In the family of Yazidi Murad Kaloyan, who died in the 44-day war, they do not talk about him in the past tense. “He is with us, he will always be with us,” says his mother, 39-year-old Tereza Broyan.

The Kaloyans live in Yerevan, in the administrative district of Erebuni, where Murad was born and grew up. In a corner of the house, Murad’s photos, large and small, colored or black and white, where the gently smiling young man is in military or civilian clothes, and his awards and medals are displayed. Next to the photos, the items found in his pocket are exhibited: a phone, 5,000 drams, which his parents laminated and keep as a souvenir, and a watch. Candles have been lit and fresh flowers have been placed in this corner for about three years now.

“Once, I remember, at school they asked him what he wanted to be, he said ‘I will grow up and become a leader’,” says the mother in wearing only black cloths.

More than two years have passed since the war of 2020, but still, the parents cannot talk about their son without crying: “I was such a strong mother, now I just cannot; I don’t have enough strength.”

Murad Kaloyan was drafted into the army in July 2018 and had only 16 days left to return home when the war started on September 27, 2020. First, he served in Hadrut, then in Nubarashen, where he served as a sniper and returned to Artsakh with a certificate of honor and a medal. He was in the military unit of Martuni when the war started.

“He was in active battles for 26 days. On the night of October 22, at dawn of the 23rd, while moving from Martuni on the road to Fizuli, when the car ahead of him was bombarded by a drone, there was an order to get out of the car. They got out. But they don’t disperse, they gather around the commander and that’s when the drone strikes,” says Murad’s father, 40-year-old Yurik Kaloyan.

About the death of their son the Kaloyans were informed by the childhood friend of their son. “He called and said: ‘Your lion fell’.”

“He encouraged us until the end: we asked if the battles were tough, he said no, don’t believe in anything, we will win, and that gave us hope. He used to say, “Mom, I saw a war, I’ll return and [eventually] will tell my grandchildren,” says the mother.

Before the war, Murad Kaloyan was engaged in Greco-Roman wrestling: he took honorable places during competitions and received certificates of honor. He intended to continue practicing this sport activity after returning from the army. Anf now, his father says, competitions are organized in his name at the Dynamo stadium every year.

“He was loved by everyone, both commanders and privates. He was respected among the frineds, he was very friendly. He was more like my friend; we made a kind of friendship”, remembers the father.

P.S. “Journalists for Human Rights” NGO/ starts presenting the representatives of national minorities of Armenia who participated in the war and heroically died for their country.

Hasmik Hambardzumyan

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