STEPANAKERT, Artsakh—Lebanese-Armenian Vahe Askaryan and his four children, all of whom settled in Artsakh in 2015, celebrated their housewarming on Dec. 25 in the Ishkhanadzor Village of the Kashatagh region.
The house was been built by the Tufenkian Foundation as a part of its “Resettlement of Kashatagh” initiative. Among other efforts, the project provides housing support to Armenians relocating to Kashatagh from Syria and Lebanon.
Kashatagh Administration Chief of Staff Davit Davtyan, Tufenkian Foundation Executive Director Raffi Doudaklian, and representatives of the Artsakh Ministry of Healthcare, Berdzor Hospital, and the Ishkhanadzor community attended the opening event.
Kashatagh (formerly Lachin) is the vital land bridge connecting Artsakh to Armenia. This liberated region guarantees Artsakh’s existence and has strategic significance for the peace and security of Armenians in the region. After 70 years under Azerbaijani rule, the historic Armenian province was liberated during the Artsakh War and is now being actively resettled.
The Kashatagh region suffered immensely from the war and has been facing a housing and infrastructure crisis ever since.
To address that problem, the Tufenkian Foundation began a pilot project in 2008 to renovate houses in Kashatagh’s villages. During 2008-2010, more than 40 renovation projects were implemented by dedicated work brigades under the foundation’s supervision. Since 2010, Tufenkian has continued with house renovation, but focusing more on special needs—provision of housing support to Armenian families from Syria and Lebanon who settle in Artsakh.
Vahe Askaryan is the second settler from the Middle East to receive a home from the Tufenkian Foundation in 2017. In early June, the family of Haig Khatcho, a Syrian-Armenian doctor who escaped ISIS persecution and settled in Artsakh a couple of years ago, celebrated housewarming in the same village.
To provide a new home to the Askaryan family, the Tufenkian Foundation turned some of the war-torn ruins of Ishkhanadzor into a large and safe house. The construction efforts were carried out by local workers from Kashatagh and lasted over five months.
Addressing the guests at the ceremony, Vahe Askaryan said: “Relocating to Artsakh, this ancestral home of all Armenians, is the best decision I could make for my family. I am happy to experience such generous support by my compatriots and promise to dedicate all my abilities for the prosperity of Artsakh.”