"Hey there," 12-year-old Arman eagerly says as he gazes at the FAR packages brimming with essential food, hygiene items, bedding, and heaters. He can't help but wonder, "Did you bring my bicycle too?" Arman's eyes sparkle with nostalgia, reminiscing about the joyous days they spent in his family's home in Martakert, Artsakh.
His father, Manvel Sargsyan, 48, gently explains, "We couldn't bring the bicycle with us; there simply wasn't enough space in the car." Manvel understands his son's longing for that cherished bike, especially after the challenging journey they have endured.
Exhausted from two days of driving, their hearts filled with fear that their car -- packed with 15 people -- could be stopped by Azeris along the way, Manvel finally breathed a sigh of relief as they passed through the Lachin corridor. This lifeline had been closed for more than nine months, cutting off thousands of Artsakhi residents.
Still haunted by memories of bombshells and his children's cries during their sheltered moments in their village house, Manvel remains determined to start anew and fulfill his son's dream of having a bicycle.
“We have left everything in Martakert: the house I built myself, over 200 heads of cattle, and vast wheat and vegetable fields. We were forced to leave after enduring more than 24 hours of shelling by Azeris and became a refugee for the third time, but now, there is no hope of returning home. What saddens me the most is that I won't be able to visit the graves of my parents and grandparents again. Ijevan, where we settled now, feels like Martakert. We can start over with cattle breeding here."
To stand with Manvel and his family, and with countless others from Artsakh, we ask you to take action now and become a beacon of hope for our people as they strive to rebuild their shattered lives.
Your generous donation to FAR today will make an enduring impact.