Yerevan Intern Program Alumna Writes About Her Karabakh Experience

bigworldahalejian

2007 AGBU Yerevan Summer Intern Program (YSIP) intern alumna Alexis Halejian wrote a very interesting article “Home Sweet Devastated Home” (with photo essay) for the latest edition of BIGWORLD, an online travel magazine.

Reporting on her experience during YSIP in the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh, she reflects on the lives of people who are eager to rebuild after a devastating war of independence:

Thirteen years after the war, the land here in Nagorno-Karabakh is still torn. Buildings are still broken, people are still lost and streets feel unrecognizable. It’s a post-war world still in cease-fire mode.

This independent region of the southern Caucasus is officially part of Azerbaijan, but populated mostly by Armenians who fought to secede, and have managed to establish an autonomous if devastated enclave.

By Western standards, people here have nothing.

Yet their spirit of giving is boundless.

People had scattered during the war. The Armenian General Benevolent Union, the largest international Armenian NGO, headquartered in New York City, had built a school and a hospital nearby, in hopes that such essential institutions in one area would bring Karabakh’s people back to this land…to the people of Norashen, these buildings represented their dreams for a new life…

Read the whole article here.

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