house, enough domestic animals, agriculture land near the house which was giving us daily bread to live happily. We had everything there, but it is secondary. The main thing that we have left and it hurts is our history, our memories, graves of our ancestors,” says Arman.

His father, Alyosha Sr. was born in Ukhtadzor. Since the first Artsakh war, 1993, Alyosha’s Sr. wife, father, uncle and uncle’s wife have been missing. The enemy killed them. Alyosha Sr. raised his three minor children by himself.

“Currently I should have enjoyed my old age, but the last war changed everything. We had to leave our native village ‘naked’ without taking anything except our beautiful and kind memories of decades. For God’s sake one (should) return and see our fathers’ and mothers’ graves are ruined, our houses and land are on fire, and then our history would be on fire. Who needs property that time? With God help we can work and get property here in new place, as well but the rest won’t back,” says Alyosha Sr.

Arman is thinking of starting farming in new place as he used to do in his village in Artsakh, but he does not lose hope and dreams that Ukhtadzor may be “taken back” one day soon.

“It’s hard to start new life from zero, but thank God my family and I survived the horror of the war. We and thousands like us are displaced today but we never lose our hope to go back,” Arman concludes.

Story translated from the following Armenian source: https://hetq.am/hy/article/127730

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