Alyosha Harutyunyan, who spent his whole life in the Sarushen village of Askeran, cannot imagine his life away from his homeland. He says, “My heart is saddened.” The Harutyunyans now live in one of the temporary shelters in the city of Masis, and 63-year-old Alyosha tries to find a job every day, but he didn’t manage to find any yet.

“When the fight started, they took us out at five o’clock. The head of our village came and said, “Come out: there is a fight’. We all went out; we stayed in the woods above Shen. It was about nine o’clock, we left; we went to the other village where the Turks did not hit. We stayed there at night and left at half past six. We went to Stepanakert, where we stayed at my brother’s house, then we left and came here,” he says. Alyosha Harutyunyan says that now only four members of his family of five are in Masis, the fifth, the eldest son, is in the hospital.

“My eldest son was injured and is now in the hospital. When the Turk entered the village, he was injured. He was injured in the arm, as well as in the leg. The shrapnel is still in his leg. He is OK now: we were just talking on the phone. My son is Vitaly Harutyunyan, he was born in 1985,” says Alyosha and adds that his village also has a victim. The death of the victim was confirmed only more than a month after the events. “We also have victims from our village. It was sister-in-law’s sister’s son. They have just brought him to Masis, it has just been confirmed that it is him. His name is Artak Israelyan,” says Alyosha Harutyunyan.

Alyosha states that not only he and his family are in Masis, but also his three brothers. Despite that, he really wants to return home. “I can’t live here. It was better in our village, in our country. My heart hurts, I don’t have a home here. We are four brothers, we are all here, all our families are here. I don’t know what we will do, but if we find a house, I would like to stay here permanently; I don’t want to go anywhere else from here. Whatever suits me here, I constantly do it, keep myself busy, I don’t sit down idly. I am looking for a job, I will do whatever I find. They tell me you are old, you are an adult, there is no job for you, but whatever goods come here, whatever aid comes, I go and help take them out. Everyone knows me. I will do any job. In a few days I will go to Yerevan to have my eyes operated on. Now I can’t see anything, but I’m outside all day, trying to find something to do.”

Ani Gevorgyan

Ani Gevorgyan is a journalist, photographer, and the winner of the Freedom of Speech Award. She has participated in photo exhibitions at the UN headquarters (New York) and the Geneva office, the Palace of Europe (Strasbourg), Paris, Rome, Berlin, Vienna and elsewhere.

Pin It on Pinterest