Conflict in Armenia concerns students


Photograph provided by Milena Abrahamyan

Arman Gyulbaryan is a soldier is an Armenian soldier and a “brother” of a Hoover student.

By Ryan Avakian and Leo Piloyan

What’s going on in Armenia today?

Hoover students an­­­­d Glendale residents who have family and friends in Armenia have been asking themselves and their relatives the same question, as they have anxiously read the news and talked to others about the ongoing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Elen Grigoryan, a junior at Hoover, said she’s scared. Her cousin, Ando, is 19 years old and fighting in the conflict. She said he only has four months left in the military.

“I grew up in Armenia and now I can see how I am losing my country,” she said. “Azerbaijan is fighting for something that is not theirs. We have a history in Armenia that they want to take from us. They want us to disappear.

“I see videos of my brother. They have nothing. No food. Nothing. We talk twice a week with him. My parents are so scared.”

Milena Abrahamyan, a Hoover student, has four cousins — Arman, Ashot, Karen, and Vahe — in the war.

“I have neighborhood friends who are fighting in the war,” the junior said. “I have so much fear. I am afraid I am not going to see the home that I grew up in in Armenia. I can’t talk to them because I cry each time I talked to them. They understand that if they are not going to come back alive. They tell us we need to stay strong for them.”

Abrahamyan described her cousins as her brothers.

“My days are hard. I think about how they’re hungry. Each time, I think about when I go to sleep with a pillow that they are not comfortable going to sleep. I keep waiting to hear from them. Not just my brothers but everyone’s brothers. This is so painful. I know that this is not going to go away and it’s only going to get harder.”

Narek Alaverdyan is a Hoover student who has been in America for three months.

“I feel pain,” the 17-year-old said. “I know I can’t change anything. It’s gotten to a situation that whatever is going to happen is going to happen.”

Davis Tarvedi, a Glendale resident, has been one of those who has been concerned about the conflict in Armenia. Tarvedi has been concerned about the safety of his an uncle in Armenia.

“Every day I wake up and have only one thing on my mind, the war, the children, my family,” Tarvedi said. “Every call is a shock to the center of my soul, but I still hold on to the small flicker of hope while I hear the phone ringing that he will pick up the call and say he’s ok¨.

As of September 9, 2022, Armenia has been impacted with yet another war. On September 12, 2022, Azerbaijan forces rushed their heavy artillery attacks through Artanish, Goris, Sotk, Jermuk, Kapan, and Ishkhanasar. Russia officially announced a ceasefire on September 13th, at 2 p.m.

This attack caused major damage to residential houses in Kut, causing women and children to immediately evacuate their homes. Although evacuations were immediate, three people were injured during this process. Three civilians were hospitalized, while the Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan claimed that 204 Armenian soldiers were either killed, or missing.

“I pray for Armenia and the situation that it is in right now. I think that this is outrageous and that we aren’t getting the attention that we need,” said Daniel Shakaryan, a Hoover High School student.

It’s no fact that Armenia and its residents are suffering right now, and family members are offering their support and tears for their safety.

“I’m nervous,” said Mike Matshkalyan, a student at Hoover. “I care about the people that I know in Armenia. I am looking up every single information that I can find because I saw the previous war myself. I understand that we have a war against [the enemy].”