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Building a Border Village in Artsakh: Hundreds Gather in Arajamugh to Celebrate Village Expansion

Keys to Six Homes Handed in Opening of Arajamugh Village Expansion in Artsakh;

Artsakh Authorities, Donors, Guests, and Diasporan Celebrities Take Part in Festive Ceremony

ARAJAMUGH, Artsakh (A.W.)—Hundreds of jubilant villagers, government officials, and guests gathered on April 4, to take part in the opening ceremony of the Arajamugh Village Expansion, during which the keys of six newly constructed homes were handed to six families, who have recently resettled in Arajamugh.

Hundreds of jubilant villagers, government officials, and guests gathered on April 4, to take part in the opening ceremony of the Arajamugh Village Expansion. (Photo: Tufenkian Foundation)

Artsakh Republic President Bako Sahakyan, Artsakh Prime Minister Arayik Haroutyunyan, representatives of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Eastern United States Central Committee (Antranig Kasbarian), the ARF Artsakh Central Committee, the Tufenkian Foundation (Executive Director Raffi Doudaklian), the Armenian Cultural Association of America (ACAA) Artsakh Fund of the Eastern U.S (Raffi Killian), as well as several donors and guests joined the villagers of Arajamugh for the official ceremony.

The festive celebration included the handing of the keys of six new homes to six families, who have resettled in Arajamugh, as well as the announcement of a pledge to cover expenses of the village’s school expansion and the building of new the village’s medical clinic.

Arsinee Khanjian with the jubilant children of the village (Photo: Tufenkian Foundation)

The Arajamugh Village Project is a collaboration between the Tufenkian Foundation and the Armenian Cultural Association of America (ACAA) Artsakh Fund of the Eastern U.S., for the development and expansion of Arajamugh village. The Artsakh Fund will assume the main responsibility of the project moving forward.

Also present at the ceremony were visitors, including activists, journalists, and a number of Diasporan Armenian celebrities including Serj Tankian, Atom Egoyan, Arsinee Khanjian, and Eric Nazarian.

Serj Tankian with a young villager during the ‘salt and bread’ welcoming (Photo: Tufenkian Foundation)

During the event, President Sahakyan expressed his gratitude to the Tufenkian Foundation and the Artsakh Fund of the Eastern U.S. for their commitment and realization of the project, noting the village’s strategic location and socio-economic and political significance. Representatives of the Artsakh government used the occasion to renew its commitment toward the liberated territories, calling pro-active settlement a decisive step in countering Baku’s aggression. Brief remarks were also delivered by Valery Gevorgyan, the Governor of the Hadrut region, where the village is located.

“Artsakh is the backbone of our national identity,” said Arajamugh Project Manager Raffi Killian of Chicago. Speaking on behalf of the Artsakh Fund, Killian reaffirmed the fund’s readiness of to continue its work in Arajamugh.

Raffi Killian delivering his remarks (Photo: Tufenkian Foundation)

“These new houses are our answer to last year’s Azerbaijani aggression. It happened exactly a year ago, and by building new homes, we are telling them that we are here to stay,” said Tufenkian Foundation Executive Director Raffi Doudaklian.

In his address, Doudaklian stressed the strategic importance of the village, as it is close to the border and the barracks, and lies on a point that connects many villages in the region. “It is now time for the locals to develop the region by cultivating the fertile lands, by working for a better future. We in the Diaspora can and will support, but without the hard work of the local inhabitants, our efforts will not have the effect we want,” Doudaklian said.

A group of young Arajamugh residents (Photo: Tufenkian Foundation)

“I am very excited and proud,” System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian told reporters following the ceremony. “We have attended a number of ceremonies… but this one is the most exciting for me, because an Armenian family will come and live here in Artsakh. We are very happy and moved,” Tankian added.

Arajamugh village is located in southern Artsakh, roughly 25 miles beneath Hadrut, in territories liberated by Artsakh Defense Forces in late 1993. The village represents the southernmost presence of a civilian population in Artsakh.

The keys to six homes were handed to six families (Photo: Aparaj)

The Arajamugh Village Project was initiated in 2004 by the Tufenkian Foundation, working in conjunction with the Artsakh Department of Refugees and Resettlement. The village now features 25 houses and associated infrastructure, a school and town hall, a nearby pomegranate orchard, as well as nearly 100 inhabitants.

A scene from the reception (Photo: Tufenkian Foundation)

In 2012, following a working visit to Artsakh, the ACAA Artsakh Fund decided to assume responsibility for expanding the village, developing its infrastructure and livelihood opportunities, and working with existing and future resettlers.

 

7 Comments on Building a Border Village in Artsakh: Hundreds Gather in Arajamugh to Celebrate Village Expansion

  1. avatar mayrenaser // April 5, 2017 at 3:40 pm // Reply

    I am so happy to live at a time when Armenians are reseeding the mother land that was stolen from them by worthless savage forever cursed nomad turks

  2. There are so many good things about this announcement. The families, building border villages,
    the diaspora , our cultural artists etc. This is the type of vision, leadership and implementation that will
    make Artsakh prosperous. Very exciting! While the Azeris destroy, Armenians build!

  3. This is such a vital project. Strengthening the liberated territories is our guaranty that our lands will stay Armenian. We need more projects such as this one which have strategic importance.

  4. avatar Peter Mikaelian // April 6, 2017 at 9:41 am // Reply

    Such a happy event that causes joy to all Armenians. We should be greatful to Tufenkian Foundation for so many constructive projects in Artsakh and ou r beloved Armenia. God bless all participants of projects bringing progress and prosperity to our sacred Homeland.

  5. avatar Juan Morales // April 7, 2017 at 11:37 am // Reply

    God bless Armenia and the armenian people, the first nation to have adopted Christianity!!

  6. This is great news, rebuilding and reclaiming our homeland after many centuries of destruction by our enemies. It is heart warming and in tune with our national image of being “builders and contributors” not just “takers and users” wherever in the diaspora we have resided, and for a change we are “builders” in our own land.

  7. Նաեւ ողջ ազատագրուած տարածքը պիտի Հայերով վերաբնակեցուի, պէտք չէ Մոսկուայի հաւանութեանը սպասել (այդ հաւանութիւնը երբէք չէկ ստանայ՝ Արցախը Ռուսիոյ կայսերապաշտ քաղաքականութեան հանար միայն մի խաղակարտ է, ըստ «բաժանի՛ր որպէսզի տիրես» ստոր սկզբունքի): Պէտք է կայացած փաստեր ստեղծել: Եւ ո՛չ մի թիզ հող ազէրի թուրքին, ընդհակառակը՝ դեռ ազատագրմանը կը սպասեն Հիւսիսային Արցախը, ընդհուպ մինչեւ Կուր գէտի պատմական ու բնական սահմանը, եւ Նախիջեւանը: Կեցցէ՜ ինքնիշխան Հայ ժողովուրդը:

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