The History of Artsakh Region
At different ages of its long history Artsakh was named by different names. It was called (Artsakh) which is used so far by the Armenian population of the region. The name (Artsakh) comprises of two syllables in Armenian language: -Ar- from Ara the Sun-god of the ancient Armenians and -tsakh- which means forest or vineyard. Therefore Artsakh means the forest or the vineyard of Ara-god.
In Arab Armenian Byzantine and Persian sources between the 10-13 centuries (AD) the region was also called (Khatchen) which is emerged from the Armenian word (Khatch) which means Cross. Since the era of king of Armenia Sardur II (765-735 BC) Artsakh was an inseparable part of
The region was subject to the Seljuk Turks and Tatars invasions during the 10-13 centuries (AD) that led to the withdrawal of the Armenians to the mountainous strongholds and areas whereas the invaders settled in the flat areas. In the 14th century (AD) the name of the region was changed by the invaders to (Gharabagh) or (Karabagh) which means Black Vineyards to obliterate its Armenian identity.
According to the Gulisdan treaty (1813) which ended the Persian-Russian war Artsakh's Armenian principalities were transferred to
Under pressure exerted by J. Stalin the region was annexed to
Because of the oppression policy pursued by
The population of the region fought an armed struggle against the Azerbaijani forces which attacked the region which was ended with the victory of Artsakh-Gharabagh's self-defence army and signing a ceasefire between the two sides in 1994.
The ceasefire continues with some violations from the Azerbaijani side who threatens to restore to armed force to impose control over the region and grant so-called wide autonomy to the Republic. Negotiations between Armenian and Azerbaijani sides continue under the patronage of the Minsk Group of the Security and Co-operation Organization in
My visit to Artsakh-Gharabagh (NK) Republic
During my visit to
After receiving Anahit's invitation I decided to travel to Stepanakert on the twentieth day of my trip to
The way that took about six hours and half was mountainous and rocky especially the part that extends from the city of
In the bus a man aged 35 or 36 was sitting beside me. He was an inhabitant of the region. When I talked to him I noticed a trace of a deep wound along his forehead and I asked him: Is this the trace of a wound you're afflicted with in Artsakh's war? He replied: Yes I was severely wounded when fighting in Martakert north of NKR.
One of the passengers of the bus was an old man who said he had a son martyred in Artsakh liberation war. His family also gave a martyr to the homeland in Sardarabad battle in May 1918. The Ottoman troops then had invaded Eastern Armenia to complete the genocide scheme of the Armenians carried out in
On the way to Stepanakert a tank was placed on a high place. This was the first Armenian tank which entered the city of
I arrived in Stepanakert in the evening and Anahit was waiting for my arrival in the city's Central Garage. During the two days I stayed in the city I was hosted by Anahit's family. The house of the family lies in a rural district with attracting nature; high mountains and a river called (Karkar) which passes near the house.
The region is also called (the
After arriving in Stepanakert I didn't lose the time and began wandering in its streets despite the rainy weather. I visited the squares and the monuments including the monument of
Gharabagh war martyrs and the martyrs' cemetery near the victory
The city of
On May 9 1992 the Artsakhi soldiers liberated Shushi which has strategic importance in a successful military operation. The aim of this was to stop the continuing bombardment of the capital Stepanakert by the Azerbaijani soldiers in Shushi which had lasted for several months and resulted in the stop of transport means and lack of food and water. 29 martyrs from the Artsakhi Self-defence Army fell in this battle.
Anahit told me about two martyrs of her relatives in Artsakh war with another whom she regarded as a brother. She was severely distressed remembering him and told me he was severely wounded in one of the battles and stayed in a hospital prior his death. Anahit also told me that she always remembers him and imagines that he is present and talking to her.
I met Anahit's youngest brother Avo 33 who had joined Artsakh-Gharabagh liberation movement when he was young in 1989 and then became a prominent fighter and a field commander. I noted during escorting him that he wins the respect of the people and the police in the street. I took some memorial pictures with him and Anahit.
I also visited the headquarters of the web site where Anahit works. I met the site editor Naira a widow of a martyr in Artsakh war and the editorial staff who knew me from the two articles I previously published in the web site.
Oskanian's meeting with University Students
Anahit told me that she had prepared a concentrated program for me which included attending the meeting of
First I attended the meeting which took place in a big hall filled with audience. Oskanian talked on the prospects of resolving Kharabagh issue and said:
The wheel of the history couldn't be driven back as
Oskanian pointed to
At the end of the meeting Oskanian responded to the questions from the audience. I noted the students were asking questions in fluent Armenian while the lecturers were asking questions either in Russian or weak Armenian. I was told that this was because of the policy of repression and persecution followed by
This was changed after NKR declared its independence in 1991 and the new generation is getting education in the native language which has become the official language in NKR.
In the State TV
After the meeting in
After the end of the program the operator told me that many callers asked about my personal life and the city in
It's not possible to describe the joyful feelings I had for my appearance from Artsakh's TV in a live interview for the first time in my life. I didn't imagine one day that I would have the opportunity to talk to the people of Artsakh – Gharabagh the struggle of whom I followed day by day through newspapers and media. I was impressed by the tenacity and the spirit of sacrifice they owned to gain their freedom and independence.
Anahit her parents and relatives had congratulated me on the interview. Anahit said in joke: My friend you're now known to the people of Gharabagh. The next day when I took the bus back to
I have much enjoyed this visit and the generosity and nobility of the inhabitants of Stepanakest in general and Anahit's family in particular.
It is necessary for every visitor to Artsakh – Gharabagh to taste its special herbal bread called (Jengal) which is similar to pasty. I noted the strict adherence of the people of NKR to their just cause their independence and recognition by the international community and reconstructing their republic despite its difficult economic circumstances.
I hope to be able one day to take part in reconstruction projects in NKR. During my stay in