- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
Special Edition
May 21, 2004

  About this week’s edition . . .      

The past week marks 10 years since a ceasefire was declared in Nagorno Karabakh, bringing preliminary settlement to the four-year conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan during which some 30,000 were killed and hundreds of thousands displaced.

Last week we took a look back at the war years, through the work of four Armenian photojournalists.

This week ArmeniaNow looks at Karabakh as it is now – not yet recognized, but nonetheless growing toward independence, ever mindful of the need for a permanent peace agreement.

Most of the articles in this special edition can be found in the current issue of AGBU magazine, distributed world wide. Through a partnership with Armenian General Benevolent Union, ArmeniaNow produces materials for its quarterly publication. ArmeniaNow is one of dozens of projects whose work is supported by the Union. To learn how you can support the work of AGBU, to receive the magazine, and for other information about AGBU, visit

ArmeniaNow thanks AGBU for its support.


Help make media that matters: Join ArmeniaNow in Karabakh

This week’s special edition is about potential.

Recall Nagorno Karabakh 10 years ago when ceasefire was new. Read this week’s articles and imagine how it could be in 2014 if a peace agreement can be reached.

While it will take decades to recover from all that the tiny region has suffered, the past 10 years – and especially the past five – have shown what can be accomplished when passion and commitment are linked by proper support and encouragement.

At ArmeniaNow, we believe that the availability of reliable information is a key to Karabakh’s future development. The articles on this week’s edition are evidence of many stories to tell about the concerns, needs, growth and overall conditions of the emerging republic. We want to be your vehicle for bringing those stories to an international audience.

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The Karabakh Question: After a decade of ceasefire, now what?

The ceasefire that ended the fighting in Nagorno Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenian forces sees its 10th anniversary in May. It is a date that is both remarkable landmark and symbol of the continued elusiveness of a permanent solution to the conflict.

February marked an older anniversary, the 16 th year since the emergence of the Karabakh Movement that was the catalyst for the independence of Armenia. The two events define the modern republic and its relationship with the worldwide Diaspora, perhaps even more than recognition of the Genocide in the immediacy of its importance for the future security of the Armenian nation.

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Determined: An unrecognized republic rises to be reckoned with

If Stepanakert is the face of a nation, the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh is all smiles.

As recently as five years ago, the capital of Karabakh looked nothing like it looks today. Where the fragmented innards of bomb-damaged buildings stood like stalagmites of anti-creation, new buildings now rise to replace the death mask of war.

Streets once eroded by a rain of hell are now paved and curbed and lighted and prepared for the smooth transition from survival to commerce that leaders of the republic say is surely coming.

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Picking up the Pieces: Four years of battle, a decade of recovery

Born out of conflict and de facto in existence, Nagorno Karabakh enters the 13th year of its independence still coping with a war-depleted economy and adjusting to its status as an unrecognized country.

Its towns still bear the traces of war and its citizens keep in their memories the sounds of exploding missiles, but Karabakh demonstrates the ability to defend its national interests and to prove its aspiration for independence.

On an occasional glimpse Stepanakert, the capital of Karabakh, shows little evidence of a post-war city. More likely, the impression is of a city on the move rather than on the mend.

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Society on the Rebound: Care of elderly, increase in birth rate top concerns in Karabakh

The woman’s nimble fingers are skillfully kneading dough, sprinkling it with fragrant mountain herbs and putting it into an oval shape. After a while the pleasant and familiar smell of Artsakh jingialov-hats placed on a small stove spreads throughout the multicolored market of central Stepanakert.

“For many years I was working in a factory and the idea that some day in my life it would be my lot to be making jingialov-hats (a bread delicacy peculiar to Karabakh) never crossed my mind,” says 52-year-old Naira Danielian, who has a small booth in the market. “I was very young when my mother taught me how to cook jingialov-hats. It’s good I know now how to cook it, otherwise I’d have found myself at a loss.”

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Aftermath: The fallout of war crosses generations, ethnicity, countries

When Andranik Asatrian decided to write a book about the Karabakh war he neither had intention to become renowned nor pretended to acquire the reputation of a historical writer.

All that the 15-year old wanted was to share his thoughts about the war and of Armenia’s history.

“You don’t know, my Turk contemporary, the truth about the genocide, you don’t know the truth about the Karabakh war,” Andranik wrote. “The history you learn in school is false, so let me tell you how things were in fact.”

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Building Business in the “Enclave”: Karabakh economy growing against great odds

It can rightly be seen as something of a miracle that an enclave comparable in size to the U.S. state of Delaware could come out on the other side of war and political trauma to speak of an economy at all. While in Armenia analysts study the complexities of a “shadow economy”, for Nagorno Karabakh to even have a shadow of an economy is a mark of achievement.

Any objective overview of the state of development in Karabakh must put an asterisk behind every statistic – a reminder that it is hard to build a state while also trying to save it. It is worth remembering, too, that for much of its life since the Karabakh Movement began in 1988, survival has been enough.

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Kashatagh: Retaking and rebuilding a “third” Armenia in old Lachin

Kashatagh may be the only region of “two Armenias” where there are no magnificent villas or foreign cars. As one resident said, there are no rich or poor here and all are equal.

Outsiders still know it as Lachin, famous for the corridor that was the hard-won link between Armenia and Karabakh, gained during fierce fighting in 1992.

But to the locals, this area retaken from Azerbaijan and made the sixth region of Karabakh has regained its ancient name. By renaming and repopulating Kashatagh authorities are merging two Armenian states.

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City of Dreams?: Karabakh’s center of culture hangs on and hopes

Gray-haired and aged by war and hardship, 68-year old Rima Danielian moves with care down the edge of a bluff approaching a row of unremarkable shops in her town, Shushi.

She passes children coming home from school who are growing up in a Shushi far different than the one Rima sees in her memory.

“My city is the most beautiful,” says Rima. “For centuries Shushi had been considered as the heart and center of culture of Artsakh. And today it seems life has become silent. Many things have changed.”

Full story


Photos by:

Georgy Ghazaryan
Artur Torosyan
DeFacto News Agency

According to Agnes


The Peace Process: Who wants what? And when?

Full story


An Interview with the President of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh

Full story


An Interview with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Karabakh

Full story


The Politics of Population: Re-settlement program attracts the dislocated and the opportunists to free life on the land

Full story



The Week in seven days


The Arts in seven days


  Photo of the week
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Ten years since its last performance, the opera "Anush" returned to Yerevan stage this week. The 90-year old opera, based on Hovhaness Tumanyan's poem, was staged by Gegham Grigoryan and starred Anahit Mkitaryan in the lead role.


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