House on the border: How an Armenian family is learning to live (and love) again

  • Azat Azatyan and his family are among those who have been affected by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We helped him start a small charcoal production facility. He bought raw material and a car to distribute coal to the local restaurants. Azat believes he is much better off than he was before.
    Gohar Hakobyan/ICRC
  • Meet Nargiz, Azat’s mother. Her tender and luminous eyes resemble the flower jonquil she is named after. The proud grandmother loves talking about her grandchildren enthusiastically. Despite serious health issue, she continues to walk, work and stay active.
    Gohar Hakobyan/ICRC
  • This is Marine, Azat’s wife. Mother to three lovable children, she is hardworking and kind, supporting her husband in everything. She also makes sure that her children devote enough time to studies and evolve their talents.
    Gohar Hakobyan/ICRC
  • Marine and Azat's 11-year-old daughter is a self-taught artist who dreams of studying fine arts someday. The walls of their house are covered with her drawings, mainly still life and village landscapes.
    Gohar Hakobyan/ICRC
  • The young artist is inspired by her surroundings and sees beauty even in little things in the corners of their house. Her muses range from rosehips, dried fruits, autumn nuts to garlic illuminated by the light seeping through the half-frozen windows.
    Gohar Hakobyan/ICRC
  • Օne of Azat's sons practises karate. His trophies from several local competitions are proudly displayed in the house.
    Gohar Hakobyan/ICRC
  • There is no heating in the house. The family uses an old wood-burning stove to boil water and make tea.
    Gohar Hakobyan/ICRC
  • It is a common practice to make use of hand-made woollen blankets to keep warm in winters. It takes up to four days to get one blanket ready. The Armenians first wash the wool and then layer it three or four times. left The wet blanket is then left to dry under the sun. The dried wool is turned over and spread out, after which it is sewed together in a fabric and made into a blanket.
    Gohar Hakobyan/ICRC
04 May 2018

Located in Aygehovit, a village that lies along the border, Azat Azatyan's house radiates light and love. Despite the security risks due to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azat's family has found a way to live – they work hard, dreaming of better times and keeping their hope alive.

The ICRC works on both sides of the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan to help people deal with the security situation, loss of livelihood and lack of economic opportunities.