Interview by Irina Tsukerman
December 1, 2020
Image credit. Above, a village Lachin corridor. Under Armenian occupation, this place was known as Berzdor, “Artsakh.” CC BY-SA 3.0
Name, age, current location of the respondent.
Gazanfar Huseyn, born on September 16, 1947, currently Ilive in Sumgayit city,
When and under what circumstances you left Lachin? What were your memories of the city before invasion and departure?
Lachin was surrounded by Armenia in the south-west and Nagorno-Karabakh in the north. After the occupation of Shusha on May 8, 1992, the enemy who turned the conflict into a war, Lachin, which had no military assistance, was besieged and occupied until May 18.
I sent my family members to Baku on May 11, and I went with the district leaders to Gulabir, the last village of Lachin, in the direction of Gubadli district, at 4 pm on May 15. It was no longer possible to stay in Lachin, and the district center relied on the local self-defense regiment. As all the forces of the Ministry of Defense left the region, the local regiment was unable to take a stand against the military forces attacking from both Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
How do they feel about the upcoming reintegration?
In the past 28 years, 6 months, and 12 days, I have not lost hope that Lachin will be liberated from occupation. Just as Lachin is a miracle of God by nature, the liberation of Lachin from occupation was a great miracle. I am sure that more Lachin residents will return.
Do you hope to return home? what are you looking forward to when you do it?
Of course, I have high hopes to return home. The many years that have passed taught me to be patient. I will patiently make my dreams come true in Lachin. The first thing I will do in Lachin will be to restore the destroyed graves of my father, grandfather, and grandmother by the oldest vandals. Then I will repair the house that I built at the foot of the mountain in Lachin, where I lived for only 11 months. I am currently retired and plan to spend my day with my family and grandchildren in addition to social activities.
Any comments on plans to contribute to rebuilding the city?
The relief of Lachin city is specific, and the houses were built in accordance with that relief. I think the city should be kept as it was before the occupation in May 1992. I think it is right to restore the destroyed houses with the previous project, but on the basis of modern construction standards, using better quality construction materials. There were 125 villages in Lachin, we had only 15-20 houses. I think it is necessary to unite small villages into large villages. I also think that it is important to keep a building destroyed by Armenians as a museum in the city of Lachin and in every village.