by John Hughes Ina Poghosian has a very simple answer, when asked why she has moved to the Karabakh village of Nor Haykajour. "There was water here," Ina says. The very village itself was named for water ("Hayk's water"), but there's more behind Ina's answer.
by Tony Halpin 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 a remarkable landmark and a symbol of the continued elusiveness of a permanent solution to the conflict.
by Marianna Grigoryan 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.
by Julia Hakobyan 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.
by Vahan Ishkhanyan 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 John Hughes 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.
by Marianna Grigoryan and Sona Danielyan 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."
by John Hughes 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.
by Tony Halpin Arkady Ghukasian succeeded Robert Kocharian as president of Karabakh. After surviving an assassination attempt near the beginning of his first term, Ghukasian was resoundingly re-elected in 2002. Do you think (Azerbaijan president) Ilham Aliyev is more or less inclined to the Karabakh conflict settlement than his father?