The deadline for the dissolution of Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory recaptured by the Azerbaijani army, is expiring

The Karabakhis will welcome the New Year in exile for the first time They don’t know whether they will one day be able to return to the homeland of their ancestors or whether they will have to rebuild their lives there new home, Armenia.

“For me, Artsakh (Armenian name for Nagorno-Karabakh) will never be dissolved, it will only happen in one case: when it joins Armenia,” the young entrepreneur told EFE. Beno Mirzoyan.

Benó is one of more than 100,000 Karabakhis who were forced to flee the enclave in September following Azerbaijan’s military operation.

The exodus of the entire population of this area, where it had been present for millennia, was qualified by Yerevan of “ethnic cleansing”.

And from night to morning The Karabakh Armenians lost not only their homes, but also their small statewhose The institutions must dissolve completely from January 1stas stated in a document signed by its leaders upon surrender to Baku.

New life in Armenia

Tens of thousands of Karabakhis are now trying to adapt to a new reality.

Benó has settled in the Armenian capital, where she runs a project in which refugee women with a talent for handcraft make fabrics. He really wants to move forward because it is “more difficult to live on your knees.”

The young man believes that he will welcome the New Year with pain, but hopes for the return of the Armenian population one day Nagorno-Karabakh.

Regarding the process of normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which has been stalled for several months, the young man believes that “peace is the best thing in the world,” but both sides must be prepared for it.

“The thing is, if you are ready for peace, your neighbor should be too,” he explains.

With emptiness inside

University student Knar Jachatrian She confesses that she has felt alienated and empty since settling in Armenia.

The young woman concentrates on her education, but also dedicates her time to other projects. She has started a small business making bracelets with symbols of Artsakh and has also turned her photos of the region into postcards for sale.

“It is difficult for me to remember celebrating a new year since (the war) 2020. This year, when everyone is happy with the Christmas decorations and fireworks in Yerevan, I have I’m trying to find meaning in this celebration“, recognize.

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Knar remembers it From the first day of the new year, the Artsakh Republic, founded in 1991 after a referendum, will no longer exist.

“Usually the New Year is a holiday full of positive wishes, but this year begins with this sad news,” he laments.

Knar believes so his return to Nagorno-Karabakh is still possible and that you will find peace there that you cannot find anywhere else. However, the young woman assumes so “Restoring the state is a difficult task.”

A lot of work as an antidote to nostalgia

“After Artsakh, I tried not to be alone with my thoughts; I’m constantly running away from it so I don’t end up alone and going crazy,” she tells EFE. Heghinar Grigoriana teacher now working in a rural Armenian school.

Heghinar expresses this Since the 2020 war, he no longer believes in the meaning of the end-of-year holidays.

“The dissolution of Artsakh is the loss of our honor and dignity, and their restoration must be linked to return,” he says.

The teacher doesn’t believe that Peace with Azerbaijan is possiblebecause it is “a country that tortures pregnant women and murders children.”

Expelled three times

On his part Saro Sarian He was expelled from his homeland three times in his life. In his youth, he fled his hometown of Baku and settled in the Karabakh city of Shushi (Shushá for Azerbaijani).

Since the 2020 war, he had to flee this city, which passed into the hands of the Azerbaijani armed forces, and settled in Stepanakert, the capital of Karabakh.

Saro currently lives in Yerevan and is a member of the Nagorno-Karabakh Public Council, an organization that has decided to continue its functions even in a context where most institutions face difficulties.

Saro believes that there is no reason to be happy about the New Year, “although something within us gives us hope that everything will work out in the end.”

He doesn’t believe in it either the documents declaring the dissolution of Nagorno-Karabakhsince, he argues, the only valid one was the 1991 independence referendum.

Meanwhile, his son was fighting in the trenches in the 44 Day War (2020) and was mutilated. “Life without the desire for a bright future has no meaning and for the Armenians of Artsakh, that dream is to live in the land of our ancestors,” he assures.

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