Artsakh youth opening new horizons

Hard times create strong and talented people. Our heroes came to prove this statement. Here are the stories of five bright and talented young people from Artsakh who, despite all obstacles, continue to create beauty in everyday life. These young professionals are not only the youngest in their fields, but, probably the best as well.

Levon Sahakyan is a 22-year-old videographer from Stepanakert who is studying to become a film director at Yerevan State Institute of Theater and Cinematography. He’s the youngest well-known videographer in Artsakh.  

Levon Sahakyan

“I started to live in the moment after the war. We don’t know what can happen in a few minutes, so just take time and enjoy life now.

I started making videos at 13. Since all of my family members have been working all their lives in television, I grew up with this spirit of TV, as they were at work all the time and the only possible way to be with them was to go to their workplaces. When new smartphones appeared, I started to try making videos and photos. Everyone has been encouraging and telling me that I have a “fish’’ eye and that they like my work. I would ask my grandfather to take me with him to TV sets or my mom to take me to the programs. This is how I entered the world of videography. 

I like making videos of things in which I see beauty. Videography is an art form which requires a muse. There are moments when I see beauty around me that inspire me to create something amazing. I capture that moment and feel very satisfied. That gives me wings to fly—in my case to create. 

As I mostly work with displaced people or people who live near the borders of Artsakh, I have already coped with their heartbreaking stories. It might sound strange, but I don’t feel sad or want to cry anymore. I’m not emotional, as I know that my mission is to document all those stories with a cold heart and sharp mind and to tell them to the world. Unfortunately, we have so many families with tragic stories, that you get used to accepting and working with them. You can’t let anything make you emotional or distract you from your work. 

I dream of the recognition of Artsakh and the return of all of our lost territories. I wish to see Shushi again. I wish to become the best in my field, and I know that I have to work hard to achieve it.”

Svetlana Movsesyan is a 19-year-old designer from Stepanakert. She is studying management at Artsakh State University, and she is the youngest designer working in Artsakh.

Svetlana Movsesyan

“After the war, I felt an increased desire to create something in order to help Artsakh. There are many people who think otherwise, but for me, living and working in Artsakh became a matter of principle.

I started my career as a designer a few months ago. 

Since childhood, I have dreamed about having a big shop. I took the first steps to launch my brand SilVi in Artsakh in August of last year, and we started to work in December. 

I haven’t had an opportunity to participate in an international contest to represent Artsakh yet, but I think that there will be such a chance. 

Generally, I don’t use Artsakh traditional elements in my dress, but I think about how to combine modern and traditional elements to make them look fabulous. I’m planning to open my own boutique in the next two years. If we succeed, we will definitely appear in international markets. 

My main goal is to make Made in Artsakh an internationally recognized brand.

My advice to all young people is to follow their dreams and never give up. Dreams give meaning to our lives.”

Inna Abrahamyan is a 21-year-old makeup artist from Stepanakert. She studied finance at Artsakh State University. She is the first professional makeup artist in Artsakh.

Inna Abrahamyan

 “I hurry to live after the war. I rush to do everything as soon as possible, as if war will start tomorrow. This is sad, but this is the reality of a 21-year-old girl who has seen two wars in her life.

I started my career as a makeup artist over a year ago. I always admired art, and I was inspired to become a makeup artist, because I wanted the opportunity to create something beautiful by myself. 

I was about to finish my studies, when I realized that I don’t want to be in one place all day and work with papers all my life. My degree is supposed to be for me. I decided within a few days to become a makeup artist, and I consider it to be the best decision I have ever made in my life. I started to become very popular among Instagram users in Artsakh. I was encouraged to create more and more new ideas for makeup. Artsakh women have a unique sense of style. They prefer light, sheer and delicate colors for weddings, birthdays and during other special occasions. 

I work with many clients, which is encouraging, as I realize that my work is appreciated by the people around me.  

I plan to become the best in my field and start a brand, as I feel that I’m in the right place to do so. I understand that to become an internationally known professional I have to work a lot, including in social media, which is crucial nowadays for becoming famous. I plan to open my own studio, equipped with the newest cameras and computers, which will help bring my ideas to life. I’m sure that with God’s help, I can achieve anything.  

One can succeed in something only when he or she loves that job, and I would advise all young people around the world to do what they love, which will give them wings. They should follow their hearts, and their parents should allow their children to do whatever they want to do.”

Alyona Sargsyan is a 20-year-old baker from Kichan village, Martakert region studying at Artsakh State University. She is the first bento cake baker in Artsakh.  

Alyona Sargsyan

“If it were not for the war, I would have already opened my own bakery. It was hard to find strength to continue to live and create here after the war. But at the same time, I understand that we are a part of our small country, and the future of Artsakh is in our hands. 

I don’t remember when I started baking, but helping my mom bake was the most interesting part of my childhood. Years have passed, but my love for baking hasn’t faded. I started to bake professionally two years ago. I’m self-taught. I learned by watching and following different famous confectioners online.

Right now, I bake in our home kitchen, but I plan to work hard to open my own bakery. All my clients are always satisfied with my work, and even those who don’t like sweets, confess that they can’t resist eating my cakes. It’s funny, some of my followers complain they can’t lead a healthy lifestyle because of my videos, and they unfollow me to stick to their diets. 

I hope that despite all the obstacles we will be able to reach our goals and become professionals in our fields. I advise young people around the world to pursue what they love and not look back.”

David Gabrielyan is a 23-year-old digital marketing professional from Askeran. He studied applied mathematics at Artsakh State University. He owns his family’s tea and fruit chips-making company Nakhshun.

David Gabrielyan

“It’s very easy to lead a family business. We started our small business during the first stage of the coronavirus pandemic. It was my idea to make Artsakh herbal teas, but of course I could only realize it with the help of my family and my friends. All the herbs are collected from the mountainous parts of Artsakh by my family members. We use almost 36 types of herbs. We first taste them and then use them in our production. We name our teas considering their ingredients. 

My family is the main source of motivation for me, and I’m always working to be the best version of myself. 

We also produce fruit chips. The price and the quality are perfectly combined in our case. All our clients are satisfied by our product. You can find them on all online platforms. The package of the product is also eco-friendly. We use only paper.  

I’m sure that Artsakh mountainous herbal teas will become famous all over the world due to Nakhshun.”

Irina Safaryan

Irina Safaryan

Irina Safaryan is a political scientist, translator and freelance journalist based in Stepanakert. She earned her master's degree at Yerevan State University's Department of International Relations; she's also studied at the Diplomatic School of Armenia. She was an intern at the European Parliament and is well-informed on EU-Armenia relations. Irina is the co-founder of the first Wikipedia Club in Artsakh, an author of more than 100 articles in Armenian Wikipedia. Irina is interested in politics, education, new technologies and everything connected to peace and sustainable development of Artsakh.
Irina Safaryan

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