Day 17 – Diary from Karabakh | We were born in and live with this conflict. But we don't want to die in it!

By Lika Zakaryan

Every day I hope that today is the last day of my “War Diary”. But it seems it is not, we keep going on like this. 

It was unusually quiet in Stepanakert today. Such silence scares me, to be honest. I can’t fall asleep at night without the sounds of military sirens and bombardments. I wait for them to start and then try to sleep. Because you know it’s better to fall asleep listening to these sounds, rather than to wake up because of them.

Do you know what makes Artsakh and Stepanakert unique? We, the citizens of our proud and mountainous Karabakh, have always said to everyone that if a safest place exists, it is here, in Artsakh. And that is pure truth, well, it used to be. We could walk around the city all night long and no one would come up and say anything. There was also a special team of “defenders” who would walk around the city greeting the passerby politely. And now? After the tragedy in Hadrut, (when a group of Azeris broke into people’s hоmes, brutally killed them and burnt their houses) we don’t feel safe anywhere, not anymore. 

What have they turned our home into?

They bombed us with anything they could, destroyed everything we had created for the last 30 years, made us go through the deaths of our loved ones, through fear, through pain. Not only am I sad today, but I am angry! I became insane with anger towards them, towards us, towards the world. Towards even Armenians who speak big words, who write “launch rockets towards them!”, who don’t have the slightest idea how it feels to not get a call from your loved ones who stand in front of the enemy’s bullet. I am angry with those who create weapons, with those who sell them. I am angry even with those who work as security guards in such companies. 

Do you have any idea how much money has been spent on peacekeeping projects so far? A HUGE AMOUNT! How many people made a fortune on such projects? How many trainers talked about critical thinking, about hate speech? If no one wants to tell this, then I will – it was all FOR NOTHING, everything is lost.

What do the OSCE diplomats get paid for – it is the mystery of the century for me.

Sometimes I am asked during interviews “how can this conflict be resolved?” Should it be up to me to answer this question? The world doesn’t even recognize my diploma in Political Science because it is from an unrecognized university in an unrecognized country. All these scientists, experts are invited to international conferences, whilst the question “what to do” is addressed to an ordinary citizen. 

Today I received packages from my friends – a chocolate bar, military trousers, cucumbers, cheese and my favorite one treat – a pomegranate. 

We now live the life our parents used to tell us about, before we would go to bed.

We were born in and we lived with this conflict. But we don’t want to die in it!