Coming Together for Artsakh

Nareg Mkrtschjan and Haig Adishian (New Jersey), younger group essay winner

Editor’s Note: Haig Adishian, a member of the AYF New Jersey “Arsen” Chapter, was one of six winners in the 2022 Junior Seminar Council AYF Camp Haiastan Campership Essay Competition. The winners were announced at Junior Seminar late last month. The winning authors received prize money and publication of their essays in the Armenian Weekly. Adishian’s essay, which won first place in the younger group (ages 10 to 12), answered the following prompt: How has the recent Artsakh War affected the global Armenian nation?

The war in Artsakh affected Armenians in many different ways. Armenians around the world came together to try and help spread awareness. Armenians living within the country stopped what they were doing to go and fight. I’ve been to some of the places we lost; it hurts me to think about it. It affected the Armenians in Armenia and in Artsakh by sending their loved ones to war.

Protests were one of the ways Armenians came together. In New York, 5,000 people participated. This helped raise awareness of what was happening in Artsakh. Armenian schools also helped raise money for our soldiers. Hovnanian School in New Jersey did a fundraiser for Artsakh; a jar was placed at the entrance of the school everyday for people to donate money. My school wrote letters and sent Christmas gifts to children at a school in Artsakh.

People in Armenia came together by stopping their jobs to fight. Even if they had never been near a battlefield or held a gun, they still came to fight because of how much their heritage meant to them. They put their lives at risk for future generations of Armenians. This not only brought Armenians together, but it helped us unite and help each other no matter where we were.

The war also affected me since I knew the land that we had lost. I loved my visit to Artsakh. I ate Jingalov bread and visited churches that I had always wanted to see. Now I can’t visit them anymore, which makes me sad. I met a fedayee in Shushi who fought for the Armenians in 1992. I also held an old bow and arrow and stood strong like Haig Nahabed. I have many interesting stories to tell, and they are all very fun to hear and talk about.

Families sent their loved ones to war. It was sad for them and for us knowing that their loved ones might die as we live our everyday lives. I felt guilty knowing that I’m safe because I’m in the United States while all of my people in Armenia are dying in a war. 

On Thursday nights, AYF members participated in educational programs about the war in Artsakh. During AYF Juniors weekend, Unger Arakel made Jingalov bread. It was entertaining to watch and a kind gesture.

Armenians are still being threatened by Azeri soldiers, and no one is doing anything about it other than a small branch of the Armenian military. The war is still going on even though we’ve signed a peace-treaty. They’re still killing our people and taking our lands. 

The war was horrible, but we Armenians stayed together because no matter where we are in this world, we will always be one and united.

Founded in 1933, The Armenian Youth Federation is an international, non-profit, youth organization of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF). The AYF-YOARF Eastern United States stands on five pillars that guide its central activities and initiatives: Educational, Hai Tahd, Social, Athletic and Cultural. The AYF also promotes a fraternal attitude of respect for ideas and individuals amongst its membership. Unity and cooperation are essential traits that allow members of the organization to work together to realize the AYF’s objectives.


AYF-YOARF | ՀԵԴ Armenian Youth Federation - Eastern Region USA Հայ Երիտասարդաց Դաշնակցութիւն - ԱՄՆ Արեւելեան Շրջան
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