Arevik Avanesyan brings her dreams in Chartar to life in Aparan. The forcibly displaced 46-year-old woman makes handmade bags to keep the memories of Artsakh alive and to solve the social problems of her large family in small steps.

“I have always loved to work; I have worked since I was a child. I always thought of doing this work after 2020, but the blockade started, I couldn’t find threads. After we came to Armenia, I decided to do it,” says Mrs. Arevik, on whose work table handmade bags of different colors and sizes for children and adults are placed. “I work to calm myself,” she says.

Mrs. Arevik says that it was her dream to do this job. However, she records that she cannot earn money with her dream job. Her works are not yet known in Aparan.

“I still can’t earn money. We move from place to place, the environment is changing. The neighbor suggested that we sell it here. I don’t know anyone. She said, she’d help me; I am waiting,” she said.

Ms. Arevik lived in Nerkin Chartar with her family. It is a village near the city of Chartar. After the 2020 war, the village came under the control of the enemy, they were moved to Chartar. They lived there before the forced displacement.

“We left Chartar on September 25,” Mrs. Arevik recalls the situation in Chartar. “There were panic, anxiety, regret, pain… It was one o’clock when it started. the children were afraid, they were running, they didn’t know where to go. All men were on the front line,” says the woman from Artsakh with a deep sigh.

For them, Chartar was not just a place of residence: they have memories and history left there. “We were attached to the soil by our roots, we imagine our future in that soil. It was cruel that we had to leave and go out. We did not think about the house and possessions, our wealth and sanctity are the land we left behind. That land is sprinkled with blood. We lived with each other’s pain. This was the situation in the whole Artsakh, not only in Chartar,” she says.

After the forced displacement, Arevik Avanesyan’s family settled temporarily in Gyumri [Armenia], then they moved to Aragats village, because her husband was supposed to work at the National Security Service. Then they moved to Aparan. However, the closer they got to Yerevan, the more the opportunities to work in the NSS decreased. According to her, they did not offer a clear answer from the NSS. She notes that her husband served in the National Service of Artsakh for many years.

“My husband’s wark never happened. They said to wait. We are not waiting for them to call us any more: it has been seven months,” she says and notes that her husband is collecting herbs from the fields of Aparan.

“He brings them home, I can them so that we can sell if possible.”

Mrs. Arevik lives with her husband and daughter. Recently, the other daughter moved in with them, along with her husband and children.

Mrs. Arevik’s son, Arthur, died during the war. He was an intelligencer with heroic path, which we will present in the next publication.

Narek Kirakosyan

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