Armenian Letters from Artsakh

Their names are Nathalie, Tatev, Mariam and Anna and they write to us from Artsakh, this territory of the South Caucasus populated by Armenians and coveted by Azerbaijan. When you read their letters, you will understand how attached they are to their land, to their history, to their identity after having thought they would disappear when the war suddenly broke out on September 27, 2020 and ended 44 days later, on November 9, 2020, a little over a year ago. They are about twenty years old and they are learning French at the University of Stepanakert, the capital of Artsakh where the first foreign language taught is Russian. It is thanks to Nelly, their French teacher, that we received these letters. They tell us about their life, their fear and their hope. You can answer them by sending us a letter to and we will send them. We met Nelly on site. She was our translator when we were there last February with Bernard Kouchner and Patrice Franceschi. Since then, we are happy to have sent Nelly some French teaching books that she was missing.


Hello dear reader

My name is Nathalie, I am 19 years old. I was born on November 28, 2001 in the village of Aknaghbyur, in the region of Askeran (formerly known as Karabulakh, which means “big spring”). I am a 3rd year student of English language and literature at the Faculty of Philology of Artsakh State University. I love my job, it gives me the opportunity to explore world literature in its original form, to work with children, developing Armenian and Armenian in them. Now I have only one goal, to deepen my knowledge, to acquire the ability to communicate in different languages, to deepen my cultural and Armenological knowledge in order to make our nation visible to the world.

I also like educational activities. I have been working with children for two years now. My students inspire me in the strongest moments, give me strength and endurance. Today, my dreams and goals are linked only to my birthplace, Aknaghbyur. It was occupied by the enemy during the 44-day war in 2020 and finally came under enemy control on October 27. My pain is great, my grief is boundless. There were a number of historical and cultural monuments in Aknaghbyur, including the 19th century Surb Astvatsatsin church, the 19th-20th century cemetery, the 19th-20th century “Ghuze Tagh” cemetery, located 500 m southeast of the village, the 17th century “Ghuze Tagh” shrine, the 18th-19th century “Gharali” village, located 2 km west of the village. In the center of Aknaghbyur there was a memorial dedicated to the fallen freedom fighters of the first Artsakh war, which was destroyed by the Azerbaijanis after the village was taken over by the Azerbaijani armed forces. Every day I pray to the Almighty Lord to find our village and let the mornings of the Armenian world begin peacefully…


Translation of the letter into Armenian

Hello everyone,

My name is Tatev, I am 21 years old. I was born in the village of Kochoghot in the Martakert region of Artsakh. I am a first year master student. I study English language and literature at Artsakh State University.

My village is beautiful, there is a wonderful nature where one can rest well.

Here lives the long-suffering Armenian who tries to provide for his family by his honest work. And suddenly, at dawn, you hear the sound of explosions, the roar of weapons, the groan of the fatherland. War, we guessed, has broken out, disrupting our peaceful life. I think you know Artsakh and you know what happened recently: a cruel and unjust war that spared nobody. Each exploded weapon took lives, taking with it many dreams that did not come true. We lost 75% of our country in the 44-day war. It is true that we cannot bring back the many Armenians who sacrificed their lives for the motherland, but we can do at least one thing – pray for the enlightenment of their souls to keep their names immortal. Many families have lost their homes, but everyone, in their heart of hearts, hopes that one day they will return to their land and find their houses and homes that they built themselves.

We must not lose hope and faith in God, we must pray, believe that our voice will reach God, we must be obliged to make our wonderful country Artsakh prosper and develop.

I wish peace and unity to you and to us in any work undertaken. Join us, dear friends, do not allow injustice and evil to act against us.

I also have to tell you how much our terrorist enemy is trying to cut us off from our homes and our land. We will live on this land inherited from our ancestors, we will not lose the potential to create a beautiful culture.


Traduction de la lettre en arménien


My name is Mariam. I am 22 years old. I am a graduate of the Translation Department of Artsakh State University, I am currently in the first year of my master’s degree and I am studying English language and literature. I love walking in the nature, it calms me down and allows me to be alone with my thoughts. When I have free time, I read books and listen to music.

I was born in the village of Taghavard in the Martuni region. I live in Stepanakert, since on October 27, as a result of the war, a part of the village was taken over by the enemy.

The village of Taghavard has a beautiful nature, there are many historical and cultural monuments, including the fortress of Berdahonj (8th-14th century), the church Surb Astvatsatsin (1840), Jokht prvatsar (11th-12th century) and the shrine of Churvish (17th-18th centuries) which are quite famous. Unfortunately, the Churvish shrine was destroyed by bombing during the war.

Almost every day I see our house, our village in my dreams and this is the only way to calm the lack we all have.

However, we do not have the right to despair, because we are obliged to live and create in our Artsakh, on the land that was kept at the cost of the blood of thousands of soldiers, so that we can live the life that they did not live.

After all, there is no place more powerful and dearer than our own land and homeland.


Traduction de la lettre en arménien

Destroyed housing complex in the Republic of Artsakh due to Azerbaijan’s shelling in September and October 2020 @Yan-Boechat-VOA.
Hello dear friends,

I am Anna, I am 21 years old. I come from a small but beautiful part of the world: Artsakh. I live in Stepanakert, its capital. In my homeland you can find a wonderful nature, very hospitable people and a history that is very old but at the same time full of adventures and suffering.

I study at Artsakh State University, in the faculty of foreign languages. I am learning English and French. Outside of my studies I give individual lessons and teach English and French to children. I am married and soon I will have a son. My biggest dream is that my child will grow up under the blue sky. You already know that we suffered because of the war in 2020. On September 27, we woke up to the sound of bombing. It was a pain that is frankly impossible to explain in words. We don’t want to leave our country, but I don’t want my son to be a victim of a new war either.

My 7 year old cousin tells me that he wants to be a soldier, but he doesn’t want to participate in the war because all the soldiers who participated in the war are dead…

My day-to-day life is very full: I participate in the online university classes, I do my classes with the kids also online because of Covid19, I do the cleaning sometimes, I cook and in the evening, when I have time, I go for a walk. I have a beautiful view of the city of Shushi from my window. At night before I go to sleep I look at this city in the hope of a miracle: that of returning there one day and making its culture flourish again, which is now destroyed by the Azeris.

We, the Artsakhtsis, are very dynamic and courageous, we will never abandon our country.

We will fight for the welfare of our children, for the next generation and for our country.

Dear readers, we wish you happiness and joy; may you never feel the pain of war.


Translation of the letter into Armenian

Monument from Artsakh symbolizing “We are our mountains” @Martin Cigler.


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