“All I want is peace” – Mother of Four Forced to Flee Talish Yet Again
This isn’t the first time that Marineh Sargsyan has been forced to leave her native village of Talish, in Artsakh, due to war.
“The same story, like a bad dream, has repeated. I’ve been forced to flee Talish twice,” says Sargsyan who left Talish in 1992 for Yerevan, with her grandparents, when she was just 14.
This reporter met up with Sargsyan, a mother of four in Yerevan.
“I went to school here for three years and graduated,” she tells me.
In the early 1990s, after Talish was liberated, Marineh returned to the village and married Aram, also from Talish.
Her son Mher, 18, has been serving in the army for the past ten months. He’s stationed in Askeran. Her husband is a contract soldier and is currently serving in Talish.
Marineh, and in fact all Talish residents I’ve had a chance to talk to, are content with conditions in the village. “We were living well. We had our animals, cows, pigs and chickens. We got by on our own,” says Marineh.
The mother of two boys and two girls describes the night of April 1 when the Azerbaijani military started shelling Talish.
“The shelling was constant. There was no electricity. I dressed the kids with whatever I could grab and took them to a neighbor’s house. We crouched in a basement until 5:30 the next morning. The kids were freezing because they weren’t wearing socks.”
Talish residents then assembled at the village municipal building. The shelling continued. The village mayor then ordered for the women and children to be evacuated.
On April 2, Marineh made it to Yerevan with three of her children. They’re temporarily staying at her mother’s place.
“We found a house in Masis to live. The kids will go to school there until we decide what to do next,” says Marineh.
When I visited Marineh, her eldest daughter was at a local hospital waiting to be operated on. The mother said medical expenses had been covered by the Mission Armenia organization.
When I asked Marineh what she needed at the moment, she replied, “I only want peace, nothing else.”
Photos and video: Narek Aleksanyan