By Karine Armen
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
Many organizations started helping Artsakh refugees immediately after the annexation by Azerbaijan. On October 24, collaborating with a reputable organization, I shadowed a social worker, visiting families now resettled in various parts of Armenia. The first family we visited had five children. Their 5-month-old triplet boys were born during the blockade.
On that warm October morning, we entered Gayaneh’s rented apartment. The social worker conversed with Gayaneh and her parents-in-law. I quietly observed the family dynamics. Turning to the 12-year-old boy, I asked, “Do you miss your home? How do you like the school here?” He silently nodded, expressing no complaints. I guess he had learned not to complain and be thankful, but his eyes were sad.
Meanwhile, the social worker attended to Gayaneh’s in-laws, discussing their pension and other concerns. I asked Gayaneh, “What were you doing in Artsakh?” With a sigh, she responded, “I was a history teacher in our village.” Recollecting their life, she mentioned their recently renovated house. Her 40-year-old husband operated an auto repair shop on the first floor while they resided above. Additionally, her in-laws owned extensive property, including land, tractors, a truck, and a car. They relinquished everything, arriving in Armenia solely with their documents and one suitcase.
In a brief span, Gayaneh and I had made a connection. She candidly shared, “I loved my job. But one day, feeling unwell, I visited a clinic and discovered I was pregnant with triplets.” Considering their age and the prevailing political and economic climate, they hadn’t contemplated more children. Yet, with a sparkle in her eyes, she whispered, “It was a gift from God. I wanted these magical triplets.” The triplets were born amidst the economic blockade on May 25, 2023, in a hospital in Stepanakert. News spread about these remarkable births during a disturbing period.