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THE NEW RESIDENTS OF THE OLD VILLAGE

Nune HAYRAPETYAN

As in many villages relatively close to the capital, Khnapat has become one of the preferred places of temporary residence for some of the population displaced from the settlements remained under the control of the enemy. According to Mayor Samvel Shahramanyan, 29 deported families were accommodated in the village.
In recent years, there have been 50 houses in the community that, for different reasons, are uninhabited or ownerless, and according to the mayor, some of them were suitable for living. Mainly provided with the necessary furniture with the help of landlords, they were provided to families displaced from Hadrut, Kashatagh, Askeran, and even to the families left homeless due to the shelling of Stepanakert. At the time of our visit, 18 houses were undergoing renovations under a program approved by the Ministry of Urban Development.
There are many problems for families trying to settle in their new home. If people with such a status as temporary residents in the capital are able to overcome their many problems as much as possible by knocking the doors of the relevant structures, then the hope and helper of those sheltered in rural areas is the head of the village.
Even in the case of special bias, Khnapat cannot be considered a remote village, however, only the representatives of the Red Cross visit the families settled in this community at the beginning of winter, who regularly deliver food and hygiene items to them on a monthly basis from January. We were forced to record other painful facts in the village. Any family we met has not yet benefited from a home-based property program, after waiting in long queues at warehouses in different parts of the capital belonging to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, several families have managed to receive bedding.
Among those settled in Khnapat is the young Gevorgyan family of 4 people deported from Kovsakan. Gevorg was a mechanic, his wife Ovsanna was a nurse. On the very first day of the war, the father of the family reached Jrakan with a group of volunteers, where he was wounded on the fifth day of the war. The car transporting the next group of wounded to Hadrut appeared under the enemy fire. "It is a miracle that we reached Hadrut, and then they took us to Yerevan. At first they wanted to amputate my leg. Thanks to the chief vascular specialist of the republic, I have my leg today, despite this condition," says Gevorg. The woman was working around the clock in Ishkhanadzor hospital in those days. "We forgot everything, our children, our parents; we only thought about the wounded soldiers, they brought to us those who were relatively lightly wounded.”I found out later that my husband was also injured," Ovsanna recalls. Gevorg will have to go to Yerevan once to continue the treatment; a complicated leg operation is expected. The wounded are provided with the highest quality medical care, but the family must reach Yerevan on their own and they must find a place to live in those days. They do not consider the conditions of the village bad, they live in the same apartment with the landlord, but they have a separate entrance. The entire property of the house was provided by the landlord. Ovsanna is worried about the lack of water. They are used to growing their own food and vegetables, to sell the surplus. A few months before the war, Gevorg had decided to have his own agricultural machinery, he bought it on credit from an acquaintance, and promised to pay off the money in installments. "I did not manage to use the tractor, now the owner wants the debt. The state is zeroing the bank liabilities of the displaced, and what should those who have fallen into debt by oral agreements do?
Karo and Raisa Saryans lived in the large village of Tagher in the Hadrut region. Karo is a former soldier, he served in the military unit of Hadrut, and until the last day he was in the village. Then, he was in Taghavard, Shushi, and is now trying to adapt to the new village. They have three sons, one of whom has a disability; the youngest is in the graduating class of the village school. The house allotted to them was being renovated at the time of our visit. The construction group from Goris was working.
Nikolay and Arusyak Arakelyans, who were displaced from the same village and lost the house and the grave of their son who died in the first war, are unable to work on the land near the house. The landlord living in Moscow has not allowed taking care of his own vegetable garden; they are not allowed to use the bathroom, computer, etc. The old woman, accustomed to working all day long, however, is not offended; she sewed flowers near the door of the house. "It's his house, let him see something beautiful, when he comes in summer" she says. In Mets Tagher she was not known as Arusyak, she was Aro grandmother for everyone, and she was a strong, joking woman. She found many similarities between Khnapat and Mets Tagher. "There is nothing like our village, but the location and the streets are very similar. Until we return, let us at least live in a place like our village. They will give us Hadrut, won’t they? She ends her thought with a question, expecting a positive answer only. Their son, Razmik, joined his family with his son, who had finished his military service in Mataghis in September and settled in the Azatashen community of Armenia. “If they provide a house under normal conditions, they will come immediately”, says grandmother Arusyak. The head of the village promises that they are working, honest people, and they will be given one of the houses under renovation.
Thus, overcoming a thousand and one difficulties, often ignoring them, these people live, believing in the good days after returning home.