Yesterday, there was a baptism ceremony of Artsakh citizens in Masis extended community. The family of 10-year-old Mikael and 8-year-old Nver, who died on September 19 in Sarnaghbyur village, were among the 150 baptized.

The boys’ mother and grandmother silently watched the festive ceremony in the churchyard, only little Seyran was regularly told that he could go play with the other children. Miraculously saved Seyran, who is six years old, has a shrapnel injury in his head, but carries his baptismal cross very vigorously and proudly.

“Now, when talking about the blockade, many people say, ‘I wish we were in those days.’ Why? Because our children were with us… We miss you and we won’t be able to see you… After the baptism, you feel relieved at some point. You feel something inside. The pain does not go away: that pain will never go away. But when you go out, you communicate, you feel somehow relieved,” says grandmother Hersik, who has lost not only two young grandchildren, but also two of her seven sons.

“I had seven sons. Two are no more. My son who died in this war is [buried] in Erablur, my grandchildren are here. I gave victims also in 2020 war. One of my sons died in 2020. We have lost everything. I have lost my grandchildren, and my sons, and our homeland, our ancestral lands, our graves. Over the years, yes, we may be able to bring back the fatherland, but we can’t bring back the victims,” says the woman looking for consolation.

Three of the sons of grandmother Hersik are now in Masis, two are further away. “One of my sons went to Metsavan village in Tashir, the other is in Yeghegnadzor [regions in Armenia].”

As it is known, Mikayel and Nver Ghazaryans lived with their relatives in Sarnaghbyur village of Askeran region, which had 76 inhabitants before the Azerbaijani attack. Five of them were killed, 15 were wounded, four were captured. Mikayel and Nver were among the victims.

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.

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