On January 24, 2019, Samvel went to the army. The older brother was serving in Khojalu, and Samvel was to serve there too. He waited for his brother, they met, they saw each other ․

“It was good, I did not have a complaint from either, their service went on always balanced, in a normal course. As a parent, my advice was that the service is temporary, you should be silent sometimes, because the army life is different, this life is different,” says the mother, Mrs. Karine.

Samvel Gharibyan was from Byureghavan. He was studying at the Medical College. He was a dental technician, a future dentist. He loved his profession very much. He was bright and talented person, full of life.

He could postpone his service: it was the last semester. He also had health problems, but said he wanted to serve with his peers․

“We did not oppose. He went and served.”

On September 27 [the first dau of the war], they moved to Askeran. Every day, until the day of his death, he contacted his mother every morning and evening.

“I only said I wish to listen to your voice, to be calm. He contacted me that day and said very quickly, ‘Mom, don’t worry, everything is fine, we were taken somewhere else.”

He always giggled while calling, trying to cover up the sounds of the shots.

“There are shots that have been recorded. The comrades-in-arms and the volunteers said, let’s take a picture together since this may be our last one. They fought until the 9th of the month. He was always with the commander, he was his right hand! Friends say he was very brave, he was the first in anything.”

The last time he was drivinh an Ural. He was in a battle, but, when he called, he did not forget to laugh and smile. He inherited patriotism from his grandfather. He always asked his grandfather about military operations. At school age he joined the detachment of Yerkrapah volunteers.

The call of October 9 too was not delayed․

“He did not call in the morning, because it [the battle] was already hot. My heart was restless. You are a mother, you work in a state of war, you have to get you job done… I was already going out of the house when he called, and said, ‘Mom dear, if I do not call, please don’t be upset, mom dear’. I said, ‘Samvel, I do not like your voice; it does not come out right to me, you sound very sad’. He said, ‘Mom, do not say anything more, please. Be good, take good care of yourself, everything is fine, I will call again’. He put down the phone, I kept calling, he did not answer. In a minute or two he called again, ‘Mom, I have to ask you something: if I call, never ask why I am sad’… These were his last word. And I did not receive any other calls.”

Mrs. Karine was waiting with the hope that her son would call at least at 22:00. Time passes, but there is no call. She thought the situation was difficult, she was optimistic.

After three days of sleepless struggle, 20-year-old Samvel was killed by a drone on October 9 in Jabrail. After not receiving calls for two days, they learned the news on November 11.

After the death of his son, the father died too.

“My husband took it very hard. I was able to cry and, thus, express myself, but he could not. Especially when they handed over the lands. He hit the table so hard that day and said, “My son’s blood… He joined the boy; perhaps, because he loved him more…”

Qnarik Vardanyan

Phtos by Ani Gevorgyan

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